• Colin did a great analysis of the Rays bullpen situation after Grant Balfour‘s meltdown last night and the Rays are now looking at a bullpen by committee approach for the near future. Madden wants Balfour to regain the job but his problems might run deeper than anything a few days removed from the ninth inning can solve. For now I’d expect Joel Peralta, Jake McGee and Juan Oviedo to see the first chances with Brad Boxberger (12.63 K/9, 2.47 SIERA xFIP) as a potential sleeper. Balfour isn’t injured or on the DL but I’ll place him there on the grid for the time being as he lingers in the background.
• Casey Janssen picked up the classic no, no, no, yes! blown save into a win today against the Twins. Janssen returned from injury right around when Toronto started winning every game and he’s a solid 11/13 on saves with a 1.49/1.89/3.45 ERA/FIP/xFIP line on the year. Janssen’s ERA won’t stay that shiny all season long but given his performance since regaining the closing gig and the mess that was there before him, he should have a long leash. As closer on one of the better teams in the league he should also continue to rack up the save totals.
• As Dave mentioned today, Fernando Rodney is one of the few “proven closers” acquired this offseason that hasn’t been a disaster. Rodney continued his non-disaster ways this afternoon launching his 18th arrow in the air in a perfect ninth inning. Rodney’s 2012 overall season and walk rate is looking like an outlier but he’s still been effective this year converting 18 of 20 save opportunities with a 2.19 ERA and 2.84 SIERA with over a strikeout an inning. With the ninth inning firmly in Rodney’s hands of more interest in the Seattle bullpen might be Dominic Leone who recorded two outs today for his fifth hold of the year. Leone can miss bats (31 strikeouts in 26.2 IP) and has pitched to a 1.35 ERA and 2.66 SIERA, which could help those in need of a ratio boost in a deep AL-Only league and/or holds league.
• Tommy Hunter is off of the DL and although he hasn’t been anointed the closer, he threw a perfect ninth inning today with a four run lead. Zach Britton has been solid all year in general (3 ER in 32.2 IP) and in the closer chair, so no change is likely to occurr so long as that continues but more appearances like this from Hunter could get him knocking on that door.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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