April 25, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers — With 16 strikeouts in nine appearances, rookie Yimi Garcia has been the best pitcher in the Dodgers’ bullpen this season. On Friday night, he finally got a shot at closing — and he mowed down the Padres with two strikeouts and a foul pop. Don Mattingly isn’t ready to abandon the committee system, but Garcia will surely be a huge part of it going forward, and a strong candidate for the setup role after Kenley Jansen returns.
Updated hierarchy: *Peralta | Garcia | Baez.
Miami Marlins — Steve Cishek earned his first save of the year, lowering his ERA to 10.38 in the process. If you’re a Cishek owner, it’s worth noting that his absence would likely create a closer triumvirate of Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos, and Bryan Morris. We think Dunn’s recent ineffectiveness would give Ramos the inside track at this point.
Updated hierarchy: Cishek | Ramos | Dunn.
New York Mets — The Mets’ success is overshadowing their terrible luck with injuries — on Friday came news that Bobby Parnell’s minor league rehab would be shut down for a week because of forearm soreness. Parnell has been out for a year now after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Hierarchy remains: Familia | C.Torres | A.Torres.
Detroit Tigers – Al Alburquerque had his second putrid outing in three days, giving up two home runs in mop-up duty and running his ERA into double digits. He has now given up more home runs in his last three innings than in his first 80 as a major leaguer. Although his velocity is down, he says he feels fine. Bruce Rondon threw on Tuesday and Thursday, and his return can’t come soon enough for this beleaguered pen.
Hierarchy remains: Soria | Chamberlain | Alburquerque.
San Diego Padres — Kevin Quackenbush and his newly trimmed beard have been recalled from Triple-A, and he could move into the Padres’ hierarchy very quickly. On Friday night, he was used in the eighth and ninth with the Padres narrowly trailing.
Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Benoit | Thayer.
Tampa Bay Rays — Matt Andriese gave up his spot in the rotation to Drew Smyly today, but wound up earning a three-inning blowout save instead — and his first Closer Monkey reference. I’d take that deal. While we’re here, we should mention that Jake McGee will throw a bullpen session tomorrow and, if all goes well, will start rehab with the High-A Stone
Hierarchy remains: *Boxberger | Jepsen | Frieri.
Houston Astros — After Luke Gregerson blew a save in the ninth and Pat Neshek gave up two-thirds of a three-run lead in the tenth, Chad Qualls grabbed a vulture save.
Hierarchy remains: Gregerson | Qualls | Neshek.
Colorado Rockies — Adam Ottavino returned from his brief rest and earned an uneventful save on Friday night.
Hierarchy remains: Ottavino | Axford | Betancourt.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Matt Belisle, St. Louis Cardinals — Jordan Walden (45 pitches in four days) and Trevor Rosenthal (pitched in three straight) have gotten a lot of work lately. We think Belisle is next in line.
2. Ken Giles/Luis Garcia, Philadelphia Phillies — Giles got the win in Friday night’s game in a spot that normally would have featured Jonathan Papelbon. After the game, Ryne Sandberg explained that Papelbon was sick in bed all day. If he needs a little more rest, Sandberg could call on Giles again, or Luis Garcia.
3. Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals — The Royals-White Sox game was suspended going into the ninth tied at 2, and will be completed before their next game tomorrow. Two games in one day can bring the vulture.
4. Joe Smith, Los Angeles Angels — Huston Street needed 26 pitches to get Friday’s save; he threw 15 on Thursday.
5. Jumbo Diaz, Cincinnati Reds — Aroldis Chapman has pitched in three of four games. Jumbo Diaz is better-rested, and poor Tony Cingrani? He hasn’t pitched in 10 days, leading to some (more) criticism of Bryan Price.
6. Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates — Mark Melancon got another 1-2-3 save on Friday, but he’s now pitched on three of four days.