I can think of no better time than Talk Like a Pirate Day to discuss Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan. For the past month, he's been a filthy bilge rat of a closer. A scurvy barnacle. A cod-faced, black-hearted weevil. Savvy?
Hanrahan has been unusually wild recently, issuing 13 walks over his last 12.0 innings. He went without a save for nearly a full month, from mid-August to mid-September, while the Pirates suffered through a brutal 6-18 stretch. When he finally got back to saving games this week, he uncorked this hilariously bad pitch, which Rod Barajas somehow blocked with his neck.
No member of the Pittsburgh 'pen is pitching lights-out at the moment, and Hanrahan has recorded two saves (sloppily) over the past five days. I'm not issuing any sort of alert here. Just complaining, because I have zero faith in Hanrahan at the moment. And he did me no favors in a key head-to-head match-up last week. Thus, I'm downgrading him in the meaningless ranking index below, out of anger. It's really my only tool to express displeasure.
As pirates say, "Aaaarrgh."
(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
29. Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Ronald Belisario
28. New York Mets — Frank Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch
27. Miami — Steve Cishek, Heath Bell
26. Boston — Andrew Bailey, Vicente Padilla, Craig Breslow
25. Chicago White Sox — Addison Reed, Matt Thornton, Brett Myers
24. Houston — Wilton Lopez, Wesley Wright
23. San Diego — Luke Gregerson, Dale Thayer
22. Milwaukee — John Axford, Jim Henderson, Francisco Rodriguez
21. Cincinnati — Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, Aroldis Chapman
20. Minnesota — Glen Perkins, Jared Burton
19. Oakland — Grant Balfour, Ryan Cook
18. Washington — Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen
17. Chicago Cubs — Carlos Marmol, Shawn Camp, James Russell
16. Detroit — Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit
15. Kansas City — Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera
14. Los Angeles Angels — Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs
13. Texas — Joe Nathan, Mike Adams
12. Pittsburgh — Joel Hanrahan, Jason Grilli
11. Toronto — Casey Janssen, Darren Oliver
10. Seattle — Tom Wilhelmsen, Josh Kinney, Charlie Furbush
9. Arizona — JJ Putz, David Hernandez
8. Cleveland — Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano
7. Colorado — Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle
6. St. Louis — Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Edward Mujica
5. Baltimore — Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop
4. New York Yankees — Rafael Soriano, David Robertson
3. Tampa Bay — Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth
2. Philadelphia — Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo
1. Atlanta — Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters
• Great news, Matt Capps fans: Your guy may actually pitch again this season. It presumably won't be in a critical late-inning situation, because Glen Perkins seems to have run away with his job. But still, he may pitch. That's something. The Twins aren't likely to pick up his $6 million option this offseason, so he'll need to find a new fan base to frighten.
• Kenley Jansen has been cleared to resume pitching, which is of course great news. Expect him to soon re-enter the ninth inning role in which he's thrived. You'll recall that Jansen plans to undergo a procedure this offseason to correct his recurring irregular heartbeat issues. He's been absolutely brilliant this season, striking out a ridiculous 86 batters over 56.2 innings, posting a WHIP of 0.88.
• Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to toss a bullpen session on Wednesday, which seems like good news. He last appeared in a game for the Reds on September 10, and he was awful (0.2 IP, 3 BB). Jonathan Broxton has picked up three saves in Chapman's absence, and the big fella hasn't allowed a run (earned or unearned) since August 21.
• Well, it just wouldn't feel like a proper Closer Report without a mention of the Pads' bullpen: Huston Street is expected to return from the DL any minute now, so prepare to activate. Luke Gregerson, thank you for your fine service.