Ugh, the smell of my onsies de Mayo is so much worse than a normal day. I reek of sizzlin’ fajitas and am all cotton-mouthed from… well let’s just say alcohol. So attacking the usual Saturday bullpen rundown is a dizzying affair to say the least. Speaking of a dizzying places, let’s look at the Rockies bullpen situation; it’s definitely not all kush, but it’s not charcoal brick pack. The trust in Jake McGee is still there, because to be honest, the talent level behind him isn’t really there, is not ready, or has no experience in the end-of-game thing. Behind Jake are Chad Qualls, who has pitched the majority of the right-handed match-ups in the 8th inning with a smattering of Boone Logan mixed in. Now, I was nervous about McGee’s K-rate until I saw what Qualls’ was. The stout bunch of McGee and Qualls have a combined K/9 over the last 14 games of 5.16. That is combined! I can’t make up this stuff. The role of closer is most likely safe because the next guy up is Qualls, and well, if that last stat statement wasn’t enough to make you bored, I don’t know what else to say. The look of the rest of the pen is very unproven with Scott Oberg, Justin Miller, and Gonzalez Germen. What this bullpen needs is a youth movement to come front and center. They have the guys there, but aren’t utilizing them in a role that is conducive for anything outside of dynasty leagues that count holds. Eddie Butler and Carlos Estevez (no not that one) are a good start to what could be a decent mix. And yes, I see Butler as a bullpen arm. Getting chances are sparser than other teams for the Rockies, but with time, and once they start invigorating the youth into the chain of holds and saves command, progress will be made even above sea level. Let’s see what other gobs of knowledge we have for the closers over the last few weeks…
- The Yankees preseason had the bullpen of dreams. So far, it has been the “bullpen not getting a lead”. They have six save opportunities all year. Add in that they have only five Holds as a team and only have 19 appearances by relievers combined with a lead… Yes the K’s and all that jazz are spooktacular, but the underlying other stats that we hope to compile are blanking.
- The Marlins have gone from a lot of questionable parts to a nice source of bullpen help. David Phelps was basically a throw-in with the trade that brought Prado to the Yanks. He is has four holds and a save in his last six appearances and clearly looks to be the guy behind Ramos and in front of Kyle Barraclough (who is the gas of the Marlins pen with his ever elevating K-rate of 14.9). I mentioned in preseason he was a guy to watch as a keen K/9 horse. Nice to be right sometimes.
- Confidence in Cishek is climbing as he looks to have cured the yips from last year that sank his closer ship. Six saves in the last 14 games and K’ing well over a guy an inning. No Benoit and no Zych make him comfy there for the time being.
- The Reds bullpen options now stand at 53 different guys with Ross Ohlendorf now in the mix. I think they are cheating because the roster is only allowed 25 players. No sign of Norm Charlton yet.
- Remember in Kindergarten when we all learned to tell time? Someone grab Tolleson and tell him it’s about up. The way that Dyson and Diekman have been pitching they have to be in the discussion for top-5 Lh/RH setup duo this year. Welcome back. You will soon be rostered everywhere that people pay attention. Congrats.
Closer d’Etat (Top set-up guys next up for saves)
A new feature that I have been looking to add is the top set-up guys who are either pitching well or are right behind the closer. Getting the off day save for a shaky closer or someone who can jump in for a downed king of saves. Never hurts to bag an extra reliever for your bench at best they either don’t play, you bench them or the do well. No one ever does bad for someone we all roster…
You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.
Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.
These guys are the men that make the save market go round. They punch in, punch out. Have the job, no real threat to speak of, and are basically just there to collect great benny’s so they can take care of their crippled brother. Who is only really crippled because he is scared of the sun.
I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Carlos Marmol– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Castro in the head with a pick-off throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.