Blackhawks

Relief Pitcher Rankings

Relief Pitcher Rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com Contributor

The following pitchers are ranked assuming a 5x5 format (wins, saves, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts).

1. Craig Kimbrel, Braves
2. Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
NOTE: A shame Manuel doesn't use him right.
3. Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
4. Fernando Rodney, Rays
NOTE: Too late to turn back now.
5. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
6. Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
7. Jim Johnson, Orioles
8. Joe Nathan, Rangers
NOTE: Nice discount buy for Texas.
9. Jason Motte, Cardinals
NOTE: Fastball still straight but he's fine.
10. Chris Perez, Indians
11. Rafael Soriano, Yankees
12. Ryan Cook, Athletics
13. Ernesto Frieri, Angels
NOTE: Absolutely unhittable, but has to share a little with Downs.
14. Casey Janssen, Blue Jays
NOTE: Santos unlikely to get job back.
15. Tyler Clippard, Nationals
NOTE: Took the gig and ran with it.
16. Huston Street, Padres
NOTE: Is there a trade market?
17. Santiago Casilla, Giants
18. Tom Wilhelmsen, Mariners
NOTE: The former bartender always closes.
19. Jose Valverde, Tigers
20. Jonathan Broxton, Royals
21. Rafael Betancourt, Rockies
NOTE: Another possible trade chip.
22. Addison Reed, White Sox
NOTE: Took a while but he's established now.
23. J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks
24. John Axford, Brewers
25. Frank Francisco, Mets
26. Carlos Marmol, Cubs
NOTE: Don't think, just throw.
27. Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox
28. Scott Downs, Angels
29. Brett Myers, Astros
NOTE: Can't see a bidding war for him.
30. Heath Bell, Marlins
31. Sergio Romo, Giants
32. Vinnie Pestano, Indians
33. Glen Perkins, Twins
34. Charlie Furbush, Mariners
NOTE: A set-up stud in Seattle.
35. Jared Burton, Twins
36. Drew Storen, Nationals
37. Bobby Parnell, Mets
38. Grant Balfour, Athletics
39. Sean Marshall, Reds
40. Tim Collins, Royals
41. Joaquin Benoit, Tigers
42. Matt Capps, Twins
43. David Hernandez, Diamondbacks
44. Andrew Bailey, Red Sox
NOTE: The injuries are part of the profile.
45. Aaron Crow, Royals
46. Mike Adams, Rangers
47. Wilton Lopez, Astros
48. Jason Grilli, Pirates
NOTE: He's finally put it all together.
49. Sean Burnett, Nationals
50. David Robertson, Yankees
51. Mitchell Boggs, Cardinals
52. Darren O'Day, Orioles
NOTE: The underrated character from Animal House.
53. Greg Holland, Royals
54. Jose Arredondo, Reds
55. Matt Belisle, Rockies
56. James Russell, Cubs
NOTE: Might close if they move Marmol.
57. Brandon League, Mariners
NOTE: Doubt he gets the job back.
58. Brandon Lyon, Astros
59. Craig Stammen, Nationals
60. Scott Atchison, Red Sox
61. Brayan Villarreal, Tigers
NOTE: Starting to earn Jim Leyland's trust.
62. Ronald Belisario, Dodgers
63. Jake McGee, Rays
64. Steve Cishek, Marlins
65. Robbie Ross, Rangers
66. Pedro Strop, Orioles
NOTE: Big fastball, could be future stopper.
67. Jerry Blevins, Athletics
68. Andrew Miller, Red Sox
69. Joel Peralta, Rays
70. Sean Doolittle, Athletics
71. Rex Brothers, Rockies
72. Jordan Walden, Angels
73. Kyle Farnsworth, Rays
74. Brad Ziegler, Diamondbacks
75. Octavio Dotel, Tigers
76. Jonny Venters, Braves
NOTE: Never chase last year's middle-relief superstar.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

(Reminder: Use #AskEdzo on social media and your questions may be answered by Eddie Olczyk, who will be in studio along with Adam Burish, Brian Campbell and Pat Boyle).

1. Another fast start coming?

The Blackhawks had one of their best starts of the season Wednesday in Tampa Bay, and the numbers favor Chicago to dictate the pace of play early again.

The Panthers are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the fewest goals scored in the first period (13), and have taken a lead into the second period only four times (3-1-0) in 21 games. They are 2-7-1 in the 10 games they've trailed after the opening frame.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are tied for fourth when it comes to first-period goals (22) — albeit, five of them came on Opening Night against Pittsburgh — but they are just 4-2-2 in eight games when leading after one period. In fact, they took a 2-0 lead into the second in their most recent game against the Lightning and lost in overtime 3-2.

So while a fast start could certainly be in the cards, the finish must also be there.

2. Take advantage on special teams.

The Panthers are one of two teams ranked among the bottom six in both power play percentage (26th at 16.0) and penalty kill percentage (30th at 73.2).

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are coming in hot in both areas. They're 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) on the man advantage in their last four games, and own the fourth-best penalty kill unit (84.8 percent).

This is the area to exploit for the Blackhawks going into the matchup, and it could decide the game.

3. Feed Lance Bouma!

In his seventh season, Bouma has faced every NHL team at least five times in his career, with the exception of Vegas (pointless in one game this season).

Bouma is not known for his offensive prowess (72 points in 325 career games), but it's a different story when he plays Florida.

In six career games against the Panthers, Bouma has one goal, six assists and a career-high plus-8 rating. That one goal also happens to be one of his six career game winners.

Florida is the only team Bouma is averaging at least a point-per-game against for his career, so you know what that means: Feed No. 17!

Is Steve Kerr trolling the Bulls?

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AP

Is Steve Kerr trolling the Bulls?

With Kevin Durant (ankle) and Draymond Green (rest) out, the Golden State Warriors had two starting forward positions open for Friday's game against the Bulls.

One of the two starters replacing them? Jordan Bell. Does his name ring one, too?

Selected by the Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Bell was eventually traded to the Warriors in exchange for cash considerations.

The Oregon product hasn't played much this season for the defending champs, averaging just 3.2 points and 8.3 minutes in 12 games, but he will make his first career start against ... his "former" team. Coincidence?

Warriors coach Steve Kerr (jokingly) explains why he's giving the 22-year-old rookie the nod in the lineup.

Prior to the game, Bell also had this to say about his trade:

Buckle up, Bulls fans. Lauri Markkanen vs. Jordan Bell Part II is coming your way too.