Night one is in the books! Only one game tonight, but hallelujah, baseball’s back! No blown saves or bullpen drama tonight, but the odds are that’s not going to be the case tomorrow!
• Drum roll, please. The season’s first save goes to… Erik Bedard? If I was a wittier Rotographs writer, I’d make some elaborate April Fool’s quip about rushing to your wire to pick up Bedard (maybe while messing around with the closer grid), but there’s a reason I’ll never be allowed to write for NotGraphs. Bedard piggybacked off starter Bud Norris; throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings and satisfying the last option in MLB Rule 10.19 (a pitcher can earn a save by finishing a game effectively while pitching 3+ innings). Congrats to you if you backed into a “SV” while actually starting Bedard at the back end of your fantasy rotation. Don’t be offended that I’m taking the under on 0.5 saves the rest of the way, though.
• Derek Lowe made his Rangers debut and — well — it could have gone better. Lowe came in with a couple guys on and promptly fell behind Rick Ankiel before serving up an 82 mph slider over the heart of the plate that Ankiel deposited into the right field bleachers. Lowe’s SIERA was a career-worst 4.57 last year as he split time between the Indians and Yankees. With K% and SwStr% rates that have fallen dramatically the last two seasons, Lowe really shouldn’t be anywhere near a fantasy roster. It’s sad to say, but it’s possible his big league career might be over sooner rather than later as well.
• The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported tonight that Jason Motte “is still a significant time away from picking up a baseball. He won’t be re-evaluated until the middle of the next home stand, more than a week from now.” With him not being allowed to even look at a ball for at least a week and a half, it’s safe to say he’s unlikely to be back before the end of April. Mitchell Boggs should be owned in all leagues if he is not already by now, and I still like Trevor Rosenthal as a high-upside stash.
• One of the bigger bullpen surprises on cut-down Sunday was Jose Arredondo not cracking the Reds’ Opening Day roster. His walk rate has always been elevated (11.8% career BB%, 13.3% the last two years) but, despite a 3.87 SIERA last year, he put up a 2.95 ERA (.270 BABIP) and was pegged to be an option for holds and vulture wins in deeper leagues. He’s obviously droppable now, and is obviously one step further removed from late-inning considering with Aroldis Chapman‘s return to the ‘pen, but I have to imagine he’s back with the big club within a few months.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]