Many vulture saves possible in the final weekend of the season

September 25, 2020

Toronto Blue Jays — Rafael Dolis returned from injury Thursday to record four outs and collect his fifth save. Anthony Bass faced the 2-3-4 hitters in the eighth inning, so we’re likely looking at a committee involving those two this weekend. Bass and Dolis could be competing to see not only who handles the closer’s role in the playoffs but next season as well, with impending free agent Ken Giles likely missing all of 2021 after Tommy John surgery. 

Hierarchy remains: *Bass | Dolis | Cole.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Greg Holland was unavailable Thursday night with a right oblique injury that he suffered while warming up. He will be further evaluated. In his stead, Jake Newberry recorded the final four outs for his first save. Scott Barlow and Jesse Hahn pitched earlier in the game. With nothing to play for, Holland could be shut down for the year, so Barlow or Hahn may be attractive vulture save candidates this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Barlow | Hahn.

Chicago White Sox — Aaron Bummer was activated from the injured list Thursday and should slot in behind Alex Colome for the regular season’s final few games. Colome (back spasms) is expected to be available if needed this weekend, but don’t be surprised if Bummer steals a save chance. 

Updated hierarchy: Colome | Bummer | Heuer.

Colorado Rockies – Jairo Diaz picked up his fourth save of the season Thursday, but only because Daniel Bard and Mychal Givens had already pitched. Bard threw 2.2 innings to earn the win. Diaz (8.05 ERA) hadn’t pitched in a Rockies win since Aug. 26, suggesting he’s far away from the ninth-inning job, especially with only a few days to go in the season.

Hierarchy remains: Bard | Givens | Almonte.

1. James Karinchak – Brad Hand has gone in four of five. 
2. Justin Wilson – Edwin Diaz threw 21 pitches Thursday and has gone in three of four.
3. Felix Pena – Even though the Angels were off Thursday, Mike Mayers might need another day off after his recent workload. He has pitched in three of four and four of six, throwing a total of 6.2 innings and 95 pitches.
4. Nik Turley – Richard Rodriguez has gone in four of six.
5. Aaron Bummer – Alex Colome is dealing with back spasms and might be saved for the playoffs.
6. Scott Barlow – Greg Holland is also dealing with an injury. 
7. Mychal Givens/Yency Almonte – Daniel Bard threw 27 pitches over 2.2 innings Thursday and might need a day off. Mychal Givens threw 21 pitches Thursday and has gone in two of three, so perhaps the more rested Yency Almonte would get a look.  
8. Brad Boxberger – Brandon Kintzler was well-rested entering Thursday, but tossed 29 pitches over two innings and might need a break. 

1. Tyler Rogers – If Tony Watson goes Friday, that will be three of four for him.
2. Aaron Bummer – See above.
3. Scott Barlow – See above.
4. Mychal Givens – If Daniel Bard goes again today, he’ll likely need Saturday off.
5. Brad Boxberger – Ditto for Brandon Kintzler.