September 13, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays – Sergio Romo has pitched only once since August 25 — a 6-pitch outing on September 4th — and doesn’t seem like a reliable source of saves at this point. Tampa media is still completely quiet on his disappearance, but we’re knocking him down another spot on this hierarchy, and will remove him altogether if we don’t see him again soon. Jose Alvarado also loses his asterisk, as he’s become the clear cut choice for saves at this point.
Updated hierarchy: Alvarado | Roe | Romo.
Houston Astros – Ryan Pressly became the 6th Astros reliever to record a save this season, as Roberto Osuna got the night off. It was a little surprising not to see Hector Rondon in a 1-run game, but he had thrown 25 pitches the night before, so it’s likely that Houston just wanted to give him some rest as well.
Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Rondon | McHugh.
Atlanta Braves – Jonny Venters’s amazing comeback continued last night, as he logged his third save of the season in a 1-run victory. He’s now allowed just three runs in 20 appearances for the Braves, and has surpassed Dan Winkler on the depth chart if all things are equal — though the Braves may continue to use them based on matchups in the late innings. There was no word on AJ Minter’s absence, but Venters was already loose when the Braves took the lead in the top of the inning, so that’s likely why Brian Snitker called his number.
Updated hierarchy: Minter | Venters | Winkler.
Boston Red Sox – Protecting a 1-run lead in the 8th inning, the Red Sox went to knuckleballer Steven Wright, who allowed two baserunners but escaped without any damage. It was Wright’s first hold of the season, but he also bridged a 2-inning gap to Kimbrel in a tie game on Sunday, and he’s been lights out lately aside from one disastrous appearance. That’s good enough for a spot on the hierarchy.
Updated hierarchy: Kimbrel | Kelly | Wright.
Arizona Diamondbacks – On this episode of As the Bullpen Turns, Yoshihisa Hirano went from impressing to depressing, giving up a 2 run walkoff homer to DJ LeMahieu. It’s Hirano’s 4th blown save of the season and could knock him down a peg in the running for the closer job. Maybe Jake Diekman gets a shot next, though his last three outings have left a lot to be desired (2 IP, 2 ER, 6 hits, 0 Ks). Or maybe Brad Ziegler finally gets a turn; he’s allowed just 2 ER in his last 21 outings, and none in his last eight.
Hierarchy remains: *Hirano | Diekman | Ziegler.
* = closer-by-committee
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Taylor Rogers/Trevor May – Trevor Hildenberger has gone back to back and three of four. Taylor Rogers has too, but only threw four pitches yesterday so may be available.
1. Joe Kelly – If Kimbrel goes tonight, that’ll be two straight, and with such a large division lead, we suspect the Red Sox might hold off on using him three days in a row down the stretch.