Junichi Tazawa will close after Koji Uehara injury

August 7, 2015

Boston Red Sox – On the last pitch of the night, Koji Uehara was drilled in the right arm by a line drive and was walked off the field by a trainer. He still converted the save, as he was able to make the play at first, but given how much pain he was in, he’s likely to miss some time, meaning Junichi Tazawa will likely handle the closer role until Uehara is healthy again.

UPDATE: Uehara reportedly does not have a broken bone. Continue to check back for updates.

Updated hierarchy: Tazawa | Ross | Ogando.

Jonathan Broxton impressing in St. Louis; Will Harris grabs a save

August 7, 2015

St. Louis Cardinals — Normally, managers tend to avoid using relief pitchers with ERAs north of 5.00. But they also tend to use pitchers with that invaluable “closing experience,” no matter how well (or poorly) they’re pitching. Jonathan Broxton fits into both categories, and he’s been used in high-leverage situations since he joined the first-place Cardinals before the trade deadline. Broxton picked up his first hold with St. Louis on Thursday, entering the game with a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning. Earlier this week, he pitched in the seventh and eighth of two separate tie games, a sign that he has quickly earned the trust of manager Mike Matheny.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton.

Houston Astros — After Luke Gregerson choked with a two-run lead in the ninth, Will Harris came in and picked up his first career save in the tenth — even though Pat Neshek and Josh Fields were each available. Harris has a 1.28 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP and, given Gregerson’s fairly average numbers, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on how Harris is used going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Gregerson | Neshek | Fields.

Atlanta Braves — Congratulations are in order for Arodys Vizcaino, who picked up his first career save Thursday. Armed with a 0.71 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, Vizcaino will get the bulk of the Braves’ save chances for the rest of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Vizcaino | McKirahan | Aardsma.

1. Kevin Siegrist, St. Louis Cardinals
— We know Trevor Rosenthal is a horse, but every stallion in the stable needs its rest. If that’s the case for Rosenthal, who threw 21 pitches yesterday after throwing 16 on Wednesday, then Siegrist would likely get the call Friday night.
2. Bruce Rondon, Detroit Tigers — While Alex Wilson appears to be the choice in Detroit, the situation is still a bit in flux. Keep an eye on Rondon in an otherwise weak bullpen.