Are you someone who believes in not paying for closers? Then you need to keep a close eye on each and every bullpen around the league. Let’s take a look at yesterday’s games and see who got the job done, who didn’t and whose job may be in jeopardy:
- Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles – He allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, in his inning of work. It is just his second blown save of the season, so I wouldn’t get too panicked over this outing. However, while we don’t look at metrics too much for relievers (due to small sample sizes), he is still sporting a .185 BABIP and 87.3% strand rate. This could be just the start of his demise, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him. If something were to happen, Pedro Strop would be next in line.
- Jose Valverde/Joaquin Benoit – Detroit Tigers – Both the closer and the setup man blew saves in what was a crazy game in Baltimore. Valverde has now blown 4 saves and is sporting a 4.17 ERA. He’s also allowed runs in two of his past three outings and has just 27 K over 36.3 IP. You have to start to wonder if a change could be in the Tigers future? Despite the blowup, Benoit would be the next option.
- Bobby Parnell – New York Mets – The Mets asked him to get five outs and he failed miserably, allowing 1 R (he also allowed 2 inherited runners to score) on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, over 0.2 IP. The Mets bullpen has been an absolute disaster and I would expect it them to address it at the trading deadline. For now, however, until Frank Francisco is healthy, Parnell should continue to see save opportunities.
- Sergio Casilla – San Francisco Giants – He blew his fifth save of the season, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 1 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over an inning of work. He’s now allowed runs in four of his past eight outings and has blown 4 of his past 6 save opportunities. He was great early on, but you have to think that a change to Sergio Romo is coming. If Romo is available in your league, do not hesitate to grab him.
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers – He allowed 2 R (1 earned) on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, in his inning to blow his fourth save. Generally I would be concerned with someone who has 4 blown saves at this point, but I’m not with Jansen. He has electric stuff and should continue to be one of the better save candidates in the league.
- Fernando Rodney – Tampa Bay Rays – Surprisingly, he just continues to get the job done. He allowed 1 H with 2 K and now has 26 saves to go along with a 0.91 ERA. His control is better than it has ever been, with a 1.13 BB/9 (career 4.56), to go along with a .235 BABIP and 84.5% strand rate. Disaster could strike at any time, so I’d continue to use him with your eyes open.
- Steve Cishek – Miami Marlins – He recorded a 5 out save, allowing 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, in 1.2 IP. This is a messy situation, to say the least, as the team will be using a committee for now. It’s hard to imagine Heath Bell not ultimately getting the job back, but in the short-term Cishek would be my choice to own.
Others who converted saves:
- Rafael Soriano – New York Yankees
- Carlos Marmol – Chicago Cubs
- Casey Janssen – Toronto Blue Jays
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
- Jonathan Broxton – Kansas City Royals
- Joel Hanrahan – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Jonathan Papelbon – Philadelphia Phillies
- Huston Street – San Diego Padres
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds – He pitched in a non-save situation, striking out 2 and walking 1. He’s now allowed 0 ER in his past 6 outings, striking out 15 in the process. It’s safe to say that he’s fully back.
- Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals – He allowed 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, in 1.1 innings to earn a win in a setup role. However, with Jonathan Broxton rumored to be traded, could Holland be next in line for saves? He has been pitching much better of late and is definitely worth keeping a close eye on.
- Matt Capps – Minnesota Twins – He tossed a perfect inning in a non-save situation. He should eventually regain the Twins’ closers role, though he also could be traded at the deadline to a contender (and therefore likely won’t be in line for saves). If you are stashing Glen Perkins and/or Jared Burton, if you have room on your roster you may want to continue to do so.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo – Miami Marlins – According to the New Orleans Zephyrs ( via Twitter), “Good news from OKC. Sounds like Juan Oviedo is ok. Tightness.” We’ll have to monitor the situation, as there has been talk of Oviedo taking over closing duties once he’s ready to return. With the Marlins closing situation a complete mess, he’s worth stashing.
- Brett Myers – Houston Astros – It wasn’t a blown save, but Myers took the loss by allowing 1 ER and 3 H without recording an out. He’ll remain the closer for the Astros, but if he’s traded he’s not going to have such honors.