Felipe Vazquez arrested

September 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates – Authorities arrested Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez on charges of computer pornography – solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors. We expect Richard Rodriguez, Francisco Liriano and Keone Kela (one earned run in his last 19.0 IP) to handle the late innings for the Pirates.

Updated hierarchy: *Rodriguez | Liriano | Kela
* = closer-by-committee

Kevin Ginkel picks up first career save

September 17, 2019

Arizona Diamondbacks – Archie Bradley was unavailable last night due to back spasms, so Kevin Ginkel came on for the 9th and notched his first career save. Bradley should be fine and expects to be available today.

Hierarchy remains: Bradley | Ginkel | Lopez.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Tomorrow

1. Scott Barlow – Ian Kennedy threw 21 pitches last night; another long outing and he could be off Wednesday.
2. Joakim Soria – If Liam Hendriks goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four.

Kenley Jansen is pitching well again for the Dodgers

September 16, 2019

Los Angeles Dodgers – Dave Roberts told Kenley Jansen that he would pitch the eighth inning on Sunday, and Jansen came through with a solid 1-2-3 frame to keep the game tied at 2-2. After the Dodgers took the lead in the top of the ninth, Adam Kolarek got the first out of the bottom of the frame before Kenta Maeda notched the final two outs to pick up the save. Pedro Baez had already faced the top of the order in the sixth inning and Joe Kelly was presumably off following two straight days of work. The Dodgers have the luxury of only needing to clinch home field advantage for the playoffs at this point, so you could see a lot of different names get save chances over the next two weeks. The good news for Jansen owners is that the embattled closer has put together two straight strong outings.

Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Kelly | Baez.

Cleveland Indians – With Brad Hand still unavailable and the rest of the bullpen either tired or struggling, Cleveland turned to James Hoyt for five of the final six outs of its win over Minnesota. Hoyt, a September call-up, rewarded Terry Francona’s faith by holding the Twins hitless, striking out two and issuing just one walk. Francona went to lefty Oliver Perez for the final out, which Perez recorded to earn his first save of the season. Hand played catch yesterday and we’ll see if the team offers any updates prior to Tuesday’s tilt. Meanwhile, we’ll also keep an eye on which setup men Francona trusts the most in the final two weeks.

Hierarchy remains: Hand | Goody | Clippard.

Oakland A’s – Pitching in just his second big-league game, Jesus Luzardo tossed the final three innings of Oakland’s 6-1 win to pick up his first career save. Luzardo, who notched a three-inning hold in his MLB debut on Sept. 11, has impressed the A’s but won’t factor into their usual late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Hendriks | Soria | Petit.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Junior Guerra – Josh Hader has pitched two straight and four of five.
2. Aaron Bummer/Evan Marshall – Alex Colome, Bummer and Marshall all got a day off yesterday. Colome may get a second straight day of rest after three straight appearances, while the same could be true for the busy Bummer. Marshall, like Bummer, had pitched in two straight entering Sunday but had thrown fewer pitches.
3. Edwin Diaz – Seth Lugo (37 pitches) and Justin Wilson (35 pitches) have both pitched in two straight. Mickey Callaway claims to still have faith in Diaz. Monday may be a test of that faith.

Tuesday
1. Michael Lorenzen – If Raisel Iglesias pitches today that will be two straight and three of four.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in lineUpdatedCloser1st in line2nd in lineUpdated
BAL*GivensArmstrongHarvey9/4/19ATLMelanconGreeneJackson9/12/19
BOSWorkmanBarnesTaylor8/14/19MIAUrenaStanekGarcia9/15/19
NYYChapmanBrittonOttavino8/13/19NYMLugoWilsonDiaz9/15/19
TBPaganAndersonDrake9/11/19PHINerisMorinAlvarez8/24/19
TORGilesLawAdam8/26/19WAS*HudsonStricklandRodney9/5/19
        
CHWColomeBummerMarshall7/24/19CHCWickKintzlerCishek9/14/19
CLEHandGoodyClippard9/16/19CINIglesiasLorenzenGarrett8/17/19
DETJ.JimenezFarmerRamirez8/9/19MILHaderGuerraAlbers9/11/19
KCKennedyBarlowHill9/8/19PIT*RodriguezLirianoKela9/17/19
MIN*RogersRomoDyson8/30/19STLMartinezMillerGallegos9/6/19
        
HOUOsunaHarrisRondon9/8/19ARIBradleyGinkelLopez9/9/19
LAARoblesButtreyMiddleton9/1/19COLDiazEstevezShaw9/15/19
OAKHendriksSoriaPetit9/16/19LADJansenKellyBaez9/16/19
SEA*BassTuivailalaMagill9/13/19SDYatesMunozStammen8/30/19
TEXLeclercMonteroClase9/12/19SFSmithAndersonGustave9/14/19

* = closer-by-committee

James Karinchak debuts and keeps racking up strikeouts

September 15, 2019

Cleveland Indians – James Karinchak made his debut yesterday and did not disappoint.   He recorded three strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work (although he actually recorded five outs since one of his strikeouts reached on a wild pitch).  With Brad Hand out at least through today and Nick Goody (at least 1 ER in 3 of his past 5 outings) and Tyler Clippard (at least 1 ER in his last two appearances) scuffling a little bit, Karinchak could be thrown into the fire with some high leverage situations in the last couple weeks of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Hand | Goody | Clippard.

New York Mets – Seth Lugo struck out the side in the top of the 8th inning of a tie game.  In the bottom of the 8th inning Lugo was due up with the bases loaded and the game still tied so the Mets called on Rajai Davis to pinch hit.  Davis came through and that left Justin Wilson for the 9th inning.  Wilson pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Lugo | Wilson | Diaz.

Colorado Rockies – Jesus Tinoco recorded his first career save yesterday as the Rockies rested both Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estevez.  This was extrmely surprising as Tinoco has only one hold this season and before yesterday had given up at least one earned run in 5 straight appearances and and 7 of his last 8.

Hierarchy remains: Diaz | Estevez | Shaw.

Miami Marlins — Jose Urena picked up his second save of the season yesterday with a scoreless ninth inning.  Urena hasn’t been great since moving to the bullpen in September (5 ER in 5 IP) but he has recorded both Marlins saves and should continue to be the first choice for saves down the stretch.

Hierarchy remains: Urena | Stanek | Garcia.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Hunter Harvey – Mychal Givens and Shawn Armstrong have pitched in two straight and three of four.
2. Evan Marshall/Kelvin Herrera – Alex Colome has pitched in three straight.  Aaron Bummer has gone in two straight, throwing 45 pitches over 2.1 innings.  Evan Marshall has also pitched in two straight but thrown less pitches.
3. Nick Goody/James Karinchak – Brad Hand will not pitch Sunday and Tyler Clippard threw two innings yesterday.
4. Joakim Soria/Yusmeiro Petit – Liam Hendriks has pitched in three of four.  Soria has missed the last week with elbow soreness and if he is still out today, Yusmeiro Petit could get a shot.

Monday
1. Kevin Ginkel/Yoan Lopez – If Archie Bradley pitches on Sunday, it will be two straight and three of four.  Same goes for Kevin Ginkel.
2. Junior Guerra – If Josh Hader pitches on Sunday, it will be two straight and four of five.

Loads of vulture save options for your playoff weekend

September 14, 2019

San Francisco Giants — Will Smith is still recovering from a back injury, which left last night’s save chance to Shaun Anderson. Anderson converted for his second save on the year, and second in a row. Smith was hoping to return this weekend, but it seems he’ll be out until at least Tuesday. Anderson needed only nine pitches last night, so he may get another chance before Smith returns. 

Hierarchy remains: Smith | Anderson | Gustave.

Chicago Cubs — Up 10 in the seventh, the Cubs sent Alec Mills to the mound, and he finished the game while giving up just one run. It was the first save of Mills’s three-season MLB career, and if you got credit for it by starting him yesterday, we’ll give you free Closer Monkey premium! Just send us an email with proof.

Hierarchy remains: Wick | Kintzler | Cishek.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today:
1. Aaron Bummer — Alex Colome has pitched in two straight games (54 pitches).
2. Hunter Harvey — Mychal Givens and Shawn Armstrong have each pitched in two of the last three.
3. Will Harris — Roberto Osuna has pitched back-to-back.
4. Shaun Anderson — Will Smith is still not ready. 

Sunday:
1. Carlos Estevez/Bryan Shaw — Today would be back to back and four of five for Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estevez. If either goes today, he would be unavailable tomorrow. 
2. Rafael Montero — Jose Leclerc has also gone in three of four.
3. Shaun Anderson/Jandel Gustave — See above re: Will Smith.
4. Brandon Kintzler — Rowan Wick has gone in two of four.
5. Scott Barlow — It’s been two of three for Ian Kennedy.
6. Junior Guerra — And Josh Hader.
7. Richard Rodriguez — And Felipe Vazquez.
8. Joe Kelly — Kenley Jansen likely won’t go back-to-back this month.
9. Joakim Soria — Soria hasn’t pitched for a week, but if he’s fine, he’d spell Liam Hendriks if Hendriks pitches Saturday.