Jean Machi and Drew Pomeranz record saves

August 30, 2015

Boston Red Sox — Jean Machi pitched a perfect ninth inning on Saturday to pick up his third save of the season.  Junichi Tazawa was unavailable after throwing thirty pitches on Friday.  Tazawa has really struggled lately so if Machi can string together a couple more strong outings, he could have a chance to take over as the head of this committee.

Hierarchy remains: Tazawa | Machi | Ogando.
* = closer-by-committee

Oakland A’s – Drew Pomeranz struck out the side on Saturday night to earn his third save of the year.  Sean Doolittle has given up at least one run in each of his two appearances since returning from the disabled list.  Pomeranz could still see some save opportunities in the short term, but long term Doolittle should settle back into that role.

Hierarchy remains: *Doolittle | Pomeranz | Venditte.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Wade Davis recorded his thirteenth save of the season yesterday, and lowered his ERA under 1.00 in the process.  Greg Holland pitched the previous two games, including a save on Friday, so he was given the night off on Saturday.  Holland is still the closer in Kansas City but Davis will continue to see save chances when Holland is rested.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Davis | Herrera.

August 30, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Addison Reed has reportedly been traded to the Mets, pending a physical.  Andrew Chafin took the loss last night but has been pitching pretty well out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks and could fill Reed’s seventh inning role moving forward.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Chafin.

Los Angeles Dodgers — Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless eighth inning ahead of closer Kenley Jansen last night.  Johnson has now picked up a save and two holds in his last three appearances for the Dodgers, and could finally be settling in to the set-up man that the Dodgers were hoping they were getting when they traded for Johnson back at the end of July.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Johnson | Avilan.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Keone Kela/Sam Dyson, Texas Rangers –
Shawn Tolleson has pitched in three straight, throwing a total of 52 pitches during that time.
2. Jim Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen has pitched in two straight, and four of the last five.
3. Joakim Soria, Pittsburgh Pirates – Mark Melancon has pitched three days in a row.
4. Drew Pomeranz, Oakland A’s – Pomeranz got the save last night and could get the call on any given day until Doolittle re-establishes himself as the closer.

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 8/12/15 ATL Vizcaino Jackson Moylan 8/29/15
BOS Machi Tazawa Ogando 8/30/15 MIA Ramos Dunn Morris 8/4/15
NYY Miller Betances Wilson 8/20/15 NYM Familia Clippard Robles 8/27/15
TB Boxberger Colome Cedeno 8/23/15 PHI Giles Garcia Gomez 8/29/15
TOR Osuna Sanchez Hawkins 8/6/15 WAS Papelbon Storen Janssen 8/13/15
.                    
CHW Robertson Jones Duke 8/17/15 CHC Rondon Strop Grimm 8/28/15
CLE Allen Shaw McAllister 7/20/15 CIN Chapman Hoover Diaz 8/21/15
DET *Rondon Wilson Hardy 8/16/15 MIL Rodriguez Smith Jeffress 8/22/15
KC Holland Davis Herrera 8/30/15 PIT Melancon Soria Watson 8/14/15
MIN Perkins Jepsen May 8/29/15 STL Rosenthal Siegrist Broxton 8/27/15
    .            
HOU Gregerson Neshek Harris 8/21/15 ARI Ziegler Hudson Chafin 8/30/15
LAA Street Smith Gott 8/20/15 COL Axford Oberg Diaz 8/29/15
OAK *Doolittle Pomeranz Venditte 8/24/15 LAD Jansen Johnson Avilan 8/30/15
SEA Wilhelmsen Smith Kensing 8/27/15 SD Kimbrel Benoit Kelley 8/11/15
TEX Tolleson Kela Dyson 8/22/15 SF Casilla Romo Strickland 8/15/15

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* = closer by committee

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Hot Seat: August 29, 2015

Hottest – In a committee, or on the verge of losing their job right now

30. Sean Doolittle (cuff: Drew Pomeranz)
29. Junichi Tazawa (cuff: Jean Machi)
28. Bruce Rondon (cuff: Alex Wilson)

-Sean Doolittle is ostensibly still the most likely reliever in the A’s bullpen to be closing by the end of the year, but his return to the majors thus far has included two seventh inning appearances where he’s allowed runs. So Drew Pomeranz is still worth holding on to. Junichi Tazawa has been awful — the best thing going for him is the lack of any other decent arms in the Boston bullpen. Similarly, the best thing going for Bruce Rondon is that the Tigers are out of the playoff hunt and are giving him a longer leash to see if he can win the job. But he’s been unconvincing at best, thus far, while Alex Wilson continues to get outs.

Hot – Closers who could be in danger after their next blown save

27. Greg Holland (cuff: Wade Davis)
26. John Axford (cuff: Scott Oberg)
25. Glen Perkins (cuff: Kevin Jepsen)
24. Santiago Casilla (cuff: Sergio Romo)

-Holland is kinda hurt and definitely not the pitcher that Wade Davis is at this point. Axford would be in more trouble if there was even a single reasonable alternative in the Colorado bullpen. Perkins is coming off injury and Kevin Jepsen pitched very well in his absence, while Casilla continues to just kinda make us nervous.

Warmish – Two blown saves in a row and these players might be in trouble

23. Tom Wilhelmsen
22. Luke Gregerson
21. Brad Boxberger

-Tom Wilhelmsen has posted three efficient saves in six days since taking over the job and has already earned himself a leash. Gregerson has been decent lately, but the bullpen behind him is excellent. Boxberger had a better outing on Thursday after a rough stretch.

Cool – These players would have to blow 3 consecutive saves for their jobs to be in jeopardy

20. Brad Ziegler
19. AJ Ramos
18. Hector Rondon
17. Arodys Vizcaino
16. David Robertson
15. Francisco Rodriguez
14. Jeurys Familia
13. Huston Street
12. Roberto Osuna
11. Kenley Jansen
10. Cody Allen
9. Ken Giles
8. Mark Melancon
7. Shawn Tolleson
6. Aroldis Chapman

-The fact that Brad Ziegler and his 1.46 ERA ranks last in this category shows how solid all of these guys are. Aroldis Chapman tops this section of the list after proving himself healthy and should re-enter Sub-zero as long as he doesn’t have a setback. Shawn Tolleson drops into this category after a blown save and with the recent additions to the Texas bullpen (Sam Dyson, Jake Diekman) pitching exceptionally well.

Sub-zero – These players would have to blow 4+ consecutive saves for their jobs to be in jeopardy

5. Zach Britton
4. Jonathan Papelbon
3. Trevor Rosenthal
2. Andrew Miller
1. Craig Kimbrel

-Not much to be said about the pitchers in this group, who are all locks to close for the rest of the season, barring injury.