Matt Strahm surging in Kansas City

August 24, 2016

Kansas City Royals – The Royals’ bullpen is on fire right now, having thrown a club record 32 scoreless innings. A big part of that has been rookie southpaw Matt Strahm, who has compiled a streak of nine straight scoreless innings. That included a clean seventh inning on Tuesday, which lowered his ERA to 0.96. He has also struck out 17 of the 35 batters he has faced, and while Strahm still may end up in the starting rotation next season, for now he’s an important piece of a red-hot ‘pen.

Updated hierarchy: Herrera | Soria | Strahm.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Jake Barrett had another rough outing Tuesday, allowing three runs in the eighth to turn a 4-3 lead into a 6-4 deficit. Barrett said he has been dragging, and a busy August may have a lot to do with that. This is good news for Enrique Burgos, who likely would have had the ninth last night and should continue to have the edge over Barrett for future save opportunities.

Hierarchy remains: *Burgos | Barrett | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

Milwaukee Brewers – Tuesday’s Vulture Save Watch listed just one name, Corey Knebel, and it was indeed a correct prediction. Knebel collected his first career save while Tyler Thornburg rested after throwing three innings over the last two days.

Hierarchy remains: Thornburg | Knebel | Torres.

Baltimore Orioles – Vance Worley didn’t join Knebel on the Vulture Save Watch, but he too picked up his first career save after pitching the final three innings in an 8-1 Baltimore victory. Worley does not factor into the Orioles’ usual late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Britton | Brach | Givens.

1. Robert Carroll, Goodlettsville, Tennessee – While the Southeast squad in the Little League World Series appears to be in a committee, Carroll picked up an extra-inning save last night and could see another save chance in today’s elimination game.

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 8/24/16 ATL Johnson Cabrera Vizcaino 8/19/16
BOS Kimbrel Ziegler Barnes 8/19/16 MIA Ramos Rodney Barraclough 8/22/16
NYY Betances Warren Clippard 8/1/16 NYM Familia Reed Henderson 8/21/16
TB Colome Cedeno Boxberger 8/10/16 PHI Gomez Neris Ramos 7/7/16
TOR Osuna Grilli Benoit 8/6/16 WAS Melancon Kelley Treinen 8/14/16
CHW Robertson Jones Jennings 8/11/16 CHC Chapman Edwards Wood 8/20/16
CLE *Allen Miller Shaw 8/23/16 CIN *Cingrani Iglesias Lorenzen 8/20/16
DET Rodriguez J.Wilson Greene 8/10/16 MIL Thornburg Knebel Torres 8/24/16
KC Herrera Soria Strahm 8/24/16 PIT Watson Feliz Rivero 8/7/16
MIN Kintzler Pressly Rogers 8/11/16 STL Oh Siegrist Reyes 8/20/16
HOU Giles Harris Gregerson 8/13/16 ARI *Burgos Barrett Hudson 8/24/16
LAA Salas Ramirez Guerra 8/22/16 COL Ottavino Logan Estevez 8/23/16
OAK Madson Axford Dull 8/11/16 LAD Jansen Blanton Liberatore 8/20/16
SEA Diaz Wilhelmsen Cishek 8/20/16 SD Maurer Hand Quackenbush 8/21/16
TEX Dyson Jeffress Diekman 8/11/16 SF Casilla Romo Law 8/19/16


* = closer-by-committee


Carlos Estevez is back in the bigs

August 23, 2016

Colorado Rockies – Right-hander Scott Oberg was placed on the 15-day disabled list with the very scary sounding condition “axillary artery thrombosis.” Carlos Estevez, who closed for the Rockies for a time despite a 5+ ERA, was recalled from Triple-A to replace Oberg. Boone Logan has been fantastic this year, so we expect him to get the 8th ahead of Ottavino going forward, while Estevez’s former experience in the closer role pushes him on to the depth chart right away.

Updated hierarchy: Ottavino | Logan | Estevez.

Cleveland Indians – As mentioned in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Andrew Miller got the save opportunity last night — pitching a perfect ninth with three strikeouts — while Cody Allen got a rest. Aside from a bad outing last Wednesday, Allen has been efficient and effective lately, and with Miller pitching out of his mind, there’s a lot to like about the Cleveland bullpen. However, regardless of which player you own, Tito Francona still doesn’t seem all that committed to your fantasy team’s success.

Hierarchy remains: *Allen | Miller | Shaw.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers – Tyler Thornburg has pitched three innings in the last two days.

Fernando Salas appears secure; A.J. Ramos is back

August 22, 2016

Los Angeles Angels – Over the past few weeks, the Los Angeles Angels have been an insult to “shambles” everywhere, and save chances have been scant. But when they occur, they’ve belonged to Fernando Salas. He picked up his fourth save last night, and we’ll remove the asterisk until someone else gets one. In other Angels news, Huston Street is out for the year.

Hierarchy remains: Salas | Ramirez | Guerra. 

Miami Marlins – In his first action since being activated, A.J. Ramos pitched the 8th inning ahead of Fernando Rodney. Ramos is being worked back in slowly, but he should be closing again soon, perhaps as soon as his next appearance.

Updated hierarchy: Ramos | Rodney | Barraclough.

1. Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians – If Cody Allen needs a day off after his 30-pitch outing yesterday, Miller will get the call.