Kelvin Herrera to undergo MRI today

August 8, 2018

Washington Nationals — Kelvin Herrera left his ninth-inning appearance on Tuesday with what was announced as right shoulder tightness and will get an MRI on Wednesday. Should Herrera need a stint on the DL, Ryan Madson is a safe bet to take over as closer for the Nationals.

Hierarchy remains: *Herrera | Madson | Miller.
* = closer-by-committee

Miami Marlins – Don Mattingly announced yesterday that Kyle Barraclough is out as Marlins closer for the time being. Mattingly said he’d use a committee in the ninth inning for now — we like Drew Steckenrider to lead it.

Updated hierarchy: *Steckenrider | Conley | Guerra.
* = closer-by-committee

Philadelphia Phillies – Seranthony Dominguez earned a night off after throwing 29 pitches over the last two days, which led to Pat Neshek earning his second save of the season on Tuesday. Victor Arano preserved the Phillies’ lead by getting out of an inherited jam in the eighth inning.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Ryan Madson – Even if Kelvin Herrera avoids the DL, he should have today off.
2. Jordan Hicks – Bud Norris has pitched in three of the last four. The Cardinals are off on Thursday, but they could still opt to give Norris an extra day of rest today.

Tomorrow
1. Matt Barnes – Craig Kimbrel threw 22 pitches on Tuesday and may get Thursday off if he has a second consecutive lengthy outing.
2. Trevor Hildenberger/Addison Reed – An appearance tonight will be two straight and three of four for both Fernando Rodney and Trevor Hildenberger.
3. Justin Miller – Ryan Madson will have pitched in two straight and four of five should he get the ball on Wednesday. Miller may get the ninth inning if Kelvin Herrera needs an extended break.

Kyle Barraclough could be out of a job in the next few hours

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are running our annual Donation Drive this week. Thank you, as always, for supporting us!]

August 7, 2018

New York Mets – After Bobby Wahl and Robert Gsellman navigated the 7th and 8th innings, the Mets called on lefty Jerry Blevins for the 9th. Joey Votto was due up third, so the matchup made sense, and Blevins did the job, earning his first save of the year. Blevins hasn’t given up a run in his last six appearances, and might be in line for another save chance or two if the Mets continue to play matchups in this fashion.

Updated hierarchy: *Gsellman | Lugo | Blevins.
* = closer-by-committee

Miami Marlins – Kyle Barraclough entered the game with a 2-run lead and immediately gave up two singles and a walk to start the inning. He then ran the count full to Kolten Wong before striking him out looking on a backdoor slider that was almost certainly not a strike, then walked the next hitter on five pitches to force in a run. Javy Guerra was then summoned, and induced a game-ending double play to pick up the save. After the game, Mattingly was noncommital about the closer role going forward, saying he “wouldn’t do anything without talking to everybody.” We’ll see if there’s a change afoot later today after Mattingly talks to everybody — add Drew Steckenrider now, if you haven’t done so already.

Hierarchy remains: Barraclough | Steckenrider | Conley.

Chicago Cubs – Brandon Kintzler has picked up three eighth inning holds in the last four days, and appears to have quickly earned the trust of Joe Maddon. Look for him to potentially get save chances when Pedro Strop is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Strop | Kintzler | Edwards.

Houston Astros – Recently acquired and reinstated from suspension for domestic abuse, Roberto Osuna made his Astros debut and was credited with the win, as the Astros would score 3 runs in the top of the 9th to beat the Giants. Rondon pitched the 9th as usual, and it appears as though remains the preferred option for the closer role. Osuna may vulture some chances due to match up or fatigue, but it’s Rondon’s job to lose.

Updated hierarchy: Rondon | Osuna | McHugh.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Tony Watson – Will Smith has gone in back to back games including a blown save last night.

Tomorrow
1. Alex Colome – If Edwin Diaz goes tonight, it’ll be three straight.
2. Brandon Kintzler/CJ Edwards – If Pedro Strop or Brandon Kintzler goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and four of five.
3. Alex Claudio/Cory Gearrin – If Jose LeClerc goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four. Chris Martin could also potentially vulture this chance, depending on matchups/fatigue.

Brad Hand getting more save chances; Anthony Swarzak back on the DL

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are running our annual Donation Drive this week. Thank you, as always, for supporting us!]

August 6, 2018

Atlanta Braves – AJ Minter couldn’t hold a 1-run lead in the 9th inning, but the Braves broke the tie in the 10th, allowing Jesse Biddle to pick up his first career save. The rookie lefthander has had a fine season, but doesn’t factor in to Atlanta’s usual late-inning plans at present.

Hierarchy remains: Minter | Brach | Winkler.

Cleveland Indians – Brad Hand picked up his third save as an Indian on Sunday. Since his acquisition, he and Cody Allen have been sharing the late innings, but since Allen only has 1 save during that stretch, we’ll swap them in the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: *Hand | Allen | Miller.
* = closer-by-committee

Washington Nationals – Kelvin Herrera picked up his 17th save of the season on Sunday and has been the only pitcher to get opportunities in Sean Doolittle’s absence. We’re removing his asterisk — admittedly, something we probably could have done a while ago. (The Nats also came to terms with Greg Holland, but we really hope this doesn’t mean anything significant for you.)

Updated hierarchy: Herrera | Madson | Miller.

New York Mets – The Mets put Anthony Swarzak back on the DL yesterday afternoon, so his stretch at the top of this committee lasted all of a week. Look for Robert Gsellman to be the main beneficiary, with Seth Lugo spelling him from time to time. We’ll slot Bobby Wahl — acquired in the Jeurys Familia trade and recently called up to the bigs — in behind them.

Updated hierarchy: *Gsellman | Lugo | Wahl.
* = closer-by-committee

Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies used Seranthony Dominguez in the 7th inning yesterday against the heart of the order, which meant a save chance two innings later for Tommy Hunter, who converted.

Hierarchy remains: *Dominguez | Arano | Neshek.
* = closer-by-committee

Colorado Rockies – Wade Davis got a second day off after blowing consecutive games on Thursday and Friday, but Adam Ottavino couldn’t hold the 9th inning lead in his place. Instead, the Rockies needed an extra-inning rally, leaving the save chance to Seung-Hwan Oh, who converted.

Hierarchy remains: Davis | Ottavino | Oh. 

Los Angeles Dodgers – An early July trade that barely made headlines brought journeyman Dylan Floro back to the Dodgers, but the righty has impressed in his time in Los Angeles, having allowed just 4 hits and 2 walks in 12.1 innings of work. He picked up his fifth hold of the season yesterday, which is good enough to climb above John Axford — who got absolutely shelled on Saturday — in this hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Alexander | Floro. 

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Dellin Betances – After a 39-pitch meltdown last night, it seems likely that Aroldis Chapman gets tonight off.

Tomorrow
1. Jordan Hicks – If Bud Norris goes tonight, it’ll be three straight.
2. Trevor Hildenberger – If Fernando Rodney goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four.

2018 Closer Monkey Donation Drive

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