Tyler Clippard struggling; 10-player trade ups Francisco Cordero’s value

July 21, 2012

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

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Janssen |Oliver |Lyon |Santos |7/21/12

 
Houston Astros – The Astros acquired Francisco Cordero from the Toronto Blue Jays in a 10-player trade on Thursday.  Cordero becomes an interesting player to watch, as he’ll likely assume the set-up role immediately, and could ascend to the closer spot if Brett Myers is dealt.  Hierarchy change: Francisco Cordero to Set-up, Wilton Lopez to 2nd in line. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedHOU |Myers |Cordero |Lopez |Myers |7/21/12

 
Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra finished off the 7th inning, and has worked his way back in to a late-innings role for the Dodgers.  Josh Lindblom has struggled as of late, including on Friday, when he allowed three baserunners while only recording one out in the 6th inning.  Hierarchy change: Javy Guerra to 2nd in line, replacing Josh Lindblom.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAD |Jansen |Belisario |Guerra |Jansen |7/21/12

 
Washington Nationals – Tyler Clippard blew the save last night, and has now allowed 7 ERs in his last 3 outings, a span that includes two blown saves.  Sean Burnett and Drew Storen also had rough nights, but Clippard’s recent stretch is worrying, and the Nats have plenty of live arms in their bullpen who could be inserted into the closer role if he continues to struggle.  Tyler Clippard to Hot Seat.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedWAS |Clippard |Burnett |Storen |Storen |7/21/12

 
Atlanta Braves – Chad Durbin picked up an 11th inning save on Friday after the Braves had exhausted much of the rest of their bullpen.  Durbin does not figure in to their usual late inning plans.  No hierarchy change. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedATL |Kimbrel |O'Flaherty |Medlen |Kimbrel |7/21/12

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Grant Balfour, Oakland A’s – Ryan Cook has pitched in three straight games.
2. Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves – Both Craig Kimbrel and Eric O’Flaherty have pitched in three straight.
3. Mike Dunn, Miami Marlins – The Marlins are employing a closer-by-committee and thus far, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn have each picked up one save.  Cishek is still the best bet for a save on any given night, but Dunn could get the call if the Marlins are facing a lefty-heavy 9th inning.
4. Jared Burton, Minnesota Twins – The Twins are employing a committee, and while Glen Perkins remains the best bet for saves, Jared Burton could get an opportunity whenever the Twins are facing a righty-heavy lineup.

Drew Storen back from the DL

July 20, 2012

Washington Nationals – Drew Storen returned from the disabled list on Thursday, pitching a clean 9th inning in a game the Nationals were losing.  He immediately factors back in to the Nats’ late-inning plans, though he’s a longshot to win his closer job back this season.  Hierarchy change: Drew Storen to 2nd in line, replacing Henry Rodriguez.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedWAS |Clippard |Burnett |Storen |Storen |7/20/12

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. John Axford/Jose Veras, Milwaukee Brewers – Prior to the Brewers’ day off yesterday, Francisco Rodriguez had pitched in four straight games, throwing 73 pitches in the process.  He may need a second day off to recover.
2. Mike Dunn, Miami Marlins – The Marlins are employing a closer-by-committee and thus far, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn have each picked up one save.  Cishek is still the best bet for a save on any given night, but Dunn could get the call if the Marlins are facing a lefty-heavy 9th inning.
3. Jared Burton, Minnesota Twins – The Twins are employing a committee, and while Glen Perkins remains the best bet for saves, Jared Burton could get an opportunity whenever the Twins are facing a righty-heavy lineup.

Santiago Casilla’s struggles continue; Charlie Furbush hits the DL

July 19, 2012

San Francisco Giants – Santiago Casilla continues to struggle, allowing two runs in the 10th inning last night before being bailed out by the Giants’ offense the next inning.  He’s now blown 5 of his last 8 saves and remains firmly on the Hot Seat, as the Giants are reportedly testing the trade market for relievers.  “We need him whether we make an adjustment or not,” Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I can’t answer that now. But there comes a time with every player when you have to change it up.”  Despite the demands from fans, it’s still unlikely that Sergio Romo becomes a full-time closer this year, as the Giants don’t want him to pitch too frequently for fear he re-aggravates an injury.  If Casilla is demoted, however, Romo could share the 9th inning role with Jeremy Affeldt.  No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSF |Casilla |Romo |Affeldt |Wilson |7/19/12 |Wilson(DL) |

 
Seattle Mariners – Charlie Furbush was placed on the DL yesterday with a strained triceps.  Lefthander Lucas Luetge (1.46 ERA) will move into Furbush’s late-inning role.  Hierarchy change: Lucas Luetge to 2nd in line, Charlie Furbush to DL.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSEA |Wilhelmsen |League |Luetge |Wilhelmsen |7/19/12 |Furbush(DL) |

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Sean Burnett, Washington Nationals – Tyler Clippard has given up three HRs and 5 ERs over the last two days.  His job is not in jeopardy yet, but he could be given the day off today.
2. Sergio Romo/Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants – After Casilla’s latest outing, he may be given the day off today.  Sergio Romo or Jeremy Affeldt would be candidates to clos ein his place.
3. Mike Dunn, Miami Marlins – The Marlins are employing a closer-by-committee and thus far, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn have each picked up one save.  Cishek is still the best bet for a save on any given night, but Dunn could get the call if the Marlins are facing a lefty-heavy 9th inning.
4. Jared Burton, Minnesota Twins – The Twins are employing a committee, and while Glen Perkins remains the best bet for saves, Jared Burton could get an opportunity whenever the Twins are facing a righty-heavy lineup.

Francisco Rodriguez to close in Milwaukee; Glen Perkins and Jared Burton to split chances in Minnesota

July 18, 2012

Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando returned from the DL and was placed back in to the bullpen, where he will remain for the foreseeable future.  He pitched 0.2 innings yesterday and will be used in a late-innings role, as he was before.  Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to 2nd in line, replacing Tanner Scheppers. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTEX |Nathan |Adams |Ogando |Nathan |7/18/12

 
Minnesota Twins – Before Tuesday’s game, the Twins said Matt Capps would be unavailable due to a strained shoulder; then, in the wee hours this morning, they put him back on the DL.  Glen Perkins and Jared Burton will resume their closer-by-committee in the mean time.  Burton got the save last night.  Hierarchy change: Glen Perkins to Closer, Jared Burton to Set-up, Tyler Robertson to 2nd in line, Matt Capps to DL.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIN |Perkins |Burton |Robertson |Perkins |7/18/12 |Capps(DL) |

 
Milwaukee Brewers – Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before Tuesday’s game that John Axford would be relieved of his closing duties for the time being.  Francisco Rodriguez will inherit the 9th inning role, effective immediately.  Hierarchy change: Francisco Rodriguez to Closer, John Axford to Set-up.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIL |Rodriguez |Axford |Veras |Axford |7/17/12

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. John Axford/Jose Veras, Milwaukee Brewers – Francisco Rodriguez has pitched in three straight games.
2. Sean Marshall, Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman got the save last night, and has pitched in four of the last five games.
3. David Robertson, New York Yankees – Rafael Soriano has pitched on back to back days, and in four of the last five.
4. Joaquin Benoit, Detroit Tigers – Through Monday, Jose Valverde pitched in four straight and could conceivably be given a second day off today.
5. Mike Dunn, Miami Marlins – The Marlins are employing a closer-by-committee and thus far, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn have each picked up one save.  Cishek is still the best bet for a save on any given night, but Dunn could get the call if the Marlins are facing a lefty-heavy 9th inning.
6. Jared Burton, Minnesota Twins – The Twins are employing a committee, and while Glen Perkins remains the best bet for saves, Jared Burton could get an opportunity whenever the Twins are facing a righty-heavy lineup.

Matt Capps back on the DL, closer-by-committee resumes in Minnesota

July 18, 2012

Minnesota Twins – Before Tuesday’s game, the Twins said Matt Capps would be unavailable due to a strained shoulder; then, in the wee hours this morning, they put him back on the DL.  Glen Perkins and Jared Burton will resume their closer-by-committee in the mean time.  Burton got the save last night.  Hierarchy change: Glen Perkins to Closer, Jared Burton to Set-up, Tyler Robertson to 2nd in line, Matt Capps to DL.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIN |Perkins |Burton |Robertson |Perkins |7/18/12 |Capps(DL) |