Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line 2016 Closer Updated
OAK Tyler Clippard Eric O'Flaherty Dan Otero Sean Doolittle 3/29/15
(DL) Sean Doolittle

Previous updates:

March 29, 2015
Oakland A’s — Manager Bob Melvin confirmed that Tyler Clippard will begin the season as their closer.  Sean Doolittle is still working his way back from a shoulder injury and felt good after his first throwing session on Friday.

Hierarchy remains: Clippard | O’Flaherty | Otero.

March 26, 2015
Oakland A’s — A struggling Ryan Cook was sent to the minors on Tuesday to fix his mechanics. Eric O’Flaherty and Dan Otero will back up Tyler Clippard during Sean Doolittle’s absence, and young R.J. Alvarez is another intriguing option. Doolittle, meanwhile, is staying busy teaching his coaches about social media.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | O’Flaherty | Otero.

March 18, 2015
Oakland A’s – Tyler Clippard has let his once-surefire gig as interim closer slip a bit, as a few tough preseason outings have brought Ryan Cook — and Eric O’Flaherty and Dan Otero — into the conversation. Sean Doolittle will start his throwing program soon, so this could just be a short-term problem for Oakland, and to be clear, we still think Clippard is the best healthy reliever to own. But the situation warrants watching in the coming weeks.

Hierarchy remains: Clippard | Cook | O’Flaherty.

March 6, 2015
Oakland A’s — With Sean Doolittle starting the year on the disabled list — and sleeping on the couch after his semifinal loss in the #FaceofMLB contest — the uber-durable Tyler Clippard will start the season as the closer. Clippard led the NL in holds in 2011, 2013, and 2014, and saved 32 games for Washington in 2012. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty and righty Ryan Cook will back him up, along with Dan Otero and Fernando Abad. If the ambidextrous Pat Venditte can somehow make the team, he could set a new record for appearances — in games, and in Closer Monkey updates.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Clippard | Cook | O’Flaherty.
Holds candidates: Cook, Clippard (eventually).

September 13, 2014
Oakland A’s – Closer Sean Doolittle returned from the DL yesterday.  Manager Bob Melvin said that everyone will return to their normal roles so it sounds like Doolittle will resume closing games immediately.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | O’Flaherty | Cook.

September 12, 2014
Oakland A’s – As expected, the A’s have activated Sean Doolittle from the disabled list. Given the problems they’ve had in the late innings lately, it’s likely that Doolittle resumes closing immediately.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | O’Flaherty | Cook.

September 12, 2014
Oakland A’s – All signs point towards Sean Doolittle’s activation today. Since we anticipate his immediate return to his old gig, expect a live alert if and when he is officially activated.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

September 11, 2014
Oakland A’s — After a successful outing on Wednesday, Sean Doolittle is on track to return from the DL on Friday.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

September 9, 2014
Oakland A’s — Despite manager Bob Melvin saying yesterday that Eric O’Flaherty was likely unavailable on Monday, the A’s skipper summoned O’Flaherty in the ninth for the save chance. O’Flaherty was one strike away, but a solo shot sent the game into extras. O’Flaherty has not pitched in back-to-back games this year, meaning Ryan Cook might get another shot if the A’s lead in the ninth on Tuesday.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

September 8, 2014
Oakland A’s — Eric O’Flaherty has been unavailable with lower back tightness and will not pitch on Monday.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

September 7, 2014
Oakland A’s — Sean Doolittle threw a bullpen session yesterday and said he felt good throwing all his pitches.  He is eligible to come off the DL Monday but will likely need a few more days before he returns.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

August 28, 2014
Oakland A’s — Eric O’Flaherty gave up a solo home run, but earned his first career save on Wednesday. He remains atop the Oakland closer committee. Ryan Cook was used in the sixth and seventh; Dan Otero pitched in the seventh and eighth.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

August 27, 2014
Oakland A’s — Something to keep in mind when thinking about the Oakland committee is that Eric O’Flaherty has yet to pitch in back-to-back games all year. Luke Gregerson spared him the chance tonight by giving up a three-run homer in an eventual 4-2 loss.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

August 26, 2014
Oakland A’s – The A’s had just a 3-2 lead entering the ninth and Eric O’Flaherty was warming for his first save chance since Sean Doolittle landed on the DL. However, Oakland scored five runs in the top half of the final frame and O’Flaherty recorded the final three outs in a non-save setting. Melvin mentioned in his postgame comments that he didn’t want to get O’Flaherty warmed up and not use him. He’s still at the top of our hierarchy, but we’ll see if Melvin gets another committee member some ninth-inning reps.

Hierarchy remains: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

August 24, 2014
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle has been placed on the DL with an intercostal strain. Luke Gregerson was expected to see the majority of save chances, but before Sunday’s game, Bob Melvin said that Gregerson would stay in the eighth inning while Dan Otero, Ryan Cook, and Eric O’Flaherty share save chances. It’s an odd decision, since Gregerson closed earlier this year and has pitched the 8th ever since, but it’s all we’ve got to go on for now, so we’ll do our best to handicap things based on the one-game sample size that we’ve got. On Sunday game, Otero pitched in the 7th inning with the A’s down by nine runs, while Cook pitched the 9th and O’Flaherty was idle. The fact that O’Flaherty didn’t pitch, combined with this strong endorsement from A’s beat writer Susan Slusser, means that O’Flaherty starts at the top of the committee for now. We’ll slot Cook in afterwards, since he’s got the past closer experience, and follow him with Gregerson, mostly because we’re stubborn and still think he’s the guy for the job. And despite his usage yesterday, Otero is in the mix as well.

Updated hierarchy: O’Flaherty | Cook | Gregerson.

August 24, 2014
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle recorded his 20th save of the season last night, but he may have injured himself in the process.  Doolittle grimaced in pain after making the throw to first to end the game.  The trainers did tests on him after the game and he was optimistic after he was able to complete the tests.  It doesn’t sound like it will be serious but it will be something to monitor, and if Doolittle does miss any time, Luke Gregerson should take over as closer.

Hierarchy remains: Doolittle | Gregerson | Cook.

July 15, 2014
Oakland Athletics – Sean Doolittle has been terrific since taking over for Jim Johnson and has helped the A’s to the best record in baseball at the All-Star break. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None

June 30, 2014
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle and Luke Gregerson had both pitched in two straight and three of four, so the A’s used Ryan Cook to get the last four outs of the game on Sunday. Cook, Dan Otero, and Fernando Abad will continue to jockey for 7th inning chances.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | Gregerson | Cook.

June 29, 2014
Oakland Athletics – Sean Doolittle’s scoreless inning streak ended at 26 yesterday, as he blew a one run lead in the 9th inning.  Jeff Francis ended up getting the save in the 14th inning, but he does not factor into the A’s normal late inning bullpen plans.

Hierarchy Remains: Doolittle | Gregerson | Otero.

June 20, 2014
Oakland Athletics – Sean Doolittle, he of the most ridiculous K/BB ratio since 1900, got the night off Thursday after pitching in two games in a row. Righty Dan Otero picked up the save in his place.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | Gregerson | Otero.

June 4, 2014
Oakland A’s — Ryan Cook was reactivated from the disabled list on Tuesday and, although he didn’t make it into the game, Bob Melvin had him warming along with lefty Fernando Abad in a tied seventh inning. If Cook can return to form, he should move into a seventh-inning role right away.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | Gregerson | Cook.

May 30, 2014
Oakland A’s – With $10 million invested, the A’s really want Jim Johnson to succeed — or at least be a usable reliever. But after giving up 2 runs in the 7th inning of a close game on Thursday afternoon, Johnson’s ERA sits at 6.55. The A’s season is exactly 1/3 over, so we’ve reached the point where a small sample size is no longer an excuse, and with the rest of the bullpen essentially dominating, Johnson is unlikely to sniff a save opportunity again for a long time.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | Gregerson | Abad.

May 21, 2014
Oakland A’s — Sean Doolittle’s first walk in nine months didn’t scare off Bob Melvin Tuesday night. After the lefty finished off the Rays, he was officially anointed Oakland’s closer. “It’s pretty cool, I guess,” was Doolittle’s response — fitting for a man who’s been known to dance like no one is watching to George Michael.

Hierarchy remains: Doolittle | Gregerson | Johnson.

May 19, 2014
Oakland A’s – A week ago today, Sean Doolittle got his second save of the season. Since then, the A’s haven’t had another save opportunity, but even before yesterday, it had started to appear that Doolittle was becoming the preferred option. Bob Melvin said on Wednesday that Doolittle would’ve gotten the save chance if there had been one that evening, and then Doolittle pitched the 9th inning in a 4-run game on Saturday. Meanwhile, Jim Johnson’s usage has been restricted to blowouts — the 9th inning of a 10-run game on Friday, and then the 6th inning of an 8-run game yesterday. In the latter appearance, Johnson walked 3 batters, hit a fourth, and then got yanked. Johnson appeared to be back on track earlier this month, but he’s fallen pretty far over the past week, and will probably have to string together a few strong appearances before he re-enters the conversation in Oakland. Look for Doolittle to be the main option for now, with Luke Gregerson getting the call if the A’s are facing a righty-heavy ninth inning.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | Gregerson | Johnson

May 15, 2014
Oakland A’s — Although the A’s blew a one-run lead in the eighth, Bob Melvin helpfully announced after the game that Sean Doolittle would have pitched the ninth in a save situation. The committee lives.

Hierarchy remains: Johnson | Doolittle | Gregerson.

May 14, 2014
Oakland A’s — Bob Melvin renewed Oakland’s commitment to a closer committee on Tuesday, noting that Sean Doolittle’s value with men on base can sometimes keep him from finishing close games. That acknowledgment suggests to us that Johnson still has a slight edge in the saves race going forward, but it’s anything but a full-throated endorsement.

Hierarchy remains: Johnson | Doolittle | Gregerson.

May 13, 2014
Oakland A’s — The A’s were seemingly on their way to a comfortable win over the White Sox, but after starter Jesse Chavez allowed a leadoff homer in the ninth and Fernando Abad followed that up with a walk, Jim Johnson made a mess of things. He faced just two batters, allowing a double and an RBI single before giving way to Sean Doolittle. After a sac fly cut Oakland’s lead to 5-4, Doolittle fanned the next two batters to pick up the save. Manager Bob Melvin praised Doolittle after the game and after being booed off the field, Johnson may be another poor outing away from losing the job he just reclaimed.  Jim Johnson to Hot Seat; Hierarchy change: Sean Doolittle to Set-up, Luke Gregerson to 2nd in line.

May 8, 2014
Oakland A’s
 — Jim Johnson got the ball in the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead, and retired the side to record just his second save of the season. An easy final three outs hasn’t been Johnson’s strong suit, but it appears as if he’ll get Oakland’s save opportunities moving forward. Should he slip again, expect Luke Gregerson to return to the ninth.

Hierarchy change: Johnson | Gregerson | Doolittle.

May 7, 2014
Oakland A’s — Down a run late, the Athletics went to Sean Doolittle, Luke Gregerson, and then Jim Johnson, in what appeared to be another attempt to ease Johnson back into the closer’s role. That process may have been derailed after Johnson surrendered four runs (three earned) in 2/3 of an inning. No hierarchy change.

May 1, 2014
Oakland A’s — Jim Johnson remains undefeated — for his career! — when protecting an 11-run lead. Luke Gregerson, who hadn’t pitched since Saturday, got the eighth inning in this laugher, and it seems all but official that JJ will claim the next high-leverage ninth. We’ll slide him up one slot, for now. Hierarchy change: Jim Johnson to Set-Up, Sean Doolittle to 2nd in line.

April 26, 2014
Oakland A’s – The A’s were tied throughout the latter half of Friday night’s game, and used Sean Doolittle in the 7th inning, followed by Luke Gregerson in the 8th.  Jim Johnson was warming up in the bullpen as they took the lead in the 9th, but the A’s proceeded to score a total of 7 runs in the top half of the inning, so Johnson sat down and Fernando Abad came in to mop up.  Bob Melvin was quick to tell anyone who would listen that Johnson has not re-claimed the job, and that Oakland is still using a committee.  But this feels like one of those spots where the manager takes a firm public stance just to take pressure off a player.  Johnson has five straight scoreless appearances covering 6.2 innings, and he was brought in on a sizable contract to close games for the A’s.  We think he’ll get the next save opportunity, and as long as he converts, the job will be his again.  No hierarchy change.

April 23, 2014
Oakland A’s — Luke Gregerson was one strike away from his fourth save of the year; instead, he blew his second in less than a week, and took the loss. Meanwhile, Fernando Abad continued his scoreless streak by picking up two outs in the eighth, and Jim Johnson was warming up as the winning run scored. Bob Melvin was incensed in his postgame press conference; it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll turn next, but Abad, Johnson, and Sean Doolittle are all options. No hierarchy change.

April 17, 2014
Oakland A’s — It was Luke Gregerson’s turn to blow a save on Wednesday. Bob Melvin has said that he’ll consider making some changes in the bullpen on tomorrow’s off day; don’t be surprised if Jim Johnson gets back into it. Hierarchy change: Jim Johnson to 2nd in line, replacing Ryan Cook.

April 16, 2014
Oakland A’s — Sean Doolittle blew a save late Tuesday night, courtesy of a Mike Trout home run. No instant alert for this one — they were even anyway — but we’re ready to shuffle Luke Gregerson to the top of the Oakland closer committee. Note also the resurgence of Jim Johnson, who’s pitched five scoreless innings since he was moved out of the ninth inning. Hierarchy change: Luke Gregerson to Closer, Sean Doolittle to Set-up.

April 15, 2014
Oakland A’s — After the Angels’ Ernesto Frieri blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth, Luke Gregerson earned his second save of the season in the bottom half of the inning. Oakland’s committee continues to shine, with Gregerson likely getting the call thanks to the pair of righties due up in the ninth.  No hierarchy change.

April 13, 2014
Oakland A’s –Luke Gregerson picked up the first save for Oakland since Jim Johnson was removed as closer.  Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect 8th and also got the first out of the 9th before Gregerson came on to finish the game.  Tonight’s usage was likely matchup driven, as there were 2 lefties and a switch hitter due up in the 8th inning.  No hierarchy change.

April 11, 2014
Oakland A’s – Bob Melvin has said little about his closer-by-committee thus far, but we got a hint yesterday about his preferred options when he summoned Ryan Cook in the 8th inning of a 4-run game.  Cook had 16 saves over his first two seasons, but he’s still rounding into form after starting the season on the DL.  His usage yesterday suggests that Luke Gregerson is the preferred right-hander in the committee right now.  Hierarchy change: Luke Gregerson to Set-up, Ryan Cook to 2nd in line.

April 10, 2014
Oakland A’s – Bob Melvin is giving Jim Johnson a break from closing duties for the time being.  Johnson may have the chance to win the job back if he pitches well, but for now, the A’s are going closer by committee.  Sean Doolittle, Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook, and Dan Otero all figure to be involved.  Hierarchy change: Sean Doolittle to Closer, Ryan Cook to Set-up, Luke Gregerson to 2nd in line.

April 10, 2014
Oakland A’s — It’s hard to raise a 15.00 ERA, but Jim Johnson pulled it off today. When asked to comment on potential replacements, Bob Melvin helpfully offered, “I’m just saying that I’m not saying anything.” Aha. We see Sean Doolittle as the best alternative, with Luke Gregerson behind him in a virtual tie with Ryan Cook, who’s still recovering from shoulder issues. No hierarchy change.

April 8, 2014
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook returned from the disabled list and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in an 8-3 Oakland win. He should take over the 7th-inning role previously held by Luke Gregerson. Hierarchy change: Ryan Cook to 2nd in line, replacing Luke Gregerson.

April 3, 2014
Oakland A’s – After taking a loss on Monday, Jim Johnson came on for the save last night and gave up three runs to blow the save.  Through two appearances, Johnson’s line is hideous: 1.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 3BB, 0 Ks.  He’s making a lot of money to be the stopper in Oakland, and thus far, the A’s are still giving him their full support.  But a few more outings like this one and they’ll have to turn elsewhere — most likely to hard-throwing lefty Sean Doolittle.  Jim Johnson to Hot Seat.

April 1, 2014
Oakland A’s — Jim Johnson made his A’s debut in the ninth inning of a scoreless game and allowed the first three batters to reach before giving up a sac fly and a single. He was taken out to a chorus of boos, though there’s no sign of the reigning saves leader in the AL losing his new job.  No Hierarchy change.

March 23, 2014
Oakland A’s — Ryan Cook is expected to start the season on the DL.  Veteran Luke Gregerson should take over for Cook while he is out.   Hierarchy change: Luke Gregerson to 2nd in line, Ryan Cook injured.

March 13, 2014
Oakland A’s — Jim Johnson had a second straight year of 50 saves, sure, but don’t forget the nine blown saves either. Oakland will probably not present the same wealth of save opportunities as Baltimore has. Ranked #15 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 7, 2014
Oakland A’s – The A’s brought Jim Johnson in to be their new stopper, and gave him a contract big enough to ensure his early-season job security.  Not much else to see here, as Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook will likely share 8th inning duties again.  Cook has been recovering from some tendinitis, but is confident he’ll be ready for the season.  If he can’t go, the newly-acquired Luke Gregerson will slide up into his spot.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Jim Johnson, Set-up – Sean Doolittle, 2nd in line – Ryan Cook.  

September 14, 2013
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook came on with 2 outs in the 8th inning last night and proceeded to give up a walk and two hits while recording no outs.  Sean Doolittle got the last out of the 8th and stayed on for the 9th to pick up his 2nd save of the season.  Grant Balfour admitted recently that his arm is tired so Doolittle and Cook could see a few more save chances down the stretch.  Hierarchy change: Sean Doolittle to Set-up,  Ryan Cook to 2nd in line.

September 9, 2013
Oakland A’s – The fantasy managers out there that picked up Brett Anderson two weeks ago (no one) have now gotten three saves out of the converted perfect gamer.  At this point, it doesn’t seem that outlandish to suggest that Anderson might get another long-relief save or two before the season ends, as the A’s might continue to use him in this fashion going forward.  In the deepest of leagues, he might be worth an add if you’re in a very tight race for saves.  No hierarchy change.

September 8, 2013
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour threw 37 pitches in his Friday outing, so the A’s went to Sean Doolittle in the 9th on Saturday, and the lefty picked up his first save.  Doolittle continues to share the 8th inning role with Ryan Cook.  No hierarchy change.

September 5, 2013
Oakland A’s – Brett Anderson picked up a three-inning save in a blowout yesterday.  Though he’s now picked up two long-relief saves in the past seven days, he doesn’t factor in to the usual late-inning plans in Oakland.  No hierarchy change.

August 29, 2013
Oakland A’s – Brett Anderson picked up a three-inning save on Wednesday.  The former starter does not factor in to the A’s usual late-inning plans.  No hierarchy change.

July 25, 2013
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour got the day off on Wednesday, and Ryan Cook picked up the save in his absence.  Nothing to see here.  No hierarchy change.

July 17, 2013
Oakland A’s — Oakland might add another arm in middle relief; they were chasing Matt Thornton before the Red Sox sealed that deal. With Grant Balfour facing free agency, though, don’t put it past Billy Beane to deal his All-Star closer, even with the A’s atop their division. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: BUY Ryan Cook, SELL Grant Balfour.

July 8, 2013
Oakland A’s – Jesse Chavez picked up a 4-inning save last night.  He does not factor in to the A’s usual late-inning plans.  No hierarchy change.

June 3, 2013
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook finished off the 7th and stayed on for a spotless 8th on Sunday, marking the third straight 8th-inning appearance for Cook.  Sean Doolittle, meanwhile, has struggled in his last two outings, allowing two runs each time.  Hierarchy change: Ryan Cook to Set-up, Sean Doolittle to 2nd in line.

May 20, 2013
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour and Sean Doolittle both had the day off on Sunday after pitching the previous two days, so Ryan Cook got the call in the 9th inning.  The righty made it interesting, allowing two runners to reach, but ultimately locked down his first save of the season.  No hierarchy change.

May 4, 2013
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle pitched the 8th, and then stayed on to get the first two outs of the 9th inning, getting Hafner and Ichiro before giving way to Balfour who got one out for the save.  Doolittle has been used in the 8th inning over Ryan Cook a couple times in the past week and looks to have taken over that role. Hierarchy change: Sean Doolittle to Set-up,  Ryan Cook to 2nd in line.

February 24, 2013
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour recently underwent surgery and will miss six weeks.  If he’s not ready to start the season, Ryan Cook should get the early chances.  Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Grant Balfour, Set-up- Ryan Cook, 2nd in line- Sean Doolittle.

September 13, 2012
Oakland A’s – As expected, Grant Balfour got the night off after three straight games of work, and it was Ryan Cook summoned for a one-out save. No hierarchy change.

September 12, 2012
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour got into trouble in the 9th inning on Tuesday, and Jerry Blevins bailed him out for his first save of the season. Balfour has been pitching well since returning to the closer role and it’s unlikely that his job is in jeopardy. No hierarchy change.

August 30, 2012
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook got the last out of the 8th inning in a close game on Wednesday, then stayed on for the 9th after the A’s tacked on a few runs. Cook has been pitching quite well as of late, but unfortunately for him, so has Grant Balfour, who will probably hold on to the role unless he starts to struggle. No hierarchy change.

August 26, 2012
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle pitched the 8th inning ahead of Grant Balfour on Saturday, striking out 2 in a perfect inning for his 9th hold of the year. The A’s have gone back and forth between Doolittle and Jerry Blevins over the past month or so, using whoever is pitching better as their go-to lefty. Lately, that’s been Doolittle, who over his last 7 innings pitched has allowed 0 runs while striking out 13. Hierarchy change: Sean Doolittle to 2nd in line, replacing Jerry Blevins.

August 17, 2012
Oakland A’s – Jerry Blevins picked up his 9th hold of the season, pitching parts of the 7th and 8th innings ahead of Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour. Cook has now had scoreless outings since being demoted, and if Bob Melvin was serious about Cook’s demotion being temporary, then the young righty could win the job back soon. Grant Balfour, through no fault of his own, is now on notice. Hierarchy change: Jerry Blevins to 2nd in line, replacing Pat Neshek. Grant Balfour to Hot Seat.

August 11, 2012
Oakland A’s – Bob Melvin has removed Ryan Cook from the closer role, saying he wanted to use the rookie in lower-pressure situations. Melvin emphasized that the move may not be permanent, but that he’d go with a closer-by-committee for the time being. Grant Balfour got the save on Saturday after Cook pitched in the 7th and 8th, and Balfour is the best short-term (and possibly long-term) option for saves at this point. Hierarchy change: Grant Balfour to Closer, Ryan Cook to Set-up.

August 5, 2012
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook on Saturday blew his second save in a row and his fourth in his last six chances. He’s now got 7 blown saves on the year, which leads the league, and could be in danger of losing his job to former closer Grant Balfour. On the other end of the bullpen, Pat Neshek, called up two days ago, has not allowed a hit in 3 innings while striking out 4, and earned his first hold of the season last night. Hierarchy change: Pat Neshek to 2nd in line, replacing Sean Doolittle. Ryan Cook to Hot Seat.

July 22, 2012
Oakland A’s – With Ryan Cook getting the night off after pitching three games in a row, the A’s went to Sean Doolittle, who pitched a clean 9th inning for his first save. The hard-throwing lefty now has 29 strikeouts in 19.1 innings and has surpassed Jerry Blevins on the depth chart. Hierarchy change: Sean Doolittle to 2nd in line, replacing Jerry Blevins.

July 13, 2012
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook isn’t going anywhere, but the A’s are actively looking to move Grant Balfour. If Balfour catches on with the right team– like the Mets, or possibly the Cardinals– he could be in the mix for saves. TRADE DEADLINE BUY: Grant Balfour. SELL: None.

July 1, 2012
Oakland A’s – Brian Fuentes was summoned in the 6th inning on Saturday with the A’s down by 4 runs, and he proceeded to give up a run on two hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Bob Melvin has said that he’s trying to work Fuentes back into a late-inning role, but the lefty isn’t helping himself, as he now sports a 6.84 ERA. Jerry Blevins (2.51 ERA) has been a much more reliable lefty for the A’s, as he picked up a 7th inning hold on Friday. Hierarchy change: Jerry Blevins to 2nd in line, replacing Brian Fuentes.

June 23, 2012
Oakland A’s – All year, Ryan Cook’s dirty little secret has been his hideous BB/IP ratio (5.7 per 9), and yesterday, it finally came back to bite him, as he blew his second save of the season after walking the inning’s first two batters on nine pitches. Under most circumstances, one outing wouldn’t be enough to endanger his job, but Cook has never actually been officially named the closer, and former 9th inning man Grant Balfour has been stellar all month, having allowed 0 runs and 3 hits in his last 9.2 innings. Ryan Cook to Hot Seat.

June 16, 2012
Oakland A’s – Evan Scribner earned a 3-inning save on Friday. He does not factor in to the A’s normal late inning plans. No hierarchy change.

June 13, 2012
Oakland A’s – In the A’s first save opportunity since Bob Melvin announced the platoon, Ryan Cook got the call, striking out 2 and earning his first save. Grant Balfour pitched the 7th and 8th innings. While Fuentes may still get a save chance if match-ups are right, he hasn’t pitched since being demoted. Hierarchy change: Grant Balfour to Set-up, Brian Fuentes to 2nd in line.

June 10, 2012
Oakland A’s – Bob Melvin told the San Francisco Chronicle before Saturday’s game that he would employ a closer-by-committee going forward, with Ryan Cook, Brian Fuentes, and Grant Balfour involved. Melvin also said that Ryan Cook was his best option in any tough situation, making him the best bet to win the job. Hierarchy change: Ryan Cook to Closer, Brian Fuentes to Set-up.

June 9, 2012
Oakland A’s – Brian Fuentes blew another save last night and is now only 5 for 8 in save opportunities. Ryan Cook pitched the 8th last night and struck out the side while lowering his ERA to 0.69. When asked about the closer situation after the game Manager Bob Melvin simply said, “I don’t make a decision like that two minutes after a game.” It appears Melvin is certainly considering a change and Cook has pitched well enough to deserve a shot at closing. No hierarchy change.

May 30, 2012
Oakland A’s – Brian Fuentes allowed a walkoff 3-run HR last night in what was his first blown save since he was named closer two and a half weeks ago. But while Fuentes has been decent in his role as the A’s stopper, the A’s set-up men have been better. Former closer Grant Balfour has held opponents scoreless in 8 of his last 9 appearances. Ryan Cook, meanwhile, gave up his first runs of the season the other day, but still sports a 0.75 ERA. If Fuentes falters again, the A’s could start thinking about making a move. Brian Fuentes to Hot Seat.

May 13, 2012
Oakland A’s – Brian Fuentes picked up the save last night in what initially appeared to be a match-up play; three of the four Tigers hitters due up that inning were lefties. But early this morning, Bob Melvin told the Oakland Tribune that Fuentes was his man for the foreseeable future. “We’ll give Balfour a bit of a break,” he said. Hierarchy change: Brian Fuentes to Closer, Grant Balfour to 2nd in line.

May 3, 2012
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour threw 29 pitches in blowing a save on Tuesday, and has been dealing with a sore back, so Brian Fuentes picked up the save in his absence on Wednesday. But while Balfour remains on the Hot Seat, this isn’t an indication that he’s lost his job yet. If his back continues to bother him, Brian Fuentes or Ryan Cook will get save opportunities. No hierarchy change.

May 2, 2012
Oakland A’s – Grant Balfour was summoned in a four-run game, but couldn’t close the door on the Red Sox, allowing two runs before being yanked; Jordan Norberto got the save in his absence. Given set-up man Ryan Cook’s astonishing season thus far (12 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit), the A’s might be growing impatient with Balfour, who had already blown two of this last three save opps before Tuesday. Grant Balfour to Hot Seat.

April 18, 2012
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook was brought in for the 8th inning, the second consecutive game that he has been used over Brian Fuentes to bridge the gap to Grant Balfour. Cook has yet to allow a run in 5.1 innings so far this season. Hierarchy change: Ryan Cook to Set-up, Brian Fuentes to 2nd in line.

April 14, 2012
Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook got the call for the 8th inning in a 3 run game last night and manager Bob Melvin has said that he plans on using Cook as his primary right-handed set up man. Hierarchy change: Ryan Cook to 2nd in line, replacing Fautino De Los Santos.

March 28, 2012
Oakland A’s- Grant Balfour has been declared the closer to start the season following the departure of Andrew Bailey. Brian Fuentes will get first crack at saves if Balfour falters. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Grant Balfour, Set-up- Brian Fuentes, 2nd in line- Fautino De Los Santos.

Dec. 29, 2011
Oakland A’s- Andrew Bailey is gone, and an A’s front office representative said that Grant Balfour, Fautino De Los Santos, and Joey Devine will compete for save chances. Balfour should get the first shot. Hierarchy change: Balfour to Closer, De Los Santos to Set-up, Devine to 2nd in line.

Aug. 25, 2011
Oakland A’s- Fautino De Los Santos came into a tie game in the 9th and pitched a scoreless inning, earning the win. De Los Santos recorded a hold in his previous outing, and looks to be gaining the trust of Bob Melvin. Hierarchy change: De Los Santos to 2nd in line, replacing Brian Fuentes.

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