Mark Melancon is the new Braves closer, for now

August 10, 2019

Atlanta Braves – The Braves sought to bolster their bullpen at the trade deadline, bringing in Chris Martin, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon to cover for a struggling Luke Jackson. In the past 10 days, Melancon has yet to give up a run in four appearances, including a clean ninth inning last night. His success has been rewarded, as after the game Brian Snitker said that Melancon will serve as the Braves closer for the time being. If Melancon can run with this chance, he could be a great source of saves in the last two months of the season for the contending Braves. However, he should still be pressured by the Braves other acquisitions if he struggles. 

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Greene | Martin.

Houston Astros — The Astros activated Ryan Pressly from the IL and immediately handed him the ball in the eighth inning of a one-run game. He was solid in his return, striking out two while giving up a walk and a single to earn his 24th hold of the year. Pressly will slot right back into the primary set up role that he has excelled at all season. 

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Pressly | Harris.

Cleveland Indians – With Brad Hand needing a rest day, Cleveland turned to Nick Goody to close out a four-run game. Goody responded with a clean ninth inning in the non-save situation and is now riding a 16-game scoreless streak. Goody’s performance has found himself in the late innings over the last few weeks, and thus he cracks our hierarchy as well. 

Updated hierarchy: Hand | Wittgren | Goody.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today:
1. Buck Farmer — Joe Jimenez has pitched in back-to-back games and three of the last four while Farmer was rested last night. 
2. Bryan Shaw — Scott Oberg threw 31 pitches last night.
3. Freddy Peralta/Matt Albers/Junior Guerra — Josh Hader threw 44 pitches last night, while Peralta (26 pitches) and Albers (29) were also busy yesterday.

Sunday:
1. Shane Greene — If newly anointed closer Mark Melancon pitches today it would be two straight and three of four.
2. Joe Kelly/Pedro Baez — The whole Dodgers hierarchy has pitched a lot in the past three days, so expect anyone who goes today to be unavailable for Sunday.
3. Nick Wittgren — Although Brad Hand was held out of last night’s game, he threw 31 pitches on Thursday and another long outing today could keep him out Sunday as well.
4. Cody Gearrin — Today would be two in a row and three of four for Anthony Bass.
5. Andrew Miller/John Gant – Same goes for Carlos Martinez and Miller.