Bullpen Report: May 7, 2013

• If you were smart, you wouldn’t have listened to me when I said Koji Uehara would get the first shot at saves in lieu of Joel Hanrahan‘s injury because it’s Junichi Tazawa who will see the ninth inning now. Colin pretty much summed up the entire situation earlier today so I won’t add much and just lead you over to what he said. With Hanrahan and Bailey on the DL and the former struggling all year and the later always struggling with injuries, Tazawa could possibly see more than just a weeks worth of saves this year.

Bobby Parnell got his third win tonight in a game where Matt Harvey threw nine innings while allowing just one batter to reach base, an infield single by Alex Rios who beat the throw by half a step. Parnell actually has as many wins as saves on the young season and although he’s blown two saves, he’s actually pitching quite well. In 14 innings on the year Parnell has given up two earned runs while striking out 13 batters and only issuing two free passes. Frank Francisco is pitching in rehab right now and should be off of the DL relatively soon but Terry Collins said that “Frankie’s gotta show us that he can pitch back-to-back days up here.” The Mets seem hesitant to give Parnell the job outright, but I’d be confident that it’s Parnell’s job all season.

Jason Grilli recorded his league leading 13th save tonight against the Mariners, pitching a clean inning while striking out two. It might be strange to say but Grilli is one of the best closers in the game, at least as far as fantasy is concerned. After a fantastic 2012 setting up for Joel Hanrahan, Grilli’s been even better in 2013, with a 0.80 FIP and a 14.79 K/9 on the season. Grilli might be the rare case where it could pay to buy high on him in fantasy, finding an owner who thinks he will fall back to earth when he is one of the best closers on the market.

Fernando Rodney  had a day off after throwing 37 pitches last night and Joel Peralta saw the ninth inning in a tie game tonight. Unfortunately, Peralta let four guys reach base and allowed two earned runs, unable to even finish the inning. I mentioned concerns about Rodney, specifically his complete loss of control, yesterday and while those certainly remain, Peralta will have to avoid nights like tonight if he were to wrestle the ninth inning away.

• His job is far from in danger, but it’s worth noting that Craig Kimbrel blew a save tonight. After striking out the first two batters, Kimbrel allowed back to back home runs to Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo, the latter being of the walk-off variety. After tonight’s outing, Kimbrel’s numbers look pedestrian compared to last season but they’re still fantastic as 21 strikeouts in 13.1 innings pitched and a 1.85 xFIP ain’t too shabby.

• It only took 12 pitches for Kevin Gregg to pick up his fifth save of the year this evening. Carlos Marmol threw a scoreless inning and a third to get to the ninth but it’s Gregg’s job, at least until Kyuji Fujikawa returns from the DL. Speaking of which, Fujikawa should return soon and would likely have a chance to close again in Chicago. However, as unlikely as it would seem to continue,  if Kevin Gregg keeps putting up outings like this he’ll certainly have something to say about who’s getting saves in Chicago. Either way, Gregg is still worth holding onto even when Fujikawa comes back.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Heath Bell
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jordan Walden
Baltimore Jim Johnson Darren O’Day Pedro Strop
Boston Junichi Tazawa Koji Uehara Andrew Miller Andrew Bailey
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Carlos Marmol James Russell Kyuji Fujikawa
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Jesse Crain Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton J.J. Hoover
Cleveland Chris Perez Joe Smith Bryan Shaw Vinnie Pestano
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Wilton Lopez Matt Belisle
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Al Alburquerque
Houston Jose Veras Wesley Wright Hector Ambriz
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Tim Collins
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jerome Williams Ryan Madson
LAD Brandon League Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Brandon Lyon LaTroy Hawkins Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Mike Adams Antonio Bastardo
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Fernando Salas Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Carter Capps Charlie Furbush
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Jason Frasor Tanner Scheppers
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Darren Oliver Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Drew Storen Tyler Clippard

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

Print This Post

When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Bell goes back to locker room after throwing 4 straight balls. Since Hernandez already pitched, the D-Backs elected to go with Heath Bell (?!?!?!?!) to close out the game. Do you think they continue forward with Bell and keep Hernandez in the setup role?


Sorry Putz goes back to locker room****


Hernandez had already pitched in the game, so the fact that Bell came in after Putz is no indication that Bell is higher up in consideration for closing duties.