April 22, 2017
Oakland A’s — For the second night in a row, Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth inning with a lead, this time converting a perfect save opportunity. Bob Melvin described Casilla as “a closer,” hastening to add that he wasn’t the only one Oakland has. Casilla has allowed only one hit in eight innings this year, but Sean Doolittle has also been effective, and shut down the Mariners’ 3-4-5 hitters in the eighth last night. We’ll move Casilla to the head of the committee for now, but either guy could still get chances.
Updated hierarchy: *Casilla | Doolittle | Madson.
* = closer-by-committee
Seattle Mariners — Dan Altavilla was sent down to AAA after giving up three runs on Thursday. This leaves a hole in the back end of Seattle’s bullpen, at least until Steve Cishek returns. Cishek had a passable outing for Tacoma last night and is expected back next week. For now, Mark Rzepczynski is likely to see any emergency save opportunities, especially if the Mariners are facing a lefty-heavy lineup.
Updated hierarchy: Diaz | Vincent | Rzepczynski.
Tampa Bay Rays — Struggling lefty Xavier Cedeno has been moved to the disabled list with mild tightness in his forearm. The cupboard’s getting bare in the Rays bullpen — Brad Boxberger was recently transferred to the 60-day DL and can’t return until early June. Jumbo Diaz and Tommy Hunter will help Danny Farquhar get the ball to Alex Colome.
Updated hierarchy: Colome | Farquhar | Diaz.
Baltimore Orioles — Brad Brach continued his impressive start to the season, picking up his third save with a perfect ninth inning. Zach Britton says he feels good and is ready to start throwing, but there’s no need to rush him back, thanks to Brach. Expect Darren O’Day to get any save opportunity today, though; Brach has pitched three in a row.
Hierarchy remains: Brach | O’Day | Givens.
Toronto Blue Jays — John Gibbons intended to rest his top three relievers on Friday, but a wild thirteenth inning changed the plan. Up three, Joe Biagini was summoned with the bases loaded and no outs. He didn’t make it easy — giving up a run-scoring single, then hitting Mike Trout rather than letting Mike Trout hit — but in the end, he escaped with the save.
Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.
Los Angeles Dodgers — Sergio Romo’s bases-loaded balk (the first of his major league career) opened the floodgates to a nine-run implosion by one of the highest-paid bullpens in baseball. Romo has been underwhelming, with six walks, six hits, and only four strikeouts over his 5.1 innings (11.81 ERA). He has plenty of time to turn this around, but Pedro Baez could be there to pick up the slack.
Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Romo | Baez.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Darren O’Day — Brad Brach has pitched in three straight.
2. Koda Glover — Shawn Kelley made another appearance last night — two in a row and three out of four for him — so he’ll definitely rest today.
3. Joaquin Benoit/Edubray Ramos — Hector Neris has pitched in two straight and three of four. Benoit has pitched in the same games, but has thrown fewer pitches. If neither can go, expect Ramos to get the longshot vulture save.
4. Addison Reed/Fernando Salas — Jeurys Familia has pitched in back-to-back games, throwing 48 pitches. Addison Reed has thrown 41 pitches over the past four days, leaving Fernando Salas as the best-rested option for the Mets.
1. Koji Uehara — Wade Davis has pitched in three of four, but hasn’t thrown many pitches in that span. If Davis gets in today, he’ll get Sunday off.