A pair of NL Central relievers return from the injured list

April 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates – Felipe Vazquez got another day off after throwing 47 pitches on Sunday, so Keone Kela pitched the ninth inning on Tuesday with the Pirates holding a 3-2 lead. Kela gave up the tying run, but the Pirates scored twice in the 10th and paved the way for Nick Kingham to earn his first career save. Kyle Crick returned from the IL on Tuesday, but it looks like he’ll be eased back into high-leverage work since Richard Rodriguez pitched the eighth inning on Tuesday.

Hierarchy remains: Vazquez | Kela | Rodriguez.

Milwaukee Brewers — The Brewers activated Jeremy Jeffress from the IL on Tuesday, but Craig Counsell said that Jeffress won’t see any high-leverage work right away. We’ll see how long it takes before Counsell deems Jeffress ready to return to his usual late-inning role.

Hierarchy remains: Hader | Wilson | Guerra.

Tampa Bay Rays — Jose Alvarado faced the top of the Orioles’ order in the eighth inning with the Rays clinging to a one-run lead and retired all three batters he faced. After Tampa added another run in the bottom of the inning, Diego Castillo followed with a 1-2-3 ninth to get the save. Both Alvarado and Castillo have been terrific this season and will continue to lock down the eighth and ninth innings when the Rays have a lead.

Hierarchy remains: *Alvarado | Castillo | Roe. 
* = closer-by-committee

Philadelphia Phillies — Jerad Eickhoff struck out six Mets in four scoreless innings to earn his first career save in a 14-3 win. Eickhoff currently has more saves than David Robertson but does not normally factor into the Phillies’ late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: *Neris | Dominguez | Arano.
* = closer-by-committee

Los Angeles Dodgers — Scott Alexander struck out Joey Votto to end the seventh inning and keep the Dodgers’ 4-1 advantage intact. The Dodgers haven’t had many close leads to protect lately,  but Alexander should factor into the Dodgers’ late-inning plans, especially against left-handed hitters.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Kelly | Alexander.


1. Kelvin Herrera – Alex Colome has pitched in three straight games.
2. Adam Cimber/Dan Otero – So has Brad Hand. If Cimber gets used to get one out in a tight spot before the ninth inning, Otero could see today’s save chance.

1. Archie Bradley – If Greg Holland goes tonight, it’ll be two straight and three of four.
2. Chad Sobotka/Jesse Biddle – Same goes for AJ Minter. Sobotka threw 20 pitches on Tuesday, so his usage should be monitored as well.