A.J. Puk, Zach Jackson the frontrunners for saves in Oakland

June 22, 2022

Oakland A’s – The A’s placed Dany Jimenez on the IL yesterday with a shoulder injury, though an MRI showed no structural damage. Manager Mark Kotsay mentioned A.J. Puk and Zach Jackson as options to fill in for Jimenez.

Updated hierarchy: *Puk | Jackson | Acevedo.
* = closer-by-committee

Boston Red Sox – Both Tanner Houck and John Schreiber had pitched in two straight games and faithful readers of the Vulture Save Watch were nearly rewarded when Matt Strahm entered the ninth to protect a 5-3 lead. However, Strahm gave up a leadoff homer, and after the lefty retired the next two hitters, manager Alex Cora wisely went to Schreiber for a third straight game to face Javier Baez. Baez singled, but Schreiber got Miguel Cabrera to ground out to end the game. Houck and Schreiber have cemented themselves as the top two relievers for the Red Sox.

Hierarchy remains: Houck | Schreiber | Strahm.

Seattle Mariners — For the first time since Sept. 15, 2020, Ken Giles pitched in an MLB game. Giles, who missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery and all of this season thanks to a tendon strain in his middle finger, tossed a perfect ninth inning on Tuesday in an 8-2 win. Scott Servais doesn’t plan to immediately use Giles in high-leverage situations, so we’ll keep Giles off this hierarchy for now.

Hierarchy remains: *Sewald | Castillo | Muñoz.
* = closer-by-committee

San Francisco Giants — Dominic Leone earned his fifth hold of June (and ninth overall) with a scoreless eighth inning on Tuesday night, while Tyler Rogers earned the win last night after entering in the fifth inning.

Updated hierarchy: Doval | McGee | Leone.

Tampa Bay Rays – Colin Poche gave up a two-run homer but still managed to pick up his fifth save of the season on Tuesday, with Jason Adam getting the final two outs of the eighth in relief of Brooks Raley, which is exactly how we have them ordered on our hierarchy. The Rays have only recorded four saves this month, with Poche earning three of them, including each of the last two.

Hierarchy remains: *Poche | Adam | Raley.
* = closer-by-committee

Washington Nationals – Since he vultured a save on June 6, Steve Cishek has just one hold, and that came on June 10. Carl Edwards Jr., meanwhile, hasn’t allowed a hit over his last four appearances, picking up a pair of holds in the process. That includes a scoreless eighth inning in Tuesday’s 3-0 win.

Updated hierarchy: Rainey | Finnegan | Edwards Jr.

Kansas City Royals – Scott Barlow allowed a game-tying three-run homer to Shohei Ohtani in the ninth, which paved the way for Daniel Mengden to earn the save in the 12th, his first save since 2019.

Updated hierarchy: Barlow | Staumont | Clarke.


1. Jake McGee (SF) – Camilo Doval has pitched in two straight and four of five.
2. Josh Staumont/Taylor Clarke (KC) – Scott Barlow has gone back-to-back and three of four, while Staumont has also pitched in two straight.
3. Genesis Cabrera (STL) – Ryan Helsely (31 pitches) and Giovanny Gallegos (22 pitches) both threw two innings on Tuesday.
4. Nabil Crismatt (SD) – Both Taylor Rogers and Luis Garcia have pitched in two straight.
5. Joe Kelly (CHW) – The same is true of Kendall Graveman.

1. Eli Morgan/Trevor Stephan (CLE) – If Emmanuel Clase and Morgan pitch today that will be two straight and three of four. A Wednesday appearance for Stephan would be two in a row for him as well.
2. Anthony Bass/Steven Okert (MIA) – If Tanner Scott pitches today, that will be two straight and three of four, while Anthony Bass will have gone in three straight if he appears today.