Seung-hwan Oh (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Week 14 Fantasy Baseball: NL Closer Report

Shawn Childs details the backend of each team's bullpen in the National League!

NL East

Atlanta Braves

Arodys Vizcaino hasn’t pitched well over his last three games (two runs and nine baserunners in 2.1 innings with two Ks). Vizcaino is 10-for-12 in save opportunities with 47 Ks in 35 innings, but his WHIP (1.40) shows some risk. Over his last 12 games, Jim Johnson allowed one run and 11 baserunners over 13 innings with nine strikeouts. The Braves called up Mauricio Cabrera on June 27th. He allowed one run and six baserunners in four innings with one Ks in his five games in the majors. At AA in 2016, Mauricio had a 3.21 ERA, but he walked too many batters (22 in 33.2 innings). His average fastball (100.5) is one of the best in the game, but he can’t have success until he throws more strikes. Atlanta moved to 19th in bullpen ERA (4.19) after 83 games with 12 wins, 19 losses, and 15 saves.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins are 15th in bullpen ERA (3.93) after 84 games with 15 wins, 16 losses, and 31 saves. A.J. Ramos blew his first save in 26 chances on July 1st when he allowed a game tying HR. Over his last three games, A.J. allowed three runs and five baserunners in three innings with three Ks. Miami made a move to strengthen their bullpen over the last week by adding Fernando Rodney. Over 28.2 innings with the Padres, Rodney allowed two runs. He gave up three runs and five baserunners in his last two innings of work with Miami. Fernando was successful in all 17 save chances with the Padres. David Phelps struggled in his last six games (four runs and ten baserunners in six innings with 10 Ks).

New York Mets

http://www.scout.com/player/123347-jeurys-familia?s=532

Jeurys Familia extended his shutout streak to 13 innings with 15 strikeouts. Familia has been successful in all 29 of his save tries while lowering your ERA to 2.68. Addison Reed tossed 4.2 shutout innings in his last four games with 10 Ks. Over his last 27 games, Reed has a 1.75 ERA and 32 Ks in 25.2 innings. In his last 26 games, Jerry Blevins has 1.76 ERA and 16 Ks in 15.1 innings. New York sits 7th in bullpen ERA (3.36) after 83 games with 13 wins, ten losses, and 30 saves.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are 23rd in baseball in bullpen ERA (4.36) after 83 games with 12 wins, 12 losses, and 25 saves. Jeanmar Gomez picked up a win and two saves over his last five games with no runs allowed in 5.1 innings, and one K. Gomez is 22-for-24 in save conversions with declining value in Ks (three in his last 10.1 innings). Hector Neris has regained his form over his last seven games (one runs in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts). Edubray Ramos was called up on June 24th. Over 5.2 innings in the majors, Ramos allowed one run with seven strikeouts. At AAA in 2016, Edubray gave up one run in 23.2 innings with 26 Ks and three walks. His average fastball is 94.2 with Philly. His arm projects to have closing upside.

Washington Nationals

Jonathan Papelbon was activated from the DL on July 4th when he threw one clean inning with two strikeouts. Jon converted 16 of his 18 save tries in 2016. Shawn Kelley earned four saves in five chances as a fill in for Papelbon, but he hasn’t pitched well in his last 13 games (4.50 ERA with 23 Ks in 14 innings). Blake Treinen allowed three runs in his last 20 innings with 18 strikeouts. After an impressive run (one run in 20 innings), Sammy Solis was bombed in his last outing (three runs and four baserunners in one-third inning). The Nationals remain 3rd in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.10) after 84 games with 12 wins, 11 losses, and 22 saves.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

http://www.scout.com/player/88523-hector-rondon?s=532

Hector Rondon has plus stats in 2016 (1.59 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and 35 Ks in 28.1 innings), but his save total (13 in 16 tries) remain low due to the Cubs outscoring their opponents by 151 runs after 83 games. Over his last 11 innings, Rondon allowed three runs with eight strikeouts. Pedro Strop struggled in two of his last five games (four runs and seven baserunners in 5.1 innings with four Ks). Trevor Cahill allowed one run and nine baserunners in his last seven innings with seven Ks to lower his ERA to 2.37. Carl Edwards was called up by the Cubs on June 20th. Over his last six innings in the majors, Edwards hasn’t allowed a run or hit with seven Ks. Carl had a 4.26 ERA at AAA in 2016 over 25.1 innings, but he did walk too many batters (17). His arm did show high upside in 2013 at A ball (1.83 ERA with 122 Ks in 93.1 innings). Chicago is 11th in bullpen ERA (3.74) after 80 games with ten wins, eight losses, and 14 saves.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds continue to have the worst bullpen ERA (5.85) in the majors after 84 games with 14 wins, 21 losses, and 21 saves. Tony Cingrani has pitched his best ball in 2016 over his last 11 games (one run and 11 baserunners over 12.2 innings with four straight save conversions). Tony is 9-for-13 in save chances with an improving ERA (3.28) and WHIP (1.28). Raisel Iglesias has thrown the ball well in his five games (one run in 8.1 innings with 10 Ks) in the bullpen since returning from the DL. He looks poised to steal the closing role. Michael Lorenzen threw 3.2 shutout innings over the last week with three Ks.

Milwaukee Brewers

Jeremy Jeffress improved his scoreless streak to five innings with no Ks while picking up four saves. Jeffress has been successful in 23 of his 24 save chances. Tyler Thornburg has only pitched 3.1 shutout innings with two Ks over the last 16 days. He’s allowed two runs in his last 18.2 innings with 21 strikeouts. Will Smith has been used more as a situational player in his last seven games (one run in 4.1 innings with four Ks). The Brewers are 18th in bullpen ERA (4.08) after 83 games with 11 wins, 12 losses, and 28 saves.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates moved to 12th in bullpen ERA (3.81) after 83 games with ten wins, 11 losses, and 28 saves helping them win six straight games. Mark Melancon extended his shutout streak to 19.1 innings with 18 Ks. Mark hasn’t blown a save since April 24th while converting 25 of his 26 opportunities. Tony Watson threw the ball at an elite level over the last month (no runs in 12 Innings with 11 strikeouts) to lower his ERA to 3.00. Neftali Feliz hasn’t allowed a run in his last eight innings with seven Ks.

St. Louis Cardinals

Seung-Hwan Oh picked up two saves in his first week as the closer for the Cardinals, but he didn’t throw the ball well. Over his last four games, Oh allowed one run and eight baserunners in four innings with six strikeouts. His decline in his command (five walks in five innings) is a concern. Trevor Rosenthal failed to get an out on July 3rd (two runs and four baserunners) to push him further from the 9th inning. Since losing the closing job, Trevor allowed two runs and ten baserunners in four innings with five Ks. Rosenthal has a 7.50 ERA and 2.50 WHIP over his last seven games (six innings). Kevin Siegrist was placed on the DL with a battle with mono. Jonathan Broxton has closing experience as well. Over his last 15 games, Jon only allowed one run and four hits with five walks and five strikeouts. St. Louis is 10th in bullpen ERA (3.73) after 82 games with 13 wins, nine losses, and 17 saves.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

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

Brad Ziegler struggled in two of his last five games (three runs and 11 baserunners in five innings with five strikeouts). His WHIP (1.46) continues to invite failure risk. Brad is 18-for-20 in save chances. The hopes of Daniel Hudson becoming the next closer came crashing to a halt over his last six games (11 runs and 16 baserunners in three innings). Tyler Clippard threw the ball well over his last ten games (one run in 8.2 innings with 12 strikeouts) to put him next in line for saves. Jake Barrett moves up a notch with Hudson falling on his face. Over his last four games, Jake didn’t allow a run in three innings with one Ks. He did struggle in back-to-back games on June 26th and 27th (five runs and eight baserunners in two innings). Arizona fell to 22nd in bullpen ERA (4.33) after 85 games with ten wins, 14 losses, and 21 saves.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have the third worst bullpen ERA (4.94) after 83 games with 11 wins, 12 losses, and 21 saves. Jake McGee returned from the DL on July 2nd, but he will need to earn his way back into the 9th inning. He struggled in his first game back in the majors (one run and two baserunners in one-third of an inning). In his last two games, Jake threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts. McGee has been successful in 15 of his 18 save tries. Carlos Estevez hasn’t thrown the ball well in his last five games (four runs and nine baserunners over five innings) to put the closing job at risk. Since moving into the 9th inning, Carlos converted four of his five save opportunities. Adam Ottavino was activated from the DL on July 5th. Over 12 games in the minors in 2016, Adam allowed five runs and 13 baserunners in 8.1 innings. He doesn’t look anywhere close to having closing value.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Kenley Jansen has been dominating over his last 10.1 innings (no runs and two hits with 19 Ks) to lower his ERA to 1.30. Jansen is 25-for-28 in save conversions with 44 Ks in 34.2 innings. Pedro Baez continues to have bouts of greatness and failure. He struggled in three of his last ten games (five runs and ten baserunners over 11.1 innings). Joe Blanton hasn’t allowed a run in his last five innings with six strikeouts. LA has the second best bullpen ERA (2.89) in the majors after 83 games with 17 wins, 12 losses, and 25 saves.

San Diego Padres

The Padres rank 26th in bullpen ERA (4.61) after 84 games with 13 wins, nine losses, and 20 saves. With Rodney no longer on the roster, Brandon Maurer will have the first chance at the 9th inning. After his first 32 games pitched in 2016, Brandon had a 6.97 ERA and 1.61 WHIP with six HRs allowed in 31 innings. His arm has gained value in his last nine games (one run in 8.2 innings with no walks and 10 Ks). Maurer converted his first save chance on July 1st. His average fastball is 95.3 son he has a chance for success if he throws strikes. In 2016, Ryan Buchter has two bad games (nine runs and nine baserunners in one inning). In his other 37 games, he’s allowed two runs in 35 innings with 51 Ks. He will be in the mix for saves if/when Maurer trips up. Kevin Quackenbush had his 7.1 inning scoreless streak end on July 3rd when he allowed three runs and four baserunners in one-third of an inning.

San Francisco Giants

Santiago Casilla struggled once in his last ten appearances (three runs and five baserunners in one inning), but he’s still allowed too many baserunners in his last five games (13 in 4.2 innings). Casilla is 20-for-24 in save tries with his last blown save coming on June 1st. Sergio Romo was activated from the DL on July 4th when he faced two batters (one out and one hit). Over eight games in the minors, Sergio allowed five runs and 11 baserunners in 11.1 innings with 19 Ks. Hunter Strickland allowed a run in two of his last three games (two runs and seven baserunners in 2.1 innings with two Ks) to probably pitch his way out of save contention. The Giants need to fix their bullpen ERA (4.06 – 17th) if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs. After 80 games, they have 17 wins, 11 losses, and 25 saves.


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