Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in line2024 CloserUpdated
ARI*Andrew ChafinMiguel CastroScott McGoughJoe Mantiply6/3/23
(IL)Mark MelanconJoe Mantiply

* = closer-by-committee

Previous updates:

June 3, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – With a series of righties coming up it was Miguel Castro who got the ball in the 9th inning of a 1 run game. It wasn’t his smoothest outing, giving up a pair of singles, but got the game ending groundout to strand the tying run at 3rd and pick up his 6th save. Castro and Chafin continue to trade save chances in Arizona, but Castro has gotten arguably the harder workload in the last week and this is as it’s close to a 50/50 share as there is right now. 

Hierarchy remains: *Chafin | Castro | McGough.
* = closer-by-committee

May 30, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Three-inning saves are rare; four-inning saves even rarer. And four-inning saves whereby the opposing team was within traditional save range — ie: down by three runs or less — the entire time? A hard stat to track, but we’re comfortable asserting that this is rarer than a no-hitter these days. (Sidenote: A save of this sort beyond four innings is virtually unheard of in the modern era — outside of some random lefty who got his only career save, a five-inning job, in this 2014 game — what a flash in the pan that guy must have been.) But Drey Jameson was one out away from accomplishing this odd feat when Randal Grichuk laced a single to left field with two down in the 9th. Cruelly, this was it for Jameson, as Torey Lovullo summoned Andrew Chafin, who greedily lapped up the one-batter save. Jameson, a first-round pick in 2019, might have no memory of this appearance later in his life, especially if his career flourishes in the way many expect. But for us, it was a fun little game within a game on an otherwise quiet Monday night.

Hierarchy remains: *Chafin | Castro | McGough.
* = closer-by-committee

May 29, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Andrew Chafin came on in a tight spot during the 7th, meaning the 9th was again left to Miguel Castro, who converted for his 5th save. Chafin still has more saves on the year, but Castro has four of the last six, so consider them basically co-closers at this point.

Hierarchy remains: *Chafin | Castro | McGough.
* = closer-by-committee

May 25, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks — In what can only be described as an obscene abuse of power, Major League Baseball robbed Miguel Castro of Tuesday’s committee-making save and stuck him with some nineteenth-century anachronism called a “win.” On Wednesday, in solidarity with Castro, Jose Ruiz selflessly gave up his shot at a vulture save by letting the Phillies tie the score in the ninth inning. Arizona’s overworked relievers are ready for the off day on Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: *Chafin | Castro | McGough.
* = closer-by-committee

May 24, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks — We mentioned a couple days ago that the Arizona hierarchy could become a committee. Well, after recording a save on Monday, Andrew Chafin faced the top of the Phillies’ order in the eighth inning on Tuesday before Miguel Castro tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save of the season, which is certainly enough to bring out the asterisk. Both men have pitched well of late, as Castro hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last eight appearances while Chafin extended his scoreless streak to seven games.

Updated hierarchy: *Chafin | Castro | McGough.
* = closer-by-committee

May 21, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks — Andrew Chafin got the call in the 8th inning yesterday to face the 2-3-4 hitters in the Pirates’ lineup.  He pitched a scoreless inning and that left the save chance in the 9th inning for Miguel Castro.  Castro struck out the side for his 4th save of the season.  Castro is riding a six game scoreless streak and has not allowed a hit in his last four appearances.  He has clearly moved ahead of Scott McGough in the Diamondbacks hierarchy and could even push this to a committee.  We will continue to monitor this situation. 

Updated hierarchy: Chafin | Castro | McGough.

May 18, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks — As we predicted Wednesday morning, lots of recent work for Andrew Chafin and Scott McGough left the vulture save for Miguel Castro.

Hierarchy remains: Chafin | McGough | Castro.

May 13, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Andrew Chafin was called on with 1 out in the 8th inning. He let an inherited runner score, but got 2 outs and maintained the lead.  After 1 out in the 9th and with a couple righties coming up Arizona brought in Miguel Castro. Castro closed the door for his second save on the season. This was a highly matchup based save opportunity and doesn’t warrant a change in the hierarchy, but its useful to keep in mind that there are other options besides Andrew Chafin in Arizona. In other news, Joe Mantiply was placed on the 15 day IL with a hamstring strain. 

Hierarchy remains: Chafin | McGough | Castro.

April 19, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – The same day we removed the asterisk from this committee, Andrew Chafin had a rough outing. Facing the top of the order, he allowed a walk, double, RBI ground out and home run to turn an 8-4 lead into just an 8-7 advantage. Miguel Castro came on in relief and retired the next three hitters to earn the save. One bad outing isn’t enough to put the asterisk back, but we’ll see if Chafin can rebound in his next outing. In other news, Joe Mantiply returned from the IL and immediately got thrown into a high-leverage spot, entering the sixth inning with two on and one out in a 7-3 game. Mantiply got out of that jam by retiring the top two hitters in the St. Louis lineup, though he did allow a solo homer in the seventh before being pulled after 1.1 IP. Castro has been solid this season, so we’ll keep him in the hierarchy for now, but Mantiply should see more high-leverage work.

Hierarchy remains: Chafin | McGough | Castro.

April 18, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Andrew Chafin picked up his third save of the year and has seized control of the 9th inning role. Scott McGough could work his way back in, but for now, we’re removing the asterisk.

Updated hierarchy: Chafin | McGough | Castro.

April 16, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks brought in Scott McGough to protect a one-run lead in the 7th inning but he couldn’t get the job done.  He allowed three hits while only recording one out and ended up with the loss.  Andrew Chafin still has a 0.00 ERA on the season while McGough’s jumped over 9.00.  It’s still early but Chafin could have a chance to take a hold of this job for himself.

Updated hierarchy: *Chafin | McGough | Castro.
* = closer-by-committee

April 11, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Andrew Chafin picked up his 2nd save of the year on Monday, following a clean 8th from Scott McGough. Chafin now leads the pair in saves (2 to 1) and hasn’t allowed an earned run this year, earning him the top spot of the committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Chafin | McGough | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

April 5, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – The vulture save watch noted that Scott McGough and Andrew Chafin were both in line for a rest, but when Kevin Ginkel got the top of the order in the 7th inning, and the D-Backs took the lead in the 8th, they turned to Drey Jameson to hold off the Padres for the last 2 innings. Jameson gave up a run, but go the 6 outs he needed for his first career save. Jameson came up through the minors as a starter, and was solid as a major leaguer in limited action last year, but probably won’t see too many late inning chances going forward. Arizona’s hierarchy should be rested going into today, and McGough may be on the hot seat in the committee after a rough start to the season. 

Hierarchy remains: *McGough | Chafin | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

April 4, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Scott McGough entered the bottom of the 9th with a one-run lead, and two batters later, it was over, as David Dahl and Ha-Seong Kim both took him deep to walk off the game for the Padres. We’ll see if this means Andrew Chafin ascends to the top here.

Hierarchy remains: *McGough | Chafin | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

April 3, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Scott McGough got his first save of the year after Andrew Chafin got the first out of the 9th. Based on usage thus far, it seems these two will share save opportunities depending on matchups.

Hierarchy remains: *McGough | Chafin | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

April 1, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks scored 2 runs in the top of the 8th to take a lead, and after long reliever Drey Jameson got 2 outs, they turned to Scott McGough for the last out. He walked the first  batters he faced, but got out of the inning only to be lifted after walking the first batter of the 9th. This left Andrew Chafin for the save, and he stranded the runner to pick it up. We won’t make a move on this hierarchy yet, but keep an eye on how McGough gets used his next time out. 

Hierarchy Remains: *McGough | Chafin | Castro.
* = closer-by-committee 

March 30, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks — All-Star lefty Joe Mantiply (shoulder fatigue) will join Mark Melancon on the injured list to start the season. Torey Lovullo is promising a “fluid” approach to the ninth, but 33-year-old rookie Scott McGough, owner of 69 saves over the last two seasons for the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese league, looks like the top option. Lefty Andrew Chafin, Miguel Castro, and Kevin Ginkel will also  be in the mix, with rookie Carlos Vargas a long-term option.

Updated hierarchy: *McGough | Chafin | Castro.
* = closer-by-committee 

March 25, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Some bad news out of camp for the Diamondbacks as Mark Melancon will miss months with a shoulder injury. This opens the door for Scott McGough to join the hierarchy. McGough has been solid in spring training and is coming off a 38 save season in Japan. Arizona isn’t a hotbed of fantasy value for any reliever, but if you’re in the committee there is always a chance that you snag a save on any given day.  

Updated hierarchy: *Chafin | Mantiply | McGough.
* = closer-by-committee 

March 16, 2023
Arizona Diamondbacks – Folks probably aren’t going to be coveting any Arizona relievers in any fantasy drafts this spring, especially when manager Torey Lovullo made it clear that he won’t be naming a closer. Lefty Andrew Chafin signed a one-year deal and has the ability to close. Mark Melancon is still around, and he’s certainly got plenty of ninth-inning experience, though he’s currently nursing an injury. 2022 All-Star Joe Mantiply is also back. One other name to watch is Scott McGough, who saved 38 games for the Yakult Swallows in Japan last year.

Starting 2023 hierarchy: *Chafin | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee 
Holds candidates: Melancon, Mantiply, McGoug

September 29, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Reyes Moronta got through a rocky ninth with the score tied, leaving Mark Melancon to come on and pick up the 10th-inning save once Arizona took the lead. 

Updated hierarchy: *Moronta | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

September 25, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Despite blowing the save chance on Thursday, the Diamondbacks went right back to Reyes Moronta yesterday.  Moronta struck out a pair in a scoreless 9th inning for his 2nd save of the season.  We will move Moronta to the top of this committee and we think he will see the majority of save chances for the rest of the season.  

Updated hierarchy: *Moronta | Mantiply | Melancon.
* = closer-by-committee

September 23, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — In a tight game on Thursday, the Diamondbacks turned to Reyes Moronta for the save chance, but he could not close out the Dodgers, loading the bases with one out. Arizona turned Joe Mantiply to save things, but he allowed a game-tying infield single and a walk-off single. While Moronta didn’t finish the job, we probably need to reshuffle this Diamondbacks hierarchy given Thursday’s usage. Ian Kennedy had a scoreless eighth inning in a five-run game Wednesday, but he has been terrible as of late, allowing 11 earned runs over his past six appearances (4.1 IP), to balloon his ERA to 4.91.

Updated hierarchy: *Melancon | Moronta | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

September 21, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — In game two of a doubleheader with the Dodgers, Reyes Moronta pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season and only the second save of September for Arizona. Moronta also pitched a perfect ninth in his last appearance on Sept. 15, retiring the Padres’ 2-3-4 hitters (including Juan Soto and Manny Machado) in a 4-0 victory. There haven’t been a ton of save situations for the Diamondbacks lately, but Moronta is certainly in the mix should one arise.

Updated hierarchy: *Kennedy | Melancon | Moronta.
* = closer-by-committee

September 7, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Ian Kennedy has blown back-to-back save opportunities, including last night against the Padres when he gave up two runs in the ninth. Mark Melancon hasn’t really pushed Kennedy much since the Diamondbacks went to a committee, but we’ll see if he gets the next save chance after Kennedy’s recent struggles.

Hierarchy remains: *Kennedy | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

August 18, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — The night after an Ian Kennedy blown save, Mark Melancon got the shot to nail down the victory for Arizona. Neither man is pitching particularly well this season, but they seem to be locked into save chances ahead of Joe Mantiply.

Hierarchy remains: *Kennedy | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

August 15, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Ian Kennedy picked up his 8th save of the season on Sunday, posting a scoreless 9th in Colorado. He’s the clear committee leader here, though Mark Melancon (two saves since his demotion on Aug. 8) will likely continue getting chances when Kennedy isn’t fresh.

Hierarchy remains: *Kennedy | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

August 10, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks committee kept rolling on Tuesday, as Mark Melancon secured his second save in three days. Ian Kennedy had pitched in three of four while Joe Mantiply had appeared in three straight.

Hierarchy remains: *Kennedy | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

August 9, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – After Mark Melancon got Sunday’s save chance, Ian Kennedy was back in action on Monday, converting for his 7th save of the year. He remains the committee leader here and has gotten three of the last four saves for Arizona.

Hierarchy remains: *Kennedy | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

August 8, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Torey Lovullo assured us that, despite demoting Mark Melancon, the former closer would still get his opportunities in the 9th inning. Turns out that wasn’t just lip service, as Melancon got — and converted — the save chance on Sunday afternoon. It’s likely that Ian Kennedy would’ve been the top choice had he not pitched two straight, but we’ll still bump Melancon up a slot as a result.

Updated hierarchy: *Kennedy | Melancon | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

August 6, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Arizona seemed reluctant to remove Mark Melancon from the closer role before the deadline — likely in an effort to build his value for a potential trade — but with that now in the past, they’re moving to a committee approach which will see Melancon share opportunities with Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply, depending on matchups. We’re shuffling Kennedy to the top for now because he’s been the better arm lately, though Melancon is still probably worth hanging on to in deeper leagues.

Updated hierarchy: *Kennedy | Mantiply | Melancon.
* = closer-by-committee

August 3, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Ian Kennedy struck out all three batters he faced to earn his fifth save of the season. Hopefully you read yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch!

Hierarchy remains: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

July 22, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Ian Kennedy was activated from the injured list and will be reinserted in the Arizona hierarchy as the set-up man, though Joe Mantiply has been excellent and could be someone to watch if Kennedy is traded before the deadline.

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

July 11, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Kyle Nelson pitched a perfect 9th inning on Sunday, lowering his ERA to 1.93. The lefty has six holds to go with it, and has been serving as one of the bridge relievers to the late innings in Arizona as of late.

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Mantiply | Nelson.

July 5, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Ian Kennedy was placed on the IL with a calf injury, meaning Joe Mantiply will handle 8th inning duties ahead of Mark Melancon. Sean Poppen got a 6th inning hold yesterday ahead of these two, so we’ll slot him in at 2nd in line.

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Mantiply | Poppen.

June 10, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks – Mark Melancon’s recent struggles have prompted some fans to call for a closer change in Arizona, but it didn’t materialize last night, even though Melancon got the 8th and Ian Kennedy got the 9th (and the save). It turns out that Melancon, who hadn’t pitched in four days, asked to get into the game at some point, so when the DBacks were faced with a two-run deficit in the bottom of the 8th, Lovullo sent out his closer, knowing that they might not need another arm if they didn’t close the gap. But the offense then went on to rally for four runs in the top of the 9th, prompting the need for a reliever in the bottom half. Melancon remains the closer for now.

Hierarchy remains: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

May 20, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Melancon got just what he needed on Thursday. The veteran retired the side in order to get his eighth save, dropping his ERA to 7.43. Could Melancon, who received a vote of confidence from manager Torey Lovullo earlier this week, be getting back on track? Sure, maybe. But don’t sleep on other options in this bullpen, including Ian Kennedy (3.12 ERA) and Joe Mantiply (0.57 ERA and 0.70 WHIP).  

Hierarchy remains: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

May 15, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Melancon got the call in the 9th inning of a tie game yesterday and it did not go well.  Melancon allowed two walks and two hits without recording an out and three of those runs came around to score.  Melancon now has five losses on the season and an ERA over 8.00.  Manager Torey Lovullo showed patience with Closer Monkey favorite Fernando Rodney several years ago and will likely do the same with Melancon.  However, if Melancon’s struggles continue, Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply look ready to step in.  

Hierarchy remains: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

May 12, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Entering a tied game in the ninth inning, Mark Melancon got two outs with one man on before yielding two singles and a home run. By the time the third out was recorded, Arizona trailed by eight. Arizona saw success from its fill-in closers during Melancon’s recent illness, and any more of these meltdowns might test Torey Lovullo’s patience with the veteran.

Hierarchy remains: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

May 7, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Melancon was activated from the COVID IL, and watched Merrill Kelly get 26 outs before running into trouble in the 9th. Melancon walked the first batter he saw, but got a groundout to end the game and earn his 5th save. Melancon jumps right back into the closer’s role, but Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply did a fine job in his absence. 

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

May 4, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Loyal Vulture Save Watch readers were rewarded on Tuesday when Joe Mantiply pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his second save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Kennedy | Mantiply | Ramirez.

May 1, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Ian Kennedy picked up the first save for the Diamondbacks with Mark Melancon on the IL.  Noe Ramirez picked up the 8th inning hold.  Kennedy might not be available today but he should continue to close in Melancon’s absence.

Hierarchy remains: Kennedy | Mantiply | Ramirez.

April 30, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — At the time of last night’s alert, Mark Melancon’s injury was undisclosed, but it later came out that he was placed on the COVID IL.  While it didn’t end up as a save situation, we did get a good look at how Arizona will deploy their bullpen in close games. Noe Ramirez got the last out of the 7th inning, and the first two of the 8th. Joe Mantiply shut the door in the 8th and Ian Kennedy got the 9th to himself. This is probably how the Diamondbacks will set up their hierarchy without Melancon, but as with all COVID IL placements, Melancon may be back sooner rather than later.

Updated Hierarchy: Kennedy | Mantiply | Ramirez.

April 29, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Melancon has been placed on the IL.  Ian Kennedy should take over as closer while Melancon is out but Joe Mantiply and Noe Ramirez could also be in the mix.

Updated hierarchy: Kennedy | Mantiply | Ramirez.

April 24, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Melancon got the day off after pitching in two straight and Ian Kennedy got the 8th inning against the 2-3-4 hitters in the lineup.  That meant that Joe Mantiply ended up with the 9th and he responded with a perfect inning for his first career save.  

Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Kennedy | Mantiply.

March 24, 2022
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Arizona bullpen will look completely different this season, after the free agent acquisitions of 37-year-olds Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy (combined 65 saves in 2021) to handle the late innings. Kennedy says he’s happy to serve in the setup role for Melancon, his Team USA teammate the year before both were drafted in 2006. Behind the old guys is Arizona’s usual mix of passable veterans, the best of whom seems to be Noe Ramirez.

Starting 2022 hierarchy: Melancon | Kennedy | Ramirez.
Holds candidates: Kennedy, Ramirez, Caleb Smith, J.B. Wendelken.

September 24, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — J.B. Wendelken needed just 10 pitches to get through a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the season. Tyler Clippard threw 22 pitches in the ninth inning of a 6-2 loss on Wednesday. It is becoming more evident that Wendelken is the reliever to own heading into the final week of the season.

Hierarchy remains: *Wendelken | Clippard | Ramirez.
* = closer-by-committee

September 19, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — J.B. Wendelken pitched a scoreless 9th inning in a tie game and after the Diamondbacks took the lead in the top of the 10th, Tyler Clippard came on and picked up his sixth save of the season.  We will leave Wendelken at the top of this committee for now, but we will see if the Diamondbacks decide to turn to the veteran Tyler Clippard more frequently.

Hierarchy remains: *Wendelken | Clippard | Ramirez.
* = closer-by-committee

September 15, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Tyler Clippard is back from the IL and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in an 8-4 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday. Torey Lovullo was not sure if he’d thrust Clippard back into the closer’s role, however. We’ll leave J.B. Wendelken at the top of this committee for now.

Updated hierarchy: *Wendelken | Clippard | Ramirez.
* = closer-by-committee

September 13, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks
– Though he pitched the worst of any of Arizona’s relievers yesterday, J.B. Wendelken managed to get the save and has now gotten two consecutive ninth innings in games that the D-Backs were leading. We’ll push him to the top of this committee; Arizona is pretty bad, but he might be good for another chance or two down the stretch.

Updated hierarchy: *Wendelken | Ramirez | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

September 8, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks have placed Tyler Clippard on the COVID-19 list and sent Taylor Clarke down to Triple-A. We expect Noe Ramirez, who pitched the ninth in a losing effort yesterday, to take over as closer while Clippard is out.

Updated hierarchy: Ramirez | Wendelken | Mantiply.

September 7, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks have placed Tyler Clippard on the IL and sent Taylor Clarke down to Triple-A.  We expect Noe Ramirez to take over as closer while Clippard is out.

Updated hierarchy: Ramirez | Wendelken | Mantiply.

August 27, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks entered the ninth inning with an 8-3 lead, but Brett de Geus and a bad defense behind him made sure things got interesting. He was able to get two outs but departed with an 8-5 lead and a runner on second. Noe Ramirez came in, and after a walk, passed ball and single, he was able to get a strikeout to end the game and pick up the save. Amazingly, all five of the runs Arizona allowed in the ninth inning wee unearned.

Hierarchy remains: Clippard | Clarke | Ramirez.

August 20, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona activated Noe Ramirez from the COVID IL on Thursday. We expected him to factor into the late-inning mix before he hit the IL, so we’ll slide him back into the hierarchy and see how the Diamondbacks deploy him.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | Clarke | Ramirez.

August 18, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — We welcome J.B. Wendelken to the Arizona hierarchy after he got the final two outs of the seventh to keep the Diamondbacks ahead by two. Taylor Clarke pitched a scoreless eighth to get the ball to Tyler Clippard for the save.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | Clarke | Wendelken.

August 15, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Tyler Gilbert threw a no-hitter in his first career start last night.  We will slide Sean Poppen into Gilbert’s spot in the hierarchy and welcome Taylor Clarke to second in line after getting the 8th inning ahead of Clippard the other night.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | Poppen | Clarke.

August 7, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — The bullpen came up big for the Diamondbacks yesterday. Matt Peacock combined 4.2 scoreless innings with a go-ahead two-RBI single to really earn the relief win. He also stole a base and came around to score, drawing a comparison to Willie Mays from Torey Lovullo. In more typical bullpen news, Sean Poppen pitched two clean innings to earn his first career save while Tylers Clippard and Gilbert were down. Poppen is on his third team of the year (previously with Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay) and has mostly been used in mop-up duty, but given the state of the Arizona bullpen since Joakim Soria departed, Poppen’s save gets him on the hierarchy until someone else takes his spot.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | Gilbert | Poppen.

August 4, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Tyler Clippard notched his second straight save (and first since Joakim Soria was traded) on Tuesday night. Even more impressive was Tyler Gilbert, who made his MLB debut in the eighth inning after being called up earlier in the day. Gilbert struck out two Giants during a 1-2-3 inning. Given how thin the Arizona bullpen is, we’ll add Gilbert to the hierarchy as a reward. Hopefully his family is just as moved by this accomplishment as they were after his terrific debut.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | de Geus | Gilbert.

July 31, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Joakim Soria was traded to the Blue Jays, leaving Arizona with a patchwork bullpen. We think Tyler Clippard (who got the 9th in a tie game last night) is the frontrunner for any saves that come along, but those will be few and far between for the woeful Diamondbacks. Noe Ramirez could have been another arm in the mix, but he hit the COVID IL yesterday. This is likely to be a committee to the end, and is a bullpen that is probably best left alone. 

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | Faria | de Geus.

July 30, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Maybe Tyler Clippard will be the last one standing in the Arizona bullpen at the end of the trade deadline. We think — for now — he’ll close with Joakim Soria moving to Toronto.

Updated hierarchy: Clippard | Ramirez | Faria.

July 29, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks – Holding a 1-run lead, Arizona went to closer Joakim Soria for the 8th inning. Soria faced 9-1-2-3, allowing a single while collecting two strikeouts, and then gave way to Tyler Clippard for the 9th, who locked down the save. Clippard has all of 3 innings under his belt in 2021, but perhaps the DBacks are still trying to see if a contender is willing to pay something for his services down the stretch.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Clippard | Ramirez.

July 22, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — The seventh-inning role for Arizona is a revolving door to Reno, with J.B. Bukauskas the latest to split for the Aces. Replacing him is a far more familiar name, as Tyler Clippard returned from the 60-day IL and pitched a clean sixth inning on Wednesday. Clippard could bolster the Diamondbacks bullpen over the next two months, or he could parlay a few successful outings into a trade to a desperate contender. Our guess is he’s hoping for the latter.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Ramirez | Clippard.

July 9, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Ryan Buchter was designated for assignment this week. In an atrocious bullpen, it’s hard to find any cream rising to the top. But let’s tab 24-year-old J.B. Bukauskas to join the hierarchy. He has some closer upside, even if his rookie year hasn’t gone so swimmingly (7.15 ERA, 1.94 WHIP).

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Ramirez | Bukauskas.

July 2, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Joakim Soria has finally picked up his first save for the Diamondbacks, who are now just 23-60 on the season. Save chances will be few and far between, but with Stefan Crichton and Chris Devenski out of the picture, the job is Soria’s to lose. 

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Ramirez | Buchter.

June 24, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona didn’t just move Stefan Crichton out of high-leverage spots; it dumped him from the 40-man roster entirely, designating the 29-year-old for assignment. With Crichton (and Kevin Ginkel) gone, Joakim Soria should have a solid grasp on the ninth inning, for whatever that’s worth on the worst team in baseball. Ryan Buchter joins the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Ramirez | Buchter.

June 23, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks – Stefan Crichton pitched the sixth last night with his team trailing, 1-0, and promptly turned that into a 4-0 deficit. Joakim Soria is the most likely guy to get the next save chance, whenever that actually happens. Meanwhile, Kevin Ginkel recently got demoted to Triple-A Reno, where the organization’s pitchers actually have a chance to earn a save every now and then. In fact, Ginkel earned the save for the Aces last night, and hopefully he remembered how to do postgame handshakes with his team on the field since the Diamondbacks have won just twice in June.

Updated hierarchy: *Soria | Crichton | Ramirez.
* = closer-by-committee

June 13, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks – With the Diamondbacks up 1 heading into the 9th inning yesterday, veteran Joakim Soria was summoned to try and close out the win.  Unfortunately, Soria was not able to get the job done as he gave up 3 runs while blowing the save and taking the loss.  It is worth noting that Stefan Crichton pitched earlier in the game and that’s two straight games where Crichton appeared earlier than Soria.  That usage makes us think that this is a committee at the very least, and if Soria had converted the save, he might have moved to the top.  We will throw an asterisk on this, and keep an eye on usage moving forward.

Updated hierarchy: Crichton | Soria | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

May 31, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks – After the Diamondbacks scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 9-2 lead, they gave the ball to Riley Smith in the seventh. He never gave it up, scattering four hits over the next three months to earn his first career save. Smith has mostly been used in long relief for Arizona this year and doesn’t usually factor into the Diamondbacks’ late inning plans. 

Hierarchy remains: Crichton | Ginkel | Soria.

May 11, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks – Stefan Crichton picked up his fourth save of the season on Monday. As the only Diamondback to get a save since April 4, we’re removing his asterisk. Elsewhere in Arizona’s system, Ryan Buchter opened up to Sports Illustrated about the mental health issues that he — and many journeymen struggling to stick in the bigs — deal with on a routine basis. It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and it’s been a damn tough year for everyone, so we’re spotlighting this article while urging our readers to please seek help if you need it.

Updated hierarchy: Crichton | Ginkel | Soria.

May 5, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks reinstated Joakim Soria from the IL on Tuesday. Soria only made it through 0.2 IP of his 2021 debut, so it truly remains to be seen what we can expect from him this year. One thing that is certain, though, is that the Arizona bullpen has struggled lately, so Soria’s return could be a nice boost to the beleaguered group.

Updated hierarchy: *Crichton | Ginkel | Soria.
* = closer-by-committee

April 30, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Chris Devenski is back with the Diamondbacks following a stint on the restricted list. He pitched a perfect fifth inning on Thursday, retiring the 2-3-4 hitters in a 3-3 game. We’ll keep an eye on how quickly Devenski returns to high-leverage work.

Hierarchy remains: *Crichton | Ginkel | Clarke.
* = closer-by-committee

April 23, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Stefan Crichton was hit by a comebacker during his appearance Thursday in a 14-11 win by the Diamondbacks. X-rays came back negative, so he can be considered day to day, for now. Before departing, he allowed two hits and three runs (two earned) while recording just one out. Kevin Ginkel could get the next shot for a save if Crichton is unable to pitch on Friday, but also keep an eye on J.B. Bukauskas, a top pitching prospect who recently made his major league debut and has yet to allow a hit.

Hierarchy remains: *Crichton | Ginkel | Clarke.
* = closer-by-committee

April 8, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Things are somehow getting worse in the snakebitten Diamondbacks bullpen, with Chris Devenski heading to the restricted list for “personal reasons.” Stefan Crichton and the ailing Kevin Ginkel should lead the pack now, with Taylor Clarke joining them in the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: *Crichton | Ginkel | Clarke.
* = closer-by-committee

April 7, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Joakim Soria landed on the IL Tuesday thanks to his calf injury, which paved the way for Chris Devenski’s second save opportunity of the season. Devenski was unable to deliver, as he allowed a two-out solo shot that tied the game. Despite allowing a solo homer in each of his two appearances, Devenski appears to be the favorite for saves right now. Earlier in the evening, Stefan Crichton came on to successfully erase a one-out jam in the seventh and Taylor Clarke was impressive in facing the heart of the Rockies’ order in the eighth. Torey Lovullo said that Kevin Ginkel was under the weather, which is why he wasn’t used in a 13-inning win. 

Updated hierarchy: *Devenski | Crichton | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

April 5, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Joakim Soria was called on in the eighth inning to pitch to the middle of the Padres’ lineup, but the 36-year-old left the game with an apparent calf injury suffered while covering first base. With Arizona off on Monday, Soria will head back to Phoenix for tests, and we’ll wait for confirmation before making a move. The best-case scenario for Soria is probably a few days of rest, but if he has a serious calf strain, expect an alert for a committee comprising Stefan Crichton, Kevin Ginkel, and Chris Devenski — the latter of which grabbed Sunday’s save.

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Crichton | Ginkel.

March 26, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks — Tyler Clippard will miss at least two months with a capsule sprain in his shoulder, opening the door for Kevin Ginkel, Taylor Widener, and Chris Devenski to get some late-innings run.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Crichton | Ginkel.

March 5, 2021
Arizona Diamondbacks – Arizona acquired Joakim Soria in early February, but Torey Lovullo said he was “not going down that road” when asked about Soria’s chances of winning the closer’s job. The good news is you won’t have to worry about Stefan Crichton crying about it if he doesn’t earn the role this spring. Soria seems like the logical choice for the ninth inning, leaving setup roles for guys like Crichton, Tyler Clippard, Ryan Buchter and Chris Devenski.

Starting 2021 hierarchy: Soria | Crichton | Clippard.
Holds candidates: Crichton, Clippard, Buchter, Devenski.

September 17, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks –Stefan Crichton converted another save last night and is clearly the top option for saves in Arizona down the stretch. Junior Guerra on short rest was used in the 8th inning, so we are sliding him into the setup spot and he could certainly step in if Crichton has a setback, but this doesn’t look like a committee anymore

Updated hierarchy: Crichton | Guerra | Bergen.

September 16, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks — Stefan Crichton collected his second save of the season on Tuesday with a perfect ninth inning. He looks like the best option for saves in Arizona for the next two weeks. Junior Guerra deserves some credit as well for his effort last night, as he entered the sixth inning with one out and the go-ahead run on third before promptly striking out Mike Trout and inducing a flyout from Anthony Rendon.

Hierarchy remains: *Crichton | Bergen | Guerra.
* = closer-by-committee

September 12, 2020
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

September 11, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks — Travis Bergen picked up his first career save by getting the final two outs Thursday in a 5-2 win. Anytime someone earns a save for Arizona it’s noteworthy, as this bullpen situation has been pretty muddy since the departure of Archie Bradley. We’ll add him to the hierarchy as we continue to track this situation. It’s worth noting that Kevin Ginkel and Stefan Crichton had pitched in back-to-back days, so they might have needed rest. 

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

September 5, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks — In a close game Friday night, Arizona used former saves leader Junior Guerra in the sixth, followed by Hector Rondon, Stefan Crichton, and Kevin Ginkel, who picked up his first save of the year. Ginkel isn’t exactly 2003-era Eric Gagne, with a 6.91 ERA and a WHIP over 2, but it looks like he has the edge in this bullpen down the stretch.

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

September 4, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks bullpen has been a tough nut to crack since the trade of Archie Bradley, but some things are starting to take shape. This week, Stefan Crichton earned an eighth-inning hold in a 1-0 game and could be starting to gain trust in Arizona. Hector Rondon, meanwhile, hasn’t done much this season (9.00 ERA, 2.17 WHIP) to keep his manager’s trust.

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

August 31, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks traded Archie Bradley to the Reds. We expect some combination of Hector Rondon and Junior Guerra to pick up whatever save chances remain this season.

Updated hierarchy: *Guerra | Rondon | Ginkel.
* = closer-by-committee

August 11, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks – Archie Bradley logged his fourth save of the year on Sunday, and while he’s been fine, we’re shuffling his bridge relievers to include Junior Guerra, who turned in a strong 8th last night and has yet to allow a run this season in 7 appearances.

Updated hierarchy: Bradley | Rondon | Guerra.

February 26, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks – Any conversation about the Arizona bullpen has to start with Mason Saunders. Although he projects as more of a starter, Saunders brings more experience on bulls than any other MLB team has on their entire roster. If Saunders does crack the rotation, the Diamondbacks will enter the season with Archie Bradley as the presumptive closer. The 27-year-old turned his 2019 season around and earned the closer’s role in late July, going 18-for-19 in save opportunities over the last months of the season. The Diamondbacks lost Yoshihisa Hirano, but added free agents Hector Rondon and Junior Guerra to bolster a bullpen that was inconsistent at times in 2019. They also return Kevin Ginkel, who was excellent as a rookie (1.48 ERA, 0.99 WHIP over 25 appearances), and Yoan Lopez, who was a mainstay at the back end of an injury-riddled bullpen at the end of the season. Andrew Chafin sets in as the top left-handed option for the Diamondbacks. We like Bradley to see the bulk of save chances, with Ginkel and Rondon splitting the setup role. An in interesting note is that the Diamondbacks have been an excellent source of holds over the past few seasons, with three relievers posting 20 or more holds last year, and a few more in double digits.

Starting 2020 hierarchy: Bradley | Ginkel | Rondon.
Holds candidates: Ginkel, Rondon, Lopez, Chafin.

September 29, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – As predicted in the Vulture Save Watch yesterday, Archie Bradley got the night off and Kevin Ginkel got the call in the ninth inning.  Ginkel pitched a scoreless inning for his second save.  He was excellent in September, giving up only one earned run, and should be a candidate for the back end of the Diamondbacks bullpen heading into next season.

Hierarchy remains: Bradley | Ginkel | Lopez.

September 17, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Archie Bradley was unavailable last night due to back spasms, so Kevin Ginkel came on for the 9th and notched his first career save. Bradley should be fine and expects to be available today.

Hierarchy remains: Bradley | Ginkel | Lopez.

September 9, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – The surging Diamondbacks activated Yoshihisa Hirano from the IL on Sunday. Hirano could get a high-leverage spot sooner rather than later, as Arizona’s efforts to muddle their way through the late innings with their top two relievers unavailable did not go well yesterday. That said, we’ll wait to see how Torey Lovullo deploys him before adding him back to this hierarchy.

Hierarchy remains: Bradley | Ginkel | Lopez.

September 8, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — With Archie Bradley and Kevin Ginkel getting the night off, Arizona played matchups in the ninth inning.  Lefty Andrew Chafin started the inning and then gave way to Jimmie Sherfy.  Sherfy struck out both batters that he faced for his first save of the season.  Sherfy got called back up in September after being up for a couple weeks in May, and we will see if the Diamondbacks turn to him more in the later innings down the stretch.  

Hierarchy remains: Bradley | Ginkel | Lopez.

September 1, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — Archie Bradley picked up his 10th save of the season on Saturday and his 9th save in the month of August.  There is no committee in Arizona and we will go ahead and get rid of that asterisk.  Meanwhile, Kevin Ginkel pitched 1.2 perfect innings ahead of Bradley to record his 4th hold in his past 7 appearances.

Updated hierarchy: Bradley | Ginkel | Lopez.

August 21, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks called on rookie Kevin Ginkel to protect an 8-6 lead with a runner on in the eighth inning, and Ginkel did just that for his second hold in as many appearances. Ginkel has struck out 12, walked three and allowed just two earned runs in nine innings of work since joining the big-league club. He’s still behind Yoan Lopez and Andrew Chafin for save chances that don’t go to Archie Bradley, but Ginkel may be arm worth watching as the Diamondbacks fight to stay in the NL wild card race.

Hierarchy remains: *Bradley | Lopez | Chafin.
* = closer-by-committee

August 18, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — Yoshihisa Hirano has been placed on the IL with right elbow inflamation.  Andrew Chafin should take over Hirano’s role in the later innings.

Updated hierarchy: *Bradley | Lopez | Chafin.
* = closer-by-committee

August 15, 2019

Arizona Diamondbacks — One day after Torey Lovullo credited Archie Bradley’s “confidence” with saving Lovullo from “sucking [his] thumb” in his office after a loss, Bradley gave up a walk-off homer to the Rockies. No one is happier than Dodger fans, whose team didn’t take kindly to Bradley’s, uh, confidence the other night. Consider Lovullo’s thumb day-to-day.

Hierarchy remains: *Bradley | Lopez | Hirano.
* = closer-by-committee

July 31, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – The first save of the post-Greg Holland era went to Archie Bradley, who after ensuring conditions were perfect, extended his scoreless streak to 12.1 innings thanks to 1.1 innings of work on Tuesday. After the game, Torey Lovullo stopped short of anointing Bradley as his new closer, but he did say that he liked what he saw and wouldn’t hesitate to go to him again. Lovullo also said he’d be willing to use lefty Andrew Chafin in the ninth if the matchups were right. We’ll slide Bradley to the top of the committee ahead of Yoan Lopez and Yoshihisa Hirano based on Tuesday’s usage.

Updated hierarchy: *Bradley | Lopez | Hirano.
* = closer-by-committee

July 28, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Torey Lovullo said this morning that Greg Holland would no longer handle the 9th inning for the DBacks. He didn’t name a replacement, saying things will be matchup-based at the outset, but consider it likely that Yoshihisa Hirano and Yoan Lopez will be prominently involved. Also keep an eye on Archie Bradley, who is working on a run of 11 straight scoreless innings.

Updated hierarchy: *Hirano | Lopez | Bradley.
* = closer-by-committee

July 27, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — Greg Holland’s struggles continued as he blew a save and took the loss last night. This follows a Wednesday outing where he walked the only two hitters he faced, and has led to some speculation that Arizona may either replace him at closer or trade for a more reliable arm. After the game, manager Torey Lovullo indicated that they would make any change in the closer’s spot prior to a game, not in the middle of it. Speaking of which, Lovullo and his staff will discuss Holland’s role prior to today’s game. Holland has three blown saves in July, and with Arizona at a decision point of whether to compete this year or not, Holland may be on thin ice as the closer. Yoshihisa Hirano would be the immediate beneficiary if Holland is removed, but keep an eye on the trade market, as Arizona may find themselves buying before the deadline.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Hirano | Lopez.

July 25, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — Greg Holland walked two guys on nine lousy pitches and left after being visited by a trainer, but Torey Lovullo says he’s not hurt. Yoan Lopez earned the save on four pitches, but he’s looking over his shoulder at Archie Bradley, whom Lovullo intends to ease back into high-leverage work. If Holland is hurt, or just loses his job, the Diamondbacks will have an interesting decision to make.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Hirano | Lopez.

July 7, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — With the Diamondbacks up two in the bottom of the eighth, it was Greg Holland warming up for the save chance.  Holland rewarded his manager’s confidence with a scoreless inning for his 13th save of the season.   Holland did give up a pair of hits but he did not have any walks and ended the game with a strikeout.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Hirano | Lopez.

July 6, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — There are three Ls in Lovullo already, but Torey is never satisfied. Always pushing the envelope, the D-Backs manager announced before Friday’s game that he’s sticking with Greg Holland as closer. You shouldn’t.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Hirano | Lopez.

July 4, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — This is as close to an update as Torey Lovullo will let us give you today: Greg Holland is out as closer. Evidently eager to deliver a vote of confidence after Tuesday’s 30-pitch blown save debacle, Lovullo used Holland to protect a one-run lead in the ninth. Two batters later, the game was tied. Lovullo had no substantive comment after the game and planned to use today’s off day to think through the situation with a clear head. With Holland’s reduced velocity and clear control problems, the only mystery is who’ll have the job on Friday — veteran Yoshihisa Hirano (156 saves in Japan; 9.8 K/9), rookie Yoan Lopez (1.36 ERA, .174 BAA, but only 6.5 K/9), or dark horse lefty Andrew Chafin (11.2 K/9 but .257 BAA; Rod Beck-style mustache skills). We’ll keep handicapping them in that order, but anything could happen.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Hirano | Lopez.

July 3, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — Greg Holland seemed well on his way to a save on Tuesday when he retired the first two Dodgers he faced in the ninth inning. He even got to 0-2 against the next batter before tossing four straight balls. Holland followed that by walking the next three hitters to tie the game. T.J. McFarland then came in to try and get the game to extra innings, but he too couldn’t find the strike zone and walked home the winning run. Incredible. After the game, Torey Lovullo issued a free pass of his own by insisting that Holland is still the team’s closer. If Holland does slip up again, then Yoshihisa Hirano, Yoan Lopez and Andrew Chafin are the three most likely candidates to take over as closer in Arizona.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Hirano | Lopez.

May 25, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona cruised to a large lead last night and turned to Zack Godley to pitch the final three innings. Godley didn’t give up a run to secure his second save of the year. Godley’s only other save came in the 13th inning, and he is more of a long reliever than a high-leverage option.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Bradley | Lopez.

May 9, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — After Arizona got three scoreless extra innings out of Archie Bradley, it was sometimes-starter Zack Godley left to pick up the save in the 13th inning. Meanwhile, rookie Yoan Lopez is pitching very well and has moved past struggling Yoshihisa Hirano into second in line.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Bradley | Lopez.

April 27, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks — With a four-run lead, Arizona turned to Matt Andriese in the seventh. He gave up three hits and a walk, but no runs, to earn his fifth career three-inning save.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Bradley | Hirano.

April 21, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Taylor Clarke picked up a save in his major league debut yesterday by pitching the final three innings in a Diamondbacks’ six-run victory. Clarke also made history, by becoming the first player ever to record a save and get a hit in his major league debut.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Bradley | Hirano.

April 19, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – As the Vulture Save Watch predicted, Yoshihisa Hirano was called upon in the ninth inning Thursday and nailed down his first save of the season. Greg Holland, who had pitched in three of four, and Archie Bradley (36 pitches Wednesday) each got a day of rest.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Bradley | Hirano.

April 2, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Rookie Jon Duplantier pitched the final three innings of a blowout for Arizona, earning a save in his MLB debut. He doesn’t factor in to the Diamondbacks’ usual late inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Bradley | Hirano.

March 25, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Despite a 12.27 spring ERA, Greg Holland has won the closer job for Arizona. Archie Bradley will be used in the relief ace role, while Yoshihisa Hirano will set up. Depending on the depth of your league, we’d probably recommend holding on to Bradley if you have the space, as Holland will likely be on a short leash.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Bradley | Hirano.

March 22, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Manager Torey Lovullo still isn’t ready to announce a closer. He’ll be choosing among a group that includes Archie Bradley, Greg Holland and Yoshihisa Hirano. It’s anybody’s guess at this point, so we’ll stick with Bradley for now. But Bradley could become the team’s relief ace instead, leaving save opportunities for Holland and Hirano. Stay tuned!

Hierarchy remains: Bradley | Holland | Hirano.

February 21, 2019
Arizona Diamondbacks – Archie Bradley has his fingernail back (and, with it, his curveball), and so we peg the 26-year-old as the favorite in the Diamondbacks’ three-man closer competition. Also in the mix will be January signee Greg Holland and last September’s committee leader, Yoshihisa Hirano. There’s every indication that Torey Lovullo will pick one guy, so we’re not going to give the D-Backs a committee asterisk; watch this space for updates as draft day draws nearer.

Starting 2019 hierarchy: Bradley | Holland | Hirano.
Holds candidates: Holland, Hirano, Andrew Chafin.

September 30, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Yoshihisa Hirano picked up the save with a perfect inning on Saturday.  Hirano had a successful first season in MLB finishing with an ERA under 2.5, over 30 holds and 3 saves down the stretch.

Hierarchy remains: *Hirano | Ziegler | Bradley.
* = closer-by-committee

September 26, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Yoshihisa Hirano threw 27 pitches yesterday and Brad Ziegler had already worked, so the Diamondbacks called upon old friend Brad Boxberger to try and close out a 3-2 win. The Dodgers took advantage of their sudden good fortune and tied the game thanks to a single, a stolen base, a throwing error and a double. Boxberger did earn the win after a walk-off home run in the bottom half of the ninth, so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

Hierarchy remains: *Hirano | Ziegler | Bradley.
* = closer-by-committee

September 19, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Jake Diekman has allowed three earned runs in each of his last two outings. Given his recent struggles (and the fact he pitched the fourth and innings with his team trailing by four), It’s unlikely that he’ll see a save chance unless there’s a matchup Torey Lovullo really likes. Archie Bradley hasn’t been exceptional over his last three outings, but all three were scoreless, so we’ll move him into the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: *Hirano | Ziegler | Bradley.
* = closer-by-committee

September 15, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Yoshihisa Hirano wasn’t perfect on Friday, but he bounced back after a blown save on Wednesday to close out a 4-2 win at Houston. Brad Ziegler came on in the seventh to strike out George Springer in a tie game, then stayed on for the eighth after Arizona took the lead. It looks like Hirano and Ziegler are the two leaders of the pack for the Diamondbacks’ committee at the moment if they can continue to pitch well.

Updated hierarchy: *Hirano | Ziegler | Diekman.
* = closer-by-committee

September 13, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – On this episode of As the Bullpen Turns, Yoshihisa Hirano went from impressing to depressing, giving up a 2 run walkoff homer to DJ LeMahieu. It’s Hirano’s 4th blown save of the season and could knock him down a peg in the running for the closer job. Maybe Jake Diekman gets a shot next, though his last three outings have left a lot to be desired (2 IP, 2 ER, 6 hits, 0 Ks). Or maybe Brad Ziegler finally gets a turn; he’s allowed just 2 ER in his last 21 outings, and none in his last eight.

Hierarchy remains: *Hirano | Diekman | Ziegler.
* = closer-by-committee

September 12, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks — Heading into Tuesday’s game, we liked Jake Diekman to see the first post-Boxberger save chance, and sure enough Diekman was first out of the ‘pen for the final inning. However, he allowed a double and a bunt single to the only two batters (both lefties) he faced before Yoshihisa Hirano replaced him. Hirano recorded two straight strikeouts and induced a fly out to pick up his first MLB save. After the game, Torey Lovullo said that he told his bullpen to be prepared for some different roles ahead of last night’s contest, and this is still very much a committee. However, Hirano looked mighty impressive last night and Lovullo may opt to play the hot hand with his team fighting for a playoff spot, though he also indicated that Diekman will continue to get high-leverage opportunities. We’ll see what Wednesday brings for Arizona’s committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Hirano | Diekman | Ziegler.
* = closer-by-committee

September 10, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks — We fully expect Brad Boxberger to lose his job today. Handed a two-run lead to start the ninth, Boxberger gave up two singles and a three-run homer, good for his seventh blown save and third bad outing of the month. With Archie Bradley also struggling, Boxberger is probably most likely to be replaced with a committee of Jake Diekman, Brad Ziegler, and Yoshihisa Hirano — whom we like in that order.

Updated hierarchy: Boxberger | Diekman | Ziegler.

September 8, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – After back-to-back rough outings, Brad Boxberger had a clean inning last night, earning his 32nd save in the process. Boxberger had just gotten a vote of confidence from manager Torey Lovullo, and last night was an encouraging performance. However, this is the fifth straight appearance that Boxberger has not pitched a complete inning, as Andrew Chafin started the 9th with a strikeout last night. Boxberger is still the arm to own in Arizona, but don’t be surprised if Lovullo continues to play matchups with Arizona battling for a playoff spot.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Ziegler.

September 3, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Neither of the first two hitters that Brad Boxberger faced on Sunday took their bats off their shoulders, as 8 of his 11 pitches ended up out of the zone, putting the tying and winning runs on base. After a sac bunt, Boxberger was lifted for Archie Bradley, whose very first offering was banged off the top of the center field wall by Matt Kemp for a walkoff double. After the game, Torey Lovullo said that Boxberger would still be the team’s closer — and by performance, that seems perfectly reasonable, as after a tough June, the veteran righty had converted 12 of his past 14 saves with a 3.14 ERA. But with the Diamondbacks in a dogfight for a playoff spot, it’s likely they’ll get more creative in the 9th inning down the stretch, as Lovullo has suggested.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Ziegler.

August 1, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks were busy on Tuesday, as they not only acquired Jake Diekman from across the stadium, but brought back a familiar face in Brad Ziegler from the Marlins. Arizona now has an extremely deep bullpen, as Ziegler and Diekman will nicely complement Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and closer Brad Boxberger. While Torey Lovullo wants to keep Boxberger, Bradley and Hirano in their respective roles, we think that the experienced Ziegler will be the most likely person to vulture a save should both Boxberger and Bradley be unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Boxberger | Bradley | Ziegler.

July 31, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks have been busy today, as they not only acquired Jake Diekman from Texas  but brought back a familiar face in Brad Ziegler from the Marlins. Arizona now has an extremely deep bullpen, as Ziegler and Diekman will nicely complement Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and closer Brad Boxberger.

Updated hierarchy: Boxberger | Bradley | Ziegler.

June 27, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Archie Bradley crapped his pants before an outing earlier this year and still went out and pitched a scoreless inning. So that’s amazing. Of more relevant fantasy news, Bradley got the 7th inning last night while Yoshihisa Hirano got the 8th, marking the third straight time that Hirano has pitched the 8th inning. Bradley got a save just 9 days ago, but with Hirano’s ERA/WHIP sitting at 1.29/1.00 through 35 major league innings, he’s likely in competition with Bradley for saves on nights when Boxberger is unavailable. We’ll continue to watch this one closely.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.

June 23, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks — Brad Boxberger blew a save in the bottom of the 11th inning, but managed to keep the game tied. When Arizona retook the lead in the 13th, it was T.J. McFarland who closed the game out. This was McFarland’s first career save, with both Hirano and Bradley having pitched earlier in the game. McFarland is normally a long reliever for Arizona, and doesn’t usually see the late innings. Meanwhile, Boxberger has been awful in June, sporting a 9.95 ERA and as many blown saves as conversions. With Arizona holding onto first place in the NL West, they may have to look to Bradley or Hirano if Boxberger continues to struggle.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.

June 19, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks — Archie Bradley nailed down his third save Monday night, but you knew that would happen already, thanks to the Vulture Save Watch.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.

April 23, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Boxberger was used on three consecutive days Wednesday through Friday, and he didn’t fare particularly well, nabbing a save sandwiched by two losses. So with four outs left to go on Sunday, the DBacks elected to give him a second night off, summoning Archie Bradley, who converted the save. We’ll keep an eye on this one to see if there’s anything more going on here.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.

April 10, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Archie Bradley got his first save of the season last night. Brad Boxberger remains the closer; Arizona is just being cautious about his usage in the early going. Look for Bradley to snag a few more saves now and again as a result.

Hierarchy remains: Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.

March 27, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Torey Lovullo named Brad Boxberger his closer on Tuesday afternoon. At the outset of Spring Training, it seemed like this was going to be Archie Bradley’s job, but things started to change as the preseason progressed, prompting us to move Boxberger into the lead last week. His hold on this job will be tenuous, but it’s his to lose for the time being.

Updated hierarchy: Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.

March 22, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks — The closer competition seems to be down to two men: Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger. While at least one beat writer is leaning toward Box, Torey Lovullo has had kind words for all his relievers, and no one seems particularly concerned about his role going forward. We’ll flip Boxberger and Bradley at the head of the committee to reflect our current feeling about which way the race is going to go, but watch for an official announcement before too long.

Updated hierarchy: *Boxberger | Bradley | Hirano.
* = closer-by-committee

March 12, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – There has been no resolution as of yet in the closer competition in Arizona. Both Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano have been knocked around a little bit this spring, while Brad Boxberger has been clean, but has only thrown 2 innings thus far due to lingering arm soreness. Bradley said recently that he didn’t necessarily want the job, and that he enjoyed his multi-inning role last season — and for what it’s worth, that’s how he’s been deployed so far this spring. We still consider him the slight favorite, though, with Boxberger close behind and Hirano in third.

Hierarchy remains: *Bradley | Boxberger | Hirano.
* = closer-by-committee

February 28, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks – Fernando Rodney somehow recorded 39 saves for the Diamondbacks last year, but he’ll be shooting arrows in Minnesota this year. That leaves the ninth inning in limbo, with three arms in line for the closer’s role. Archie Bradley was the team’s best reliever last season, but Arizona may want the flexibility to use him in any key situation, regardless of inning. Two newcomers will battle Bradley for the job. Newly acquired Brad Boxberger has experience closing in the majors, while Yoshihisa Hirano is a veteran closer from Japan who has saved 156 games since 2010. We think Bradley is the best bet for the job, but be prepared for the dreaded asterisk to remain as the season gets going.

Starting 2018 hierarchy: Bradley | Boxberger | Hirano.
Holds candidates: Boxberger, Hirano, Neftali Feliz

September 11, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks – A day after Fernando Rodney got smacked around, Archie Bradley got the 9th inning and picked up his first save of the season. However, after the game, Torey Lovullo was quick to say there was no closer controversy — Rodney was just getting the day off. Still, given how dynamite Bradley has been all season, we think that the would-be controversy may be on if Rodney has another bad outing or two.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Bradley | Hernandez.

September 4, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks – With all of their top arms having pitched two days in a row — and many with a heavy workload all week long — the Diamondbacks sent Jimmie Sherfy in to get them out of an 8th inning jam, and then let the youngster stay on for the 9th, where he converted his first career save. Sherfy has a great name, but doesn’t factor in to Arizona’s usual 9th inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Bradley | Hernandez.

August 13, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks – When Fernando Rodney entered the ninth inning yesterday, it was not a save opportunity, but when he left, it was.  Rodney, who had not pitched since August eighth, started the ninth with a 6-0 lead, but got pulled after giving up four hits and two runs.  David Hernandez came on to get the last out and record his first save since getting traded to the Diamondbacks.  Rodney had not given up a run in over a month prior to Saturday, and his job as closer should be safe for now.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Bradley | Hernandez.

August 1, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks – Longtime fan favorite David Hernandez returned to the Diamondbacks on Monday, where he will likely serve as a late-inning option along with Archie Bradley. Hernandez has enjoyed a fine year with the Angels to this point, sporting a 2.23 ERA over 38 appearances.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Bradley | Hernandez.

July 15, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — Jake Barrett has made a few successful appearances since his return from a shoulder injury, reclaiming his old role at the back end of the Arizona bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Bradley | Barrett.

July 7, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — Before Sunday, Fernando Rodney hadn’t allowed an earned run since April, if you can believe that. Thursday marks his second straight blown save, however. Entering the game with a 4-1 lead in the ninth, Rodney allowed this sequence: single, walk, walk, bases-loaded walk, two-run single, intentional walk. His fourth and final charged run came when T.J. McFarland allowed a walk-off single on his first pitch. Rodney’s seat was white-hot at the end of April, and it could be heating up again as Archie Bradley (four outs on nine pitches Thursday; 1.15 ERA) continues to mow hitters down. Jake Barrett, Arizona’s most reliable reliever for much of 2016, also returned from a bout of shoulder stiffness, and could recapture the seventh-inning role.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Bradley | J. de la Rosa.

June 24, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — JJ Hoover has shoulder inflammation and could miss some significant time. Jorge de la Rosa should get some extra work in the seventh inning with Hoover on the DL.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Bradley | J. de la Rosa.

June 2, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — It’s time for a status check on the game’s oldest closer, 40-year-old Fernando Rodney. Don’t look now, but Rodney did not allow an earned run in May and continued that streak on the first day of June, picking up his 14th save. It wasn’t all good – the one unearned run he allowed in that stretch came in Wednesday’s ninth inning, giving him his third blown save. Either way, his overall numbers are ugly (6.10 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), but he’s hot and worth a look if he’s still available in your league.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Bradley | Hoover.

May 20, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — With Arizona up 10, they handed the ball to Randall Delgado for the last three innings and he picked up a cheap save. You know the routine: send us proof ([email protected]) that you started him yesterday. The first person to respond gets free Closer Monkey Premium, and the next three get to sponsor an email!

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Bradley | Hoover.

May 6, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — If the D-Backs are serious about keeping Archie Bradley in the bullpen this season, he has to be considered Fernando Rodney’s strongest competition for the closer role. Last night, Bradley pitched a clean eighth up four, then loaded the bases to start the ninth. He got one strikeout before handing the ball over to Rodney, who escaped with only one inherited run allowed. This round goes to Fernando.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Bradley | Hoover.

April 30, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — Fernando Rodney allowed three runs in the ninth inning last night and recorded his second consecutive blown save.  After the game, manager Torey Lovullo said that Rodney is still the closer.  Archie Bradley came on to get the last two outs of the eighth inning last night, and he looks like a possible option to close games.  However when asked if Bradley would see save chances Lovullo said “not right now.”  The Diamondbacks seem intent on sticking with Rodney for now, but he will be unavailable on Sunday  so if there is a save chance it could give us a glimpse into what the plans would be if Rodney continues to struggle.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | Hoover | de la Rosa.

April 28, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks –The monkey is keeping a close eye on this situation, folks. With a four-run lead in the ninth Thursday, the D-Backs opted to use J.J. Hoover, who pitched a clean inning. Jorge de la Rosa was available, but Torey Lovullo’s use of Hoover may indicate he’s the man to own behind the tired (he had pitched in three of five days) and bad (11.00 ERA) Fernando Rodney, who has to be on a short leash. Many locals are pulling for long reliever Archie Bradley to close, but he may be better suited for the rotation as Shelby Miller is considering Tommy John surgery.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Hoover | de la Rosa.

April 27, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — One bright spot for Arizona is that only a record-low 12,215 fans saw Fernando Rodney blow Wednesday’s night save (5 runs, 6 hits). Another has been the work of young Archie Bradley, whose three-inning, five-strikeout outing appeared to be an effort to stretch him out for the rotation with Shelby Miller hurt. If Bradley does stay in the bullpen, he could be ideal in the Andrew Miller stopper role.

Hierarchy remains: Rodney | de la Rosa | Hoover.

April 17, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks – Converted starter Jorge de la Rosa has been Torey Lovullo’s preferred set-up man over the past week — he’s finished off the 8th inning in two of his last three appearances. Last night, he came on to face Adrian Gonzalez, who represented the tying run, retiring him before giving way to Fernando Rodney.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | de la Rosa | Hoover.

April 12, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — Randall Delgado has been used mostly in long relief duty so far this season, which means his days in the Arizona hierarchy are done. Who replaces him? Right now, nobody has emerged as a clear favorite. Archie Bradley was the last Diamondback to pitch in a tight game ahead of Fernando Rodney, though he may transition back into a starter. Tom Wilhelmsen has ample experience in the late innings as well. We’ll need the 7-2 D-Backs to play a close game to really see how the bullpen lines up, but we’ll give the edge to Wilhelmsen at the moment.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Hoover | Wilhelmsen.

April 5, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — Randall Delgado made his 2017 debut on Tuesday…in the fifth inning. It was just a 3-2 deficit for the D-Backs before Delgado allowed a leadoff homer as part of a five-hit, five-run inning for the Giants. Needless to say, not exactly setup material. We’ll see what happens when Arizona actually has a lead to protect, though some good news is that Jake Barrett is expected to throw live batting practice on Wednesday.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Hoover | Delgado.

April 3, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks were one of the six teams that opened the season on Sunday, and JJ Hoover looked sharp in the 8th inning as part of Arizona’s comeback win. He pitched with the D-Backs trailing by a run, but struck out two guys and kept the game in reach. Hoover made the roster out of spring training as a non-roster invitee and could see some more high-leverage innings ahead of Fernando Rodney.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Delgado | Hoover.

March 1, 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks — With swole shoulders and an ever-crooked hat, the Fernando Rodney Experience moves on to its fifth team since 2015. The 40-year-old Rodney was signed to a one-year deal, suggesting that the Diamondbacks hope to deal Rodney like the Padres did last June, turning the closer’s uber-fluky .210 BABIP and 1306(!!!) ERA+ into a pitching prospect. But if Arizona gets the version of Rodney that stunk up Miami with a 1.80 WHIP last summer, they’ll turn to Randall Delgado, Enrique Burgos, or Jake Barrett. Barrett’s recent shoulder stiffness puts him at the back of the pack now, but we think he actually has the best stuff of the three.

Updated hierarchy: Rodney | Delgado | Burgos.
Holds candidates: Delgado, Burgos, Barrett.

October 1, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Jake Barrett hasn’t pitched for nine days; well over his previous high in appearances, it’s possible the young righty is done for the year. If so, he closed the season on an impressive 13-game scoreless streak, during which he allowed only two hits in 12.2 innings. Barrett could well be the favorite for saves next season in Arizona.

Updated hierarchy: *Hudson | Delgado | Burgos.

September 16, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Patrick Corbin tossed the last three innings of Arizona’s 7-3 win over the Dodgers to earn a vulture save, his first of the season and second of his career. He probably won’t get another save chance the rest of the season, but with this sorry group of relievers, who really knows?

Hierarchy remains: *Hudson | Delgado | Barrett.

September 14, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Matt Koch made his major league debut on Sept. 9. He needed just one more appearance to pick up his first career save, a four-inning gem in which he allowed just two hits while striking out four Rockies in an 11-4 victory.

Hierarchy remains: *Hudson | Delgado | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee

August 27, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — True to his word, Chip Hale used Randall Delgado and Daniel Hudson to protect a one-run lead on Friday. Delgado escaped the eighth with his scoreless streak intact (now 13 appearances), but Hudson, pitching for a third straight day, was not so lucky. He got two outs, then gave up three straight singles to blow his first save of the year. Arizona recovered to win in extra innings, but the bullpen woes continue and the team is no closer to finding an answer at closer. Delgado may have the inside lane for the next save chance.

Hierarchy remains: *Hudson | Delgado | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee

August 26, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona is home to the worst bullpen in the major leagues (5.19 ERA) without anyone good enough to be considered a closer. Manager Chip Hale is searching for answers. Clearly, he must be a Closer Monkey subscriber as we pointed out yesterday that Daniel Hudson — he of 11 straight scoreless outings, including Thursday — and Randall Delgado (12 straight scoreless outings) were the likely next candidates for a D-Backs save. Hours later, Hale announced as much to reporters.

Hierarchy remains: *Hudson | Delgado | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee

August 25, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Gifted a four-run lead in the ninth, the least bad option in Arizona’s bullpen (Enrique Burgos) gave up a home run, two walks, and an RBI single. Randall Delgado and Daniel Hudson had already pitched, and Jake Barrett threw 22 pitches on Monday and Tuesday, so Dominic Leone dragged his 7.91 ERA and 2.28 WHIP out to the mound for the inevitable blown save. Hudson hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 games — although his last four appearances have been a combined 16 pitches — so he could get the next Arizona save opportunity. Have at him, masochists.

Updated hierarchy: *Hudson | Delgado | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee

August 24, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Jake Barrett had another rough outing Tuesday, allowing three runs in the eighth to turn a 4-3 lead into a 6-4 deficit. Barrett said he has been dragging, and a busy August may have a lot to do with that. This is good news for Enrique Burgos, who likely would have had the ninth last night and should continue to have the edge over Barrett for future save opportunities.

Hierarchy remains: *Burgos | Barrett | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

August 21, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Enrique Burgos recorded his first save of the season, striking out two in the ninth inning.  Jake Barrett started the eighth inning, but was removed after giving up a hit and recording no outs.  Barrett has really struggled in August, giving up nine runs in only six innings.  Burgos has been pitching better in August and should continue to see some save chances down the stretch for the Diamondbacks.  Daniel Hudson also had an impressive outing on Saturday night. Hudson entered the game in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and no outs trying to protect a one run lead.  Hudson got two pop outs and a line out to get out the jam allowing no runs.  We will slide him back on the hierarchy, but we expect the back-end of the Diamondbacks’ bullpen to continue to be fluid until some really steps up.

Updated hierarchy: *Burgos | Barrett | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

August 19, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Jake Barrett has been shaky at the top of a bad Arizona committee, and his stretch of rough outings continued Thursday. Barrett was charged with three runs in the eighth inning after entering with a one-run lead. There was no word on a closer change after the game, but perhaps Chip Hale planned to go with Barrett in the eighth and possibly Enrique Burgos in the ninth? We’ll have to wait and see where this one goes as the “Reign of Error” in Arizona continues.

Hierarchy remains: *Barrett | Burgos | Delgado.
* = closer-by-committee

August 11, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Jake Barrett is not exactly running away with the D-Backs’ closer job. Since Tyler Clippard left town, Barrett has given up six earned runs and seven walks in four innings (five appearances). Wednesday’s blown save could open the door for Enrique Burgos — who has a 0.98 ERA since being recalled from Reno in early July — or Randall Delgado.

Hierarchy remains: *Barrett | Burgos | Delgado.
* = closer-by-committee

August 3, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — In his last 15 appearances (covering 9.2 innings), Daniel Hudson has allowed 31 runs (26 earned) and 33 hits. His ERA over that span (28.86) rounds up to his age. Daaaamn, Daniel. Arizona has the worst bullpen in baseball.

Updated hierarchy: *Barrett | Burgos | Loewen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 1, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks traded Tyler Clippard back to the Yankees, clearing the way for Jake Barrett to get the majority of saves in Arizona. Enrique Burgos should see more holds as a result.

Updated hierarchy: *Barrett | Burgos | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

July 31, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – Jake Barrett got the final four outs of the game last night to record his third save of the season.  The young right hander has impressed manager Chip Hale, who says that Barrett has earned more save chances.  We will move Barrett to the head of the committee for now, and if he is successful in his next couple save chances, he could drop the asterisk and get a chance at the full time closer’s job for the rest of the season.

Hierarchy remains: *Barrett | Clippard |  Hudson. 
* = closer-by-committee

July 29, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks are reportedly near a deal to trade away Daniel Hudson. When asked about a possible Hudson deal, GM Dave Stewart said “close is in the eye of the beholder.

Hierarchy remains: *Clippard | Barrett | Hudson. 
* = closer-by-committee

July 18, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – Sunday wasn’t a banner day for any of the three relievers vying for saves in the Arizona bullpen. In the 8th inning, the Diamondbacks held a comfortable 6-0 lead, but Daniel Hudson surrendered a two-run homer to Justin Turner before escaping the inning. Tyler Clippard came on for the 9th and allowed three baserunners while recording just one out, before he was lifted for Jake Barrett. From a statistical perspective, Barrett came away from this looking the best, as he got the last two outs and earned the save, but he wasn’t exactly sharp, allowing two hits and all of the inherited runners to score before escaping. It’s possible he gets the next save chance, but more likely that Arizona will give Clippard and Hudson more chances to prove themselves in the hopes of increasing their trade value.

Updated hierarchy: *Clippard | Barrett | Hudson. 
* = closer-by-committee

July 11, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – After their starter logged six innings, the Diamondbacks went first to Daniel Hudson for the 7th, then to Tyler Clippard for the 8th, in a losing effort. Though Chip Hale has said both relievers will get opportunities, it seems the pecking order is set, and Clippard is now more likely to get the first save chance after the All Star break.

Updated hierarchy: *Clippard | Hudson | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee

July 9, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona traded away closer Brad Ziegler early Saturday morning. Daniel Hudson, returning from the bereavement list today, is positioned to get the first crack at saves, but Tyler Clippard (10.86 K/9, 54 career saves) has been pitching more effectively and will also be in the mix. With the season slipping away, both men could potentially be traded as well, so don’t be too surprised if 24-year-old Jake Barrett gets a chance to close before the season is over.

Updated hierarchy: *Hudson | Clippard | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee

July 9, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks have traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Red Sox.  Daniel Hudson should get the first chance at saves as he has been the Diamondbacks setup man, but Tyler Clippard is also an option as he has more closing experience.

Updated hierarchy: Hudson | Clippard | Barrett.

June 22, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – As predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Daniel Hudson picked up the save with Brad Ziegler getting a night off after three straight appearances.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Clippard.

May 21, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – It didn’t appear like a save situation was going to arise in Arizona on Friday with the Diamondbacks up 11-2 over the Cardinals. However, Evan Marshall’s struggles in the 9th paved the way for Jake Barrett to record his first career save. Barrett does not factor into Arizona’s normal late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Clippard.

April 20, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – Tyler Clippard picked his first save of the season in a 3-0 win on Tuesday. Brad Ziegler had thrown in three of the last four days and Daniel Hudson tossed 38 pitches on Monday.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Clippard.

April 6, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – Tyler Clippard made his Diamondbacks debut with Arizona trailing in the seventh inning. Daniel Hudson was warming in the eighth as the Diamondbacks took a sizable lead, and eventually came on to protect Clippard’s victory. We’ll swap Hudson and Clippard for now and will closely monitor how the duo is used ahead of Brad Ziegler in the early weeks of the season.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Clippard.

March 2, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks – There are few question marks for the Diamondbacks bullpen heading into 2016. Brad Ziegler earned the ninth inning midway through last season and never looked back. He’ll have two strong options handing him the lead, as Daniel Hudson and newly-signed Tyler Clippard will handle the seventh and eighth innings. Clippard, who is happy to accept any role in the bullpen, is making $4.1 million this year and probably has the edge for the eighth over Hudson.

Starting 2016 hierarchy: Ziegler | Clippard | Hudson.
Holds candidates: Clippard, Hudson, Andrew Chafin.

October 2, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Daniel Hudson had pitched on three of the last four days, so rookie Silvino Bracho grabbed his first major league save this season to go with his 16 for the Mobile BayBears (whose mascots can appear at your function!) and three for the Visalia Rawhide (home of Mustache Appreciation Night).

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Bracho.

October 1, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Congratulations are in order to Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler. Not only does he have a major league leading 27 saves in a row, but he is also celebrating the birth of his daughter. However, this means that he is not currently with the team, so last night’s save went to Daniel Hudson. Chip Hale is unsure when Ziegler will be back, but with Arizona already eliminated from playoff contention, its possible he will be given the rest of the year off. If Ziegler is with the team, then his 1.90 ERA and 29 saves are clearly the top option; however, if you are chasing saves, look at Daniel Hudson, who could vulture any opportunities in the last few games.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Delgado.

September 9, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – David Hernandez has made four straight appearances with the Diamondbacks trailing and seems to have lost responsibility for the 7th inning. Randall Delgado has been the beneficiary, as he took the 7th for the second straight time last night. That’s enough to slide into our hierarchy, but, barring injury, Ziegler and Hudson have a lock on any save opportunities.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Delgado.

September 2, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – With Brad Ziegler nursing a sore ankle and needing a day off after back-to-back poor outings, two different Diamondbacks earned a save as Arizona swept a doubleheader. Not surprisingly, Daniel Hudson closed out the first game. However, Josh Collmenter, who earned his first hold of the year in the opening tilt, pitched the final two innings of the nightcap for his second career save. David Hernandez had pitched in three of the last four days prior to Tuesday, but perhaps the 7th inning has become more crowded in Arizona, especially with the September call-up of Enrique Burgos.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

September 1, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – For the second straight day Brad Ziegler failed to get the job done for the Diamondbacks. In his last two appearances, Ziegler has given up 7 runs on 10 hits in 2 innings pitched. The recent drubbings have taken some of the sheen off of Ziegler’s excellent season, sending his his ERA a whole run higher to 2.48. But an ERA of 2.48 is still pretty great, so don’t expect Zig to lose his job any time soon. Andrew Chafin, meanwhile, was recently sent to the minors to get some rest.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

August 30, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Addison Reed has reportedly been traded to the Mets, pending a physical.  Andrew Chafin took the loss last night but has been pitching pretty well out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks and could fill Reed’s seventh inning role moving forward.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Chafin.

August 23, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Daniel Hudson came in to clean up a mess in the ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season last night.  Arizona entered the inning with a six run lead but after the Reds scored two runs and had two men on base, Hudson was needed to record the last two outs and complete the win.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Reed.

August 4, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Up by six runs against the Nationals, the Diamondbacks sent set-up man Daniel Hudson out for the 9th inning, whereupon the righthander had his worst outing of the season, allowing four runs to score while only recording one out. Brad Ziegler had to come in to put out the fire. If you’re in a holds league, a name to watch in the Arizona bullpen is former closer Addison Reed, who has pitched 5 solid innings (6 Ks, 0 BBs, 1 ER) since returning to the bigs.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Reed.

July 30, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Amidst the rumors of the Diamondbacks trading for Aroldis Chapman, they called up former closer Addison Reed. Reed pitched two scoreless innings, and with his $4.9 million salary, he may be auditioning for a new job.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

July 28, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – As predicted in the Vulture Save Watch, Brad Ziegler got the night off after pitching three in a row, meaning Daniel Hudson got the keys to the 9th inning. As NOT predicted in the Vulture Save Watch, Hudson blew the save, and Andrew Chafin ended up nabbing a 1-out save in the 10th. So close yet so far.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

July 27, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – It was a long road back for David Hernandez, who missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and didn’t get back to the big leagues until the middle of this season. But after a rough patch in late June, Hernandez has logged six straight scoreless appearances, including an 8th inning hold ahead of Brad Ziegler on Sunday.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

July 21, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks optioned Enrique Burgos and his 5.14 ERA to Triple-A Reno on Sunday. Veteran left-hander Oliver Perez will likely slide into Burgos’s role pitching in the late innings.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Perez.

June 25, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks
– Enrique Burgos has returned to the Arizona roster and on Wednesday he made his first appearance since May 25, walking one and facing just three batters in a solid inning of work. He likely won’t return to the prominent role he held before his injury in May, but Burgos should see ample opportunities for holds in front of Brad Ziegler and Daniel Hudson.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Burgos.

June 23, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks
– In a somewhat surprising move, Addison Reed was sent to the minors on Sunday. He’ll work on his stuff and could return to a prominent role later this season. Fan favorite David Hernandez moves up to take his place.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Hernandez.

June 22, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Andrew Chafin picked up a three-inning save on Sunday. He does not factor in to Arizona’s usual late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Reed.

June 20, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Although Addison Reed has been fairly effective since being demoted, Chip Hale continues to use Daniel Hudson as his number two reliever.

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Reed.

June 15, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Daniel Hudson picked up the save on Sunday, as Arizona gave Brad Ziegler the day off after the closer had pitched on two straight. It’s interesting that this opportunity went to Hudson rather than Addison Reed, who has been decent since moving out of the closer role and hadn’t pitched in five days. But if Chip Hale was playing the hot hand, it certainly makes sense — Hudson has only allowed one earned run in his past 13 innings. We’ll monitor usage going forward to see if Hudson has surpassed Reed for good.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Reed | Hudson.

June 7, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless 9th for his 6th save of the season yesterday.  For the second straight time, it was Addison Reed who pitched the 8th inning ahead of Ziegler.  Reed has been pitching better, and it looked like he might start getting some save chances again, but Ziegler has gotten the call on the last three traditional save opportunities and converted each one.  Ziegler appears to have the job all to himself for now but this could return to a committee if he slips up at all.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Reed | Hudson.

June 4, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler got another clear save chance last night, and converted, despite giving up a home run. Addison Reed pitched a clean 8th inning before him, but Ziegler continues to get the save opportunities. We’ll keep the asterisk for now, since Reed has pitched well ahead of Ziegler, but the committee seems to be fading in Arizona.

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Reed | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

June 3, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks -Arizona’s committee kept rolling, with Brad Ziegler picking up a save on Tuesday. More telling was that Addison Reed was nowhere to be found, with Daniel Hudson pitching a clean eighth ahead of Ziegler. There was nothing from manager Chip Hale after the game on the subject, but just days after saying he had renewed confidence in Reed, it’s been Ziegler who has picked up the two save chances. Reed has seen high-leverage chances over that stretch, but Ziegler is getting the ninth when it counts for the moment, meaning he has edged over Reed for now as head of the committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Ziegler | Reed | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

June 1, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Just days after saying that he had renewed confidence in Addison Reed, Chip Hale ran his former closer out in the 8th inning of a tie game. That doesn’t mean Reed won’t get the save chance, but it’s definitely still a committee in Arizona.

Hierarchy remains: *Reed | Ziegler | Hudson.
* = closer-by-committee

May 31, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Randall Delgado recorded his first career save on Saturday, the three-inning variety.  Delgado entered the game in the 7th inning with the Diamondbacks up 5 runs, and he was able to finish the last three innings of the win, giving up only 1 run.

Hierarchy remains: *Reed | Ziegler | Hudson.

May 30, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — After Daniel Hudson and Oliver Perez contrived to load the bases with one out in a tied seventh inning, it was Addison Reed who escaped the jam, inducing a foul pop and a strikeout. Although Brad Ziegler came on to get the eventual save in the ninth, after the game, Chip Hale expressed renewed confidence in Reed, suggesting to us that his next late/close chance will be an audition for his old job.

Updated hierarchy: *Reed | Ziegler | Hudson.

May 27, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Enrique Burgos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. Arizona will surely miss his MLB-best 16.46 K/9, but help may soon be on the way in the form of David Hernandez, who is close to rejoining the Diamondbacks after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. Until Hernandez’s rehab stint is complete, Daniel Hudson and LOOGY Oliver Perez will compete for holds ahead of Addison Reed and Brad Ziegler.

Updated hierarchy: *Ziegler | Reed | Hudson.

May 25, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler picked up his second save on Sunday, pitching a scoreless 9th inning against the Cubs. After Enrique Burgos’s rough outing on Saturday, Ziegler figures to be the first choice for saves for Arizona, though we’ll leave the committee tag on for now. Addison Reed, meanwhile, had a good outing, pitching a clean 8th ahead of Ziegler.

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.

May 24, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Enrique Burgos gave up a go-ahead 3-run homer to Anthony Rizzo in the 9th inning last night.  Burgos had been pitching well, and still recorded three strikeouts last night, but if he has a few more outings like last night, Ziegler would likely solidify himself as the primary closer.

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.
*closer by committee

May 22, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Brad Ziegler picked up his first save since June 2014 in a 6-5 win for the Diamondbacks. Manager Chip Hale said before the game that Enrique Burgos, who earned the first two saves after Addison Reed was demoted, was unavailable for Thursday night’s game. Hale explained afterward that although Burgos would continue to get save chances, the team would use him carefully. Reed, meanwhile, pitched a scoreless eighth inning to garner his first hold of the season. He has not allowed a run since his demotion. For now, Ziegler stays at the head of this uncertain bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.
*closer by committee

May 20, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Enrique Burgos secured his second save in as many games, as predicted in the Vulture Save Watch. Prior to the game, manager Chip Hale said that Brad Ziegler was his top option to close, though he also wanted to stay away from him on Tuesday after Monday’s lengthy outing. As far as Burgos goes, Hale mentioned postgame that he’ll continue to “see what the matchups look like.”

Hierarchy remains: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.
* = closer-by-committee

May 19, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – In the same game, Addison Reed pitched the 12th inning and picked up the win, as Enrique Burgos grabbed his first save of the year pitching a scoreless 13th. De facto closer Brad Ziegler had kept the game scoreless by pitching two perfect innings (3 Ks) in the 10th and 11th.

Updated hierarchy: *Ziegler | Burgos | Reed.
* = closer-by-committee

May 16, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — We warned you in Thursday night’s Hot Seat column that Addison Reed was in grave danger of losing his job; not 15 hours later, he was relegated to the fabled “low-pressure role,” to deal with his (mechanical) issues and get more “regular work.” Skipper Chip Hale mentioned Brad Ziegler by name as a potential replacement, but since he doesn’t want Ziegler’s impressive grounder-summoning skills to go to waste if they’re needed before the ninth, he’s keeping his options open. And as we also mentioned last night, those alternate options are likely to include rookie Enrique Burgos, who’s talented but mostly untested above A ball, and erstwhile starter Daniel Hudson, whose use is limited by his injury history. David Hernandez also lurks as an option, if he can successfully return from his own Tommy John surgery. Although Oliver Perez was getting high-leverage looks in front of Reed as a LOOGY, we think he’s fourth chair in this committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Ziegler | Burgos | Hudson.
* closer-by-committee

May 15, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — Manager Chip Hale announced today that Addison Reed will no longer be used in the ninth inning. Hale also said he will mix and match situationally late in games, but we expect Brad Ziegler to have the inside track on save opportunities while Reed works out his problems in earlier innings. Oliver Perez, Enrique Burgos, or maybe even converted starter Daniel Hudson could factor in. In addition, Hale said that he expects Reed to move back into the closer’s role at some point, so while he is off our hierarchy for now, Reed may see usage in the late innings again before regaining his job.

Updated hierarchy: *Ziegler | Perez | Burgos.
* closer-by-committee

May 14, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks –Addison Reed has had a woeful start to the year, and yesterday was no different. He came in to protect a one-run lead, and left after giving up a grand slam, blowing the save and boosting his ERA to an ugly 7.20. Reed has just two saves this year, but after the game he got a half-hearted vote of confidence from Chip Hale. For now, with Hale backing his man, Reed still has the job but is on a blazing hot seat, especially with Brad Ziegler sporting a tidy 1.26 ERA after another scoreless inning on Tuesday.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Ziegler | Perez.

May 13, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks –Evan Marshall was optioned to AAA on Monday to make room for a much-needed long reliever. Marshall had pitched three straight scoreless innings despite some struggles this year and should be back with Arizona at some point. In the meantime, two guys that should see some late-inning chances are Oliver Perez and Enrique Burgos. The latter is 24 years old and was recently called up while Perez, 33, has just one hold in LOOGY duty this year. Perez may get the edge for now if both Addison Reed and Brad Ziegler are unavailable, but Burgos is a youngster to watch with 11 strikeouts in six innings of big-league work.

Updated hierarchy: Reed | Ziegler | Perez.

April 17, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks — In a game neither side seemed to want to win, Addison Reed took the hill in the ninth with a 4-3 lead, but blew the save after allowing a two-out triple to San Francisco’s Joe Panik. Reed was yanked after giving up two hits and two walks. These were the first runs Reed has allowed all year, so it’s not time to panic yet; recall, though, that he wasn’t very good last year (4.25 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) and was injured for much of this spring.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Marshall | Ziegler.

April 8, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – Evan Marshall pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning ahead of Addison Reed, who locked down his first save of the season. Marshall may figure into Arizona’s late-inning plans after a solid rookie season in 2014. With Brad Ziegler being used in the sixth on Tuesday, Marshall appears to be the most likely handcuff to Reed at the moment.

Updated hierarchy: Reed | Marshall | Ziegler.

March 8, 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – It’s safe to say that the closer spot was not a pillar of strength for 64-98, last-place Arizona Diamondbacks last season. The young and talented Addison Reed got worse in his switch from the American League to the National League, netting 32 saves but finishing an up-and-down season with a 4.25 ERA, and he’s recently come down with a bout of shoulder soreness that will keep him from throwing until mid-March. At this point, he looks fine to start the season, though righties Brad Ziegler and Evan Marshall or lefty Oliver Perez could step in if necessary. Holds seekers can also keep an eye on David Hernandez, who should be ready by May 1 after missing all of last year due to Tommy John surgery.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Reed | Ziegler | Perez.
Holds candidates: Ziegler, Perez.

September 21, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — Oliver Perez struck out four batters in one inning last night. Justin Morneau reached on a wild pitch after he struck out to lead off the inning, and Perez then struck out the next three batters he faced.  Perez became the first pitcher in Diamondbacks history to achieve this rare feat.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Marshall | Harris.

September 19, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — Brad Ziegler underwent microfracture knee surgery on Tuesday and is 50/50 to make it back by April 2015. The end of the season can’t come soon enough for the Arizona bullpen, which suffered through yet another brutal outing by Addison Reed on Thursday night. In his last five outings, Reed has a 15.75 ERA and a 3.75 WHIP. He’d go to the Hot Seat, but at this point, Arizona might be jockeying for the first overall pick in the draft.

Updated hierarchy: Reed | Marshall | Harris.

August 30, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — Addison Reed recorded his 100th career save last night.  Reed has now converted eleven straight saves and in his last six innings, he has only given up two hits and zero walks.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Ziegler | Marshall.

July 31, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — On the eve of the trade deadline, Addison Reed picked up another ugly save, inheriting two runners and allowing them to score via home run. Rumors this week continue to suggest that Reed is available, while Brad Ziegler is untouchable.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Ziegler | Marshall.

July 16, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – Last year we reckoned Brad Ziegler would be replaced at the trade deadline, but he held on through the end of the season. This year, Ziegler is purportedly untouchable, while Addison Reed — like Arizona itself — has been woeful, and could use a change in circumstances. Reed is young and cheap, but has his value fallen too far already? TRADE DEADLINE BUY+: Brad Ziegler. SELL+: Addison Reed.

July 10, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — Kirk Gibson insisted he hasn’t “even considered” moving Addison Reed from the closer role after his recent struggles. If he ever manages to spare some time for thought on the subject, he might recall how effective Brad Ziegler was in the role in 2013. Then again, he may just be buying time until the Arizona front office can move Reed.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Ziegler | Marshall.

July 9, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — Addison Reed blew his fifth save of the year — and third in his last six tries — on Tuesday night. Before Marcell Ozuna’s go-ahead home run, Reed was one strike away from cementing a victory in Vidal Nuño’s Arizona debut. Kirk Gibson, who might have a soft spot for go-ahead home runs, has remained firm in his support for Reed, but he has quality alternatives in sidearmer Brad Ziegler, Evan Marshall, and rookie Matt Stites. With the D-Backs currently sporting the worst record in baseball, another blown save might force the manager’s hand. Reed has allowed a run in 17 relief appearances and 11 save situations, each of which leads MLB.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Ziegler | Marshall.
Addison Reed to Hot Seat.

June 21, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – After struggling in his return from the DL, veteran reliever J.J. Putz was designated for assignment. Evan Marshall will see most of the 7th inning opportunities going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Reed | Ziegler | Marshall.

June 10, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz returned from the DL on Monday, pitching a scoreless inning in his first outing back.  The Diamondbacks, who are flush with matchup guys but have a dearth of relievers who can get both lefties and righties out, will likely ease Putz back into higher-leverage work.

Updated hierarchy: Reed | Ziegler | Putz.

June 9, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – With Addison Reed battling a tired arm, Brad Ziegler picked up a shaky save in his place. Ziegler might make for a speculative add, as tired arms are occasionally the sign of something worse.

Hierarchy remains: Reed | Ziegler | Perez.

May 7, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz has been moved to the disabled list due to the dreaded forearm tightness. Oliver Perez and Joe Thatcher should see their roles expand in his absence. Hierarchy change: Brad Ziegler to Set-Up, Oliver Perez to 2nd in line, J.J. Putz to DL.

April 19, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – Addison Reed blew his first save of the season on Friday, giving up the game-tying solo homerun to Juan Uribe.  The Diamonbacks would go on to win the game in extra innings and former starter Trevor Cahill earned his first career save.  No hierarchy change.

April 10, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – Josh Collmenter pitched well in earning a four-inning save on his way to the rotationNo hierarchy change.

March 23, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – Addison Reed has officially been named the Diamondbacks closer.  He responded by pitching a scoreless inning yesterday during the Diamondbacks’ second game in Australia.  J.J. Putz and Brad Ziegler also had scoreless appearances yesterday.  No hierarchy change.

March 13, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks — The closer who produced the widest variance in our rankings, Addison Reed is either on the verge of a breakout year or about to lose a competition to J.J. Putz. Ranked #22 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 7, 2014
Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks picked up Addison Reed in the offseason, but in a somewhat surprising move, have not handed him the closer gig.  GM Kevin Towers said in February that the closer role will be a competition between Reed and J.J. Putz, a statement backed up by Kirk Gibson yesterday.  As the D-Backs prep for their season opener in Australia, we’ll keep a close eye on this situation — so far, the pitchers have nearly identical spring stats, both having given up 1 run in three innings.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Addison Reed, Set-up – J.J. Putz, 2nd in line – Brad Ziegler.

September 17, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks — David Hernandez and Brad Ziegler ably finished Monday night’s one-run win over the Dodgers, but lurking in the background is the newly healthy J.J. Putz. Kirk Gibson intends to use him in very brief outings at first, but if, as we suspect, the D-Backs intend to use him as their closer next year, he might get some higher-leverage opportunities before long. Hierarchy change: J.J. Putz to Set-Up, David Hernandez to 2nd in line.

September 12, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – David Hernandez, who returned earlier this month after being sidelined for much of August, pitched the 8th inning ahead of Brad Ziegler on Wednesday.  With five scoreless outings since his return, Hernandez stands to see more high-leverage innings.  Hierarchy change: David Hernandez to Set-up, Heath Bell to 2nd in line.

August 26, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz hit the disabled list again yesterday, which means — sorry, D-Backs fans — more high-leverage innings for Heath Bell.  Hierarchy change: Heath Bell to Set-up, Joe Thatcher to 2nd in line.

August 19, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks
 – J.J. Putz recorded the save in the 16th inning yesterday after closer Brad Ziegler threw two scoreless innings for the win. No hierarchy change.

August 11, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – David Hernandez gave up two more runs last night and was sent down to Triple-A after the game. Hierarchy change: Heath Bell to 2nd in line, replacing David Hernandez.

July 26, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz was summoned in the 8th with the tying run at the plate, and successfully got the last out of the inning.  Though Brad Ziegler is seeming more solid in the closer role with every appearance, Putz is probably the guy with the best chance to challenge him at the moment, as David Hernandez has given up runs in 6 of his last 11 appearances.  Hierarchy change: J.J. Putz to Set-up, David Hernandez to 2nd in line.

July 22, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – After Brad Ziegler picked up his fourth save in as many opportunities, Kirk Gibson gave him a half-vote of confidence, saying that he will handle the closer role “for now . . . but that could change.” Gibson also admitted that Ziegler’s propensity to induce groundouts makes him a valuable arm at other points, which does nothing to dispel the long-term uncertainty in this bullpen. No hierarchy change.

July 18, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – An ugly, unsettled bullpen situation in Phoenix could lead to a deadline move and a new closer; even without a trade, Brad Zeigler probably can’t hang on for long. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: SELL+ Brad Ziegler.

July 13, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – As expected, Brad Ziegler was given the night off on Friday.  However, it was David Hernandez, and not J.J. Putz, who got the save.  J.J. Putz and Heath Bell were used to get through the 8th inning.  Manager Kirk Gibson told Hernandez before the game that he was going to get the call in the 9th so it appears he is ahead of Putz and Bell for saves.   Hierarchy change: David Hernandez to Set-up, J.J. Putz to 2nd in line.

July 11, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Heath Bell has lost his hold on the closer’s role, and the D-Backs are going to a closer by committee. Arizona will be playing matchups for the time being, but Brad Ziegler was brought in to close the game tonight, and sports a 2.49 ERA, the best of the relievers in the Arizona pen. He has some experience closing from his days in Oakland, and it is likely that he will be given some opportunities going forward. Former closer J.J. Putz could find himself back in that role as well, as he had pitched the last two games and Gibson ruled him out before the game. Hierarchy change: Brad Ziegler to Closer, replacing Heath Bell.

July 11, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Heath Bell blew his second straight save on Wednesday, prompting Kirk Gibson to say about the back end of his bullpen “I’m sure I’ll be up early thinking about it.”  Bell, who is already on the Hot Seat, has been pretty terrible lately, but the upside for the Diamondbacks is that J.J. Putz is looking healthy and was finally given the keys to the 8th inning last night.  He only needed 10 pitches to retire the side in order, and now has logged six appearances (five of them scoreless) since coming off the DL.  Putz could be re-named closer as early as today.  Hierarchy change: J.J. Putz to Set-up, David Hernandez to 2nd in line.

July 5, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler picked up a 15th-inning save on Thursday afternoon; he’s not in the picture for saves in Arizona.  However, his save came two innings after Heath Bell blew a 13th-inning opportunity, and with J.J. Putz getting stronger (he’s now appeared three times; two of those appearances were scoreless), Bell could be yanked from the closer role very soon.  Heath Bell to Hot Seat.

July 2, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Kirk Gibson told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that J.J. Putz would be used in lower-leverage situations for the time being.  Heath Bell will close for now, with David Hernandez behind him.  Josh Collmenter was also mentioned as a candidate for more late-inning work.  Hierarchy change: Heath Bell to Closer, David Hernandez to Set-up, JJ Putz to 2nd in line.  

July 2, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz got his first save chance since returning from the DL, and looked shaky, to say the least, blowing the save and nearly taking the loss.  He’ll head to the Hot Seat until he proves he’s back on his game, though the two men behind him haven’t inspired much confidence lately either.  David Hernandez gave up a run in the 8th inning yesterday after getting knocked around for four runs on Saturday; the two outings combined to raise his ERA from 3.60 to 4.71.  Heath Bell, meanwhile, is Heath Bell.  J.J. Putz to Hot Seat.

June 29, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz will be activated from the DL on Saturday and should return to the closer role. Hierarchy change: J.J. Putz to closer, Heath Bell to Set-Up, David Hernandez to 2nd in line.

June 23, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Heath Bell blew another save last night, and he has given up a homerun in his last five appearances.  When Kirk Gibson was asked about Bell continuing to close he just said that he would have to think about it.  JJ Putz is currently on a rehab assignment and could return soon.  Heath Bell is already on the hot seat and it just keeps getting hotter with each homerun he gives up.   No hierarchy change.

June 18, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks — Heath Bell was the losing pitcher on Monday night; the game marked the third straight appearance in which Bell allowed at least one run. Heath Bell to Hot Seat.

May 13, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Heath Bell looked like the Heath Bell of 2012 on Sunday, blowing the save and watching as the Diamondbacks lost in the 10th.  It was Bell’s first blown save since inheriting the job, but since Kirk Gibson said early on that Bell and David Hernandez could both be used in the 9th inning, Bell might not get another opportunity if he blows up again.  Heath Bell to Hot Seat.

May 11, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Heath Bell was given the night off, as predicted, and David Hernandez picked up the save.  Heath Bell is still the guy to own for now but Hernandez has shown that he can close if Bell struggles.  No hierarchy change.

May 8, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz gave up a four-pitch walk to start the ninth Tuesday night, then immediately exited with elbow stiffness. Although Heath Bell is allowing 1.5 baserunners per inning, he has significant experience as a closer and has probably outpitched David Hernandez so far this year. Kirk Gibson might give lip service to a closer-by-committee system, but we see him moving Bell into the ninth, while Hernandez keeps his set-up role. Hierarchy change: Heath Bell to Closer, Brad Ziegler to 2nd in line.

May 1, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – J.J. Putz blew another save last night, dropping him to a woeful 5-for-9 on the year. The Diamondbacks have no shortage of options in the bullpen, including strong set-up man David Hernandez, experienced veteran Heath Bell, and impressive lefty Matt Reynolds (who has allowed no runs and only seven baserunners through 13 innings), so Putz should be looking over his shoulder in earnest.  No hierarchy change.

April 25, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Matt Reynolds got his 2nd extra-inning save in as many nights on Wednesday, but JJ Putz hasn’t lost the closer job yet despite a bad start to the season; last night, he was just unavailable due to being overworked.  Also of note in Arizona is the resurgence of Heath Bell, who started the season badly but has now pitched 5.2 scoreless innings in his last six outings, racking up 11 strikeouts (with 0 walks) in the process.  He pitched the 8th inning of a tie game last night.  Hierarchy change: Heath Bell to 2nd in line, replacing Brad Ziegler.  JJ Putz to Hot Seat.

April 8, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Heath Bell picked up his first save of the season on Sunday.  The save came two innings after JJ Putz had blown it in the 9th, and David Hernandez and Brad Ziegler had already pitched.  The blown save was the first of the season for Putz, who is not in danger of losing his job.  No hierarchy change.

April 6, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Arizona has used Brad Ziegler in a few high-leverage spots so far this season, while Heath Bell’s only appearance left him with an 81.00 ERA and more home runs allowed than batters retired. At this point, Bell is strictly a reliever of last resort. Hierarchy change: Brad Ziegler to 2nd in line, replacing Heath Bell.

February 24, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- JJ Putz, Set-up- David Hernandez, 2nd in line- Heath Bell.

October 1, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – Matt Lindstrom tossed another scoreless inning on Sunday, and finished September having allowed only 1 run in 11 outings. Brad Ziegler has given up runs in three of his last four outings, while Lindstrom picked up two holds in the last week. Hierarchy change: Matt Lindstrom to 2nd in line, replacing Brad Ziegler.

September 13, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – With J.J. Putz out with an ailing back, David Hernandez picked up his second straight save. No hierarchy change.

August 23, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – Brad Ziegler finished off the 7th inning in the first game of Arizona’s doubleheader on Wednesday, earning his 9th hold of the year. Ziegler is having a solid season, and with 19 career saves, he has some experience as a closer. He could get an odd save chance on nights when JJ Putz and David Hernandez are not available. Hierarchy change: Brad Ziegler to 2nd in line, replacing Matt Albers.

August 13, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – Matt Albers, acquired in the Craig Breslow deal, pitched a clean 8th inning with the Diamondbacks leading by five runs. Takashi Saito came on for the 9th and gave up two runs before JJ Putz came on to bail him out. Saito’s ERA climbed to 6.14 with the bad outing, while Albers is yet to give up a run in the NL. Hierarchy change: Matt Albers to 2nd in line, replacing Takashi Saito.

July 23, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – After notching a couple of saves early in the season, Bryan Shaw has struggled in recent weeks, and on Sunday, the Diamondbacks sent him to the minors. Fortunately, for Arizona, Takashi Saito recently came off the disabled list and will pitch in the 7th inning for the time being. Hierarchy change: Takashi Saito to 2nd in line, replacing Bryan Shaw.

July 12, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – They haven’t performed as well as expected, but the Diamondbacks are only four games out of first. But as of right now, they’re sellers, reportedly listening to offers to Justin Upton. J.J. Putz is an interesting trade target, and though his name hasn’t surfaced in trade talks yet, but he’s in the last year of his contract (the D’Backs have a club option) and could generate interest from contenders. However, this might be more likely to hurt his value than help it, as he could land with a team that puts him in a set-up role. David Hernandez would inherit the role if he gets traded. TRADE DEADLINE BUY: David Hernandez. SELL: J.J. Putz.

July 9, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – Patrick Corbin picked up a 3-inning save on Sunday. He does not factor in to Arizona’s normal late-inning plans. No hierarchy change.

June 23, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – David Hernandez got out of a tough spot in the 8th inning, and then stayed on for the 9th with the D’Backs up 6-1 to earn his second save of the year. This was not a typical save situation and JJ Putz’s job is not in jeopardy. No hierarchy change.

May 31, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – JJ Putz arrived at the ballpark with a sore back yesterday and wasn’t able to pitch. David Hernandez got the save in his place. No hierarchy change.

May 23, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – JJ Putz blew his third save of the season on Tuesday, raising his ERA to an ugly 7.20. David Hernandez (2.25 ERA, 29 Ks in 20 IPs) proved to be a solid fill-in closer last year and would get the first chance to close if the D’Backs look elsewhere. JJ Putz to Hot Seat.

April 16, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks – JJ Putz was given the day off on Sunday– Bryan Shaw got the save in his place– after giving up a walk-off 2-run HR to the Rockies on Saturday. But Saturday was Putz’s first blown save of the year and his job is not in jeopardy. No hierarchy change.

April 13, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks- Bryan Shaw pitched the 8th inning in front of JJ Putz yesterday, and, in Takashi Saito’s absence, has established himself as the go-to set-up man when David Hernandez is unavailable. Hierarchy change: Brian Shaw to 2nd in line, replacing Takashi Saito.

April 9, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks- Bryan Shaw picked up the save on Sunday, as JJ Putz had pitched two consecutive days prior. No hierarchy change.

March 18, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks- The top relievers in the Diamondbacks bullpen remain unchanged, with David Hernandez backing up JJ Putz. Recently acquired Takashi Saito could also be a longshot for saves in the event of injuries. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- JJ Putz, Set-up- David Hernandez, 2nd in line- Takashi Saito.

Sept. 9, 2011
Arizona Diamondbacks- Brad Ziegler finished off the 8th inning for the D’Backs last night. With a sub-2 ERA, the laredo man has been ascending the depth chart. Hierarchy change: Ziegler to 2nd in line, replacing Paterson.