Tommy Hunter could lose his job; Mets and A’s closing by committee

May 14, 2014

Baltimore Orioles — After an overturned call on a Rajai Davis steal, Tommy Hunter blew his second straight save and boasts a 21.60 ERA over his last four appearances. Hunter has allowed 29 baserunners in his 15 IP so far this year, and the cries to replace him are getting louder. Buck Showalter is speaking in generalities thus far: “You’re alert to it, you keep an eye on it. And if there’s some adjustments that need to be made, we’ll make them . . . we’ll constantly see what gives us the best option to pitch nine innings and be competitive and continue to be in first place. And that’s what we’ll do.” Here’s a link to his postgame news conference.

Tommy Hunter to Hot Seat. Hierarchy remains: Hunter | Britton | O’Day.

New York Mets — If you woke up this morning wishing for another ill-defined closer committee, you owe Terry Collins a thank-you note. Kyle Farnsworth is the putative head of a motley crew that also includes Jose Valverde, Jeurys Familia, and Daisuke Matsuzaka — although Dice-K’s 3.2 IP on Tuesday are likely to keep him on the sidelines for a few days. Jenrry Mejia is not yet a candidate to close, according to Collins, but his “swing-and-miss stuff” could change that quickly going forward. As committees go, this one is more Aging than Intelligence.

Hierarchy remains: Farnsworth | Familia | Mejia.

Oakland A’s — Bob Melvin renewed Oakland’s commitment to a closer committee on Tuesday, noting that Sean Doolittle’s value with men on base can sometimes keep him from finishing close games. That acknowledgment suggests to us that Johnson still has a slight edge in the saves race going forward, but it’s anything but a full-throated endorsement.

Hierarchy remains: Johnson |  Doolittle | Gregerson.

New York Yankees — Shawn Kelley was placed on the DL with a lower back injury, retroactive to May 7; this will force Joe Girardi to lean on Adam Warren and Dellin Betances even more.

Hierarchy change: Robertson | Warren | Betances.

Chicago White Sox — Hope you didn’t run out and buy that Frank Francisco White Sox jersey. In his second appearance of the year, he gave up three runs to Oakland, raising his ERA to 13.50. Meanwhile, Matt Lindstrom, who’s supposed to be the class of this outfit, pitched the eighth inning down nine runs and got tagged for two more.  No hierarchy change.

Hierarchy change: Lindstrom | Belisario | Webb.

Los Angeles Angels — Although Joe Smith set up Ernesto Frieri for Tuesday night’s save, it was actually Smith who faced the tougher part of the Phillies lineup. Either man could see a save on a given night.

Hierarchy remains: Frieri | Smith | Kohn.

1. Brett Cecil/Steve Delabar, Toronto Blue Jays — Casey Janssen, fresh from a DL stint for a back injury, has pitched in two straight games.
2. Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians — Allen and Bryan Shaw may share save chances.
3. Anthony Bass, Houston Astros — Chad Qualls has been more effective as of late, but Anthony Bass could get a 9th inning chance at any time.
4. Brandon Kintzler, Milwaukee Brewers — K-Rod has been a workhorse this year, but if he gets a day off after pitching three of the last four days, Kintzler is the best-rested alternative.