May 18, 2019
New York Mets — Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless eighth inning with the Mets down two, and it looks like the Mets are working him back towards the late innings front of Edwin Diaz. Mickey Callaway has said that Familia will have to earn his way into the back end of the bullpen with Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman pitching well, but the last two outings have been encouraging for the Mets’ big-money setup man. He will still have to fight past Lugo and Gsellman, but last night was another positive step for Familia.
Hierarchy remains: Diaz | Lugo | Gsellman.
Seattle Mariners — The Mariners designated Zac Rosscup for assignment yesterday as the Mariners shook up their roster in response to a 4-13 slump. Rosscup hasn’t been bad this year, posting a 3.21 ERA over 20 innings, but manager Scott Servais said that Rosscup wasn’t really built for how the Mariners are planning to use their bullpen. With Rosscup gone, the Mariners will likely lean on a combination of Connor Sadzeck, Cory Gearrin and even Anthony Swarzak to get the ball to Brandon Brennan and Roenis Elias.
Updated hierarchy: *Elias | Brennan | Sadzeck.
* = closer-by-committee
Texas Rangers — Jose Leclerc was excellent as the Rangers’ opener on Friday, setting down the Cardinals’ top three hitters in order. Ariel Jurado will start today’s game, and he’s expected to go multiple innings. Jesse Chavez has had a resurgence over his last six appearances, not allowing a run over his last 7.2 IP. He’ll have to help get the Rangers to the ninth inning now that Shawn Kelley is still a couple days away from being activated.
Updated hierarchy: Martin | Leclerc | Chavez.
Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays jumped out to an early lead, which allowed Javy Guerra to pitch the last three innings to earn his first save of the year. Guerra spent some time as the Dodgers’ closer in 2011 and was the subject of one of the first posts in Closer Monkey history, giving up a vulture save to young fireballer Kenley Jansen. He lost the job permanently to Jansen in 2012 and has only recorded a handful of saves since. He isn’t a normal part of the Jays’ late-inning plans.
Hierarchy remains: Giles | Biagini | Mayza.
Houston Astros — Ryan Pressly turned in a web gem to set a MLB record with his 39th consecutive scoreless appearance, breaking Craig Kimbrel’s mark of 38 set in 2011. Pressly has been the best reliever in baseball thus far this year, but still has 20 games to go if he wants to break Kimbrel’s single-season record.
Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Pressly | Rondon.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Ian Kennedy— Wily Peralta has thrown 31 pitches over two straight appearances.
2. Kyle Crick — Felipe Vazquez has also made two consecutive appearances.
3. Emilio Pagan — Jose Alvarado threw 28 pitches last night and has pitched in two of the last three. Diego Castillo has pitched in three of four while Pagan is well rested.
1. Dan Winkler — Today would be back to back and three of four for Luke Jackson.
2. Ryan Pressly/Hector Rondon — The same is true for Roberto Osuna and Pressly.
3. Pat Neshek — And Hector Neris.
4. Jose Leclerc — And Chris Martin.
5. Adam Conley — Sergio Romo threw 28 pitches over two innings last night, so any work today means he would probably get Sunday off.