Bullpen Report: June 11th, 2012

•Texas Rangers reliever Robbie Ross doesn’t pitch in too many high leverage innings and isn’t close to being in line for any save opportunities, but after pitching four innings yesterday for win he is now 6-0 in 34.2 innings pitched this season with a shiny 1.30 ERA.  Ross’ 3.34 xFIP and 5.71 k/9 aren’t quite as jaw dropping but they aren’t particularly terrible either.  Roster space can be a very valuable thing and I wouldn’t recommend using a spot on a reliever who isn’t close to saving games and doesn’t have strikeout potential but if your league gives points for innings pitched, Ross could be a compelling add. He’s pitched the second most innings in the majors out of the bullpen this year and figures to continue that trend as we approach the Texas heat with a Rangers rotation battling with some injuries at the moment.

Sergio Santos has hit a road block in his rehab from shoulder inflammation after feeling elbow discomfort last week. Blue Jays manager John Farrell hinted that it “could be normal for a guy ramping back up” but shoulder injuries are pretty tricky and with no timetable scheduled for his return, look for Casey Janssen to hold on to the role for a while longer. Janssen’s numbers certainly won’t wow you but he has a firm grasp on the role while Santos is out and his 3.48 xFIP  and 7.94 k/9 are nothing to sneeze at for those in need of saves.

•With Rich Hill placed on the DL the Red Sox called up Mark Melancon from triple-A and he pitched a scoreless eighth inning tonight with the Red Sox down three runs. Melancon was demoted on April 18th, after his first 4 appearances led to 11 runs and two losses and since then he’s pitched excellent in Pawtucket, getting 11 saves with a 0.83 ERA in 21.2 innings, striking out 27 batters against only three walks.  Andrew Miller has pitched admirably this year, and Melancon will likely have to prove himself over more than one inning in the majors before he starts setting up Aceves consistently, but with Franklin Morales being stretched out to make a possible start in the future, Melancon could start working his way towards some higher leverage innings and holds.

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: Jonathan Papelbon (PHI) at MIN

Papelbon hasn’t pitched in three days and should be in line to get some work in tomorrow, whether or not a save situation presents itself. Also, with both offenses not really considered the scary type, there might be a chance for Papelbon to record a save or a win in a low scoring game.

Closer Grid:

  Closer First Second Injured
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Bryan Shaw  
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jonny Venters Eric O’Flaherty  
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Matt Lindstrom  
Boston Alfredo Aceves Andrew Miller Mark Melancon Andrew Bailey
Chicago (NL) James Russell Shawn Camp Casey Coleman
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Hector Santiago Matt Thornton  
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Sean Marshall Jose Arredondo  
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp  
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Matt Reynolds  
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel  
Houston Brett Myers Wilton Lopez David Carpenter  
KC Jonathan Broxton Greg Holland Aaron Crow  
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jordan Walden  
LAD Kenley Jansen Josh Lindblom Shawn Tolleson  
Miami Heath Bell Steve Cishek Edward Mujica  
Milwaukee John Axford Francisco Rodriguez Jose Veras  
Minnesota Matt Capps Glen Perkins Alex Burnett  
NY (NL) Frank Francisco Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch  
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano Boone Logan Cory Wade David Robertson
Oakland Ryan Cook Brian Fuentes Grant Balfour  
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Chad Qualls  
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Juan Cruz  
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Eduardo Sanchez  
SD Huston Street Dale Thayer Luke Gregerson  
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Javier Lopez  
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Brandon League Charlie Furbush  
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta J.P. Howell Kyle Farnsworth
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Koji Uehara  
Toronto Casey Janssen Jason Frasor Darren Oliver Sergio Santos
Wash. Tyler Clippard Sean Burnett Henry Rodriguez 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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