Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in line2019 CloserUpdated
TOR*Tyler ClippardRyan TeperaSeung Hwan OhRoberto Osuna5/10/18
(N/A)Roberto Osuna

* = closer-by-committee

Previous updates:

May 10, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays — Tyler Clippard got the first shot at a Toronto save in the absence of Roberto Osuna. Clippard doesn’t have the job locked down, though; all indications are that it’s a true committee. Seung Hwan Oh, the favorite of many to lead the committee, pitched the sixth in Wednesday’s game, followed by John Axford and Ryan Tepera — all with the team behind. All four of those guys are pitching well this season, and all but Tepera have at least two seasons of full-time closer experience. Clippard believes any of them can handle the ninth, and we’ll all have to wait and see who gets the next opportunity.

Updated hierarchy: *Clippard | Tepera | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee

May 9, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays – Major League Baseball placed Roberto Osuna on administrative leave following an arrest Tuesday morning for domestic violence. Manager John Gibbons did not commit to one guy as his closer, mentioning such names as Ryan Tepera, Tyler Clippard and John Axford as possibilities for the ninth inning. Not specifically mentioned was Seung Hwan Oh, but that does not mean he is out of the running. James Paxton’s no-hitter prevented us from getting a look at how the late innings might unfold with Toronto in the lead, so we’ll have to wait until at least tonight to see who gets the first save chance for the Blue Jays.

Updated hierarchy: *Tepera | Oh | Clippard.
* = closer-by-committee

May 8, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays – Major League Baseball has placed Roberto Osuna on administrative leave following an arrest this morning for domestic violence. Ryan Tepera, Seung-Hwan Oh, and Tyler Clippard are all possibilities for the closer role, and we like them roughly in that order. We will update with more information if the team makes any announcements.

Updated hierarchy: *Tepera | Oh | Clippard.
* = closer-by-committee

May 7, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays – It was quite a week for Tyler Clippard, who picked up a win and three holds over five clean appearances. After a couple of down years for the veteran, Clippard has been part of a strong Toronto bullpen, as the Jays have been able to use any of three relievers — Ryan Tepera (2.70 ERA), Seung-Hwan Oh (1.76 ERA), and Clippard (1.47 ERA) — to comfortably bridge the gap to Roberto Osuna.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Oh. 

April 2, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays – Seung Hwan Oh picked up his first save of the season on Sunday, pitching a clean 9th inning after Tyler Clippard handled the 8th. Roberto Osuna pitched on Friday and Saturday, so he was given the night off, as was Ryan Tepera, who we currently have at the 1st in line spot. Given his past experience, though — as well as his good start to the season so far — Oh might be the guy to get save chances even when Tepera is available. We’ll monitor those two going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Oh.

February 26, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays — Roberto Osuna is still only 23 years old, but he’s emerged as one of the top five or ten closers in the game. He had a down year in 2017, though. His velocity dropped for his top three pitches, sending his ERA north of 3.00 (3.38) for the first time. To correct things, Osuna added more upper-body muscle and has been working on staying more upright in his delivery. Ryan Tepera, 30, will back Osuna up after he went 7-1 with a 3.59 ERA in 73 games last year. Other holds candidates include Aaron Loup and Danny Barnes, as well as Seung Hwan Oh, whom the Jays acquired just this morning.

Starting 2018 hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Loup.
Holds candidates: Tepera, Loup, Barnes.

September 12, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna has left the team for a few days, returning to Mexico to be on hand for the birth of his child. Dominic Leone got the save in his place last night; look for Leone and Ryan Tepera to share opportunities for the next couple days in Osuna’s absence.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Leone.

September 11, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Luis Santos got his first career save on Sunday afternoon, pitching the final three innings of a Blue Jays blowout win. Through three big league outings, Santos has been rock solid (8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 7 Ks, 1 BB), and given that the Blue Jays bullpen isn’t exactly a model of consistency, they might be willing to give him a look in some higher leverage spots down the stretch.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Leone.

September 10, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Ryan Tepera got the call in the ninth inning yesterday, and despite giving up a couple runs, he was able to record his second save of the season.  Regular closer Roberto Osuna was unavailable due to a bad neck.  The Blue Jays hope Osuna will only miss a day or two, but we will continue to monitor the situation to see if the injury becomes more serious.  Ryan Tepera should close while Osuna is out.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Leone.

August 15, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Loup recorded 5 outs — 3 by strikeout — in bridging the gap to Roberto Osuna last night. Seven of his last eight appearances have been scoreless, and if he can keep the walks in check, look for the Jays to pair him with Dominic Leone for 7th inning holds down the stretch.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Leone.

August 13, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Dominic Leone struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings for his sixth hold of the season.  It was Leone’s fourth hold in the month of August, and he seems to have settled into a role at the back-end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Leone.

August 5, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays see Joe Biagini as a potential future starter, so they sent him down to Triple-A to get stretched out. Replacing Biagini in the bullpen will be Danny Barnes, back from a brief DL stint for a shoulder impingement.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Barnes.

August 1, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – With Joe Smith gone, Roberto Osuna’s new handcuff is Ryan Tepera. Look for Joe Biagini to get a few more chances in the late innings as well.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Biagini.

July 23, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Blue Jays’ set-up man Joe Smith has been activated from the disabled list.  The veteran should jump right back in to a late inning role.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Smith | Tepera.

June 26, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Unavailable for the previous three days due to anxiety issues, Roberto Osuna returned to the mound on Sunday and threw a scoreless inning, striking out three. Good to see you back, Roberto, and hope you’re getting the treatment you need.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Barnes.

June 25, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Closer Roberto Osuna was unavailable on Friday night because he is dealing with anxiety issues.  Ryan Tepera was given the chance to start the ninth inning on Friday night in a save situation, but ran into trouble and was pulled.  It is unknown how long Osuna could be out, but the Blue Jays will likely mix and match in the ninth inning until he is available to pitch again.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Barnes. 

June 20, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Joe Smith was placed on the disabled list yesterday. Set-up roles in the Blue Jays bullpen have been a bit nebulous all season, but with Smith on the shelf, our best guess for 8th inning duties is Ryan Tepera, with Danny Barnes spelling him when necessary.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Tepera | Barnes. 

May 27, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Jason Grilli has been a major disappointment in Toronto this year. His ERA is an ugly 7.20, he hasn’t been locating his slider, and he’s been relegated to low-leverage situations. Filling in at the back of Toronto’s bullpen has been Ryan Tepera, who has yet to give up a run in May (15 IP, 17 K). Tepera struggled in April, but seems to have found his footing, pitching with a late lead in his last two outings. Look for him to be the long-shot option for saves going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Smith | Tepera.

May 7, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Joe Biagini will make his first Major League start today.  Joe Smith struck out the side in a perfect eighth inning on Friday night and should slide into the set-up role.  Jason Grilli might get a chance to reclaim a late inning role with Biagini in the rotation.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Smith | Grilli.

May 5, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Toronto’s bullpen has been shameful to start the year, so the team claimed righty Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Giants. Ramirez, too, has had a rough start (13.06 ERA, 1.94 WHIP), but the peripheral numbers suggest he may have been a victim of some bad luck — 18 Ks and 4 BBs in 10.1 IP. His FIP is solid, too, at 3.53. Keep an eye on him – he could start picking up holds by the end of the month.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Biagini | Smith.

April 30, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Roberto Osuna got back on track with a perfect inning for the save yesterday.  Jason Grilli was nowhere to be found as Joe Smith got his second consecutive eighth inning hold.  However, it was Joe Biagini who had the most important role in the win. He threw a perfect sixth and seventh inning, including stranding two inherited runners in the sixth while protecting a one run lead.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Biagini | Smith.

April 29, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays’ bullpen continues to be a disaster. Presumptive setup man Jason Grilli was brought in with one out in the eighth inning to protect a one-run lead, and immediately gave up the tying homer and a walk. After a strikeout, Grilli was pulled, but took the loss when his runner came around to score, lifting his ERA to an ugly 7.27. With Roberto Osuna also struggling, some think John Gibbons should turn to Joe Biagini. Biagini doesn’t have swing-and-miss stuff, but has a reliable cut fastball, and certainly wouldn’t be the first reliever to lean heavily on a cutter. Don’t be surprised if Biagini starts getting the eighth inning, or even a shot at the ninth.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.

April 28, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays stink. Nothing has gone right, and that’s especially true for closer Roberto Osuna, who had another rough outing and blown save Thursday. Osuna gave up a game-tying, two-out, two-run HR in the 9th to Randal Grichuk as the Jays lost again. After the game, manager John Gibbons said Osuna “just has to figure it out.” No kidding.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.

April 25, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Roberto Osuna’s struggles continued on Tuesday as he blew a save chance against the Cardinals. He has now allowed an earned run in three of his first five appearances since returning from the DL. When the Jays regained the lead in the 11th, they called upon Ryan Tepera to earn his second career save and first since 2015. Also, this happened.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.

April 22, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — John Gibbons intended to rest his top three relievers on Friday, but a wild thirteenth inning changed the plan. Up three, Joe Biagini was summoned with the bases loaded and no outs. He didn’t make it easy — giving up a run-scoring single, then hitting Mike Trout rather than letting Mike Trout hit — but in the end, he escaped with the save.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.

April 12, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna made his season debut on Tuesday, pitching the ninth in a 4-3 loss. He’ll resume his closing duties immediately, and John Gibbons said that he won’t hesitate to use Osuna on back-to-back days.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.

April 8, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna is on pace to return for the Blue Jays home opener on Tuesday. Jason Grilli will likely slot into the setup role after Osuna’s return, but could get a couple more chances this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: Grilli | Smith | Biagini.

April 4, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — With Roberto Osuna on the DL, the Blue Jays have slotted 40-year-old Jason Grilli at closer in the meantime. Seizing the opportunity, Grilli gave up a walk-off home run on Opening Day. Blue Jays fans can console themselves with the knowledge that Osuna will be back in five days, and the performance of Joe Biagini, who kept the game tied in the seventh and eighth. Manager John Gibbons has spoken highly of Biagini, even suggesting that he may get some save chances with Osuna out.

Updated hierarchy: Grilli | Smith | Biagini.

April 2, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Roberto Osuna will start the season on the new 10-day DL (cervical spasm), leaving Jason Grilli to open the season as Toronto’s closer. Osuna can return on April 9.

Updated hierarchy: Grilli | Smith | Howell.

February 27, 2017
Toronto Blue Jays — Roberto Osuna is back for another season as the Jays’ closer, and he should be even stronger this season. Behind him on the depth chart will be 40-year-old Jason Grilli, who will likely have his innings monitored even though he’s not really that tired. Toronto also acquired Joe Smith, who closed a bit last year with the Angels, as well as reliable lefty JP Howell. Those two should fight for holds depending on matchups ahead of Grilli and Osuna.

Starting 2017 hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Smith.
Holds candidates: Grilli, Smith, Howell.

September 28, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – Joaquin Benoit’s season is over after he injured his calf in Monday’s “brawl” with the Yankees. Expect Joe Biagini to see an expanded role in Benoit’s absence as the Jays fight for a playoff berth.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini.

September 27, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – Thirty-nine year old Jason Grilli was tapped to finish off the Yankees in the ninth innings with the Jays up one run. He was only able to record one out before being replaced, but in the meantime he had surrendered 2 home runs and the lead. His outing last night was Grilli’s 65th appearance of the season, a career high, and John Gibbons may be hesitant to use ol’ Grilled Cheese in big spots down the stretch. But if he wants to look elsewhere, he may not have the services of Joaquin Benoit, who didn’t even pitch yesterday but still managed to get injured in one of the bench-clearing incidents during the game. If Benoit can’t serve as Roberto Osuna’s handcuff as a result, perhaps Grilli will get another chance, or Gibbons could look to platoon Joe Biagini and (gulp) Brett Cecil in the 8th.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Benoit | Grilli.

August 30, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Joe Biagini picked up a clean eighth-inning hold last night, his fifth of the season to go with a 2.28 ERA. Biagini still seems to be fourth in the Toronto bullpen, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the big righty down the stretch.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Benoit.

August 6, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Roberto Osuna was unavailable last night, so when the Jays took the lead in the ninth, they turned to the already-warm Joaquin Benoit to protect it. Benoit worked around an error and a single to pick up his first save of the year. Osuna should be back in action tonight.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Benoit.

August 3, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — As expected, Roberto Osuna got the night off and Jason Grilli picked up the vulture save. The Jays bullpen was so fatigued that rookie Danny Barnes made his MLB debut to pick up a “phenomenal” eighth-inning hold. AL ERA leader Aaron Sanchez will be joining the bullpen soon, although his precise role remains unclear.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Benoit.

July 27, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — After designating Drew Storen for assignment on Sunday, the Jays traded him to Seattle for Joaquin Benoit, who sports a 5.18 ERA and troubling walks-per-nine rate of 5.5. Benoit actually faced Toronto in his last outing on July 24 and he retired all three batters he faced. Manager John Gibbons thinks Benoit can help Toronto in the late innings, much like Jason Grilli, another veteran the Jays acquired this year. Gibbons said Benoit may be available Wednesday, but no matter when he officially joins the club, he should see high-leverage spots ahead of Grilli and Roberto Osuna.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Benoit. 

July 25, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Drew Storen was designated for assignment by Toronto on Sunday; it seems he will be relevant at this year’s trade deadline only as a cautionary tale. Brett Cecil continues to struggle, so we’ll give the nod to Joe Biagini for now.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Biagini. 

June 23, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Drew Storen has made some adjustments and is seeing high-leverage work again. On Wednesday, he picked up a hold in the seventh, his seventh straight scoreless appearance. Whether the Jays want to increase Storen’s trade value or keep him around, he’s likely to stick around in the late innings as long as he can stay effective.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Storen. 

June 13, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – A stretch of 10 appearances in a 17-day span prompted John Gibbons to give Roberto Osuna a second consecutive day off on Sunday, and Jason Grilli got the save in his place. Osuna’s job is perfectly safe, and Grilli has quickly established himself as the youngster’s handcuff.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Grilli | Floyd. 

June 12, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Before yesterday’s game, manager John Gibbons said that closer Roberto Osuna would be unavailable and Jason Grilli would serve as closer.  There didn’t end up being a save opportunity on Saturday, but Grilli still pitched the ninth and struck out the side.  Grilli slides into the set-up role and should see any vulture save chances moving forward.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Grilli | Floyd.

June 2, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Jason Grilli made his Toronto debut on Wednesday and it was in the highest-leverage situation of the game. With two outs and two runners on in the seventh and the Blue Jays ahead, 2-0, Grilli overcame a poor pick-off attempt to retire Carlos Beltran. That usage moves him into the hierarchy behind Gavin Floyd, who was warming for the eighth before Toronto scored five in the home half of the seventh.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Floyd | Grilli.

June 1, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Unhappy with the performance of their middle relievers, the Blue Jays traded for veteran Jason Grilli on Tuesday. We’ll leave the Toronto hierarchy intact for now, but it sounds like Grilli will get a chance to pitch some high-leverage innings.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Floyd | Biagini.

May 31, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – With Roberto Osuna on the shelf, John Gibbons used a combination of Aaron Loup and Drew Storen to finish off the Yankees in the ninth inning, with Storen picking up the Vulture Save. We have not been too bullish on Storen lately given his struggles and the rumors that he is on the trading block, but his usage last night may force us to reconsider.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Floyd | Biagini.

May 28, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Joe Biagini was the bridge to closer Roberto Osuna yesterday, finishing the seventh inning and starting the eighth before giving up the tying run and eventually vulturing a win. Drew Storen (7.80 ERA) hasn’t pitched since May 20th and is reportedly on the trading block. A change of scenery may do Storen wonders, but it seems unlikely that he could wind up closing.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Floyd | Biagini.

May 27, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Journeyman Gavin Floyd appears to be gaining more of John Gibbons’ trust. The righty tossed a scoreless eighth inning ahead of closer Roberto Osuna on Thursday, retiring the side on 12 pitches (with one hit mixed in). Drew Storen, meanwhile, has a long history of closing (including two saves this year), but is 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA, 1.73 WHIP and has allowed four runs in his last four innings.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Floyd | Storen.

May 20, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — Rule 5 pick (and aspiring comedian) Joe Biagini picked up his first career save with a clean eleventh inning against the Twins. Closer Roberto Osuna had pitched two scoreless frames earlier in a tie game. Nowhere to be found was Drew Storen, who has an 8.36 ERA and has pitched in four straight losses, including 13-2 and 12-2 blowouts this week. Biagini, meanwhile, has allowed just 1 earned run in 15.1 innings this season. Six walks mean that his control is a bit of a concern, but Biagini clearly has earned John Gibbons’s trust in the early going.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Biagini | Storen.

May 12, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays emptied their bullpen in a 13-inning game last night, and among the pitchers used was Gavin Floyd. Floyd is a converted starter who has been seeing some high-leverage use for the Blue Jays this past week. His ERA sits at a tidy 1.65, and we think his recent performance has moved him slightly ahead of Jesse Chavez. We’re also watching Joe Biagini, a 25-year-old with only one run allowed in eight appearances so far.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Storen | Floyd.

May 7, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — After the Jays called on a shaky Drew Storen to finish off a 5-2 win over the Dodgers, John Gibbons explained that Roberto Osuna was unavailable with a mild groin strain. Osuna, speaking through a translator (to the bafflement of Blue Jay Twitter), said he’d be fine for Saturday, but Gibbons wasn’t ready to commit. Meanwhile, Brett Cecil continues to be used primarily as a lefty specialist, while Jesse Chavez has impressed (16 K in 10.2 IP).  As long as Chavez stays in the bullpen, he has a chance at high-leverage work.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Storen | Chavez.

May 1, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – Brett Cecil started the 9th inning last night in a tie game and gave up 3 hits and a run without recording any outs.  Cecil finished April with an 0-5 record,  Jesse Chavez pitched 1.1 scoreless innings yesterday to lower his ERA under 2.00 and could see some time in the later innings if Cecil continues to struggle.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Storen | Cecil.

April 19, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – While a broken nail may not seem like a devastating injury, it was severe enough to keep Roberto Osuna on the bench in yesterday’s Patriots Day game at Fenway. Information is scarce on Osuna’s timetable to return — he’s day-to-day at the moment — but in the meantime, Drew Storen is likely to be tapped in save situations, as he was yesterday.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Storen | Cecil.

March 30, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – In a bit of a surprise, John Gibbons announced this morning that Roberto Osuna would be the closer to start the year. Drew Storen will assume set-up duties, and will get save chances when Osuna needs a night off.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Storen | Cecil. 

March 29, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – John Gibbons said that he’d officially name a closer after today’s game. We still expect it to be Drew Storen, in which case we won’t send an update later tonight. But if it’s Roberto Osuna, expect to hear from us.

Hierarchy remains: Storen | Osuna | Cecil.

March 18, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays – Drew Storen and Roberto Osuna are both looking pretty good so far this spring, which hasn’t helped the Blue Jays make any decisions about their closer role. Storen remains the early favorite, though.

Hierarchy remains: Storen | Osuna | Cecil.

February 29, 2016
Toronto Blue Jays — It’ll be a spring training battle for the closer role between incumbent Roberto Osuna and newcomer Drew Storen. Storen, who was displaced from the ninth a few times in Washington, is expressing a team-first attitude about his role, and we think he has the edge over Osuna, whose usage will be somewhat limited. Brett Cecil should be in line for the seventh, but if you want a deep sleeper with Storen-edging experience, Rafael Soriano just joined the team as well.

Starting 2016 hierarchy: Storen | Osuna | Cecil.
Holds candidates: Osuna, Cecil, Aaron Sanchez.

September 24, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — With the AL East race getting tighter, and Aaron Sanchez struggling in the past week, John Gibbons has said he will use other arms in the 8th inning ahead of Roberto Osuna. This could be Brett Cecil, who has assumed the job the past two times out, Mark Lowe or even the ageless LaTroy Hawkins. Cecil has been outstanding and will probably get the first look, but as a prominent lefty, he may be held out for situational matchups more than a traditional closer. It’s important to note that Sanchez hasn’t been removed, only placed in a competition at this point; but with a deep bullpen, and very little margin for error, the race for the roles leading up to the 9th is wide open.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 13, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays swept a doubleheader with the Yankees yesterday.  The first game went into extra innings and Ryan Tepera got the last three outs in the eleventh inning to protect a four run lead and pick up his first save of the season.  Brett Cecil, Aaron Sanchez,and Roberto Osuna pitched earlier in the game.  In the second game, Mark Lowe pitched a perfect ninth to record the save.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 12, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Brett Cecil set a Blue Jays record with his 26th consecutive scoreless appearance on Friday night.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 6, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless ninth inning with the Blue Jays up four runs yesterday.  Quietly, Cecil has not allowed an earned run in over two months, and he should pair with Aaron Sanchez to give the Blue Jays a great righty-lefty combo to set up closer Roberto Osuna.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Sanchez | Cecil.

August 6, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – In a two-run game — and with John Gibbons trying to give Roberto Osuna some extra rest — it was LaTroy Hawkins who got the call to close out the game against the team that drafted him way back in 1991. Hawkins converted, creating a couple fun stats: Hawkins became the 13th player in major league history to record a save against all 30 teams, and the save also meant the Blue Jays have had both the youngest and oldest pitcher in the league record saves for their team, which is the first time that has ever happened. Normally, this would’ve been Aaron Sanchez’s spot, but he had just begun a three-game suspension. Since the suspension is so short, we won’t mess around with the hierarchy, but you can leave Sanchez on your bench for a couple days.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Sanchez | Hawkins.

August 5, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna picked up another save yesterday. We’re removing his asterisk, and continue to be puzzled as to why John Gibbons said that Osuna and Aaron Sanchez would be sharing the late innings.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Sanchez | Hawkins.

August 3, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Since declaring that Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez would share the 8th and 9th innings, John Gibbons hasn’t made any effort to actually turn this into a committee. Osuna has pitched the 9th inning in each of his last three appearances, including yesterday afternoon, when he also got the last out of the 8th inning. We won’t remove the asterisk yet, but we’re growing curious as to why Gibbons ever called this a committee.

Hierarchy remains: *Osuna | Sanchez | Hawkins.
* = closer-by-committee
August 1, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Seventh innings will be crowded at the Rogers Centre, with word that the Blue Jays acquired strikeout machine Mark Lowe from Seattle on Friday. We’ll wait and see where Lowe fits into the pecking order of second-tier relievers that includes LaTroy Hawkins, Bo Schultz, and Brett Cecil.

Hierarchy remains: *Osuna | Sanchez | Hawkins.
* = closer-by-committee

July 29, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Prior to Tuesday’s tilt, manager John Gibbons stated that Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez will share the 8th and 9th innings, while newcomer LaTroy Hawkins and Bo Schultz will split the 6th and 7th innings. Hawkins made his Toronto debut on Tuesday with the Jays trailing, and since Toronto lost, it remains a mystery as to who will get the first crack at a save between Osuna and Sanchez.

Updated hierarchy: *Osuna | Sanchez | Hawkins.
* = closer-by-committee

July 28, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – The Rockies completed a mega-trade in the wee hours this morning that sent All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and veteran set-up man LaTroy Hawkins to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop Jose Reyes, reliever Miguel Castro, minor leaguers, and cash. While the shortstops will get the headlines this morning, we know you care only about how this trade affects the bullpens! LaTroy Hawkins will provide the Jays with a much needed arm in one of the league’s sketchiest pens. It is unclear right now exactly how John Gibbons plans to use him, but our best guess is that he’ll be a 7th inning guy who picks up a few holds now and again.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Sanchez | Hawkins.

July 27, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Sanchez’s mere presence in the major league bullpen looked like it was probably going to be enough to supplant Bo Schultz as the primary set-up man in Toronto, and that was before Schultz gave up two runs in the 7th inning last night to blow the lead. Sanchez now has two scoreless 8th innings to his name and is the most likely candidate for a save when Roberto Osuna is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Sanchez | Schultz.

July 26, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Aaron Sanchez was activated from the DL on Saturday and immediately inserted into an important spot for the Blue Jays’ bullpen.  He pitched a scoreless 8th in a tie game and ended up getting the win after the Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 9th.  Roberto Osuna pitched a scoreless 9th for his 5th save of the season.  With Steve Delabar getting sent down, Sanchez will replace him on the Blue Jays’ hierarchy and could be an option to close games if Osuna struggles at all.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Schultz | Sanchez.

July 24, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — As predicted in our Vulture Save Watch, Roberto Osuna didn’t get the save opportunity on Thursday. Instead, that honor went to Bo Schultz, who got the final two outs for his first career save after R.A. Dickey tossed the first 8 1/3 innings for the win. Schultz has pitched well of late (1.75 ERA in 25.2 IP), and belongs ahead of Steve Delabar (7 ER in last 4.1 IP) in the hierarchy. After a second rehab outing Thursday at Syracuse, Aaron Sanchez will slide into second in line when he rejoins the team this weekend.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Schultz | Delabar.

July 22, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Toronto signed Joba Chamberlain to a minor league deal, but Chamberlain is not the pitcher the Jays are excited to eventually have in their beleaguered bullpen. Aaron Sanchez made his final rehab appearance in Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, and the former starter will join a bullpen that is desperate for help. Manager John Gibbons said Sanchez could return as early as Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Delabar | Schultz.

July 12, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Bo Schultz, former right fielder for Brooklyn beer league softball powerhouse Turkey’s Nest (“Motto: gobble, gobble, gobble”), has risen from walk-on outfielder at Northwestern and Men’s Journal summer intern to late-inning stalwart for the Blue Jays. On Saturday, Schultz protected a one-run lead in the eighth against Kansas City.

Updated hierarchy: Osuna | Delabar | Schultz.

July 8, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna grabbed another save on Tuesday and with Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar nowhere to be found last night in a 2-1 game, it’s safe to say the asterisk can be removed.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Delabar | Cecil.

July 6, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – On a day when no other Toronto reliever pitched particularly well, Roberto Osuna picked up his third save of the year. The four-out save came a day after Steve Delabar — his prime competition for the closer role — got roughed up. One more save and we might be ready to get rid of Osuna’s asterisk.

Hierarchy remains: *Osuna | Delabar | Cecil.
* = closer-by-committee

July 5, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Steve Delabar had another rough outing on Saturday, giving up 2 runs while only recording 1 out.  Brett Cecil, on the other hand, now has five scoreless appearances since being demoted from the closer’s role.  The Blue Jays bullpen is still unsettled at this point but with Delabar struggling, Roberto Osuna could have a chance to solidify himself as the closer.

Updated hierarchy: *Osuna | Delabar | Cecil.

July 3, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays
— Setup man Steve Delabar has been dynamite for the Jays all season, but he came unglued Thursday night against the Red Sox, uncorking three wild pitches in just two-thirds of an inning (he only had two all year entering the game). Delabar also allowed three runs on three hits and a walk. Perhaps this disastrous outing was an aberration, but his command was all over the place, so his performance moving forward bears watching. In other news, the Jays had to use every member of the bullpen in Thursday’s 12-6 loss after starter Matt Boyd failed to record an out, allowing seven runs in the first inning.

Hierarchy remains: *Osuna | Delabar | Schultz.

June 25, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays
– Steve Delabar picked up his first save of the season yesterday in the 12th inning after Roberto Osuna got the final out of the 9th in a then-scoreless game. Osuna is still the leading candidate for saves going forward, but Delabar stands to play an important role in the Jays’ committee as well.

Hierarchy remains: *Osuna | Delabar | Schultz.

June 24, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays
– Brett Cecil was removed from the closer role, said John Gibbons on Tuesday afternoon. Roberto Osuna was unavailable last night but, along with Steve Delabar, will also get opportunities going forward. Gibbons did not want to define roles, but he did mention that he plans to move hard-throwing righty Bo Schultz to the late innings, giving the 29-year-old more responsibility.

Updated hierarchy: *Osuna | Delabar | Schultz.

June 23, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Brett Cecil has been removed from the closer role, said John Gibbons on Tuesday afternoon. Steve Delabar will get tonight’s save chance, and Roberto Osuna will also get opportunities going forward. Cecil may re-enter the conversation if he can sort himself out.

Updated hierarchy: *Osuna | Delabar | Loup.

June 23, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – While the Blue Jays’ bullpen remains unsettled, 20 year-old Roberto Osuna is making a name for himself with his 100 mph fastball. Last night Osuna was called on to get the Jays out of a jam in the 8th, which he did by striking out three Tampa hitters around a walk. He then returned and struck out two more in the 9th for his first save. John Gibbons said after the game that “you can’t say enough about Osuna,” but did not name him the new closer, which leads us to believe that tonight’s game is vital. Osuna is likely unavailable after his 33-pitch outing, so if the Jays get a save opp, and Cecil converts it, he probably hangs on to his job for at least a little while longer. But if he pitches badly, or doesn’t pitch at all, then that opens up the chance for Osuna to seize control of the gig going forward. Steve Delabar, two years removed from an All Star game appearance, also lurks as a candidate, while the Jays continue to be mentioned in talks for Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez.

Hierarchy remains: *Cecil | Osuna | Delabar.
* = closer-by-committee

June 22, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Brett Cecil owners have had it rough. After going more than a month without so much as a save opportunity, Cecil has gotten a few more high-leverage chances in the past two weeks, and has responded by melting down. He began June with a 2.81 ERA, but after allowing 10 runs in his last six appearances (including a brutal outing yesterday), his ERA has shot to 5.96, and beat writers are speculating about whether he’s already lost his job. Cecil, for his part, thinks the issue might be that he’s tipping pitches, and his middle infielders fell on the sword for yesterday’s disaster, saying they should’ve turned a double play. But regardless of the reason, Roberto Osuna seems like a great add for speculators, while the Jays are also reportedly looking at Francisco Rodriguez.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Osuna | Delabar. 

June 20, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — Steve Delabar threw only three strikes on Friday, but they were enough to get the Blue Jays out of the eighth inning on their way to victory. Hitters have a paltry .100 average against Delabar, who has allowed only two earned runs in 15 appearances.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Osuna | Delabar.

June 6, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — We haven’t repeated much of the endless Rafael Soriano speculation this season, but with Toronto general manager Alex Anthopolous admitting the team is interested, there’s a very real chance Soriano could be relevant again soon.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Osuna | Loup.

May 4, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Miguel Castro, Toronto’s de facto closer just a week ago, has been sent to AAA. It’s probably safe to cut bait on him at this point.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Osuna | Loup.

April 29, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays –After being named the Blue Jays’ closer early Tuesday, Brett Cecil picked up his first save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Osuna | Loup.

April 28, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – In comments prior to Tuesday’s game, John Gibbons announced that he would return to using Brett Cecil in the closer’s role, with Roberto Osuna and Aaron Loup backing him up. Miguel Castro will get some less strenuous work for a time.

Updated hierarchy: Cecil | Osuna | Loup.

April 28, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays’ bullpen fell apart late against the Red Sox last night; Roberto Osuna gave up the tying run in the eighth, and Miguel Castro surrendered a walk-off single in the ninth. After the game, John Gibbons said that Brett Cecil would have gotten the save opportunity, had one arisen, although he still has full confidence in Castro. It’s anybody’s guess who will have the edge going forward, but we’ll edge Cecil to the front of what clearly remains a committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Cecil | Castro | Osuna.

April 26, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – All three members of the Blue Jays’ hierarchy contributed to a blown save on Saturday.  Roberto Osuna struck out the first two batters of the 8th inning protecting a one-run lead, but was pulled after he gave up a single to Evan Longoria.  Brett Cecil came on and gave up a single to the only batter he faced.  Finally, the Blue Jays brought in Miguel Castro.  Castro gave up back-to-back doubles, allowing both inherited runners to score, along with one of his own.  Cecil took the loss while Castro got the blown save, his second of the season.  Manager John Gibbons continues to say he will use his relievers situationally, instead of a traditional closer.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 24, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Liam Hendricks was ineffective in a 7-2 game, creating a save situation for Blue Jays committee head Miguel Castro. Castro made things even more interesting by giving up a three-run homer, but escaped with a fly out and a strikeout to end it. This poor outing notwithstanding, Castro remains the most likely closer on any given day.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 23, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Miguel Castro got a four-out save, but his committee colleagues Roberto Osuna and Brett Cecil also put in scoreless appearances. If all three continue to pitch well, manager John Gibbons may have more difficult decisions to make with the late innings. For now though, Castro is the favorite.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 19, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Miguel Castro blew his first save of the season yesterday.  This was the first earned run given up by Castro, who has gotten off to a good start to the season much to the delight of the scout who signed him.   Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless 10th and picked up the win after Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning.  This all comes just one night after Cecil had a terrible outing, and it looked like Castro had the chance to solidify himself as the closer.  With Castro and Cecil pitching on back-to-back days, Osuna could get the call on Sunday if there is a save opportunity and further complicate things in the Blue Jays bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 18, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Things continue to be unsettled in the Jays’ pen; last night, Roberto Osuna pitched the fifth and sixth and Brett Cecil gave up three runs on two homers in the eighth. Miguel Castro continues to look like the best Toronto reliever to own — he pitched a scoreless ninth in the losing effort.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 15, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Miguel Castro appeared to be at the front of John Gibbons’ committee after his save against the Yankees, but on Tuesday he entered a tie game in the seventh and stayed on to pitch the eighth, giving up a run in the process. It looks as if the committee is more wide open than originally thought, with Roberto Osuna and Brett Cecil still very much in the mix.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 10, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – On the day Brett Cecil was demoted from the closer job, new committee head Miguel Castro mowed down the Yankees in the ninth to earn his first career save. A righty, the 6-5 Castro retired three Yankee lefthanded batters in Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and Jacoby Ellsbury. Roberto Osuna, Toronto’s other 20-year-old phenom, handled his business in the sixth and seventh, and Cecil responded to his new role encouragingly, with an effective eighth.

Hierarchy remains: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

April 9, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – A night after an 8th-inning shellacking at the hands of the Yankees, Brett Cecil was informed that he’d be given a little time off from closing, and would instead be used in the 7th and 8th innings. John Gibbons hasn’t explicitly named a replacement, though Miguel Castro appears to be the leading candidate. Roberto Osuna could potentially factor in as well.

Updated hierarchy: *Castro | Osuna | Cecil.

March 27, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays optioned Steve Delabar to the minors on Thursday.  It was a very surprising move, and left Delabar searching for a word starting with “Q” to answer the question “How are you?” when asked by reporters.  Rookies Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna  should help fill the void left by Delabar at the back end of the Blue Jays bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Cecil | Loup | Castro.

March 26, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — As expected, Brett Cecil was officially named Toronto’s closer; Aaron Loup will set him up, with Steve Delabar and Miguel Castro behind them.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Loup | Delabar.

March 18, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – Thanks to an injury to Marcus Stroman, signs are pointing to a spot in the rotation for promising youngster Aaron Sanchez. That basically clears Brett Cecil’s path to the Opening Day closer gig.

Updated hierarchy: Cecil | Loup | Delabar.

March 6, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays — With Casey Janssen no longer the Jays’ closer, Brett Cecil and Aaron Sanchez are the top candidates for the job, but John Gibbons isn’t committing to either man yet. For now, we think Cecil has the edge because Sanchez could still snag a spot in the rotation, but it’s worth noting that Cecil was scratched from Friday’s spring training game with soreness in his shoulder. Aaron Loup and Todd Redmond are likely to pitch middle relief in front of the eventual closer, with Steve Delabar also in play.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Cecil | Sanchez | Loup.
Holds candidates: Loup, Redmond.

September 27, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Marcus Stroman recorded a four inning save last night.  Stroman, making his first appearance since being suspended for throwing at Caleb Joseph, gave up only one hit while striking out four.  Stroman is a promising young starter for the Blue Jays and will not factor into their bullpen plans.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 25, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Sanchez locked down a 1-0 victory for the Jays to earn his third save of the season. It was his first save since Sept. 3, and he was warming as the Jays were in the midst of a scoreless game in the eighth inning. While speculation remains as to whether Sanchez will remain in the bullpen or start next season, Casey Janssen hinted that he will explore free agency next year.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 8, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – The last two days have brought some good news for Casey Janssen owners: On Saturday, Aaron Sanchez was summoned in the 7th inning, and on Sunday, he was nowhere to be seen, allowing Janssen to pick up his 22nd save. Sanchez will probably vulture a few more chances down the stretch, but Janssen should still be able to get his share of saves.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 6, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Casey Janssen blew another save last night.  He gave up three runs on five hits, while only recording one out.  After Aaron Sanchez got the save on Wednesday, it sounds like manager John Gibbons told Janssen that Sanchez would get the save opportunities when he is available.  Janssen then recorded the save on Thursday but wasn’t able to get it done yesterday.  He could still be in the mix for saves, and we will leave him there for now, but if Sanchez gets the next save chance and converts it, that should confirm a change.

Casey Janssen to Hot Seat
Hierarchy remains: Janssen | Sanchez | Cecil.

September 4, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Aaron Sanchez’s future is as a front-line starter, but like Adam Wainwright in 2006, he’s building confidence in the bullpen down the stretch. The Jays have made it clear that Casey Janssen is still the team’s official closer, but Janssen, a free agent next season, hasn’t taken kindly to the competition. John Gibbons explained that he went with Sanchez for Wednesday’s save because he was already warm. Janssen owners approaching the playoffs should avail themselves of a less volatile option if possible.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | Sanchez | Cecil.

August 31, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Aaron Sanchez picked up his first career save yesterday afternoon.  Sanchez pitched a perfect 8th inning with the Blue Jays up 2 and then came back out for the 9th.  With closer Casey Janssen warming in the bullpen, Sanchez threw a 1-2-3 inning to finish the game.  The Blue Jays plan to get as much out of Sanchez as possible, which could mean that he sees more save chances down the stretch.  Still, Janssen should see the majority of saves, especially since Sanchez likely won’t pitch in back-to-back games.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | Sanchez | Cecil.

August 28, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Chalk another one up for the Vulture Save Watch. We thought it would be Brett Cecil if the Jays needed a save on Wednesday night, and sure enough, he got the last out of the eighth, then came back out and struck out the side in an impressive ninth.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | Loup | Cecil.

August 20, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — John Gibbons just keeps going to Dustin McGowan early these days, summoning him in the fourth last night. Brett Cecil has a narrow edge over top prospect Aaron Sanchez right now.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | Loup | Cecil.

August 16, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Dustin McGowan was summoned in the 5th inning yesterday with the Blue Jays getting blown out.  McGowan’s usage has been a little all over the place recently and it appears that Aaron Loup, and potentially even Brett Cecil, have surpassed him on the Blue Jays bullpen hiearchy.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | Loup | McGowan.

August 11, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – He won’t make his way on to the hierarchy any time soon, but former first round pick Chad Jenkins has earned a coveted mention in the Closer Monkey daily by pitching the 14th through 19th innings on Sunday. The six innings of scoreless relief allowed the Blue Jays to get the win in the longest game in the franchise’s history. Good work, Chad.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | McGowan | Loup.

July 24, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — First, Sergio Santos’s stuff went south; now he will, to AAA Buffalo, after clearing waivers.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | McGowan | Loup.

July 23, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — For the second straight appearance, Casey Janssen entered in a non-save ninth and allowed enough runs to allow a wingman to earn a vulture save. Tonight it was Brett Cecil’s turn, since Aaron Loup and Dustin McGowan had already appeared. If Janssen’s ineffectiveness can be traced to his recent illness, he’d be better off resting than hooking up pals at the expense of his ERA.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | McGowan | Loup.

July 21, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen got the ball in the 9th inning on Sunday, but wasn’t himself, allowing several baserunners before giving way to Aaron Loup, who picked up another vulture save. Janssen, weakened by a stretch of food poisoning, wasn’t even certain that he would be available Sunday, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that the quick hook wasn’t representative of any lost faith from John Gibbons. Hopefully he’ll find his strength in short order.

Hierarchy remains: Janssen | McGowan | Loup.

July 20, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen was unavailable due to a bout of food poisoning, so Aaron Loup got the call in the 9th inning, picking up his third save of the year. With Brett Cecil pitching erratically as of late (Cecil has allowed a run in four of his last nine outings), Loup is now the primary lefty in the Toronto pen.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | McGowan | Loup.

July 15, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen has 14 saves in 16 chances since returning from an early-season DL stint, but the Blue Jays have been linked to both Huston Street and Joakim Soria. Janssen hasn’t been an issue for the contending Jays, but if Soria or Street land north of the border, then Janssen may be the odd man out. TRADE DEADLINE SELL: Casey Janssen

July 7, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Brett Cecil returned from the DL over the weekend, logging two scoreless appearances in the Blue Jays’ series with Oakland. He should supplant Aaron Loup as the go-to lefty in the late innings for Toronto; on Sunday, Loup came on in the 6th inning of a losing effort.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | McGowan | Cecil.

July 2, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — While Sergio Santos has been overlooked in high-leverage spots, Aaron Loup has resurfaced as a top option, albeit one who hit the only batter he faced in the eighth on Tuesday. This is probably all academic, as Brett Cecil has only one more rehab outing planned for Buffalo before he joins the Jays on Thursday in Oakland. In his first Bisons appearance on Monday, Cecil gave up the tying home run to Syracuse in the eighth, and came off as a little insensitive to his temporary teammates. Hope he bought dinner at Dinosaur.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | McGowan | Loup.

June 20, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – We might now have an explanation for why Brett Cecil went from one of the best relievers in baseball over the first month into a kinda-crappy situational lefty in recent weeks: he’s been trying to pitch through a groin injury. That effort is now over, as Cecil was placed on the DL on Thursday. Look for Sergio Santos — just back from his own DL stint — and Dustin McGowan to get save chances on nights when Casey Janssen is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | McGowan | Santos.

June 14, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Dustin McGowan recorded a five out save on Friday night.  Since moving to the bullpen in mid-May, McGowan has only given up 1 run in 11 appearances.  During that time he has picked up a win, a save, and five holds.  He should continue to see time in the later innings for the Blue Jays bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | Cecil | McGowan.

June 2, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Up by four runs in the 9th inning, the Blue Jays went to Aaron Loup, who pitched a clean inning to close the game out.  Loup’s role has been difficult to define for much of the past season and a half — at various times, he’s been everything from the long man to the backup closer.  But over the past few weeks, the Jays have been using him more often as a 1-inning guy, and have been going to him in some key late inning spots.  Expect him to split the 8th inning with fellow lefty Brett Cecil going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Janssen | Cecil | Loup.

June 1, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Todd Redmond recorded a three inning save yesterday as the Blue Jays won by 10 runs.

Hierarchy Remains: Janssen | Cecil | Delabar.

May 25, 2014
Toronto Blue JaysBrett Cecil picked up his third save of the season yesterday as closer Casey Janssen was given the day off.

Hierarchy Remains: Janssen | Cecil | Delabar

May 13, 2014
Toronto Blue JaysA day after being activated from the disabled list, Casey Janssen returned to his familiar ninth-inning role. It wasn’t a save situation, as the Jays had a four-run lead, but Janssen preserved the win. After a leadoff walk, Janssen retired the next three hitters, throwing 10 of his 19 pitches for strikes. No hierarchy change.

May 12, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen was activated from the disabled list on the same day that former fill-in closer Sergio Santos hit the DL. Janssen should resume closing immediately. Hierarchy change: Casey Janssen to Closer, Brett Cecil to Set-up, Steve Delabar to 2nd in line.

May 7, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — With Brett Cecil resting, John Gibbons used lefty Aaron Loup for a two-out save against lefties Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Matchups are likely to continue to dictate Toronto save situations until the return of Casey Janssen, possibly early next weekNo hierarchy change.

May 6, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Brett Cecil got the first crack at the closer’s role in manager John Gibbons’ committee, and he came through with a strong ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season. Both Aaron Loup and Steve Delabar pitched in front of Cecil, but it was Delabar who got the eighth ahead of Loup. All three have a chance at a save opportunity at this point, but it appears as if Delabar has the inside track to the ninth inning if Cecil isn’t given the nod.  Hierarchy change: Steve Delabar to Set-up, Aaron Loup to 2nd in line.

May 4, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Manager John Gibbons has officially removed Sergio Santos from the closer’s role and has announced that they will go with a committee until Janssen is back.  Gibbons mentioned Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup as the main guys in the committee.  We like Cecil better because of his strikeout potential.  On another note, Casey Janssen could begin a rehab assignment on Monday.  Hierarchy change: Aaron Loup to Set-up, Steve Delabar to 2nd in line. 

May 3, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Sergio Santos blew his second straight save tonight and after the game Manager John Gibbons said that they might have to re-arrange some things in the bullpen. Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th inning tonight and has 18 ks in 10.1 innings this year. He should get the first chance at closing but might not be available tomorrow after throwing 31 pitches tonight. Steve Delabar could also be an option to close games until Casey Janssen returns from the DL. Hierarchy change: Brett Cecil to Closer, Steve Delabar to Set-up, Sergio Santos to 2nd in line.

May 2, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Loup picked up a long relief save on Thursday, but he doesn’t factor in to the usual late-inning plans for Toronto.  No hierarchy change. 

April 29, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays are missing Casey Janssen, who remains at least two weeks away from a return. On Tuesday, Sergio Santos entered with two on and one out in a high-leverage eighth, and proceeded to give up two inherited runs, plus three of his own. Last year, Santos threw three times as many innings, and walked half as many men. No hierarchy change.

April 19, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Before yesterday’s game, manager John Gibbons said that Sergio Santos has been tremendous this season.  Santos successfully closed out the Indians on Friday but it wasn’t smooth, as he allowed a hit and 2 walks in the 9th inning.  He is 5 out of 6 in save chances this season but he has struggled with walks and will need to get that under control if he wants to keep the job.   No hierarchy change.

April 18, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Sergio Santos had been solid in filling in for Casey Janssen so far this season, but Thursday was a disaster for the right-hander. He entered the game with two runners on in the 8th inning and a 2-run lead, and proceeded to walk the only three hitters he would face, throwing only four total strikes.  Casey Janssen’s rehab was temporarily shut down after he aggravated an injury, but this doesn’t provide Santos a ton of job security after yesterday.  Brett Cecil still has a 0.00 ERA on the year, and should Santos continue to struggle, the lefty could potentially hold down the 9th inning job until Janssen’s return.  Sergio Santos to Hot Seat.

April 16, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Casey Janssen pitched a scoreless inning for class-A Dunedin on Tuesday; he’s expected to make two more minor league appearances before returning in about a week. What role he’ll have upon his arrival is still unknown. No hierarchy change.

April 9, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Brett Cecil pitched the eighth last night after Steve Delabar was used to finish the sixth. Keep an eye on Sergio Santos too — he struck out the side in the ninth, and could have a shot at keeping the closer job even after Casey Janssen returns. Janssen will throw a side session on Wednesday before starting a few rehab outingsHierarchy change: Brett Cecil to Set-up, Steve Delabar to 2nd in line.

March 30, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen has been placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain.  Sergio Santos will close in his place, while Steve Delabar moves up to 8th inning duties.  Hierarchy change: Sergio Santos to Closer, Steve Delabar to Set-up, Brett Cecil to 2nd in line, Casey Janssen injured.

March 13, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays — Casey Janssen has pitched well for Toronto over the last two seasons; his reputation suffers because of his subpar team and their hitter-friendly ballpark. A shoulder injury this spring could make his position more tenuous. Ranked #19 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 11, 2014
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen finds himself entrenched as the Blue Jays’ closer, and he’ll have a familiar cast of characters behind him. Sergio Santos will begin the season in the set-up role, while righty Steve Delabar should be called upon again in the seventh. Expect the Jays to use Brett Cecil again as a left-handed option out of the pen along with Delabar. Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Casey Janssen, Set-up – Sergio Santos, 2nd in line – Steve Delabar.

September 28, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Sergio Santos came on in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and one out and the Blue Jays up 4.  He got a double play to get out of the inning and then stayed on for the 9th to pick up his first save of the season. No hierarchy change.

September 22, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Sergio Santos pitched a perfect 8th inning on Saturday night with a one run lead.  Santos has not allowed a run in his last 16 appearances while Steve Delabar has given up 5 runs over his last 3 appearances.  Hierarchy change: Sergio Santos to Set-up, Steve Delabar to 2nd in line .

September 3, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — Steve Delabar returned from the disabled list after almost a month and jumped right back into the eighth inning, earning a hold on Monday. Toronto has been leaning on Sergio Santos more than Brett Cecil over the past two weeks, so Santos keeps his slot at #3 for the Jays. Hierarchy change: Steve Delabar to Set-up, replacing Brett Cecil.

August 15, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — As we expected, Brett Cecil got a shot at a save on Wednesday night; unfortunately for anyone who listened to us, he surrendered a two-run homer to tie the game, then loaded the bases. Never trust a man with two first names. No hierarchy change.

August 5, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays placed All Star set-up man Steve Delabar on the DL yesterday with shoulder inflammation.  The move is retroactive to August 3.  Brett Cecil will take over 8th inning duties in his absence.  Hierarchy change: Brett Cecil to Set-up, Sergio Santos to 2nd in line, Steve Delabar to DL.

August 2, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Sergio Santos finally returned to the big leagues on Thursday after spending most of the season on the disabled list.  He’ll pitching middle relief at first, but given his contract and experience, the Blue Jays will likely elevate him to a set up role if he pitches well.  That’s no guarantee of course, as Santos was pretty awful during his rehab stint, posting a 6.17 ERA in 12 appearances.  No hierarchy change.

August 1, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Brett Cecil picked up a 10th inning save on Wednesday, after Casey Janssen and Steve Delabar had already pitched.  No hierarchy change.

July 31, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — The impressive Steve Delabar struck out the side in the eighth inning on nine pitches, a feat accomplished only 50 times before in baseball history. No hierarchy change.

July 17, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — The Jays’ bullpen has been the team’s biggest strength this disappointing season, and although they might move a pitcher if they get the right offer, any trade is unlikely to affect the save picture. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 11, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Steve Delabar picked up a one-out save last night, replacing Casey Janssen, who was struggling to get through the 9th.  Though it was a little odd to see Janssen get yanked in the middle of a save opp, he’s only got one blown save all year.  Maybe the Blue Jays are boosting Delabar’s profile for the ridiculous, all-reliever AL final All Star vote.  No hierarchy change.

June 3, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Loup picked up an 11th-inning save on Sunday night after the Jays had used most of the other relievers in their bullpen.  Brett Cecil pitched the 8th and 9th for Toronto and extended his scoreless innings streak to 11.  Though Neil Wagner had a strong debut earlier this week, he hasn’t pitched in a game in which the Blue Jays were winning or tied since.  Hierarchy change: Brett Cecil to 2nd in line, replacing Neil Wagner.

May 30, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – With many of their top relievers injured, the Blue Jays on Wednesday called up their AAA closer, Neil Wagner, and immediately thrust him in to a big spot.  Wagner, 29, a hard-throwing righty, pitched the 7th and 8th innings in a 3-run game, before giving way to Casey Janssen.  He allowed only one hit and struck out two.  Wagner’s stats in AAA are very impressive (20.1 IP, 0.89 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 13 saves, and 32 Ks/8 BBs), and the lack of (healthy) closing experience puts him immediately in the conversation if Janssen’s recent shoulder complaints turn into something real.  Hierarchy change: Neil Wagner to 2nd in line, replacing Brett Cecil.

May 29, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – With Darren Oliver on the disabled list with a strained shoulder, Steve Delabar has ascended to the setup role in the threadbare Jays bullpen. Right behind him is an equally overworked Brett Cecil, who has struck out eight of the last fourteen batters he’s faced. As Casey Janssen was held out of Tuesday’s game with a “tender” shoulder, Delabar may see ninth-inning action very soon. Hierarchy change: Steve Delabar to Set-up, Brett Cecil to 2nd in line, Darren Oliver to DL.

May 15, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — Adding to the Blue Jays’ injury woes, Sergio Santos will need surgery to clean out bone spurs from his elbow. Expect him back in early July. No hierarchy change.

May 8, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — Steve Delabar has been pitching more effectively than Aaron Loup lately, and in more important spots. Sergio Santos, meanwhile, expects to be out for about two more weeksHierarchy change: Steve Delabar to 2nd in line, replacing Aaron Loup.

May 4, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Loup pitched the 5th and 6th inning last night while Darren Oliver pitched the 8th.  Although the Blue Jays were losing, it was a close game and they used Janssen for the 9th.  Oliver also pitched the 8th ahead of Janssen a few days ago.   Hierarchy change:  Darren Oliver to Set-up, Aaron Loup to 2nd in line.

April 16, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays — Sergio Santos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained triceps, and young Aaron Loup was summoned today in a high-leverage eighth.  Hierarchy change: Aaron Loup to Set-up, Sergio Santos to DL.

April 13, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Aaron Loup picked up a three-inning save on Friday.  Loup has pitched well to start the season, but doesn’t factor in to the Blue Jays late inning hierarchy just yet.  No hierarchy change.

March 25, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Blue Jays manager John Gibbons seems to think that Casey Janssen will be ready to open the season come April 2.  Janssen himself is far less certain.  Either way, though, Gibbons told the Toronto Sun that Janssen was definitely his closer, even if he wasn’t ready for the season.  So if Sergio Santos gets a few save opportunities, they won’t last long, as Janssen will inherit the job whenever he does return.  Hierarchy change: Casey Janssen to Closer, Sergio Santos to Set-up.

March 20, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – With Casey Janssen’s rehab going slower than expected, Sergio Santos will most likely start the season as the closer in Toronto.  Santos was signed before last season with the expectation that he would close for the Blue Jays, so if he pitches well in the early going, he could hold on to the job for good.  Hierarchy change: Sergio Santos to Closer, Casey Janssen to Set-up. 

February 24, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays – Casey Janssen enters camp as favorite to hold the Toronto closer job, but Sergio Santos was brought in last season to finish games, and could easily seize the job if Janssen falters.  Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Casey Janssen, Set-up- Sergio Santos, 2nd in line- Darren Oliver.

August 5, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Darren Oliver picked up an 11th inning save on Saturday. Casey Janssen had already pitched earlier in the night. No hierarchy change.

July 21, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays picked up three pitchers from the Houston Astros in a 10-player trade on Thursday including Brandon Lyon, who will likely serve as a 7th inning guy ahead of Darren Oliver and Casey Janssen. Hierarchy change: Brandon Lyon to 2nd in line, replacing Jason Frasor.

July 16, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Darren Oliver pitched the last two innings in a three-run game for the Jays last night, earning his first save of the season. Casey Janssen remains the team’s regular closer, and will maintain that role for the foreseeable future, as the Jays also announced Sunday that Sergio Santos would undergo season-ending surgery. No hierarchy change.

July 13, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Whether the Blue Jays are buyers or sellers has been a topic of debate, with GM Alex Anthopolous saying earlier this month that they were buyers, while Buster Olney reported a few days later that other executives were expecting the Jays to sell. But even if they do sell, Casey Janssen has a 2-year deal and would likely be sticking around. And if they buy, they’ll probably look somewhere other than the bullpen, as they’ve got Sergio Santos returning soon. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 5, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays
– Jason Frasor pitched the 7th inning of a close game for the second night in a row. He now has 11 holds on the season and seems to have established himself as the guy that the Blue Jays will use ahead of Oliver and Janssen. Hierarchy change: Jason Frasor to 2nd in line replacing Francisco Cordero.

June 30, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Darren Oliver pitched the 8th inning ahead of Casey Janssen on Friday, his fourth consecutive 8th inning hold. The ageless lefty is having the best season of his career, sporting a 1.59 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Hierarchy change: Darren Oliver to Set-up, Francisco Cordero to 2nd in line.

June 20, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Jason Frasor gave up 2 runs on Tuesday, pushing his ERA to 4.26. Meanwhile, veteran lefty Darren Oliver pitched yet another scoreless inning, eventually earning the win after John Axford blew the save. He’s been used against both righties and lefties this season, and now has a sparkling 1.48 ERA. Hierarchy change: Darren Oliver to 2nd in line, replacing Jason Frasor.

June 12, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Sergio Santos suffered another setback in his rehab this weekend and could be out until after the All Star break, or longer. Casey Janssen has performed well in his stead and with this news, his value continues to rise. No hierarchy change.

May 31, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – His ERA is still ugly due to some awful outings earlier in the year, but Francisco Cordero has been solid since being demoted from the closer role, holding the opposition scoreless in 10 out of 11 outings. He pitched the 8th inning last night- setting up for Casey Janssen- his second such appearance in a row. Hierarchy change: Francisco Cordero to Set-up, Jason Frasor to 2nd in line.

May 18, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Jason Frasor picked up his second hold of the week on Thursday, and has been used regularly in high leverage spots. Francisco Cordero has been held out of close games as the Jays aim to rebuild his confidence. Hierarchy change: Jason Frasor to Set-up, Francisco Cordero to 2nd in line.

May 10, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays just announced that they have demoted Francisco Cordero, and that Casey Janssen would be the team’s closer until Sergio Santos returns, according to the Toronto Star. Janssen pitched a clean 9th in his first opportunity on Wednesday; Santos will likely be out at least another two weeks. Hierarchy change: Casey Janssen to Closer, Francisco Cordero to Set-up.

May 9, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays – Francisco Cordero blew a save in ugly fashion last night, allowing 5 earned runs including a walk-off grand slam. Injured closer Sergio Santos has begun a rehab program, but is likely still two weeks away from returning. Another bad outing or two by Cordero, and he may not hold the job until Santos’s return. Francisco Cordero to Hot Seat.

April 30, 2012
Toronto Blue JaysBefore Sunday’s game, manager John Farrell explicitly identified Casey Janssen as the team’s set-up man, and proved it by using him in a high-leverage eighth. Luis Perez didn’t make the choice difficult, with a four-run tenth on Friday. Hierarchy change: Casey Janssen to Set-Up, Luis Perez to 2nd in Line.

April 24, 2012
Toronto Blue JaysCasey Janssen hasn’t pitched since he blew a save on April 14, and Jason Frasor has been idle since a 3-run outing on April 19. In the meantime, Luis Perez and Darren Oliver have been getting more work, including high-leverage outings by Perez on April 20 and last night. With Sergio Santos out, the bullpen situation in Toronto remains quite fluid. Hierarchy change: Luis Perez to Set-up, Jason Frasor to 2nd in Line.

April 23, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays- With Sergio Santos on the DL, new closer Francisco Cordero picked up a somewhat rocky save in his first day on the job. No hierarchy change.

April 22, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays- Sergio Santos was placedon the disabled list on Saturday with right shoulder inflammation; insurance policy Francisco Cordero will step into the role of closer until Santos can return. Hierarchy change: Santos to DL, Cordero to Closer, Casey Janssen to Set-up, Jason Frasor to 2nd in Line.

April 10, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays- Sergio Santos blew his second consecutive save on Sunday and looked ugly doing it, walking three hitters and only recording two outs. Experienced set-up man Francisco Cordero could see some opportunities if Santos continues to falter. Sergio Santos to Hot Seat.

March 20, 2012
Toronto Blue Jays- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos continued to make positive moves for the team’s bullpen, trading for White Sox closer Sergio Santos, who will take over as closer in Toronto. The team also signed former Reds closer Francisco Cordero, who will serve as the primary setup man. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Sergio Santos, Set-up- Francisco Cordero, 2nd in line- Casey Janssen.

Dec. 15, 2011
Toronto Blue Jays- The Blue Jays have traded for Sergio Santos, who will assume the closer’s role from the departing Frank Francisco. Hierarchy change: Sergio Santos to Closer, replacing Frank Francisco.

Sept. 12, 2011
Toronto Blue Jays- Jon Rauch has barely pitched since his return from the DL. Casey Janssen has been used in most of the high-leverage non-save situations as of late. Hierarchy change: Janssen to Set-up, Rauch to 2nd in line.

Sept. 2, 2011
Toronto Blue Jays- Jon Rauch, fresh off the DL, pitched the 8th inning last night. He won’t reclaim his old closer job, but he’ll likely be the guy the Jays call upon if Francisco gets hurt. Casey Janssen, who will be sidelined for a few days with a stiff back, will assume the 2nd in line role as soon as he’s healthy. Hierarchy change: Rauch to Set-up, replacing Janssen.

Aug. 25, 2011
Toronto Blue Jays- Pitching in relief, Jesse Litsch earned the win last night. Litsch has been impressive since being recalled from Triple-A, and he came in the 7th in a tie game. Hierarchy change: Litsch to 2nd in line, replacing Camp.

Aug. 22, 2011
Toronto Blue Jays- Casey Janssen picked up a 3-inning save in the Blue Jays’ 1-0 victory last night. Frank Francisco warmed up for the 9th, but felt stiffness in his shoulder, so Janssen stayed in. At the moment, Francisco’s injury doesn’t appear serious. No hierarchy change.

Aug. 16, 2011
Toronto Blue Jays- Jon Rauch has been placed on the DL after undergoing an emergency appendectomy this morning. Frank Francisco will assume the closer role indefinitely. Hierarchy change: Rauch to DL. Francisco to Closer, Janssen to Set-Up, Camp to 2nd in line.