Padres give Brad Hand a chance to close as they look to deal him

May 25, 2017

San Diego Padres — Struggling Brandon Maurer got the eighth with a one-run lead over the Mets, leaving the ninth for lefty trade target Brad Hand. Not content with the normal degree of difficulty, Hand loaded the bases (on two weak singles and a walk) before escaping the inning unscathed through two strikeouts and a fly ball. Hand now has 35 strikeouts in 26 innings, and is probably the best lefthanded reliever on the market. After the game, Andy Green said that Hand is not the closer, but that the team will “bounce guys around and utilize them the best way possible going forward right now.” We’ll call that a committee and keep Maurer up top for now, since Hand will likely be moving on soon.

Updated hierarchy: *Maurer | Hand | Buchter.
* = closer-by-committee

Texas Rangers — Sam Dyson entered Wednesday’s game with two on, one out, a two-run lead, and — for the first time all year — an ERA below 10. RBI single. RBI single (and throwing error). Intentional walk. Run-scoring wild pitch. 2-RBI single. Ground-rule double. Intentional walk. RBI walk. Sam Dyson left Wednesday’s game with three on, one out, a four-run deficit, and a WHIP  (2.65) higher than last year’s ERA (2.43). There’s something very wrong with Sam Dyson. Don’t wait for him to figure it out on your roster.

Updated hierarchy: Bush | Kela | Barnette.

Minnesota Twins — Matt Belisle has an 7.80 ERA and only one appearance since May 12. Taylor Rogers has earned the eighth-inning role for Minnesota, and it looks like it’s Ryan Pressly, not Belisle, backing him up.

Updated hierarchy: Kintzler | Rogers | Pressly.

Atlanta Braves — We can only predict the vulture opportunities; we can’t convert them. We told you that the Braves’ top two would likely have Wednesday off — and they did — but Jose Ramirez blew the shot at his first major-league save. The Pirates scored a touchdown off Josh Collmenter in the tenth to complete the indignity.

Hierarchy remains: Johnson | Vizcaino | Ramirez.

1. Andrew Miller/Bryan Shaw — Cody Allen blew a save Wednesday night and has thrown 52 pitches over the last two days. Both Miller and Shaw have also been used in two straight, so it might come down to which guy is freshest.
2. Tyler Clippard — Dellin Betances has pitched in three of four and the Yankees play a day game Thursday.
3. C.J. Edwards — Wade Davis didn’t make it easy on Wednesday, earning the save on 34 pitches after giving up a homer. It was his first outing in a while, but it was a rough one.

1. Archie Bradley — Fernando Rodney has gone in two straight.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in lineUpdatedCloser1st in line2nd in lineUpdated


* = closer-by-committee


Hansel Robles sent to the minors

May 24, 2017

New York Mets — The Mets demoted the struggling Hansel Robles to Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday. We expect that Fernando Salas, who has three holds over his last five appearances, will be the primary set-up man for Addison Reed. Salas pitched a perfect 1.1 innings to close out Tuesday’s 9-3 win.

Updated hierarchy: Reed | Salas | Blevins.

Miami Marlins – A.J. Ramos struggled through a second straight poor outing as the clock neared 2 a.m., eventually locking down an 11-9 win after he entered the game with a five-run advantage. Ramos, who was warming while the Marlins extended their lead in the 8th, has now allowed four hits and five earned runs over the last two games, neither of which were save situations. We’ll see if Ramos can right the ship, though the Marlins have provided him few save chances so far this season.

Hierarchy remains: Ramos | Barraclough | Phelps.

Colorado Rockies — One name to keep an eye on is Chris Rusin. He pitched a scoreless 7th inning in an 8-2 win on Tuesday and has now allowed just one run in his last 11 appearances, striking out 15 and walking just two in that span. The lefty is versatile enough to also serve as a long reliever when necessary, but if he continues to pitch well, don’t be surprised to see him pick up some more high-leverage work.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Ottavino | Dunn.

1. Jose Ramirez — Jim Johnson and Arodys Vizcaino have both pitched in two straight, three of the last four, and four of the last five. Ramirez got last night off and will be the freshest option on Wednesday.
2. Nick Wittgren/Brad Ziegler — Both A.J. Ramos and Kyle Barraclough tossed 34 pitches on Tuesday, and David Phelps is away on bereavement leave.

1. Andrew Miller/Bryan Shaw — Cody Allen needed 23 pitches to earn a save Tuesday. He may get Thursday off, with Andrew Miller (25 pitches) also potentially in line for a night off if he pitches again on Wednesday.
2. Felipe Rivero/Juan Nicasio — If Tony Watson gets the ball on Wednesday, that will be his fourth appearance in five games. If Rivero also pitches today, he’d have gone in three of the last four.
3. Trevor Rosenthal — Seung Hwan Oh needed 24 pitches on Tuesday and may be in line for a night off Thursday if he has another strenuous outing.