One of the closers that clearly exceeded expectations this season is Greg Holland. The Royals closer tallied his 42nd save of the season tonight while lowering his ERA to 1.35 (1.30 FIP). He needed just 15 pitchers to fan each of the three Indians he faced to increase his career-high whiff rate to 40.9%. Holland’s ability to hit the first-strike and keep barrels off the ball both in and out of the zone seem to be some of the factors leading to his improvement this year. Fantasy baseballers likely didn’t invest a whole lot into Holland this season — he was the 14th relief pitcher selected at an average draft position of ~145, according to FantasyPros — but that will surely change for next season. Holland is primed to start the 2014 year as a top ten reliever.
Anibal Sanchez dished a ten strikeout gem (?) tonight, leaving Joaquin Benoit with the chore of closing out the White Sox in the ninth-inning with the Tigers up, 1-0. Benoit induced a couple of pop outs before fanning pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie to finish off the game and remain a perfect 18-for-18 in save chances this season. Isn’t it funny that just earlier this season Jose Valverde was the man who took the ball in the ninth frame for Jim Leyland? Yea, I didn’t think so either.
Brad Zeigler has been a late-season (pleasant) surprise for those that took a flier on him. His tenth save of the year came tonight at the expense of the two Ellis’ and a Schumaker as the Diamondbacks clipped the Dodgers, 4-1. Ziegler has now earned three saves since September 5th, but prior to August 5th the sidearmer’s last save took place on August 5th — about a month ago. Not exactly the production you’d hope for from your closer, but for those who’ve been patient with the right-hander have been handsomely rewarded in the last week. The 33-year-old is now 10-of-12 on the year with a 2.30 ERA (3.41 FIP) and a 1.14 WHIP.
Quick Hitters: Kyle Farnsworth notched his first save of the season this evening for the Pirates with both Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli unavailable to go. Santiago Casilla earned his second save of the twenty-thirteen campaign in a Giants 4-3 victory over the Rockies in San Francisco. Hall-of-Famer Mariano Rivera surrendered an earned run, but took home his 43rd save on the year and the 651st of his career. Rafael Soriano (41), Ernesto Frieri (32) and Jonathan Papelbon (26) also pocketed saves this evening.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
Print This Post