Jim Johnson has two saves, and two blown save since taking over the closing role for the Braves in early July. His arm has shown risk over his last three games (three runs and seven baserunners in 2.2 innings). I don’t believe he will keep the closing job over the last two months of the season even with 137 career saves. Mauricio Cabrera pitched in the 7th inning in his last game. He struggled on July 21st when he allowed three runs and three baserunners in two-thirds of an inning. Since being called up to the majors, Cabrera has nine Ks in 13.1 innings with a 3.38 ERA. Dario Alvarez struggled in two of his last six games (four runs and six baserunners over 5.1 innings with six Ks). Atlanta is 21st in bullpen ERA (4.25) after 99 games with 15 wins, 22 losses, and 18 saves.
The Marlins sit 12th in bullpen ERA (3.63) after 100 games with 20 wins, 18 losses, and 37 saves. A.J. Ramos struggled in his last outing (three runs and four baserunners over two-thirds of an inning) while pitching in a non-save situation ending his seven-inning shutout streak with nine strikeouts. Ramos is 31-for-32 in save tries. Fernando Rodney allowed three runs and six baserunners in his last three innings with six Ks. He’s allowed six of his seven runs on the year since arriving in Miami. David Phelps has been battling his command (six walks in 6.2 innings) over his last eight games leading to some risk in his ERA (4.05) and WHIP (1.95).
New York Mets
Jeurys Familia saw his 16 inning scoreless streak end on July 22nd when he allowed a run and three baserunners over one inning while picking up a save. Familia issued eight walks over his last 12.1 innings, but he only allowed one run. Jeurys has yet to blow a save in his 36 chances. His biggest change from 2015 is a rise in his walk rate (3.4 – 2.2 in 2015). Addison Reed extended his shutout streak 13.2 innings with 21 Ks lower his ERA to 1.91. Hansel Robles hasn’t allowed a run over his last 11 innings with 11 strikeouts. New York is 5th in the majors in bullpen ERA (3.05) after 98 games with 16 wins, 11 losses, and 37 saves.
The Phillies rank 23rd in bullpen ERA (4.40) after 99 games with 15 wins, 15 losses, and 29 saves. Jeanmar Gomez tossed three shutout innings over the last week with one K. Gomez has been successful in 26 of his 29 save opportunities with only 29 Ks in 46.2 innings. Hector Neris improved his shutout streak to 4.2 innings with six strikeouts. Over his last 15 games, Hector has a 1.88 ERA with 16 Ks in 14.1 innings. Edubray Ramos pitched well in 13 of his 14 games since his call-up to the majors. His one disaster game came on July 7th when he allowed five runs and five baserunners in one-third of an inning. Over his other 12.1 innings, Edubray allowed two runs and nine baserunners with 14 strikeouts.
Jonathan Papelbon turned into a minefield in his last two games (six runs and nine baserunners in two-thirds of an inning) suggesting he has an underlying injury. Over his previous seven innings after his DL stint, Papelbon didn’t allow a run with 10 Ks. On the year, Jon is 19-for-22 in save conversions with risk in his ERA (4.18) and WHIP (1.42). Shawn Kelley struggled as well in two of his last three games (three runs and seven baserunners in three innings with five strikeouts). Over his last 24 games, Kelley has a 4.94 ERA thanks to seven HRs allowed in 23.2 innings. His arm doesn’t look closer worthy over the long haul. Blake Treinen may be the most stable arm in this bullpen. Over his last eight innings, he’s allowed one and seven baserunners with six Ks. Washington well to 4th in bullpen ERA (3.05) after 99 games with 13 wins, 15 losses, and 25 saves.
The Cubs did well to acquire an elite arm to upgrade their bullpen over the last week. Aroldis Chapman will move into the 9th inning with Hector Rondon taking over the 8th inning. Chapman has been successful 20 of his 21 save tries with 44 Ks in 31.1 innings. Aroldis hasn’t allowed a run in his last 11.1 innings with 13 Ks. Rondon allowed a run in four of his last 11 appearances which was just enough of a crack for Chicago to make a move to improve their success in the 9th. Hector is a solid arm while converting 18 of his 22 saves chances. Pedro Strop has been electric over his last 5.2 innings (no runs and no hits with four Ks). The Cubs are 14th in bullpen ERA (3.80) after 96 games with 12 wins, 13 losses, and 19 saves.
The Reds remain the worst bullpen ERA (5.37) in the majors after 99 games with 16 wins, 22 losses, and 16 saves. Tony Cingrani allowed a run two of his last five outings. Over his last 11 games, Tony has a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 innings with seven Ks. Cingrani is 11-for-16 in save chances with an improving ERA (3.27) and WHIP (1.27). Raisel Iglesias had a streak of seven straight appearances where he allowed at least one walk, which ended in his last game. Since returning from the DL, Iglesias allowed one run and seven hits with 23 Ks over 20.1 innings. He only issue is the nine free passes. I still expect him to close at some point in 2016 as the Reds don’t want to move him back into the starting rotation. Jumbo Diaz extended his shutout streak to six innings with four strikeouts.
Jeremy Jeffress extended his shutout streak to 13.2 innings with eight Ks. He’s converted his last 12 saves and 23 of 24 chances on the year. His last save came on July 5th. Tyler Thornburg hasn’t allowed a run over his last 11.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. Over his last 26 games, Thornburg has a 0.73 ERA and 32 Ks in 24.2 innings. His arm looks closer ready if the Brewers decide to trade Jeffress at the deadline. Will Smith pitched poorly in his last three games (four runs and eight baserunners in two-thirds of an inning, which hurt his trade value. Milwaukee ranks 17th in bullpen ERA (3.90) after 98 games with 14 wins, 15 losses, and 28 saves.
Pittsburgh continues to improve in bullpen ERA (3.57 – 10th) after 98 games with 20 wins, 18 losses, and 34 saves. Mark Melancon threw three shutout innings over the last week with three saves after blowing back-to-back saves in the previous week. Mark is 30-for-33 in save conversions with a plus ERA (1.51) and WHIP (0.96). Tony Watson allowed one run over his last 19 innings to lower his ERA to 2.66. Tony improved his scoreless streak to five innings. Neftali Feliz hasn’t allowed a run over his last 4.2 innings with four Ks. Over his last 29 games, Feliz has a 2.45 ERA with 27 strikeouts,
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals finally placed Trevor Rosenthal on the DL with a right shoulder issue, which just clears the way for Seung-Hwan Oh to keep the closing role all season. Oh converted all five save chances since taking over the job in early July, but he did allow a run in two of his last six games. Over his last 31 games, Seung-Hwan has a 2.12 ERA with 39 Ks in 29.2 innings. Kevin Siegrist hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings with three Ks. Siegrist struggled with his command (12 walks) over his last 21.3 innings. Matt Bowman has a 2.49 ERA over his last 25.1 innings with 15 Ks. St. Louis moved to 6th in bullpen ERA (3.36) after 98 games with 15 wins, 13 losses, and 20 saves.
It’s tough to put a lot of faith in Tyler Clippard to close for the Diamondbacks after allowing six runs and seven baserunners in his last two games over 1.1 innings. Even with his recent struggles, Tyler will probably still get the next save chance. Saves have been tough to come by with Arizona only winning five of their last 24 games. Jake Barrett extended his shutout streak to 8.1 innings with nine Ks, which gives him the best resume to close for the Diamondbacks if Clippard continues to hang himself. Enrique Burgos looks like the only other arm of value in the bullpen at this point of the season. Over his last 7.1 innings, Burgos allowed one run with seven Ks with some struggles with walks (five). Arizona dropped to 27th in bullpen ERA (4.65) after 99 games with 11 wins, 15 losses, and 22 saves.’
The Rockies fell to 29th in bullpen ERA (4.86) after 100 games with 12 wins, 15 losses, and 27 saves. Carlos Estevez picked up three save over the last week to improve to 9-for-12 in save tries in 2016. Over his last six games, Estevez allowed one run in six innings with eight Ks. Adam Ottavino still hasn’t allowed a run over 6.2 innings with six Ks since returning from the DL. He is inching closer to pitching in the 9th. Jake McGee threw the ball better in his last six games (one run and five innings with three Ks).
Los Angeles Dodgers
Kenley Jansen blew two saves in his last five chances when he allowed two runs and four baserunners in two innings. Jansen is 30-for-35 in save conversion with 58 Ks in 44.2 innings. Over his last 16 games, Kenley has 1.10 ERA with 25 Ks in 16.1 innings. Joe Blanton has lost some of his luster in his last four games (three runs and eight baserunners in 4.1 innings with three Ks). Joe has been a key arm in the rise the Dodgers bullpen in 2016. Pedro Baez extended his scoreless streak to 12 innings with 12 Ks while improving his hitless streak to 5.1 innings. LA remains 2nd in bullpen ERA (3.01) after 98 games with 19 wins, 15 losses, and 30 saves.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are 25th in bullpen ERA (4.51) after 101 games with 16 wins, 12 losses, and 23 saves. Brandon Maurer pitched great over his last 17 innings (one runs and ten baserunners with 16 Ks) to lower his ERA to 4.69. Maurer hasn’t blown a save in his four chances. Ryan Buchter tossed three shutout innings over the last week with four Ks after getting lit up on July 21st (four runs and four baserunners in one inning). Brad Hand has a 1.69 ERA over his last 16 innings with 15 Ks.
San Francisco Giants
Santiago Casilla continues show job loss risk. He allowed three runs and seven baserunners over his last three innings leading to a win, a save, loss, and a blown save. Over his last 11 games, Santiago has a 5.06 ERA and 2.06 WHIP. The Giants can’t win a World Series will him pitching in the 9th as he will give up the untimely HR. Sergio Romo saw his 4.2 inning scoreless streak end on July 26th when he allowed a pair of HRs. His average fastball is now 86.1 while Romo relies on his plus slider. Hunter Strickland pitched poorly in four of his last eight games (four runs and 14 baserunners over 7.1 innings). San Fran sits 18th in bullpen ERA (3.92) after 92 games with 19 wins, 13 losses, and 28 saves.