Bullpen Report 9.7.17 September 7, 2017  |  Justin Klein

Tyler Lyons nailed down the save for the Cardinals on Wednesday night as he allowed two singles to start the frame before inducing two strikeouts and a fly out. It was Lyons’ second save of the season and even if he’s a southpaw he seems to be locked into what appears to be a closer committee in St. Louis. It’s unclear if Lyons or another member of the committee will lead the Cardinals in saves the rest of the season, but to his credit Tyler has posted a solid 2.53 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 55:16 K:BB ratio across 46 and 1/3 innings pitched this season. His most impressive stat is probably his .204 batting average against and that comes on the heels of a .205 BAA across 48 innings pitched in 2016. Currently available in 90% of Yahoo leagues Lyons is a solid add in nearly every format regardless of size or scoring. Heck, he even has 12 holds to boot. Meanwhile Seung Hwan Oh blew a save in his last outing as he allowed a hit without recording an out. It’s interesting to note that Oh was taken out for Ryan Sherriff, who then promptly lost the game. It just goes to show the lack of confidence in Oh in spite of the fact that he notched the save for St. Louis on August 31st and that he’s posted 20 of them against just four blown saves this season. To be fair Oh has allowed a .286 BAA this season after notching a .190 mark last year and his ERA has jumped from 1.92 to 3.74 and his WHIP from 0.92 to 1.39. Seeing as how Carlos Martinez can’t pitch complete games every day someone is going to have to save games for the Cardinals and it looks like these two men will get most of the chances the rest of the way. If I had to guess I would say that Tyler would get the majority of opportunities because he’s been the much better pitcher this season, but you just never know with Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny. Sometime the numbers or even logic evades him so it’s hard to predict what he’s going to do. Further muddying the waters is dark horse saves candidate Juan Nicasio who was recently traded from Philadelphia after the Pirates cut him and he was claimed by the Phillies on waivers. Nicasio has had an excellent season as he’s posted a 2.79 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 61:18 K:BB ratio across 60 innings pitched with a BAA of just .218. While Nicasio has just two saves this season, and those came with Pittsburgh, he is a right handed reliever and almost all managers prefer a right handed closer to a southpaw like Lyons. If you’d like to speculate on Nicasio you can go out and scoop him up for free in 91% of Yahoo leagues. If I had to bet on a guy I would bet on Lyons, but you never can tell with Mike Matheny. Go and pick up Tyler if you can and grab one of the other guys if you are in need of saves and Lyons is already owned.

Brad Ziegler is still the Marlins closer and yet he’s still available in 51% of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues. While he hasn’t had a save since August 25th he did record five of them in a week long period from the 18th to the 25th. Since then Ziegler has pitched four times and produced three clean outings while taking a loss when he allowed two earned runs on two hits and a walk in the other. In Brad’s defense he can only save games where Miami is ahead by one to three runs and there just haven’t been many of those lately. Despite the one bad outing, the only one in his past ten where he’s allowed more than one hit and any earned runs mind you, more than half of you Yahooligans can go and pick him up for free off of the waiver wire right now. In almost every format you should do so if possible. Ziegler isn’t a world beater, he doesn’t strikeout many, has allowed a WHIP over 1.50 this season while allowing a batting average against of .301. That said he’s a closer and saves are saves. The next man up, Kyle Barraclough, has had a fine season, but just allowed a run himself in a 2-1 loss to the Nationals. He’s been solid, but not nearly as dominant as he was last season. If Ziegler were to blow another save Barraclough would likely get the next chance. If you’d like to speculate on Kyle you can go and pick him up in 84% of Yahoo leagues. There’s only about three weeks left of the season, but every save counts in that bid for a fantasy title.

Scott Alexander has recorded a couple of saves and a win for the Royals over the past week while Kelvin Herrera was sidelined with an injury and Brandon Maurer was busy getting shelled like England in World War II. Currently available in 92% of Yahoo leagues he’s the smartest handcuff to Herrera for my money and has been useful in the ratios department with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP this season while notching six holds and a BAA of just .239. Over his last 10 outings Scott has allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out seven and not allowing any runs earned or unearned. That’s important, because he’s the hot hand and it’s highly likely Ned Yost prefers that to logic or data or tangible evidence. His hot hand is however his left hand and as I stated above most managers prefer a northpaw to a southpaw in the closer role. Ned Yost certainly isn’t like most managers though for whatever that’s worth. Kelvin Herrera has now returned to the Royals and is presumably back in the closing role, but we don’t know for sure because he hasn’t pitched since September 1st. Apparently available since the 5th we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m holding my Alexander shares for now unless of course Tyler Lyons is available. If you grabbed Brandon Maurer in speculation you were likely gifted with a clean save on the 3rd only to have your ratios destroyed on the 4th. If Herrera isn’t actually healthy Maurer could receive some more save chances, but Alexander might get the first crack at them and we really don’t know because of the unpredictability of Manger Ned Yost. Maybe if Herrera weren’t really healthy and back the Royals would play matchups with the LHP and RHP, but that’s probably too smart of an assumption. If you’re desperate for saves Maurer is available in 57% of Yahoo leagues, but with any speculative saves you’d also be getting his 6.14 ERA and 1.46 WHIP so those potential saves probably aren’t worth the damage to your ratios. And last but not least, if Herrera is in fact healthy and back closing as a result you can feel free to move on from Alexander in all but the deepest of leagues and holds leagues.

Without further ado, I give you the almighty closer chart; kneel before thee:

LA Dodgers Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez
& Brandon Morrow
Boston Red Sox Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes & Heath Hembree Tyler Thornburg
& Carson Smith
Chicago Cubs Wade Davis Koji Uehara
& Carl Edwards Jr
Pittsburgh Pirates Felipe Rivero
Juan Nicasio & Daniel Hudson
Cincinnati Reds Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen
& Drew Storen
New York Yankees Dellin Betances
David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman & Tommy Kahnle
San Diego Padres Brad Hand Phil Maton & Kirby Yates Carter Capps
Milwaukee Brewers Corey Knebel
Jacob Barnes & Carlos Torres
Houston Astros Ken Giles Luke Gregerson
& Chris Devenski
Seattle Mariners Edwin Diaz
Nick Vincent & Emilio Pagan
Cleveland Indians Cody Allen Bryan Shaw Andrew Miller
Washington Nationals Sean Doolittle
Brandon Kintzler & Matt Albers
Arizona Diamondbacks Fernando Rodney
Archie Bradley & Jorge DeLaRosa
Toronto Blue Jays Roberto Osuna
Ryan Tepara & Danny Barnes
Tampa Bay Rays Alex Colome Tommy Hunter
& Brad Boxberger
Philadelphia Phillies Hector Neris
Detroit Tigers Shane Greene Alex Wilson & Joe Jimenez
Colorado Rockies Greg Holland
Jake McGee, Adam Ottavino & Pat Neshek
Atlanta Braves Arodys Vizcaino
Jim Johnson & Jose Ramirez
New York Mets AJ Ramos
Hansel Robles & Fernando Salas
Baltimore Orioles Zach Britton
Brad Brach & Darren O’Day
Oakland Athletics Blake Treinen Santiago Casilla
& Liam Hendricks
KC Royals Kelvin Herrera
Scott Alexander & Brandon Maurer
St Louis Cardinals Seung hwan Oh, Tyler Lyons & Juan Nicasio John Brebbia & Matt Bowman Trevor Rosenthal
Texas Rangers Alex Caludio Jason Grilli & Jose Leclerc
Matt Bush & Keone Kela
Minnesota Twins Matt Belisle Taylor Rodgers
& Trevor Hildenberger
LA Angels of Anaheim Cam Bedrosian, Yusmeiro Petit, Blake Parker & Kenyan Middleton Bud Norris
SF Giants Sam Dyson
Hunter Strickland & Mark Melancon
Miami Marlins Brad Ziegler
Kyle Barraclough & Junichi Tazawa
Chicago White Sox Juan Minaya Gregory Infante
& Jake Petricka
Nate Jones
updated: 9/7/17

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