• Haven’t said this in a couple months, but, “Heath Bell blew another one.” Ozzie Guillen turned to the big man on Saturday to try and finish off the Nationals; he responded by giving up a solo shot to Jayson Werth. In Bell’s defense, he did strike out the side around the homer. Nothing came across the wire that implied Steve Cishek (12/13 save conversion rate) was unavailable, so this has all the makings of Guillen trying to give his $27 million man another shot at the ninth inning. Bell has actually pitched pretty well since the beginning of June (3.35 xFIP, 3.9 K/BB) but Saturday’s outing still probably left a sour taste in the Marlins’ mouth. Don’t count on him for anything other than the stray save chance from here on out.
• After discussing some of Addison Reed‘s issues on Saturday morning, he proceeded to almost blow yet another save opportunity handed to him later in the day. Reed gave up three hits and two earned runs before finishing the ninth — thankfully he entered the game with a 5-2 lead, otherwise Chris Sale owners (such as yours truly) would not have been happy about the lost “W.” Reed has now allowed earned runs in six of his last seven outings, although his peripherals (3.99 xFIP, 3.25 K/BB) are not giant red flags. Luckily for him, Brett Myers coughed up a couple runs in a scoreless tie on Sunday, so Reed’s main competition for saves didn’t do a whole lot to endear himself to Robin Ventura this weekend, either.
• Carlos Marmol got save number 18 on Sunday, although in typical Marmolian fashion it involved loading the bases before inducing a whiff and a fly out to put another dart in Pittsburth’s postseason plans. For all his wart, Marmol has actually been pretty good as of late, posting 3.67, 3.56, and 2.59 xFIPs in June, July, and August. That low August xFIP was even driven in large part thanks to a decided un-Marmolian 2.7 BB/9. With another lost season upon them, the Cubs will likely stick with Marmol the remainder of the way — if you can stomach the hurt in WHIP, he can probably garner a handful of saves and strikeouts over the season’s last few weeks and is probably kicking around on the wire in shallower leagues.
• The writing has been on the wall for Alfredo Aceves for a couple weeks ago, but it appears the Red Sox are stretching out Aceves to make spot starts (if not take Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s spot in the rotation) during the last few weeks of the season. Andrew Bailey gets the green light, and those holding onto Aceves hoping for a few more saves down the line can cut bait without remorse.
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: Shelby Miller (STL) @ SD
OK. I liked Shelby Miller this weekend. Honestly, at $6 in FanGraphs: The Game, how could you not? Well, the Cardinals decided not to use him in a pair of games against the Brew Crew this weekend — at this point, he hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see them get him an inning or two or Petco to keep his arm on starter-esque rest. He has to pitch again sometime, right?
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]