May 19, 2017
Seattle Mariners — During an interview with a Sirius XM fantasy sports show, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto gave answers that led host Craig Mish to believe James Pazos may be first in line for saves in Seattle’s committee. The tweet led to a flurry of speculative pickups — and he’s probably worth it until we see the M’s in a save situation. Nick Vincent, for his part, pitched a scoreless ninth inning Thursday in a tie game and got the win when the M’s walked off in the bottom half. We suspect he’s likely the first in a committee that includes Tony Zych, the newly returned Steve Cishek, Mark Rzepczynski and… Pazos. Maybe.
Updated hierarchy: *Vincent | Pazos | Zych.
* = closer-by-committee
Chicago Cubs — If you’re reading this, Joe Maddon, well played. A day after the monkey pulled Koji Uehara out of the Cubs hierarchy, Maddon on Thursday put Uehara into a save situation that he ultimately converted for his first save this season. It was a unique situation, to be sure. Uehara came into a 9-4 game with the bases loaded, nobody out and the tying run on deck, and after allowing a sac fly, he compiled two strikeouts to shut the door. Hector Rondon had already pitched, coming into the game in a relatively tight spot with the Cubs leading 9-1 in the seventh and allowed two inherited runs and one earned run to score to make things interesting. Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis had each pitched in two straight and were probably unavailable. With Rondon faltering a bit again, the case can be made that Edwards Jr. (1.04 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 24 Ks) is next in line behind Davis, with Rondon and Uehara (among others), after that.
Updated hierarchy: Davis | Edwards | Rondon.
Detroit Tigers – As the Vulture Save Watch predicted, Alex Wilson was called to protect a one-run lead and delivered for his second save. Justin Wilson had pitched in two straight games.
Hierarchy remains: J.Wilson | A.Wilson | Greene.
Milwaukee Brewers — Corey Knebel nailed down his third save Thursday, so as promised we’re ditching the asterisk. He has been dynamite and is cementing himself as the Brewers clear 9th-inning option, while Jacob Barnes and Carlos Torres have established themselves in the 8th and 7th inning, respectively.
Updated hierarchy: Knebel | Barnes | Torres.
Houston Astros – Sources told FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal that the red-hot Astros are hunting for more pitching and are intrigued by Pirates closer Tony Watson. Nothing is imminent, the report said.
Hierarchy remains: Giles | Devenski | Harris.
Pittsburgh Pirates – See above. If Watson is dealt the Pirates could employ a committee with Felipe Rivero at the top. The monkey is just speculating, though.
Hierarchy remains: Watson | Rivero | Nicasio.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Jacob Barnes — Corey Knebel has pitched in four of the last five, throwing 27 pitches Thursday night. He needs rest eventually. Jacob Barnes and Carlos Torres have each pitched in two straight and three of the last four. At least one of these three will have Friday off. We suspect Knebel gets a breather.
1. Adam Ottavino — Greg Holland pitched Tuesday and Thursday (8 total pitches), and a Friday appearance could mean he’d need rest Saturday if he labors a bit.
2. Jacob Barnes/Carlos Torres — See above. Anyone who pitches Friday would most certainly be unavailable Saturday.