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Bullpen Report: July 15, 2013

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.

Closer Grid:


Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Brad Ziegler J.J. Putz David Hernandez
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Luis Avilan
Baltimore Jim Johnson Tommy Hunter Darren O’Day
Boston Koji Uehara Andrew Bailey Junichi Tazawa
CHI (NL) Kevin Gregg Blake Parker James Russell
CHI (AL) Addison Reed Nate Jones Matt Lindstrom Jesse Crain
Cincy Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Joe Smith Vinnie Pestano
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Rex Brothers Wilton Lopez
Detroit Joaquin Benoit Drew Smyly Al Alburquerque
Houston Jose Veras Wesley Wright Jose Cisnero
KC Greg Holland Aaron Crow Tim Collins Kelvin Herrera
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Robert Coello Ryan Madson
LAD Kenley Jansen Ronald Belisario Brandon League
Miami Steve Cishek Mike Dunn Chad Qualls
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Jim Henderson John Axford
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell LaTroy Hawkins David Aardsma Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Mariano Rivera David Robertson Joba Chamberlain
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Justin De Fratus Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Jason Grilli Mark Melancon Tony Watson
St. Louis Edward Mujica Trevor Rosenthal Fernando Salas Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Sergio Romo Jeremy Affeldt Santiago Casilla
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Oliver Perez Yoervis Medina Carter Capps
TB Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Tanner Scheppers Jason Frasor
Toronto Casey Janssen Steve Delabar Brett Cecil Sergio Santos
Wash. Rafael Soriano Drew Storen Tyler Clippard

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