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Bullpen Report: September 26, 2012

• Mets reliever Frank Francisco will likely miss the remainder of the 2012 season after experiencing a setback from elbow tendinitis this past weekend. Manager Terry Collins indicated that since Francisco hasn’t pitched in nine days, he’d need to get some side work in before getting back into live action, but with just eight games remaining, “he’s not sure when that would take place.” The Mets closer saved 23-of-26 games with a 5.53 ERA (4.10 xFIP) and a 2.24 K/BB – his lowest since 2007 when he sported a 1.77 K/BB.

• For those in holds leagues, one percent owned Joba Chamberlain has a 0.00 ERA with a 5.0 K/BB and three holds in the last two weeks. Joba appeared in seven contests over that time, spending five-and-two-thirds on the hill, yielding six hits and just one unearned run. Another potential last minute addition for holds, Jim Henderson of the Brewers has collected two holds while posting a 0.00 ERA and a 4.0 K/BB over the last 14 days. Henderson is owned in just four percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Jose Valverde finished off the Kansas City Royals for his 32nd save in 37 opportunities this season. The Tigers’ closer needed just12 pitches to induce two fly outs and a ground out to seal the deal. Valverde has now dished two consecutive clean outings in an attempt to save what looks to be his worst month of the year. He’s 0-2 with four saves, a 6.97 ERA and a 2.0 K/BB in September.

Wilton Lopez picked up the five-out save tonight – his eighth of the year – to help Bud Norris get his sixth victory of the twenty-twelve campaign. Lopez is a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities this September, with an impressive 0.90 ERA in 11 outings (10.0 IP) and a 5.0 K/BB. The late-season surge from Lopez should make him the frontrunner for the Astros closing job in 2013 barring any free agent acquisitions.

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: Craig Kimbrel (ATL) vs. MIA

Yea, I usually tramp through the recent schedules and bullpen usage to try and find you the ultimate value for your daily leagues, that are more than likely to get a save opportunity. But, this is a case of me taking the easy way out – with arguably the best closer in baseball that is. Kimbrel is a machine. He’s 3-0 on the year with 39 saves in 42 chances, a 1.04 ERA (0.66 WHIP) and 111 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Yes, that’s one hundred and eleven strikeouts.

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 Kevin Jepsen
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon League Ronald Belisario
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) Jon Rauch Bobby Parnell Frank Francisco
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 Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
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. Drew Storen Tyler Clippard Sean Burnett

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