Bullpen Report: August 27, 2013

• Judging by save totals, Rafael Soriano has had another solid year as he added to his total with save number 34 tonight. However, a little dive into the numbers shows a different story. Soriano’s strikeout rate has tumbled from 9.18 K/9 last year to a mediocre and career low (since his rookie year) 6.79 K/9 this season. Unsurprisingly it’s reflected in his 3.79/3.91/4.17 ERA/FIP/xFIP and 3.86 SIERA which are closer to the marks of an OK reliever, not a top notch closer. Still, saves are saves and Soriano should hold onto the ninth inning for the remainder of the year but the mantra of never paying for saves rings true both in real life and fantasy baseball.

Fernando Rodney had put up zeroes in his last seven appearances before tonight, blowing his 8th save of the year against the Angels. Rodney wasn’t helped by his defense as Desmond Jennings made an error in the field but however you want to slice it, he wasn’t effective this evening. Rodney’s obviously a far cry from his magical 0.60 ERA season last year but his 3.20 SIERA and 11.50 K/9 as keeper of the ninth for the Rays, still makes him a productive closer in fantasy baseball.

Jim Henderson threw a scoreless ninth today for his 22nd save of the season. Henderson briefly lost the closer’s gig to Francisco Rodriguez earlier this year but he’s been pretty solid all season long. Henderson likely won’t be able to maintain his 6.1% HR/FB but without any concerns of John Axford taking over this season and likely next, Henderson’s 3.00 SIERA will remain a useful source for saves here on out.

• Quick Hits: Craig Kimbrel padded his league leading save total, nailing down save number 42 tonight. Dane de la Rosa pitched the ninth inning after the Angels took the lead in the top half of the ninth inning, getting his second save of the season. Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless eighth and should still be considered first in line for saves in Anaheim, although the situation is obviously very fluid.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler Heath Bell Eury de la Rosa J.J. Putz
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Scott Downs
Baltimore Jim Johnson Tommy Hunter Francisco Rodriguez
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Craig Breslow Andrew Bailey
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Pedro Strop Blake Parker
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Nate Jones Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Jonathan Broxton Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Joe Smith Cody Allen Vinnie Pestano
Colorado Rex Brothers Matt Belisle Wilton Lopez Rafael Betancourt
Detroit Joaquin Benoit Jose Veras Drew Smyly
Houston Chia-Jen Lo Josh Fields Josh Zeid Jose Cisnero
KC Greg Holland Aaron Crow Kelvin Herrera
LAA Ernesto Frieri Dane de la Rosa Kevin Jepsen Robert Coello
LAD Kenley Jansen Paco Rodriguez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek Mike Dunn Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Jim Henderson John Axford Michael Gonzalez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) LaTroy Hawkins David Aardsma Scott Rice Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Justin De Fratus Jake Diekman Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Justin Wilson Tony Watson Jason Grilli
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Randy Choate Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Santiago Casilla
Seattle Danny Farquhar Yoervis Medina Oliver Perez Tom Wilhelmsen
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee Jesse Crain
Texas Joe Nathan Tanner Scheppers Jason Frasor
Toronto Casey Janssen Sergio Santos Brett Cecil Steve Delabar
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

[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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What are the chances Mujica tries to cash in on the FA market and Rosenthal becomes the closer in STL next season?