Bullpen situations, speculations, and basic wherewithal are always a conundrum. Much like trying to figure out the size of Bruce Bochy’s head. Quick answer? It is bigger than normal, and not in an intelligence-type way. It is more of a cro-magnon way. Manager decisions aren’t always made by choice, but by no other better outcome. Hence why we have Hunter Strickland as the interim closer for the Giants. This is only because Melancon is injured. Dyson is just abysmal, and Watson has that whole lefty moniker attached to him (plus he hasn’t looked spectacular either leading up to opening day). Here’s the thing that worries me about Strickland being the guy whether it be temporary or more of a permanent basis; he has problems getting the left-handed hitters out. Like, it’s really bad. Just go ask Bryce Harper about that. Lefties hit .333 last year and for his career, hit almost 50 points higher against Hunter. Now this is sort of a normal occurrence with opposite handed hitter/pitcher splits, but not for pitchers who are uber successful in closing situations for a long period of time. The time table for Melancon to return is spotty with arm inflammation, so he could be there for a few weeks or until he falters. Regardless, saves are saves and he should be owned universally. Don’t show a blind eye to Dyson or Watson though if the waiver wire show their faces, because this situation is going to be a fluid one if and when Melancon returns for most of the year. Hunter Strickland rant over. Let’s see what other bullpen and closer news is on the docket for this week…
Greg Holland – Signed by the Cardinals and should need three weeks to get ready for game action. Leone/Lyons, and if back from injury, before than Gregerson are the pecking order. Holland is a scary guy to predict success for. First half of last year was completely different than the second. Hits, walks were up. K’s and overall effectiveness were down. He should slot into a “Donkeycorn” role once he has his wooden shoes firmly on the ground.
Jordan Hicks – Was a popular name for about 52 minutes. Got an inning on opening day and now flows back into the pecking order, with the eventuality of Holland.
Hector Neris – The Phillies skipper has said that he will play match-ups and not commit to one guy closing. Thanks. Gabe. Best advice since when you told the Sweathogs to not fight the rival gang. Pat Neshek, Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan, Bea Arthur and Luis Garcia are all now names to be monitored in the land of steaks with queso.
Keone Kela – Gets the starting closer nod for the Rangers. The recent signing of Kevin Jepsen, ea that Kevin Jepsen, adds to the growing speculative list of would be closer candidates that could close in case of a closer apocalypse.
Ryan Yarbrough – In a surprise move (not really a surprise though) Tampa has punted all of its bullpen talent for young up and coming arms. Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos and Jose Alvarado are the new faces on the Tampa block. The Tampa bullpen has gone from a band of veterans with some promise to a band of youngins with meh appeal.