April 6, 2018
Milwaukee Brewers – All-Star closer Corey Knebel collapsed after throwing a pitch in the ninth inning of Thursday’s loss to the Cubs. He suffered a left hamstring injury, though the severity of it won’t be known until he receives the results of a scheduled MRI on Friday. Knebel had allowed two runs with Milwaukee already down 6-0. He hadn’t pitched yet in April, so he was getting some much-needed work to stay fresh. Manager Craig Counsell announced after the game he’d be placed on the DL. We expect a mixture of Jacob Barnes, Josh Hader and maybe Matt Albers to contend for saves in Knebel’s absence.
Updated hierarchy: *Barnes | Hader | Albers.
* = closer by committee
Chicago White Sox – For the third consecutive opportunity, Joakim Soria – and not Nate Jones – got the chance to close out the game. He failed to do so on Thursday, however, allowing three runs in the ninth to tie the game. Jones allowed a run himself in the eighth inning. So what do we make of all this? We’re not removing the committee tag yet, but Soria is likely to continue gathering the bulk of the save chances.
Hierarchy remains: *Soria | Jones | Minaya.
* = closer-by-committee
Detroit Tigers – Joe Jimenez picked up the win yesterday after a fourth straight scoreless appearance. He doesn’t have any holds or strikeouts yet, but he’s only allowed one hit and just two walks in 3.1 IP. Jimenez may continue to see high-leverage opportunities if he continues to pitch well.
Updated hierarchy: Greene | Wilson | Jimenez.
St. Louis Cardinals – Future closer Greg Holland’s debut for the Cardinals organization was a success. He tossed a clean inning Thursday, getting two groundouts and a strikeout on seven pitches (five strikes). He’ll definitely close for the Cardinals, it’s just a matter of when. He could be up within a week or so.
Hierarchy remains: Holland | Leone | Hicks.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Kirby Yates — Brad Hand has pitched in two of three, throwing 35 pitches. The workload seems relatively light, but 31 of those pitches came in a blown save on Thursday. Kirby Yates may get a shot today…
1. Kirby Yates — …but if it’s Hand again, he’ll most likely be off on Saturday.
2. Darren O’Day — Brad Brach has pitched in two straight. If he pitches today, he’ll most certainly be off on Saturday.
3. Jake McGee — Wade Davis has gone in two straight (32 pitches). A Friday appearance likely means a different guy gets a shot Saturday.
4. Archie Bradley — The Diamondbacks are off on Friday, but they may elect to rest closer Brad Boxberger on Saturday. Entering today, he has pitched in three of the last four, throwing 66 pitches in that span. Bradley has had a similar workload, but he only tossed five pitches on Thursday.
5. Kevin Jepsen — If Keone Kela pitches Friday, that’ll be two straight and three of four for him.