September 30, 2023
Boston Red Sox — The Red Sox announced after last night’s game that Kenley Jansen will be shut down for the season, saying after not pitching for several weeks it wouldn’t be fair to him. This led to Garret Whitlock getting a 2 inning save last night. This means that Josh Winckowski will likely be in line for any save chance today, and Whitlock has a chance at a save on Sunday. John Schreiber fills out the end of the year hierarchy for the Red Sox, who have already started looking to next year.
Updated hierarchy: Winckowski | Whitlock | Schreiber.
Minnesota Twins — With a 1 run lead the Twins turned to Emilio Pagan in the 9th inning. He converted for his first save on the season. Pagan isn’t likely to be in line for any more saves this year, as he is slated to start today’s game, but the Twins will likely take it easy with the back end of their bullpen as they have locked in their playoff position already.
Hierarchy remains: Duran | Jax | Pagan.
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds kept their playoff hopes alive with a 19-2 thrashing of the Cardinals last night. Having secured the game early they gave the ball to rookie Carson Spiers who pitched 3 clean innings for his first career save. Spiers doesn’t usually factor into the late innings plans, and with the Reds needing to win their last 2 games to have any chance to sneak into the post-season expect them to lean heavily on Diaz this weekend.
Hierarchy remains: Diaz | Gibaut | Sims.
Miami Marlins — Tanner Scott locked up his 11th save on the year last night, but the most important news out of Miami is that they will finish their game against the Mets which was suspended on Thursday as long as it matters for playoff seeding. It could be a play-in inning if things break the wrong way this weekend, but may only be to determine where Miami will be traveling to. Miami had just taken a 1 run lead in the top of the 9th inning, meaning Monday’s resumption will almost certainly be a save situation, If your league counts it (and you need one hero save), pay attention to Tanner Scott’s usage. If Scott pitches today and tomorrow he will have gone 3 in a row, opening the door for a vulture save on Monday.
Hierarchy remains: Scott | Nardi | Robertson
Chicago Cubs – Adbert Alzolay was activated from the IL on Friday and pitched a clean 8th inning with the Cubs down 1. He is immediately the top choice for the Cubs, who have fallen apart in the last week of the season. Although he should get any save chance that pops up, the Cubs may be in desperation mode and bring him out earlier than the 9th if the situation warrants it.
Updated hierarchy: Alzolay | Merryweather | Cuas.
Vulture Save Watch:
- Aaron Bummer (CHW) — Bryan Shaw has pitched 3 in a row.
- Trevor Stephan (CLE) — Emmanual Clase has pitched in 2 of 3.
- Luis Garcia (SD) — The entire San Diego hierarchy has pitched in 2 of 3, and with the Padres being eliminated last night, they could all see rest this weekend.
- Bryan Abreu (HOU) — Today would be back to back and 3 of 4 for Ryan Pressly
- Carmen Mlodzinski (PIT) — Today would be 3 of 5 for David Bednar.
Aside from normal workload vulture saves, many teams have nothing to play for and may rest normal hierarchy options. The teams that can still affect their playoff seeding, and are likely to deploy their bullpens normally are:
- Texas Rangers
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Houston Astros
- Seattle Mariners
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Miami Marlins
- Cincinnati Reds
- Chicago Cubs