Indians, Twins continue to mix and match

June 21, 2021

Cleveland Indians – Emmanuel Clase pitched the 8th against Pittsburgh’s 2-3-4 hitters, allowing James Karinchak to pitch the 9th and collect his 8th save. Clase is still in the lead here, but Terry Francona continues to show a willingness to be flexible in the late innings.

Hierarchy remains: *Clase | Karinchak | Shaw.
* = closer-by-committee

Toronto Blue Jays – Tyler Chatwood collected his first save of the season on Sunday with a scoreless 9th inning. Jordan Romano had pitched 2 innings on Saturday so got the day off, but this bullpen remains relatively unsettled.

Hierarchy remains: *Romano | Chatwood | Mayza.
* = closer-by-committee

Minnesota Twins – Taylor Rogers got the day off on Sunday, allowing Hansel Robles to collect his 6th save of the season. The Twins will continue to mix and match when all their relievers are available, but Rogers remains the favorite for saves on most nights.

Hierarchy remains: *Rogers | Robles | Duffey.
* = closer-by-committee

Milwaukee Brewers – Josh Hader got the day off after pitching two straight, so Brad Boxberger got the 9th inning and collected his third save.

Hierarchy remains: Hader | Williams | Boxberger.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today

1. Emilio Pagan – Mark Melancon has gone back to back and three of four.
2. Seth Lugo/Chris Martin – The Mets and Braves have a doubleheader today.

Tomorrow
1. Tanner Rainey – Brad Hand has gone three straight and has seen a lot of usage lately; the Nats don’t play today but they might give him a second day off tomorrow to recover.
2. Blake Treinen – If Kenley Jansen goes today, it’s back to back and three of four.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in lineUpdatedCloser1st in line2nd in lineUpdated
BAL*FrySulserHarvey6/5/21ATLSmithMartinJackson6/16/21
BOSBarnesOttavinoTaylor6/17/21MIAY.GarciaFloroBass6/16/21
NYYChapmanBrittonGreen6/13/21NYMDiazLugoCastro6/16/21
TB*CastilloFairbanksFeyereisen6/15/21PHINerisAlvaradoCoonrod6/6/21
TOR*RomanoChatwoodMayza6/21/21WASHandFinneganRainey6/20/21
        
CHWHendriksBummerCrochet6/12/21CHCKimbrelChafinTepera5/28/21
CLE*ClaseKarinchakShaw6/21/21CIN*SimsHembreeGarrett6/18/21
DET*FulmerCisneroSoto6/17/21MILHaderWilliamsBoxberger6/21/21
KC*HollandStaumontBarlow6/19/21PITRodriguezCrickStratton6/5/21
MIN*RogersRoblesDuffey6/21/21STLReyesGallegosPonce de Leon6/4/21
        
HOUPresslyStanekRaley6/10/21ARI*CrichtonSoriaGinkel6/13/21
LAAIglesiasMayersWatson6/12/21COLBardEstevezKinley6/18/21
OAKTrivinoDiekmanPetit6/16/21LADJansenTreinenNelson6/16/21
SEA*GravemanMonteroSteckenrider6/20/21SDMelanconPaganStammen6/12/21
TEXKennedySborzMartin6/17/21SF*McGeeRogersLeone6/19/21

* = closer-by-committee

Taylor Rogers records another save while Brad Hand enjoys an easy save opportunity

June 20, 2021

Minnesota Twins — With the Twins protecting a one-run lead, Hansel Robles got the 8th inning hold, and Taylor Rogers got the 9th inning to pick up his 7th save of the season.  Rogers has now recorded the last three non-extra inning saves for the Twins and that is enough to move him to the top of the committee.  However, this is still a pretty fluid situation as evidenced by Rogers getting the 8th and Robles getting the 9th on Friday in a tie game.

Updated hierarchy: *Rogers | Robles | Duffey.
* = closer-by-committee

Washington Nationals — Fantasy owners can thank Wander Suero for gifting Brad Hand an easy save yesterday.  With the Nationals up by four in the last inning of the second game of the doubleheader, Suero put a couple runners on with two outs, and that allowed Hand to come in and retire one batter on one pitch for the save.  About a month ago it looked like Hand might be losing his grip on the closer’s role in Washington but he has now converted eleven straight save opportunities.  

Hierarchy remains: Hand | Finnegan | Rainey.

Seattle Mariners – Kendall Graveman got the save opportunity yesterday but he could not get the job done as he allowed a two-out game-tying homer for the blown save.  Graveman has now given up an earned run in three of his four appearances since returning from the IL after not allowing any earned runs in his first 14 appearances.  We will see if Graveman can settle back in and take control of the Mariners’ job or if this opens up more opportunities for Rafael Montero and Drew Steckenrider.

Hierarchy remains: *Graveman | Montero | Steckenrider.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Cole Sulser (BAL) – Paul Fry has pitched in two straight and three of four.
2. Kyle Crick (PIT) – Richard Rodriguez has also pitched in two straight and three of four.
3. Tyler Duffy (MIN) – Taylor Rogers has pitched in two straight and three of four while Hansel Robles has gone in two straight.
4. Drew Steckenrider (SEA) – Kendall Graveman has pitched in two straight, including the blown save yesterday while Rafael Montero has pitched in three of four.
5. Kyle Finnegan (WAS) – Brad Hand has pitched in two straight and three of four, although he only needed one pitch yesterday for the save.
6. Brooks Raley (HOU) – Ryan Pressly and Ryne Stanek have both gone in two straight.

Monday
1. Devin Williams (MIL) – If Josh Hader pitches today, it will be three straight.
2. Seth Lugo/Miguel Castro (NYM) – The Mets have a doubleheader on Monday and their bullpen has been used a lot recently.
3. Chris Martin (ATL) – The Braves are playing the Mets in that doubleheader.
4. Emilio Pagan (SD) – If Mark Melancon pitches today, it will be two straight and three of four.

Greg Holland and Jake McGee jump to the top of their committees

June 19, 2021

Kansas City Royals — After the Royals had the day off on Thursday, they used Scott Barlow in the 8th and then turned to Greg Holland for the 9th inning on Friday. Holland converted the save for his 4th of the year. This save comes right after he gave up 3 runs and took the loss pitching in the 7th inning on Wednesday, so to see him get this save chance, especially with a rested Josh Staumont, was surprising. Staumont has yet to pitch with a lead since returning from the IL, mostly because the Royals have lost 10 of their last 12, but he’s had a small dip in velocity since the injury as well. Based on last night’s usage, we will shift Holland back to the top of the committee, but Staumont isn’t worth dropping just yet.

Updated hierarchy: *Holland | Staumont | Barlow.
* = closer-by-committee

San Francisco Giants – The Giants committee keeps spinning, with Tyler Rogers taking the 8th inning and Jake McGee getting the 9th. McGee converted for his 14th save on the year. This is the second time this week that Rogers has pitched the 8th ahead of McGee, and in his other appearance, he picked up the clear save himself. It seems like McGee has edged ahead of Rogers in the committee, but they are both likely candidates for saves on any given night. In other news, Dominic Leone pitched a clean 7th inning ahead of them for his 3rd hold of the year and has only given up 1 run in June. That is enough to jump into second in line for the Giants.

Updated hierarchy: *McGee | Rogers | Leone.
* = closer-by-committee


Minnesota Twins — Taylor Rogers took the 8th inning and Hansel Robles got the 9th in a tie game. This left the save opportunity to Tyler Duffey when the Twins took the lead in the 10th. This is pretty much how you would expect the twins to use their pitchers in a tie game. 

Hierarchy remains: *Robles | Rogers | Duffey.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today
1. Carlos Estevez (COL) – Daniel Bard has pitched in back to back and 4 of 5. Estevez has also gone in 3 of 4, but his only pitch last night resulted in a double play. 
2. Josh Staumont (KC) – Greg Holland has pitched in 3 of 4, while Josh Staumont did not pitch in last night’s game. 
3. Seth Lugo (NYM) – Edwin Diaz has thrown in 2 of 3 and 3 of 5, including 20 pitches last night. 

Sunday
1. Cole Sulser/Hunter Harvey (BAL) – Today would be back to back and 3 of 4 for Paul Fry… 
2. Jake Diekman (OAK) – … and Lou Trivino … 
3. Kyle Crick (PIT) – … and Richard Rodriguez…
4. Josh Sborz (TEX) – …and Ian Kennedy…
5. Kyle Finnegan/Tanner Rainey (WAS) – … and Brad Hand and Tanner Rainey. 

Setup men for Blue Jays, Rockies hit IL

June 18, 2021

Toronto Blue Jays — Rafael Dolis was placed on the injured list Thursday with a finger strain. He left Wednesday’s game after just four pitches with “no sensation in his hand.” That doesn’t sound good. 

Updated hierarchy: *Romano | Chatwood | Mayza.
* = closer-by-committee

Colorado Rockies – Mychal Givens has a lower back strain and was placed on the IL on Thursday. 

Updated hierarchy: Bard | Estevez | Kinley.

Cincinnati Reds —  As the Vulture Save Watch predicted, Lucas Sims and most of the top late-inning arms needed a break Thursday. After the Reds surprisingly took a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning, Ryan Hendrix was called into the game for the save chance, but he allowed a walk and a home run to blow it. Amir Garrett was called in to preserve the tie, but his nightmare season continued. He allowed a single and a home run to end it. Garrett allowed five earned runs in 18.1 IP in 2020. In 19.1 IP in 2021, he has already allowed 20 ER for a 9.31 ERA. Yikes! Tejay Antone, meanwhile, will throw a bullpen Friday as he works his way back from the IL. He could be back as early as Sunday. 

Hierarchy remains: *Sims | Hembree | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today

1. Chris Martin (ATL) – Will Smith has pitched in two straight.
2. Carlos Estevez (COL) – Daniel Bard has gone in three of four.

Tomorrow
1. James Karinchak (CLE) – A Friday outing would be four of six for Emmanuel Clase.
2. Heath Hembree (CIN) – Same as above for Lucas Sims. 
3. Zack Britton (NYY) – If he goes Friday, that would be three of four for Aroldis Chapman. 
4. Emilio Pagan (SD) – Mark Melancon threw 30 pitches in a blown save Thursday. If he goes Friday, he would likely need a breather Saturday.
5. Mike Mayers (LAA) – Raisel Iglesias threw 30 pitches in a two-inning save Thursday. He could need rest Saturday if he appears again on Friday. 

Michael Fulmer is back at the top of the Tigers committee

June 17, 2021

Detroit Tigers – With a three-run lead the Tigers used Jose Ciserno in the eighth inning and saved recently activated Michael Fulmer for the ninth inning. It wasn’t the smoothest save for Fulmer, as he gave up two runs off of three hits, but he closed the door for his fifth save of the year. Fulmer was the head of the committee before his IL stint and after last night’s save we’re bumping him back to that spot.

Updated hierarchy: *Fulmer | Cisnero | Soto.
* = closer-by-committee

Texas Rangers — Ian Kennedy was officially activated from the IL yesterday and immediately got the eighth inning. Granted, the Rangers were down by three and he gave up another run, but he is by far the best option the Rangers have out of the bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: Kennedy | Sborz | Martin.

Boston Red Sox – Chalk one up for the Vulture Save Watch; Matt Barnes was unavailable to protect a three-run lead for Boston, so it fell to Adam Ottavino. He gave up a run, but locked down his fourth save of the year. Ottavino is one of the most reliable setup men in the game and has 13 holds to go with his four saves. Even though Matt Barnes has been a bit shaky in the last couple weeks, there is no reason to think Ottavino is taking his job. 

Hierarchy remains: Barnes | Ottavino | Taylor.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today

1. Heath Hembree/Amir Garrett/Sean Doolittle (CIN)Lucas Sims has pitched in two straight and three of four. Both Hembree and Garrett got last night off after three straight days of work, but they may also get today off.
2. Nick Wittrgren/Bryan Shaw (CLE) – This one requires a little explanation. Emmanuel Clase has pitched in three straight, but so has James Karinchak. Bryan Shaw has thrown in three of four, including 27 pitches last night. Wittgren hasn’t been great, but he is the best rested option for Cleveland. 
3. Zack Britton (NYY) – Aroldis Chapman has pitched in two straight.

Tomorrow
1. Pete Fairbanks/JP Feyereisen (TB) – Today would be back-to-back and three of four for any of the top arms in Tampa. The casino wheel is spinning…