Kelvin Herrera pulled with forearm tightness; Brandon Maurer could close

August 23, 2017

Kansas City Royals — Kelvin Herrera got two quick outs with a one-run lead in the ninth but, after a bloop triple, he walked the bases loaded, then left with an injury on a 2-0 count. Lefty Scott Alexander got the unenviable task of converting the super-high-leverage save, and he rose to the occasion with a groundout to short. If Herrera’s injury — which Ned Yost described as “forearm tightness” — causes him to miss time, Brandon Maurer has the experience to take over, but his 20 saves come with a gross 6+ season ERA and a whopping 2.34 WHIP since the trade. Two factors potentially working in Maurer’s favor: his three major competitors — Mike Minor, Ryan Buchter, and Alexander — are all lefthanded, and Yost isn’t exactly known for progressive bullpen management. We will monitor the news today and alert you if Herrera hits the DL but, for now, we think it’ll be Maurer.

Hierarchy remains: Herrera | Maurer | Minor.

Cleveland Indians — Andrew Miller’s knee injury will require some time on the disabled list and some rehab tips from the Cavs. No word on a return date, but Terry Francona expects Miller to “get after” rehab.

Updated hierarchy: Allen | Smith | Shaw.

Seattle Mariners — Tony Zych has a forearm strain and will be sidelined for at least 10 days. Lefty Marc “Scrabble” Rzepczynski will hold down the seventh until David Phelps can return — possibly as early as Wednesday.

Updated hierarchy: Diaz | Vincent | Rzepczynski.

Pittsburgh Pirates — George Kontos (right groin strain) and Joaquin Benoit (left knee inflammation) each hit the DL on Tuesday. Although A.J. Schugel was unavailable on Tuesday due to a heavy recent workload, we expect him to pick up the bulk of the seventh-inning load for the Pirates, with Daniel Hudson another option.

Updated hierarchy: Rivero | Nicasio | Schugel.

Los Angeles Dodgers — One night after being used for only one out in the eighth, Tony Watson was summoned in the fifth inning on Tuesday. He earned the win, but seems to have lost his role as Kenley Jansen’s handcuff.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Baez | Fields.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today:
1. Brandon Maurer — Kelvin Herrera left last night with an apparent injury, and is likely to at least get Wednesday off.
2. Tommy Hunter — Alex Colome has gone in three of four. If Hunter (two of three) can’t go, we might learn which of Steve Cishek, Dan Jennings, Sergio Romo, and Brad Boxberger is really second in line for Tampa.
3. Santiago Casilla — Blake Treinen has pitched multiple innings in two of the last three games.
4. Pedro Baez — Kenley Jansen has gone in two straight and four of five.

Thursday:
1. Archie Bradley — Fernando Rodney has pitched in two straight games.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in lineUpdatedCloser1st in line2nd in lineUpdated
BALBrittonBrachGivens8/3/17ATLVizcainoJohnsonRamirez8/14/17
BOSKimbrelReedKelly8/6/17MIAZieglerBarracloughSteckenrider8/19/17
NYY*BetancesRobertsonChapman8/20/17NYMRamosBlevinsSewald8/17/17
TBColomeHunterBoxberger8/2/17PHINerisGarciaMilner8/13/17
TOROsunaTeperaLoup8/15/17WASDoolittleKintzlerAlbers8/18/17
.          
CHW*MinayaBummerInfante8/21/17CHCDavisWilsonUehara8/21/17
CLEAllenSmithShaw8/23/17CINIglesiasLorenzenPeralta8/12/17
DETGreeneWilsonJimenez8/15/17MILKnebelSwarzakBarnes8/6/17
KCHerreraMaurerMinor8/23/17PITRiveroNicasioSchugel8/23/17
MIN*BelisleRogersHildenberger8/22/17STL*OhLyonsBrebbia8/19/17
  .      
HOUGilesDevenskiClippard8/20/17ARIRodneyBradleyHernandez8/13/17
LAA*BedrosianNorrisParker8/21/17COLHollandNeshekMcGee8/10/17
OAKTreinenCasillaDull8/12/17LADJansenBaezFields8/23/17
SEADiazVincentRzepczynski8/23/17SDHandYatesMaton8/11/17
TEX*ClaudioLeclercGrilli8/22/17SFDysonMelanconStrickland8/19/17

.

* = closer-by-committee

.


Andrew Miller leaves Monday’s game with injury

August 22, 2017

Cleveland Indians — Andrew Miller left Monday’s game in the seventh inning thanks to re-aggravation of right knee patella tendonitis. We’ll find out on Tuesday whether Miller will require just rest or another DL stint.

Hierarchy remains: Allen | Miller | Smith.

Texas Rangers — Matt Bush was placed on the DL Monday following his collision with Joey Gallo. The Rangers have a couple different options to choose from for the 7th inning, including Jason Grilli and Tony Barnette. You may also see Ricardo Rodriguez get a chance to show his stuff. The 24-year-old was promoted from Double-A earlier this month after converting all 17 of his save chances. We’ll keep an eye on who gets the first crack at getting the ball to Jose Leclerc and Alex Claudio.

Updated hierarchy: *Claudio | Leclerc | Grilli.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Joakim Soria is on the 10-day DL because of a left oblique injury, which means Brandon Maurer should see the majority of the eighth-inning chances for the Royals. Mike Minor will slide back into his former hierarchy role while Soria gets healthy.

Updated hierarchy: Herrera | Maurer | Minor.

Los Angeles Dodgers – After all the usual suspects had been used, Ross Stripling came on in the 12th inning of Monday’s game to record his second save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Watson | Baez.

Minnesota Twins – Tyler Duffey earned his first career save on Monday by pitching the final three innings in a 10-2 victory over the White Sox in the second game of a doubleheader.

Hierarchy remains: *Belisle | Rogers | Hildenberger.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today:
1. Aaron Bummer/Gregory Infante — Juan Minaya has pitched in three of the last four days, including game one of yesterday’s doubleheader.
2. Tony Watson — Kenley Jansen has pitched in three of four, including 20 pitches last night.

Wednesday:
1. Archie Bradley — Fernando Rodney threw 27 pitches on Monday and another heavy workload Tuesday could result in rest on Wednesday.
2. Brad Brach/Mychal Givens — If Zach Britton pitches Tuesday, it will be three straight for him. Brad Brach should get rest on Tuesday after two straight outings of 18 and 34 pitches, respectively. If he does go on Tuesday, expect Mychal Givens to get the ball Wednesday.
3. Tony Watson — If Kenley Jansen pitches tonight, that will be two straight and four of five.
4. Jose Leclerc — Both Leclerc and Alex Claudio threw close to 30 pitches on Monday. Whichever pitcher is more well-rested Tuesday should have the best chance at a save on Wednesday.