Santiago Casilla is a man on the mound; here comes Big Will again

May 13, 2016

San Francisco Giants — For the second straight night, Santiago Casilla ran into trouble. He faced five batters, and while he did strike out two, he allowed the others to reach base via a walk and two hits. Bruce Bochy then summoned lefty specialist Javier Lopez to face Jake Lamb, enraging Casilla. “It shows the manager didn’t have faith in me,” Casilla told reporters after the game. “Don’t just take the ball and say nothing. It is not a kid. It is a man on the mound.” Bochy’s decision was likely based on Lamb’s complete inability to hit against lefties, not to mention his two career home runs in six at-bats against Casilla. Bochy vowed to talk to Casilla, and it’s unlikely that their spat will impact the closer role going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Casilla | Osich | Gearrin.

St. Louis Cardinals — With the Cardinals up five in the ninth on Thursday, the Angels didn’t give up, getting three runs off Seth Maness to make things interesting. In came Trevor Rosenthal, who walked the bases loaded (14 pitches; only 2 strikes!) before getting pulled for Kevin Siegrist, who finished the game for his first save. Over his last three appearances, Rosenthal has walked as many men as he’s retired. It’s unusual to see a closer with an identical ERA and WHIP (1.64); if Rosenthal’s control issues linger, manager Mike Matheny may have to start mixing in Siegrist more often.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Oh.

San Diego Padres — The Vulture Save Watch correctly projected a night off for Fernando Rodney, but it was Ryan Buchter — not Brandon Maurer — who earned his first career save Thursday (seemingly surprising Padres beat writers in the process). Buchter has been lights-out this season (0.54 ERA, 23 Ks in 16.2 IP, 0.96 WHIP), and should be considered the favorite to get a save when Rodney is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Buchter | Maurer.

Milwaukee Brewers — Will Smith’s absence from this year’s Independence Day reboot is starting to make more sense now that we know he’s been cleared to throw off a mound for the first time since tearing his LCL in March. Before the injury, Smith projected as Milwaukee’s closer. Watch your back, y’all.

Hierarchy remains: Jeffress | Thornburg | Blazek.

Los Angeles Angels — Injured closer Huston Street is getting closer to returning; he played catch for the third straight day on Thursday and hopes to have a bullpen session next week.

Hierarchy remains: Smith | Salas | Alvarez.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Kevin Siegrist, St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal is battling control issues and has pitched in two straight games, throwing 36 pitches. Siegrist has also pitched in two straight, but he hasn’t had to work as hard (just 23 pitches).
2. Josh Osich, San Francisco Giants — Santiago Casilla has pitched in two straight, struggling a bit in both games. He threw 38 pitches and may need the night off. Osich and Cory Gearrin have also pitched in two straight, but they’ve worked lower-leverage situations, and Osich has thrown only 10 pitches.

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