Bullpen Report: May 10, 2014

The Ax Man leaveth. John Axford has (at least for now) been removed from Cleveland’s ninth inning role. So everyone rush to the wire to pick up… wait, is “committee” owned in my league? Axford and his 5.45 xFIP have been touched on a couple times over the past week and little has changed in the peripherals department.

So who do you want to own? Cody Allen is likely gone in most leagues where saves are a precious commodity. He was already one of the pre-season’s top sleeper setup men and has seen his ownership tick up over the last couple of weeks as Axford has struggled. Bryan Shaw has also gained some traction over the last week or so as he wrapped up a save earlier in the week. While his raw stuff isn’t quite as good as Allen’s, both pitchers possess solid ERA indicators.

Francona also hinted that Scott Atchison and Marc Rzepczynski may figure into the ninth inning. Atchison has pitched extraordinarily well this season, as the former gym teacher owns a 12/3 K/BB in 14.1 innings this season. While “Atch” has been a tremendously undervalued reliever over his career, he does not have the pitch repetoire of Allen or Shaw. One minor point in his favor? He is a favorite of Francona, going back to their time in Boston in 2010. “Scrabble” (Rzepczynski) has also pitched OK this season, although his 2.08 ERA is well below his 3.74 xFIP. Unfortunately (for him) he has pretty bad platoon splits, pitching well against lefties but getting raked versus righties. He could be an option if lefty-lefty-lefty is due up, but I’m not burning any FAAB or waiver position on him. My handicapping in this pen would be Allen, Shaw, (gap), Atchison, (gap), Rzepczynski.

Those owners who decided “screw it, I’ll hold onto Joe Smith” (or who were too lazy to cut him) were rewarded with somewhat of a surprise save this afternoon. Coming into the game, it sounded like Ernesto Frieri‘s reclamation of the closer’s role wasn’t quite complete and it was Smith who was tabbed to bail Tyler Skaggs out and polish off his win. Smith did allow a pair of Skaggs’ runners to score, but he induced a game-ending double play to add another SV to the ledger. Frieri had only thrown 12 pitches the last 3 days so it wasn’t a usage issue, but Smith didn’t blow anyone away either. Both guys should be rostered, although Frieri seems like the better bet to one-up the role (until his next mini-slump, that is).

All hail the 101 mph fastball. Aroldis Chapman is back off the disabled list. While the Reds got blown out, there was still some thought that he might squeeze his way into a low-pressure situation. That did not happen, but it appears he is worth activating in all leagues as manager Bryan Price was quoted as saying “I’m not hesitant. He doesn’t need a soft landing” when the question of whether or not the flamethrowing Cuban would immediately return to the ninth inning was posed. Jonathan Broxton‘s run of relevance is over for now — his 1.00 ERA was good, but his 4.25 xFIP was far less appealing. The Reds did well to extract some solid performances from him, but expect less enticing rates going forward as the big righty slides into a setup role.

Quick hits: Casey Janssen started a rehab assignment made his third rehab appearance today, tossing a scoreless inning. While that’s good news, his owners haven’t forgotten his last rehab stint that ended in a setback. He might still be a bit away from returning, but he should be a fairly good bet to take over the ninth when he gets to Toronto. Francisco Rodriguez notched save number 15 on the season. If you were able to rush to your wire and grab him the first week of the season, kudos — he now has only one less save than Koji Uehara and Greg Holland combined. Jordan Walden and Ryan Cook to the disabled list. You’re going to need to look elsewhere, holds leaguers, at least for the next few weeks.

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 Tommy Hunter Darren O’Day Brian Matusz
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Edward Mujica
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Justin Grimm James Russell Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Matt Lindstrom Ronald Belisario Daniel Webb Nate Jones
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 Anthony Bass Josh Zeid 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) Kyle Farnsworth Daisuke Matsuzaka Jose Valverde Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Shawn Kelley Adam Warren
Oakland Jim Johnson Luke Gregerson Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Justin Wilson Jason Grilli
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Carlos Martinez Kevin Siegrist Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Grant Balfour Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joakim Soria Alexi Ogando Jason Frasor Neftali Feliz
Toronto Brett Cecil Steve Delabar Aaron Loup Casey Janssen
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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There are few things Colin loves more in life than a pitcher with a single-digit BB%. Find him on Twitter @soxczar.


28 Responses to “Bullpen Report: May 10, 2014”

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  1. Simon says:

    Why is Chapman listed as being on the DL?

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  2. Joe Nathans Dead Arm says:

    Time to flip Tommy Hunter to yellow? Would O’Day be next or Britton?

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    • Cautionary Bird says:

      shoot I have both

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    • Cautionary Bird says:

      Yeah, I don’t know why Zach Britton isn’t even on there.

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      • Bbboston says:

        Zach Britton is the clear choice to replace Hunter…… Hunter’s whip and fly ball tendancies are recipe for disaster in Camden.

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      • Bbboston says:

        Britton is a left-handed Jim Johnson and has no plate-sided splits. He’s baltimore’s guy, because he’ll keep hrs and the ball down with his ground ball tendancies.

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  3. ACC says:

    Think it would be O’day he has two saves this year and a couple from last year. Buck uses Britton and Matusz more as a LOOGY.

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  4. Ben says:

    Janssen went on a rehab assignment last week didn’t he? He’s close to be activated either Sunday or Monday correct? Hopefully you forgot to delete that from the cut and paste from another day! Let me know if there’s different going on please.

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  5. B says:

    In a 20 team roto with saves and holds as separate categories.

    Currently have LeCure but tempted about Atchison. Given that Chapman is back, do you think that pushes LeCure back to second in line behind Broxton? Could this result in less holds, or at least less prime opportunities for holds as I know multiple guys can get them in a given game?

    Thanks in advance.

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    • FeslenR says:

      I’d say drop LeCure, your logical assumptions are correct, Broxton is number 2.

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    • Mike Wimmer says:

      I would stick with Lecure. Atchison has either Shaw or Allen in front of him, two pretty good options. Lecure just has a inconsistent, injury prone Broxton.

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    • LeCure isn’t that close to get save opps now with Chapman back. Chapman’ll be given plenty of leash if he has some hiccups over the next few weeks.

      I don’t think Atch is likely to get saves, either, but the odds are marginally better for him than LeCure.

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  6. Harvey Weewax says:

    Seems to me that a key contributing factor to Joe Smith getting the call to close was that the Jays surely would’ve put in Rasmus (who loves the fastball and is red hot) to face Frieri and his fastball.

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  7. … or not. Rasmus is 0 for 8 with 5 k’s v Frieri.

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  8. Jay says:

    Holds league here, just had Walden sent to the DL, where Crain has been holding my team’s slot for most of the season. League also has k/9 and bb/k in addition to the usual pitching categories.

    Drop Crain for Shawn Kelley, who may have a back injury himself?

    Other waiver options, all with warts, considering the settings, with walks potentially injurious: Al Al, Casilla, Fien, Warren, A.J.”BB/9 over 6″ Ramos…

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    • Jay says:

      Meant k/bb, sorry.

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      • Mike W says:

        I would go Fien, seems to have overtaken Burton as the set up guy and seems less likely for blow ups as some of the other guys.

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    • Tough to hold onto Crain right now with the setbacks and general suck in the Houston pen.

      If you really believe Al Al has fixed some of his control issues this season, he’s the obvious add from a rates standpoint. Fien isn’t a terrible option but the low BABIP is masking the fact that he allows a ton of balls in play (low K%, low BB%).

      I like Ramos long-term, but his control has regressed three years in a row now, which is a bit scary.

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  9. Xavier says:

    Majia rumored to be heading for the pen. Any chance he becomes the closer there if he is moved?

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  10. AlwaysSonnyInOakland says:

    If you could only add one of these guys for saves, who would you choose?
    Shaw
    Mejia
    Matsuzaka

    Yeah…I’m desperate here.

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  11. Cheesewhiz says:

    So what to make of Alex Wood? He was the 8th inning setup guy today. What are the Braves doing with/to him?

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  12. Corey says:

    CBS seems to think Jeurys Familia may be next in line in New York based on something Terry Collins said, but he’s not on your list at all. Is CBS full of shit?

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  13. Mike W says:

    Any concerns that Shaw and not Allen got the Indians first save chance since Axford got pulled? Would you rather own Shaw, Allen or Melancon?

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