Sean Doolittle activated; Greg Holland struggling

May 26, 2015

Oakland Athletics – Sean Doolittle will be activated from the disabled list today. Bob Melvin has repeatedly said that while Doolittle won’t close right away, he will be serving in that role in short order. So we’re moving him to the top of the hierarchy because the assumption is that he will be the closer by the end of the week; we’ll tag him with an asterisk for now and remove it once he gets his first save.

Updated hierarchy: *Doolittle | Clippard | Scribner.
* = closer-by-committee

Texas Rangers – Neftali Feliz had only gotten into one game since the blown save that cost him his job, and on Monday we were given the reason — an abscess on his right side that has now resulted in a trip to the disabled list. Shawn Tolleson just picked up his fourth save in six games, and Feliz would have to do a lot upon returning to even get himself into the 1st in line spot. So if you don’t have a DL spot open, he’s probably droppable in most leagues at this point.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Ohlendorf.

Kansas City Royals – In his first appearance since May 14, Greg Holland had a discouraging outing against the Yankees, allowing two runs while only recording one out. It was a blowout, and many closers are notoriously ineffective without the context of a save situation to jack up their adrenaline, but Holland wasn’t throwing as hard as usual. As we alluded in last week’s Hot Seat column, it might be time to buy some Wade Davis shares.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Davis | Herrera.

1. Casey Janssen/Aaron Barrett, Washington Nationals – Drew Storen has pitched in back to back games, three of four, and five of seven. He could get the night off.
2. Seth Maness, St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal has pitched three innings over the last two days.
3. Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman has pitched in back to back games, throwing 46 pitches.
4. Chris Hatcher, Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen has pitched in three of four and is coming off an injury.

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 Hunter 5/14/15 ATL Grilli Johnson Cunniff 5/22/15
BOS Uehara Tazawa Barnes 5/15/15 MIA Ramos Dunn Morris 5/22/15
NYY Miller Betances Carpenter 5/10/15 NYM Familia C.Torres A.Torres 4/25/15
TB *Boxberger McGee Jepsen 5/20/15 PHI Papelbon Giles Garcia 4/22/15
TOR Cecil Osuna Loup 5/4/15 WAS Storen Janssen Barrett 5/25/15
CHW Robertson Duke Jennings 5/16/15 CHC Rondon Strop Wood 5/24/15
CLE Allen McAllister Shaw 5/23/15 CIN Chapman Cingrani Hoover 5/23/15
DET Soria Chamberlain Gorzelanny 5/22/15 MIL Rodriguez Broxton Smith 5/23/15
KC Holland Davis Herrera 5/26/15 PIT Melancon Watson Hughes 4/24/15
MIN Perkins Boyer Thompson 5/16/15 STL Rosenthal Siegrist Maness 5/17/15
HOU Gregerson Qualls Neshek 5/20/15 ARI *Ziegler Burgos Reed 5/25/15
LAA Street Smith Salas 5/9/15 COL Axford Betancourt Logan 5/9/15
OAK *Doolittle Clippard Scribner 5/26/15 LAD Jansen Hatcher Garcia 5/18/15
SEA Rodney Smith Wilhemsen 5/24/15 SD Kimbrel Benoit Quackenbush 5/4/15
TEX Tolleson Kela Ohlendorf 5/26/15 SF Casilla Romo Affeldt 5/9/15


* = closer by committee


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Shawn Tolleson pulls away from Rangers committee

May 25, 2015

Washington Nationals – After he pitched a scoreless inning in his Nats debut Saturday, Casey Janssen was given a high-leverage opportunity, getting the last two outs of the 8th inning on Sunday ahead of Drew Storen. If he continues to pitch well, then Janssen would likely be someone that Matt Williams would look to on nights when Storen was unavailable. He has the prior closing experience that managers crave, and might be a good add in holds leagues since he figures to get more 8th inning looks.

Updated hierarchy: Storen | Janssen | Barrett.

Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler picked up his second save on Sunday, pitching a scoreless 9th inning against the Cubs. After Enrique Burgos’s rough outing on Saturday, Ziegler figures to be the first choice for saves for Arizona, though we’ll leave the committee tag on for now. Addison Reed, meanwhile, had a good outing, pitching a clean 8th ahead of Ziegler.

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.

Texas Rangers – Shawn Tolleson, meanwhile, is losing his asterisk. In striking out the side on 13 pitches last night, he earned his third save in five days and has given Texas no reason to look to anyone else for 9th inning opportunities. The “no roles” bullpen has quickly morphed into “no roles for anyone except Tolleson,” and given his ratios at this point (29 Ks and 4 BBs in 20.1 innings), the hard-throwing righty could be a very solid option for saves going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Tolleson | Kela | Ohlendorf.

1. Mike Dunn, Miami Marlins – AJ Ramos has pitched in three straight.
2. Junichi Tazawa, Boston Red Sox – Koji Uehara has pitched in back to back games, and has yet to go three straight all season.
3. Jim Johnson, Atlanta Braves – Jason Grilli is coming off a minor injury, and has pitched in back to back games.

Pedro Strop records save for Cubs

May 24, 2015

Chicago Cubs – Pedro Strop pitched a perfect 9th for his first save of the season on Saturday night, as regular closer Hector Rondon got the night off.  Rondon has two blown saves in his last three appearances, but Joe Maddon still trusts his closer.  However, if Rondon has a couple more tough outings, you can expect to see him on the next Hot Seat report.

Hierarchy remains: Rondon | Strop | Wood.

Seattle Mariners — Tom Wilhelmsen, who had 24 saves just two season ago, pitched a scoreless 7th inning yesterday with the Mariners up 1.  Since his return from the DL in early May, Wilhemsen has 5 scoreless appearances.  With Danny Farquhar struggling, Wilhemsen, who manager Lloyd McClendon calls “the glue,” could see more time in the late innings.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Smith | Wilhemsen.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Enrique Burgos gave up a go-ahead 3-run homer to Anthony Rizzo in the 9th inning last night.  Burgos had been pitching well, and still recorded three strikeouts last night, but if he has a few more outings like last night, Ziegler would likely solidify himself as the primary closer.

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.
*closer by committee

1. Yimi Garcia, Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen has pitched in two straight and the Dodgers might not want to send him out there for three in a row since he recently returned from injury
2. Mike Dunn, Miami Marlins – A.J. Ramos has pitched in two straight, including a 25 pitch outing on Friday.
3. Jeremy Affeldt/Javier Lopez, San Francisco Giants – Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo have both pitched in three straight
4. Tom Wilhemsen, Seattle Mariners – Fernando Rodney and Carson Smith have each appeared in two straight and three of the last four.