Another week, another San Diego closer.
Luke Gregerson saved back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday, extending his scoreless innings streak to a ridiculous 23.0 frames. Gregerson last allowed a run, earned or unearned, on July 3. Over the past eight weeks, he's given up just 13 hits and three walks while striking out 22 batters. Again: Ridiculous.
Dale Thayer initially inherited closing duties when Huston Street (calf strain) hit the 15-day DL, but he blew a save last Tuesday, then hit the paternity list while attending the birth of his third child. (Wish I could report that all of his kids were named "Dale" or "Daletta," but no). Upon rejoining the Pads, Thayer was slotted in the eighth, leaving the final frame for Gregerson, baseball's hottest reliever.
Street is working his way back and may log a few rehab innings in the days ahead, so Gregerson's stint as interim closer may not last long. Enjoy the flawless saves while they're available, gamers.
(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, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla
29. Milwaukee — John Axford, Kameron Loe
28. Boston — Andrew Bailey, Alfredo Aceves, Mark Melancon
27. Minnesota — Glen Perkins, Jared Burton
26. New York Mets — Frank Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch
25. Houston — Wilton Lopez, Wesley Wright
24. San Diego — Luke Gregerson, Dale Thayer
23. Oakland — Grant Balfour, Ryan Cook
22. Miami — Steve Cishek, Heath Bell
21. Chicago Cubs — Carlos Marmol, Shawn Camp, James Russell
20. Los Angeles Angels — Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs
19. Kansas City — Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera
18. Chicago White Sox — Addison Reed, Brett Myers, Matt Thornton
17. Washington — Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Sean Burnett
16. Seattle — Tom Wilhelmsen, Lucas Luetge, Charlie Furbush
15. Toronto — Casey Janssen, Darren Oliver
14. Detroit — Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit
13. Cleveland — Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano
12. St. Louis — Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs
11. Texas — Joe Nathan, Mike Adams
10. Arizona — JJ Putz, David Hernandez
9. Colorado — Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle
8. Baltimore — Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop
7. New York Yankees — Rafael Soriano, David Robertson
6. Pittsburgh — Joel Hanrahan, Jason Grilli
5. Tampa Bay — Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth
4. Cincinnati — Aroldis Chapman, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton
3. Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen, Ronald Belisario
2. Philadelphia — Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Lindblom
1. Atlanta — Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters
• Andrew Bailey took the ninth on Monday, albeit with a four-run lead. Mark Melancon earned a save for Boston the day before, while Alfredo Aceves was in timeout (for conduct detrimental to his disaster of a team. Good job, good effort, Bobby V). There's a fair chance that Bailey will pick up more save chances moving forward — he was originally acquired to fill that role — so do what needs to be done.
• Matt Belisle got himself a rogue save in a 10-0 Colorado win on Monday, but it was not an actionable event. No need to jump on Belisle. Sometimes a 7-run inning messes with a closer's save chance. Move along.
• Atlanta's Jonny Venters hasn't allowed a run since the all-star break, dropping his ERA from 4.45 to a perfectly respectable 3.22 over the past six weeks. Walks remain a small issue, but no one's hitting him. Unfortunately he's only recorded one hold since the break, so I can't necessarily recommend him to those of you who chase that category.
• Left-hader Javier Lopez has earned three of the last four saves for the Giants, with right-hander Sergio Romo collecting the other. It's a match-up thing right now. I'm rolling out both of these guys in the Friends & Family League these days (not that you care), and it really hasn't been too painful. Try it. You might like it.
• It's never easy with John Axford. He needed a Kameron Loe bailout in his last save opportunity, and hasn't pitched since. "A mild setback," he called it. And still, you have to own him.