August 25, 2016
Miami Marlins — It wasn’t a huge surprise when Don Mattingly called on Fernando Rodney in a save situation on Wednesday, and it certainly didn’t shock anyone when Rodney loaded the bases, then managed to escape. But it was unusual when the manager suggested he might leave Rodney in the closer role down the stretch, in part to take advantage of A.J. Ramos’s ability to pitch “multiple innings.” The team hasn’t made an official announcement — and might never do so — but we’re going to call it a committee at this point, with Rodney taking the first chair. Ramos stays in the lead for next year, though; Rodney’s 2017 team option is on the rise, due to incentives for appearances and games finished.
Updated hierarchy: *Rodney | Ramos | Barraclough.
* = closer-by-committee
Arizona Diamondbacks — Gifted a four-run lead in the ninth, the least bad option in Arizona’s bullpen (Enrique Burgos) gave up a home run, two walks, and an RBI single. Randall Delgado and Daniel Hudson had already pitched, and Jake Barrett threw 22 pitches on Monday and Tuesday, so Dominic Leone dragged his 7.91 ERA and 2.28 WHIP out to the mound for the inevitable blown save. Hudson hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 games — although his last four appearances have been a combined 16 pitches — so he could get the next Arizona save opportunity. Have at him, masochists.
Updated hierarchy: *Hudson | Delgado | Barrett.
* = closer-by-committee
Kansas City Royals — While the Royals extended their bullpen’s scoreless innings streak to 34.2, Wade Davis pitched a scoreless rehab inning in 102-degree Arizona heat.
Hierarchy remains: Herrera | Soria | Strahm.
Boston Red Sox — Overrated reliever Jonathan Papelbon evidently has a standing offer to return to the Red Sox. If Papelbon wants a chance to help out the Rangers or Indians in the playoffs, he’ll have to sign with Boston by the end of this month.
Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Ziegler | Barnes.
Baltimore Orioles — Freakin’ Zach Britton gave up an earned run on Wednesday night, just like he did on April 30. What a bum.
Hierarchy remains: Britton | Brach | Givens.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Jake Barrett, Arizona Diamondbacks — If Arizona doesn’t give Hudson the next shot at blowing a save, it could well be Barrett again.
2. Xavier Cedeno, Tampa Bay Rays — Alex Colome has pitched in three of four.
3. Adam Liberatore/Pedro Baez, Los Angeles Dodgers — So has Kenley Jansen. Joe Blanton is also tired (two straight, 42 pitches).