Fernando Rodney getting another chance for some reason

June 29, 2015

Seattle Mariners – Fernando Rodney put up another scoreless outing on Sunday, which will give Lloyd McClendon more reason to do what he’s said he wants to do anyway — get his former closer back into the 9th inning. Should-be closer Carson Smith, meanwhile, finished off the 8th inning in a tie game. This remains a committee, but we’ll bump Rodney back to the top of the pile while aiming a scowl in McClendon’s general direction.

Updated hierarchy: *Rodney | Smith | Lowe.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals – Greg Holland got the day off after pitching twice in a row, so Wade Davis picked up his 9th save of the year. Of course, you read the Vulture Save Watch yesterday, so you already knew this was going to happen, didn’t you?

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Davis | Herrera.

Chicago Cubs – Neil Ramirez, who had a stellar rookie campaign (1.44 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10.9 K/9) returned from the disabled list on Sunday and pitched a scoreless inning with 2 Ks. He could find his way into the hierarchy in a hurry, and could even fight his way into the Chicago closer committee if he returns to his 2014 form.

Hierarchy remains: *Rondon | Strop | Motte.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Joe Smith, Los Angeles Angels – Huston Street has pitched in back to back games and blew the save last night. Smith has also gone two straight, but has only thrown 13 total pitches in that span.

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 Roe 6/18/15 ATL Grilli Johnson Masset 6/22/15
BOS Uehara Tazawa Ogando 6/15/15 MIA Ramos Capps Dunn 6/16/15
NYY Betances Wilson Shreve 6/24/15 NYM Familia Parnell Robles 6/26/15
TB Boxberger McGee Jepsen 6/27/15 PHI Papelbon Giles Garcia 6/12/15
TOR *Osuna Delabar Schultz 6/25/15 WAS Storen Janssen Carpenter 6/20/15
.                    
CHW Robertson Duke Petricka 6/24/15 CHC *Rondon Strop Motte 6/29/15
CLE Allen McAllister Shaw 6/19/15 CIN Chapman Hoover Parra 6/26/15
DET Soria Chamberlain Rondon 6/26/15 MIL Rodriguez Smith Jeffress 6/18/15
KC Holland Davis Herrera 6/29/15 PIT Melancon Watson Caminero 6/8/15
MIN Perkins Fien Boyer 6/28/15 STL Rosenthal Siegrist Maness 6/28/15
    .            
HOU Gregerson Neshek Fields 6/27/15 ARI Ziegler Hudson Burgos 6/25/15
LAA Street Smith Bedrosian 6/2/15 COL Axford Logan Betancourt 6/27/15
OAK Clippard Mujica Pomeranz 6/26/15 LAD Jansen Garcia Peralta 6/24/15
SEA *Rodney Smith Lowe 6/29/15 SD Kimbrel Benoit Maurer 5/28/15
TEX Tolleson Kela Scheppers 6/18/15 SF Casilla Romo Strickland 6/1/15

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* = closer by committee

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Casey Fien moving up in Twins bullpen

June 28, 2015

Minnesota Twins – Casey Fien pitched a scoreless 8th inning last night ahead of closer Glen Perkins.  Fien has only given up one run since returning from the DL at the end of May and looks to be regaining his 8th inning role for the Twins.

Updated hierarchy: Perkins | Fien | Boyer.

St. Louis Cardinals — Carlos Villanueva pitched the last three innings of a 7-run Cardinals win last night to pick up the save.  Villanueva has pitched pretty well for the Cardinals so far this season, but he is still used mostly for multiple innings and won’t see much time in the later innings of close games.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Wade Davis, Kansas City Royals – Greg Holland has pitched in back-to-back games.
2. Steve Geltz, Tampa Bay Rays – Boxberger has pitched in two straight and four of five.  McGee and Jepsen have both pitched two straight and three of four.  Geltz could be the freshest arm in the pen after getting yesterday off.

Brad Boxberger the man in Tampa; Rafael Betancourt back in Colorado

June 27, 2015

Colorado Rockies — Rafael Betancourt was activated from the disabled list and immediately pitched the seventh inning in a close game. He will immediately return to high-leverage setup work in front of John Axford, and should soon be considered for vulture save work.

Updated hierarchy: Axford | Betancourt | Logan.

Tampa Bay Rays — After yet another conventional Jepsen-McGee-Boxberger use of the Tampa bullpen, we’re ready to pull the plug on the closer committee asterisk and acknowledge that Brad Boxberger has earned the job.

Updated hierarchy: Boxberger | McGee | Jepsen.

Houston Astros — Chad Qualls was placed on the disabled list Friday with a pinched nerve in his neck. Josh Fields has been excellent this year, with a 0.90 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 22.1 IP.

Updated hierarchy: Gregerson | Neshek | Fields.

Seattle Mariners — With Mike Trout and Albert Pujols up in the eighth inning, Lloyd McClendon called on Carson Smith, leaving Fernando Rodney to face his first save situation since early June. Smith has done nothing wrong in his short term as head of Seattle’s closer committee, but we know McClendon is rooting for “proven closer” Rodney to earn his job back.

Hierarchy remains: *Smith | Rodney | Lowe.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Bobby Parnell, New York Mets — Jeurys Familia has pitched in two straight games since battling groin tightness.
2. Joba Chamberlain, Detroit Tigers — Joakim Soria has pitched in the last two games (41 total pitches).
3. Darren O’Day, Baltimore Orioles — Zach Britton has gone in three of four…
4. Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates — …as has Mark Melancon.