Archive for Bullpen Banter

Closer Debate: Is Zach Putnam or Jake Petricka Better Suite For The White Sox Job Long-Term?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s possible that the 2015 Chicago White Sox closer is not on the current roster, but they have two candidates who have been seeing time this season and one of them could easily emerge with a strong finish, or maybe take themselves out of contention.

Let’s take a look at each of the candidates to try and reach a conclusion on who is better suited for the job in 2015:


Zach Putnam
He’s earned a handful of saves and could ultimately prove to have the best makeup to close. He owns a 7.57 K/9, 3.29 BB/9 and 53.1% groundball rate.

He strikeout number isn’t what you’d envision from a closer, but he owns a 13.7% SwStr% on the season as well as a 36.0% O-Swing%. Over 180.2 innings at Triple-A, where he worked exclusively as a reliever, he posted an 8.7 K/9. In other words, he has the makeup of a pitcher who should strikeout significantly more batters. In fact, he did see it jump to an 8.20 mark in the second half. Read more

Pick Six: Breaking Down Six Closer Situations: Nationals, Red Sox, Astros & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At this point in the season it may not take much to have a closer, no matter what the pedigree, removed from his role.  Just look at Koji Uehara in Boston, for instance.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing closer situations to try and determine where there could be opportunity:


Washington Nationals
Current Closer – Rafael Soriano?
Alternatives – Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen

Following Soriano’s blown save on Friday night, manager Matt Williams was quoted by Chase Hughes of CSN Washington (click here for the article) as saying:

“We’ll address it, yeah. We need to address it,” Williams said of the closer position.

That certainly leaves the door open for a potential change, nor could you blame the team if they do.  Soriano has blown 7 saves this season, already a career high, and owns a 6.98 ERA and 1.76 WHIP since the All-Star Break. Read more

Searching For Saves: Could Kevin Quackenbush Quickly Emerge In San Diego?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve mentioned the Padres’ Kevin Quackenbush as someone who could get save opportunities moving forward, regardless of a trade sending Joaquin Benoit out of town happens or not. Why are we so high on him? Let’s take a look.

An eighth round draft pick in 2011, Quackenbush has shown a closers skill set throughout his minor league career. Over 179.0 innings he owned an 11.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. The control did regress a bit at Triple-A, with a 4.3 BB/9 over 48.1 innings pitched. However he was at 2.5 at the level prior to his recall in ’14 and is at 2.70 currently in the Majors.

The strikeouts also dropped upon reaching Triple-A, at a still impressive 9.3. We would like to see a bit higher SwStr% in the Majors, with an 8.8% mark leading to a 9.0 K/9. That said, even if he’s “just” striking out a batter per inning would anyone complain?

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Bullpen Showdown: Jake McGee vs. Brad Boxberger: Who Is Actually The Better Option?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

I have long been a supporter of Jake McGee and hope that he finally gets an opportunity to hold onto the Rays’ closing job the rest of the season.  However, as the second half gets underway we can’t ignore Brad Boxberger.  He’s proven that he has the stuff to handle ninth inning duties, but could he actually look like the better option moving forward?  Let’s take a look (please note that all statistics are through the All-Star Break):


Jake McGee
He’s long proven that he can excel, with a 2.90 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 192.1 innings in the Major Leagues. He also owns an impressive 10.89 K/9 and 1.96 BB/9 this season (the walk rate would be the second time in the last three years that he was under 2.00). So what exactly is there not to like?

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Closer News From Around The League: Confusion In Tampa Bay, Cishek Implodes & More

There was a lot of closer news coming out of yesterday’s action. Let’s take a look at our Tweets from this morning covering all of the action (Make sure to follow us at @Rotoprofessor to see our Tweets every day):

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Closer News From Around The League: Is Rosenthal’s Job In Trouble & More

There was a lot of closer news coming out of yesterday’s action. Let’s take a look at our Tweets from this morning covering all of the action:

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