May 31, 2018
Miami Marlins — So much for the narrative that Brad Ziegler is lights-out in save situations. Given a one-run lead in the ninth, Ziegler gave up a walk and a double, loaded the bases with an intentional walk, and then saw the Padres walk off on an infield single and a throwing error. Kyle Barraclough could have this job as soon as Thursday night, especially after Don Mattingly’s postgame comments about wanting something “dependable” in the ninth. Consider this a pre-alert.
Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Barraclough | Steckenrider.
Cincinnati Reds — After the minimum 10 days off, Raisel Iglesias returned from the disabled list on Wednesday and picked up right where he left off, earning his ninth save of the season. Joining Iglesias in the Reds bullpen will be the aptly named Homer Bailey (6.68 ERA, 15 HR allowed, $21 million salary). Stay away.
Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.
New York Mets — Robert Gsellman got the gsave Wednesday night, but that was because Mickey Callaway used Jeurys Familia against the top of the Braves’ order in the eighth. This is the kind of unorthodox bullpen strategy that Callaway promised in spring training, and shouldn’t be misread as a hierarchy gshift.
Hierarchy remains: Familia | Gsellman | Lugo.
San Francisco Giants — Mark Melancon will rejoin the Giants on Thursday for an evaluation; if all goes well, he’ll be reactivated on Friday. No word yet on how quickly he’ll move into the ninth inning. We don’t send alerts for DL activations, so if he’s available in your league, now’s the time to grab him.
Hierarchy remains: Strickland | Watson | Dyson.
Chicago Cubs — Carl Edwards Jr. is suffering from shoulder inflammation and will need a few weeks off from pitching. Joe Maddon named Pedro Strop (1.59 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) and Justin Wilson (10.5 K/9) as relievers he’ll trust alongside Steve Cishek and Brandon Morrow while Edwards is recuperating.
Updated hierarchy: Morrow | Cishek | Strop.
Baltimore Orioles — Zach Britton’s rehab assignment went very well. If he can show he’s made a full recovery, his may be the biggest move at the trade deadline.
Hierarchy remains: Brach | Bleier | Givens.
Tampa Bay Rays — Nathan Eovaldi’s return from Tommy John surgery went better than anyone could have hoped, with six innings of no-hit ball against the A’s. But you can’t tax his arm too much, so at 70 pitches, Kevin Cash went to the bullpen, and summoned . . . Wilmer Font. Yeah, the 28-year-old sans-serif rookie acquired from Oakland earlier this week, who’s somehow managed to put up double digit ERAs (and allow five home runs) for two different teams already this season. Font didn’t kern his 11th home run, but he did allow a hit for the 16th time in 18 innings, ruining the only reason the season-low crowd had to stay.
Hierarchy remains: *Alvarado | Romo | Roe.
* = closer-by-committee
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Dellin Betances/Chad Green — Both David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman have appeared in two straight, three of four, and four of six.
2. Michael Feliz — Javier Vazquez had some recent forearm trouble and he’s pitched in three of four.
3. Comerica Park Canada Goose Backup — The Tigers say Rally Goose is good to go after his crash into a video board and subsequent plummet into the stands, but with a day game following a night game, we doubt they’ll fly him out there again.
1. Joe Kelly — Craig Kimbrel has pitched in two straight games.
2. Brandon Kintzler — So has Sean Doolittle.
3. Chris Martin — And Keone Kela.