Brad Johnson

Saves and Steals

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Chapman Reigns Again

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


A lot has happened in the last week. As expected, the Yankees have re-crowned Aroldis Chapman as their ninth inning savior. Meanwhile, Dellin Betances has allowed runs in four of his last six appearances. He's fallen out of favor while he recovers his command. The Yankees are trying to claw their way to the top of the AL East. They're four games behind the Red Sox. I'm sure they'd love to avoid the Wild Card game.

 

Elsewhere in the majors, Angels manager Mike Scioscia continues to intentionally spite fantasy owners by refusing to stick with a closer. Scioscia-run teams have been a fantasy headache forever. Marlins closer Brad Ziegler is dealing with a sore back, opening the door for Kyle Barraclough. A high pitch count for Barraclough forced Miami to reach even deeper into the bullpen too. Kelvin Herrera is out in Kansas City due to a mix of poor performance and injury. As I warned last week, Juan Nicasio appears to have ousted Tyler Lyons and friends in St. Louis.

 

Alex Colome remains the saves leader with 44. Greg Holland (40) and Kenley Jansen (37) round out the top three. Corey Knebel and Holland had the most saves in the last week – three apiece. Over in stolen base land, Billy Hamilton leads with 58 swipes, followed by Dee Gordon (52) and Trea Turner (39). Alas, Hamilton is done for the season. Injuries have consistently prevented Hamilton from winning the stolen base crown. Gordon has just enough time to catch up. Five runners tied for the weekly lead with three steals – Eduardo Nunez, Tim Anderson, Gordon, Phillip Ervin, and Jose Peraza. Ervin and Anderson are good waiver wire targets.

 

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Tier 1: The Gods (2)

 

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox

 

Jansen allowed a solo home run while protecting a 4-5 deficit. It was a costly run. The Dodgers wound up losing 5-6. He rebounded Tuesday night with a four-out save. Kimbrel struck out the side in his only appearance.

 

Tier 2: The Elite (8)

 

Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees

Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers

Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs

Felipe Rivero, Pittsburgh Pirates

Ken Giles, Houston Astros

Brad Hand, San Diego Padres

Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays

 

Allen had a typically superb week including another save today. Andrew Miller is expected to return to action tomorrow.

 

Chapman has returned to closing duties. I'm prepared to forgive and forget. He has three straight perfect appearances and hasn't walked a batter in six outings. During his slump, he walked six batters in 5.2 innings.

 

Knebel allowed a solo home run in a meaningless game last Wednesday. It was his first run since mid-July. He recovered with three easy saves and six strikeouts.

 

I find that I never have anything to say about Davis. He had another ho-hum week, picking up a save in two scoreless appearances.

 

The Athletics dinged Giles for a blown save loss on Friday. He locked down a clean save last night. Hand nabbed two saves and three strikeouts in two innings. He had to work around a few base runners.

 

Osuna missed the week with a stiff neck and paternity leave. He should return to action soon. Ryan Tepera has temporarily moved up from setup duties.

 

Tier 3: The Core Performers (4)

 

Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners

Alex Colome, Tampa Bay Rays

 

Once again, I feel compelled to point out that these guys have a lot more in common with the second tier than the fourth tier.

 

Iglesias converted his only opportunity, a two-inning appearance. Doolittle picked up two saves early in the week and hasn't appeared since then. Ryan Madson was used in a save situation on Sunday. I worry Doolittle's shoulder could be acting up. That's just my speculation.

 

Diaz was saddled with a blown save loss last Wednesday. He's seemingly homer prone – not exactly an ideal trait for a closer. He picked up a save on Friday. Colome tossed a pair of perfect innings. He would rate higher, but I'm still concerned by his peripherals. Frequently thrown sliders (or cutters if you prefer) can only solve so much.

 


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Brad Johnson is a baseball writer for Rotoworld, FanGraphs, The Hardball Times, MLBTradeRumors and The Fake Baseball. He can be found on Twitter @BaseballATeam.
Email :Brad Johnson



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