Eno Sarris

Saves and Steals

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Soria Back So Soon?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tier 5: Rollercoaster rides (7) (AKA: The "Doug Davis" Tier.)

1st Chair: Fernando Salas, 2nd Chair: Eduardo Sanchez, St. Louis Cardinals
1st Chair: Ryan Madson, 2nd Chair: Jose Contreras, Philadelphia Phillies
1st Chair: Joakim Soria, 2nd Chair: Aaron Crow, Kansas City Royals
1st Chair: Kevin Gregg, 2nd Chair: Koji Uehara, Baltimore Orioles
1st Chair: Mark Melancon, 2nd Chair: Wilton Lopez, Houston Astros
1st Chair: Jon Rauch, 2nd Chair: Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays
1st Chair: Javy Guerra, 2nd Chair: Matt Guerrier, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Doug Davis! Davis has been useful to teams as a journeyman innings-eater, but he didn't eat many innings in his first attempt at the league. In fact, he only got seven outs, and in the process gave up ten runs on three home runs. Ug.

  • Fernando Salas blew his first save of the season right as we were ready to promote him. Then he gave up a run in two innings Tuesday night, but got the save. Neither appearance was terrible, so he'll probably move up next week. The same could be said for Ryan Madson, who is only where he is because of the imminent return of Brad Lidge. Any more updates about Lidge throwing slower than 90 on the gun, though, and Madson zooms up our list.

  • That was fast. Joakim Soria is apparently back in the closer's chair, only a week after losing it. In the meantime, he's pitched five clean innings and has been declared fit for duty. The strange thing is that he only struck out one batter in those five innings, and none of his velocity readings recovered. This saga is not over, and Aaron Crow may close again this year, wether from injury or trade.

  • Maybe Kevin Gregg heard us talking crap. In the last week, he saved three straight with five strikeouts against no walks. That kind of work will help him keep his job. Not the three previous innings where he struck out one against six walks. Unfortunately, Frank Francisco has not yet heard us talking trash. He pitched in a non-save situation Monday (and gave up a run and got the loss), and then Jon Rauch got the save Tuesday. It's not *quite* time to drop Francisco, but that time approaches rapidly.

  • Unfortunately for Mark Melancon, Brandon Lyon is nearing a return. Unfortunately for Brandon Lyon, Mark Melancon has pitched better than him this year. In the last week, M&M struck out seven and walked two while getting two saves. It's the kind of strikeout rate that Lyon can't usually muster, especially not when recovering from rotator cuff issues.

  • Another tea leaves update for Los Angeles! Tuesday, Matt Guerrier pitched the seventh inning in a close game, meaning his manager was not saving him for the save. By the time that ninth rolled around, Javy Guerra was pitching with a lead too large to get the save. But he did pitch the ninth, and the other best pitcher in the pen, Rubby De La Rosa, started the game. It might be more more and more likely that the Dodgers' closer for the rest of the year is on the disabled list right now. That should narrow it down… a little.

  • * * * * * * * * * *


    David Aardsma, Seattle Mariners (elbow)
    Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies (shoulder)
    Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers (elbow)
    Brandon Lyon, Houston Astros (shoulder)
    Vicente Padilla, Los Angeles Dodgers (forearm/neck)
    Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins (elbow)

  • David Aardsma doesn't have news-news, but he does have news about news. He'll check in with doctors sometime in the next two weeks to see if he can still avoid Tommy John surgery.

  • Brad Lidge had a flareup in his elbow but the Phillies doctor declared it normal and said no serious damage was found in the elbow. He still has a little ways to go. Jonathan Broxton is closer to returning, as he threw a bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled for another on Thursday. Both might actually close when they return, as unbelievable as that may sound right now. Vicente Padilla could also close in Los Angeles, now that his forearm is healed, but he's having trouble with his bulging disk in his neck now. It's an old injury, and there's no timetable yet.

  • Hopefully, the same can't be said about Brandon Lyon. He did toss a perfect inning Tuesday, and he is on track to return this week, but he isn't really a better pitcher than Mark Melancon. Still, he should be owned just in case his team decides to keep running him out there.

  • The Deposed:
    Fernando Rodney, Los Angeles
    Joe Nathan, Minnesota
    Ryan Franklin, St. Louis

  • Joe Nathan has not yet resumed throwing. Ryan Franklin is back in the dog-house. Will Frank Francisco officially join this group soon?

  • * * * * * * * * * *

    The Steals Department

  • Dee Gordon is fast. Dee Gordon has a famous father in Tom Gordon. Dee Gordon is now the starting shortstop for the Dodgers. Dee Gordon collected three hits and a steal in his first game. Dee Gordon has plenty of people excited. But Dee Gordon should also have you apprehensive. Because Dee Gordon has absolutely no power. And Dee Gordon has very little patience. Meaning Dee Gordon will have to rack up the singles and the steals to be worth it. That means Dee Gordon's value is completely dependent on the bounce of the batted ball. So be very careful when you decide whom to drop for Dee Gordon. In conclusion, Dee Gordon.

  • Brent Lillibridge also has his flaws. He's striking out a little too much to keep his batting average this nice, and though he's showing great power right now, he hasn't before. The former infielder is now a center-fielder-slash-right-fielder, and the team is having some trouble getting Alex Rios going. If you can handle some poor batting average days in the future, though, Lillibridge should at the very least continue playing against lefties. His splits against southpaws throughout the years have been better. In the deepest of leagues, he's not a bad bench spot for a little power and a little speed.

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    Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
    Email :Eno Sarris

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