August 4, 2018
Colorado Rockies — Wade Davis was given a lead for the second night in a row, and for the second night in a row he blew the save and took the loss in walk-off fashion. Last night it was a three-run homer by Eric Thames that handed Davis his 6th blown save of the year. It may not be his last blown save, though, as after the game Bud Black said that Davis will remain closer and that he will be fine. We’ll see just how long Black keeps his faith in Davis and his 5.09 ERA though, as Adam Ottavino pitched a clean 8th and has a sparkling 1.35 ERA. With the Rockies trying desperately to hang in the playoff race, Davis should be on a short leash.
Hierarchy remains: Davis | Ottavino | Oh.
Miami Marlins — We thought Kyle Barraclough would lose his job as closer, but Don Mattingly has other ideas. Mattingly said before yesterday’s game that Barraclough will remain the closer, but that he will be “top-stepping” it in the dugout when Barraclough pitches until further notice. It’s still worth holding on to Drew Steckenrider, as it looks like another bad outing will seal Barraclough’s fate.
Hierarchy remains: Barraclough | Steckenrider | Conley.
Chicago White Sox — It’s looking more like names from a hat than a committee on the South Side of Chicago. Last night featured Jace Fry, Juan Minaya, Luis Avilan pitching in the 8th and 9th, failing to preserve a lead, then holding on to the tie to take it into extra innings. When the White Sox took the lead in the 10th, they turned to Hector Santiago (no holds and no saves before yesterday) to close the game out. He walked a batter but secured the win. This continues to be a committee, and it continues to be chaotic. If you need the saves that badly, you may as well pick some names out of a hat as well.
Hierarchy remains: ^Fry | Cedeno | Avilan.
^ = closer by random selection
Cleveland Indians — Cleveland activated Andrew Miller from the 60-day DL on Friday. Miller went right to work, walking one and striking out one in a scoreless 7th inning that kept the game tied. Miller gives Cleveland three legitimate options at closer, so we’ll keep a close eye on how Terry Francona uses the trio.
Updated hierarchy: *Allen | Hand | Miller.
* = closer-by-committee
Los Angeles Dodgers – Erik Goeddel was placed on the 10-day DL with right lat inflammation and newly acquired John Axford was activated. We’ll slide Axford into the hierarchy for now and see if the Dodgers use him in any high-leverage spots during Goeddel’s absence.
Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Alexander | Axford.
Toronto Blue Jays – Ken Giles made his debut with the Blue Jays on Friday, allowing two hits, one earned run and striking out three in the 9th inning of a 7-2 victory. John Gibbons said that Giles will eventually close for the Jays, but not before getting his feet wet in a low-leverage situation first. Giles is worth grabbing if he’s still available, as Ryan Tepera’s days leading the Jays’ committee seem to be numbered.
Hierarchy remains: *Tepera | Giles | Clippard.
* = closer-by-committee
Chicago Cubs — Pedro Strop got the 9th yesterday in a three-run game. He struggled, letting a pair of runs score, but he did record his sixth save of the year and fourth in a row since Brandon Morrow hit the DL. Strop is the only Cub that has seen a save opportunity since Morrow’s injury, and CJ Edwards, Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler all pitched ahead of him last night. It’s safe to say that Strop is the lead arm in the bullpen and we will kick the asterisk while Morrow is sidelined.
Hierarchy remains: Strop | Edwards | Cishek.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Adam Ottavino — Wade Davis has pitched in two straight, three of four, and five of seven, including 28 pitches last night. Adam Ottavino has also pitched in back-to-back games, but has limited his pitch count.
2. Jose Alvarado/Ryne Stanek — Sergio Romo has pitched four in a row, while Alvarado has pitched in three of four.
3. Jeurys Familia — Blake Treinen threw 30 pitches over two innings in a tie game last night and may get the day off.
1. Brad Brach –Today would be three in a row for A.J. Minter, although he’s kept his pitch count low.
2. Trevor Hildenberger/Addison Reed — Today would be two straight and three of four for both Fernando Rodney and Trevor Hildenberger. We expect that either one would be unavailable if they pitch today.