October 1, 2015
Los Angeles Angels – Eleven days after spraining his ankle, Joe Smith was back on Wednesday to pitch the final out of the 9th inning. The Angels had already given up the lead, but seeing Smith back has to be encouraging for a team that lost their primary closer and setup man in the span of a week. Manager Mike Scioscia said that Smith will be used “somewhere in the back end” going forward. With the Angels only a half game back of the wild card, Smith could very well be the closer for the last four games of the season. While there has been no official announcement that he will close going forward, and he is not yet 100% healthy after rushing back from the ankle injury, he is by far the best option out of the Angels bullpen and he should be picked up immediately if you are chasing those last few saves of the season.
Updated hierarchy: *Smith | Gott | Morin.
* = closer-by-committee
Arizona Diamondbacks – Congratulations are in order to Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler. Not only does he have a major league leading 27 saves in a row, but he is also celebrating the birth of his daughter. However, this means that he is not currently with the team, so last night’s save went to Daniel Hudson. Chip Hale is unsure when Ziegler will be back, but with Arizona already eliminated from playoff contention, its possible he will be given the rest of the year off. If Ziegler is with the team, then his 1.90 ERA and 29 saves are clearly the top option; however, if you are chasing saves, look at Daniel Hudson, who could vulture any opportunities in the last few games.
Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Delgado.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler is still with his new daughter.
2. Trevor Gott, Los Angeles Angels – Joe Smith may need another warm-up inning after returning from injury yesterday.
3. Dellin Betances, New York Yankees -Andrew Miller threw 38 pitches yesterday, and will likely get a day off, even with the Yankees not quite having locked up a playoff spot.
4. Luis Garcia, Philadelphia Phillies – Ken Giles has pitched back-to-back games and three of the last four. With the Phillies playing well to end the season, and the Mets looking forward to the playoffs, it may be Garcia who gets a save opportunity today.
5. Edwin Jackson, Atlanta Braves – Arodys Vizcaino has pitched in back to back games and three of the last four.
6. Nate Jones, Chicago White Sox – David Robertson has pitched two straight tilts, including a 20-pitch loss last night.