Boggs filling set-up role for Cards; Luis Perez moving up in Toronto pen

April 24, 2012

St. Louis Cardinals — For the second straight night, and third in the last four, Mitchell Boggs pitched the 8th in a tight game; he has clearly passed Fernando Salas as the Cards’ top set-up option. Hierarchy change: Mitchell Boggs to Set-up, Fernando Salas to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSTL |Motte |Boggs |Salas |Motte |4/24/12

Toronto Blue Jays — Casey Janssen hasn’t pitched since he blew a save on April 14, and Jason Frasor has been idle since a 3-run outing on April 19. In the meantime, Luis Perez and Darren Oliver have been getting more work, including high-leverage outings by Perez on April 20 and last night. With Sergio Santos out, the bullpen situation in Toronto remains quite fluid.  Hierarchy change: Luis Perez to Set-up, Jason Frasor to 2nd in Line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Cordero |Perez |Frasor |Santos |4/24/12 |Santos (DL) |

Houston Astros — Brandon Lyon has been slipping behind Fernando Rodriguez on the Astros’ depth chart, a fact that was made clearer last night when Brad Mills called upon Lyon to pitch the sixth inning, down three runs.  Hierarchy change: Fernando Rodriguez to Set-up, Brandon Lyon to 2nd in Line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedHOU |Myers |F.Rodriguez |Lyon |Myers |4/24/12

1. Jason FrasorToronto Blue Jays — Francisco Cordero has now pitched on two straight nights, and in three of the last four games. If the Blue Jays need to protect a close lead against the Orioles again on Tuesday, John Farrell will almost certainly go in another direction.
2. Fernando Salas,  St. Louis Cardinals — Jason Motte threw 31 pitches before blowing the save last night against the Cubs, and Mitchell Boggs has been getting regular work in the set-up role. Salas is positioned well to steal a save.

Greg Holland to the DL; Cordero earns save for Blue Jays

April 23, 2012

Boston Red Sox – After Daniel Bard’s turn in the rotation was rained out on Sunday night, Bobby Valentine announced he will use Bard to bolster the back end of the team’s bullpen — but also vowed that Bard will still make his next scheduled start on Friday. Another debacle like Saturday’s, however, and Bard might wrest the closer job from Alfredo Aceves. No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedBOS |Aceves |Morales |Tazawa |Bailey |4/23/12

Kansas City Royals- Greg Holland was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a “stress reaction” in his ribs. Although the ensuing bone scan showed no fracture, he might be three weeks away from returning to the Royals pen. Lefty José Mijares will likely move to 2nd in line, but young fireballer Jeremy Jeffress could move up quickly if he can harness his stuff. Hierarchy change: Aaron Crow to Set-up, José Mijares to 2nd in Line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedKC |Broxton |Crow |Mijares |Broxton |4/23/12 |Soria(DL) |Holland(DL) |

Toronto Blue Jays- With Sergio Santos on the DL, new closer Francisco Cordero picked up a somewhat rocky save in his first day on the job. No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Cordero |Janssen |Frasor |Santos |4/23/12 |Santos (DL) |

1. Casey Janssen or Jason Frasor, Toronto Blue Jays Francisco Cordero has pitched in two of the last three games, and if the Blue Jays want to limit his workload, another pitcher might get a shot to close on Monday.

Sergio Santos to DL; Francisco Cordero takes over as Toronto closer

April 22, 2012

Toronto Blue Jays- Sergio Santos was placed on the disabled list on Saturday with right shoulder inflammation; insurance policy Francisco Cordero will step into the role of closer until Santos can return. Hierarchy change: Santos to DL, Cordero to Closer, Casey Janssen to Set-up, Jason Frasor to 2nd in Line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTOR |Cordero |Janssen |Frasor |Santos |4/22/12 |Santos (DL) |

Frank Francisco struggling; Junichi Tazawa ascending

April 22, 2012

New York Mets – Frank Francisco has given up 6 runs in his last three appearances, and his ERA has ballooned to 8.53.  Jon Rauch had to bail him out last night after he blew a save chance, and will be first in line for saves if Francisco continues to struggle.  Frank Francisco to Hot Seat

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedNYM |Francisco |Rauch |Batista |Francisco |4/22/12

Boston Red Sox – Junichi Tazawa was the only member of the Red Sox bullpen who was able to get anyone out on Saturday, throwing a clean 1.1 innings.  Vicente Padilla gave up 5 runs while only recording one out.  Hierarchy change: Junichi Tazawa to 2nd in line, replacing Vicente Padilla.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedBOS |Aceves |Morales |Tazawa |Bailey |4/22/12

1. Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland Indians – Chris Perez has pitched on three consecutive days, and in four of the last five.

Henry Rodriguez inching ahead of Lidge for saves

April 21, 2012

Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez got another save on Friday, and now has four this season to Brad Lidge’s two.  Lidge has also been suffering from vertigo which has limited his availability in recent days, and while Davey Johnson continues to maintain that he’ll use both pitchers in the 9th inning, Rodriguez is now the preferable guy to own, if you only have room for one.  Hierarchy change: Henry Rodriguez to Closer, Brad Lidge to Set-up.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedWAS |Rodriguez |Lidge |Clippard |Storen |4/21/12 |Storen(DL) |

San Francisco Giants – Santiago Casilla only pitched to one batter in the 9th on Friday, giving up a single before giving way to Javier Lopez, who faced the next two batters (both lefties).  The duo combined to blow the save, which was eventually recorded by Clay Hensley in the bottom of the 10th.  Bruce Bochy has said that he would use a committee to close games, and he proved his statement true on Friday.  Casilla will be a short leash in the future.  Santiago Casilla to Hot Seat.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSF |Casilla |Romo |Lopez |Wilson |4/21/12 |Wilson(DL) |

Philadelphia Phillies – Jose Contreras returned from the disabled list yesterday, pitching the 7th inning ahead of Chad Qualls and Jonathan Papelbon.  Contreras should continue to be used in this role, as Antonio Bastardo has settled into a LOOGY role as of late.  Hierarchy change: Jose Contreras to 2nd in line, replacing Antonio Bastardo.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedPHI |Papelbon |Qualls |Contreras |Papelbon |4/21/12

1. Brad Lidge, Washington Nationals – With Henry Rodriguez now the listed closer, it’s Brad Lidge’s turn to headline the Vulture Save Watch regularly. Rodriguez got the save yesterday, so if Lidge has kicked his vertigo, it’ll be his turn.
2. Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland Indians – Chris Perez has pitched on two consecutive days, and in three of the last four.
3. Mike Adams/Alexi Ogando, Texas Rangers – The Rangers and Tigers play a doubleheader today, and while Jose Valverde should close both games for the Tigers if necessary, Joe Nathan may not be able to, giving Adams or Ogando a possible opportunity if the Rangers sweep in two close games.
4. Scott Downs, Los Angeles Angels – Jordan Walden pitched yesterday, throwing 27 pitches, two days after throwing 31 pitches on Wednesday.  He could get the night off.