Melancon could remain Pirates closer even after Grilli’s return

September 3, 2013

Pittsburgh Pirates — Mark Melancon’s outstanding performance as the Bucs’ interim closer could give Clint Hurdle the luxury of easing Jason Grilli back into high-leverage use. Grilli struck out the side in his Monday rehab appearance with the Altoona Curve; he’s expected to make one last rehab appearance on Wednesday for AAA playoff team Indianapolis, unless the big club calls him up first. Hierarchy change: Jason Grilli to Set-up (DL).

.Closer.Set-Up.2nd in line.2014 Closer.Updated
PITMark MelanconTony WatsonJustin WilsonJason Grilli9/3/13
Jason Grilli (DL)

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Toronto Blue Jays — Steve Delabar returned from the disabled list after almost a month and jumped right back into the eighth inning, earning a hold on Monday. Toronto has been leaning on Sergio Santos more than Brett Cecil over the past two weeks, so Santos keeps his slot at #3 for the Jays. Hierarchy change: Steve Delabar to Set-up, replacing Brett Cecil.

.Closer.Set-Up.2nd in line.2014 Closer.Updated
TORCasey JanssenSteve DelabarSergio SantosSergio Santos9/3/13

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Houston Astros — If you’re still chasing saves right now, you’re probably in your fantasy playoffs — and if you’re in your fantasy playoffs, you’ve probably stayed far away from the hellscape of the post-Veras Houston bullpen. The events of Labor Day won’t inspire you to change that sound plan: after a solid sixth and seventh from putative closer Josh Fields, Kevin Chapman let an inherited runner score to tie the game. Chia-Jen Lo came out for the ninth, which might have been enough to edge him past Fields in our hierarchy. If, that is, Lo hadn’t loaded the bases in time for a Chris Colabello grand slam. On the bright side, Houston’s minor league teams have the best combined record in baseball. No hierarchy change.

.Closer.Set-Up.2nd in line.2014 Closer.Updated
HOUJosh FieldsChia-Jen LoKevin ChapmanJosh Fields9/3/13

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Detroit Tigers — As predicted in Monday morning’s Vulture Save Watch, it was Jose Veras who earned the save by finishing off a shutout of Boston. Bet he’s glad he got out of Houston. No hierarchy change.

.Closer.Set-Up.2nd in line.2014 Closer.Updated
DETJoaquin BenoitJose Veras Drew SmylyJose Veras9/3/13

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VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Paco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Dodgers 
— Kenley Jansen has three saves in the last three days.
2. Sean Doolittle, Oakland A’s — Grant Balfour has pitched on four of the last five days, and Ryan Cook has pitched in three of four himself. Doolittle had Labor Day off.
3. Sergio Santos/Steve Delabar, Toronto Blue Jays — Casey Janssen has pitched in three of the last four games, and it may be too early for John Gibbons to use Steve Delabar on back-to-back days.

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