Jumbo Diaz highlights Ohio’s bullpen troubles

April 30, 2015

Cincinnati Reds – Jumbo Diaz had another tough outing on Wednesday, highlighted by a Ryan Braun grand slam that put the game out of reach. Diaz didn’t blow a lead, as he entered the eighth inning with the Reds down a run, but he did run his ERA to a bloated 9.72. Tony Cingrani has been the Reds’ best pitcher ahead of Aroldis Chapman this season, and despite manager Bryan Price’s confidence in Diaz, it’s hard to ignore Cingrani’s success.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Cingrani | Diaz.

Cleveland Indians – Zach McAllister entered the seventh with a two-run lead and struck out three in two innings to earn his first hold of the season. The Cleveland bullpen has struggled mightily this season and it may be due to a heavy workload. If manager Terry Francona wishes to rest guys more often, pitchers like McAllister may see more hold opportunities. This may also mean that both Bryan Shaw and Nick Hagadone see time in the eighth, but time will ultimately tell.

Hierarchy remains: Allen | Shaw | Hagadone.

Tampa Bay Rays –Ernesto Frieri picked up the save in a 13-inning game after committee colleagues Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger had already pitched.

Hierarchy remains: *Boxberger | Jepsen | Frieri.
* closer-by-committee

1. Danny Farquhar, Seattle Mariners — Fernando Rodney has pitched in four consecutive games.
2. Joba Chamberlain, Detroit Tigers — Joakim Soria has a save in four of the last five games and he threw 27 pitches on Wednesday.

Brett Cecil collects first save; Edward Mujica struggles

April 29, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays –After being named the Blue Jays’ closer early Tuesday, Brett Cecil picked up his first save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Cecil | Osuna | Loup.

Boston Red Sox –Not only was Edward Mujica awful on Tuesday, but he was awful in the fourth inning. He balked twice and allowed three runs. Even though Junichi Tazawa has now allowed a home run in each of his last two appearances, he’s been the only decent option out of the Sox ‘pen in front of Uehara this season. Mujica may be designated for assignment thanks to zero saves, zero holds and a 6.30 ERA.

Updated hierarchy: Uehara | Tazawa | Ogando.

New York Yankees –Don’t Panic, Yankees fans. In a game that seemed to move at the Speed of Sound under A Sky Full of Stars, Chris Martin made sure there was no ninth-inning Trouble and recorded his first career save. Both Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances had pitched in back-to-back games.

Hierarchy remains: Miller | Betances | Martin.

Miami Marlins — After a horrible outing on Monday and a sleepless night, Steve Cishek bounced back Tuesday to pick up just his second save of the season. He says his velocity is down “a tick” but that he “starts slowly during the first month of the season”. As April turns into May, Cishek owners hope he can pick up speed and avoid the Hot Seat.

Hierarchy remains: Cishek | Ramos | Dunn.

1. A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins — Steve Cishek has pitched in three straight and four out of five.
2. Danny Farquhar, Seattle Mariners — Fernando Rodney has thrown in three consecutive games.
3. Pedro Baez/Chris Hatcher, Los Angeles Dodgers –It could be anybody on any given night in LA.

John Axford gets the first post-Ottavino save chance for Colorado

April 28, 2015

Colorado Rockies — As we told you last night, John Axford was first in line to get a save opportunity with Adam Ottavino headed to the disabled list. Rafael Betancourt could also get some chances, but if you must ride with a Rockies closer, the Ax Man is the choice. And we’re sorry.

Updated hierarchy: Axford | Betancourt | Logan.

Miami Marlins — Steve Cishek coughed up three runs in the ninth inning on Monday, ruining Jarrod Cosart’s spectacular start. After the game, Cosart had his teammate’s back, reminding the media how effective Cishek has been in his relatively short career as a closer. With A.J. Ramos pitching lights-out in a setup role, however, Miami won’t stick with Cishek forever, especially given his atrocious trend line. Expect to see him discussed on the Hot Seat this week.

Hierarchy remains: Cishek | Ramos | Dunn.

Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays’ bullpen fell apart late against the Red Sox last night; Roberto Osuna gave up the tying run in the eighth, and Miguel Castro surrendered a walk-off single in the ninth. After the game, John Gibbons said that Brett Cecil would have gotten the save opportunity, had one arisen, although he still has full confidence in Castro. It’s anybody’s guess who will have the edge going forward, but we’ll edge Cecil to the front of what clearly remains a committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Cecil | Castro | Osuna.

Kansas City Royals — Even with Greg Holland’s injury, the Royals have had the best bullpen in the majors this season — and a substantial part of that has been the work of Ryan Madson, out of baseball since 2011 with a series of arm injuries and not even expected to make the Opening Day roster. Madson now has 11 strikeouts in eight appearances, and will continue to get important innings for Kansas City.

Updated hierarchy: Davis | Herrera | Madson.

New York Yankees — Another great outing for Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. In 19.2 innings, the two have now allowed no earned runs and eight hits, while striking out 32.

Hierarchy remains: Miller | Betances | Martin.

1. Joba Chamberlain, Detroit Tigers
— Joakim Soria has gone in three straight.
2. Edward Mujica, Boston Red Sox
 — 40-year-old Koji Uehara has pitched on three of the last four days.
3. A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins — Steve Cishek has pitched in three out of four.
4. Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays — As noted above, Cecil would have gotten the save chance last night.
5. Pedro Baez/Chris Hatcher, Los Angeles Dodgers — Yimi Garcia was called on in the eighth on Monday. Things are still in flux in the late innings in LA.