August 31, 2019
Texas Rangers – As the Vulture Save Watch noted, Jose Leclerc was unavailable last night. However, Shawn Kelley was pressed into service in the sixth inning to protect a one-run lead with men on second and third. He got out of the jam, but that left the save opportunity to rookie Emmanuel Clase. Clase gave up a leadoff single, but got the next three outs to earn his first career save. Clase has been a solid addition to the bullpen, boasting a 100 MPH cutter as his primary weapon, and he figures to be a big part of the Rangers’ late-inning plans next year. As for September, there’s a chance he gets some more high-leverage chances, but it may be tough to see many more save opportunities with Kelley and Rafael Montero in the mix. We’ll see if Chris Woodward looks to the future in the final month of the season or sticks with the usual suspects.
Hierarchy remains: Leclerc | Kelley | Montero.
Washington Nationals – The Nationals activated both Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elias before last night’s game, and the duo immediately combined to blow a lead. Strickland entered the seventh inning with the Nationals up two but gave up a run and loaded the bases before giving way to Elias. Elias walked in an inherited runner before getting an inning-ending double play. Daniel Hudson also blew a save late, but got the win on an Anthony Rendon walk-off. The Nationals can’t wait for Sean Doolittle to get back, and he had a successful rehab outing, so his return may come sooner rather than later.
Hierarchy remains: *Hudson | Strickland | Rodney.
* = closer-by-committee
Miami Marlins – Jose Urena is getting close to a return and will be the closer when he does make it back from the IL. Urena has been sidelined for the past three months with a herniated disc and will have to adjust to a bullpen role after spending most of his career as a starter, but he is traveling with the team and may be activated when rosters expand on Sunday. It sounds like Urena has the closer’s job waiting for him when he is activated, so if you are desperate for saves down the stretch, maybe the Marlins can help you out.
Updated hierarchy: *Stanek | Garcia | Brigham.
* = closer-by-committee
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Matt Barnes/Ryan Brasier — Brandon Workman threw 29 pitches during last night’s blown save. The 15-inning affair didn’t do the Boston bullpen any favors, with Barnes and Brasier the best-rested options.
2. Cam Bedrosian — The Angels were on the other side of that 15-inning game, leaving Bedrosian, who didn’t appear last night, as the best-rested option. Hansel Robles tossed 25 pitches Friday.
1. Yoan Lopez — Archie Bradley got the win last night but needed 28 pitches to do it. Another long outing would make him unavailable on Sunday.