Uh-oh. Reds closer Aroldis Chapman has delivered back-to-back rocky outings, his latest a three-walk appearance against the Bucs in which he threw only seven of his 23 pitches for strikes. His fastball velocity has dipped a few ticks, too, as he failed to reach triple-digits in the Pittsburgh clunker. Following the game, manager Dusty Baker expressed concern, understandably.
This from MLB.com:
"Yeah, because his velocity was down. He didn't have any pain. He might be a little tired. We might have to rest him for a while here. He was analyzed by a doctor. The doctor said his shoulder is fatigued. We've got to take care of him."
Chapman is still hitting 97 mph on the radar, so it's not as if his velocity has completely collapsed. (You know a guy has a live arm when 94-97 mph is a red flag). But it sounds as if perhaps Jonathan Broxton could get a few save chances in the days ahead, if indeed the team decides that rest is in order for Chapman. The Reds are obviously going to need the 100-plus version of Chapman in October, not this fatigued imposter.
(Quick note about the "ranks" below: The primary purpose of this feature has always been examine bullpen hierarchies while also tracking job security. That's all. That's what we do here. This is NOT a Shuffle Up of major league closers or bullpens. Please accept our sincere apologies if you feel that one of your team's RPs has been disrespected).
Job Security Index
30. San Francisco — Sergio Romo & Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla
29. Los Angeles Dodgers — Brandon League, Ronald Belisario
28. New York Mets — Frank Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch
27. Boston — Andrew Bailey, Vicente Padilla, Mark Melancon
26. Chicago White Sox — Addison Reed, Brett Myers, Matt Thornton
25. Houston — Wilton Lopez, Wesley Wright
24. San Diego — Luke Gregerson, Dale Thayer
23. Milwaukee — John Axford, Jim Henderson, Francisco Rodriguez
22. Minnesota — Glen Perkins, Jared Burton
21. Oakland — Grant Balfour, Ryan Cook
20. Miami — Steve Cishek, Heath Bell
19. Washington — Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen
18. Chicago Cubs — Carlos Marmol, Shawn Camp, James Russell
17. Cincinnati — Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall
16. Kansas City — Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera
15. Los Angeles Angels — Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs
14. Seattle — Tom Wilhelmsen, Josh Kinney, Charlie Furbush
13. Toronto — Casey Janssen, Darren Oliver
12. Arizona — JJ Putz, David Hernandez
11. Detroit — Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit
10. Cleveland — Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano
9. St. Louis — Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Edward Mujica
8. Colorado — Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle
7. Baltimore — Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop
6. New York Yankees — Rafael Soriano, David Robertson
5. Pittsburgh — Joel Hanrahan, Jason Grilli
4. Texas — Joe Nathan, Mike Adams
3. Tampa Bay — Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth
2. Philadelphia — Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, Josh Lindblom
1. Atlanta — Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters
• OK, here's the usual Huston Street update, which I could probably just cut-and-paste from last week: His arm is fine. The calf is the thing. He'll apparently test the injury on Wednesday in a simulated game, then the Pads will decide how to treat their closer. The team has an off-day on Thursday, then they open a three-game weekend clash with the Rockies.
• Monday's rogue save by Antonio Bastardo is nothing to fret about, Papelbon owners. Your guy appeared in both ends of a double-header the day before, earning a win and a save. Leave Bastardo alone. Nothing to see here. Move along.
• Addison Reed finally delivered a clean inning on Monday, his first since … I dunno … maybe Little League. Maybe Pony. Not sure, but it's been a long damn time. Of course it was a non-save situation and he K'd no one, but any clean frame from Reed is a positive sign.
• Welcome back to holds league relevance, Pat Neshek. Check the ratios that Neshek has delivered over his 13.2 innings pitched: 0.66 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 9.22 K/9.