April 11, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays – Alex Colome hasn’t quite been the same closer that recorded 47 saves a year ago. On Tuesday, he allowed a pair of inherited runners to score courtesy of a three-run homer before walking the potential tying run. Colome got out of the jam to earn his second straight shaky save, but there is cause for concern, especially when he is just a few days removed from his second blown save of the season. Colome doesn’t seem too worried about it, while manager Kevin Cash doesn’t think it’s a mechanical thing. Sergio Romo will likely get Wednesday’s save chance, as Colome has pitched each of the last three days, and Romo may be worth a stash in case Colome can’t snap out of his funk.
Hierarchy remains: Colome | Romo | Alvarado.
Milwaukee Brewers – Both Matt Albers and Josh Hader had thrown 30 pitches on Monday, making them unavailable for what turned out to be a disastrous night for the Milwaukee bullpen. Jacob Barnes got another ninth-inning save chance, but two wild pitches tied the game. After the Brewers regained the lead, it was JJ Hoover’s turn to blow a save in the 10th and then give up a walk-off homer in the 11th, much to the dismay of fans and houseguests everywhere. The Brewers bullpen continues to be a mess since Corey Knebel hit the DL, but with Albers and Hader likely available again on Wednesday, perhaps that duo can right the ship.
Hierarchy remains: *Albers | Barnes | Hader.
* = closer-by-committee
Washington Nationals – When Sammy Solis got into trouble protecting a 4-0 lead in the ninth inning, Dave Martinez called on Ryan Madson to close the game. Madson did allow an inherited runner to score thanks to a double, but struck out the other two batters he faced to pick up his first save of the year. Sean Doolittle is still the closer, but it’s clear than Madson is the handcuff in Washington.
Hierarchy remains: Doolittle | Madson | Kintzler.
Minnesota Twins — Zach Duke pitched the eighth inning of the Twins’ 4-1 win on Tuesday, as Addison Reed was under the weather. Duke pitched well against the Astros’ best hitters, and the lefty’s usage on Tuesday suggests he’s third in line for saves in Minnesota. Don’t sleep on Ryan Pressly either, as he pitched the seventh on Tuesday and has six strikeouts in 5.1 scoreless innings this season.
Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Reed | Duke.
Miami Marlins – Kyle Barraclough allowed his first two earned runs of the season on Tuesday as the Mets rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning. Brad Ziegler and his 7.94 ERA wasn’t much better on Tuesday, as he gave up two more runs in the ninth. The arm to keep an eye on in Miami is Drew Steckenrider, who owns a 0.00 ERA and has struck out seven against just one walk in 5.2 IP. Hard to ignore his strong start, especially given Ziegler’s struggles.
Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Barraclough | Steckenrider.
San Francisco Giants – Bad news for Mark Melancon owners, as he hasn’t even started throwing yet. Hunter Strickland gave up his first earned run of the season last night and has otherwise been solid as the team’s closer.
Hierarchy remains: Strickland | Watson | Dyson.
Pittsburgh Pirates – There’s a new name in the Pirates’ late-inning mix, as Felipe Rivero changed his name to Felipe Vazquez. The name change has not affected his pitching, as Vazquez earned his fourth save of the season on Tuesday.
Hierarchy remains: Vazquez | Kontos | Feliz.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Sergio Romo – Alex Colome has gone in three straight games.
2. AJ Ramos – Jeurys Familia has pitched in back-to-back games and three of four.
1. George Kontos – Felipe Vazquez threw 24 pitches on Tuesday. He may get Thursday off if he has a busy Wednesday.
2. Craig Stammen – If Brad Hand goes tonight, that will be three straight.
3. Tony Watson – If Hunter Strickland pitches tonight, that will be two straight and four of the last five.