Bullpen Report: September 11, 2013

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.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Heath Bell David Hernandez J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Scott Downs
Baltimore Jim Johnson Tommy Hunter Francisco Rodriguez
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Craig Breslow Andrew Bailey
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Pedro Strop Blake Parker
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Nate Jones Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Sam Lecure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Joe Smith Cody Allen
Colorado Rex Brothers Matt Belisle Wilton Lopez Rafael Betancourt
Detroit Joaquin Benoit Jose Veras Drew Smyly
Houston Chia-Jen Lo Josh Fields Josh Zeid Jose Cisnero
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Dane de la Rosa Kevin Jepsen Robert Coello
LAD Kenley Jansen Paco Rodriguez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek Mike Dunn Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Jim Henderson Brandon Kintzler Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) LaTroy Hawkins David Aardsma Scott Rice Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Shawn Kelley
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Justin De Fratus Jake Diekman Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Justin Wilson
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal John Axford Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Santiago Casilla
Seattle Danny Farquhar Yoervis Medina Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee Jesse Crain
Texas Joe Nathan Tanner Scheppers Jason Frasor
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

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

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In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

5 Responses to “Bullpen Report: September 11, 2013”

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  1. Billy M says:

    Any more thoughts on the situation in Pittsburgh? I see that Grilli is ahead of Melancon in the table but their usage since Grilli was activated suggests that may not be the case.

    Melancon has entered in the 9th twice and earned two saves. Grilli has entered in the 9th down 9-3, the 8th down 4-0, and the 8th up 4-1.

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  2. Atreyu Jones says:

    Would Axford have come into the game last night if it had been a save situation? Or was someone else (Mujica) warming up but not used because the Cards extended their lead?

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    • Kelly L. says:

      Pretty sure they said on the broadcast that Mujica was warming and they only got Ax up after Adams’ homer.

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  3. BR says:

    Based on usage over the past week or so it seems that, for what it is worth, Fields has leapfrogged Lo in the titanic struggle for control of the Houston Astros closer job. The September 9 game, where Lo pitched (rather badly) in the 7th and Fields came in for the one inning save in the ninth inning seem to make that pretty clear.

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  4. Free Bryan LaHair says:

    the guys (and ladies) over at ScoutingBook.com have a pretty useful layout of the closer situations with each team. i’m 100% unaffiliated with them, and just a baseball fan passing on the word.


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