September 28, 2018
Chicago Cubs — Fan favorite Jesse Chavez picked up his fourth save in a Cubs uniform, allowing just a hit in an inning of work and dropping his Cubs ERA to 1.25. Nasty. Any one of Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson, CJ Edwards, Chavez, or Jorge de la Rosa could net a save this weekend, as the Cubs still hope to clinch the division. Meanwhile, Pedro Strop kind of pitched a bullpen session, which “encouraged” his pitching coach. Strop said last week he hoped to pitch before the end of the season, but that remains to be seen.
Updated hierarchy: *Cishek | Wilson | Chavez.
* = closer-by-committee
Milwaukee Brewers — The Brewers have their playoff spot, but wouldn’t a division title be nice? Jeremy Jeffress pitched Wednesday but otherwise is ready to pitch this weekend. Josh Hader pitched two of three earlier this week but should be all systems go through Sunday.
Hierarchy remains: Jeffress | Hader | Knebel.
Colorado Rockies — The Rockies, Dodgers, and Cardinals are fighting for two available playoff spots (well, the Cardinals have a shot at only one of them, as either the Cubs or Brewers will win the NL Central). Expect the next three games to be pseudo-playoff games, featuring the team’s best bullpen arms. So a rested Wade Davis, who nabbed a save Thursday night, may be used plenty this weekend for the Rockies.
Hierarchy remains: Davis | Ottavino | Oh.
Hierarchy remains: Jansen | Maeda | Alexander.
St. Louis Cardinals — See above. Carlos Martinez threw 39 pitches over 2.0 innings on Wednesday, but he was well-rested before that and should be used in tight spots this weekend. The Cardinals, two games behind the Rockies and one behind the Dodgers, likely need to win all three — and still get help — to get in.
Hierarchy remains: Martinez | Hicks | Hudson.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Dellin Betances — Is Aroldis Chapman ready? If not, Betances is there.
1. Seth Lugo — Entering Friday, Robert Gsellman has pitched in two of three, throwing 45 pitches.
2. Kevin McCarthy — Wily Peralta has pitched in two of three and three of five.