Glen Perkins ailing again; Praise for…Lloyd McClendon?

September 3, 2015

Minnesota Twins – A day after Glen Perkins picked up his 32nd save of the year, he may or may not have pulled landscaping duty and was unavailable with a back strain. Kevin Jepsen took the 9th in his absence and continues to pitch well bouncing between being a set-up man and a closer. Perkins is getting an MRI and may be out for a few days, but the injury is not considered serious. The Twins clearly want him to be the closer when he is healthy but with the injuries piling up and the Twins fading from contention, they could shut him down anytime. If you haven’t bought stock in Kevin Jepsen yet, now may be the time to do so. 

Hierarchy remains: Perkins | Jepsen | May.

Colorado Rockies — Justin Miller, who was recalled from Triple-A prior to Wednesday’s game, was used to protect a three-run lead in the 8th inning, then stayed on for the 9th to pick up his first save after the Rockies scored two more in the bottom half of the frame. Miller was recently optioned on Aug. 23 and doesn’t project to factor in the Rockies’ late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Axford | Oberg | Diaz.

Seattle Mariners –  Manager Lloyd McClendon has taken a lot of flak from us this year. From sticking with Fernando Rodney as the closer for too long, to using Fernando Rodney when he couldn’t get anybody out, McClendon has taken a lot of the blame for Seattle’s bullpen woes. We need to give credit where credit is due though. In a tie game, as the visitors, McClendon used Carson Smith for the highest-leverage out of the night to that point. When Logan Kensing got in trouble in the 8th, McClendon didn’t hesitate to bring in closer Tom Wilhelmsen to get out of the jam. McClendon left him in for the 9th after Seattle scored three more runs, and he picked up a five-out save. Using your best pitchers in the most important spots, regardless of what their “role” in the bullpen is, that’s how you get the most out of your team! Maybe if McClendon had been doing this all along, Seattle wouldn’t be 10 games back in its division.

Hierarchy remains: Wilhelmsen | Smith | Kensing.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Kevin Jepsen, Minnesota Twins – Glen Perkins may miss a couple days to get his back checked.
2. Shawn Kelley/Joaquin Benoit, San Diego Padres – Craig Kimbrel has 52 pitches to his credit over the last two nights, and Benoit threw 31 on Wednesday.

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 9/2/15 MIL Rodriguez Smith Jeffress 8/22/15
KC Holland Davis Morales 9/2/15 PIT Melancon Soria Watson 8/14/15
MIN Perkins Jepsen May 9/3/15 STL Rosenthal Siegrist Broxton 8/31/15
    .            
HOU Gregerson Neshek Harris 8/21/15 ARI Ziegler Hudson Hernandez 9/2/15
LAA Street Smith Gott 8/20/15 COL Axford Oberg Diaz 9/3/15
OAK *Doolittle Pomeranz Venditte 8/31/15 LAD Jansen Johnson Avilan 8/30/15
SEA Wilhelmsen Smith Kensing 9/3/15 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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Kelvin Herrera has chickenpox

September 2, 2015

Kansas City Royals — It was reported on Tuesday that Kelvin Herrera and Alex Rios both have chickenpox and will miss at least two weeks, which is bad news for the Royals and bad news for Herrera owners who were hoping for some late-season holds. Franklin Morales had two holds in Tampa last weekend, and more importantly, escaped virus-free. We’ll slide him into Herrera’s spot for now.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Davis | Morales.

Arizona Diamondbacks – With Brad Ziegler nursing a sore ankle and needing a day off after back-to-back poor outings, two different Diamondbacks earned a save as Arizona swept a doubleheader. Not surprisingly, Daniel Hudson closed out the first game. However, Josh Collmenter, who earned his first hold of the year in the opening tilt, pitched the final two innings of the nightcap for his second career save. David Hernandez had pitched in three of the last four days prior to Tuesday, but perhaps the 7th inning has become more crowded in Arizona, especially with the September call-up of Enrique Burgos.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

Detroit Tigers – Bruce Rondon hadn’t seen a save opportunity since Aug. 15, but he made the most of his chance on Tuesday, throwing a scoreless ninth to preserve a 6-5 win. It was his third save in four chances, and it came at a good time considering his last outing was a disaster during a game the Tigers were already losing. Despite Rondon’s recent struggles, it appears as if the closer’s job is still his for the time being.

Hierarchy remains: *Rondon | Wilson | Hardy.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler may get an extra day of rest, as manager Chip Hale was concerned about his fatigue following 52 pitches over a two-day span.
2. Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna may get a breather after a 27-pitch blown save on Tuesday.

Brad Ziegler getting knocked around lately

September 1, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks – For the second straight day Brad Ziegler failed to get the job done for the Diamondbacks. In his last two appearances, Ziegler has given up 7 runs on 10 hits in 2 innings pitched. The recent drubbings have taken some of the sheen off of Ziegler’s excellent season, sending his his ERA a whole run higher to 2.48. But an ERA of 2.48 is still pretty great, so don’t expect Zig to lose his job any time soon. Andrew Chafin, meanwhile, was recently sent to the minors to get some rest.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Sean Doolittle, Oakland A’s – Drew Pomeranz has pitched in 3 straight.
2. Daniel Hudson/David Hernandez, Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler will almost certainly get the night off tonight, but Daniel Hudson, who has had issues with a finger, might still not be ready to close in his place.