July 5, 2022
Chicago White Sox – Liam Hendriks is back from the IL and looked very sharp as he mowed down the Twins in the 8th inning, striking out the side on 14 pitches. Look for him to slot right back into his spot atop the White Sox hierarchy.
Updated hierarchy: Hendriks | Graveman | Kelly.
Boston Red Sox – John Schreiber got the final two outs of the top of the 8th in a 2-run game, and after the Red Sox added two more runs in the bottom half, he stayed on to collect his third save of the season. His ERA now sits at 0.66 on the season.
Hierarchy remains: Houck | Schreiber | Strahm.
Tampa Bay Rays – Colin Poche, ostensibly the leader of the Rays committee, hasn’t pitched in nearly two weeks. No word on whether his absence is injury-related, but we’ll monitor this situation and will alert if an IL stint is needed.
Hierarchy remains: *Poche | Adam | Raley.
* = closer-by-committee
Arizona Diamondbacks – Ian Kennedy was placed on the IL with a calf injury, meaning Joe Mantiply will handle 8th inning duties ahead of Mark Melancon. Sean Poppen got a 6th inning hold yesterday ahead of these two, so we’ll slot him in at 2nd in line.
Updated hierarchy: Melancon | Mantiply | Poppen.
New York Mets – Rather than use Edwin Diaz three times in four days, Buck Showalter decided to give his closer the night off, sending Seth Lugo out for the 9th inning in a three-run game against the Reds. Lugo converted for his third save, and this usage along with Drew Smith’s recent struggles prompts a move back to handcuff status on the hierarchy.
Updated hierarchy: Diaz | Lugo | Smith.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Yency Almonte picked up a one-out save after Reyes Moronta, staked with a four-run lead in the 9th, got in trouble. The Dodgers will continue to mix and match in the late innings with Craig Kimbrel day-to-day.
Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Graterol | Phillips.
Atlanta Braves – Will Smith picked up his fifth save of the season — and third since June 29, during which AJ Minter has one — so he bumps to the top of this hierarchy, which awaits Kenley Jansen’s return. Also, Tyler Matzek was activated from the IL, and we’ll tentatively slot him in at 2nd in line and see how the Braves deploy him. Also, while we’re uncertain how to efficiently research this, we suspect this could be the first all-lefty hierarchy in Closer Monkey’s 12-year history.
Updated hierarchy: *Smith | Minter | Matzek.
* = closer-by-committee
Miami Marlins – Monday morning. 7 a.m. The alarm blares. Ugh. Forgot to switch it off. Head is absolutely throbbing. Mouth tastes like whiskey and pavement. At least there’s no work today, thank God. You roll over and grab the phone. It’s too bright, but you squint and absentmindedly scroll over to the gram. It’s her. Smiling. On a boat. With her new boyfriend. Great. Well, enough of that. Over to the box scores. Hey. Look. Dylan Floro got a save. Ha. That darn Monkey did it again. A quick smile before you drift back off, and when you wake up again, the morning update is out. Look at that — Floro’s on the Vulture Save Watch for a second straight day. Heh, well, he’s already on the roster, despite the 5+ ERA. What’s one more day? Noon rolls around. You head to the barbecue. The burgers are overcooked. There are too many kids, as always. Brynne falls off the swing and is screeching. Of course. Ugh. You sneak inside during the commotion and head to the liquor cabinet. The whiskey flows. At least it’s just a short drive back. The party mercifully ends. Back home, the couch beckons. Head is swimming, but plenty of daylight left. Fall asleep now and work won’t be so bad in the morning. One more check of the box scores. Ha. No way. Another save for Floro. What a world. You drift off thinking that the guy she’s with is ugly, anyway.
Updated hierarchy: Scott | Bass | Floro.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. AJ Minter – After a 35-pitch outing for Will Smith (who has thrown a total of 57 over the last three days), it’s Minter’s turn for a save chance tonight.
2. Devin Williams/Trevor Gott – Josh Hader has gone back to back (54 pitches), as has Devin Williams (39 pitches) and Brad Boxberger (46 pitches). Hader and Box should be down, but outside chance that Williams will go three straight. If not, we like Trevor Gott for the save chance.
3. Rowan Wick – David Robertson, who blew a save yesterday, has gone in three of the last four.
4. Dylan Coleman – Scott Barlow has gone back to back and three of four.
5. Carl Edwards Jr. – Tanner Rainey and Kyle Finnegan have gone back to back.
1. Felix Bautista/Dillon Tate – If Jorge Lopez or Felix Bautista go today, it’s back to back and four of five.
2. Michael Fulmer – Gregory Soto threw 27 pitches yesterday; if he goes again today, he’s likely down on Wednesday.
3. Kendall Graveman – If Liam Hendriks goes today, it’s back to back, and we figure it’s unlikely that Tony La Russa pitches him three straight immediately after activating him.