• Ernesto Frieri received the save opportunity last night but before we anoint him the closer again, it’s important to note that
he Joe Smith was throwing up in the bullpen but more importantly, felt tightness in his right side. The Angels plan is likely for Frieri to regain the role again but Joe Smith has also been effective in the role thus far. If anyone let Frieri go in your league I would be sure to use your waiver wire on him if need be. I don’t think Scioscia intended to throw Frieri in the ninth inning right away but this injury might have forced his hand. The situation is obviously in flux and both guys are worth owning but I’d put my money on Frieri finishing with more saves from here on out.
• Aroldis Chapman is currently pitching on a rehab assignment. The good: There hasn’t been a setback. The bad: He only threw two-thirds of an inning allowing four hits, five runs, a walk and a HBP. Chapman likely will have some rust as he works himself into form but I’d focus more on the health without a setback than the results. Johnathan Broxton will still receive the save opps with Aroldis on the shelf, but it shouldn’t be too long before Chapman is back in his familiar role.
• Cody Allen and John Axford have pitched in the last few days and it was Bryan Shaw that received the save opportunity for the Indians tonight. Shaw allowed a hit and an unearned run for his first save of the season. As of now, John Axford is still the closer in Cleveland but a change could be imminent as Axford hasn’t left Francona with much wiggle room. Bryan Shaw has been sneaky effective over the last couple of years and has a 1.65/1.89/3.32 ERA/FIP/xFIP line on the season. Cody Allen is still the best reliever in the pen if the Indians were to make a move, but he’s likely already owned in your league, taking a flier on Bryan Shaw couldn’t hurt for a team in need of saves as the Indians could rationalize keeping Allen in his setup spot.
• Marcus Stroman is expected to see the Blue Jays rotation at some point this season but for now he’s in Toronto to fortify the bullpen. In his first outing Stroman threw two-thirds allowing a run on a triple but he looked better tonight, throwing 1.1 innings allowing a single while striking out a batter for his first win of the year. Aaron Loup came on to get the last two outs for his second save of the year. Loup is a lefty and I would imagine he’s still behind Cecil in the pecking order but this all might be for naught when Casey Janssen returns. If you’re desperate for saves, feel free to chase Loup if you have the roster spot and Cecil isn’t available but I wouldn’t expect a big save return on the investment rest of season.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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