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