May 16, 2018
Atlanta Braves – Arodys Vizcaino allowed two runs in Tuesday’s ninth inning to blow a 2-1 lead for the Braves. After the game, Brian Snitker said that he has a few options for the ninth inning if he wants to keep everyone healthy and fresh. Vizcaino is still the favorite for saves, but with Snitker once again hinting at using AJ Minter or Dan Winkler in the ninth inning, we’re bringing back the asterisk.
Hierarchy remains: *Vizcaino | Minter | Winkler.
* = closer-by-committee
Los Angeles Angels – With two lefties leading off the eighth inning, Mike Scioscia called on Jose Alvarez to protect a 3-1 lead. Alvarez quickly loaded the bases for right-handed Jose Altuve. Instead of going to Cam Bedrosian, who was warming up, Scioscia stuck with Alvarez and Altuve cleared the bases with a double. After the game, Scioscia chalked it up to the Astros doing a good job in the batter’s box, and thought that Alvarez has good stuff against both lefties and righties. The other thing to note is that Jim Johnson pitched the ninth, and that was likely the plan if the Angels kept their lead as well. What is clear is that the path to the ninth inning is still full of intrigue, and that won’t be changing any time soon.
Hierarchy remains: *Anderson | Johnson | Bedrosian.
* = closer-by-committee
Cleveland Indians — Andrew Miller has not been great in his three appearances since returning from the DL. On Tuesday, he combined with Dan Otero to give up five runs and blow an 8-4 lead in the seventh inning. The Cleveland bullpen is a mess right now, but the club has no plans in the near future to fix that problem via trade. Cleveland will surely be in the market for another reliever at the trade deadline in July, but until then, it will have to hope that Miller regains his All-Star form and that he and his bullpen mates don’t get too overworked in the process.
Hierarchy remains: Allen | Miller | Olson.
Seattle Mariners – Lefty James Pazos continued his strong 2018 on Tuesday with 13th straight scoreless outing, lowering his ERA to 1.13. He’s pitched the seventh inning in each of the last two games and is someone who should continue to get high-leverage opportunities. Pazos has 16 strikeouts and just one walk through 16 IP this year, and he has allowed just five hits over his last 13 appearances. The one person who should be worried is Juan Nicasio, who has been dreadful lately.
Hierarchy remains: Diaz | Nicasio | Vincent.
Detroit Tigers – Yesterday we listed Buck Farmer on our Vulture Save Watch. While he didn’t end up getting the save chance, he did play an important role in the Tigers’ 9-8 win. Ron Gardenhire made sure Farmer was warming up in the eighth as a ploy to make Cleveland think a righty was available, when in reality, the inning belong solely to lefty Daniel Stumpf. Chalk one up for the Vulture Decoy Watch!
Hierarchy remains: Greene | Jimenez | Farmer.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Joe Jimenez – Shane Greene has pitched in four straight games. He’s probably earned a night off.
2. Santiago Casilla – Blake Treinen has pitched in two straight and four of five, though the A’s do have Thursday off.
3. Nick Vincent – Edwin Diaz has pitched each of the last two days while Juan Nicasio has gone in three of four. Vincent had Tuesday off and is the most rested arm of the group.
1. Juan Nicasio/Nick Vincent – If Diaz pitches today, that will be three straight. Nicasio, Vincent or even James Pazos could get a look depending on Wednesday’s usage.