June 8, 2018
Baltimore Orioles — Pitching in a third straight game Thursday, Brad Brach appeared to run out of gas, coughing up three runs to push the game into extras. Don’t worry, though; reinforcements are (slowly) on the way! Darren O’Day struck out the side Thursday at Class A Frederick and will continue his rehab stint for a few more days. Trade chip Zach Britton should be back June 15, assuming back-to-back appearances on Sunday and Monday go well. There has been some talk about making Britton a starter, but he’ll likely return to the back of the bullpen right away, for as long as he stays in Baltimore.
Hierarchy remains: Brach | Bleier | Givens.
Houston Astros — Ken Giles allowed a run Thursday for the third time in his last five appearances (5 ER, 4 IP), ballooning his ERA to an unsavory 5.40. Should this continue, expect Chris Devenski, Hector Rondon and Brad Peacock to compete for save chances.
Hierarchy remains: *Giles | Devenski | Rondon.
* = closer-by-committee
Detroit Tigers — Alex Wilson nailed down the final two outs of the seventh inning Thursday in his return from the disabled list. He should fit back into the team’s late-inning structure right away.
Updated hierarchy: Greene | Jimenez | Wilson.
Los Angeles Dodgers — Just as quickly as he was sent down, Pedro Baez is back with the big club after Tony Cingrani was placed on the disabled list. Baez pitched the third and fourth innings Thursday in a bizarre 8-7 win in which the Dodgers used a franchise-record nine pitchers! Don’t sleep on Erik Goeddel, who hasn’t allowed a run since joining the Dodgers in May. He pitched in a tight spot in his first appearance for LA (earning a win with a scoreless eighth inning on May 19) and earned his third hold Thursday night. Goeddel, Baez, and Josh Fields should be the favorites for holds in front of Kenley Jansen moving forward.
Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Fields | Goeddel.
Oakland A’s — Santiago Casilla could be activated from the disabled list as early as Friday. He should move into his “everyman” bullpen role right away and compete for save chances if Blake Treinen needs a breather.
Hierarchy remains: Treinen | Trivino | Petit.
St. Louis Cardinals — Greg Holland began a rehab assignment on Thursday, tossing a scoreless eighth inning (two walks, no strikeouts) for the Memphis Redbirds. He won’t compete for saves upon his return and would need a string of several solid, high-leverage appearances to join the conversation. Speaking of saves, Bud Norris nailed down his 12th of the season Thursday night and has a firm grip on the closer’s role.
Hierarchy remains: Norris | Hicks | Tuivailala.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Jake McGee — Wade Davis has pitched in three straight and four of five, tossing 79 pitches!
2. Mychal Givens — Brad Brach and Richard Bleier have each pitched in three straight games.
3. Archie Bradley/Yoshihisa Hirano — There’s some chance Brad Boxberger gets a second straight night off.
1. Jared Hughes — Raisel Iglesias has pitched in two straight.
2. Steve Cishek — So has Brandon Morrow.
3. Kyle Crick — If Felipe Vazquez pitches Friday, it’ll be three of four for him.
4. Tony Watson — Same for Hunter Strickland.