Yimi Garcia gets an unexpected save; Kevin Ginkel demoted in Arizona

September 12, 2020

Miami Marlins — In the nightcap of a doubleheader, the Marlins used Brad Boxberger and Brandon Kintzler as setup men . . . and Yimi Garcia to close out the game. After the game, Don Mattingly explained that Kintzler had a fingernail issue that presumably kept him from sending the closer back out after a four-pitch sixth inning. In light of Kintzler’s recent struggles and Garcia’s hot start since returning from the COVID-19 list (0.93 ERA; 11.2 K/9 rate), we’ll be watching this bullpen closely.

Updated hierarchy: Kintzler | Boxberger | Garcia.

Arizona Diamondbacks — On September 8, Torey Lovullo called Kevin Ginkel his closer “for the time being,” saying that the young righty was throwing the ball well. Three days later, Ginkel’s still closing — the car door, on his way to Scottsdale — while Lovullo nitpicks his fastball command to the press. This bullpen is best avoided, but what saves may come are likely to be split among Stefan Crichton, lefty Travis Bergen, and Junior Guerra, with proven closer Hector Rondon and his 7.98 ERA a little behind. Crichton got the first shot Friday night and converted.

Updated hierarchy: *Crichton | Bergen | Guerra.
* = closer-by-committee

Los Angeles Angels — The Angels hierarchy was used in order on Friday night, but Ty Buttrey wasted great outings by Mike Mayers and Felix Pena, blowing the save and taking the eventual loss. This was Buttrey’s fourth blown save, and the league-leading 13th for LA. The next save chance could well go to a different pitcher.

Hierarchy remains: *Buttrey | Pena | Mayers.
* = closer-by-committee

St. Louis Cardinals — As expected, Giovanny Gallegos hit the injured list Friday, leaving Andrew Miller at the top of the Cards’ closer carousel. John Gant, Alex Reyes, and Ryan Helsley are also options.

Updated hierarchy: *Miller | Gant | Reyes.
* = closer-by-committee

Toronto Blue Jays — Ken Giles returned from the IL Friday night and had his first pitch sent into orbit by Wilson Ramos. He’ll get a few more low-leverage outings before he returns to the closer role, so we’ll slot him in at second in line for now.

Updated hierarchy: *Bass | Dolis | Giles.

Kansas City Royals — Greg Holland grabbed his fourth save of the season on Friday and his second straight; we still think this is a committee, but Holland could be separating himself.

Hierarchy remains: *Holland | Barlow | Hahn.
* = closer-by-committee

Baltimore Orioles — Okay, yes, we failed to notice that Evan Phillips got sent down last week, but be honest; you did too. We have Paul Fry at second in line now, but it could also be Dillon Tate, Travis Lakins, Cole Sulser, Brett Richards, or Cesar Valdez. The most amazing thing is that we made only one of those names up.

Updated hierarchy: *Harvey | Scott | Fry.
* = closer-by-committee

Chicago White Sox — Codi Heuer has moved ahead of Jimmy Cordero in the White Sox hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Colome | Marshall | Heuer.

New York Mets — For pitching three scoreless innings in an 18-1 blowout over Toronto, Erasmo Ramirez was awarded his fourth career save, and first since he left crazy Tampa in 2017.

Hierarchy remains: Diaz | Wilson | Familia.

1. Craig Kimbrel — Jeremy Jeffress has pitched in three of four, and Rowan Wick was used in multiple innings on Friday.
2. Travis Bergen — Stefan Crichton has pitched in three of four.
3. Scott Barlow — Same with Greg Holland.
4. Brad Boxberger — The state of Brandon Kintzler’s fingernail is an open question.
5. Joakim Soria — Liam Hendriks had Friday off, but threw in three straight before that — and Oakland has a doubleheader Saturday.

1. Shane Greene — Mark Melancon has gone in two straight.
2. Felix Pena — As has Ty Buttrey.