Blake Parker struggles; Jordan Hicks is awesome

April 2, 2018

Toronto Blue Jays – Seung Hwan Oh picked up his first save of the season on Sunday, pitching a clean 9th inning after Tyler Clippard handled the 8th. Roberto Osuna pitched on Friday and Saturday, so he was given the night off, as was Ryan Tepera, who we currently have at the 1st in line spot. Given his past experience, though — as well as his good start to the season so far — Oh might be the guy to get save chances even when Tepera is available. We’ll monitor those two going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Oh.

Boston Red Sox – Two straight appearances for Craig Kimbrel on Friday and Saturday meant a day off Sunday, which allowed Joe Kelly to pick up his first save of the season. Kelly is the best handcuff to own at the moment; Matt Barnes and Carson Smith also figure to be in the mix on nights when Kimbrel isn’t available.

Updated hierarchy: Kimbrel | Kelly | Barnes.

St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals hierarchy is suddenly a very crowded place. We’ve opted to keep Greg Holland in the closer spot even though he won’t be up for another week or two, and we’d also like to keep Leone and Lyons on our chart, as they’re still the duo likely to get save chances in his absence. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the head-turning stuff possessed by Jordan Hicks. Last night, Hicks and his 102-mph fastball handled the 8th inning with the Cardinals up four runs; look for him to get more chances for holds as he continues to prove himself.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Leone | Lyons.

Los Angeles Angels – Keynan Middleton remains behind Blake Parker and Cam Bedrosian — and possibly Jim Johnson, too — in the Angels hierarchy, but last night, he still managed to get his first save of the season. Bedrosian had already pitched earlier in the night, while Johnson had thrown 29 pitches the night before, so when Parker got into trouble in the 9th inning, it was Middleton who was summoned to bail him out. The quick hook on Parker suggests that he’s still got a ways to go to earn Mike Scioscia’s trust this season, and this bullpen continues to be worth a discerning eye as April progresses.

Hierarchy remains: *Parker | Bedrosian | Middleton.
* = closer-by-committee

1. George Kontos – Felipe Rivero pitched both games of yesterday’s doubleheader and likely can’t go today.

1. Ryan Madson – If Doolittle goes today, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
2. Alex Wilson – If Greene goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
3. Darren O’Day – If Brach goes tonight, it’ll be two straight.
4. Jared Hughes – If Iglesias goes tonight, it’ll be two straight.
5. Chris Devenski – If Giles goes tonight, it’ll be two straight.