Sam Dyson, Jose Alvarado return from the IL

August 14, 2019

Minnesota Twins – The Twins activated Sam Dyson from the IL on Tuesday and immediately sent him into a high-leverage spot. Dyson responded with a perfect eighth inning ahead of Sergio Romo, who closed out a 7-5 win since Taylor Rogers was unavailable. Rogers has struggled when pitching a second consecutive day, so it’s likely that Romo sees some more frequent save chances going forward as the Twins try and manage Rogers’ workload.

Updated hierarchy: *Rogers | Romo | Dyson.
* = closer-by-committee

Tampa Bay Rays – Jose Alvarado returned from the IL on Tuesday and immediately saw some high-leverage work, getting the ball in the eighth inning with his team ahead by three. It wasn’t the easiest inning for Alvarado, who committed one of two Rays errors in the frame and allowed one run. He did get two outs, however, and had good velocity on his fastball. Kevin Cash said before the game that he will likely slot Alvarado into high-leverage situations, and that’s exactly what happened. We’ll update our hierarchy accordingly, with Diego Castillo, Nick Anderson, Chaz Roe and Colin Poche also expected to be in the mix for holds and save chances at any given moment.

Updated hierarchy: *Pagan | Alvarado | Castillo.
* = closer-by-committee

Boston Red Sox — Prior to Tuesday’s game, Alex Cora said that Nathan Eovaldi was likely to start Wednesday’s game and that he will build up to eventually rejoin the starting rotation. Of course, that was only if Eovaldi didn’t pitch in relief on Tuesday, and sure enough it was Eovaldi who pitched the Sox out of an eighth-inning jam (on just six pitches) to preserve a one-run lead that Brandon Workman blew in the following frame. That led to Andrew Cashner, whose terrible pitching is the reason Eovaldi is moving back to the rotation in the first place, to pick up his first career save in the 10th inning. Cashner’s save opportunity was by chance – he was going to pitch the 10th anyway – but the bigger story is Eovaldi’s usage. He will be available out of the bullpen today, but his time on our hierarchy is done for now.

Updated hierarchy: Workman | Barnes | Taylor.

Washington Nationals – We predicted that Sean Doolittle would get a night off on Tuesday, but it was Daniel Hudson who picked up a four-out save, not Fernando Rodney. In fact, Rodney didn’t even pitch in last night’s 3-1 win; it was Hunter Strickland and Wander Suero who got the ball to Hudson. We’ll move Hudson into Rodney’s spot in the hierarchy based on last night, but with all the new relievers pitching well since arriving in Washington, Dave Martinez can be flexible on when to deploy his top arms in the late innings. Don’t be too surprised to see Rodney back in a high-leverage spot soon.

Updated hierarchy: Doolittle | Hudson | Strickland.

Atlanta Braves – Mark Melancon locked down his second save of the season, pitching the first 1-2-3 inning by a Braves reliever in a save situation since July 15. Luke Jackson completed a clean seventh inning to maintain a 5-1 lead, but Shane Greene’s struggles continued and he gave up two more runs in the eighth to create the save situation. Greene has allowed 13 hits and seven earned runs in 4.1 innings with the Braves. We’ll see how much longer Brian Snitker keeps running him out there with a lead.

Hierarchy remains: *Melancon | Jackson | Greene.
* = closer-by-committee

San Diego Padres — Craig Stammen has struggled lately, having allowed a run in each of his last three appearances. That includes one run in the sixth inning last night, which was unearned because of a throwing error Stammen himself committed. If Kirby Yates is unavailable, it makes sense to let potential future closer Andres Munoz have a crack at the ninth inning over Stammen.

Updated hierarchy: Yates | Munoz | Stammen.

Toronto Blue Jays – Ken Giles looks like he will avoid another IL stint after he walked one and struck out another to record a save yesterday. The Jays should continue to be careful with Giles’ workload, but it’s a good sign that he was able to pitch without any issue last night.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Law | Shafer.


1. Tony Watson – Will Smith threw 37 pitches last night and has appeared in three of the last four days.
2. Jose Quijada – Don’t rely on Marlins’ relievers for saves. Now that we got that out of the way, Jarlin Garcia has pitched in three of the last four days.
3. Derek Law – The Jays may not want to throw Ken Giles out there on consecutive days.