Of the 30 teams in baseball, 14 have already changed closers as a result of injury, ineffectiveness or in some cases, both. As a result of the extraordinary closer carousel year thus far we bring to you the Bullpen Report, which will provide you with daily updates on the most recent bullpen happenings, before your midnight waiver wire deadline.
• Henry Rodriguez’s days of closing might be numbered, if they even still exist at all. Henry Rodriguez entered the game tonight with a two-run lead in the 9th inning, seemingly business as usual. However, after a leadoff walk to John Mayberry and a Freddy Galvis fly out the wheels started to come off. With Mike Fontenot at the plate Rodriguez threw a wild pitch advancing Mayberry to second base, Fontenot singled moving Mayberry to third and then, with Ty Wigginton pinch hitting, Rodriguez threw another wild pitch which got him hooked in the middle of the at bat. Sean Burnett came on to finish the save, his 2nd of the year. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson has been patient with Rodriguez in the past, but with Rodriguez’s control issues (6.5 BB/9; eight wild pitches) Johnson might look to Burnett or Craig Stammen (who pitched 2 scoreless tonight and has a 2.05 FIP and 9.72 K/9 on the year) to close out games while Brad Lidge and Drew Storen recover from injuries.
• After being relieved of closing duties this weekend, Cincinnati Reds left-handed reliever Sean Marshall actually recorded the save tonight getting the final out in a situational save against the lefty Jason Heyward. Jose Arredondo started the 9th inning walking getting two outs while walking two batters. Aroldis Chapman, who is now expected to close out games after getting the save last night wasn’t available to pitch after pitching back-to-back days. Aroldis Chapman has been outstanding this year, but he still has some control demons and the Reds have been hesitant to have him pitch on consecutive days this year, so depending on the matchup look for Marshall, Arredondo and even Logan Ondrusek to get an occasional save.
• Heath Bell converted a 1-2-3 save tonight against the Colorado Rockies, his 6th of the year. After an up and down start to the season (mostly down), Bell has now converted his last three save chances and has only allowed one base runner in his last 3.2 innings pitched. Another former struggling closer, Alfredo Aceves, also pitched a clean ninth inning tonight for his 10th save of the year and has now pitched 6.2 scoreless innings since May 12th.
• Andrew Cashner blew the save tonight and got the loss, giving up two runs in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jason Motte blew the save earlier in the game, letting two inherited runners from Marc Rzepczynski score before staying in to finish the game and get the win. Originally slated as Huston Street’s replacement, Cashner didn’t pitch well in his first save chance, allowing Dale Thayer to secure the job with his perfect season thus far – 5/5 on save opportunities and a 0.00 ERA in his 10 innings of work.
For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Sean Burnett at PHI
I’m going to assume Burnett gets the first look at a save opportunity if one arises after Henry Rodriguez was pulled in the middle of an at bat tonight and with two below average offenses facing off again, there is a good chance it’s another close game.
Our Bullpen Report team will also be keeping this closer grid up to date for you. Happy hunting for saves!