August 15, 2018
Washington Nationals – Ryan Madson thought he would avoid the disabled list, but it turns out that’s not the case and he’ll become the latest Washington reliever to hit the DL. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Dave Martinez indicated that Koda Glover is now his first option at closer. He also said that Justin Miller would have gotten the ninth on Tuesday if the Nationals were in a save situation since Glover was unavailable. There was some positive news yesterday, as Sean Doolittle threw off a mound for the first time in weeks, but he is still at least a week or two away from returning.
Updated hierarchy: Glover | Miller | Holland.
Chicago White Sox — If you had Xavier Cedeno in your lineup last night, congratulations! After Juan Minaya walked the first batter of the ninth inning on five pitches, Cedeno came in and collected his first save of the season. Cedeno wasn’t even the best White Sox lefty on Tuesday, as Jace Fry struck out four of the seven batters he faced. What does this mean for the late innings on the South Side? Minaya certainly didn’t help his case to close more games, but with both Cedeno and Fry pitching well (for now), Luis Avilan may currently be the lefty on the outside looking in at the moment. Thyago Vieira still has the stuff to close, but it’s telling that Rick Renteria opted to keep Cedeno in last night’s game against the top of the Tigers’ order rather than keep mixing and matching. We’ll move Cedeno to the top of this volatile hierarchy and keep hoping you don’t have to rely on any of these guys for saves.
Updated hierarchy: *Cedeno | Vieira | Minaya.
* = closer-by-committee
Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenta Maeda made his first appearance out of the bullpen since being moved there, pitching the ninth inning a 1-1 game. Maeda, who may not be thrilled to be in the bullpen, allowed three hits and the go-ahead run. Meanwhile, Ross Stripling is meeting with a doctor today with regards to his stiff back. While he probably won’t be available today, Stripling doesn’t believe it will be anything long term. Erik Goeddel, just activated from the DL, was warming with Maeda for the ninth inning last night and should once again pitch in high-leverage spots.
Hierarchy remains: *Alexander | Maeda | Stripling.
* = closer-by-committee
St. Louis Cardinals – Just as the Vulture Save Watch predicted, Bud Norris got Tuesday off and Jordan Hicks picked up his fourth save of the season. It is worth noting that Norris is dealing with some soreness in his right hip, so he may get some additional rest during the week.
Hierarchy remains: Norris | Hicks | Hudson.
Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays activated Chaz Roe from the DL prior to Tuesday’s game. Roe should return to pitching in high-leverage situations during the late innings.
Updated hierarchy: Romo | Alvarado | Roe.
San Francisco Giants – Mark Melancon has not pitched too many innings of any consequence lately. Sam Dyson has the same amount of holds since August 2 as Melancon does, but Dyson is more likely at this point to get a save chance if Will Smith and Tony Watson are unavailable. Keep an eye on Reyes Moronta as well. Moronta owns a 2.05 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and has struck out 62 batters in 52.2 IP this season.
Updated hierarchy: Smith | Watson | Dyson.
Philadelphia Phillies – Hector Neris is back with the Phillies for the third different time this season. Will the third time be the charm? Gabe Kapler seems to think so, saying that he won’t hesitate to use Neris in a tight spot. We’ll certainly hesitate to put Neris back in the hierarchy right away, though Kapler’s confidence in Neris is not unfounded. In 19 appearances at Lehigh Valley, Neris did not allow a home run, posted a 1.45 ERA and allowed just 17 baserunners in 18.2 IP.
Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee
Atlanta Braves — Arodys Vizcaino is scheduled to begin throwing today, which is good news for the Braves. There’s still no timetable for Vizcaino’s return to a bullpen that has been pretty good in his absence. Jonny Venters still hasn’t allowed a run since returning to Atlanta after last night’s outing, and he should continue to see high-leverage spots along with Dan Winkler as the Braves look to get the ball to Brad Brach and AJ Minter.
Hierarchy remains: Minter | Brach | Winkler.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Jeurys Familia – Blake Treinen has pitched in three straight games. Fernando Rodney pitched the eighth inning last night as both Familia and Lou Trivino were held back.
2. Tony Watson – Will Smith has also pitched in three straight contests.
3. Matt Barnes – Craig Kimbrel has pitched in three of the last four, and if the Sox have a three-run lead, Barnes may get the save chance over Kimbrel.
1. Brad Brach – AJ Minter may get Thursday off if he has a lengthy outing today.
2. Adam Ottavino/Seung Hwan Oh – Both Wade Davis and Ottavino will have pitched in two straight and three of four if they make an appearance today.