The Reds' ace tosses another shutout, the Mets use a brand-new starter for the second straight day, plus other recaps and previews for the weekend.
The Thursday Takeaway
The Padres and Reds played two on Thursday, with the first matchup pitting Johnny Cueto and Ian Kennedy against each other in a matchup between baseball's ERA leader and its FRA leader.
Nick Bacarella mentioned in yesterday's WYNTK that Cueto entered Thursday as the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela to start a season with eight starts of at least seven innings pitched while allowing two or fewer runs. That streak continued after Cueto tossed his second shutout of the season on Thursday, and he is now the first starting pitcher since 1914 to start a season with nine such starts.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
We're just one week into the season, and a host of teams already have ninth-inning concerns.
Reliever volatility is not a new concept. We’re all used to the closer carousel that sustains itself on poor performance and injury as it turns throughout the season. What happened this week, however, bordered on a league-wide implosion of closers. Let’s take a look at who is left standing after the week that was.
The next wave of talented Twins players is on its way, and in many circles, these names are more well known than several players on Minnesota’s current roster. There’s good reason for that, as many players on the projected Twins 2013 roster— especially on the pitching side—are pretty uninspiring from a fantasy point of view.
With less than two weeks left until the trade deadline, multiple closers could be on the move, potentially allowing newcomers to step into their shoes. Find more on that and the latest rankings within.
Welcome to another installment of The Bullpen Report. As a reminder, closers are rated in five tiers from best to worst. The tiers are a combination of my opinion of a pitcher’s ability, the likelihood that he will pick up saves, and his security in the job. For example, a pitcher in the third tier might have better skills than a pitcher in the second tier, but if the third-tier pitcher is new to the job or has blown a couple of saves in the last week this factors into the ranking as well.
The Minnesota and Milwaukee bullpens are examined in this week's Reaper.
Glen Perkins| Twins Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): No Deep (90 Keepers): Fringe AL-only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
Twins lefty Glen Perkins isn’t one of the first closers who comes to mind when thinking of keeper candidates, but he probably should be. After bouncing between the bullpen and rotation during his first few seasons in the majors, Perkins has settled in nicely as a high-leverage reliever over the past couple years. He got a shot at closing in 2012 and, in news that could only draw the attention of dorks, by season’s end had eventually earned the confidence of his manager and GM to be the team’s long-term answer in the ninth inning.
Glen Perkins and Greg Holland make their VP bid this week.
I had such high hopes for Pirates swing man Brad Lincoln (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 2%, CBS 9%), but his past three outings have been starts, and the results have been ugly: 11 2/3 innings, 13 earned runs, 10 strikeouts, 23 hits (!), and four walks. It’s time for the Bucs to mercy-kill this experiment and return Lincoln to his rightful place as their long reliever. He’ll serve the team—and fantasy owners—far better in that role.
Mike looks at the shaky situation in Minnesota and welcomes two high strikeout setup men to VP.
I spent my holiday weekend in the middle of the country, mainly driving from Ohio through Indiana to southern Illinois. If nothing else, I learned this: 80 percent of radio stations in that part of the country are, at any given time, carrying a St. Louis Cardinals game.Nothing at all wrong with that.