Aroldis Chapman is OK, but Yankees may give him extra rest when they can

July 9, 2018

New York Yankees – The Yankees got good news on Aroldis Chapman on Sunday morning, as the recurring knee tendinitis which led to his brief appearance Saturday didn’t appear to be serious. But while Chapman was ostensibly available, Aaron Boone elected to give him the day off, and David Robertson picked up the 10th inning save in his place. Look for the Yankees to continually be cautious with Chapman when they can.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Betances | Robertson.

Los Angeles Angels – Blake Parker had pitched in back to back and three of four games, so Justin Anderson was tapped for the save last night against the Dodgers. The Vulture Save Watch strikes again.

Hierarchy remains: *Parker | Anderson | Bedrosian.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Kirby Yates – Brad Hand went 2 innings last night.
2. Pedro Strop – Brandon Morrow has pitched in back to back games, and we’re not certain the Cubs would have him go three straight at this point.
3. Dellin Betances / Brad Brach – The Yankees and Orioles have a doubleheader today.
4. Anthony Swarzak – So do the Mets and Phillies (but the Phillies use everyone everywhere anyway).

1. Kyle Crick/Edgar Santana – Felipe Vazquez, Crick, and Santana have all gone in back to back games. Monitor tonight’s usage to see who will be available tomorrow.
2. Drew Steckenrider – If Kyle Barraclough goes today, it’ll be back to back and three of four.

Victor Arano records another save while Aroldis Chapman leaves with injury

July 8, 2018

Philadelphia Phillies — Victor Arano pitched a scoreless ninth on Saturday for his second save in four days.  Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning ahead of Arano.  The Pirates had their 2-3-4 hitters due up in the 8th so the Phillies used Dominguez in that spot and left Arano for the 6-7-8 hitters.  Dominguez had been used in a save situation in his last six appearances so this one hold isn’t enough to remove him from the top of our committee.  However, he will likely see a few more high leverage spots prior to the ninth throughout the rest of the season, and Victor Arano should be in the mix for saves in those situations.

Updated hierarchy *Dominguez | Ramos | Arano.
* = closer-by-committee

New York Yankees — Aroldis Chapman was removed from the game yesterday, but his injury is not considered serious.  Chapman has been dealing with tendinitis in his left knee and manager Aaron Boone thought it wasn’t worth leaving him in the game.  Chapman may get Sunday off and may get rested more throughout the season, but he shouldn’t miss any extended period of time at this point.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Betances | Robertson.

Atlanta Braves — It didn’t end up being a save opportunity for the Braves yesterday after they added three runs in the top of the 8th.  However, it was notable how the braves deployed the back end of their bullpen.  Closer Arodys Vizcaino pitched the 8th inning with AJ Minter getting the 9th inning.  After the game, manager Brian Snitker said he liked Vizcaino’s match-ups in the 8th and that he would continue to take match-ups into account to ease Vizcaino in after recently returning from the DL.  We won’t make this a committee yet, but it’s something worth monitoring for the next couple days.

Hierarchy remains: Vizcaino | Minter | Winkler.

St. Louis Cardinals — Bud Norris has put to bed any injury concerns for now after returning to the mound yesterday with a perfect ninth inning for his 17th save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Norris | Hicks | Tuivailala.

1. Trevor Hildenberger – Fernando Rodney has pitched in three in a row.
2. Justin Anderson – Blake Parker has pitched in two straight and three of four.
3. Eric Goeddel – Kenley Jansen has also pitched in two straight and three of four, throwing a total of 63 pitches during that time.
4. Dellin Betances – The Yankees could give Chapman Sunday off to rest his knee.

1. Lou Trivino/Ryan Buchter – Blake Treinen pitched two innings yesterday so if he pitches again on Sunday, he could get Monday off.  The same goes for Lou Trivino.
2. Dellin Betances/David Robertson – The Yankees have a doubleheader on Monday.
3. Brad Brach – The Orioles play the Yankees in that doubleheader.


Bud Norris should be okay and two NL relievers are off the DL

July 7, 2018

St. Louis Cardinals — After his injury scare, Bud Norris underwent an MRI on Friday. The results showed no structural damage. Norris believes he will be ready to go today, although the Cardinals may elect to rest him further.

Hierarchy remains: Norris | Hicks | Tuivailala.

Philadelphia Phillies — Edubray Ramos was activated from the DL and immediately saw action in the 5th inning last night, getting the last two outs of what was at the time a one-run game en route to earning his third win of the year. Ramos was a top arm in the Phillies bullpen before he got injured, and a solid outing last night puts him right back into the mix in the late innings.

Updated hierarchy *Dominguez | Ramos | Hunter.
* = closer-by-committee

Chicago Cubs — CJ Edwards returned from his DL stint and struck out the only batter he faced yesterday. Edwards may need a few more appearances to get up to speed after missing all of June. Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek have been very good as bridges to Brandon Morrow, but Edwards was getting the 8th inning before his injury and will likely work his way back there soon.

Updated hierarchy: Morrow | Strop | Edwards.

Houston Astros — Brad Peacock entered a three-run game in the 8th inning, and when the Astros scored seven in the bottom half, he stuck around for the 9th. It did not go smoothly for him, as he gave up three runs on two homers in the but with a 10-run cushion, he managed to close out the game for his second save of the year. Peacock has fallen out of favor a bit with the Astros, which has more to do with his competition than with him pitching particularly poorly.

Hierarchy remains: Rondon | Giles | Devenski.

Detroit Tigers — Some good news for Shane Greene, as tests on his shoulder showed no structural damage. He’ll hope to resume throwing in a couple of days.

Hierarchy remains: Jimenez | Wilson | Coleman. 

New York Mets — MLB has reinstated former closer Jenrry Mejia after his “lifetime” ban for PED use. Mejia was the first player to receive a lifetime ban, but now he could return in 2019. The Mets were non-committal in their response, saying they will “assess the situation and our options in the coming months.” While he won’t have any impact this year, Mejia was a major part of the Mets bullpen prior to the ban, and he did sign a contract with the Mets this year in case he was reinstated. Dynasty leagues may find him to be an interesting option.

Hierarchy remains: Familia | Swarzak | Gsellman.

1. Jared Hughes — Raisel Iglesias threw 35 pitches to pick up a five-out save on Friday.
2. Jordan Hicks — As we mentioned above, Bud Norris thinks he could be back today but Mike Matheny may elect to give him another day of rest.
3. Josh Hader — Corey Knebel threw 14 pitches last night and has now pitched in four of the last five games.
4. Erik Goeddel — Kenley Jansen threw 20 pitches last night and also had a 30-pitch outing on Wednesday.

1. Josh Hader — Knebel will have pitched in two straight and five of six with an appearance on Saturday.
2. Trevor Hildenberger — If Fernando Rodney pitches today that will be three straight for him.
3. Kelvin Herrera — Same goes for Sean Doolittle.
4. Justin Anderson/Cam Bedrosian — Today would be two straight and three of four for both Blake Parker and Justin Anderson.
5. Anthony Swarzak — Same goes for Jeurys Familia.
6. Erik Goeddel —  If Jansen does pitch today, a day off on Sunday seems likely.

Dan Jennings grabs vulture save for Brewers

July 6, 2018

Chicago White Sox — Closer Joakim Soria finally had a rough outing Thursday night, blowing his third save and taking his third loss. It was the first time he has allowed an earned run since May 18, when his ERA was a bloated 5.65. Since then, he’s solidified himself (18 straight appearances without an earned run until Thursday) as the White Sox closer and would make an interesting trade chip later this month.

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Fry | Rondon.

Milwaukee Brewers — Dan Jennings tossed a scoreless eighth inning with the Brewers clinging to a 4-2 lead. After Milwaukee tacked on three more runs, Jennings stayed on in the ninth to earn his first save of the season. Corey Knebel had pitched in three straight entering Thursday, so he needed a breather.

Hierarchy remains: Knebel | Hader | Jeffress.

Texas Rangers — Chris Martin has been placed on the disabled list for a third time this season. This time it’s for a strained groin.  “We want to make sure we get him right,” manager Jeff Bannister said.

Hierarchy remains: Kela | Diekman | Leclerc.

1. Josh Hader/Jeremy Jeffress — Even with Thursday’s off-day, Corey Knebel has pitched in three of four and may get additional rest.

1. Jake Diekman — Keone Kela has pitched in two consecutive days.
2. Jace Fry — Joakim Soria has pitched in two of three and three of five.
3, Alex Colome — Edwin Diaz earned save No. 34 Thursday night and has now pitched in two of three and four of six.

Victor Arano, Cody Allen, and a bunch of vulture saves

July 5, 2018

Philadelphia Phillies — 23-year-old rookie Victor Arano didn’t quite convert his first save opportunity (June 18), but he made it through two scoreless innings on Wednesday to become the eighth Phillies reliever with a save in 2018. Only five of Arano’s 28 appearances this season have come in late/close situations, but he has good numbers (2.32 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 9.6 K/9) and could see an increased role going forward.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Hunter | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

St. Louis Cardinals — Although Bud Norris felt a slight “stinger” in his finger during his ninth-inning appearance, causing a slight delay, he stayed on to finish a scoreless inning.

Hierarchy remains: Norris | Hicks | Tuivailala.

Cincinnati Reds — With Raisel Iglesias coming off three straight days of work, Jared Hughes picked up the vulture save that we expected.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

Miami Marlins — You weren’t surprised to see Brad Ziegler get the Independence Day save for Miami. Nothing surprises you. You read the Vulture Save Watch.

Hierarchy remains: Barraclough | Steckenrider | Ziegler.

Houston Astros — Okay, we were a day late with our call on this one — Hector Rondon got a day off immediately after a 35-pitch outing, leaving Ken Giles to lock down the Independence Day save.

Hierarchy remains: Rondon | Giles | Devenski.

Cleveland Indians — With Wednesday night’s save, Cody Allen became Cleveland’s all-time leader in the category, passing Bob Wickman.

Hierarchy remains: Allen | Ramirez | Perez.

1. Jeremy Jeffress — Corey Knebel has gone in three straight, and we think Josh Hader will get two days off after his three-inning performance on Tuesday. Jeffress threw 23 pitches yesterday but is coming off four days’ rest.