Corey Knebel to be activated from DL today

May 9, 2018

Milwaukee Brewers — Corey Knebel will be activated from the disabled list today and will return to one of the best bullpens in baseball. Josh Hader – who picked up his fifth multi-inning save of the season on Tuesday – was outstanding during Knebel’s absence and will continue to be a huge part of the Brewers’ late-inning dominance.

Updated hierarchy: Knebel | Hader | Jeffress.

Toronto Blue Jays – Major League Baseball placed Roberto Osuna on administrative leave following an arrest Tuesday morning for domestic violence. Manager John Gibbons did not commit to one guy as his closer, mentioning such names as Ryan Tepera, Tyler Clippard and John Axford as possibilities for the ninth inning. Not specifically mentioned was Seung Hwan Oh, but that does not mean he is out of the running. James Paxton’s no-hitter prevented us from getting a look at how the late innings might unfold with Toronto in the lead, so we’ll have to wait until at least tonight to see who gets the first save chance for the Blue Jays.

Updated hierarchy: *Tepera | Oh | Clippard.
* = closer-by-committee

Detroit Tigers – Alex Wilson is on the disabled list with a a left plantar fascia strain, an injury that has been described as “week-to-week.” Buck Farmer, who tossed a perfect 1.1 innings on Tuesday to earn his second hold in as many outings, has struck out seven and not allowed a run over his last five appearances.

Updated hierarchy: Greene | Jimenez | Farmer. 

Los Angeles Angels — Keynan Middleton pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday during a rehab outing in Triple-A. He is expected back later this week.

Hierarchy remains: *Bedrosian | Anderson | Parker.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
None.

Thursday:
1. Archie Bradley/Yoshihisa Hirano – All three of Arizona’s main bullpen arms have pitched in three of four, so Wednesday’s usage will dictate availability on Thursday.
2. AJ Minter – If Arodys Vizcaino pitches today it will be two straight and three of four for him.
3. Josh Fields – Kenley Jansen threw 19 pitches over two innings on Tuesday. If he has a taxing outing on Wednesday, he may get a rest on Thursday.
4. Luis Garcia – Hector Neris will have pitched in two straight and four of five if he gets the ball on Wednesday.

Roberto Osuna placed on administrative leave for domestic violence

May 8, 2018

Toronto Blue Jays – Major League Baseball has placed Roberto Osuna on administrative leave following an arrest this morning for domestic violence. Prior to Tuesday’s game, manager John Gibbons did not commit to one guy as his closer, mentioning such names as Ryan Tepera, Tyler Clippard and John Axford as possibilities for the ninth inning. Not specifically mentioned was Seung Hwan Oh, but that does not mean he is out of the running. Hopefully Tuesday’s game sheds more light on how the late innings will shape up in Toronto.

Updated hierarchy: *Tepera | Oh | Clippard.
* = closer-by-committee

Keone Kela still leading a shaky Texas bullpen

May 8, 2018

Texas Rangers – After blowing a four-run lead last Tuesday and then giving up a go-ahead run on Thursday, Keone Kela had a nice bounce-back appearance last night, striking out two hitters in a scoreless 9th to pick up his 7th save. His ERA sits at 6.00, but he’s probably safer than that number would suggest, in part because most of the damage came across two particularly bad appearances, and also because his would-be competition hasn’t been much better. Jake Diekman got the 8th inning last night, but he’s walked 12 hitters in 12.1 IP this year, contributing to a 1.70 WHIP, and Alex Claudio has been knocked around all season, having allowed 29 hits and 11 earned runs in 16.1 innings of work. Jose LeClerc and Tony Barnette have been decent, though, and are both sporting ERAs under 3 — it seems likely that both of these righties will start getting higher-leverage work. And if Kela falters or gets hurt, one of them could be in position to benefit.

Updated hierarchy: Kela | Diekman | LeClerc. 

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Jordan Hicks/Greg Holland – Bud Norris is probably out for another couple days.

Tomorrow
1. Jake Diekman – If Keone Kela goes today, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
2. Jared Hughes – If Raisel Iglesias goes today, it’ll be back to back games. (He pitched in 3 straight only once all of last year.)

Ottavino, Clippard having resurgent seasons

May 7, 2018

Colorado Rockies – With Wade Davis getting the afternoon off, Adam Ottavino picked up his first save of the season. Ottavino has quietly been maybe the single best reliever in all of baseball thus far, with 35 Ks in 19 innings and only 1 earned run allowed all season, and should be owned in virtually every format.

Hierarchy remains: Davis | Ottavino | McGee.

Toronto Blue Jays – It was quite a week for Tyler Clippard, who picked up a win and three holds over five clean appearances. After a couple of down years for the veteran, Clippard has been part of a strong Toronto bullpen, as the Jays have been able to use any of three relievers — Ryan Tepera (2.70 ERA), Seung-Hwan Oh (1.76 ERA), and Clippard (1.47 ERA) — to comfortably bridge the gap to Roberto Osuna.

Hierarchy remains: Osuna | Tepera | Oh. 

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Luis Garcia – Hector Neris has pitched in back to back games, including a blown save yesterday. He might get the day off today.

Tomorrow
1. Kirby Yates/Craig Stammen – Brad Hand, Yates, and Stammen, have all gone two straight. Tonight’s usage will dictate who is available tomorrow.
2. Kyle Barraclough/Drew Steckenrider – Brad Ziegler and Kyle Barraclough have gone in two straight. Tonight’s usage will dictate who is available tomorrow.
3. Santiago Casilla – If Blake Treinen goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four.
4. Addison Reed – If Fernando Rodney goes tonight, it’ll be back to back and three of four.