Bullpen Report: September 13, 2012

Sean Burnett entered in the ninth-inning of the Nationals’ contest last evening versus the Metropolitans with a save on the line. The lefty yielded two hits in two-thirds of an inning before Davey Johnson asked right-hander, and former closer, Drew Storen to get the last out with runners on first and third. Storen did just that — inducing a David Murphy fly ball out to center field to earn his second save of the season.

Despite the save from Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard’s job as closer should remain secure in the nation’s capital for the remainder of 2012. Clippard has experienced some recent hiccups — allowing five earned runs in his last five outings — but his absence may have simply been a case of the Nationals getting the “goggled one” some rest after he made appearances in four of the previous five nights. On the season, Clippard is 31-of-34 in save opportunities with a 3.18 ERA (4.03 xFIP) and a 2.89 K/BB.

• For those of you searching for some late-season holds, look no further than one percent owned (Y! and ESPN) LOOGY, Tom Layne of the Padres. I briefly discussed Layne back in August when the Padres selected his contract from Triple-A, and Eno later covered the pitcher’s new release point leading to his recent success. Anyway, since the aforementioned call-up, Layne is 1-0 with two saves, six holds a 1.54 ERA (0.95 xFIP) and an impressive 10.00 K/BB. Did I mention he pitches his home games at Petco?

• Here’s a quickie: Joe Nathan blew his second save of the year tonight, ending a streak of 31 consecutive conversions dating back to April 15th. Nathan’s 33 saves are good enough for fifth best in the American League.

Rafael Soriano has been magnificent this season filling in for the legendary Mariano Rivera. The Dominican right-hander’s success continued tonight, as he needed just 12 pitches to earn his 38th save in 41 opportunities — lowering his ERA to 2.14 in 61 appearances. Stemming from Soriano’s success are rumors that the reliever will exercise his opt-out clause in his contract, making him a free agent at the conclusion of the 2012 season. If Soriano does indeed opt-out, he will be leaving $14-million on the table with the hopes of landing a multi-year contract.

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 Broxton (CIN) vs. MIA

Broxton notched his first save as a member of the Reds on Tuesday, but got the night off on Wednesday after pitching on two consecutive nights. With Aroldis Chapman resting, expect Broxton — and to a lesser extent Sean Marshall — to get continue getting save opportunities should the Reds be in position.

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 Andrew Bailey Vicente Padilla Junichi Tazawa
Chicago (NL) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Brett Myers Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Wilton Lopez Wesley Wright Fernando Rodriguez
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jordan Walden
LAD Brandon League Ronald Belisario Jamey Wright Kenley Jansen
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Mike Dunn
Milwaukee John Axford Kameron Loe Francisco Rodriguez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Frank Francisco Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Josh Lindblom
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Chris Resop
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Edward Mujica
SD Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer Brad Brach Huston Street
SF Sergio Romo Javier Lopez Santiago Casilla
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Stephen Pryor Charlie Furbush
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Kyle Farnsworth
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Alexei Ogando
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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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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