• John Axford did not pitch well last night and lucky for Cody Allen owners he did not pitch well this evening either, getting the loss against the Twins. Axford has a blown save and a loss in his last two outings and his seasonal ERA/FIP/xFIP is now 4.85/6.59/5.29. Not good. In the same game Cody Allen threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, continuing his great start to the season. We have known for a while that Allen is the better pitcher but it’s finally time that he starts seeing save opportunities. No switch has been made yet but my guess is that something is imminent. I can’t imagine Allen is still unowned in any active leagues, but he is a must have for any fantasy team. Allen won’t be sitting on your waiver wire but you still might be able to snag him in a trade, netting a possible top-ten closer at a discounted price.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka had a forgettable eighth inning tonight, allowing four guys to reach base and three to score without recording an out. Kyle Farnsworth relieved Dice-BB and finished the inning, striking out a batter while issuing a walk. Farnsworth isn’t a particularly compelling ninth inning option for the Mets or for fantasy teams, but he’s the guy right now and it doesn’t look like Matsuzaka or anyone else is breathing down is neck.
• Casey Janssen pitched an inning in a rehab assignment today, allowing two singles, a popup and two groundouts. In place of the recently removed Sergio Santos, Brett Cecil notched his second of the season. Aaron Loup pitched a scorless seventh and Steve Delabar a scoreless eighth tonight as well. As Colin mentioned, all three could see save opportunities until Janssen is back in Toronto but it looks as though Cecil will be getting the looks for now. However, provided Janssen comes out of his rehab assignment without any additional setbacks, the job could he his upon arrival.
• Mark Melancon blew his first save tonight as he fills in for injured closer Jason Grilli. Melancon’s job isn’t in jeopardy but depending on how he performs in lieu of Grilli he could finish the season as the ninth inning option in Pittsburgh. That still remains a possibility as Grilli isn’t close to returning. Grilli played catch today, but has not yet thrown off a mound as he rehabs from an oblique injury. Melancon and his 2.26 SIERA are probably the best option for saves even when Grilli is back but Melancon will need to avoid outings like this to really pad his save totals this season.
• Quick Hits: Joe Nathan picked up save number six tonight, closing out a shutout of the Astros and Trevor Rosenthal pitched around a hit and a walk for a scoreless ninth and his ninth save of the year.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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