Heath Bell regains closer role in Miami

Miami Marlins – Ozzie Guillen before Friday’s game told several Florida newspapers that the club was better with Heath Bell in the closer role. While he dodged a question about whether Bell would be closing tonight, he then went on to say: “He’s our closer. Let’s see what happens when he is back there.”  Guillen also said Steve Cishek would not be closing tonight.  Hierarchy change: Heath Bell to Closer, Steve Cishek to Set-up, Edward Mujica to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIA |Bell |Cishek |Mujica |Bell |5/11/12

Joel Hanrahan to bereavement list, Juan Cruz as temporary closer

May 11, 2012

Washington Nationals – Ryan Mattheus pitched the 7th inning on Thursday ahead of Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez and picked up his 5th hold of the season.  Hierarchy change: Ryan Mattheus to 2nd in line, replacing Sean Burnett.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedWAS |Rodriguez |Clippard |Mattheus |Storen |5/11/12 |Storen(DL) |Lidge (DL) |

 
New York Yankees – As noted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, David Robertson was unavailable on Thursday.  Rafael Soriano got the save in his place, allowing one run in the 9th.  No hierarchy change. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedNYY |Robertson |Soriano |Wade |Robertson |5/11/12

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Juan Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates – Joel Hanrahan has been placed on the bereavement list and will miss several games. When he was injured earlier this year, Juan Cruz got the save opportunities in his absence, and should be the first choice to close for the Pirates over the next few days.

Casey Janssen to close in Toronto; Sean Marshall, Steve Cishek to Hot Seat

Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall had a rough outing yesterday and was lifted by Dusty Baker in favor of Logan Ondrusek, who got the game’s final out and the save.  Marshall has been serviceable as closer this year; he has a 4.91 ERA and is 5 for 6 in save opportunities (for yesterday’s meltdown, he actually got a hold).  But set-up men Aroldis Chapman and Ondrusek are both sporting perfect 0.00 ERAs, and some fans in Cincinnati are already clamoring for a switch.  Sean Marshall to Hot Seat.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedCIN |Marshall |Chapman |Ondrusek |Madson |5/10/12

 
Miami Marlins – Steve Cishek blew his first save chance yesterday since being installed as closer. Prior to the game, he’d only given up 1 earned run in 14 innings, but with the Marlins 9th inning role still in flux, Ozzie Guillen could give Edward Mujica a shot sooner rather than later.  Steve Cishek to Hot Seat.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIA |Cishek |Mujica |Bell |Bell |5/10/12

 
Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra’s demotion seems to have dropped him several spots down the Dodgers bullpen hierarchy; Josh Lindblom pitched the 8th inning in a close game last night.  Hierarchy change: Josh Lindblom to Set-up, Javy Guerra to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAD |Jansen |Lindblom |Guerra |Jansen |5/10/12

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

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Janssen |Cordero |Perez |Santos |5/10/12 |Santos (DL) |

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Rafael Soriano, New York Yankees – Joe Girardi said that David Robertson will have the night off tonight.  Robertson has pitched two games in a row, including a rough blown save last night.
2. Mike Adams, Texas Rangers – The Rangers and Orioles have a doubleheader today, and if Joe Nathan gets the save in game one, the Rangers could look to Adams in game two.
3. Pedro Strop, Baltimore Orioles – Ditto for the Orioles if Jim Johnson gets the save in game one.

Blue Jays demote Francisco Cordero; Casey Janssen to close

Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays just announced that they have demoted Francisco Cordero, and that Casey Janssen would be the team’s closer until Sergio Santos returns, according to the Toronto Star.  Santos will likely be out at least another two weeks.  Hierarchy change: Casey Janssen to Closer, Francisco Cordero to Set-up. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Janssen |Cordero |Perez |Santos |5/9/12 |Santos (DL) |

Dale Thayer closing in San Diego; Chris Sale, Francisco Cordero on Hot Seat

May 9, 2012

Chicago White Sox – Closer Chris Sale was summoned in the 8th inning on Tuesday, and was lifted in the 9th after surrendering the lead; Addison Reed eventually got the save in the 10th.  Robin Ventura said after the game that he’d intended to use Sale for a 2-inning save and that the lefty was still the closer, but after the game, pitching coach Don Cooper had some cryptic remarks about Sale’s future.  Cooper, speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, likened Sale to Neftali Feliz, who the Rangers had given a few extra days between starts, and suggested that Sale could quickly and easily be moved back to the rotation.  Sale also told the Sun-Times that he wants to start again, and if he does, Reed could be poised to seize the job.  Even if Sale isn’t yo-yo-ed back, another bad outing or two could see Reed (0.00 ERA, 14 Ks in 10 IPs) surpass him.  Hierarchy change: Addison Reed to Set-up, Hector Santiago to 2nd in line.  Chris Sale to Hot Seat.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedCHW |Sale |Reed |Santiago |Reed |5/9/12

 
New York Mets – As noted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Frank Francisco had pitched on three consecutive nights, and Jon Rauch got the save in his absence.  No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedNYM |Francisco |Rauch |Parnell |Francisco |5/9/12

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

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Cordero |Janssen |Perez |Santos |5/9/12 |Santos (DL) |

 
San Diego Padres – Dale Thayer collected his 2nd save in as many days for the Padres on Tuesday, who opted to use Andrew Cashner in the 8th inning and Luke Gregerson in the 7th.  Cashner’s meltdown on Sunday appears to have cost him, as Thayer, who has 173 career minor league saves, has inherited the closer role in Huston Street’s absence.  Hierarchy change: Dale Thayer to Closer, Andrew Cashner to Set-up.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSD |Thayer |Cashner |Gregerson |Street |5/9/12 |Street(DL) |

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres – Dale Thayer threw 25 pitches yesterday, his second consecutive day of work and fourth outing in the last five days.
2. Joaquin Benoit, Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde threw 31 pitches yesterday, and has pitched in four of the last five games.
3. Scott Downs, Los Angeles Angels – Downs is making a quick recovery from his injury, and Mike Scioscia said that Downs will return to the mound– and presumably, the closer’s role– whenever he feels up to it.