Aug 22, 2012
This week we saw two former closers reclaim their roles, while one of the best relievers in baseball is still M.I.A. The carousel is still going full-tilt in San Francisco, but it seems to have finally come to a stop in Milwaukee. With everyone bolstering their squads for the fantasy playoffs, there probably isn’t much on waivers in most leagues. You can make some shrew moves by adding the back-ups to closers with the shakiest job security before they’re replaced. Demotions happen quickly; be prepared.
– “From My Cold, Dead Hands” –
Craig Kimbrel, ATL (Next in line: Eric O’Flaherty)
Aroldis Chapman, CIN (Next in line: Jonathan Broxton)
Fernando Rodney, TB (Next in line: Joel Peralta)
Jonathan Papelbon, PHI (Next in line: Antonio Bastardo)
Joe Nathan, TEX (Next in line: Mike Adams)
Joel Hanrahan, PIT (Next in line: Jason Grilli)
Jim Johnson, BAL (Next in line: Pedro Strop)
It’s been 19 days since Craig Kimbrel’s last save. Woof.
Things had been going so well… After blowing 3 saves, taking 2 losses, and posting a 6.57 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 12.1 innings from June 20 to July 21, Jonathan Papelbon allowed just 6 hits over his next 10.1 shutout innings while going 6-for-6 in save opportunities. He hit a bump in the road last night and was charged with the loss in a non-save situation, but he should be fine going forward.
In August, Jim Johnson has allowed just 2 hits in 8 shutout innings while converting all 7 of his save opportunities. He’s back.
– Stranglehold –
Kenley Jansen, LAD (Next in line: Ronald Belisario)
Rafael Soriano, NYY (Next in line: David Robertson)
J.J. Putz, ARI (Next in line: David Hernandez)
Casey Janssen, TOR (Next in line: Brandon Lyon)
Jason Motte, STL (Next in line: Mitchell Boggs)
Chris Perez, CLE (Next in line: Vinnie Pestano)
Rafael Betancourt, COL (Next in line: Matt Belisle)
Jose Valverde, DET (Next in line: Joaquin Benoit)
Tom Wilhelmsen, SEA (Next in line: Lucas Luetge)
Going back to June 23, J.J. Putz has a 0.00 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in his last 18.2 innings. He still hasn’t blown a save since May 22.
Tom Wilhelmsen has converted all 11 save opportunities he’s seen since the All-Star break and has now allowed just 3 hits in his last 7 appearances. He’s been one of the more pleasant surprises this year.
– Firm Grasp –
Carlos Marmol, CHC (Next in line: James Russell)
Greg Holland, KC (Next in line: Aaron Crow)
Tyler Clippard, WAS (Next in line: Drew Storen)
Addison Reed, CWS (Next in line: Brett Myers)
Steve Cishek, MIA (Next in line: Heath Bell)
Ernesto Frieri, LAA (Next in line: Scott Downs)
Wilton Lopez, HOU (Next in line: Fernando Rodriguez)
Carlos Marmol has allowed 1 earned run in his last 11 innings, and he hasn’t blown a save since April 24. The Cubs are very bad, but Marmol’s season hasn’t been nearly as bad as it looked like it was going to be early on.
Brett Myers finally got roughed up last weekend, which took some of the pressure off of Addison Reed.
Scott Downs is back, but he’s allowed 11 runs in his last 6.1 innings, while Ernesto Frieri has been perfect in 7 of his last 9 innings.
– Hanging on by Fingertips –
Alfredo Aceves, BOS (Next in line: Andrew Bailey)
Grant Balfour, OAK (Next in Line: Ryan Cook)
Frank Francisco, NYM (Next in line: Jon Rauch)
John Axford, MIL (Next in Line: Jim Henderson)
Alfredo Aceves isn’t going down without a fight. He’s now allowed just 1 hit and walked just 2 in his last 6 innings. Maybe Andrew Bailey provided him with the competition he needed, or maybe he just got hot at the right time. However he’s doing it, Aceves is keeping his head above water… for now.
Grant Balfour has been perfect in 4.1 innings while converting all 5 save opportunities he’s seen since taking over for Ryan Cook as the A’s closer. The torch has been returned.
After Jon Rauch vultured back-to-back saves, Frank Francisco finally got back on track last Saturday, pitching a perfect inning against the Nationals. His leash is probably pretty taut right about now, but if he can string together a few good outings, he’ll be safe once again.
Jim Henderson has pitched well enough, allowing 3 hits and 0 runs in his last 3 outings, but John Axford has been reinstated and that, as they say, is that. Over his last 10 appearances, Axford has a 7.88 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP, and he’s blown 3 of his last 6 opportunities. Time will tell, but the Brewers obviously want Axford to keep his job.
– Tug of War –
The Giants, SF
Glen Perkins & Jared Burton, MIN
No Giants reliever has converted a traditional 3-out save since Santiago Casilla last did so on July 21. This whole situation is unstable, and although Jeremy Affeldt was the early favorite, Javier Lopez has registered the last 2 saves. (Sergio Romo hasn’t recorded a save since July 6.) It’s worth noting that, in his last 6.1 innings, Casilla has given up 3 hits, allowed 1 earned run, and walked 1 batter. He’s also failed to record a strikeout in that time, but there’s a chance that he’s given another shot at closing soon.
– Place-Holders –
Dale Thayer, SD (DL: Huston Street)
In his last 3 innings, Dale Thayer has allowed 6 hits and 3 earned runs. Although he converted his first 2 after replacing the injured Huston Street, Thayer blew the save opportunity last night, his third blown save in 10 opportunities this season. Meanwhile, Luke Gregerson is riding a 19.2 inning scoreless streak, in which time he’s posted a 0.71 WHIP. The Pad’s must be crazy.