Sorry for the lack of a Bullpen Report last night but I’m here to catch up on the latest and greatest news in bullpens around the league. Also, for those who it applies, wishing you an easy fast.
• Although there wasn’t a save situation last night, Tyler Clippard pitched in the eighth inning with Drew Storen finishing the game in the ninth and it now looks as if that is the preferred order for Nationals manager Davey Johnson. Tyler Clippard might still see some save opportunities but Storen has been lights out of late, only giving up one earned run in his last 18 appearances, while striking out 15 in 16 innings pitched. Considering Storen’s history (success as closer last year) and Clippard’s recent struggles, I expect this change to continue for the rest of the season provided Storen keeps pitching well.
• Matt Capps was activated from the 15-day disabled list yesterday and although he won’t be receiving any save opportunities with Glenn Perkins doing an admirable job for the Twins, Capps might have a chance for some holds in the seasons final games.
• Donnie Veal received the first save of his career last night for the White Sox as they continue to mix and match with their bullpen at the end of the game. Nobody has officially unseated Addison Reed as closer, but Matt Thornton and now Donnie Veal have received opportunities in the ninth inning. I wouldn’t expect Veal to receive any more saves, but he has pitched excellent in his brief time in the majors. In 12 innings thus far, Veal has only let up one run while striking out 17 with only three walks.
And now for today’s games…
• Aroldis Chapman recorded his 36th save of the year tonight and his first since he was out for a few weeks resting a tired shoulder. I don’t expect the Reds to use Chapman at the same frequency as they did previously, they should use some caution with him allowing Broxton to see an occasional save, but it’s safe to consider Chapman the primary closer for the Reds and one of the best in the league.
• Speaking of top closers, Craig Kimbrel got the win tonight as Miami blew another save, this time courtesy of Mike Dunn. In the midst of what seems more like a soap opera than a baseball team, Heath Bell pitched a clean eighth inning but Steve Cishek is still the closer with Mike Dunn likely only starting the ninth due to matchups.
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: Tom Wilhelmsen (SEA) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Wilhelmsen isn’t a premier closer but he’s done a laudable job closing for the Mariners and with the King on the bump tomorrow, I reckon Wilhelmsen might receive a save opportunity.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]