Bullpen Report: July 31, 2012

Greg Holland owners, your patience has finally paid off! Jonathan Broxton was traded today to the Reds and while he may see an occasional save opportunity to spell Aroldis Chapman, his days of being the primary closer this year are over. Meanwhile, Greg Holland will be the Royals new closer and he certainly has the stuff to be a successful one. Although his 3.63 ERA and 1.56 WHIP don’t suggest  a top notch closer, he’s been unlucky with a .388 BABIP and his 2.92 xFIP and 12.71 K/9 illustrate the ability he has to be one of the premier closers in fantasy baseball.

Francisco Cordero has done a terrible job closing for the Astros and their closing situation is a bit of a mess right now, especially considering Wilton Lopez experienced some elbow tightness in BP today, and is unavailable to pitch tonight. Cordero’s struggles have made Lopez the expected favorite to close for the Astros, but his recent injury and 26 games missed previously this year certainly doesn’t help the situation. Lopez’ health is definitely something to monitor, and if and when he is healthy I expect him to be closing games for the Astros but he has to prove that first.

• The Giants were rumored to be in the hunt for some relief help and although they came away with a new right fielder in Hunter Pence at today’s deadline, they didn’t acquire any additional relievers. Therefore, I expect Santiago Casilla to still be closing games for the Giants, even in spite of his performance last night, getting the loss in extra innings against the Mets. Sergio Romo could be a candidate to save games in San Francisco but he picked a bad time to struggle himself, giving up six runs in his last two appearances.

• Considering that only a few months ago people were claiming that Joba’s life was in danger, it’s great to see Joba Chamberlain is now officially back on the Yankees. With Rafael Soriano and David Robertson ahead of Joba in the pecking order of the bullpen, he’s far away from any save opportunities but he should be a solid source of strikeouts and ratios as fantasy teams prepare for their stretch run.

• Angels reliever Scott Downs was placed on the DL today due to a shoulder strain. Downs was having another solid year for the Angles, occasionally getting a save opportunity but while he is on the DL, Ernesto Frieri will now receive the lion’s share of the ninth inning for the Angels.

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: Joba Chamberlain (NYY) vs. BAL

There is certainly a chance that Joba might have some cobwebs to shake off as he hasn’t pitched since June of last year, but I fully expect the Yankees to give Joba an appearance tomorrow against the Orioles with a chance for a hold and a strikeout or two.

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 Sean Marshall Jonathan Broxton
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Francisco Cordero Wilton Lopez Wesley Wright
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Kevin Jepsen Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Javy Guerra Ronald Bellisario
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Edward Mujica
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez John Axford Jose Veras
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch Ramon Ramirez Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle Grant Balfour
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Jake Diekman
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Jared Hughes
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Marc Rzepczynski
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Javier Lopez
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Brandon League Shawn Kelley
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Kyle Farnsworth Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Robbie Ross
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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Brandon League’s traded to the Dodgers – so do you think he’s now first behind Jansen in LA? And who do you think is first behind Wilhelmsen?


I think we’re looking at Gagne in LA and Charlton in Seattle…