As much as I love publishing and giving you the “haps” on the closer ranks, I love the depth that a bullpen can give you and how it can affect your roster. It is way to early to look into my Grafix crystal ball and say this guy and that one will be the crowned prince of the hold this year… to some degree. Early usage and situations prove a lot. Yes, injuries happen, and ineffective spells happen, and sometimes trades happen, but if you were good enough to make the team out of Spring, then usually you are good enough to make yourself an established piece of the bullpen. The top names are still the top names. The cream either rises to the top or it rules everything around me, both perspectives are interesting because how can you not believe the Wu or old school rhetoric. So with the first bullpen piece of the year, we will cover all the same things you are accustomed to from last year as I get more in-depth than anyone else when it comes to holds. Some don’t care or are on the fence, as if it’s a completely comical or made up stat. It is no more made up then saves, because that is exactly what it is, just before the save… so it is basically a pre-save. Either way, I care and will give you some early trends to look at and some names to go with it. Trends rule everything around bullpens or TREAB, dolla dolla bill y’all.
- Top billing for me this week is a Hold stalwart and decent cuff-option Sergio Romo. He has a tender elbow and this affects one of the most used bullpens in baseball. Hunter Strickland, who was in my mind on par with what Romo could do, is the guy now for the time being. Secondary props to Josh Osich, who as the second lefty who is a non-LOOGY, like Lopez, will get some decent looks. Tertiary to George Kontos/Cory Gearrin if the news on Romo is less than good.
- Maybe David Hernandez just isn’t meant to be closer. His career ERA in straight save situations is three times higher than that when just in a hold situation. He has 4 holds already and is a different pitcher then Jeanmar, and compliments him better then usurping him.
- The Royals just keep churning out quality former first round draft pick bullpen arms. Luke Hochevar is the new Ryan Madson. Kelvin is still Kelvin in the same role, but Luke is the driving force and has given a nice 12 K/9 to date, and is the guy they call on when runners are on in scoring position, 8 inherited runners and one scored, with the lead. Really great streaming option as he pitches two out of four days.
- Nate Jones is the guy in pale hose garb. The early season K return isn’t there yet, but he is a career 9.6 K/9. The numbers will come, but for now, the pattern is Albers, Duke for LH, Jones, D-Rob to close it out. It is also not surprising that the early bullpen success of the White Sox pin them atop the leader board for save situations (19) and Holds (11).
- With Glen Perkins hitting the DL, and his outlook is bleak at best, as he has battled injuries similar before. His velocity has decreased for four straight years and I am not confident on something longer term then normal. Kevin Jepsen held his own last year and went 15 saves and 24 holds last year with 5 blown. His previous experience and the lack of that experience, or “unreadiness” from May… well, Chargois and Burdi lead me to believe that Jepsen is the guy unless the Twins continue the futility and go into punt formation.
Smokey’s Swimming up Stream:
Streaming options to play and punt for the next week:
Saturday – Jim Henderson, NYM @ Cle.
Sunday – Blake Treinen, Was @ Phi.
Tuesday – Bryan Shaw, Cle vs. Sea.
Wednesday – Junichi Tazawa, Bos vs TB.
Thursday – Pedro Baez, LAD @ Atl.
Friday – Luke Hochevar, KC vs. Bal.
|Player||Holds/BS||App with Lead||IR Runners/IR Scored|