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Bullpen Report: June 20, 2017

Bud Norris was placed on the DL with knee inflammation and he’s been replaced on the grid somewhat by Cam Bedrosian. Bedrosian threw a scoreless frame on Saturday and also threw a perfect seventh this evening getting the Hold against the Yankees. There was no save situation but David Hernandez pitched in the ninth with Keynan Middleton also seeing some high leverage innings throwing a perfect eighth. It’s tough to gauge where the saves lie currently in Anaheim but I’m going to put Cam in the closer’s chair as he’s their best currently healthy reliever (when he’s healthy). I’d partially consider this a platoon of sorts until it gets sorted out which won’t get any less confusing as Huston Street is set to return at some point this week. I could see Street leapfrogging the competition if they do poorly but given his lack of success and health concerns of his own in recent years I think Street will be eased into the bullpen.

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Bullpen Report: June 19, 2017

• The biggest news of the day is that Andrew Miller and Cody Allen have switched roles, for now. Terry Francona suggested that he was throwing Andrew Miller too much and the change in roles should remain “for the time being.” How long that is, nobody is really sure but since it’s not a matter of performance I don’t think the change will last too long. This situation remains green as it’s definitely Andrew Miller’s job but it just may not remain that way for all that much time.

Now is as good a time as any to brag about Andrew Miller this season. In 35.2 innings he has a 1.51/1.92/2.70 ERA/FIP/xFIP with a 2.16 SIERA and 51 strikeouts against just eight walks. Miller will see fewer innings but the increase in saves will certainly only help his value, in a save focused league of course. Allen has been great as well but he’s more the generally great reliever with a 2.00/2.57/3.86 pitching line and not the top tier that Miller is. Allen’s value will fall a bit pitching in the eighth but he also might see an uptick in his overall usage, helping those ratios and strikeout totals. This might end up being more noise than anything else but adjust your saves projections accordingly.

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Bullpen Report: June 14, 2017

• I would be lying if I said I expected Fernando Rodney to still be closing in June but here we are with Rodney launching his 18th arrow tonight against the Tigers. For the season Rodney still has a unsightly ERA at 5.11 but his 4.30 SIERA and 3.96/4.49 FIP/xFIP are at least less terrible. At the end of April Rodney had allowed 14 runs in 10 innings pitched, but since then he’s actually thrown 14.2 scoreless innings across 15 appearances.  A few bad outings could still cause the Diamondbacks to make a change and they have a few compelling alternatives in Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, and J.J. Hoover but Rodney’s leash should be about as strong as a 5+ ERA would allow. I might regret this, but I’m changing this situation to green. God help us all.

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Bullpen Report: June 6, 2017

Corey Knebel was called on in the ninth and pitched a perfect frame for his sixth save of the year. Before and after taking the closer’s gig from Neftali Feliz, Knebel has been outright fantastic. A 14.2% BB% isn’t ideal but when you combine it with a K% of 45.1% it’s plenty OK. Knebel’s SIERA stands at 2.36 and his ERA/FIP/xFIP after tonight’s outing is 1.24/2.12/2.24. Among qualified relievers his strikeout rate ranks 5th and in spite of the elevate walks his K-BB% still ranks 12th. Knebel was intriguing last year but it’s hard to say anyone saw this coming. I expected the Brewers to be sellers at the deadline and with their recent history of trading relievers I figured Knebel could have been shipped out like Tyler Thornberg last year. Instead the Brewers are in first place and Knebel figures to stay, continue to get saves and rack up strikeouts.

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Bullpen Report: June 5, 2017

• Not a standard save in Chicago tonight as Mike Montgomery went 3.1 innings for his second save of the year. Wade Davis had thrown a couple days in a row so Koji Uehara received the save opportunity last night for the Cubs. Wade Davis is now ready to pitch but was actually placed on paternity leave. We won’t take him off the grid for such a short break but look for Uehara to get a look in the ninth if an opportunity arises tomorrow. Montgomery has only pitched out the pen to start the year and although his ERA dropped to 2.21 after tonight’s outing, his 3.78 FIP and 4.29 xFIP and 26 strikeouts against 20 walks in 36.2 innings don’t paint the picture of someone worth rostering at the moment.

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Bullpen Report: May 30, 2017

A couple of quick notes from Memorial Day:

Tony Watson got the win after Andrew McCutchen hit a walk-off homer which is nice but it also meant that he blew the save (his third of the season) as well. On the year Watson has a very mediocre 4.03/5.31/4.82 ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line. As a lefty without considerable swing and miss stuff, Watson may not be long for closing in Pittsburgh. Behind him we have Felipe Rivero and Daniel Hudson and I would look to grab Rivero pretty soon if you’re looking for saves. Although he is also a lefty, his 0.68/2.80/2.90 pitching line with nearly a 27% K% is more in line with what one expects out of their closer. Tony Watson might not have much leash left and I’m moving this situation to red as I would rather sound the alarm a tad early over having you pass on placing a bid on Rivero.

• We might have a committee in San Diego. Brad Hand received two save opportunities earlier but the last two, including last night, went to Brandon Maurer. I am going to keep Maurer in the closer’s chair for now as he received the most recent saves and was the closer to start the year. However, Hand showed he could handle the job if Maurer were to falter again. Maurer has a 6.00 ERA but 20 strikeouts against only 4 walks indicates he’s actually pitched quite well, in spite of his .351 BABIP and 51.7% LOB%. If Maurer pitches like his underlying numbers indicate, Hand may not see many more save opportunities but a manager won’t be so patient as an ERA climbs up from 6.00.

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Bullpen Report: May 23, 2017

Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday but at least I didn’t miss much. Mark Melancon recorded a save, his ninth on the year and the third since his return from the DL. Of more interest regarding the Giants and Melancon would be the Giants being sellers at the deadline. They just signed Melancon to a deal this offseason but if they hit the reset button, a team in need of relief help could use his services. Washington traded for Melancon last year and although they elected to let him walk, maybe they make a move for him again. In other Monday news, Ken Giles saved his 12th game securing the win for Chris Devenski who threw 2.2 scoreless for Houston. Jim Johnson (9), Bud Norris (9) and Dellin Betances (3) all notched saves as well.

Onto Tuesday…

Carl Edwards Jr. has been seeing the eighth inning of late and I’m going to bump him up to the grid. The Cubs may not have an obvious set up man but they have plenty of solid options with Hector Rondon and Koji Uehara back there along with Edwards. Uehara is still effective with a 3.45/2.14/3.60 ERA/FIP/xFIP line, but a 42 year old with a 17.5% HR/FB% isn’t the most reliable option, so I’ve moved him off of the grid. It’s possible, and maybe even likely, that the Cubs pick up an additional reliever at the deadline that replaces Rondon and Edwards in the pecking order, but for now we’re going with Edwards and Rondon behind Wade Davis.

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Bullpen Report: May 9, 2017

Buckle up boys and girls, we have a real closer carousel in Detroit and San Francisco!

Mark Melancon was placed on the DL today by the Giants with a mild right pronator strain and while it’s not known how long Melancon will be out for, it’s good to hear that it’s “mild” rather than something unnerving like severe. Melancon had apparently been throwing through some discomfort which is a bit disconcerting but the Giants decided  it’s now time to give him some rest. In his place it looks like Derek Law will receive save opportunities  with Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich and George Kontos behind him. Considering Melancon might have been throwing through what ailed him this doesn’t seem to to take him out for too long but saves are saves are saves so Law is worth grabbing if he’s unowned and even if Melancon only misses the minimum. The biggest predictor of injuries is current/past injuries as well so if any of this lingers, Law could be in line for a higher save total than the initial mild diagnosis. While Law is closing he likely won’t have a long leash to start, consider this red.

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Bullpen Report: May 8, 2017

• In spite of the Bizarro World the Mets are currently living in, they had a walk-off win today against the Giants. Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins combined to throw a scoreless seventh leading to Addison Reed in the eighth and Jeurys Familia in the ninth, who received the vulture win for his first victory of the year. We had Jerry Blevins as the third in line on the chart, and for good measure as he’s now pitching toa 0.79/1.32/2.35 ERA/FIP/xFIP pitching line but I feel Hansel Robles would be closer to saves if something were to happen to both Familia and Reed. Thankfully that’s not the case as the back of the Mets bullpen might be the most or only reliable thing on the team right now. Jeurys Familia was a bit shaky immediately upon his return but he’s looking smoother now and this situation is certainly green.

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Bullpen Report: May 2, 2017

• Even a 12.60 ERA and taking the day to become a U.S. citizen can’t keep Fernando Rodney from the ninth inning. J.J. Hoover pitched the seventh and Jorge de la Rosa pitched the eighth, with each allowing a hit and a walk but getting a scoreless inning nonetheless, setting the table for Rodney with a three-run lead.

Rodney, with citizenship in hand pitched a perfect inning for his seventh save. Archie Bradley‘s previous usage was of the one inning variety so I thought he might be next in line in the desert, but it looks like Hoover and de la Rosa are setting up. This situation is still red as Rodney’s ERA/FIP/xFIP line still stands at 11.45/5.00/4.30 and if a change were to be made Bradley could still be in play but I’ve put de la Rosa back on the grid in his place. A small congrats to Rodney’s 268th career save and a bigger congrats on what probably was a very, very special day for him.

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