Opening Day presents us with first vulture save of 2018

March 30, 2018

San Francisco Giants – Closer Mark Melancon was placed on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his forearm. Manager Bruce Bochy said he hopes Melancon will be back in a couple of weeks, calling that scenario “realistic.” In his stead, Hunter Strickland tossed a scoreless ninth inning in a tight 1-0 win over the Dodgers. He’ll continue to get the ball in Melancon’s absence.

Updated hierarchy: Strickland | Watson | Dyson.

St. Louis Cardinals – Greg Holland has finally found a home. He signed a one-year deal worth $14 million on Opening Day with St. Louis. He wasn’t available for Thursday’s game (there was no save situation anyway, as the Cardinals lost 9-4), but he’s expected to step in and close in short order, as he has been training at the Scott Boras facility. Meanwhile, impressive rookie Jordan Hicks made his major league debut, tossing a clean inning while throwing harder (101.6) than Mets starter Noah Syndergaard did. He’s a name to watch this year in the Cardinals bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Leone | Lyons.

Cincinnati Reds – Closer Raisel Iglesias is opening the season on the three-day paternity list and is expected to be out through the weekend. Setup man David Hernandez was also placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, leaving the Reds ‘pen in some disarray. Iglesias will be back early next week, but in the meantime, expect Manager Bryan Price to play the matchups, with Jared Hughes and Wandy Peralta possibly getting looks. Avoid this bullpen situation for now, if you can.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Peralta.

Milwaukee Brewers – Game No. 1 of 162 already presented us with the first vulture save of the season! Jacob Barnes did the honors for the Brewers, shutting down the Padres in the 12th inning after closer Corey Knebel blew the save in the ninth, giving up the game-tying run. Don’t worry Knebel owners, he’s locked in as the closer.

Hierarchy remains: Knebel | Barnes | Hader.

1. Liam Hendriks – Blake Treinen and Yusmiero Petit each threw 25 pitches over two innings of work in Oakland’s extra-innings win over the Angels. Yes, we know it’s one game, but they may not want to overwork their closer, Treinen, too early.
2. Jared Hughes – Raisel Iglesias is out for the weekend on paternity leave, and someone will need to close games. Expect Jared Hughes to get the first crack, should the opportunity arise this weekend.