Latest update: April 20, 2014

(UPDATED 10:12 AM) New York Mets – Kyle Farnsworth will close for the Mets for the time being, announced Terry Collins on Sunday morning.  Collins had hinted last night that Jose Valverde was finished, and made it official this morning.  Carlos Torres and Gonzalez Germen figure to get looks if Farnsworth struggles.  Hierarchy change: Kyle Farnsworth to Closer, Carlos Torres to Set-up, Gonzalez Germen to 2nd in line.

Detroit Tigers – After a rough start the season, Joba Chamberlain has now gone five straight appearances without allowing a run.  He has a 11/1 K/BB ratio and has been entrusted with the set-up role in his last two outings, including yesterday, when he earned an 8th inning hold ahead of Joe Nathan.  Hierarchy change: Joba Chamberlain to Set-up, Al Alburquerque to 2nd in line.

Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall was activated from the disabled list yesterday, and will give the Reds a strong pair of lefties in the back end of their bullpen.  Marshall probably won’t immediately jump Manny Parra, who is having the best year of his career so far, but the duo will give the Reds the opportunity to play match ups at will in the late innings, with Sam LeCure continuing to figure in the mix for 7th and 8th inning holds.  Hierarchy change: Manny Parra to Set-up, Sean Marshall to 2nd in line.

New York Mets – Another disastrous outing from Jose Valverde, in which he stymied a potential Mets comeback by allowing a 3-run HR, has Terry Collins thinking about making a change at closer.  If they do make a move, the best in-house option is Kyle Farnsworth, with Carlos Torres and Gonzalez Germen also potentially in the mix.  Free agent Joel Hanrahan, who the Mets recently scouted, is a possibility as well.  Jose Valverde to Hot Seat.

San Diego Padres – Joaquin Benoit picked up the save on Saturday.  Huston Street had thrown 52 pitches over his previous two outings and was just getting the night off.  No hierarchy change.

Houston Astros – The Houston committee continues to struggle, with Chad Qualls being the latest to blow a save in a horrific 9th inning on Saturday.  We’ve previously complained that Matt Albers hasn’t gotten any opportunities despite being the best arm in the bullpen (which he reinforced yet again with a clean 8th inning yesterday), and we have to think that after yesterday, he has at least moved ahead of Qualls in the Houston hierarchy.  Hierarchy change: Matt Albers to Set-up, Chad Qualls to 2nd in line.

Atlanta Braves – Jordan Walden picked up a one-out, bases-loaded save on Saturday night, bailing out an ineffective Craig Kimbrel.  Despite being the go-to guy in the 8th inning all season, David Carpenter has struggled mightily, and his ERA shot up to 6.43 after he was knocked around last night.  After Walden’s clutch performance last night, we think he’d probably be the best bet for saves if Kimbrel’s early season struggles continue.  Hierarchy change: Jordan Walden to Set-up, David Carpenter to 2nd in line.

(UPDATED 4/19 6:29 PM) Chicago Cubs – It wasn’t a save chance, but the Cubs hierarchy was made very clear today, when Hector Rondon pitched the 7th and 8th innings in a 4-run game, while Pedro Strop got the 9th.  Despite giving up his first run of the year today, Rondon’s ERA is more than 3 full points better than Strop’s, but it seems that Strop will be the one given first crack at saves after the demotion of Jose Veras.  Hierarchy change: Pedro Strop to Closer, Hector Rondon to Set-up.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Jim Henderson, Milwaukee Brewers – K-Rod continues to pitch lights out, but the closer has pitched in back to back games and three of the last four.  He might get Sunday off to recover.
2. Sean Doolittle, Oakland A’s - Luke Gregerson has seen more save chances that Doolittle since Jim Johnson’s demotion but this is still looking like a committee so Doolittle could get the call based on match-ups.
3. Chad Qualls/Anthony Bass, Houston Astros – Though Matt Albers is our favorite option in the Houston bullpen, he’s likely to get the day off today after throwing 62 pitches in the last four days.


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At a glance:

. Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . Updated . . Closer . Set-Up . 2nd in line . Updated .
BAL Hunter O’Day Meek 4/19/14 ATL Kimbrel Walden Carpenter 4/20/14
BOS Uehara Mujica Tazawa 4/17/14 MIA Cishek Ramos Dunn 4/5/14
NYY Kelley Warren Thornton 4/11/14 NYM Farnsworth Torres Germen 4/20/14
TB Balfour Peralta Bell 4/14/14 PHI Papelbon Bastardo Adams 4/15/14
TOR Santos Cecil Delabar 4/19/14 WAS Soriano Clippard Storen 3/11/14
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CHW Lindstrom Webb Cleto 4/16/14 CHC Strop Rondon Grimm 4/19/14
CLE Axford Allen Shaw 3/9/14 CIN Broxton Parra Marshall 4/20/14
DET Nathan Chamberlain Alburquerque 4/20/14 MIL Rodriguez Henderson Smith 4/14/14
KC Holland Davis Herrera 4/2/14 PIT Grilli Melancon Watson 3/9/14
MIN Perkins Burton Fien 3/9/14 STL Rosenthal Martinez Siegrist 3/31/14
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HOU Fields Albers Qualls 4/20/14 ARI Reed Putz Ziegler 4/19/14
LAA Frieri Smith Jepsen 3/7/14 COL Hawkins Ottavino Logan 4/16/14
OAK Gregerson Doolittle Johnson 4/17/14 LAD Jansen Wilson Perez 4/18/14
SEA Rodney Wilhelmsen Farquhar 4/17/14 SD Street Benoit Thayer 4/20/14
TEX Soria Ogando Cotts 4/14/14 SF Romo Casilla Lopez 3/7/14

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Previous updates:

April 19, 2014
Baltimore Orioles - Darren O’Day picked up the save last night.  He got the last out of the 8th inning with the Orioles up 3 and then Orioles added another run in the top of the 9th.  O’Day stayed on to finish the game and record his first save of the season.  No hierarchy change.
Toronto Blue Jays – Before yesterday’s game, manager John Gibbons said that Sergio Santos has been tremendous this season.  Santos successfully closed out the Indians on Friday but it wasn’t smooth, as he allowed a hit and 2 walks in the 9th inning.  He is 5 out of 6 in save chances this season but he has struggled with walks and will need to get that under control if he wants to keep the job.   No hierarchy change.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Addison Reed blew his first save of the season on Friday, giving up the game-tying solo homerun to Juan Uribe.  The Diamonbacks would go on to win the game in extra innings and former starter Trevor Cahill earned his first career save.  No hierarchy change.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays - Sergio Santos has pitched in 2 straight and 3 of the last 4, throwing a total of 56 pitches.
2. Sean Doolittle, Oakland A’s - Luke Gregerson has seen more save chances that Doolittle since Jim Johnson’s demotion but this is still looking like a committee so Doolittle could get the call based on match-ups.
3. Pedro StropChicago Cubs - Our preference for saves in Chicago is still Hector Rondon, but with no official word yet from Rick Renteria, Pedro Strop could be the 9th inning option.
4. Chad Qualls/Anthony BassHouston Astros - If the Astros ever get another save opportunity they could use pretty much anyone at this point.

April 18, 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers - Brian Wilson was activated from the disabled list earlier this week, and on Thursday, he picked up where he left off, earning an 8th inning hold in a 2-run ballgame.  Hierarchy change: Brian Wilson to Set-up, Chris Perez to 2nd in line.
Toronto Blue Jays - Sergio Santos had been solid in filling in for Casey Janssen so far this season, but Thursday was a disaster for the right-hander. He entered the game with two runners on in the 8th inning and a 2-run lead, and proceeded to walk the only three hitters he would face, throwing only four total strikes.  Casey Janssen’s rehab was temporarily shut down after he aggravated an injury, but this doesn’t provide Santos a ton of job security after yesterday.  Brett Cecil still has a 0.00 ERA on the year, and should Santos continue to struggle, the lefty could potentially hold down the 9th inning job until Janssen’s return.  Sergio Santos to Hot Seat.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Chad Qualls/Anthony Bass, Houston Astros - No one has emerged from the Houston committee as a consistent 9th inning option.
2. Sean Doolittle/Jim Johnson, Oakland A’s - If the A’s continue to use their committee, then Sean Doolittle or Luke Gregerson will continue to share 9th inning duties. However, the A’s are expected to re-evaluate their bullpen today, which means a possible reclamation of the job for Jim Johnson. If that happens, we’ll send out an alert.
3. Pedro Strop, Chicago Cubs - As previously mentioned, if we were running the Cubs, Hector Rondon would be our choice for the 9th inning. But Rondon’s usage on Wednesday suggests that Strop might be the guy in Chicago going forward. (Expect an alert on this, too, should it happen.)
4. Brian Wilson, Los Angeles Dodgers - Kenley Jansen threw 30 pitches last night; two days prior he threw 25.

April 17, 2014
Oakland A’s – It was Luke Gregerson’s turn to blow a save on Wednesday. Bob Melvin has said that he’ll consider making some changes in the bullpen on tomorrow’s off day; don’t be surprised if Jim Johnson gets back into it. Hierarchy change: Jim Johnson to 2nd in line, replacing Ryan Cook.
Boston Red Sox – After Wednesday’s extra-inning slog against the White Sox, today’s expected return of Koji Uehara should be huge for Boston. Burke Badenhop was the last man standing to pick up the save in the 14th. No hierarchy change.
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs were swept by the Yankees in a Wednesday doubleheader, and both Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon entered with Chicago trailing — Rondon in the sixth. The Cubs are behind a lot, and somebody has to pitch, but this might point to Pedro Strop as the most likely recipient of the next (rare) save opportunity. No hierarchy change.
Seattle Mariners – Fernando Rodney was all over the place on Wednesday night, turning a Felix Hernandez gem into a loss with two unearned runs. The Mariners’ bullpen is somewhat unsettled; although Tom Wilhelmsen would probably be the most likely replacement closer, he hasn’t been used in exclusively high-leverage spots. Nor has Danny Farquhar, who watched Charlie Furbush and Yoervis Medina handle the eighth last night. We’re not quite sure what to tell you about Seattle, other than not to trust the guy with the crooked hatNo hierarchy change.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Chad Qualls/Anthony Bass, Houston Astros – Josh Fields has pitched on two straight days, and anyone can get a save in Houston anyway.
2. Wade Davis, Kansas City Royals – Greg Holland has thrown 40 pitches over the last two days.
3. Jake Petricka, Chicago White Sox – Matt Lindstrom pitched two innings and Daniel Webb threw 59 pitches on Wednesday. Maikel Cleto also issued three walks during his appearance, and Robin Ventura has said he’s comfortable using Petricka in high-leverage situations.
4. Joaquin Benoit, San Diego Padres – Huston Street has pitched on three of the last four days.
5. Javier Lopez, San Francisco Giants – Sergio Romo has also pitched on three of the last four days.

April 16, 2014
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle blew a save late Tuesday night, courtesy of a Mike Trout home run. No instant alert for this one — they were even anyway — but we’re ready to shuffle Luke Gregerson to the top of the Oakland closer committee. Note also the resurgence of Jim Johnson, who’s pitched five scoreless innings since he was moved out of the ninth inning. Hierarchy change: Luke Gregerson to Closer, Sean Doolittle to Set-up.
Colorado Rockies – Rex Brothers has been awful this year, and Walt Weiss has decided to give the lefty a few days off. Boone Logan, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh on Tuesday night, should reap some high-leverage rewards. For his part, Adam Ottavino has been practically unhittableHierarchy change: Adam Ottavino to Set-up, Boone Logan to 2nd in line.
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton picked up his first save of the year on Tuesday night, cementing his hold on Cincy’s closer job until the return of Aroldis Chapman. On Monday, Chapman threw off a mound for the first time since his injury, and the Reds are cautiously optimistic. No hierarchy change.
Chicago White Sox – The Sox signed ex-closer Frank Francisco on Monday and assigned him to their AAA team in Charlotte. With the struggles in the White Sox pen so far, Francisco has a good shot at being this year’s Kevin Gregg. That might be the saddest sentence I’ve ever typed. No hierarchy change.
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen pitched a scoreless inning for class-A Dunedin on Tuesday; he’s expected to make two more minor league appearances before returning in about a week. What role he’ll have upon his arrival is still unknown. No hierarchy change.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. David Carpenter/Jordan Walden, Atlanta Braves – Craig Kimbrel is still day-to-day with a sore shoulder.
2. Kevin Jepsen, Los Angeles Angels – Ernesto Frieri has pitched in four of the last five games, as has Joe Smith, who got blasted on Tuesday.
3. Chad Qualls/Anthony Bass, Houston Astros – It’s Houston, what are you gonna do?
4. Pedro Strop, Chicago Cubs – Rick Renteria might call on Strop after demoting Jose Veras. Heck, he might call on Kevin Gregg, or Gregg Olson.
5. Ryan Cook/Dan OteroOakland Athletics – Luke Gregerson is most likely to get an A’s save on Wednesday, but these two have a shot.
6. Brian Wilson/J.P. Howell, Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen has thrown in three of the last four games, including a 25-pitch outing yesterday, and Brian Wilson has returned from the disabled list.

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Posted June 27, 2011 by bigtastebailout

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