May 18, 2018
Los Angeles Angels — There’s unfortunate news for Keynan Middleton, who will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season. Meanwhile, the healthy members of the Angels bullpen continue to falter. Jim Johnson entered Thursday night’s game in the seventh inning with a 1-0 deficit and ran into trouble — single, flyout, homer, single, single — before departing. He was charged with four runs (three earned) while recording just one out. We like Justin Anderson more and more to get the next save chance after Johnson’s performance Thursday.
Hierarchy remains: *Anderson | Johnson | Bedrosian.
* = closer-by-committee
Chicago White Sox — In true committee fashion, Nate Jones picked up a clean save for the White Sox on Thursday night, with Joakim Soria presumably available. Soria, who took a loss in his last outing, blew his most recent save chance, and since then, Jones and Bruce Rondon have picked up saves. With chances so rare for the 11-win White Sox, it’s tough for any potential closer to establish himself. Our guess is that Soria gets the next shot.
Hierarchy remains: *Soria | Rondon | Jones.
* = closer-by-committee
Oakland A’s — The A’s bullpen continues to be . . . intriguing? Frustrating? Last night, Santiago Casilla came into the game in the third inning and allowed three runs over two innings — strange usage for a man who looks like the first in line for saves if Blake Treinen gets hurt. He has the team’s only vulture save this season (and zero holds), so for now that’s the only evidence keeping him in the hierarchy. If you’re hunting for holds, Yusmeiro Petit and Lou Trivino (0.59 ERA in 15.1 IP) are better bets.
Hierarchy remains: Treinen | Casilla | Petit.
San Francisco Giants — Mark Melancon is getting closer to returning. He tossed live batting practice Thursday and looked good. He’ll begin a minor league assignment this Sunday and, if all goes well, he should return to the majors in two weeks.
Hierarchy remains: Strickland | Watson | Dyson.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Joe Jimenez — Shane Greene pitched Thursday night — his fifth(!) appearance in six days.
1. Michael Feliz/Richard Rodriguez — Both Felipe Vazquez and Feliz have pitched in two straight. A Friday appearance for either would likely lead to an off day on Saturday.
2. Tony Watson — Hunter Strickland has pitched in two of three and three of five.