Welcome to the SCFE Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Bullpen Briefs. This will be a reoccurring article focusing on all the happenings in bullpens around the league. While we all know there are some studs that may not lose their respective roles. There are plenty more that will be ripe for the taking.
And this won’t just be for the coveted closer roles. This will focus on setup men shifting. As well as letting people know who the next guy is that could get a lot of holds for them. Keeping an eye here can also help you know who to make that speculative add to your roster before the change is made.
The first two weeks has already seen some blown saves in Texas, a couple committees getting things done, and a closer situation changing in the City of Brotherly Love.
If you want to see who to start at pitching or hitting this week, we got you covered. Scott Guthrie handles our Pitching Planner. And as far as hitting goes, Aaron Hinckley writes our Hitting Planner.
So as we look to the last two weeks of April, who are some of the guys you need to be looking at? Let’s dive in!
Week 3 Bullpen Briefs
Sam Dyson, RP, Texas Rangers
While not out of the woods yet, Sam Dyson has had quite the start to the season. Dyson has gotten the vote of confidence from his Manager Jeff Banister. Through the two weeks, Dyson has appeared in three games. In those games, he has recorded six outs, given up eight earned runs on seven hits and three walks. All of that with only one strikeout, not to mention two losses and a blown save. Not sure how long they can stick with a closer who doesn’t have as electric stuff as their setup man.
While Matt Bush hasn’t been great either in the back of the pen, he does have the superior stuff. And even if they don’t want to hand the ninth to Bush, they also traded for Jeremy Jeffress to bolster their bullpen. I’m not saying the change will be made soon. But even with the vote of confidence by Banister, they may have to exhaust all options for a team that was very lucky last year.
Update: Dyson blew his second save on Tuesday, giving up three runs on four hits. Dyson’s ERA is now an astronomical 33.00 through three innings pitched, and he is losing the faith of manager Jeff Banister. He said his team cannot keep losing games this way, and that they will explore all opportunities.
Matt Bush is dealing with an AC Joint issue which he also had last year. He will be rejoining the Rangers for their Mariners matchup this weekend.
Jeanmar Gomez, RP, Philadelphia Phillies
Well it didn’t take long to replace Jeanmar Gomez in the closer role. It was a rocky start for Gomez. In his first game he gave up a home run and two earned runs, but still managed to record the save. He wasn’t used in the next two games because the Phillies were losing. In his next appearance, Gomez went one inning and got two strikeouts to keep his team within one run of the Nationals. They lost that game, but it looked like Gomez could be back on track.
Then in his next appearance, the game after the Phillies scored 17 runs, he had a terrible inning. He gave up a 3-run home run to Ryan Zimmerman for a blown save. Luckily for him, Cesar Hernandez bailed him out in the bottom of the ninth to get him the win.
Unfortunately for Gomez, he was pulled from the closer role on Monday, April 10. It kind of makes you wonder that if his leash was going to be this short, why they didn’t just go with Joaquin Benoit or Hector Neris from the outset.
Joaquin Benoit, RP, Philadelphia Phillies
So the benefactor of Gomez’s meltdown in the ninth inning is Joaquin Benoit. It’s a fine move for a player who has been a closer before. But I brought this up earlier. If the leash was so short for Gomez, why not start the season with Benoit or Neris to begin with?
While I said it was a fine move to put Benoit in the closer role, I still wonder why they didn’t go with Neris. Neris is the guy who last year had 102 strikeouts in 80.1 innings pitched. Wouldn’t that be the type of guy you want in the ninth? A guy with swing and miss stuff? You would think so.
So what I believe is that they are going with Benoit since they are paying him $7.5 Million on a one year contract. While it helps showcase Benoit, it only hurts the Phillies if they try to resign him. Which I believe they won’t. What it also does is keep a young Neris from upping his arbitration value by naming him closer now and watch him run away with the job. Maybe if the Phillies were in a different spot to contend at this moment they would hand it to Neris. I believe he will be the closer later in the year and definitely in 2018.
Update: Benoit worked a an inning in a non-save situation on Wednesday. He had two strikeouts and a walk in that outing.
Oakland Athletics Committee
To date, only two relievers have recorded a save for the A’s. Santiago Casilla and Sean Doolittle have converted one apiece. Neither has given up a run, and both have also notched a Hold. Casilla has a 5:1 K:BB ratio and Doolittle has a 7:1 K:BB ratio. It looks as though each of them will be taking turns in the ninth based on usage and matchups.
Manager Bob Melvin trotted out Ryan Dull in a save situation and he promptly gave up a three-run game winning home run to Danny Espinosa. That should be all for that experiment. Ryan Madson, who had the job last year, has worked mostly in the eighth inning, except for getting the ninth in a non-save situation when the A’s were up five runs.
While it seems like this situation is a mess, it looks as though it is down to a two headed committee approach with Casilla and Doolittle. My inclination is Casilla will get most of the work with Doolittle getting the ninth when Casilla needs a night off.
These guys will be getting Holds and the occasional save opportunity for your team. Some will even luck into a few Wins.
Adam Ottavino, COL: 4 Holds, 1.93 ERA, 8 K, 3 BB
Pedro Strop, CHC: 4 Holds, 4.91 ERA, 5 K, 4 BB
Brad Brach, BAL: 3 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 5 K, 3 BB
Carlos Estevez, COL: 3 Holds, 1.80 ERA, 5 K, 1 BB
Koda Glover, WSH: 3 Holds, 2.45 ERA, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 SV
Heath Hembree, BOS: 3 Holds, 3.60 ERA, 5 K, 2 BB
Daniel Hudson, PIT: 3 Holds, 5.40 ERA, 5 K, 2 BB
Filipe Rivero, PIT: 3 Holds, 1.50 ERA, 5 K, 0 BB
Kyle Ryan, DET: 3 Holds, 2.45 ERA, 0 K, 3 BB
Ryan Buchter, SD: 2 Holds, 4.91 ERA, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 SV
Tyler Clippard, NYY: 2 Holds, 2.08 ERA, 6 K, 0BB
Mike Dunn, COL: 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 8 K, 2 BB
Wil Harris, HOU: 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 3 K, 1 BB
Corey Knebel, MIL: 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 7 K, 1 BB
Michael Lorenzen, CIN: 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 W
Ryan Madson, OAK: 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 3 K, 1 BB
Hector Neris, PHI: 2 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 4 K, 1 BB
Matt Barnes, BOS: 1 Hold, 0.00 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB, 2 W
Kyle Barraclough, MIA: 1 Hold, 2.25 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB
Keep an eye on…
Joe Jimenez, RP, Detroit Tigers
The Tigers made a move Monday to bring up highly touted prospect Joe Jimenez. Considered to be the future closer for Detroit, last year between three levels of minors, he had a 1.51 ERA with a 78:17 K:BB ratio and 30 saves over 53.2 innings pitched. Jimenez will take the spot of Bruce Rondon, who was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. This year, the 22-year-old has allowed two hits, two walks and has three strikeouts in two innings.
Update: Joe Jimenez made his ninth inning debut Thursday in a loss against the Twins. He threw one inning and recorded a strikeout.
Tony Barnette, RP, Texas Rangers
Many, including myself, believed that Matt Bush would be the answer should the Rangers make a ninth inning change, which may not be so. While Matt Bush will likely not go on the DL with his shoulder problem, he has not been that effective to this point in the season. Neither have Jeremy Jeffress, and we all know Dyson’s problems.
Enter Tony Barnette. Last year in 53 appearances, Barnette had a 2.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a 49:16 K:BB ratio. This year he has posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 2:0 K:BB ratio in four appearances. While he isn’t the Rangers long term solution, he could have some good returns for teams who add him for the short term.
So there are your Week 3 Bullpen Briefs, and the pitchers to keep an eye on moving forward. Be sure and check back to get the low down on the next batch of relievers to snag.
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