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Bullpen Report: August 7, 2012

• Last night Nationals closer Tyler Clippard blew the save against the Astros, but Drew Storen also looked shaky issuing two walks while only getting one out in the inning. Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated that Tyler Clippard will remain the closer, but said he will also use Storen as needed and is “real confident right now in either Clip or Storen closing.” Expect Tyler Clippard to still receive save opportunities but if Storen pitches well, Clippard won’t have the luxury of many more blown saves to keep his job.

Greg Holland recorded his second save of the year tonight pitching a perfect inning against the White Sox. Greg Holland was worthy of ownership before he replaced Jonathan Broxton as closer for the Royals due to his strikeout ability (11.89 K/9) and now that he’s getting saves he’s a must own. While he might struggle with his control occasionally, he also has a chance to be one of the better fantasy closers in the league.

Steve Cishek closed the door in the ninth tonight against Mets for his seventh save of the year. Although Heath Bell has pitched better of late, it looks more and more like Cishek will hold on to the job for the remainder of the season. Cishek has the ability to miss some bats (8.67 K/9) but his high walk rate and 3.99 xFIP leave a lot to be desired. Still, with Heath Bell not receiving a save opportunity since July 8th, Cishek’s job as closer looks relatively secure.

John Axford and Francisco Cordero‘s struggles have made the Brewers closing situation very murky and tonight, 29 year old rookie Jim Henderson recorded the first save of his career. Henderson exhibited solid strikeout totals in his time in triple-a this year (10.50 K/9) albeit with a less than spectacular walk rate (4.13 BB/9). Henderson has only six innings pitched at the major league level in his career but he’s worth keeping an eye on – if nobody else steps up in the Brewers pen, somebody has to save games.

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:  David Robertson  (NYY) @ DET

With CC Sabathia taking the hill tomorrow against the Tigers, there’s  a solid chance that Robertson will have a chance to pitch and an opportunity to receive a hold. Also, Robertson has been very effective of late, striking 13 batters out in his last 11 innings while only giving up one run. Overall, he’s having a great season this year, pitching to a 2.61 xFIP while striking out over 36% of the batters he’s faced this year and should continue that trend against Detroit.

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 Miller Mark Melancon Andrew Bailey
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 Kevin Jepsen LaTroy Hawkins Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon League Javy Guerra
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Mike Dunn
Milwaukee John Axford Francisco Rodriguez 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 Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle Grant Balfour
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Josh Lindblom
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Jared Hughes
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Edward Mujica
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Javier Lopez
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Shawn Kelley Stephen Pryor
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Kyle Farnsworth Jake McGee
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.]