Fantasy Baseball Week 13: NL Closer Report

Check out a free version of Senior Fantasy Expert Shawn Childs' 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 had his best week of the season as far saves (3), but he did struggle in his last games (one run and four baserunners in two-thirds of innings with one strikeout). This game ended his 5.2-inning scoreless streak. Arodys has been successful in 10 of his 12 save opportunities with 46 Ks in 33.1 innings. Jim Johnson could be back in the mix for saves if the Braves end up trading Arodys. Johnson extended his shutout streak to 11 innings while not issuing any walks with eight Ks. His AFB (92.5) is well below his elite seasons with the Orioles in 2012 and 2013. Hunter Cervenka hasn’t allowed a run in his last 7.1 innings with 10 Ks. The Braves moved to 21st in bullpen ERA (4.34) after 76 games with 11 wins, 18 losses, and 14 saves.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins are 13th in baseball in bullpen ERA (3.68) after 77 games with 14 wins, 15 losses, and 20 saves. A.J. Ramos has yet to blow a save chance in 24 tries. Ramos improve his scoreless streak to 6.2 innings with eight Ks, but more impressively for him, A.J. hasn’t walked a batter over his last 5.2 innings (18 over 31 innings in 2016). David Phelps tossed two shutout innings over the last week with three Ks. His arm has had less value over his last 14 games (4.20 ERA with 15 Ks in 15 innings). Since returning from the DL, Mike Dunn has a 3.52 ERA over 7.2 innings with eight Ks. Kyle Barraclough has a 2.93 over 30.2 innings this year, but he’s walked 24 batters.

New York Mets

Jeurys Familia hasn’t shown any cracks in the 9th in 2016. He’s been successful in all 26 save chances while extending his shutout streak to 10 innings with 11 strikeouts to get his ERA (2.89) and WHIP (1.18) into a serviceable area. Addison Reed has 5.68 ERA over his last 6.1 innings with seven Ks. He did toss 2.2 perfect innings in his last two games with four Ks. Jerry Blevins struggled in two of his last three games (three runs and four baserunners over two innings). The Mets sit 8th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.42) after 76 games with 11 wins, ten losses, and 27 saves.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are 23rd in bullpen ERA (4.37) after 78 games with 11 wins, 12 losses, and 23 saves. Jeanmar Gomez picked up two saves this week after having no saves in his previous 17 games. Over his last 4.1 innings, Gomez allowed one run with one strikeout. David Hernandez crushed Fantasy owners over his previous seven games (11 runs and 21 baserunners in 8.1 innings). Hector Neris has rebound in his last seven games (no runs and five hits over eight innings with seven Ks).

Washington Nationals

Jonathan Papelbon threw one shutout inning at High-A on June 27th, which puts him on track to return to the majors over the next couple of days. While Jon was on the DL, Shawn Kelley converted three of his four save chances. He allowed a run and four baserunners in his last three innings with six strikeouts. Sammy Solis remains on the upward track. Over his last 11 games, he has a 0.63 ERA with 20 Ks in 14.1 innings. The Nationals are 4th in bullpen ERA (3.12) after 77 games with 11 wins, ten losses, and 21 saves.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs dropped to 11th in bullpen ERA (3.61) after 73 games with ten wins, seven losses, and 14 saves. Hector Rondon allowed a run in three of his last eight games (three runs and seven baserunners over nine innings with eight strikeouts) leading to three blown saves in five chances. On the year, Rondon is 13-for-16 in save conversions with strength in his ERA (1.65) and WHIP (0.66). Pedro Strop struggled on June 23rd when he allowed two runs and three baserunners in one inning. His command (one walks in his last 16 innings) has been much improved over his career resume (4.2 walks per nine innings). Justin Grimm has pitched his way almost off the roster over his last 16 games (9.58 ERA and 2.03 WHIP). Over his last 21 games, Trevor Cahill has a 1.91 ERA and 34 Ks in 28.1 innings. His downside remains his high walk total (19 in 34 innings).

Cincinnati Reds

Tony Cingrani has a closer feel to him over his last nine games (one run and ten baserunners allowed in 9.2 innings with two Ks). Tony converted six of his last seven save opportunities and nine of 13 since taking over the job in early May. It’s tough to believe he will keep the job long term due to 21 walks allowed in 35.1 innings. Since returning from the DL, Raisel Iglesias allowed one run and four baserunners over five innings with six strikeouts. Michael Lorenzen has closing experience in college, and he did pitch well in his four games at AAA in his rehab assignment (no runs and two hits in four innings with no walks and seven strikeouts). In his two games back in the majors, Lorenzen allowed three runs and five baserunners in three innings with four Ks. The Reds remains last in the majors in bullpen ERA (6.08) after 77 games with 13 wins, 20 losses, and 13 saves. This bullpen should be better going forward.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have worked their way to 17th in bullpen ERA (4.08) after 11 wins, 12 losses, and 26 saves. Jeremy Jeffress has struggled with baserunners (20) over his last 11.2 innings, but he allowed only five runs during this stretch while converting all nine save chances. On the year, Jeremy converted 21 of his 22 save tries. Tyler Thornburg allowed a pair of runs and five baserunners last week over 1.2 innings. He bounced back to throw 2.1 shutout inning this week with two Ks. Over his last 27 games, Tyler has a 2.49 ERA with 35 Ks in 24.1 innings. Will Smith has struggled with his command (five walks in 7.2 innings) over his last nine games leading to some risk in his WHIP (1.43).

Pittsburgh Pirates

Mark Melancon hasn’t allowed a run in 15.1 innings with 12 Ks. He’s been successful in his last 18 save conversions and 22 of 23 on the year. His ERA (1.48) and WHIP (1.05) are now assets with minimal upside in Ks (24 in 30.1 innings). Tony Watson extended his scoreless streak to eight innings with nine Ks. Neftali Feliz hasn’t allowed a run in his last 4.1 innings with four Ks. Over his last 21 games, Feliz has a 2.08 ERA with 17 Ks in 17.1 innings. The Pirates are 18th in bullpen ERA (4.11) after 77 games with eight wins, 11 losses, and 24 saves.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals moved to 12th in bullpen ERA (3.66) after 75 games with 13 wins, eight losses, and 15 saves. The ball finally dropped on Trevor Rosenthal last week. He allowed a game-losing three-run homer on June 24th. Over his last six games, Trevor allowed seven runs and 14 baserunners over 3.1 innings to push his ERA to 5.40 and his WHIP to 2.03. As bad as Rosenthal has been, he is 14-for-17 in save conversions. Seung-Hwan Oh has yet to pick up a save, but he looks positioned to get the first shot in the 9th. Over his last 30 games, Oh has a 1.48 ERA and 0.79 WHIP with 38 Ks in 30.1 innings. Seung-Hwan warmed up in a save situation on Sunday night, but the Cardinals pushed across some runs to cancel the save opportunity. Oh struggled in his last outing when he allowed three baserunners in a four-run game. Kevin Siegrist allowed three runs and seven baserunners in the last 6.1 innings with four Ks.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

Brad Ziegler blew two save chances over the last week to end his save streak at 16. Over his last three games, Brad allowed two runs and eight baserunners over 3.2 innings with three Ks and a save. Daniel Hudson has no answer for the Rockies last week over two games (six runs and seven baserunners in one-third of an inning). Over his last 14 games, Dan has a 6.35 ERA and 1.50 WHIP with 10 Ks in 11.1 innings. Tyler Clippard may now be next in line for saves. He extended his scoreless streak to 5.2 innings with seven Ks. Arizona fell to 22nd in bullpen ERA (4.36) after 79 games with nine wins, 12 losses, and 19 saves.

Colorado Rockies

Carlos Estevez picked up two losses, and a blown save in back-to-back games when he allowed three runs and seven baserunners in two innings with three strikeouts. Since taking over as closer, Estevez converted four of his five opportunities. Over his last seven games, Carlos has a 3.86 ERA with seven Ks in seven innings. Jake McGee threw a scoreless inning at High-A on June 28th. Colorado hopes to have him back in the majors this weekend.  McGee was successful in 15 of his 18 save chances, but he isn’t a lock to get his job back. Jason Motte allowed a HR in three straight games while offering no upside in his last four games (three runs and five baserunners in 2.2 innings). The Rockies are 29th in bullpen ERA (4.93) after 77 games with ten wins, 12 losses, and 21 saves.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers remains second in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.06) after 76 games with 16 wins, 12 losses, and 23 saves. Kenley Jansen has only allowed one hit and no runs over his last 8.1 innings with 14 strikeouts. Jansen has been successful in 23 of his 26 save conversions while offering an edge in ERA (1.38) and WHIP (0.67). Pedro Baez has taken on some water over his last seven games (five runs and nine baserunners in 6.1 innings). Joe Blanton lost his command (four walks) over his last three innings, which led to two runs allowed. Over his last 13 games, Joe has a 1.80 ERA and 14 Ks in 15 innings.

San Diego Padres

Fernando Rodney still hasn’t blown a save in 17 chances. He allowed his first run of the season on June 21st. In his next two games, Rodney tossed two shutout innings with four strikeouts. Over his last 5.1 innings, Fernando has 12 strikeouts. His ERA sits at 0.31 after 28.2 innings. Ryan Buchter improved his shutout streak to 9.2 innings with 14 Ks. Kevin Quackenbush hasn’t allowed a run in his last 6.2 innings with three Ks. If Rodney gets traded to a contender, Quackenbush should get the first crack at saves. San Diego ranks 24th in baseball in bullpen ERA (4.39) after 79 games with 12 wins, nine losses, and 19 saves.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants improved to 14th in bullpen ERA (3.95) after 73 games with 16 wins, nine losses, and 22 saves. After throwing 5.1 shutout innings, Santiago Casilla was bombed for three runs and five baserunners in one inning of work on June 28th. Over his last 12 games, Casilla has a 5.73 ERA and 1.73 WHIP which invite job loss. Santiago is 17-for-21 in save chances. Hunter Strickland hasn’t allowed a run in his last six innings with two Ks. Cory Gearrin looked on the verge as an option for saves after allowing one run in 15 innings with 15 Ks. He struggled in his last game on June 28th when he allowed three runs and three baserunners while failing to record an out.

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