Casilla and Rivero record saves

October 4, 2015

San Francisco Giants — Santiago Casilla recorded his 38th save of the season last night, and also reached 55 games finished.  As a result, his 2016 option vested and he will earn an additional $1 million next year.

Hierarchy remains: Casilla | Romo | Strickland.

Oakland A’s — Felix Doubront pitched a scoreless bottom of the thirteenth inning to pick up the save yesterday.  Sean Doolittle and Ryan Dull were unavailable.  Doubront has been a starter most of the season, including his previous six appearances, and does not factor into the A’s regular late inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: *Doolittle | Dull | Pomeranz.
* = closer-by-committee

Washington Nationals — Felipe Rivero struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning yesterday to record his second save of the season.  Rivero has impressed in converting both of his save chances since the Papelbon fiasco and the rookie should play an important role in the Nationals bullpen next year.

Hierarchy remains: *Rivero | Treinen | Thornton.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Keone Kela, Texas Rangers
Shawn Tolleson and Sam Dyson have both pitched in five straight games.
2. Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals – Wade Davis has pitched in two straight and three of four.
3. Brett Cecil/Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays – Roberto Osuna has pitched in two straight, including a 26 pitch blown save yesterday.

Greg Holland out for 2016; Matt Albers finishing strong

October 3, 2015

Chicago White Sox – Matt Albers got the 8th inning ahead of David Robertson on Friday night, pitching a clean frame to earn his 6th hold and lower his ERA to 1.21. Nate Jones, meanwhile, hasn’t pitched in over a week.

Updated hierarchy: Robertson | Albers | Jones.

Kansas City Royals – Greg Holland underwent a successful Tommy John surgery; he will miss all of 2016. Adjust Wade Davis’s dynasty value accordingly — he’s now one of the top stoppers to own going into next season.

Hierarchy remains: Davis | Herrera | Madson.

Texas Rangers – Sam Dyson has been one of the best relievers in baseball since joining the Texas bullpen, and on Friday, he pitched his third straight game ahead of closer Shawn Tolleson. He’ll be the 8th inning man for the Rangers in the playoffs.

Updated hierarchy: Tolleson | Dyson | Kela.

1. Keone Kela, Texas Rangers – Shawn Tolleson and Sam Dyson have both pitched in four straight games.
2. Tyler Clippard, New York Mets – The Mets and Nats have a double header today.
3. Blake Treinen/Matt Thornton, Washington Nationals – See above.

Dellin Betances and Luis Garcia head a bumper crop of save vultures

October 2, 2015

Washington Nationals — Felipe Rivero grabbed the first save chance for the post-Papelbon Nationals, delivering two perfect innings and earning praise from Matt Williams. Meanwhile, Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer have honored Papelbon with a new handshake, and Nats fans are pledging thousands of dollars to charity if the team cuts their ex-closer and eats his $11 million 2016 option.

Updated hierarchy: *Rivero | Treinen | Thornton.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Wade Davis had a sore back on Thursday, so Ned Yost went with Ryan Madson for the save on Thursday night.

Hierarchy remains: Davis | Herrera | Madson.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Daniel Hudson had pitched on three of the last four days, allowing rookie Silvino Bracho to grab his first major league save this season to go with his 16 for the Mobile BayBears (whose mascots can appear at your function!) and three for the Visalia Rawhide (home of Mustache Appreciation Night).

Updated hierarchy: Ziegler | Hudson | Bracho.

New York Yankees — Dellin Betances nailed down the Yankees’ 10,000th win as a franchise, securing a wild card berth. Andrew Miller needed the night off after a two-inning outing on Wednesday.

Hierarchy remains: Miller | Betances | Wilson.

San Diego Padres — Shawn Kelley is at full strength again and pitched the seventh in front of Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel on Thursday.

Updated hierarchy: Kimbrel | Benoit | Kelley.

Philadelphia Phillies — As we predicted, Ken Giles got a day off and Luis Garcia grabbed the save against the Mets on Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: Giles | Garcia | Hinojosa.

1. Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks — Brad Ziegler remains on paternity leave.
2. Xavier Cedeno, Tampa Bay Rays — Brad Boxberger has pitched in three straight games.
3. Keone Kela, Texas Rangers — Kela won’t be used in consecutive games, but he’s had a few days off and Shawn Tolleson has gone in three straight.
4. Ryan Madson/Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals — Wade Davis might need another day off.

Joe Smith is back; Brad Ziegler becomes a dad

October 1, 2015

Los Angeles Angels – Eleven days after spraining his ankle, Joe Smith was back on Wednesday to pitch the final out of the 9th inning. The Angels had already given up the lead, but seeing Smith back has to be encouraging for a team that lost their primary closer and setup man in the span of a week. Manager Mike Scioscia said that Smith will be used “somewhere in the back end” going forward. With the Angels only a half game back of the wild card, Smith could very well be the closer for the last four games of the season. While there has been no official announcement that he will close going forward, and he is not yet 100% healthy after rushing back from the ankle injury, he is by far the best option out of the Angels bullpen and he should be picked up immediately if you are chasing those last few saves of the season.

Updated hierarchy: *Smith | Gott | Morin.
* = closer-by-committee 

Arizona Diamondbacks – Congratulations are in order to Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler. Not only does he have a major league leading 27 saves in a row, but he is also celebrating the birth of his daughter. However, this means that he is not currently with the team, so last night’s save went to Daniel Hudson. Chip Hale is unsure when Ziegler will be back, but with Arizona already eliminated from playoff contention, its possible he will be given the rest of the year off. If Ziegler is with the team, then his 1.90 ERA and 29 saves are clearly the top option; however, if you are chasing saves, look at Daniel Hudson, who could vulture any opportunities in the last few games.

Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Hudson | Delgado.

1. Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks  – Brad Ziegler is still with his new daughter.
2. Trevor Gott, Los Angeles Angels – Joe Smith may need another warm-up inning after returning from injury yesterday.
3. Dellin Betances, New York Yankees -Andrew Miller threw 38 pitches yesterday, and will likely get a day off, even with the Yankees not quite having locked up a playoff spot.
4. Luis Garcia, Philadelphia Phillies – Ken Giles has pitched back-to-back games and three of the last four. With the Phillies playing well to end the season, and the Mets looking forward to the playoffs, it may be Garcia who gets a save opportunity today.
5. Edwin Jackson, Atlanta Braves – Arodys Vizcaino has pitched in back to back games and three of the last four.
6. Nate Jones, Chicago White Sox – David Robertson has pitched two straight tilts, including a 20-pitch loss last night.

Matt Albers impressing down the stretch

September 30, 2015

Chicago White Sox — Matt Albers has quietly put together a streak of 21.1 scoreless innings since Aug. 5, which is the longest active streak in baseball. He earned his fourth hold in as many appearances on Tuesday, and has now moved ahead of Zach Duke.

Updated Hierarchy: Robertson | Jones | Albers.

Philadelphia Phillies — While Ken Giles is the only Philadelphia reliever worth having in your lineup at this point, if you’re looking for a couple extra holds this week, Dalier Hinojosa may be an option. A September call-up, Hinojosa has a 1.29 ERA this month, and has lowered his overall ERA to just 0.90 thanks to six straight scoreless appearances. Meanwhile, Jeanmar Gomez has entered a game with his team ahead since Sept. 12.

Updated hierarchy: Giles | Garcia | Hinojosa.

1. Joakim Soria, Pittsburgh Pirates  – The Pirates and Cardinals play a doubleheader, so Mark Melancon may not pitch both games….
2. Kevin Siegrist, St. Louis Cardinals – …and the same goes for Trevor Rosenthal.
3. Darren O’Day, Baltimore Orioles – The O’s have a doubleheader as well, and Zach Britton has recently dealt with a sore lat.
4. Aaron Sanchez/Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays face Baltimore twice on Wednesday with a chance to clinch the division.
5. Bryan Shaw, Cleveland IndiansThe Tribe and the Twins will play two on Wednesday.
6. Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins – See above.