NL Closer Report: June 18

Strong Performers

Jonathan Broxton | Los Angeles Dodgers
The Comments: Broxton continues to be a hot pitcher and his ERA is below 1.00 at 0.92. Even his xFIP is excellent at 1.79. He’d be even more dominant if his BABIP wasn’t high at .371. Broxton did not have a save this past week.

Heath Bell | San Diego Padres
The Comments: Bell is giving up a lot of base runners (9.55 H/9, 3.29 BB/9) but he’s striking batters out at a career-high pace (11.52 K/9). As we can see by his BABIP (.400), the hit total is not indicative of his current skill level. Bell did not have a save this past week.

Brian Wilson | San Francisco Giants
The Comments: Wilson has one of the best strikeout rates amongst closers this side of Carlos Marmol. The right-hander saved two games this past week and recorded four Ks in 3.1 innings of work.

Francisco Rodriguez | New York Mets
The Comments: The ground-ball rate is nothing to write home about (as usual) but Rodriguez has seen his strikeout rate remain solid at 11.46 K/9. He recorded three saves this past week, but he was touched up for two runs in a game against Cleveland on June 15.

Carlos Marmol | Chicago Cubs
The Comments: It’s not everyday that you see a reliever with a higher walk rate (5.58 BB/9) than hit rate (4.11) but that’s what you get with Marmol. If he can ever find the strike zone on a consistent basis, look out. His strikeout rate currently sits at 16.43 K/9. He saved just one game this past week but he didn’t blow a save and he also picked up a win against Oakland.

Billy Wagner | Atlanta Braves
The Comments: Wagner currently has a strikeout rate of 13.33 K/9, so he’s not exactly showing his age (38) right now. He saved two games this past week and did not allow a run in as many appearances.

Ryan Franklin | St. Louis Cardinals
The Comments: Franklin saved two games this past week, but his scoreless streak was stopped at nine games, as the Mariners (His former club) touched him up for a run on June 15.

Steady Performers

Francisco Cordero | Cincinnati Reds
The Comments: The veteran closer has slipped down to a tie for third place amongst NL closers for saves (17). Cordero continues to be hittable (9.00 H/9) and his xFIP of 4.07 is nothing to write home about. He did not record a save this week.

John Axford | Milwaukee Brewers
The Comments: Axford’s value has been helped by three wins in just 13 games. The rookie closer has been much more consistent than all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, and Axford has yet to blow a save. He did not have an opportunity this past week.

Leo Nunez | Florida Marlins
The Comments: Nunez has walked just six batters in 26.2 innings of work this season. The young closer also continues to have a much-improved strikeout rate of 9.11 K/9, thanks to an improved change-up, which he’s utilizing 44% of the time.

Matt Capps | Washington Nationals
The Comments: Capps is the only big-league reliever to hit the 20-save mark this season. However, the right-hander did not earn a save this past week and, in fact, appeared in just one game.

Matt Lindstrom | Houston Astros
The Comments: Poor command continues to keep Lindstrom from benefiting fully from his 96 mph fastball and his strikeout rate sits at just 7.24 K/9. He appeared in just one game this past week and recorded a save against the Royals.

Brad Lidge | Philadelphia Phillies
The Comments: With an xFIP of 2.60 through 10 games, Lidge has bounced back well from his injury woes. However, his formerly mid-90s fastball is currently sitting in the low-90s. He went 1-for-1 this past week in saves, but was touched up for a run against the Yankees.

Manny Corpas | Colorado Rockies
The Comments: The Rockies organization currently has Corpas and Franklin Morales at the back-end of the bullpen, and Huston Street is also close to returning from rehab. You probably want to avoid this situation until the dust settles. Neither Corpas nor Franklin recorded a save this past week.

Fallen on Hard Times

Octavio Dotel | Pittsburgh Pirates
The Comments: Despite a strong strikeout rate of 12.04 K/9, Dotel’s ERA is currently sitting at 5.84. He’s given up a lot of hits and walks. He’s given up one earned run in each of his past four appearances.

New to the Job

Aaron Heilman | Arizona Diamondbacks
The Comments: Heilman has assumed the closer’s role after Chad Qualls posted an ERA of more than 8.40 and blew four saves. Don’t get too excited, though. Heilman has an xFIP of 4.67 and a ground-ball rate of just 27.5%.




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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


3 Responses to “NL Closer Report: June 18”

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  1. stu says:

    Cordero greeted with Kuzmanoff blast. Wonder how Cordero fares in one run (real saves) situations. Cant be very good

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  2. Fantasy says:

    Cool one =)) =^_^=

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  3. Hi just thought i would let you know something.. This is twice today i have landed on your blog in the last 2 weeks searching for totally unrelated things. Spooky or what?

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