Cashner to close in San Diego; Ernesto Frieri acquired by Angels

Atlanta Braves – Livan Hernandez came in when the Braves were up by 3 runs in the 8th inning, then stayed after they scored again in the 9th for the 2-inning save.  No hierarchy change. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedATL |Kimbrel |Venters |O'Flaherty |Kimbrel |5/6/12

 
Los Angeles Angels – Ernesto Frieri, recently acquired from the Padres, was handed a 4-run lead in the 9th inning and was dominant, striking out the side against the Blue Jays.  Frieri has a 2.13 ERA and 21 Ks in just 12.2 innings and should quickly establish himself as a key part of the Angels bullpen.  Hierarchy change: Ernesto Frieri to 2nd in line, replacing LaTroy Hawkins.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAA |Downs |Walden |Frieri |Walden |5/6/12

 
Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale doesn’t embark on his new role as closer until Monday, so the White Sox, up by one run in the 9th, called on Hector Santiago.  But Santiago struggled, allowing two baserunners, and Addison Reed came in to bail him out for the one-out save.  No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedCHW |Sale |Santiago |Thornton |Sale |5/6/12

 
San Diego Padres – The Padres will place Huston Street on the disabled list after he suffered a right posterior shoulder strain on Friday.  After being hurt last night, Street said he didn’t think the injury was too serious, but perhaps that was wishful thinking; Andrew Cashner will close in his stead, and Bud Black said that Luke Gregerson and Dale Thayer could also see occasional opportunities.  Hierarchy change: Huston Street to DL, Andrew Cashner to Closer, Luke Gregerson to Set-up, Dale Thayer to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSD |Cashner |Gregerson |Thayer |Street |5/6/12 |Street(DL) |

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Hector Santiago/Matt Thornton/Addison Reed, Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale doesn’t start closing until tomorrow, and over the past two days, Robin Ventura has played matchups to determine his 9th inning man, with Santiago, Thornton, and Reed all getting opportunities.
2. Edward Mujica, Miami Marlins – After the demotion of Heath Bell, the permanent closer job likely belongs Steve Cishek, but Cishek threw 52 pitches over 3 innings on Friday, and could be given a second day off to rest up.

Huston Street to DL; Andrew Cashner to close

May 5, 2012

San Diego Padres – The Padres will place Huston Street on the disabled list after he suffered a right posterior shoulder strain on Friday.  After being hurt last night, Street said he didn’t think the injury was too serious, but perhaps that was wishful thinking; Andrew Cashner will close in his stead.  Hierarchy change: Huston Street to DL, Andrew Cashner to Closer, Luke Gregerson to Set-up, Joe Thatcher to 2nd in line.

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

Chris Sale, Steve Cishek to close; Huston Street ailing

Philadelphia Phillies – Jose Contreras has struggled since returning from the disabled list, and was used early in the game on Friday.  Antonio Bastardo was called on in the 7th, and he pitched a clean inning.  Hierarchy change: Antonio Bastardo to 2nd in line, replacing Jose Contreras.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedPHI |Papelbon |Qualls |Bastardo |Papelbon |5/5/12

 
Boston Red Sox – Vicente Padilla was unable to hold a 1-run lead in the 7th inning on Friday, and now as an 8.38 ERA.  Matt Albers (2 ER in 14 IPs) came on and preserved a tie game in the 8th and the 9th inning.  Hierarchy change: Matt Albers to 2nd in line, replacing Vicente Padilla.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedBOS |Aceves |Morales |Albers |Bailey |4/29/12 |Bailey(DL) |

 
Colorado Rockies – Matt Belisle pitched a clean 7th inning on Friday, preserving a tie game for the Rockies; Edgmer Escalona took the loss in extras.  Hierarchy change: Matt Belisle to 2nd in line, replacing Edgmer Escalona. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedCOL |Betancourt |Brothers |Belisle |Betancourt |5/5/12

 
Baltimore Orioles – Luis Ayala pitched two innings in a tie game Friday, and has now gone 13 innings without allowing a run this season.  He’s surpassed Matt Lindstrom on the depth chart.  Hierarchy change: Luis Ayala to 2nd in line, replacing Matt Lindstrom.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedBAL |Johnson |Strop |Ayala |Johnson |5/5/12

 
Tampa Bay Rays – Joel Peralta recorded a one-out save on Friday.  As noted in the vulture save watch, Fernando Rodney had been used a lot lately, so he was given a night off.  No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedTB |Rodney |Peralta |Howell |Farnsworth |5/5/12 |Farnswor(DL)|

 
Miami Marlins – Heath Bell just blew his 4th save in 7 chances, prompting manager Ozzie Guillen to say after the game that he had do something about the closer role, and that he couldn’t wait around any longer.  Steve Cishek has out-pitched Edward Mujica so far this season, and is in line to inherit the job.  Hierarchy change: Steve Cishek to Closer, Heath Bell to 2nd in line. 

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

 
Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale has been moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen and will immediately take over as closer.  Chris Sale experienced elbow soreness after his last start and the White Sox decided a move to the bullpen would be better for his health.  Sale will be given a few days off and will start closing on Monday in Cleveland.  Hierarchy change: Chris Sale to Closer, Hector Santiago to Set-up, Matt Thornton to 2nd in line.

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

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1.  Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres – Huston Street left Friday’s game early and was diagnosed with a posterior shoulder strain.  He said the injury was minor– earlier this season, a similar injury pulled Nick Blackburn out of a game, but he didn’t miss a start– but Street, who will have an MRI today, will probably be given at least a day or two off.
2. Edward Mujica, Miami Marlins – Steve Cishek appears to be the man for the Marlins now that Ozzie Guillen is finally pulling the plug on Heath Bell, but Cishek threw 51 pitches yesterday in a 3-inning effort.  Edward Mujica could see the save opportunity tonight.
3. Hector Santiago/Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale is the new closer in for the White Sox, but he won’t be called upon until Monday.  Hector Santiago or Matt Thornton will get 9th inning chances until then.
4. James Russell/Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs – New closer Rafael Dolis has pitched on three consecutive days, so Dale Sveum will likely play the match-ups to determine his 9th inning man tonight.
5. Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals – Henry Rodriguez has pitched on three consecutive nights.
6. Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland Indians – Chris Perez has pitched on three consecutive nights.
7. Franklin Morales, Boston Red Sox – Alfredo Aceves threw 38 pitches in a 2.2 inning outing on Friday.

Heath Bell finally loses his job; Steve Cishek likely to close

Miami Marlins – Heath Bell just blew his 4th save in 7 chances, prompting manager Ozzie Guillen to say after the game that he had do something about the closer role, and that he couldn’t wait around any longer.  Steve Cishek has out-pitched Edward Mujica so far this season, and is in line to inherit the job.  Hierarchy change: Steve Cishek to Closer, Heath Bell to 2nd in line. 

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

Chris Sale takes over as closer for White Sox

May 4, 2012

Chicago White Sox – Per the Chicago Tribune, Chris Sale has been moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen and will immediately take over as closer.  Chris Sale experienced elbow soreness after his last start and the White Sox decided a move to the bullpen would be better for his health.  Sale will be given a few days off and will start closing on Monday in Cleveland.  Hierarchy change: Chris Sale to Closer, Hector Santiago to Set-up, Matt Thornton to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedCHW |Sale |Santiago |Thornton |Sale |5/4/12