Bullpen Report: June 20th, 2012

Matt Capps served up a two-run blast in the ninth frame of a non-save situation to Martin Maldanado of the Milwaukee Brewers last Friday, and hasn’t pitched since. The long ball was the fourth allowed by Capps this season — giving the Brew Crew a 5-3 victory over the Twinkies — and dealt the veteran righty his fourth loss of 2012. Since the loss, Capps has been sidelined with shoulder inflammation but is expected to return to action this Thursday or Friday. In the meantime, manager Ron Gardenhire suggested Glen Perkins and Jared Burton could each see an opportunity to close out games based on matchups. Despite the aforementioned loss, Capps has been pretty reliable for the Twins in save situations, nailing down 14-of-15 chances with a 5.00 K/BB.

Tyler Clippard locked down his tenth save as the interim closer for the Washington Nationals. He faced the minimum three batters in the ninth, inducing two strikeouts and a line out to left field. Drew Storen, who is currently on the 60-day disabled list due to surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow, continues to progress and is aiming to return roughly around the All-Star Break. Storen should regain the closer’s role shortly after his return, however, Clippard is still a viable arm for some fantasy teams given his excellent ratios (2.15 ERA, 0.99 WHIP).

• A two-out rally in the final frame initiated by Ty Wigginton and continued by Hunter Pence, led the Phillies to a 7-6 victory over Rafael Betancourt and the Colorado Rockies this evening. The blown save was the third in just 13 chances on the season for the right-hander, who seemed to be a late-round favorite for saves among “fantasy analysts” heading into 2012. A prime reason owners haven’t been seeing a lot of save opportunities from Betancourt this year is, well, the Rockies aren’t that good. Betancourt has been to the hill 25 times this year, but is on pace to see a drop in K/9 for the second consecutive season (12.85, 10.54, 9.00) and an increase in walks from 1.16 per nine in 2011 to 2.25 per nine in 2012. Betancourt should be fine, but if you have excess at the closer position, it can’t hurt to to see what you could fetch for him in your league.

• It definitely wasn’t pretty for Frank Francisco, but he earned his 17th handshake of the year tonight to preserve the victory for Dillon Gee and the New York Metropolitans. Francisco entered the ninth with a two-run lead but yielded two walks, two hits and an earned run before escaping the ninth inning jam. On a side note, Francisco failed to strike out a batter tonight for just the fourth time in his 20 save opportunities this season.

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: Glen Perkins (MIN) vs. PIT

With the possibility of Matt Capps being shelved until Friday, Glen Perkins would likely get the call in the ninth should the Twins be in a save situation tomorrow against the Pirates. Perkins has the strikeout ability (11.30 K/9) to man the ninth, however, the 3.77 BB/9 are something he could improve. As of publishing time on Wednesday, Perkins had just sealed his first save of the season against the Pirates, pitching a scoreless ninth while walking one and striking out two.

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) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
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 David Robertsonn Boone Logan  
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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In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, TheFantasyFix.com and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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What are your thoughts on Brandon Lyon’s chances of getting the job back if Myers is dealt? His #s look really good this year… Also Rex Brothers in Colorado??