There might not be any games but the Bullpen Report keeps going!
• Ron Harper showed a solid cutter pitching to his son Bryce in the Home Run Derby and there is some chatter that the Cubs might give him a look if/when Kevin Gregg is moved at the deadline. Additionally, Jose Cano showed some velocity and although he last pitched in 1989 for the Astros, there were whispers at Citi Field that a return to Houston is imminent for Robinson Cano‘s father.
• If Mark Melancon makes another All-Star game, I’m betting he’ll arrive to his destination differently than this time, in a minivan. Ever since making a few mechanical adjustments last year, Melancon has been pretty terrific culminating in a terrific 0.81/1.62/2.05 ERA/FIP/xFIP line. Melancon strikes out a solid amount of batters (27.1%) without walking a soul (2.4%) and is deserving of Jeff Locke‘s replacement, even if it’s Jason Grilli who gets all the saves in Pittsburgh. We’re accustomed to thinking of Pittsburgh as having relievers on the trading block, but leading the Wild Card and very much in the race this year, expect Melancon to continue to be a relief ace racking up holds for the Pirates.
• Tim Lincecum just threw a no-hitter, so naturally he’s now being talked about in trades as a reliever. Timmy might no longer be considered a Cy Young contender but he still has a 3.25 xFIP this year and I doubt there are many teams that have five better options than him in the rotation. Also, while Timmy showed he can be a pretty darn effective reliever last year in the postseason, I bet there are several other starting pitchers that would be great in relief that would cost less to acquire (in terms of money and prospects) than Lincecum. Still, if the Giants decide to be a seller (6.5 games back) Lincecum would help a contender in whatever role he’s in.
• Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins aren’t likely to make any major moves as Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are considered building blocks for the fish. While I would question throwing Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn in the same group as Stanton as a “building block” both relievers are under team control next year and there is no rush to make a move. With that said, I’d expect Cishek to remain closing for the Marlins this year. He’s not exciting but saves are saves are saves and Cishek could be acquired on the cheap in fantasy even if he’s more expensive in real life.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]