April 7, 2018
— Before Friday’s game, Craig Counsell announced that Corey Knebel would miss at least six weeks with a hamstring injury, and that the closer role would be filled by a committee of Jacob Barnes, Matt Albers, Jeremy Jeffress, and the newly acquired Dan Jennings. Although Josh Hader has the biggest upside of any arm in the Milwaukee pen, Counsell sees him as too valuable to tie down to the ninth inning — as evidenced by his use last night to put out a fire in the fourth. Albers pitched two clean innings with the game tied, and the Brewers walked off in the bottom of the ninth. We continue to believe that Barnes has the inside track, with the experienced Albers a close second. As a top-shelf lefty, Hader might get some chances too if the matchups are right.
Updated hierarchy: *Barnes | Albers | Hader.
* = closer by committee
— Nick Goody pitched a clean seventh inning ahead of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen to pick up his first hold of the year. This is Goody’s fourth straight scoreless appearance, and as long as he keeps pitching well, he should keep seeing late-inning chances.
Updated hierarchy: Allen | Miller | Goody.
Los Angeles Angels
— After an appearance in the ninth with a four-run lead, speculators are racing to grab Keynan Middleton, hoping Mike Scioscia abandons his committee inclinations and gives the young righty a chance to make the closer job his own. Suuuure, it’s possible Scioscia’s a changed man, wants to settle down — that this time is different —
but we’re going to make him prove it first. If you want to take the ride, be our guest. We’ll be here for you when Mike breaks your heart.
Updated hierarchy: *Parker | Middleton | Bedrosian.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Kirby Yates
— Brad Hand has pitched back to back and in three of the last four.
2. Darren O’Day
— Brad Brach has pitched in three straight games.
3. Archie Bradley
— The Diamondbacks had last night off, but Boxberger has thrown 66 pitches over the past few days.
1. Andrew Miller — If Cody Allen pitches today, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
2. David Robertson/Dellin Betances — The same is true of Aroldis Chapman. Betances has gone in two straight himself (and may be falling behind Robertson anyway).