KRod to the Brewers

It’s time to buddy up with Jason Isringhausen (and Bobby Parnell)
Picture Credit: permanately scatterbrained

Run and grab Jason Isringhausen. He is owned in 6% of Y! leagues at the moment, but that will change with every minute that passes. When you’ve made the add in all your leagues come back for more Closer talk. Jump with me.

The Mets wanted no more of Francisco Rodriguez‘ contract so they banished him to the land of cheese and beer. A place where the people are more accepting to those who get drunk and fight their father-in-law. Both sides are happy. John Axford owners may not be happy though, here is Brewers GM Doug Melvin explaining the Closer situation in Milwaukee:

“We’re trying to get as many quality pitchers as we can for the last 2 ½ months of the season,” said Melvin. “We’re trying to get as much quality as we can. This gives us another quality arm in the bullpen. I talked to John and I told him not to worry about it. I told him roles will be dictated by games and by (manager) Ron (Roenicke). I couldn’t walk away from the chance to get a pitcher like Francisco and wish later I hadn’t let him get away. We’ve had some injuries in our bullpen, including (setup man Takashi) Saito, and if I let (Rodriguez) get away and somebody went down, I’d kick myself.”

Melvin said he wouldn’t worry about a closer controversy perhaps disturbing the chemistry of a close clubhouse and a team that is tied for first place in the National League Central Division. “John has done a good job for us and I still have confidence in him,” said Melvin. “I’m not going to get into (a possible controversy). This is just a chance to get a quality arm that’s not easy to get. It’s a matter of having two great pitchers at the back of our bullpen.”  [Journal Sentinel]

John Axford will certainly lose Save opportunities to KRod, how many is the question. Rodriguez has had some bad luck against Lefties (17% LD% vs .409 BABIP, 1.73 WHIP) and Axford has given up plenty of hits to both sides, but especially against Righties (.361 BABIP). He’s also walking more Right Handed Batters. Will this dictate how Roenicke manages the ninth inning? The Brewers will likely try to avoid KRod’s $17.5 million vesting option. He needs only 21 more games finished for that to kick in. This is a murky, wait-and-see situation.

Jason Isringhausen needs only seven more Saves to reach 300 for his career. Eat it Derek Jeter. Izzy’s numbers (WHIP/ERA) look pretty good this year (1.19/3.14), but the K/9 (6.59) and BB/9 (4.08) are nothing special. What Izzy is doing well is limiting Line Drives (11% LD%). Few Batted Balls are falling for Base Hits (.213 BABIP), he’s doing a good job of keeping hitters off balance.

If you’re desperate for Saves you should look into Bobby Parnell. He’s been pitching very well the past six weeks and chucks the fireball (96.7 mph) that Izzy lacks. The Strikeout rate (10.95 K/9) and Walk rate (3.28 BB/9) are better and he too has kept hitters off balance (16.7% LD%). The BABIP (.333) hasn’t quite followed the impressive LD%, but I wouldn’t hold that against him.

More Save speculating…

Joe Nathan (40%) will regain his status as team Closer eventually. The Twins will be sellers at some point and Matt Capps will likely find another place to call home. Lately Nathan has looked good on the mound… and he’s pitching well (lol that one was for Starbs). Joe isn’t walking batters and the velocity is coming back. It feels wrong to include Joe Nathan, but he’s available in 60% of Y! leagues.

Mike Adams (36%) is no secret, he’s been spectacular (0.71 WHIP, 1.32 ERA). We’re just waiting for the Padres to trade Heath Bell. Heath is willing to sign an extension with the Padres at a reduced cost, but the team hasn’t offered him a deal. He will be traded at some point.

I made the move for Octavio Dotel (2%) after Jon Rauch blew a Save, after Frank Francisco blew a Save. Octavio has been superb as of late and closed games for Pittsburgh last year. He could very well run away with the job in Toronto.

Koji Uehara (22%) may be the best reliever who isn’t closing games. Mike Adams and Johnny Venters enter the discussion as well, but they’re not blocked by the lowly Kevin Gregg. The man whose head was nearly sent into orbit by David Ortiz, Gregg, is a guy who has lost the Closer’s role many times, four years in a row if you’re counting at home. Koji is the man (11.70 K/9 vs 1.80 BB/9) and history is on his side. Like Mike Adams, Koji is so good he should be rostered even if he’s not getting Save opportunities.

Aroldis Chapman (39%) has entered interstellar overdrive since being recalled (15 K vs 2 BB in 8.2 IP). Coco Cordero has blown three Saves in his last four appearances, he allowed a Run or more in all four games. While Dusty Baker is a veteran-loving coach who will give Cordero plenty of rope to hang himself, it’s quite clear who is the better Pitcher.

Jose Veras (7%) is has been very good for Pittsburgh. His 44 K in 41.3 IP (1.09 WHIP, 2.61 ERA) are Closer worthy. Joel Hanrahan has some time left on his contract, but the Pirates could end up dealing him if the return package is good enough. Amazingly the Pirates are only one game back of Milwaukee and St. Louis for the NL Central lead. Veras may be a long shot to close games this season, but he’ll be helpful anyway.