Ryne Harper, Chad Bettis each collect first career save

May 29, 2019

Minnesota Twins — The stage was set for Taylor Rogers to collect another save, as he started the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead after Blake Parker gave up a pair of runs on three hits in the eighth. Rogers allowed a solo shot to lead off the frame, but he retired the next two batters. The next two Milwaukee hitters doubled and homered off Rogers in Monday’s eighth inning to hand the reliever a blown save, so Rocco Baldelli called upon 30-year-old Ryne Harper to face Hernan Perez, and Harper induced a pop-up to pick up his first career save. Harper has a devastating curveball that he throws 56% of the time, and it’s been effective to the tune of a 1.61 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 22.1 IP. Harper has four holds, including one on Monday, and should continue to see high-leverage work.

Updated hierarchy: *Parker | Rogers | Harper.
* = closer-by-committee

Tampa Bay Rays — Diego Castillo picked up his first save since May 15, allowing a run but still managing to close out a 3-1 victory. That was only the Rays’ third save overall since that May 15 triumph. Jose Alvarado, who has the other two saves since then, had pitched in two straight and three of four entering Tuesday. Castillo was likely in line for a save on Monday had the Rays not scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth; Alvarado navigated the top of the Toronto order in the top half of the frame.

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

New York Mets — After Robert Gsellman escaped a seventh-inning jam having allowed only one run, the Mets turned to Jeurys Familia in the eighth inning to protect what became a four-run lead. Familia put two men on before inducing a double play to end the frame and record his fourth consecutive scoreless appearance. Familia appears to have earned Mickey Callaway’s trust again, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Meanwhile, Seth Lugo is eligible to return from the IL on Thursday but is unlikely to do so since he has yet to even throw a bullpen session.

Updated hierarchy: Diaz | Familia | Gsellman.

Chicago Cubs — Pedro Strop made his first of two rehab appearances for Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, needing just six pitches to get through the eighth inning. If everything goes as planned on Thursday, Strop should be activated this weekend. Meanwhile, Brad Brach has posted three straight bad outings and shouldn’t be seeing a save chance anytime soon. We’ll slot Tyler Chatwood, who recorded a save on May 25 and has found a little redemption this year, into the hierarchy until Strop returns.

Updated hierarchy: *Cishek | Kintzler | Chatwood.
* = closer-by-committee

Colorado Rockies — Chad Bettis retired three of the four hitters he faced in the eighth inning to keep the Rockies ahead, 4-2. When Colorado added two more runs in the ninth, Bettis returned to the hill and used a 1-2-3 inning to earn his first career save. Bettis, who began the year in the rotation, has turned in six scoreless outings over his last seven appearances out of the bullpen. He may be in line for more holds, especially multi-inning holds, if he continues to pitch well. He certainly came through for a tired Rockies bullpen on Tuesday, with Scott Oberg and Bryan Shaw desperately needing an off day.

Hierarchy remains: Oberg | Shaw | Estevez.

Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox had a good plan for the final three innings last night, using Brandon Workman in the seventh, Marcus Walden in the eighth and Matt Barnes in the ninth. Walden got into trouble in his turn on the mound, however, and Barnes had to come in for the final two outs of the eighth. Alex Cora didn’t want to use Barnes for additional outs, which meant Ryan Brasier got a save chance that he quickly blew as Cleveland scored five runs in the top of the ninth. As we mentioned on Monday, Cora doesn’t want Barnes to face a team’s best hitters every night, but it’s clear he also doesn’t want to overwork his best reliever so early in the season just to chase a win in May.

Hierarchy remains: *Barnes | Workman | Walden.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Kelvin Herrera – Alex Colome threw 24 pitches across two ninth-inning appearances yesterday, picking up the win in the resumption of a suspended game before securing a save in Tuesday’s regularly-scheduled affair.
2. Nick Wittgren/Tyler Clippard – Brad Hand needed 28 pitches to record last night’s save, his second-longest outing of the year. He may get a chance to pitch again tonight, but Wittgren or Clippard could also get a look if Hand is rested.
3. Will Harris – Roberto Osuna (52 pitches), Ryan Pressly (46 pitches) and Hector Rondon (63 pitches) have all pitched in two straight and three of four. Harris is rested, has a 1.00 ERA and seven holds this year.
4. Ian Kennedy – Kennedy is the most well-rested arm in the Kansas City committee, as Jake Diekman and Wily Peralta have pitched in three of four.
5. Jeurys Familia/Drew Gagnon – Edwin Diaz has pitched in three of four and four of six. Robert Gsellman threw 28 pitches last night, while Familia tossed 13. Drew Gagnon is a dark horse candidate as well for a save.

1. Justin Anderson – Hansel Robles (20 pitches) and Ty Buttrey (26 pitches) were busy on Tuesday and both may get Thursday off if they have similar workloads on Wednesday.