Sixth Mariners reliever earns save through first 15 games

April 12, 2019

Seattle Mariners — Both Anthony Swarzak and Roenis Elias have been busy lately and were held out of Thursday’s matchup against the Royals, leaving Connor Sadzeck to pitch a clean 10th inning for his first save. He has been impressive in the early going (4 IP, 4 K, 0 R) since being called up and could be the mix for future opportunities behind Swarzak and Elias. Brandon Brennan, who got the win yesterday after striking out three Royals in the ninth inning, has also been impressive so far this season in 9.2 IP (0.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 10 K).

Updated hierarchy: *Swarzak | Elias | Sadzeck.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Brad Boxberger’s run in Kansas City continues to be bumpy. After allowing a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of a tie game on Wednesday, Boxberger was handed the keys to a ninth-inning save opportunity Thursday. He blew it, giving up two runs on three hits to the red-hot Mariners. Ian Kennedy had pitched in two of three, including a 34-pitch outing on Wednesday, so he likely was held out of Thursday afternoon’s game. And while the use of Boxberger in a tight spot is still notable, it’s difficult to imagine him getting (or converting) a save chance anytime soon. Plus, the Royals have lost 10 straight games, so perhaps this isn’t the bullpen situation you want to mess with anyway.

Hierarchy remains: *Kennedy | Peralta | Diekman.
* = closer-by-committee

San Diego Padres — As predicted by the Vulture Save Watch, Kirby Yates got Thursday off. Craig Stammen did pitch, but it was in a fireman role after the Diamondbacks crawled back from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game. So no save for him unfortunately… but don’t complain too much! He ended up recording one out and got credit for the win when the Padres took the lead in the next half inning. Trey Wingenter cleaned things up in the ninth for his first save. 

Hierarchy remains: Yates | Stammen | Wingenter.

Chicago Cubs – Now that’s how they drew it up! Pedro Strop polished off a tidy 2-0 win with his first save after a perfect ninth inning Thursday against the Pirates. Steve Cishek was handed the eighth inning, as expected. If this scenario continues to play out this way, we may kick that asterisk — that is, until Brandon Morrow returns.

Hierarchy remains: *Strop | Cishek | Kintzler.
* = closer-by-committee

Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles placed Richard Bleier on the injured list with shoulder tendinitis, an injury the team believes is related to a torn left lat from last year. There’s no timetable for his return. In his place, let’s turn to the one remaining player with a hold or save AND an ERA under 10.00: Jimmy Yacabonis (1-0, 1 HLD, 2.25 ERA). Others like Mike Wright (12.79 ERA) and Miguel Castro (11.57 ERA) could ascend if they start pitching better.

Updated hierarchy: *Givens | Fry | Yacabonis.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Joe Biagini/Tim Mayza — Ken Giles has appeared in three of the last five games and threw 26 pitches in a blown save Thursday. He could get a breather Friday. Biagini has gone in two of three and threw 20 pitches Thursday, so the Blue Jays could turn to Tim Mayza, who has gone in four of six but has only thrown 15 pitches over his last two outings.

1. Tony Watson — Will Smith has pitched in two straight games. Friday would make it three in a row.
2. Jeurys Familia — Same for Edwin Diaz.