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.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
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.