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.

Dale Thayer is Padres’ closer in Huston Street’s absence

San Diego Padres – Dale Thayer collected his 2nd save in as many days for the Padres, who opted to use Andrew Cashner in the 8th inning and Luke Gregerson in the 7th.  Cashner’s meltdown on Sunday has cost 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 |5/8/12 |Street(DL) |

Kenley Jansen to close; Dale Thayer could see more opportunities

May 8, 2012

Cleveland Indians – As predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano were both held out of Cleveland’s doubleheader on Monday, and Cleveland went to young lefty Nick Hagadone in the first game.  Tony Sipp got the save in game 2, but Hagadone (1.08 ERA) has been the Indians most impressive middle reliever as of late.  Hierarchy change: Nick Hagadone to 2nd in line, replacing Joe Smith.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedCLE |C.Perez |Pestano |Hagadone |C.Perez |5/8/12

 
Boston Red Sox – Vicente Padilla recorded a 2.2 inning save yesterday in a game the Red Sox won comfortably.  No hierarchy change. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedBOS |Aceves |Morales |Albers |Bailey |5/8/12 |Bailey(DL) |

 
San Diego Padres – As noted yesterday, Andrew Cashner was given the night off after a long outing on Sunday, but the Padres opted to use Dale Thayer in the 9th inning, leaving Luke Gregerson in the 8th inning role.  Should Cashner falter again, it could be Thayer (173 career minor league saves) who nabs the most opportunities in Huston Street’s absence.  Hierarchy change: Dale Thayer to Set-up, Luke Gregerson to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSD |Cashner |Thayer |Gregerson |Street |5/8/12 |Street(DL) |

 
Los Angeles Dodgers – Don Mattingly before Monday’s series opener said that he was removing Javy Guerra from the closer role.  Kenley Jansen will close in his place, Mattingly said.  Hierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Closer, Javy Guerra to Set-up.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAD |Jansen |Guerra |Lindblom |Jansen |5/8/12

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Jon Rauch, New York Mets – Frank Francisco has pitched on three consecutive nights.
2. Scott Downs, Los Angeles Angels – Downs is making a quick recovery from his injury, and the Angels have opted not to put him on the disabled list.  Mike Scioscia said that Downs will return to the mound– and presumably, the closer’s role– whenever he feels up to it.

Mattingly demotes Javy Guerra; Kenley Jansen to close

May 7, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers – Don Mattingly before Monday’s series opener told the LA Times that he was removing Javy Guerra from the closer role.  Kenley Jansen will close in his place.  Hierarchy change: Kenley Jansen to Closer, Javy Guerra to Set-up.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAD |Jansen |Guerra |Lindblom |Jansen |5/7/12

Ernesto Frieri to close for Angels; Andrew Cashner struggles

May 7, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers – Javy Guerra blew another save on Sunday, and for the first time, manager Don Mattingly expressed wavering confidence in the righty, saying that he’d have to keep looking at the closer role.  Guerra will likely get one more shot to close before being benched, though he remains firmly on the Hot Seat and is a good bet to lose his job with one more blown save.  No hierarchy change. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAD |Guerra |Jansen |Lindblom |Guerra |5/7/12

 
San Diego Padres – Despite throwing 100+ mph gas all night, Andrew Cashner was knocked around on Sunday, giving up 4 earned runs in a tie game in the 8th inning.  He’s still likely the Padres go-to guy while Huston Street recovers, but could quickly lose that distinction if he falters again.  Andrew Cashner to Hot Seat.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedSD |Cashner |Gregerson |Thayer |Street |5/7/12 |Street(DL) |

 
Miami Marlins – As noted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Steve Cishek threw 52 pitches over 3 innings on Friday and was again unavailable on Sunday, so the Marlins went to Edward Mujica for the save in the 9th.  No hierarchy change. 

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedMIA |Cishek |Mujica |Bell |Bell |5/7/12

 
Atlanta Braves – For the second day in a row, the Braves had a comfortable late-inning lead, and a long reliever notched a save; this time, it was Cristhian Martinez, who pitched 2.2 clean innings in the blowout.  No hierarchy change.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedATL |Kimbrel |Venters |O'Flaherty |Kimbrel |5/7/12

 
Los Angeles Angels – Scott Downs was helped off the field after sustaining an apparent knee injury in the 9th inning on Sunday.  He will undergo evaluation, but he was spotted on crutches after the game, so he’s likely to miss at least a few days.  LaTroy Hawkins also was injured in the game, and while the Angels did not name a new closer, Mike Scioscia appears to be reluctant to give the closer job back to Jordan Walden, instead mentioning Ernesto Frieri as a possible candidate.  Hierarchy change: Scott Downs injured, Ernesto Frieri to Closer, Jason Isringhausen to 2nd in line.

 |Closer |Set-Up |2nd In Line |2013 Closer |UpdatedLAA |Frieri |Walden |Isringhausen|Walden |5/7/12 |Downs(INJ) | |Hawkins(INJ)|

 
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Joe Smith/Tony Sipp, Cleveland Indians – Both closer Chris Perez and set-up man Vinnie Pestano have pitched in 4 of the last 5 games, and the Indians have a doubleheader today, meaning 7th-inning men Joe Smith and Tony Sipp could get save opportunities.
2. James Russell/Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs – Rafael Dolis pitched 2 innings yesterday, and has pitched in 4 out of the last 5 games.
3. Joaquin Benoit, Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde has pitched on three consecutive days.
4. Luke Gregerson, San Diego Padres – Andrew Cashner threw 39 pitches in a rough outing yesterday and could have the night off.
5. Franklin Morales, Boston Red Sox – Alfredo Aceves has pitched 4.2 innings over the past three days, throwing 69 pitches in the process.