Kyle Barraclough, flaky and delicious

April 29, 2016

Miami Marlins — Hard-throwing righty Kyle Barraclough, acquired by the Marlins in the Steve Cishek trade, is off to a torrid start this season (6.2 innings, 0 ER, 11 Ks), and yesterday picked up his third consecutive hold, pitching the seventh inning ahead of David Phelps and A.J. Ramos. He’s only 25 years old, his fastball averages 96 mph, and the correct pronunciation of his name is wonderful. What’s not to love?

Updated hierarchy: Ramos | Phelps | Barraclough.

Atlanta Braves — When wins are as rare as they’ve been for the 5-17 Braves so far this season, you tend to make sure that your best pitchers are pitching when you actually have a chance to win a game. And with the Braves actually holding a lead late in Thursday’s game, Jason Grilli was nowhere to be found. Instead, for the second straight time, Jim Johnson picked up the eighth-inning hold ahead of Arodys Vizcaino. The Braves are still probably hoping they can get a prospect for Grilli midseason, but his poor start has kept him out of high-leverage chances since the season’s first week.

Updated hierarchy: Vizcaino | Johnson | Grilli.

Philadelphia Phillies — Hector Neris, who has been among the biggest surprises in any bullpen this season (13 IP, 1 ER, 20 Ks) needed a night off after pitching two games in a row. Despite the need for a bridge to closer Jeanmar Gomez, the Phillies still stayed away from veteran David Hernandez, instead allowing Elvis Araujo and Dalier Hinojosa to navigate the eighth inning. Much of what Hernandez has done this year has been positive — he has 16 strikeouts in just 9.1 innings. But he’s also had two particularly tough outings, and yesterday is an indication that he needs to do a little more if he’s ever going to push Gomez for the closer role again.

Updated hierarchy: Gomez | Neris | Hernandez.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Nate Jones, Chicago White Sox — David Robertson will miss at least three games on the bereavement list.
2. Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies — Jeanmar Gomez has pitched in three straight.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line Updated Closer 1st in line 2nd in line Updated
BAL Britton O'Day Brach 4/30/16 ATL Vizcaino Johnson Grilli 4/29/16
BOS Kimbrel Uehara Tazawa 3/24/16 MIA Ramos Phelps Barraclough 4/29/16
NYY Miller Betances Shreve 4/8/16 NYM Familia Reed Robles 4/28/16
TB Colome Cedeno Ramirez 4/27/16 PHI Gomez Neris Hernandez 4/29/16
TOR Osuna Storen Cecil 4/19/16 WAS Papelbon Treinen Rivero 4/15/16
.                    
CHW Robertson Jones Duke 4/25/16 CHC Rondon Strop Grimm 3/2/16
CLE Allen Shaw McAllister 4/17/16 CIN Cingrani Cotham Ohlendorf 4/25/16
DET Rodriguez Lowe J.Wilson 4/28/16 MIL Jeffress Blazek Thornburg 4/4/16
KC Davis Soria Herrera 4/23/16 PIT Melancon Watson Feliz 4/26/16
MIN Jepsen May Fien 4/30/16 STL Rosenthal Siegrist Broxton 3/2/16
    .            
HOU Gregerson Giles Neshek 4/14/16 ARI Ziegler Hudson Clippard 4/20/16
LAA Smith Salas Alvarez 4/28/16 COL McGee Qualls Logan 4/23/16
OAK *Madson Doolittle Axford 4/23/16 LAD Jansen Hatcher Baez 3/2/16
SEA Cishek Peralta Zych 4/26/16 SD Rodney Maurer Quackenbush 4/6/16
TEX Tolleson Dyson Diekman 4/22/16 SF Casilla Strickland Osich 4/16/16

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* = closer-by-committee

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Huston Street headed to DL

April 28, 2016

Los Angeles Angels — Closer Huston Street suffered a strained oblique and is expected to be placed on the DL.  Joe Smith picked up the save last night, and should continue to see save chances while Street is out.

Updated hierarchy: Smith | Salas | Alvarez.

New York Mets – As predicted in the Vulture Save Watch, Addison Reed picked up his first save of the year protecting a three-run lead. Hansel Robles took the 8th inning ahead of Reed, and he retired the heart of the Reds’ lineup while striking out two. Robles has been taking the 7th inning recently, and while Jim Henderson has been solid in the early going, Robles has gotten the higher-leverage situations of late.

Updated hierarchy: Familia | Reed | Robles.

Miami Marlins — AJ Ramos was unavailable after throwing in three straight games last night and the Vulture Save Watch predicted that David Phelps would get the save opportunity. However, it didn’t predict that he and manager Don Mattingly would be ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes in the 8th inning. This left recently recalled Jose Urena to get out of a bases-loaded jam, which he did by striking out Yasiel Puig and getting a pop out from Adrian Gonzalez. Urena stuck around for the 9th and picked up his first career save. Urena is a converted starter, who was initially tagged for middle relief, but after this impressive outing he may find himself in higher-leverage situations quickly.

Hierarchy remains: Ramos | Phelps | Morris.

Detroit Tigers — Francisco Rodriguez was activated from the family medical emergency list, and immediately took the 9th inning in a five-run game. He pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts, and should see the next save opportunity.

Hierarchy remains: Rodriguez | Lowe | J. Wilson.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. David Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies — Jeanmar Gomez has pitched in back-to-back games.