August 31, 2016
Houston Astros — Luke Gregerson is back and got the call in the eighth inning in his second appearance following an extended absence. Gregerson allowed a solo home run, but otherwise protected what became a two-run lead. With Will Harris having pitched the seventh, it appears as if Gregerson is once again the eighth-inning guy in Houston.
Updated hierarchy: Giles | Gregerson | Harris.
Atlanta Braves – Arodys Vizcaino will head back to the disabled list due to inflamation in his throwing shoulder. The Braves did get good news, though, as Shae Simmons will finally rejoin the roster. It’s been 25 months since Simmons has thrown a pitch in the majors, so don’t necessarily expect him to be immediately thrown into a high-leverage situation. However, Simmons did pitch well during his rehab stint in Triple-A, so we expect to see him get some looks in the late innings during the final month of the season.
Updated hierarchy: Johnson | Cabrera | Simmons.
New York Yankees — Chasen Shreve collected his first career save in a 10-inning win for the Yankees. Meanwhile, Adam Warren’s struggles continued. He was the first pitcher out of a 59-minute rain delay and quickly allowed a run after he gave up a hit to both batters he faced before being pulled. Tyler Clippard, on the other hand, has not allowed a run in his last 11 appearances to lower his ERA to 0.73. Don’t be surprised if Clippard begins to get more chances directly ahead of Dellin Betances.
Updated hierarchy: Betances | Clippard | Warren.
Boston Red Sox — Prior to Tuesday’s game, John Farrell anointed Clay Buchholz as his eighth-inning guy, unless three righties are due up. In that case, Brad Ziegler – who was unavailable Tuesday with the flu – will get the call. Buchholz immediately got thrust into a high-leverage spot, but allowed a solo home run to break a 3-3 tie. It was his only blemish, and Buchholz is still a lot better than any other options in a beleaguered Sox ‘pen that is closer to getting some help in the form of Koji Uehara. When available, Ziegler should still get any save opportunities that don’t go to Craig Kimbrel, but expect Buchholz to protect more eighth-inning leads as the calendar turns to September.
Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Ziegler | Buchholz.
Cleveland Indians – Cody Allen threw 37 pitches on Monday, so as predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Andrew Miller picked up the save on Tuesday night. He remains a reliable option in the ninth inning should Allen either falter or need a night off.
Hierarchy remains: *Allen | Miller | Shaw.
* = closer-by-committee
St. Louis Cardinals — Kevin Siegrist got the eighth and Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth in a tie game, and when the Cardinals took the lead in the top of the 10th, Mike Matheny opted to not run Oh out for another inning. Instead, he turned to Matt Bowman, who proceeded to record just one out. Lefty specialist Zach Duke then came in to get the final two outs and record the save.
Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Carlos Torres, Milwaukee Brewers — Both Tyler Thornburg (42 pitches) and Corey Knebel (53) have been busy over the last two days.
2. Steve Cishek, Seattle Mariners — Edwin Diaz was asked to get a six-out save on Tuesday, and while he got through the eighth, he failed to record an out in the ninth and finished with 34 pitches. He may get a night off.
3. Shawn Kelley, Washington Nationals — Mark Melancon has pitched in five of six.