August 1, 2020
San Diego Padres — Kirby Yates is on the hot seat after a wild ninth inning that saw him nearly give back a three-run lead the Padres had been gifted by Wade Davis. Drew Pomeranz stepped in to save the night, and is knocking on the door of the ninth inning, as Yates just looks like a totally different pitcher this season. Alarmingly, he’s given up half of the earned runs he allowed last season, in only 4% of the innings.
Hierarchy remains: Yates | Pomeranz | Pagan.
New York Yankees — Aroldis Chapman was cleared to return to play after his second negative test for COVID-19. Chapman had been quarantined in his Manhattan apartment, and may need a few days before he makes his first appearance. A few innings up the road, Tommy Kahnle hit the IL with an elbow injury that is likely to require surgery. Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga will inherit the seventh inning.
Updated hierarchy: Britton | Ottavino | Green.
Baltimore Orioles — It was curious, in a tight game against the Rays, to see Richard Bleier held out of action. After Baltimore picked up the win, news broke that Bleier had been traded to the Marlins, as bullpen support in the event that they play another game this year. Meanwhile, Cole Sulser picked up his second save; although his split-finger fastball makes him a valuable weapon against lefties, leaving Brandon Hyde unlikely to limit him to the ninth inning, Sulser clearly leads this committee.
Updated hierarchy: *Sulser | Givens | Castro.
* = closer-by-committee
Seattle Mariners — As we expected, Taylor Williams got the save chance on Friday (inasmuch as anyone ever expects a Mariners win this year). Another conversion and Williams probably seizes the top spot in the committee.
Hierarchy remains: *Altavilla | Williams | Misiewicz.
* = closer-by-committee
Updated hierarchy: Jimenez | Farmer | Soto.
Chicago White Sox — Evan Marshall was Chicago’s seventh-inning guy for most of 2019, and he’s off to a hot start this year too (4.2 IP, 8 K, 0 ER). He and Aaron Bummer should continue setting up Alex Colome.
Updated hierarchy: Colome | Bummer | Marshall.
Atlanta Braves — Mark Melancon got the rest we predicted yesterday, but it was Chris Martin, not Shane Greene, who filled in to pick up the save. Martin has moved ahead of at least Luke Jackson in the Atlanta pen.
Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Greene | Martin.
Houston Astros — IT’S HAPPENINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! Also, Andre Scrubb picked up a vulture save while the top arms got the night off, and Ryan Pressly could pitch as early as today. But don’t lose focus: it’s almost Rodney time, baby!
Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Rodney | Rodney | Rodney | Rodney.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Miguel Castro — Cole Sulser and Mychal Givens have each gone in two straight games.
2. Carlos Estevez — Wade Davis threw 29 pitches in a blown save on Friday, and Jairo Diaz has gone in two of three.
3. Emilio Pagan — Both Yates and Pomeranz might need a break today.
1. Shane Greene/Chris Martin — If Mark Melancon pitches today, it’ll be three outings in four days.
2. Seth Lugo — The Mets probably aren’t riding Edwin Diaz too hard right now.