March 31, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies — Pat Neshek was placed on the 10-day DL with a right shoulder strain and the Phillies missed him immediately. In his stead the team turned to Luis Garcia to protect a one-run lead in the eighth. Garcia gave up a run, and could have given up another if not for replay review. Despite the blown save, Garcia is likely in line for more late-inning appearances, at least until Neshek and Tommy Hunter return.
* = closer-by-committee
Cincinnati Reds — Amir Garrett pitched a clean seventh inning with two strikeouts last night. Garrett, a would-be starter, has one of the better arms on the rebuilding Reds. On a different team, he might have been relegated to long relief, but given Bryan Price’s habit of using relievers for multiple innings, Garrett could see chances at holds or even vulture saves. Raisel Iglesias followed a similar path to closing for the Reds, so as long as Garrett is in the bullpen, he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.
Boston Red Sox — Matt Barnes pitched the eighth inning ahead of Craig Kimbrel in a 1-0 victory for Boston last night, his second scoreless inning in as many days. Meanwhile, Joe Kelly and Carson Smith combined to give up six runs in a single inning on Thursday. One bad outing doesn’t usually shake up a hierarchy, but we’ll be watching to see whom Alex Cora favors going forward.
Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Kelly | Smith.
Los Angeles Angels — Blake Parker picked up a save last night despite giving up a run in the ninth on a walk and two singles. Keynan Middleton pitched a clean eighth ahead of Parker. It’s the second scoreless outing for Middleton, while Cam Bedrosian had a bit of a disaster on his first work on Thursday. Blake Wood has also started the year off with two clean holds and may get more chances going forward. Expect this to be one of the most volatile bullpens all year.
Hierarchy remains: *Parker | Bedrosian | Middleton.
* = closer-by-committee
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. AJ Minter — Arodys Vizcaino has appeared in both of Atlanta’s games, throwing 37 pitches in that span.
2. Kirby Yates — Brad Hand has thrown even more over the last two days (48).
3. Jacob Barnes — Corey Knebel has gone back to back, and while he worked three straight days a lot last year, the Brewers may rest him in the early going.
4. Dellin Betances — The same is true for Aroldis Chapman.
5. Sam Dyson — And Hunter Strickland . . . and Tony Watson.
6. George Kontos — Felipe Rivero threw 30 pitches yesterday in a blown save.