Bullpen Report: June 7, 2014

Thankful to be able to contribute to another Bullpen Report after spending a few days away in the mountains with the in-laws. Truth be told, I’m actually still out here but have been out of the mix, so if I miss something crucial, pick me up in the comments…

Here are a few notes I was able to put together:

Terry Francona noted today that he is pleased with the recent performances of his bullpen, but eventually, would like to get John Axford back into the closer’s role. “Eventually” doesn’t exactly provide us with a concrete timeline, but if you’re chasing saves it’s worth stashing Axford where available now. Axford took the ball in the ninth-inning today in a non-save situation and surrendered a hit, in an otherwise clean inning of work. Excluding tonight, Axford made four appearances (3.2 IP) in the past two weeks and posted a 38.5% K-BB% and a 0.00 ERA (0.34 FIP). Over that same time frame, Cody Allen appeared in six games (6.0 IP), notched four saves, posted a 4.4% K-BB% and a 1.50 ERA (3.24 FIP).

Fernando Rodney dished a clean ninth frame today in Tampa Bay to pick up his 17th save of the season for Seattle. Rodney induced two fly balls to center field, then fanned Matt Joyce to seal the victory for the Mariners, 7-4. The man with the crooked hat has now “notched three consecutive 1-2-3 saves and hasn’t allowed a run in eight straight appearances.” Rodney is now 17-of-19 in save chances this season with a 2.28 ERA (2.69 FIP).

Pedro Strop dished a clean ninth in a 5-2 Cubs victory over the Marlins to notch his second save of the season. The save for Strop comes on the heels of a Neil Ramirez save on Thursday and a blown save for Hector Rondon on Friday. Three straight days, three save chances and three different arms used by the Cubbies. With that said, Ben noted on Thursday evening that Ramirez took the ball in the ninth due to Rondon pitching in back-to-back days. But then Rondon surrendered three earned in Friday’s effort, then doesn’t get asked to come back on Saturday for the chance. He’s now blown two of his last four save opportunities. It’s worth mentioning Chris noted that Rondon hadn’t pitched for some time and wonders if the Cubs were trying to “nurse” him through an injury. While we’re not exactly sure what’s going on as of this moment, we’ll downgrade the Cubs to “yellow” and wait to hear more from the skipper tomorrow.

Quick Hitters: Aroldis Chapman fanned one in a perfect frame of work en route to his eighth save of the season. Chapman is now 8-of-9 in save opportunities since returning from the disabled list. If you’re playing for ratios and strikeouts, Josh Fields is a great option to consider right now. In his last 10 appearances (11.2 IP) entering today, Fields owns a 0.77 ERA (1.61 FIP) and a 39.0% K-BB%.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel David Carpenter Luis Avilan Jordan Walden
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Ryan Webb Tommy Hunter
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Miller
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Ronald Belisario Zach Putnam Jacob Petricka Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Scott Atchison
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Adam Ottavino Rex Brothers
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joel Hanrahan
Houston Chad Qualls Kyle Farnsworth Josh Fields Jesse Crain
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Joe Smith Michael Kohn Dane de la Rosa
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Perez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jeurys Familia Vic Black Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren Shawn Kelley
Oakland Sean Doolittle Luke Gregerson Jim Johnson
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Carlos Martinez Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Jean Machi Santiago Casilla
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Dominic Leone
TB Grant Balfour Jake McGee Joel Peralta
Texas Joakim Soria Jason Frasor Neal Cotts/a> Neftali Feliz
Toronto Casey Janssen Brett Cecil Steve Delabar Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

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In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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How good has Neil Ramirez been? Crazy numbers….