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Fantasy Baseball Week 8: NL Closer Report

Check out a free version of Senior Fantasy Expert Shawn Childs's Closer Report, in which he examines the backend of each team's bullpen in the National League. Join Scout Army for exclusive access to BOTH of Shawn's weekly Closer Reports!

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NL East

Atlanta Braves

Arodys Vizcaino picked up a pair of saves over the last week while allowing a run via a home run in 2.1 innings with three Ks. Over his last six games, Arodys allowed a run and four baserunners in 7.1 innings with nine Ks to lower his ERA to 1.45. On the year, Vizcaino is 5-for-6 in save chances. Jason Grilli tossed 2.1 shutout innings with four Ks over the last week as he tries to fix his disgusting ERA (6.14) and WHIP (1.70). Alexi Ogando hasn’t allowed a run in his last 3.2 innings with no walks and five Ks. The Braves sit 27th in bullpen ERA (4.58) after 44 games with four wins, 12 losses, and eight saves.

Miami Marlins

Miami ranks 11th in baseball in bullpen ERA (3.44) after 45 games with seven wins, seven losses, and 18 saves. A.J. Ramos allowed a run in two of his last three successful save chances with six baserunners allowed in three innings. Ramos has been successful in all 14 save opportunities with upside in his ERA (1.89) and Ks (23 in 19 innings). David Phelps extended his shutout streak to seven innings with nine Ks. David is on the best run of his career (1.38 ERA and 31 Ks in 26 innings). Kyle Barraclough walked a batter or more in each of his last nine appearances leading to decline in his skill set (five runs and 14 baserunners allowed in his last 5.1 innings).

New York Mets

Jeurys Familia continues to pitch at a high level. He’s 15-for-15 in save conversions while also picking up a win. Over his last four innings, Familia allowed no runs and two hits with three Ks. Addison Reed extended his scoreless streak to 7.2 innings with 11 Ks. Reed remains on pace for his best success in the majors (2.25 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 27 Ks in 29 innings).Over his last 14 games, Hansel Robles allowed only one run and six baserunners with 13 Ks. Batters don’t have a hit against him in the last 6.2 innings. The Mets lead the majors in bullpen ERA (2.37) after 45 games with four wins, four losses, and 16 saves.

Philadelphia Phillies

http://www.scout.com/player/88590-jeanmar-gomez?s=532

The Phillies are just below league average in bullpen ERA (3.83 – 18th) after 45 games with nine wins, five losses, and 18 saves. Jeanmar Gomez has been successful in 16 of his 17 save chances including seven straight. Over his last nine games. Gomez allowed four runs and 12 baserunners in 8.2 innings with six Ks. Gomez has pitched well enough where he will get some rope if he starts to struggle. Hector Neris hasn’t allowed a run in his last 7.2 innings with two hits and six Ks. Batters only have 12 hits in 26 innings leading to a plus ERA (1.38) and WHIP (0.73). David Hernandez remains on the upward path. Over his last 13 games, Hernandez allowed one run and nine hits in 16 innings with 21 Ks.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

The last save chance for Hector Rondon came on May 10th. He’s 7-for-7 in save tries with only two runs and eight baserunners allowed in 14.1 innings with 24 Ks. Pedro Strop hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings with six Ks after struggling on May 11th (three runs and five baserunners while not recording an out). Adam Warren allowed a run or more in three of his last eight outing (four runs and 12 baserunners in 8.1 innings). Warren still has a low ERA (2.08) and WHIP (1.04), but he needs to throw more strikes (seven walks in his last 9.1 innings). Justin Grimm extended his shutout streak to 4.2 innings with five Ks. The Cubs ranks 8th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.12) after 43 games with six wins, four losses, and eight saves.

Cincinnati Reds

I don’t know why I even look at the Reds’ bullpen. They continue to produce the worst results in bullpen ERA (6.53) in the league after 45 games with seven wins, 14 losses, and four saves. Tony Cingrani has blown his last two save tries while converting only three of six chances since taking over the 9th inning. Over his last 10.2 innings, Tony allowed three runs and 13 baserunners with eight Ks. Ross Ohlendorf hasn’t allowed a run in his last three innings with two Ks. His WHIP (1.02) remains in a much stronger area than is ERA (4.79). I don’t see any other option of value on the team.

Milwaukee Brewers

http://www.scout.com/player/102453-jeremy-jeffress?s=532

Jeremy Jeffress has been successful in 12 of his 13 save opportunities. His first blown save came last week when Jeremy allowed a home run to the Cubs. Over his last 9.1 innings, Jeffress allowed a run and nine baserunners with six Ks. Tyler Thornburg extended his scoreless streak to 5.2 innings with one hit allowed and six Ks. Blaine Boyer hasn’t allowed a run in his last ten innings with no walks and three Ks. The Brewers moved to 17th in bullpen ERA (3.80) after 45 games with seven wins, four losses, and 13 Ks.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Weakness in the bullpen continues to be an issue for the Pirates. After 44 games, they rank 24th in baseball in bullpen ERA (4.21) with six wins, five losses, and 17 saves. Mark Melancon has been successful in his last 11 save chances while converting 15 of his 16 chances on the year. Melancon hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 4.1 innings with three Ks, but he did pick up a loss after the Rockies scored three unearned runs on May 21st. Tony Watson has been on top of his game over his last ten innings (no runs and two hits allowed with nine Ks) to lower his ERA to 2.18 with strength in his WHIP (0.97). As mentioned last week, Pittsburgh seems to be limiting the matchups for Neftali Feliz in May. Over his last six games, Feliz pitched four innings with one hit, no walks, and five Ks.

St. Louis Cardinals

Trevor Rosenthal is walking a tightrope in the 9th over his last ten games. He’s allowed only two runs in his last nine innings, but batters have 12 hits and nine walks. His WHIP (1.80) points to disaster downside as a result of 12 walks allowed in 15 innings on the year. He had a similar issue last July (seven runs and 23 baserunners in 12 innings) when I thought he had an underlying injury, but Trevor bounced back for a strong August (one run allowed in 13 innings with 17 Ks). His arm again showed failure risk in September (6.48 ERA and 1.80 WHIP). It looks like it’s time to buy insurance. Seung-Hwan Oh looks poised to steal the closing job. Over his last 5.1 innings, batters don’t have a hit or walk leading to no runs allowed and 10 Ks. He extended his scoreless streak to 10 innings. Kevin Siegrist only allowed a hit (HR) in his last five innings with five Ks to keep his name in the save conversation. The Cardinals are 15th in bullpen ERA (3.62) after 45 games with eight wins, three losses, and nine saves. As bad as Rosenthal has looked, he converted eight of his nine save tries.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

http://www.scout.com/player/36074-brad-ziegler?s=532

The ball has yet to drop on Brad Ziegler, but he’s struggled a bit in his last three games (two runs and seven baserunners in three innings with two Ks. Ziegler still hasn’t blown a save in eight chances while his success in ERA (2.95) doesn’t match his WHIP (1.64). Batters only have eight hits against Daniel Hudson in 19 innings with a 1.42 ERA and 14 Ks. After struggling on May 15th, Hudson threw 2.2 shutout innings with three Ks. Tyler Clippard only allowed one run in his last three innings, but he’s allowed eight baserunners. The Diamondbacks sit 25th in baseball in bullpen ERA (4.32) after 47 games with seven wins, eight losses, and ten saves.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies moved to 21st in bullpen ERA (4.03) after 44 games with seven wins, five losses, and 13 saves. Jake McGee extended his scoreless streak to seven innings with better command (one walk) leading to six straight save conversions and eight Ks. Jake is now 13-for-15 in save chances with some risk in his ERA (3.57) and WHIP (1.42). Colorado activated Jason Motte off the DL on May 25th allowing two runs and six baserunners in 5.2 innings in the minors with five Ks. Miguel Castro returned to the majors as well over the last week. Castro didn’t allow a run in his first appearances back in the majors with one strikeout. On the year, Miguel only allowed three hits in eight innings with nine Ks. He should be the next option for saves if McGee fails or gets traded.

Los Angeles Dodgers

After converting his first 13 save chances, Kenley Jansen blew two saves over the weekend against the Padres when he allowed two runs and three baserunners in 1.2 innings with two Ks. This ended his 5.1 innings shutout streak. Batters only have ten hits against Kenley in 18 innings with 20 Ks. Pedro Baez threw 3.1 scoreless innings over the last week with two Ks after getting dusted for three runs and five baserunners in one inning on May 16th. His WHIP (1.10) points to upside along with his Ks (24 in 20 innings). Joe Blanton hasn’t allowed a run in his last 6.2 innings with seven Ks. Surprisingly, batters only have 11 hits against him in 23.2 innings. The Dodgers rank 13th in bullpen ERA (3.60) after 44 games with eight wins, nine losses, and 13 saves.

San Diego Padres

The Padres fell to 26th in bullpen ERA (4.39) after 47 games with eight wins, six losses, and 12n saves. Fernando Rodney still hasn’t allowed a run in 18 innings with batters only getting two hits over the last 10.2 innings. Rodney has been successful in all 10 of his save opportunities. Ryan Buchter saw his 18.2 inning shutout streak end on May 22nd when he allowed a HR to blow the lead for San Diego. His upside in the 9th is still restricted due to 11 walks allowed in 22 innings. Even with weak arms in the bullpen, the Padres shipped Kevin Quackenbush back to AAA despite allowing no runs in his last 3.1 innings with one Ks.

San Francisco

Santiago Casilla is 12-for-15 in his save chances with two runs allowed in his last 13.1 innings with 19 Ks. Casilla allowed a HR in two of his last seven games. Hunter Strickland allowed a run and ten baserunners in his last 8.1 innings with eight Ks to move his ERA (3.06) back in line. Sergio began his rehab assignment in the minors on May 23rd. He allowed a HR in one inning with one Ks. He should be back in the majors in the next week to ten days. As well as the Giants have played over the last couple of weeks (12-1), they won’t have continued success without better production from their bullpen. After 44 games, San Fran is 20th in bullpen ERA (3.97) with seven wins, four losses, and 14 saves. Their relievers have a major league-low 102 Ks in over 129.1 innings.



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