2014 NL East bullpen preview

March 11, 2014

Atlanta Braves - Craig Kimbrel has been a dominant force for the Braves over the last three years, and Atlanta still has plenty of quality arms surrounding him. Jordan Walden, a competent closer in his own right for the Angels in 2011, should be Kimbrel’s right-hand man, with David Carpenter and lefty Luis Avilan providing valuable late-inning help. Jonny Venters isn’t expected to return from his Tommy John rehab until May or June. Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Craig Kimbrel; Set-up — Jordan Walden; 2nd in line — David Carpenter.

. Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . 2014 Closer . Updated
ATL Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden David Carpenter Craig Kimbrel 3/11/14

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Miami Marlins - Steve Cishek pitched admirably down the stretch for a lousy team, and he’ll open 2014 in the closer role. A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn are the only other sure things in the Fish pen — unless you count the incorrigible Carlos Marmol. We don’t. Mike Redmond isn’t yet sold on Carter Capps, but the ex-Mariner could work his way into a high-leverage role on the other side of the wavesStarting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Steve Cishek; Set-up — A.J. Ramos; 2nd in line — Mike Dunn.

. Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . 2014 Closer . Updated
MIA Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn Steve Cishek 3/11/14

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New York Mets - Pencil a healthy Bobby Parnell into the closer’s role, but after that, things get messy in Flushing. Young Vic Black received a vote of confidence at the end of 2013, but in the offseason, the team signed two aging ex-closers: Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth. Neither veteran is a lock to make the roster out of spring training, but with Terry Collins’s affinity for experience in the late innings, we see Valverde and Francisco with an (undeserved) edge over Black and Gonzalez Germen. Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Bobby Parnell; Set-up — Kyle Farnsworth; 2nd in line — Jose Valverde.

. Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . 2014 Closer . Updated
NYM Bobby Parnell Kyle Farnsworth Jose Valverde Bobby Parnell 3/11/14

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Philadelphia Phillies – This pen will go from bottom-five to top-five if Jonathan Papelbon is to be believed. On Thursday, Mike Adams will face hitters for the first time since his shoulder surgery, and Antonio Bastardo is coming off a 50-game PED suspension, so if the Phils are to see drastic improvement, it will have to start with the likes of B.J. Rosenberg, Justin De Fratus, and Jake Diekman. Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Jonathan Papelbon; Set-up — B.J. Rosenberg (Mike Adams injured); 2nd in line — Justin De Fratus.

. Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . 2014 Closer . Updated
PHI Jonathan Papelbon B.J. Rosenberg Justin De Fratus Jonathan Papelbon 3/11/14
Mike Adams (DL)

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Washington Nationals – The Nats enjoy the rare luxury of bringing back every member of an unchanged hierarchy. Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer — Rafael Soriano; Set-up — Tyler Clippard; 2nd in line — Drew Storen.

. Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . 2014 Closer . Updated
WAS Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Rafael Soriano 3/11/14

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