Brad Johnson

Saves and Steals

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The Final Sprint

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Last week we discussed the burgeoning opportunity for Mets reliever Jeurys Familia. He has now officially wrested the role from A.J. Ramos. As it turns out, Ramos is dealing with biceps tendinitis. He'll probably miss the rest of the season. Familia is only owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues. There's a chance he can supply you with much needed last minute saves. If Familia is taken, look for Brad Brach or some of the Tier 5 closers.

 

With five games left in the season, the stolen base crown is up for grabs. Billy Hamilton recently returned to action. He has 58 steals. Dee Gordon trails with 56 swipes. The Reds finish out with the stolen base prone Brewers and Cubs. Miami will host the Braves for a four game set. Julio Teheran is particular prone to thefts. Alas, there is less tension in the battle for saves. Alex Colome has already clinched the top saves total. Greg Holland trails Colome by five saves – and Holland only has four games remaining.

 

Tier 1: The Gods (2)

 

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox

 

Jansen and Kimbrel both recorded two saves this week. Jansen allowed a solo home run while protecting a three run lead. Overall, Jansen has 40 saves with a 1.36 ERA, 14.32 K/9, and 0.95 BB/9. Kimbrel netted 35 saves to go with a 1.34 ERA, 16.39 K/9 and 1.88 BB/9. Yep, these guys were something special this season.

 

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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

 

Our elite tier had a shaky week. First, let's get the easy ones out of the way. Despite ranking at the bottom of this section, Giles, Hand, and Osuna each locked down a save while holding their opponents scoreless. Giles only pitched once while the other pair had two outings apiece. Chapman's only appearance – a scoreless inning – was in a non-save situation.

 

Allen surrendered a two-run home run in a loss on Friday before recovering for a save on Sunday. Davis tallied a win on Thursday and a loss on Saturday. Both times, he pitched more than one inning.

 

Knebel was also handed a loss on Friday. He was done in by walks, a potential issue I highlighted earlier in the year. Fear not, his 38 saves, 1.58 ERA, 14.84 K/9, and 4.86 BB/9 are a near match for the Tier 1 folks. Knebel bounced back with a save last night.

 

Rivero jumped on the blown save bandwagon last Friday, earning himself a loss. Sunday proved to be a day for redemption. He picked up a perfect save.

 

Tier 3: The Core Performers (5)

 

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners

Alex Colome, Tampa Bay Rays

Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds

Jeurys Familia, New York Mets

 

Two more saves for Doolittle. He's up to 24 in just over a half season of work as a closer. Diaz also had a tidy week, earning a win and a save in three scoreless innings. Colome faced one hitter, and he retired him. It was enough to earn an easy save.

 

It's possible Iglesias is wearing down. After all, he was moved to the bullpen specifically because the Reds didn't think he was durable. On Thursday, the righty allowed a couple runs while attempting to defend a 5-6 deficit. He was saddled with the loss on Sunday while allowing another two runs. He's now surrendered five runs in his last three appearances.

 

Familia was busy in a successful return to the closer role. He pitched four times for a total of 3.1 innings. He tabbed two saves and win. One of the saves cut it rather fine – he allowed two runs (one earned) while defending a three run lead. More importantly, his velocity continues to sit in his typical 95 to 96 mph range.

 


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You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoBaller. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.
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