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The Braves are one of three teams in the majors with ten saves or fewer after 59 games. They have 7 wins and 14 losses while ranking 26th in bullpen ERA (4.37). Arodys Vizcaino has looked shaky in two of his last six games (three runs and nine baserunners in 4.1 innings with four Ks and a save). Vizcaino is 7-for-9 in save chances with only two saves since May 21st. Jim Johnson returned from the DL on June 3rd. Over the last week, he allowed a run and five baserunners in three innings with four Ks. With Grilli no longer on the roster, Johnson looks to be next in line for save even with poor success in 2016 (7.02 ERA and 1.44 WHIP). Hunter Cervenka is the only other arm of value in this bullpen even after his recent struggles (four runs and six baserunners in 4.1 innings with five Ks). After 26 games, Hunter has a 3.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP).
A.J. Ramos remains perfect in his 18 save tries with one run allowed in his last six innings with six Ks. Ramos continues to dance through a high volume of walks (five in his last seven innings and 16 in 24 innings on the year). The magical ride of David Phelps has come crashing down. Over his last seven innings, Phelps allowed five runs and 11 baserunners with six Ks. Walks come early and often when Kyle Barraclough takes the mound. Over his last 14 games, Kyle issued 14 walks leading to a 5.84 ERA and 1.95 WHIP. On the positive side, Barraclough threw three shutout innings in his last two games with five strikeouts. The Marlins fell to 22nd in bullpen ERA (4.06) after 58 games with 10 wins, 11 losses, and 22 saves.
New York Mets
New York ranks 5th in baseball in bullpen ERA (3.04) after 57 games with 6 wins, 8 losses, and 19 saves. Jeurys Familia still hasn’t blown a save in 18 opportunities, but his arm has been unimpressive in his last five innings of work (seven runs and 11 baserunners in five innings with six Ks). Addison Reed extended his shutout streak to 13.1 innings with 18 strikeouts. Batters only have three hits against him in his last 10.2 innings. Hansel Robles is no longer a viable late-inning option after allowing seven runs and 13 baserunners in his last four innings. Jim Henderson looks like the arm gaining value (no runs in his last four innings).
Fantasy owners continue to reap the glory of the acquisition of Jeanmar Gomez off the waiver wire. He’s converted 19 of his 20 save opportunities with some risk in his last three games (two runs and five baserunners in four innings with five Ks). Gomez is on pace for 53 saves, which still seems to be well over his skill set. Hector Neris remains on a negative path over his last five games (four runs and ten baserunners in 3.2 innings with three Ks). Also, David Hernandez has also lost momentum in his last six games (two runs and ten baserunners in 4.2 innings with five Ks). The Phillies are 13th in bullpen ERA (3.84) after 58 games with 10 wins, 7 losses, and 21 saves.
The Nationals have the 3rd lowest bullpen ERA (2.88) after 57 games with 8 wins, 7 losses, and 16 saves. Jonathan Papelbon struggled in both of his save chances over a three-game stretch (two runs and seven baserunners allowed with four Ks). Papelbon is 15-for-17 in save conversions with risk in his WHIP (1.37). Washington will never win the World Series with Johnny Boy pitching in the 9th inning. Sean Kelley continues to show regression (four runs and five baserunners in five innings with six Ks). His overall stats still point to upside (1.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP). Blake Treinen extended his scoreless streak to 11.1 innings with 11 strikeouts.
Hector Rondon picked up three saves over the last week, but he allowed a run and two baserunners in one inning with one strikeout. Hector has yet to blow a save in 11 chances. Rondon offers an edge in ERA (1.40) and WHIP (0.67). Pedro Strop saw his 7.1 innings shutout streak end in his last outing on June 4th when he allowed a run and three baserunners in two-thirds of an inning. Strop has an identical ERA (2.91) as his final 2015 results. Justin Grimm blew up on June 6th (three runs and three baserunners without recording an out) to push his ERA (4.71) into a negative area. Chicago has the 7th lowest bullpen ERA (3.25) after 54 games with 7 wins, 5 losses, and 12 saves.
The Reds have a solid hold on the worst bullpen (6.59 ERA) in the majors after 57 games with 10 wins, 15 losses, and seven saves. They’ve issued 119 walks in 202 innings. Tony “Roller Coaster” Cingrani blew his fourth save in his last seven chances while allowing five runs and eight baserunners in his last four innings with one strikeout. Ross Ohlendorf has pitched very well in his last eight games (one run and five baserunners in eight innings with six strikeouts). He continues to be the Reds best arm in their bullpen. Blake Wood allowed two runs and 11 baserunners in his last nine innings with 12 Ks. Cincinnati reported they will move Raisel Iglesias to the bullpen when he returns from the DL at the end of June. I fully expect him to take the offer as closer when he returns to the majors.
Jeremy Jeffress has been successful in 16 of his 17 saves, but his arm hasn’t looked good over his last five games (four runs and eight baserunners in 4.2 innings with four Ks). His window to close looks to be just about over with Will Smith pumping fresh air into the Brewers’ bullpen. In his 2.1 innings of work since returning from the DL, Will hasn’t allowed a run with a strikeout and a win. I expect him to get a save chance in the next couple of weeks. The best arm over the last month in Milwaukee is Tyler Thornburg. Tyler improved his scoreless streak to 11.1 innings with 13 Ks. Batters don’t have a hit against him in his last 9.1 innings. His arm sure looks closer-worthy. The Brewers moved to 20th in bullpen ERA (4.04) after 58 games with 9 wins, 5 losses, and 20 saves.
The Pirates rank 18th in bullpen ERA (3.96) after 57 games with 7 wins, 8 losses, and 21 saves. Mark Melancon has rounded into form over his last 6.2 innings (no runs and four baserunners with five Ks). Melancon is 19-for-20 in save conversions with a season-low 1.78 ERA. Tony Watson blew up in three straight games (seven runs and seven baserunners in 2.1 innings four Ks) to end his 11-inning scoreless streak. His ERA (4.32) more than doubled over the last week. Neftali Feliz continues to offer upside over the last month (one run in 10.1 innings with five baserunners and 10 Ks). He’s only walked four batters in 22.7 innings this season, which is an improvement in his skill set.
St. Louis Cardinals
Over his last 13 games, Trevor Rosenthal allowed five runs and 23 baserunners over 11 innings with 14 strikeouts. He walked 13 batters over this stretch. The Giants beat Trevor three runs after Rosenthal walked the bases full on June 3rd. He’s been successful in 10 of his 11 save chances, but his path points to job loss. Seung-Hwan Oh hasn’t allowed a run in his last six innings with nine Ks. Oh has a very good chance of emerging as the closer over the last half of 2016. Kevin Siegrist allowed a run in two of his last four outings over three innings with four baserunners. The Cardinals are 14th in bullpen ERA (3.85) after 57 games with 9 wins, 4 losses, and 11 saves.
The Diamondbacks still haven’t found their rhythm in their bullpen (4.16 ERA – 23rd) after 60 games leading to 7 wins, 9 losses, and 13 saves. Just when Brad Ziegler gets my hopes up that he’s going to lose his job, he strings together a few good games. Over his four outings, Brad didn’t allow a run over 4.2 innings with two Ks. His AFB clocks in at 83.2 mph while converting all 11 of his save opportunities. Daniel Hudson gave up his first home run of the season in his last outing on June 4th, which ended his 6.1 inning shutout streak. This season RH batters only have three hits in 46 at bats (.070 BAA). Tyler Clippard pitched well in his last five games (1.59 ERA with 10 Ks in 5.2 innings). Jake Barrett is also another consideration for saves. Over his last 13 games, Jake allowed two runs and 11 baserunners in 11.2 innings with 16 strikeouts. In his minor league career, Barrett has 79 saves over five seasons with a 3.31 ERA and 185 Ks in 187.2 innings. His average fastball in the majors is 94.7 after 22.2 innings.
The Rockies sit 24th in baseball in bullpen ERA (4.28) after 58 games with 7 wins, 7 losses, and 14 saves. Strikeouts continue to be an area of concern for Jake McGee. Over 20 innings this season, he only has 14 strikes with ten coming over his last 10.3 innings (1.74 ERA). In 2014 and 2015, Jake had 138 Ks in 108.2 innings. McGee hasn’t blown a save since May 7th (seven straight) while being 14-for-16 on the season. Jason Motte threw three shutout innings over the last week with three Ks. His AFB is now 94.3. If McGee trips up Jason should be next in line with continued success. Chad Qualls has no chance of closing in 2016. He only has seven Ks in 18.1 innings with 28 baserunners allowed.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have struggled to win games leading to only three save for Kenley Jansen since May 14th. To be fair, he did blow his only two save chances in 18 opportunities on May 17th and 20th. Kenley hasn’t allowed a run in his last 6.1 innings with five strikeouts to lower his ERA to 1.17 with only 14 baserunners allowed in 23 innings. Pedro Baez pitched at an elite level over the last week (no runs in 4.2 innings with seven Ks). LA needs Baez to have long term continued success. Joe Blanton struggled in two of his last five outings (two runs and five baserunners over 7.2 innings with 11 Ks). Los Angeles moved to 6th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.18) after 57 games with 11 wins, 10 losses, and 16 Ks.
The Padres have the third-worst bullpen ERA (4.84) in baseball after 60 games with 9 wins, 8 losses, and 13 saves. Fernando Rodney extended his scoreless streak to 21.1 innings with only eight hits allowed. He picked up his first save on June 4th since May 11th. Rodney hasn’t’ blown a save in 11 tries. Ryan Buchter had his worst outing of the season on June 2nd when he allowed four runs and four baserunners in two-thirds of an inning with two Ks. Ryan bounced back to toss three shutout innings with two Ks. Matt Thornton struggled in two games last week (three runs and five baserunners in 3.1 innings).
San Francisco Giants
Santiago Casilla struggled in his last two games (three runs and six baserunners in 2.1 innings with four Ks) leading to a loss and a blown save. Over his last 13 games, Casilla allowed five runs and 17 baserunners in 12.1 innings with 17 Ks. He’s been successful in 12 of his 16 save chances. Hunter Strickland pitched less than an inning in seven of his last nine games as the Giants have used him more as matchup option. In his last 14 games, Hunter has a 2.53 ERA with 13 Ks in 10.2 innings leading to two wins. Cory Gearrin extended his shutout streak to 7.1 innings with only three hits allowed and six Ks. San Fran is 21st in the majors in bullpen ERA (4.05) after 56 games with 9 wins, 7 losses, and 14 saves.