March 26, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — Chris Hatcher and his Wilsonesque beard have endured some rough outings lately, pushing his spring ERA over 10. Although Hatcher is a virtual lock to make the team because he’s out of minor league options, Joel Peralta may have edged in front of him in the race to lead what appears to be a confirmed committee situation that could also include Sergio Santos, Juan Nicasio, and lefties J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez. As expected, Brandon League will join Kenley Jansen on the DL to start the season, and some in LA are looking Rafael Soriano’s way.
Updated hierarchy: Peralta* | Hatcher | Santos.
Oakland A’s — A struggling Ryan Cook was sent to the minors on Tuesday to fix his mechanics. Eric O’Flaherty and Dan Otero will back up Tyler Clippard during Sean Doolittle’s absence, and young R.J. Alvarez is another intriguing option. Doolittle, meanwhile, is staying busy teaching his coaches about social media.
Updated hierarchy: Clippard | O’Flaherty | Otero.
Boston Red Sox — Koji Uehara, who turns 40 next week, might miss Opening Day with a hamstring strain. Edward Mujica would likely take the closer’s role until Uehara can get healthy, with Alexi Ogando moving ahead of Junichi Tazawa as a backup option.
Updated hierarchy: Uehara | Mujica | Ogando.
Tampa Bay Rays — Grant Balfour made his first appearance of the spring on Monday and expects to be ready for Opening Day. All three of Tampa’s current top relievers allowed a run in the game. Jake McGee is throwing curveballs again and should be back to closing in late April or early May.
Hierarchy remains: Balfour | Boxberger | Jepsen.
Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Loup | Delabar.
Updated hierarchy: Hawkins | Ottavino | Axford.
Cincinnati Reds – The eighth inning is wide open for the Reds, according to manager Bryan Price, who named no fewer than five possibilities for set-up work. We’ll leave things the way they are until the situation clears up, but one intriguing option Price didn’t mention is lefty Tony Cingrani, who may find a welcoming home in the bullpen.
Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Diaz | LeCure.