Romo looks like Giants’ closer again while Mariot gets save for Phillies

September 25, 2016

San Francisco Giants – Sergio Romo converted his second straight save opportunity for the Giants.  Romo pitched a scoreless tenth inning, and was left in by Bruce Boche to face two lefty batters.  Boche had been playing match-ups in the later innings so the fact that Boche left him in there is enough for us to remove the asterisk.

Hierarchy remains: Romo | Law | Smith.

Houston Astros — Things keep getting worse for Ken Giles.  A day after one of his worst outings of the season, he was hit by a line drive during batting practice on Saturday.  X-rays came back negative and he has been diagnosed with a contusion.  However, manager A.J. Hinch said it wasn’t good.  If Giles is unable to go the rest of the season, Luke Gregerson would likely fill in as closer.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Gregerson | Harris.

Philadelphia Phillies — With Jeanmar Gomez getting a break from closing, Michael Mariot got the call in the ninth inning on Saturday.  He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced, and walked a couple batters, but was still able to convert the save chance.  Hector Neris pitched the eighth inning ahead of Mariot and gave up a run on a hit and two walks.  Neither pitcher was particularly impressive, so we will move Mariot ahead of Neris for now based on how manager Pete Mackanin used them yesterday.  Cue the bad Mariot jokes on twitter.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Mariot | Neris.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Kelvin Herrera picked up his twelfth save of the season on Saturday.  Wade Davis hadn’t pitched in a week so the Royals sent him out there in the eighth inning when they were down two and it didn’t look like there would be a need for the bottom of the ninth.  The Royals ended up scoring five runs in the top of the ninth and that left Herrera to pitch the bottom of the ninth.  Although Herrera has been great, Wade Davis is still the closer in Kansas City.

Hierarchy remains: Davis | Herrera | Soria.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Will Harris, Houston Astros – Ken Giles could be unavailable due to injury and Luke Gregerson has pitched in two straight and three of four.
2. Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies – Michael Mariot got the save yesterday but Neris could also get a shot at the end of this season.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line Updated Closer 1st in line 2nd in line Updated
BAL Britton Brach Givens 9/19/16 ATL Johnson Cabrera Simmons 9/24/16
BOS Kimbrel Uehara Ziegler 9/24/16 MIA Ramos Phelps Rodney 9/21/16
NYY Betances Clippard Warren 9/16/16 NYM Familia Reed Salas 9/24/16
TB Colome Cedeno Whitley 9/23/16 PHI *Gomez Mariot Neris 9/25/16
TOR Osuna Grilli Benoit 8/30/16 WAS Melancon Kelley Treinen 9/24/16
.                    
CHW Robertson Jones Jennings 9/5/16 CHC Chapman Rondon Strop 9/24/16
CLE Allen Miller Shaw 9/1/16 CIN *Cingrani Iglesias Lorenzen 9/13/16
DET Rodriguez Rondon J.Wilson 9/15/16 MIL Thornburg Knebel Torres 9/24/16
KC Davis Herrera Soria 9/25/16 PIT Watson Rivero Bastardo 9/24/16
MIN Kintzler Pressly Rogers 9/14/16 STL Oh Siegrist Bowman 9/16/16
    .            
HOU Giles Gregerson Harris 9/25/16 ARI *Hudson Delgado Barrett 9/16/16
LAA *Bailey Ramirez Guerra 9/6/16 COL Ottavino Logan McGee 9/12/16
OAK Madson Dull Doolittle 9/19/16 LAD Jansen Blanton Baez 9/7/16
SEA Diaz Cishek Vincent 9/11/16 SD Maurer Buchter Quackenbush 9/14/16
TEX Dyson Bush Diekman 9/23/16 SF Romo Law Smith 9/25/16

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* = closer-by-committee

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Jeanmar Gomez and the Phillies’ ninth are going to see other people

September 24, 2016

Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies made the confusing announcement that although Jeanmar Gomez will be the closer for the rest of the season, he will get a “break” for the next few save chances — in favor of Hector Neris, Edubray Ramos, or even lefthander Joely Rodriguez. For now, we’ll call this a committee with Gomez as the head, but Neris is a strong candidate for what few saves remain for Philadelphia.

Updated hierarchy: *Gomez | Neris | Ramos.
* = closer-by-committee

Houston Astros — Ken Giles had a disastrous outing, blowing a save and dealing a blow to the Astros playoff hopes in the process. He entered with a two-run lead, but gave up a tying home run before loading the bases and getting yanked. After Michael Feliz gave up a three-run double, Giles was charged with six earned runs and the loss. Giles will hold onto his job, but with the Astros needing every win they can get, his leash will be shorter going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Gregerson | Harris.

Chicago Cubs — Pedro Strop was activated from the DL on Friday, and pitched a scoreless eighth with the Cubs up five. Joe Maddon indicated that he wants Strop, Rondon, and Chapman to man the late innings heading into the playoffs and, given his solid work last night, Strop will immediately crack the Cubs hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Rondon | Strop.

Boston Red Sox — Brad Ziegler got a save opportunity for the surging Red Sox yesterday with both Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara unavailable. Uehara has not given up a run since returning from the DL, but hasn’t pitched on back-to-back days over that time either. With the Red Sox solidifying a playoff spot, we don’t expect to see anyone overworked in the season’s last week, so Ziegler may get another sneaky save opp.

Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Uehara | Ziegler. 

New York Mets — Hansel Robles came in with two on and one out in the seventh, up two runs. He induced a double play, the Mets scored three more runs, and Robles finished out the last two innings to earn his first career save.

Hierarchy remains: Familia | Reed | Salas.

Washington Nationals — Koda Glover has struggled over the last two weeks, posting a 10.13 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. Meanwhile, Blake Treinen has put up 12 straight scoreless outings (six holds, one blown save) since his five-run debacle on August 24.

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Kelley | Treinen.

Milwaukee Brewers — After struggling for two weeks, Corey Knebel has six straight scoreless appearances, including two consecutive eighth-inning holds.

Updated hierarchy: Thornburg | Knebel | Torres.

Atlanta Braves — Mauricio Cabrera got another save yesterday with Jim Johnson taking a second day off after pitching in three straight. Cabrera has been excellent in the save opportunities he has seen, but Brian Snitker has stuck with the veteran Johnson, who should be available to close today.

Hierarchy remains: Johnson | Cabrera | Simmons.

Pittsburgh Pirates — The Pirates used newly-acquired lefty Phil Coke in the seventh inning of a one-run game yesterday. The 34-year-old journeyman was acquired for cash considerations on Thursday, and this was his first action since the deal. Coke won’t crack Pittsurgh’s hierarchy, but could be a sneaky add for the playoffs in holds leagues, as he will probably be used both as a LOOGY, and to spell Felipe Rivero with the Pirates nearly out of contention.

Hierarchy remains: Watson | Rivero | Bastardo.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies — Jeanmar Gomez is getting a break from closing.
2. Luke Gregerson, Houston Astros — Ken Giles threw 30 pitches in Friday night’s meltdown.
3. Shawn Kelley, Washington Nationals — Mark Melancon has pitched in two of three (44 pitches).

Jeanmar Gomez likely to lose closer’s role Friday

September 23, 2016

Philadelphia Phillies — While the Phillies are out of it and there’s not much time left in the season, manager Pete Mackanin is about to make a change that will impact the fantasy baseball playoffs. Mackanin is expected to announce Friday that he’s removing Jeanmar Gomez from the closer’s role, handing the job over to Hector Neris. Gomez has a 16.20 ERA in September, but the numbers have been even worse over the last four games: 1.2 IP, 8 ER (including 2 ER to blow the save Thursday). His ERA was under 3.00 at the end of August and now sits at 4.28 just three weeks later. Good riddance.

Hierarchy remains (for now): Gomez | Neris | Ramos.

San Francisco Giants – It seemed like forever in between Sergio Romo saves when he got his first one of the year on Tuesday. Romo’s second save this season (Thursday) came just two days later, though. He appears to be firmly entrenched at the top of the Giants closing committee.

Hierarchy remains: *Romo | Law | Smith.
* = closer-by-committee

Atlanta Braves – As predicted by the Vulture Save Watch, Mauricio Cabrera picked up the save Thursday as regular closer Jim Johnson needed some rest.

Hierarchy remains: Johnson | Cabrera | Simmons.

Texas Rangers — Reports are suggesting that reliever Jeremy Jeffress is expected to rejoin the Rangers on Friday. He has been away from the team since an Aug. 26 arrest for alleged drunken driving. He entered into a rehab facility days later. Jeffress could be back to prepare for the playoffs, if he makes the postseason roster. We’ll see how he’s used once he’s back before jumping to conclusions.

Hierarchy remains: Dyson | Bush | Diekman.

Tampa Bay Rays — Chase Whitley now has three holds in three appearances, with each appearance lasting at least two innings. On Thursday, he bridged the gap from the sixth inning through two outs in the eighth inning ahead of closer Alex Colome. It may seem like a stretch, but he could be sneaking into the Rays late-inning plans as the season’s end draws near. Plus, Brad Boxberger has been terrible lately. He has allowed six runs over his last two outings, raising his season ERA to 5.31.

Updated hierarchy: Colome | Cedeno | Whitley.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Koji Uehara, Boston Red Sox –Craig Kimbrel has pitched in three straight games.
2. Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies — This is pretty obvious. Even if Jeanmar Gomez isn’t dropped as the team’s closer, it would still be tough to expect him to pitch Friday after disastrous outings Tuesday and Thursday.
3. J.C. Ramirez, Los Angeles Angels — Andrew Bailey has pitched in two straight games, and has not played in three straight days since April 20-22, 2013. J.C. Ramirez has also gone in two straight games (34 pitches), but he did pitch in three straight for the Angels earlier this year and could do it again.