Bullpen Report: August 21, 2012

• Last night Javier Lopez picked up the save for the Giants recording just the final out after Hanley Ramirez hit a home run off of Sergio Romo. Jeremy Affeldt has had some struggles recently but without any word from manager Bruce Bochy, Affeldt should still be ahead of Lopez in the pecking order, splitting closing duties with Romo.

Greg Holland converted his sixth save of the year tonight against the Rays and has a secure lock on the role in Kansas City. In fact, since Jonathan Broxton left town at the trading deadline, Greg Holland has converted all six of his save opportunities pitching 11.1 innings while only giving up one run. Also, in that time he’s only issued two walks, exhibiting improved control which alluded him a little this year (4.50 BB/9) compared to 2011 (2.85 BB/9).

• It’s always worth bringing up Aroldis Chapman in the Bullpen Report just as an excuse to look at his numbers this season. Chapman pitched a scoreless inning tonight, striking out two batters for his 30th save of the season and now has 112 strikeouts in 61 innings, with a K% of 48.3%. Not. Too. Shabby. Craig Kimbrel has put up some  jaw-dropping numbers of his own this year, but with an additional 13 innings pitched, there is no doubt that Aroldis Chapman has been the most valuable fantasy reliever of the year in 2012 and one of the most valuable fantasy players overall.

Vicente Padilla was activated from the DL today and came on to pitch a scoreless eighth inning tonight with the Red Sox down by a couple of runs. However, with Andrew Bailey also back in Boston and Andrew Miller pitching very well (3.11 xFIP; 10.30 K/9) Padilla doesn’t figure to sniff any potential save opportunities. Padilla’s stuff has translated well in the bullpen for the Red Sox season as he has a 9.90 K/9 and a 3.45 xFIP, but only those in the deepest leagues that count holds should have Padilla on their radar.

Jose Valverde has struggled at times this year but he’s now converted his last eight save opportunities and since the All-Star break, Valverde has a 6.5 K/BB after posting a horrid 1.32 K/BB in the first half. Valverde’s saves won’t always come clean, but he has a long leash in Detroit and should receive ample opportunities to rack up saves from here on out as Detroit fights for a playoff spot.

• It’s hard to say what is going on in Milwaukee’s bullpen at the moment. The Brewers started the ninth inning tonight with a five run lead until Manny Parra gave up a couple of base runners, causing Jim Henderson to get the call with one out in the inning. Henderson then proceeded to let both inherited runners score while recording one out, letting John Axford shut the door  for the final out and for his 19th save of the season. Kameron Loe and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect seventh and eighth inning respectively, and at this point all four pitchers (Loe, K-Rod, Henderson and Axford) could see save opportunities in the future. The situation is currently a mess but it’s worth noting Henderson and Axford weren’t used until a save situation arose although that setup can certainly change next game.

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: Ernesto Frieri (LAA) @ BOS

Frieri recorded the save tonight against the Red Sox and with Jered Weaver on the hill tomorrow, he figures to have another shot to shut the door in the ninth. While Frieri’s second half hasn’t been as magical as his first with an ERA over 6, he’s still striking out batters at a high rate (16 in 12 innings) and you will struggle to find a reliever with more strike out potential than him in the American League.

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 Alfredo Aceves Andrew Bailey Andrew Miller
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 Francisco Cordero Wesley Wright
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon League Javy Guerra
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Kameron Loe
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Frank Francisco Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch
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 Juan Cruz
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Edward Mujica
SD Dale Thayer Luke Gregerson Brad Brach Huston Street
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Santiago Casilla
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Stephen Pryor Charlie Furbush
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Joel
Kyle Farnsworth
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Alexei Ogando
Toronto Casey Janssen Brandon Lyon Darren Oliver
Wash. Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Sean Burnett

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

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When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias

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Shaun Catron
Shaun Catron

Good stuff, no mention of Clippard though. I guess it’s pretty clear he has a huge leash and should hold off Storen the rest of the season, yeah?


Definitely looks that way.