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Bullpen Report: September 11, 2012

• After his second poor appearance in a row Dusty Baker was concerned with Aroldis Chapman‘s velocity down and now the Reds are going to give Chapman a few days off to “rest his tired pitching shoulder.”  Chapman, whose average fastball velocity is 98 mph this year, only hit 96 mph on the radar gun last night. As ridiculous as that might sound for any other pitcher, it is definitely a cause for concern for the Reds. With Chapman resting, Jonathan Broxton received the save tonight and he should be a must add as he is the preferred replacement for Chapman.

Frank Francisco had a rough ninth inning tonight against the Nationals, letting four batters reach base without recording an out. Before tonight’s outing Francisco had pitched inseven consecutive scoreless appearances and without anyone waiting in the wings on the Mets, Francisco’s job remains relatively safe. Also, while Frank Squared has pitched better than his 5.80 ERA would suggest (4.06 xFIP), he’s still a closer prone to some rough outings on a struggling Mets team — not necessarily the most enviable closing situation.

• Unfortunately for Wilton Lopez the Astros don’t give him too many chances to close the door but Lopez did his job tonight recording his fourth save since taking over as closer from Francisco Cordero. As I mentioned yesterday, Lopez won’t rack up gaudy save totals in the final weeks of the season, but his excellent control should be able to help out your team’s ratios.

Tyler Clippard recorded his 31st save of the year tonight against the Mets, giving up one run while striking out two batters. Clippard is entrenched as the Nationals closer for this season, but it will be interesting to monitor what the Nationals do with their bullpen next year with Drew Storen still around.

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:  Jason Motte (STL) @ SD

Motte’s season hasn’t been jaw-dropping but he’s been solid all year and has flown a little under the radar. With a 3.08 xFIP and a K/9 over 10 playing at San Diego, Motte could be a nice play tomorrow.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second Off 25-Man
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Takashi Saito
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jonny Venters
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Darren O’Day
Boston Andrew Bailey Vicente Padilla Junichi Tazawa
Chicago (NL) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Brett Myers Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Wilton Lopez Wesley Wright Fernando Rodriguez
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jordan Walden
LAD Brandon League Ronald Belisario Jamey Wright Kenley Jansen
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Mike Dunn
Milwaukee John Axford Kameron Loe Francisco Rodriguez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Frank Francisco Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Josh Lindblom
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Chris Resop
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Edward Mujica
SD Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer Brad Brach Huston Street
SF Sergio Romo Javier Lopez Santiago Casilla
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Stephen Pryor Charlie Furbush
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Kyle Farnsworth
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Alexei Ogando
Toronto Casey Janssen Brandon Lyon Darren Oliver
Wash. Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Sean Burnett

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