Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer1st in line2nd in line2023 CloserUpdated
CIN*Art WarrenAlexis DiazTony SantillanArt Warren5/26/22
(IL)Lucas Sims

* = closer-by-committee

Previous updates:

May 26, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – Well, the Reds used their hierarchy in our prescribed order on Wednesday: Tony Santillan to Alexis Diaz to Art Warren. Only problem is that left the ninth inning for Hunter Strickland, the fourth member of the closer committee. It’s possible that Strickland entered to be the designated plunker after some Rowan Wick-Joey Votto drama in the previous half-inning. Whatever the explanation, this remains the absolute last team you want to roster a reliever from.

Hierarchy remains: *Warren | Diaz | Santillan.
* = closer-by-committee

May 20, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – Soon after earning his first save in impressive fashion, Alexis Diaz hit a bit of a speed bump on Thursday. Pitching to start the eighth with a 4-1 lead, Diaz allowed two walks and a hit, yielding one earned run. Enter Tony Santillan, who recorded the final five outs to get his second save. For the second straight year, no one has grabbed a firm hold of the Reds’ closer gig… at least not yet.

Hierarchy remains: *Warren | Diaz | Santillan.
* = closer-by-committee

May 18, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – After Art Warren blew a save chance in the ninth, the Reds regained the lead in the 10th and set the stage for Alexis Diaz to earn his first MLB save. Diaz struck out the first two batters he faced, then walked two straight before recording another strikeout to end the game. Diaz has been terrific this year and has certainly earned the trust of his manager. We expect him to continue to see high-leverage looks and likely challenge for more save opportunities, even when Lucas Sims returns from the IL.

Updated hierarchy: *Warren | Diaz | Santillan.
* = closer-by-committee

May 13, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – The 8-win Reds won’t get many save chances (though they have won five of seven), but if Thursday’s usage is any indication, we could be looking at a few chances for Art Warren while Lucas Sims is on the IL. Warren pitched a scoreless ninth inning Thursday with a four-run lead. Warren hasn’t been great (6.55 ERA, 1.73 WHIP), but he’s not alone in the Reds bullpen in that regard. We expect Tony Santillan (6.97 ERA, 1.65 WHIP) and possibly Hunter Strickland (6.59 ERA, 2.05 WHIP) to back him up, but keep an eye on Jeff Hoffman (1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) and Alexis Diaz, the brother of Mets closer Edwin Diaz who has a 0.59 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 15.1 IP. It should also be noted that Luis Cessa (3.68 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) was the only reliever besides Warren to pitch on Thursday, a rare game in which they had a late-inning lead), notching 1.2 IP to earn his second hold.

Updated hierarchy: *Warren | Santillan | Strickland.
* = closer-by-committee

May 12, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – Lucas Sims has been placed on the IL with back spasms. Look for Art Warren and Tony Santillan to lead a committee in his absence.

Updated hierarchy: *Warren | Santillan | Strickland.
* = closer-by-committee

April 25, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds aren’t likely to win much this year, but that might actually make their reliever usage more streamlined, and it’s possible that Sunday’s usage gave us some insight into how they’d like to do things going forward. Tony Santillan got the 7th inning, Art Warren got the 8th, and the recently-activated Lucas Sims got the 9th; all had scoreless outings. We’ll align the committee to that usage accordingly, with the caveat that there wasn’t much postgame discussion about the bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Warren | Santillan.
* = closer-by-committee

April 23, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds activated Lucas Sims from the IL on Friday after a rehab assignment. Sims was the likely to lead the Cincinnati committee before his IL stint, and will probably jump right back into the late inning mix. Sims was a dependable option in the second half last year, and is worth a speculative add as he could run away with the job. All of this is dependent on the Reds actually having a lead to protect though.

Updated Hierarchy: *Santillan, Warren, Sims
* = closer-by-committee 

April 15, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – It was a bit of a nightmare for committee leader Tony Santillan on Thursday, when he was roughed up for three runs in just a third of an inning on 22 pitches. The outing ballooned his ERA to 7.36. We won’t overreact in swapping Art Warren and Santillan in the hierarchy, but look for Warren, who did not pitch Thursday, to get the next shot.

Hierarchy remains: *Santillan | Warren | Strickland.
* = closer-by-committee

April 11, 2022
Cincinnati Reds – Art Warren picked up the save on Sunday after Luis Cessa and Tony Santillan combined to quickly and effectively keep the Braves scoreless in the 6th through 8th innings. That’s one save each for Santillan and Warren, who appear to be the top two arms for saves in this bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: *Santillan | Warren | Strickland.
* = closer-by-committee

April 8, 2022

Cincinnati Reds – With the Reds, we have another situation that’s hard not to overreact to one game into the season. With the injury to Lucas Sims it was hard to forecast who would be in line for saves. Enter Tony Santillan, who impressed as a reliever late last year (just 2 ER in 19 innings across August and September with 24 Ks) and was overlooked by most prognosticators this spring. On Opening Day, Santillan struck out two in a clean ninth inning to earn his first save. Hunter Strickland and Art Warren did not appear in this game. Santillan has a chance to steal this role before Sims has a chance to claim it back when healthy.


Updated hierarchy: *Santillan | Strickland | Warren.
* = closer-by-committee


March 24, 2022

Cincinnati Reds – The Reds sold off the core of a team that was a playoff contender for much of 2021, and that includes major parts of their bullpen. Amir Garrett and Mychal Givens are gone, while Lucas Sims won’t be ready for the start of the season. Sims is probably worth taking a chance on, as he was one of the best options the Reds had last year. Until he is ready to come back the Reds will go with a committee to start the year, including some combination of the recently-signed Hunter Strickland, Art Warren, Luis Cessa, and Justin Wilson. Of those options, Strickland and Wilson have closing experience, though it was Warren who put together the best 2021, and who definitely has the potential to be a full time 9th inning option. Another name to watch is Dauri Moreta, who has dominated hitters on his way to the majors, and looked very good as a September call up. If he breaks camp with the team he may quickly find himself on the hierarchy. 

Starting 2022 hierarchy: *Strickland | Warren | Cessa.
* = closer-by-committee
Holds candidates: Warren | Cessa | Hoffman.

September 18, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Vulture Save Watch readers will remember that Michael Lorenzen was the best-rested option in the Cincinnati hierarchy on Friday. Sure enough, he got called on to protect a three-run lead, earning his fourth save of the year. Mychal Givens got the night off and should be ready to go for the rest of the weekend. 

Hierarchy remains: Givens | Lorenzen | Sims.

August 26, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Tejay Antone is indeed back on the IL, with forearm tightness and what the Reds fear might be another extended absence and possible surgery. Best wishes to Antone for a quick recovery.

Hierarchy remains: Givens | Lorenzen | Sims.

August 25, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – It was a rough night for the entire Reds bullpen, but we feel especially bad for Tejay Antone. After working to finally be activated after a lengthy IL stint, Antone called for a trainer after just five pitches and had to leave the game. David Bell said that Antone definitely felt something in his elbow and that they’ll learn more tomorrow.

Hierarchy remains: Givens | Lorenzen | Sims.

August 23, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen picked up his third save of the year on Sunday, just like the Vulture Save Watch said he would. Mychal Givens should be back in action for the next save chance.

Hierarchy remains: Givens | Lorenzen | Sims.

August 22, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Mychal Givens was used in a non-save situation in the 8th inning yesterday, but he quickly turned it into a save situation.  Givens recorded one out while walking two batters and giving up a double.  Michael Lorenzen came on and had a very interesting outing en route to picking up his second save of the season.  Lorenzen allowed a run-scoring single on his first pitch but then got an inning-ending double play on his second pitch.  Lorenzen came back out for the 9th and proceeded to strike out the first batter on four pitches, gave up a single on his fifth pitch of the inning, and then got another inning-ending double play on his sixth pitch.  Lorenzen ended up getting five outs, including a strikeout, on eight pitches while also giving up two hits.  It was a strangely efficient outing for Lorenzen and certainly caught the Monkey’s eye.

Hierarchy remains: Givens | Lorenzen | Sims.

August 18, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds designated Heath Hembree for assignment on Tuesday. David Bell also announced that if all goes well during Tejay Antone’s rehab outings this week, Antone could rejoin the Reds next Tuesday.

Updated hierarchy: Givens | Lorenzen | Sims.

August 16, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Mychal Givens recorded his third save for the Reds on Sunday, and has now received (and converted) every Cincinnati save chance since he joined the team. We’re removing his asterisk.

Updated hierarchy: Givens | Hembree | Lorenzen.

August 12, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — In his second appearance back from injury, Lucas Sims got a save chance in the eleventh inning and got two-thirds of the way there before giving up a walk-off home run. Sims faced a hard road back to the hierarchy and this isn’t going to help matters.

Hierarchy remains: *Givens | Hembree | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 9, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Mychal Givens got his second save in four days, both on occasions where Heath Hembree was seemingly available. Despite spending most of the year in Colorado, Givens has put up a 2.27 ERA. While his peripherals suggest that his low ERA has been due in part to good fortune, Cincinnati looks to continue using him in high-leverage spots or perhaps as their full-time stopper. We’re moving Givens up to the top of this committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Givens | Hembree | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 8, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Reds manager David Bell says there is a “good chance” that Lucas Sims will be activated from the IL today.  Sims was the main option for saves out of the Reds bullpen before he got injured but a lot has changed since then.  We think the Reds will likely ease Sims back into high leverage spots given the other options they have at this point, but since nobody has run away with the closer’s job while he was out, Sims could quickly move back up to the top if he can pitch well.  

Hierarchy remains: *Hembree | Givens | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 6, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Reds gonna Rays. Say what? Mychal Givens on Thursday became the 10th Reds pitcher to record a save this year, just two shy of the record set in last year’s shortened season by Tampa Bay. The Rays have only had eight such relievers with a save in 2021. Saves leader Heath Hembree (eight) has struggled as of late, so we’ll keep a close eye on the situation to see if Givens seizes the role. Meanwhile, Tejay Antone is expected to begin a rehab assignment in the next day or two. 

Hierarchy remains: *Hembree | Givens | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 5, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — As foretold by the Vulture Save Watch, it was Michael Lorenzen who earned the five-out save with Heath Hembree and Mychal Givens resting. 

Hierarchy remains: *Hembree | Givens | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 4, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Heath Hembree blew the save on Tuesday and has now allowed a run in each of his last four outings. Meanwhile, Mychal Givens has pitched the eighth inning in all four of his appearances since joining the Reds, earning three straight holds. Michael Lorenzen has been sharp this season and has also earned a hold in each of his last three appearances. We’ll shift the hierarchy to the way it went tonight, but with Hembree struggling, Givens and Lorenzen surging, and Lucas Sims due back soon, the closer’s role seems to be up for grabs. One pitcher who won’t be grabbing that role soon is Tejay Antone, however, as he isn’t expected back until the end of the month.

Updated hierarchy: *Hembree | Givens | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

July 30, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Cincinnati has quietly been plugging bullpen holes lately, acquiring Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson from the Yankees and Mychal Givens from the Rockies. It remains to be seen who will find his way to save chances in this crowded bullpen (even with Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims injured), so we’ll leave the hierarchy as is, for now.

Hierarchy remains: Hembree | Brach | Garrett.

July 21, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds continued to deploy their relievers in the toughest spots on Tuesday, as Brad Brach entered the seventh with two runners on and pitched out of the jam. That set the stage for Heath Hembree to get the eighth with the Mets’ 4-5-6 hitters due up. Hembree gave up a run but kept the Reds in front to allow Amir Garrett to come on and work around a leadoff walk to pick up his seventh save of the season. Hembree had consistently been getting the ninth inning prior to Tuesday and should still be the favorite for save chances, but we’ll keep an eye on this to see if the asterisk needs to return.

Hierarchy remains: Hembree | Brach | Garrett.

July 17, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds bullpen got some good news with the return of Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen has missed the entire year with a right shoulder strain, but looked solid in his rehab assignment and could find himself on the hierarchy soon. Lorenzen will have to earn his way into the hierarchy, but he will have a couple of weeks to prove himself before the rest of the reinforcements arrive. Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims are both on track for an early August return, just in time to see whether the Reds are making a playoff push. The Reds will have to decide soon whether they are buyers or sellers, so we will be paying close attention to this bullpen in the next couple of weeks. 

Hierarchy remains: Hembree | Brach | Garrett.

July 12, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – With Heath Hembree unavailable, the Reds pieced their way through the late innings, ultimately landing on lefty Josh Osich for the 9th. Osich converted for his first save of the season, and is off to a nice start since joining the Reds in late June.

Hierarchy remains: Hembree | Brach | Garrett.

July 10, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Heath Hembree pitched a clean 9th inning last night to pick up his 5th save of the year, and 4th in the last 8 days. Hembree has been the 9th inning option whenever he has been available, with the only other save in this time going to Amir Garrett after Hembree had pitched back-to-back days. This is enough to kick the asterisk in this committee, but check the vulture save watch as he may need a rest today. 

Hierarchy remains: Hembree | Brach | Garrett.

July 8, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Although Brad Brach is consistently getting matchup-based high-leverage work, he’s not getting save chances in Cincinnati. Those are going most frequently — four opportunities in six days, with three converted — to Heath Hembree and his new slider. We’ll adjust accordingly.

Updated hierarchy: *Hembree | Brach | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

July 5, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – After eight straight scoreless outings, Amir Garrett was rewarded with a save opportunity on Sunday, and he converted, retiring the last two hitters around a walk for his 6th save. Brad Brach was brought in for the 3-4-5 hitters in the 8th, and pitched a strong 1.1 innings ahead of Garrett, so he’s still at the top of this committee, but we’ll move Garrett up a spot in light of his recent success.

Updated hierarchy: *Brach | Garrett | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

July 4, 2021
Cincinnati Reds —  As the Vulture Save Watch predicted, Brad Brach and Amir Garrett got the day off yesterday and that left Heath Hembree for the 9th inning.  Hembree struck out a pair in a scoreless inning for his third save of the season and second in two nights.  We still think Brach is the best option out of the Reds’ bullpen right now but if Hembree gets the next save chance, we will likely make a move since it’s not always a team’s best reliever who gets the ninth inning and this could be one of those situations.

Updated hierarchy: *Brach | Hembree | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

July 3, 2021
Cincinnati Reds —  With a one-run lead, the Reds gave the ball to Amir Garrett in the seventh. He got the first two outs, but with the heart of the order coming up, in came Brad Brach. He got out of the seventh, then pitched a perfect eighth, leaving the ninth for Heath Hembree, who converted for his second save. The Reds are solidly in a committee, but Brach continues to see the highest-leverage work, even if that’s in the seventh or eighth innings. 

Hierarchy remains: *Brach | Garrett | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 27, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — With the Reds up 3-0 heading into the 8th inning, Brad Bach came on to face the 2-3-4 hitters in the Braves lineup.   Brach struggled a little bit, allowing a run on a pair of walks and a hit, but he was able to keep the Reds in front 3-1.  That left Amir Garrett for the 9th inning and he was able to finish off the win with a strikeout of Freddie Freeman to pick up his fifth save of the season.  Since Brach got the heart of the order in the 8th, we will leave him at the top of the committee for now but Amir Garrett converting the save and riding a modest 5 appearance scoreless streak could allow him to jump Brach if he can keep it up.

Updated hierarchy: *Brach | Garrett | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 26, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Tejay Antone is headed back to the IL with a right forearm strain. By process of elimination, Brad Brach has worked his way to the top of the Reds’ committee. Amir Garrett (8.06 ERA, 7.18 FIP) is another (not-great) option, along with Heath Hembree, Art Warren, and Sean Doolittle. 

Updated hierarchy: *Brach | Garrett | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 25, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – With Lucas Sims on the injured list and likely out of action for a month, the Reds turned to Amir Garrett and Tejay Antone, as expected, in the late innings. Neither arm earned the save, though. Old friend Brad Brach was David Bell’s man on Thursday, recording his first save since 2018. Brach said after the game he’s “ready for any situation,” so perhaps more looks are coming his way. Let’s place him in the hierarchy and we can see where this goes. 

Updated hierarchy: *Antone | Brach | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 24, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Lucas Sims was placed on the IL today with a right elbow injury. The recently returned Tejay Antone becomes the leader for saves in Cincinnati.

Updated hierarchy: *Antone | Garrett | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 23, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Activated prior to Tuesday’s game, Tejay Antone immediately got called upon to protect a two-run lead in the eighth after Lucas Sims allowed a homer, single and double. Antone’s second pitch after coming off the IL resulted in a game-tying double, but he recovered to retire the next two hitters and get out of the frame. When the Reds took the lead in the top of the ninth, Amir Garrett came to face the lefty-heavy top of the Twins order and earn the save.

Hierarchy remains: *Sims | Antone | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 22, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Tejay Antone was activated from the IL this morning and should reclaim a high-leverage position in Cincinnati’s committee. Given how short he was out, it should be safe to get him back into your lineup right away.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Antone | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 18, 2021
Cincinnati Reds —  As the Vulture Save Watch predicted, Lucas Sims and most of the top late-inning arms needed a break Thursday. After the Reds surprisingly took a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning, Ryan Hendrix was called into the game for the save chance, but he allowed a walk and a home run to blow it. Amir Garrett was called in to preserve the tie, but his nightmare season continued. He allowed a single and a home run to end it. Garrett allowed five earned runs in 18.1 IP in 2020. In 19.1 IP in 2021, he has already allowed 20 ER for a 9.31 ERA. Yikes! Tejay Antone, meanwhile, will throw a bullpen Friday as he works his way back from the IL. He could be back as early as Sunday.

Hierarchy remains: *Sims | Hembree | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 16, 2021
Cincinnati Reds —  It looked like Heath Hembree was going to earn a 10th-inning save on Tuesday, but after recording the first two outs of the frame he had to settle for a 31-pitch hold. Amir Garrett finished the job, striking out the only batter he faced to collect his third save of the season. Lucas Sims threw a scoreless ninth inning to get the game to extras. Garrett now has four straight scoreless appearances to his credit and has earned a spot back on the Cincinnati hierarchy, at least until Tejay Antone returns this weekend.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Hembree | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 12, 2021
Cincinnati Reds —  As we hinted at yesterday, the Reds placed Tejay Antone on the IL with right forearm inflammation. David Bell believes Antone will return as soon as eligible, which would be June 19. This solidifies Lucas Sims as the top option in the Reds bullpen for at least the next week.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Hembree | Doolittle.
* = closer-by-committee

June 11, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Even though he hasn’t pitched since Sunday, Tejay Antone was unavailable Thursday against the Brewers, according to manager David Bell. Bell didn’t give a reason except to say he’d wait until Friday to give an update. We’ll keep an eye on this today, but you should already have Lucas Sims, who might see a larger share of the save chances if Antone misses time or moves to the rotation.

Hierarchy remains: *Sims | Antone | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 6, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Lucas Sims struck out two and worked around a pair of hits to pick up his 5th save of the season yesterday. Tejay Antone pitched a scoreless 8th inning ahead of Sims.  Antone has continued his stellar season (he has not allowed an earned run over his last 15.2 innings), but he only has two saves in that time.  Meanwhile, Sims has recorded a save in four of his past five appearances, and it looks like he has moved ahead of Antone as a source of saves for the Reds.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Antone | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 5, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — With Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims both resting after 30+ pitch outings on Thursday, the Reds turned a 5 run lead over to Heath Hembree. He gave up a pair of runs so Sean Doolittle came on to put out the fire, but only made it worse, failing to record an out over his 3 batters. This left Michael Feliz, who started the year with the Pirates, to face Paul Goldschmidt with the tying run on first. 3 swinging strikes later and Feliz had secured the first save of his career. Feliz has been mostly relegated to mop-up duty this season, but another performance in a high-pressure spot like last night, and he could crack the hierarchy.

Hierarchy remains: *Antone | Sims | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

June 4, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds got length from two of their committee members on Thursday, as Tejay Antone tossed scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh before Lucas Sims spinned scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth for his fourth save. This bullpen remains very fluid, as Antone will likely be called upon whenever manager David Bell likes the matchups and not necessarily at the end of every close game. Things could get even more fluid when Michael Lorenzen, who hasn’t played yet this season, returns. He was hoping to secure a rotation spot but will pitch out of the ‘pen when he gets back, Bell said.

Hierarchy remains: *Antone | Sims | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

May 31, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Tejay Antone finally rewarded fantasy owners with a save on Sunday. With the tying run on deck in a 5-1 game, Antone recorded the final out of the eighth inning and then stayed in for a 1-2-3 ninth to record his third save of the season. Antone remains the Reds’ best reliever, it’s just a matter of where in the game David Bell needs to use him.

Hierarchy remains: *Antone | Sims | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

May 28, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — With a three-run lead in their second game of the day, the Reds gave the ball to Lucas Sims, who pitched a perfect seventh inning to earn his third save of the year. Sims was arguably the best-rested of Cincinnati’s top options, as Tejay Antone had thrown 33 pitches over 2.2 innings on Wednesday while Sims threw only four. Antone certainly has the best stuff in this bullpen, so he will remain on top for now, but manager David Bell seems happy to use any combination of his best arms to finish games.

Hierarchy remains: *Antone | Sims | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

May 26, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Tejay Antone entered the sixth inning to face the Nationals’ No. 3 hitter with a runner on first. Antone induced an inning-ending double play and then stayed on to pitch the seventh and eighth, striking out three in the process. With two lefties and a switch hitter due up in the ninth, Amir Garrett, looking for his first save since April 9, came on to face the 2-3-4 hitters with a 2-0 lead and allowed a solo homer between a pair of outs. Lucas Sims then got the call for the final out of the contest and he delivered to earn his second save of the season. Tuesday made it clear that while Antone is the team’s best reliever, David Bell will often use him early in games over multiple innings just to get to the ninth, where he’ll then play matchups.

Hierarchy remains: *Antone | Sims | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

May 16, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Tejay Antone pitched the 8th and 9th innings of a tie game yesterday and responded with two perfect innings.  Since allowing 4 runs on May 2nd, Antone has responded with 5.1 hitless innings, striking out 8.  Lucas Sims got the extra-innings save opportunity in the 11th inning, but he could not convert.  After the Reds took the lead again in the top of 12th, it was Heath Hembree who got the call and picked up his first save of the season.  Hembree has yet to allow an earned run in 9.1 innings so far this season.  We are going to shake things up based on yesterday’s usage and recent results and switch Anotone to head of the committee and slide Hembree into 2nd in line.

Updated hierarchy: *Antone | Sims | Hembree.
* = closer-by-committee

May 1, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds started the ninth with a four-run lead; after the first two batters reached base, they went to Lucas Sims. Sims got two quick outs, but was wild the whole time, throwing a wild pitch and walking three. Tejay Antone came on with the bases loaded, getting the last out on three pitches for the first save of his career. While Sims’s final two walks could easily have been called strikeouts, you have to trust the umpire who saw interference here to get it right. While Sims might have gotten screwed out of a save last night, its hard to deny that Antone has earned a chance. We expect him to be a candidate for saves going forward.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Antone | Doolittle.
* = closer-by-committee

April 28, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — Sean Doolittle came through in a big way for the Reds on Tuesday, throwing a perfect ninth inning to record his first save since game one of the 2019 World Series. Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone both threw a lot of pitches on Monday and Amir Garrett can’t be trusted right now, so no surprise that Doolittle got the call. Antone is the best reliever the Reds have at the moment, but it remains to be seen how consistently he’ll pitch the eighth and ninth innings, or if he’ll eventually move to the rotation. He’s certainly worth rostering given his numbers, that’s for sure.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Doolittle | Antone.
* = closer-by-committee

April 23, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — On the other side of a wild game, Lucas Sims and Sean Doolittle did not have good showings. Doolitte was tagged for two runs on two hits and three walks, while Sims was hit with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on two hits and a walk. It should be noted that Sims preserved the tie game in the ninth inning and only allowed the extra innings runner to score on a single in the 10th.  However, after Sims put a couple more runners on with a single and a walk, he departed with a 9-8 deficit in favor of Cionel Perez.  Perez did not do Sims any favors as he let everyone in and then some after allowing a triple and home run.  Amir Garrett did not pitch, but he hasn’t been so hot either this season (16.20 ERA, 3.20 WHIP). We think when he’s rested, Sims might get the next save chance, but after a 26-pitch outing Thursday, perhaps Garrett gets another crack on Friday.

Hierarchy remains: *Sims | Doolittle | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

April 22, 2021
Cincinnati Reds — As of Wednesday afternoon, Amir Garrett still had David Bell’s confidence — but that was before a three-run meltdown to blow a Reds victory and run his ERA to 16.20. After the game, Bell doubled down — but we  still don’t think there’s any way he can justify giving Garrett the next save chance, not with Lucas Sims and Sean Doolittle pitching effectively.

Updated hierarchy: *Sims | Doolittle | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

April 13, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – Lucas Sims picked up a 1-out save on Monday, entering with a runner on and two out with the Reds up by 3. This is the first indication that Cincinnati may actually use something of a committee, as all the other consequential 9th innings had gone to Amir Garrett thus far. We’ll keep the hierarchy as is and continue to monitor this situation going forward.

Hierarchy remains: *Garrett | Sims | Doolittle.
* = closer-by-committee

April 1, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds will not name a closer to start the season but mentioned Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims as options, along with Sean Doolittle.  We will leave Garrett at the top but move Sims to first in line ahead of Doolittle and slap the committee tag on there for now.

Updated hierarchy: *Garrett | Sims | Doolittle.
* = closer-by-committee

March 5, 2021
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds traded closer Raisel Iglesias and lost Archie Bradley to free agency leaving a hole at the back end of their bullpen. Amir Garrett has already voiced his claim to the closers job, he will have some competition from new acquisition Sean Doolittle and converted starter Lucas Sims. While we think that Garrett has the inside track due to his experience in Cincinnati already, this situation is far from settled and David Bell has already hinted that he may not have a set closer. Behind the top three arms, the Reds have Noe Ramirez, who as a part of the Iglesias trade, and has showed some flashes of strikeout potential. They also signed Cam Bedrosian who had been an effective reliever for the Angels for the past 4 years.

Starting 2021 hierarchy: Garrett | Doolittle | Sims
Holds candidates: Doolittle, Sims, Ramirez, Bedrosian.

September 23, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds designated Nate Jones for assignment. Amir Garrett should factor in the late innings as the Reds contend for a playoff spot.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Bradley | Garrett.

September 16, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – Amir Garrett picked up the save for a tired Reds bullpen on Tuesday, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, noted reader of the Vulture Save Watch.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Bradley | Jones.

September 2, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – David Bell confirmed that Raisel Iglesias will remain the Reds’ closer and that newly acquired Archie Bradley will be next in line if Iglesias is unavailable.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Bradley | Jones.

August 31, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds acquired Archie Bradley from Arizona. Bradley gives Cincinnati another option for the ninth inning in case Raisel Iglesias needs some rest or loses the job outright.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Bradley | Jones.

August 21, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Strop threw to live hitters on Wednesday and is scheduled to do so again Friday as he continues to recover from an injured groin. If all goes well, he should be activated soon.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Jones | Garrett.

August 12, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Strop landed on the 10-day IL Tuesday with a right groin strain. We immediately got a look at how the Reds will navigate the late innings in Strop’s absence, as Nate Jones faced the top of the order in the seventh inning before Amir Garrett pitched the eighth and gave up a two-run home run that tied the game.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Jones | Garrett.

August 4, 2020
Cincinnati Reds – Nate Jones was on the cusp of closing for several years in Chicago, and after finding a new home in Cincinnati in the offseason, he’s quickly earned the trust of David Bell, who has pitched him ahead of Raisel Iglesias in his last two outings, including in the 8th inning last night.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Strop | Jones.

February 26, 2020
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias feels “more prepared” for 2020 after an up-and-down 2019 campaign in which he saved 34 games but also went 3-12 with a 4.16 ERA. Iglesias didn’t always pitch the ninth inning last year, as manager David Bell wanted to deploy his top arm in the highest-leverage situation possible, even if it came earlier in the game, and that may have had an impact on Iglesias. It remains to be seen if Bell employs that strategy again. After Iglesias, familiar faces Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen will continue to see time in the late innings, as will newcomer Pedro Strop, who signed a one-year deal earlier this month following seven years with the Cubs. Strop was not healthy and not particularly effective in 2019, but if he recaptures what has made him so good in the past, then the Reds will have one of the top bullpens in the division.

Starting 2020 hierarchy: Iglesias | Strop | Garrett.
Holds candidates: Strop, Garrett, Lorenzen.

August 17, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds were on the receiving end of a 13-4 beatdown yesterday, but one silver lining was the second relief appearance of Jose Peraza. Peraza is nominally a second baseman, but pitched a clean ninth inning, throwing 11 straight curveballs according to pitchf/x. This follows his other scoreless appearance, getting a single out in cleanup duty after the Pirates-Reds brawl on July 30. Despite Peraza’s dominance as an emergency option, he is blocked by fellow second baseman Kyle Farmer, who also sports a 0.00 ERA on the year. 

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett | Farmer/Peraza.

August 16, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Jared Hughes was claimed off waivers by the Phillies, ending his tenure in Cincinnati. The Reds then called up highly touted youngster Joel Kuhnel, who has triple-digit heat and “the potential to be a power arm in the back end of the bullpen,” according to manager David Bell.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

August 11, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Sal Romano has made two appearances in the big leagues this year and of course he has two saves.  Romano pitched the last three innings of a Reds’ blowout victory and if you think you can predict the next Reds’ blowout victory, go ahead and pick up Romano right before that game. 

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

August 5, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – David Hernandez picked up a 10th inning save for the Reds on Sunday. Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen were held out, while Amir Garrett had already pitched (and blown the team’s first chance at a save) in the 9th.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

August 2, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — The Pittsburgh/Cincy brawl was largely instigated by relief pitchers, including Amir Garrett, suspended eight games for charging at the Pirates dugout and throwing a haymaker. Jared Hughes picked up a three-game ban for throwing at Starling Marte. Both players appealed their suspensions. When Garrett goes out, you could consider David Hernandez in holds leagues, but we recommend steering clear (12 holds, 6.86 ERA).

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

July 31, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – They say, “Papa didn’t take no mess.” Well neither does Amir Garrett. The Reds reliever put on quite the performance as part of last night’s brawl, and fantasy owners should expect Garrett to face a lengthy suspension once MLB dishes out its punishment. As for Raisel Iglesias, he could certainly still be traded despite the Reds dealing for Trevor Bauer last night, but it seems more likely that he stays now unless a real contender matches the high price tag. 

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

July 28, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias struck out a pair in a perfect ninth inning yesterday for his 18th save of the season.  The Reds are willing to listen to offers for Iglesias so he will be a name to watch as the trade deadline approaches this week.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

July 24, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – While we did have the Reds as part of yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, we unfortunately did not predict Sal Romano’s three-inning save in a 14-6 win. Shame on us.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

July 23, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias couldn’t escape the 8th inning last night, allowing an inherited run to score, plus three more, as the Reds relinquished the lead. They got it back in the top of the 9th, allowing Jared Hughes to convert his first save of the season. Michael Lorenzen and Amir Garrett had already pitched earlier in the night.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

July 21, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Amir Garrett and Raisel Iglesias were both activated yesterday, although Iglesias was stil unavailable yesterday.  Garrett jumped right back in with a couple strikeouts in a scoreless 7th inning and picked up with the win.  With Iglesias out, Michael Lorenzen pitched the final two innings for his sixth save of the season.  Iglesias should be available today.

Updated hierarchy: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

July 20, 2019
Cincinnati RedsTravel issues prevented Amir Garrett from his scheduled rehab appearance on Friday, which means his eventual activation may not come until Sunday. Unfortunately for the Reds, their bullpen had no trouble getting to the stadium on Friday. Raisel Iglesias, placed on the three-day paternity list Wednesday, should be back this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Hughes.
* = closer-by-committee

July 19, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Reliever David Hernandez was placed on the 10-day IL with shoulder fatigue. Amir Garrett will make a minor-league rehab appearance on Friday, and if all goes well, he’ll be activated from the injured list on Saturday or Sunday. And Raisel Iglesias is still on paternity leave, so Michael Lorenzen will be the guy for saves on Friday and possibly this weekend.

Updated hierarchy: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Hughes.
* = closer-by-committee

July 18, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds placed Raisel Iglesias on the three-day paternity list Wednesday. Michael Lorenzen and David Hernandez will be the top options to handle the ninth inning over the next two days. The Reds also got some good news on Wednesday regarding Amir Garrett, who felt good after throwing a live BP session. Garrett could be activated today or be sent on a rehab assignment. Either way, he should be good to go this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Hernandez.
* = closer-by-committee

July 5, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias has been very busy lately, going in four of the last five, but he has looked better. His outing Thursday was his third straight day of work — and his third straight scoreless appearance. He nailed down the save in a tight 1-0 win, his third save in his last five outings. So it appears Iglesias is certainly ahead of Michael Lorenzen now, as we suspected. Amir Garrett, meanwhile, is now on the injured list with a left lat strain. He’s been their best reliever to date, but the Reds will have to turn to David Hernandez and Jared Hughes for increased looks in the late innings.

Updated hierarchy: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Hernandez.
* = closer-by-committee

July 4, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Just when we thought Michael Lorenzen was ascendant in the Reds’ bullpen, the team has turned to Raisel Iglesias for two saves in four days. They’ll likely continue to showcase him if they can to boost his trade value.

Updated hierarchy: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 29, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Michael Lorenzen came on with one out in the eighth inning last night and stuck around for all five of the remaining outs to lock up his fifth save on the year. This is the third straight Reds save for Lorenzen, and while the previous two featured Raisel Iglesias coming into a high-leverage spot, Iglesias was not used last night at all. While we don’t expect the Reds to completely abandon Iglesias as a closing option, Lorenzen has become the best choice to own for the Reds.

Updated hierarchy: *Lorenzen | Iglesias | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 27, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias gave up four runs in a tie game to earn his seventh loss and worsen his woes in non-save situations (5.71 ERA). Counterintuitively, this sort of performance might ultimately strengthen his hold on the Reds’ closer job if it dampens trade interest.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 19, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Well, it happened again. Raisel Iglesias entered a one-run game with one on and one out in the eighth, and struck out two in the heart of the order. With his spot coming up third in the ninth, he was never going to finish the game, so it was Michael Lorenzen with his second save in as many days. In his postgame news conference, manager David Bell said that the eighth inning “was the game” and the team couldn’t afford to save Iglesias for the ninth. Although Bell denied any permanent change in the pecking order, this kind of matchup-based fireman-style swap is enough to get Iglesias the asterisk of uncertainty. Those in desperate need of relief might try the speculative Lorenzen add anyway, in hopes that Iglesias gets traded.

Updated hierarchy: *Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.
* = closer-by-committee

June 18, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds brought Raisel Iglesias on for a 5-out save on Monday night. But after Iglesias finished off the 8th, he walked the first batter in the 9th, then induced a pop out, then was curiously pulled for Michael Lorenzen. The move worked, as Lorenzen got the last two outs for his third save, and after the game, David Bell said that he just thought it was the right move. We’ll elevate Lorenzen on the depth chart and watch to see if this happens again.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Garrett.

May 22, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Amir Garrett struck out three of the four batters he faced during Tuesday’s eighth inning in the Reds’ 3-0 win over the Brewers. Garrett has put together eight straight scoreless appearances in an impressive month of work and should continue to pitch in high-leverage spots.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

May 10, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias picked up his seventh save Thursday — his first since “clearing the air” with manager David Bell after complaining to the media about his usage. Iglesias had said he was being used “horribly wrong,” but on Thursday, Bell said Iglesias would keep “doing what’s best for the team and what’s needed for the team.” Iglesias may continue to see looks in tie games, but he’s also still the team’s undisputed closer.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Lorenzen.

May 2, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias got an expected night off, but Jared Hughes was used in the seventh and eighth, which left Michael Lorenzen to pick up his second save with a clean ninth. Lorenzen is now third on the Reds’ depth chart at both relief pitcher and center field.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Lorenzen.

April 20, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds used Raisel Iglesias and Jared Hughes to get through the tied ninth and tenth innings, so when the Reds scored two in the eleventh, they used Zach Duke and Michael Lorenzen to close things out. Duke retired two, but Fernando Tatis Jr. scored on a walk, two stolen bases, and a groundout. Lorenzen came in and got the last out after a single. Lorenzen has gotten into a lot of games for the Reds — not always as a pitcher — but he’s not in the hierarchy at this point.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

April 19, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias looked more comfortable on the rubber Thursday, striking out the side for his third save. His numbers are still ugly (5.87 ERA, 1.70 WHIP), but this latest outing is encouraging.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

April 16, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – Staked to a 1-run lead in the 9th, Raisel Iglesias walked David Freese on 5 pitches and then gave up a walkoff 2-run homer to Joc Pederson. Iglesias has now surrendered runs in four of his six outings to start the season and should be monitored closely going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

April 11, 2019
Cincinnati Reds — David Hernandez has struggled, allowing runs in his last three appearances and striking out only one batter in five games. On Wednesday, Amir Garrett picked up a win after pitching a scoreless eighth in a tight game, and Raisel Iglesias followed it up with his first save of the year.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

March 29, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – New manager David Bell did promise to use his best reliever (Raisel Iglesias) in the most pivotal situations of the game, even if they come before the ninth inning. That approach can make the closer tough to predict on any given night. Sure enough, Iglesias opened the eighth inning. He allowed a homer but was held in for the ninth, so perhaps a save was in order after all? Not today. After allowing two walks, Iglesias (1.1 IP, 1 ER) was pulled in favor of Amir Garrett and finally David Hernandez, who picked up the one-out save. Jared Hughes, who figured to be first in line behind Iglesias for saves, got the last out of the sixth inning. Because Iglesias appeared to be headed toward a save, we’ll keep him at the top, but this situation is also pretty fluid and bears some watching.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Hernandez.

February 21, 2019
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds bring back closer Raisel Iglesias this season, and his main competition for the role will be first-year manager David Bell. Bell has said that he will use Iglesias in the most important spots in games, whenever that may be. Iglesias boasts solid numbers and job security, which make him a relatively valuable closer even though the Reds aren’t projected to win many games this year. Behind Iglesias the Reds will turn to Jared Hughes, who put together an excellent season in 2018 (1.91 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 78 IP), as the primary setup man. David Hernandez, Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen also return as holds candidates. The Reds added veteran lefty Zach Duke, which may free up Garrett to stretch out as a starter, but it is more likely that they use both lefties situationally, making them good candidates for holds.

Starting 2019 hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Hernandez.
Holds candidates: Hughes, Hernandez, Garrett.

July 30, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – Veteran David Hernandez has been quietly putting together his best season ever, and could potentially be on the move today or tomorrow. Yesterday, he struck out three hitters in a scoreless inning, and while we can’t picture him closing for any contenders, a better squad could mean more holds or vulture save opportunities.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Hernandez.

July 29, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Jared Hughes came on in the 8th inning with the Reds up 2 and got a double play to end the inning.  After the Reds added two runs in the bottom of the 8th to make it a 4 run lead, Hughes came back out to finish the game and record his seventh save of the season.  Closer Raisel Iglesias has been the subject of trade rumors, but with Iglesias under team control through 2021 the Reds will be looking for a big return and it remains to be seen if any teams are willing to pay that price.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

July 28, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Amir Garrett hurt himself covering first base on Friday night, but thankfully for him X-rays were negative and he is just day-to-day with a mild Achilles sprain.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

July 5, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — With Raisel Iglesias coming off three straight days of work, Jared Hughes picked up the vulture save that we expected.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

June 22, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Jared Hughes entered Thursday’s game in a save situation — there were two men on and the tying run was in the on-deck circle. He picked up a strikeout to end the inning, and with the Reds still holding a four-run lead, he stayed on for the ninth, retiring the side in order for his fifth save. Had Raisel Iglesias entered in the ninth, it would not have been a save situation, so Reds manager Jim Riggleman opted to rest his closer.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

June 11, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – After throwing three straight Wednesday through Friday, the Reds elected to give Raisel Iglesias a second straight day off — probably a smart move given his recent return from the DL. In his stead, Jared Hughes pitched the final two innings for the save, his fourth of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

June 2, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Michael Lorenzen pitched the last four innings against the Padres to pick up his first save of the season. He almost maintained his 0.00 ERA, but Billy Hamilton lost a fly ball crashing into the center field wall, allowing Lorenzen’s first two earned runs of the year to score. You know the drill at this point, be the first to prove that you started Lorenzen in your league and you will earn a free year of Closer Monkey Premium!

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

May 31, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — After the minimum 10 days off, Raisel Iglesias returned from the disabled list on Wednesday and picked up right where he left off, earning his ninth save of the season. Joining Iglesias in the Reds bullpen will be the aptly named Homer Bailey (6.68 ERA, 15 HR allowed, $21 million salary). Stay away.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

May 27, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Jared Hughes got his second straight save chance since Raisel Iglesias got hurt, and although he made it very interesting by loading the bases with no outs, he was able to convert.  Hughes should continue to be the primary closer while Iglesias is out, but he has pitched in five of the past seven games and may need some rest.  David Hernandez got the eighth inning hold ahead of Hughes yesterday and could be an option, along with left Amir Garrett, if Hughes is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Hughes | Garrett | Hernandez.

May 25, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Pitching for the third straight day, Jared Hughes got the final two outs of the ninth inning to secure the first save for the Reds since Raisel Iglesias was placed on the disabled list, Hughes’s second overall. Hughes relieved Amir Garrett, who tossed 26 pitches over 1.2 innings. Garrett started the ninth with three lefties due up, but got the hook after allowing a two-run homer. Look for Michael Lorenzen to get the call should the Reds have another late-inning lead Friday, but that’s more because Hughes has been busy — he’s gone in four of the last five — and not because this is a murky committee situation. As we said before, we believe Hughes is the guy to lean on for saves with Iglesias out.

Hierarchy remains: Hughes | Garrett | Lorenzen.

May 24, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — After Raisel Iglesias was placed on the DL with a biceps strain, Jim Riggleman said he would be comfortable using Jared Hughes, Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen, or Wandy Peralta in the closer’s role. We told you we think Hughes will win the job, and we’ll note that he got the bottom of the ninth in a tied game at home, classically a spot for the closer. Another guy worth watching is David Hernandez, who has some closing experience and has been pitching effectively.

Hierarchy remains: Hughes | Garrett | Lorenzen.

May 23, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias has been placed on the 10-day DL. Jared Hughes should take over the closer’s role in the meantime. Michael Lorenzen, who was recalled today, will join Amir Garrett in being the bridge to Hughes.

Updated hierarchy: Hughes | Garrett | Lorenzen.

May 20, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – Amir Garrett picked up his sixth hold on Saturday by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.  He also let out quite a yell after he struck out Javier Baez to end the inning, causing the benches to clear.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

May 13, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – As predicted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Jared Hughes got the save chance after regular closer Raisel Iglesias had pitched in three straight.  Hughes pitched 1.2 perfect innings for his first save of the season.  Iglesias is locked in as the closer, but Hughes has been brilliant recently as he has not allowed a hit or walk in his last three appearances spanning 4.2 innings.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

May 12, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – Amir Garrett picked up a hold last night, pitching five clean outs ahead of Raisel Iglesias. Garrett has been more of a long reliever for the Reds and has been talked about as a starting pitcher for them, but this is his fourth hold on the season and he is the best arm in the Reds bullpen behind Iglesias. This is enough to bring him into the hierarchy, but be aware that he could become a spot starter at any time.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

April 3, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – For the second straight day, Wandy Peralta pitched the 8th inning ahead of Raisel Iglesias. Peralta was one of the more reliable relievers in the Cincinnati pen last year, particularly in the first half of the season, and for now, he looks to be among the relievers who will benefit, holds-wise, until Michael Lorenzen returns.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Peralta.

March 31, 2018
Cincinnati Reds — Amir Garrett pitched a clean seventh inning with two strikeouts last night. Garrett, a would-be starter, has one of the better arms on the rebuilding Reds. On a different team, he might have been relegated to long relief, but given Bryan Price’s habit of using relievers for multiple innings, Garrett could see chances at holds or even vulture saves. Raisel Iglesias followed a similar path to closing for the Reds, so as long as Garrett is in the bullpen, he’s worth keeping an eye on.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Garrett.

March 30, 2018
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.

March 27, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen has a strained right shoulder and will start the season on the DL. While there was talk of moving him to the rotation, the injury likely means he’ll resume his familiar bullpen duties once he returns. In the meantime, look for Jared Hughes and David Hernandez to set up for Raisel Iglesias. Also joining the bullpen: former St. John’s small forward Amir Garrett.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Hughes | Hernandez.

February 28, 2018
Cincinnati Reds – One of the only stable positions on the Reds roster last year was their closer Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias posted 28 of the Reds 33 saves in 2017 and looks to be locked into the 9th inning role again. Behind him, the Reds bring back Wandy Peralta and Michael Lorenzen, who held the primary set up role for the Reds despite fairly mediocre numbers. In the offseason, the Reds looked to add some stability by bringing in David Hernandez and Jared Hughes. Hernandez has some closing experience, but is looking to bounce back from a few below average years. Hughes is throws a heavy sinker, which is a valuable skill in Great American Ballpark. Bryan Price was not afraid to run him out for multiple innings at a time last season, so keep an eye on the vulture save watch for opportunities to stream a few saves.

Starting 2018 hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Hughes.
Holds candidates: Lorenzen, Hughes, Hernandez, Peralta.

September 18, 2017
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias got a second day off after throwing 42 pitches on Friday, so Michael Lorenzen got his second save with a clean 9th inning. He remains Iglesias’s handcuff going into the season’s final two weeks.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Shackelford.

September 17, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Kevin Shackelford almost rewarded Vulture Save Watch followers with a save yesterday as he started the ninth inning with the Reds up two runs.  Shackelford recorded two outs, but also gave up a homerun and a walk, and lefty Cody Reed come on to get the last out and record the save.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Shackelford.

September 16, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Wandy Peralta hasn’t pitched in two weeks, sidelined with a hip injury. Kevin Shackelford, who led the Reds’ AAA affiliate in saves this season, has stepped up in Peralta’s absence with eight straight scoreless appearances.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Shackelford.

August 12, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Rookie lefthander Wandy Peralta has held batters to a .210 average and is seeing high-leverage use for the Reds.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Peralta.

August 1, 2017
Cincinnati Reds – With Tony Cingrani gone, Drew Storen returns to the Cincinnati hierarchy. Storen hasn’t been great lately (4.82 ERA in July), but the Reds aren’t exactly swimming in late-inning options right now.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Storen.

July 2, 2017
Cincinnati Reds – Tony Cingrani pitched a perfect seventh inning to pick up his fourth hold of the season.  Cingrani has been pitching well since coming off the DL in early June and appears to replaced Drew Storen in the Reds late inning bullpen plans.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Cingrani.

May 23, 2017
Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen got the 8th inning ahead of Raisel Iglesias on Monday, and has only allowed 1 run in his last 12.1 IPs. Drew Storen has been solid on the season as well, though less consistent in May (5 ERs in 7 IPs), and his last six appearances have come with the Reds either losing or tied. It’s possible he’s still Iglesias’s handcuff, given his prior closing experience, but for now, we’ll give the nod to Lorenzen.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Storen.

May 7, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Robert Stephenson pitched three scoreless innings to finish off a Reds’ blowout win, and he recorded his first career save in the process.  We don’t know if it’s more surprising that Stephenson got the save or that he didn’t give up a run (he had given up at least one run in six of his first seven appearances this season), but needless to say, he won’t factor into the Reds’ normal late inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.

May 5, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias garnered his fifth save in as many tries Thursday, and may be emerging as the clear leader of the Reds bullpen. He has for more saves than anyone else on the team (Michael Lorenzen had a save three weeks ago and Drew Storen picked one up in the third game of the year) and his numbers are impressive: 1.10 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 19 Ks in 16.1 IP.  We’ll remove the asterisk for the time being, but be prepared for Bryan Price to potentially use Iglesias for multiple innings and in the highest-leverage spot no matter the inning.

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.

April 16, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — On Saturday, Michael Lorenzen became the third Reds’ reliever to record a save this season.  Lorenzen was coming off a rough outing on Friday where he allowed four runs, but was able to bounce back yesterday to pick up his first career save.  Raisel Iglesias pitched two innings earlier in the game, and ended up with the win, while Drew Storen got the last out of the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth ahead of Lorenzen.  The Reds will continue to use Iglesias, Storen, and Lorenzen for saves as long as it continues to work.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

April 15, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Reds manager Bryan Price promised to try something different with his bullpen — using relievers for multiple innings at a time — and thus far it has paid off. His reluctance to use relievers on back-to-back days (only Wandy Peralta and Blake Wood have gone in two straight) can help you out with extra vulture saves and holds if you pay close attention.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

April 7, 2017
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias got the night off Thursday after throwing 21 pitches Wednesday. With a comfortable three-run lead in the ninth Thursday, the Reds opted to bring in Drew Storen, who recorded his first save of the season. Iglesias is still the committee’s lead in Cincy (for now), and will pitch if the situation calls for it Friday.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

March 22, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — Presumed committee head Raisel Iglesias was scratched from a Saturday appearance with back problems and a stiff elbow. Bryan Price claims that the issues are minor, but any missed time for Iglesias will be a boon for Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen, and Tony Cingrani.

Hierarchy remains: *Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

March 1, 2017
Cincinnati Reds — The worst bullpen in MLB never did find a consistent closer last year, and Bryan Price has already announced that they’ll start out in a committee. Price also wants to use his relievers for multiple innings at a time in a reboot of an older strategy. If you’re up for a gamble, though, Raisel Iglesias is your best bet. Iglesias finished 2016 as the de facto closer and filled that role in his Cuban career as well. Another option is top offseason signee Drew Storen, who has stated openly that he wants the job. Converted starter Michael Lorenzen will also serve in the committee, while Tony Cingrani could see action based on matchups, but is a stronger candidate for LOOGY holds.

Starting 2017 hierarchy: *Iglesias | Storen | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee
Holds candidates: Storen, Lorenzen, Cingrani, Blake Wood.

September 26, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Save opportunities are few and far between in Cincinnati, but if there are any to be had in the season’s final week, it’s a good bet that Raisel Iglesias will be the recipient. Iglesias has converted the last two Cincinnati saves (yesterday and Sept. 12 — told you they were pretty infrequent) and has pitched much better than Tony Cingrani, who has struggled down the stretch.

Updated hierarchy: *Iglesias | Cingrani | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

September 13, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias pitched the 8th and 9th innings last night and picked up a save in a 3-0 game, his third of the year. The Reds are one of the worst teams in baseball this year, and teams with nothing to lose often test people out at the end of the year. We still expect Tony Cingrani to get the majority of chances, but don’t be surprised when he gets a rest.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 20, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Seventh-inning man Michael Lorenzen returned from bereavement leave on Friday following the death of his father. Lorenzen escaped a bit of a jam in the seventh, hit his first career home run off a 97 MPH fastball, and then finished the night off with a scoreless eighth. MVP.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 19, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — The Vulture Save Watch correctly predicted a night off for Tony Cingrani, who had pitched in two straight and three of the last four. Raisel Iglesias did the honors for the Reds on Thursday, pitching a clean ninth to collect his second save.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 13, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Keyvius Sampson gave up half of a six-run lead in the ninth, so the Reds turned to Raisel Iglesias to get the final out. While this wasn’t a save opportunity, it’s a spot that typically goes to the closer — and Tony Cingrani, who seemed to have that role, hasn’t pitched since a five-run meltdown on Monday. The Reds love Iglesias’s stuff, but have been cautious with him, keeping him out of back-to-back games because of his shoulder injury. The team is considering some different bullpen ideas, including an old-school “fireman” approach where they alternate multi-inning appearances among several of their top arms, like Cingrani, Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, and Blake Wood. The possibility warrants a return to the committee asterisk in Cincy.

Updated hierarchy: *Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.
* = closer-by-committee

August 10, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias earned his first career save on Tuesday night, just as the Vulture Save Watch predicted. It probably won’t be his last this season, as not only does Iglesias want the job, but manager Bryan Price seemed comfortable with the idea of Iglesias closing more games. The job is still Tony Cingrani’s for now, but his seat is getting warmer.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.  

August 5, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Opening Day closer JJ Hoover, armed with a 13.50 ERA, hasn’t pitched in the majors since late June. He cleared waivers Thursday and was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville. He’s completely off the Reds’ 40-man roster.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.  

August 1, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Tony Cingrani hasn’t been mentioned in many trade rumors, but the Reds could conceivably deal the lefty if they get a decent offer. His value would drop, as he wouldn’t close anywhere he lands, but a deal would mean Raisel Iglesias could ascend to the closer role. Also keep an eye on former first round pick Michael Lorenzen, who picked up his second hold of the season in the 8th inning yesterday.

Updated hierarchy: Cingrani | Iglesias | Lorenzen.  

July 26, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias appears to have firmly established himself as the Reds’ go-to set-up man for closer Tony Cingrani. In his last two appearances, Iglesias has been perfect, taking care of the 7th and 8th innings each time. If you are in a holds league, Iglesias could be a big help in the stretch run.

Updated hierarchy: Cingrani | Iglesias | Ohlendorf.

July 16, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Tony Cingrani came in to protect a two-run lead, but gave up a walk and a pair of singles, prompting Bryan Price to get Ross Ohlendorf warming. After a sacrifice bunt, another walk, and a foul out, Cingrani was lifted for Ohlendorf, who picked up the one-out save. Cingrani has been very good since taking the lead in the Cincinnati committee, but the Reds bullpen is still volatile, so don’t be surprised to see Ohlendorf snagging a few saves here and there.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Iglesias.

July 2, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Raisel Iglesias has found a home in the Reds bullpen, appearing in the seventh and eighth innings in his last two outings. Iglesias is not a typical relief prospect, throwing from multiple arm angles and relying on control and movement more than power, so it may take him a while to find a consistent role. With the Reds still setting records for bullpen futility, he’s one of the team’s better options.

Updated hierarchy: Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Iglesias.

June 23, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Things are getting interesting in the Reds’ bullpen. J.J. Hoover was recalled, and Raisel Iglesias returned from a shoulder injury and entered the bullpen. Although Bryan Price said that he wants to start Iglesias off with some “soft landings,” if the team decides to keep him in relief, he could be a formidable late-innings weapon.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.

June 15, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – With Tony Cingrani having pitched a lot lately, Blake Wood got the call for the Reds in the 9th inning last night and he picked up his first save of the season. (Ahead of him, the just-recalled J.J. Hoover got the 7th and 8th.) It was a little surprising to see Wood and not Ross Ohlendorf, since Ohlendorf has had a slightly lighter workload lately, but it worked out for the Reds, who will likely continue to mix and match ahead of Cingrani going forward.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.

June 12, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Ross Ohlendorf recorded his first save for the Reds yesterday.  Tony Cingrani pitched a perfect 8th with a switch hitter, who bats better against righties, and a lefty due up first.  Since Cingrani is the only lefty in the Reds’ bullpen this could happen occasionally, but he still should be considered the closer and receive the majority of save chances.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.

June 5, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Tony Cingrani pitched a perfect ninth on Saturday and picked up his fifth save of the season.  Ross Ohlendorf pitched the eighth inning and gave up a run.  Cingrani is getting all the save chances in Cincinnati, and we will finally drop his asterisk.

Hierarchy remains: Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.

May 31, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Pitching in the bottom of the ninth up six runs, Tony Cingrani gave back three to the Rockies before getting yanked out of the game in favor of J.C. Ramirez. Ramirez stopped the bleeding, earning his first career save in the process. While the Reds’ bullpen continues to be a mess, we don’t expect Ramirez to play a significant role in the late innings. That said, we would not be surprised if this latest blow-up increases Ross Ohlendorf’s chances to get saves going forward.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.

May 29, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Tony Cingrani struck out the side in the ninth inning last night to record his fourth save of the season.  Ross Ohlendorf was warming up in the eighth but it was Cingrani who got the call in the ninth.  We aren’t quite ready to pull the asterisk based on Cingrani’s blown saves and his occasional usage prior to the ninth inning, but one more clean save and the committee could be over.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.
* = closer-by-committee

May 19, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – The fire continues to burn in the Cincinnati bullpen. This time it was Tony Cingrani giving up a two-run homer to blow the save in the bottom of the 9th. The Reds’ bullpen is historically bad, and after heavy use in the first three games of this series, could use an easy day. Cingrani has seen the bulk of the save opportunities, but he is the only left-hander in the Reds bullpen, and this is still a committee. Ross Ohlendorf is the best right-handed option, but until somebody starts to run away with this job, you can expect us to continue to keep a close eye on this bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.
* = closer-by-committee

May 10, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Another day, another Reds update. Tony Cingrani picked up his second save of the season last night — and second consecutive for the Reds — in a classic, one-run save situation. He would be our choice to close out games, and we expect that he will lead the committee going forward.

Updated hierarchy: *Cingrani | Ohlendorf | Wood.
* = closer-by-committee

May 9, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – After Blake Wood gave up the tying run in the 7th inning, Ross Ohlendorf was summoned to keep the game tied in the 8th and immediately surrendered a go-ahead home run to Jonathan Lucroy. Ohlendorf and Tony Cingrani continue to be the most likely options to close for Cincinnati, with this outing perhaps giving the edge to the lefty.

Hierarchy remains: *Ohlendorf | Cingrani | Wood.
* = closer-by-committee

May 8, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — A day after the Reds’ bullpen ended their streak of consecutive games allowing a run, they decided to start a new streak. Caleb Cotham gave up five runs while recording no outs in the tenth inning.  Cotham has really struggled recently, giving up ten runs in his past five appearances. Blake Wood hasn’t allowed a run in his four May outings, and replaces Cotham on our hierarchy for now. The Reds also optioned J.J. Hoover to the minors.

Updated hierarchy: *Ohlendorf | Cingrani | Wood.
* = closer-by-committee

May 7, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds finally grabbed their second save of the year, after only 30 games. Tony Cingrani earned it by escaping an eighth-inning jam, then finishing things up in the ninth while Ross Ohlendorf warmed. With four scoreless innings, the bullpen’s record streak of consecutive games allowing a run ended at 23. After the game, Bryan Price praised Cingrani, but confirmed that he is not the team’s sole closer.

Hierarchy remains: *Ohlendorf | Cingrani | Cotham.
* = closer-by-committee

May 5, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – In the closest thing to a save situation that the Reds have seen recently, Ross Ohlendorf was sent out to protect a four-run lead. He managed to do that, but not only did he not earn a save for his trouble, he extended the streak of consecutive games in which the bullpen has given up a run. We see this as the way that Bryan Price will try to handle those rare late-inning leads, so if you are speculating on the Cincinnati committee, Ohlendorf seems to be the best bet. Tony Cingrani was used in the 7th and 8th innings and pitched well, while Caleb Cotham has struggled recently, so Cingrani moves up in our committee as well.

Updated hierarchy: *Ohlendorf | Cingrani | Cotham.
* = closer-by-committee

May 4, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds bullpen set a new major league record by allowing a run for a 21st straight game on Tuesday. So they have that going for them. Which is nice.

Hierarchy remains: *Ohlendorf | Cotham | Cingrani.
* = closer-by-committee

May 2, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – It continues to be tough to read into a bullpen as messy as this one, but it appeared that the Reds were attempting to bridge the gap to Ross Ohlendorf on Sunday, using Tony Cingrani to start the 7th inning, with Caleb Cotham coming in behind him. Of course, Cingrani and Cotham failed to protect the lead and Ohlendorf had to come in early, with just one out in the 8th, and then when the Reds retook the lead, Ohlendorf gave it right back in the 9th. But still, this might be an indication of the way they want to play it in the future. Speculators should continue to keep an eye out for Blake Wood, who earned the win after posting scoreless 10th and 11th innings.

Updated hierarchy: *Ohlendorf | Cotham | Cingrani.
* = closer-by-committee

April 25, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Finally, a glimmer of hope for those who have stuck with J.J. Hoover this whole time: the embattled former closer says he’s been tipping his pitches, and thinks he’s corrected the problem. He backed this claim up with a scoreless outing on Sunday, and could re-enter the mix for 9th inning opportunities if he can post a few more zeroes.

Hierarchy remains: *Cingrani | Cotham | Ohlendorf.

April 24, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Blake Wood pitched pretty well yesterday, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings.  However, the fact that he was brought on in the 5th inning with the Reds losing would suggest he isn’t likely to see any save chances soon.  Caleb Cotham, who had a 0.00 ERA coming into the night, pitched in the 7th and 8th innings and gave up five baserunners and two earned runs, so that’s not helping his chances of securing save opportunities.  Tony Cingrani got the last out of the 8th and then stayed on for a scoreless 9th to finish off a Reds’ blowout victory.  Since he pitched the best and latest in the game, we will move Cingrani to the top of the committee. Also, Wood drops off the hierarchy and we will throw Ross Ohlendorf on there for now (mostly because we like his old-school delivery).  The Reds bullpen is still a mess, and it will take some time to sort out roles, so we will continue to monitor usage and any comments from manager Bryan Price.

Updated hierarchy: *Cingrani | Cotham | Ohlendorf.
* = closer-by-committee

April 23, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — J.J. Hoover is having a very rough April. Even a relatively low-pressure outing, down three in the ninth, turned into a four-run, five-hit implosion. It’s unclear whether Hoover will still be on the team through the weekend, but we have to believe he’s not sniffing any save chances for a while. Blake Wood and Ross Ohlendorf should move up accordingly.

Updated hierarchy: *Cotham | Cingrani | Wood.
* = closer-by-committee

April 21, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — In a meeting with manager Bryan Price, JJ Hoover was told that he would not be the closer going forward, but could still see some save chances. The Reds’ bullpen has a league-worst 6.04 ERA, so this is likely to be a wide-open committee. Our best bet to take the lead, and potentially hold the job, is Caleb Cotham, who came over from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal, and has yet to give up an earned run this year. Price seems oddly committed to the idea of Hoover as closer, so he might get some save chances and keep a little value. Also in the mix will be Tony Cingrani, Blake Wood, and Ross Ohlendorf, none of whom are particularly attractive options. Cingrani is the only lefty in the Reds bullpen and may be used situationally. Wood saved 29 games for AAA Indianapolis last year, but has just one major league save. Ohlendorf picked up the win yesterday, but he has struggled with command early and sports an 8.22 ERA. Expect this to be a volatile committee which we will monitor closely going forward.

Updated hierarchy: *Cotham | Cingrani | Hoover.
* = closer-by-committee

April 20, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – JJ Hoover has been officially removed from the closer role following a dreadful start to the season. Bryan Price will use a closer-by-committee in the near future, which means any combination of Caleb Cotham, Tony Cingrani, Ross Ohlendorf, and Blake Wood could be used. We like Cotham best of this foursome. In deep leagues, Hoover should still be rostered as it sounds like he’ll still be part of the committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Cotham | Cingrani | Hoover.
* = closer-by-committee

April 20, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — It was quite the day for the Reds’ bullpen. The biggest news came after their 4-3 win, when manager Bryan Price said he would “sleep” on the closer situation. J.J. Hoover struggled again on Tuesday, allowing two runs in the ninth to bloat his ERA to 15.19. Assuming Hoover is out as closer after Price wakes up, Tony Cingrani is most likely to take the job. It certainly won’t be Jumbo Diaz, who was optioned to AAA before the game. It appears as if Caleb Cotham will replace Diaz, after a successful eighth inning on Tuesday that earned him his third hold of the season.

Updated hierarchy: Hoover | Cingrani | Cotham.

April 17, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — J.J. Hoover got his first save of the season yesterday, but it wasn’t pretty.  He gave up a two-run homer, and then put the tying run on base before finally shutting the door.  Manager Bryan Price is sticking with Hoover, but not necessarily because he wants to.  Every reliever in the bullpen has allowed at least one run this season and his other primary option, Jumbo Diaz, has also struggled.  Hoover is still the closer for now, but if any of the Reds’ relievers can put together a few good outings in a row, they could challenge Hoover for the job.

Hierarchy remains: Hoover | Diaz | Cingrani.

April 15, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — J.J. Hoover was terrible against the red-hot Cubs Thursday, getting tagged for five runs in just a third of an inning. Hoover, who hadn’t pitched since April 9, was getting work in the eighth inning down three runs. Between this appearance and the grand slam he gave up last week, the Cincy closer boasts a 16.88 ERA — but after the game, Bryan Price expressed confidence that Hoover would be sharp in his next outing. If he isn’t, that outing may be his last for a while.

Hierarchy remains: Hoover | Diaz | Cingrani.

April 12, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – Tony Cingrani and Jumbo Diaz both played a role in letting the lead slip away against the Cubs. The Reds bullpen fell apart trying to preserve the lead after Brandon Finnegan took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. None of the Reds relievers have been particularly impressive in the early going, so expect the potential for shake-ups to be around the corner in Cincy.

Hierarchy remains: Hoover | Diaz | Cingrani.

April 10, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — J.J. Hoover rebounded on Saturday with a 1-2-3 9th inning to protect a four run victory.  Before the game, manager Bryan Price said that Hoover has earned the right to close out games based on what he has done in previous years.  We are still not sold on Hoover’s potential as the Reds closer this year but he seems secure in the role for now.

Hierarchy remains: Hoover | Diaz | Cingrani.

April 9, 2016
Cincinnati Reds — Few pitchers have good numbers with the bases loaded, but J.J. Hoover’s struggles are titanic. Last night he was summoned with three on with a chance for a four-out save, but instead surrendered a Papa Slam grand slam to earn the loss. Hoover will likely be featured in our first Hot Seat column next week.

Hierarchy remains: Hoover | Diaz | Cingrani.

March 2, 2016
Cincinnati Reds – The departure of (recently suspended) Aroldis Chapman leaves a void in the back end of the Reds bullpen. When Chapman missed time last year, Jumbo Diaz and JJ Hoover took most of the save opportunities with mixed results. Both relievers struggled, but both also had stretches of dominance. Hoover has been announced as the first one to take the closer’s role, but the Reds will have Diaz ready to take over if Hoover doesn’t start well. With the team in rebuilding mode, the bullpen is likely to be in flux all year, but Blake Wood and Tony Cingrani are likely to lead the charge in the middle innings. Wood has electric stuff, but struggles with command, while Cingrani was a top prospect as a starter, who will spend spring training prepping as a reliever. Both will get chances at the back end of the Reds bullpen, but are not likely to close as long as Hoover and Diaz are in the way.

Starting 2016 hierarchy: Hoover | Diaz | Cingrani.
Holds candidates: Diaz, Cingrani, Wood.

September 16, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — After Aroldis Chapman was unable to secure a five-out save and the Reds reclaimed their lead in the 10th, Jumbo Diaz shut the door for his first career save. It was Chapman’s third blown save of the season, and his first after walking a pinch-hitting World Series MVP pitcher.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Diaz.

August 21, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — Aroldis Chapman has a stiff left shoulder that has left him unavailable since Tuesday. JJ Hoover, Jumbo Diaz, and Burke Badenhop (in that order) will become more relevant in the late innings as long as Aroldis is ailing.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Diaz.

August 13, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — In the 7th inning the Reds turned to Jumbo Diaz to protect a 2 run lead. He has now had holds in two of his last three appearances, and has only given up 1 run since returning to the big leagues on July 18th. Meanwhile, Burke Badenhop has appeared in 3 straight losses. On the off chance that both Hoover and Chapman are unavailable, it seems that Diaz would fill in.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Hoover | Diaz.

July 31, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds could deal Aroldis Chapman, whose contract expires after the 2016 season. The Diamondbacks have an offer on the table for Chapman, and the Yankees, Giants and Astros are also rumored to be in the mix. The Reds’ asking price is reportedly very high, so they may wind up holding onto Chapman until the offseason or next year’s deadline.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Badenhop.

July 29, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman pitched the 9th in a non-save situation after the Reds took a 4-0 lead in the top half of the frame. That’s normally not newsworthy, but Chapman may not be pitching for the Reds much longer. Both the Diamondbacks and the Giants are reportedly interested in Chapman, with Arizona’s GM confirming that the D-Backs are “going down that path.” If Chapman does move, J.J. Hoover is our most likely candidate to take over the closer’s role.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Badenhop.

July 21, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – After throwing 1 2/3 innings on Sunday, Manny Parra has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained elbow. We like Burke Badenhop to fill Parra’s role, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds return to Jumbo Diaz and his Jumbo ERA in the late innings. (But it shouldn’t matter who is out there as long as Brandon Phillips can make a play like this in the 7th inning of every game. Goodness gracious.)

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Hoover | Badenhop.

July 12, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds suffered through their worst inning in 54 years and Manny Parra took much of the damage, facing five batters and allowing all five to reach on hits and score. Parra’s ERA rose from 1.65 to 4.41 as a result.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Parra.

June 26, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — Closer Aroldis Chapman returned from paternity leave on Thursday, and threw a scoreless 11th inning in a 5-4 extra-innings win.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Parra.

June 25, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – With Aroldis Chapman still on paternity leave, J.J. Hoover picked up the save for the Reds on Wednesday. Chapman is expected to be back with the team on Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Hoover | Parra.

June 16, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds placed Tony Cingrani on the 15-day DL on Monday. The left-hander has struggled recently and an MRI confirmed swelling in his pitching shoulder. Fellow left-hander Manny Parra will replace Cingrani in our hierarchy. While a LOOGY, Parra has a sterling 0.93 ERA and 1.02 WHIP on the season. Also expect Ryan Mattheus to pick up some more holds.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Hoover | Parra.

June 9, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – J.J. Hoover has been anointed as the Reds’ new 8th-inning man. The flame-throwing righty now has a 1.93 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP. He picked up his second hold of the season last night setting up Aroldis Chapman. Expect Hoover to continue to get the 8th inning as long as he is pitching lights-out.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Hoover | Cingrani.

June 8, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds continued to use Jumbo Diaz in big spots all the way until his end, which came after Saturday’s loss when he surrendered two runs and took the loss, pushing his ERA to 6.65. Diaz will work on his stuff in the minors and has a chance to reclaim a spot later in the season, but for now, the go-to righty in Cincinnati’s pen is J.J. Hoover, who pitched the 8th inning ahead of Aroldis Chapman on Sunday.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Cingrani | Hoover.

May 30, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — Jumbo Diaz has apparently relocated his magic feather, striking out 7 of the 14 batters he has faced in four late-inning appearances this week. We think Diaz’s usage has edged him back ahead of J.J. Hoover in the Reds’ pen.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Cingrani | Diaz.

May 23, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — Jumbo Diaz continues to struggle, giving up two runs last night to run his ERA to 7.16. Meanwhile, J.J. Hoover hasn’t allowed a run since April 21 (12.1 innings); over that period, Hoover has more strikeouts (11) than baserunners allowed (8).

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Cingrani | Hoover.

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.

April 14, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – Jumbo Diaz’s struggles continued in Chicago tonight, instantaneously surrendering a two run lead by giving up a long home run to Chris Coghlan in the 8th inning tonight. J.J. Hoover and Tony Cingrani might see more hold opportunities if Diaz is moved to a lower-leverage position.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Diaz | Cingrani.

April 3, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – Despite being a candidate to set up for Aroldis Chapman, Sam LeCure appeared to have lost some velocity on his fastball this spring and didn’t make the big league club. Tony Cingrani, the young lefty who earlier was vying for a spot in the rotation, has transitioned well to the bullpen, posting a 1.42 spring ERA (14 Ks vs 3 BBs) in 12.2 innings pitched, and could step into a prominent late inning role alongside Jumbo Diaz. J.J. Hoover is another candidate for high-leverage holds.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Diaz | Cingrani.

March 26, 2015
Cincinnati Reds — The eighth inning is wide open for the Reds, according to manager Bryan Price, who named no fewer than five possibilities for set-up work. We’ll leave things the way they are until the situation clears up, but one intriguing option Price didn’t mention is lefty Tony Cingrani, who may find a welcoming home in the bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Diaz | LeCure.

March 8, 2015
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds bullpen has a fantasy monster in closer Aroldis Chapman. When healthy, he is the most dominant relief pitcher in the game, and will rack up K’s as quickly as some starting pitchers. Behind him, Cincy is a bit of a mess. Jumbo Diaz was a solid option for them last year, and will likely start with the 8th inning duties, but he doesn’t have overpowering stuff. Sam LeCure was a consistent performer last year, but despite injuries and poor performances around him, he only found himself in 2 save opportunities all season. Newly acquired Kevin Gregg has closing experience, but at 38 and coming off an injury, he will have to prove himself before he gets the call. Sean Marshall was supposed to be the primary left hander, but injuries last year and a recent setback in his recovery have slowed his return. Finally, J.J. Hoover is trying to forget his 2014 campaign, and the early returns are solid, striking out the side in his first appearance in spring training. With a multitude of options, nobody really stands out. The best bets for holds early on are Diaz and LeCure. If Marshall and Gregg can recover from their injuries, or if Hoover regains some of his form, then they could run away with the set up job, but nothing but an injury is going to unseat the Cuban Missile in the closer role.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Chapman | Diaz | LeCure
Primary holds candidates – Diaz, LeCure.

September 1, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton’s departure elevates Jumbo Diaz into a set-up role, while Sam LeCure could see a few 7th inning holds.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Diaz | LeCure.

August 25, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds entered the 9th inning on Sunday with a four-run lead, but Logan Ondrusek couldn’t quite close the door and allowed two runs to score before Jonathan Broxton came in to get the last out. Broxton picked up his 5th save of the season and remains the handcuff for Aroldis Chapman, who got the day off.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Broxton | Diaz.

August 22, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman owners can breathe a cautious sigh of relief for now — Chapman got an inning of work in yesterday’s blowout and appeared totally fine, striking out two in a 1-2-3 frame. We’ll keep an eye on him going forward, but this was a good sign.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Broxton | Diaz.

August 20, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — It’s time to worry about Aroldis Chapman. The fireballing lefthander is day-to-day with an “achy” shoulder, which we learned about after Chapman walked all four men he faced on Sunday. Jonathan Broxton would be the beneficiary of any extended rest for the closer, and with the team’s playoff hopes dwindling by the day, there is little to be gained by pushing their star to pitch through pain. In other news, Jumbo Diaz has moved ahead of Sam LeCure to enter our hierarchy for the first time, and J.J. Hoover picked up his tenth loss of the year, tying the team record for relievers.

Updated hierarchy: Chapman | Broxton | Diaz.

August 16, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman picked up his 26th save of the season last night.  However, it was a little bittersweet as Chapman failed to record a strikeout for the first time in almost a year.  Chapman’s record 49 straight games with a strikeout as a reliever beat the previous record by ten games.  Chances are he will start a new streak in his next appearance.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Broxton | LeCure.

July 16, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman says he’s fine after last night’s All-Star Game injury scare, and the contending Reds don’t need any bullpen help. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 8, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman was warming up to enter the ninth inning on Monday night before the Reds tacked on three runs in the bottom half of the eighth. He is available after his hamstring tweak and can be expected to get the Reds’ next save opportunity.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Broxton | LeCure.

July 7, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman tweaked a hamstring at some point leading up to Sunday’s game, so Jonathan Broxton got the save for the Reds. Bryan Price expects Chapman to be back in short order.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Broxton | LeCure.

May 20, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Aroldis Chapman suffered his first blown save of the season on Monday, but stayed in for a 1-2-3 10th inning in a 15-frame victory for the Reds. His job is not in jeopardy, though he is likely to get a night off after throwing 29 pitches.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Broxton | LeCure.

May 11, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — The Reds officially activated Aroldis Chapman from the disabled list before yesterday’s game, and manager Bryan Price has said that he won’t hesitate to go to Chapman in a save opportunity. Hierarchy change: Aroldis Chapman to Closer, Jonathan Broxton to Set-Up, Sam LeCure to 2nd in line.

May 10, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Jonathan Broxton recorded his first blown save of the season last night.  Closer Aroldis Chapman could be activated as soon as today so Broxton’s days as closer are close to coming to an end anyway.  No hierarchy change.

May 7, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — The Norfolk Tides had Aroldis Chapman’s number on Tuesday afternoon, picking up five runs in just 2/3 of an inning. Chapman was a botched double play away from escaping the inning at 1-0, however, and he could rejoin the Reds this weekendNo hierarchy change.

April 25, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Sam LeCure struck out the side in the 8th inning last night and lowered his ERA under 1.00 on the season.  Manny Parra picked up a save earlier this season but has given up runs in 3 of his last 4 appearances.    On another note, closer Aroldis Chapman threw batting practice.  He is scheduled to throw BP again on Saturday and could head out on a rehab assignment after that.  Hierarchy change: Sam LeCure to Set-up, replacing Manny Parra.

April 20, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall was activated from the disabled list yesterday, and will give the Reds a strong pair of lefties in the back end of their bullpen.  Marshall probably won’t immediately jump Manny Parra, who is having the best year of his career so far, but the duo will give the Reds the opportunity to play match ups at will in the late innings, with Sam LeCure continuing to figure in the mix for 7th and 8th inning holds.  Hierarchy change: Manny Parra to Set-up, Sean Marshall to 2nd in line.

April 16, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Jonathon Broxton picked up his first save of the year on Tuesday night, cementing his hold on Cincy’s closer job until the return of Aroldis Chapman. On Monday, Chapman threw off a mound for the first time since his injury, and the Reds are cautiously optimistic. No hierarchy change.

April 12, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Jonathon Broxton got his first work of the season last night, pitching a scoreless ninth inning with 2 Ks. Manager Bryan Price previously said that he didn’t want to use Broxton in a save situation for his first appearance. Now that Broxton has gotten that first inning out of the way he should see the save opportunities until Aroldis Chapman is able to return. Speaking of Chapman, he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday. No hierarchy change.

April 9, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Jonathan Broxton was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, and though manager Bryan Price says he would like to let him “get his feet wet” before returning him to the ninth, it’s clear that he will be the Reds’ closer going forward. Meanwhile, J.J. Hoover entered in the seventh inning with Cincinnati trailing, and appears to have fallen behind the other members of the team’s short-lived closer committee. Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to Closer, replacing J.J. Hoover.

April 7, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Manny Parra pitched the 8th inning for the Reds in a 1-run game on Sunday, and then, with two lefties due up in the 9th, stayed on and picked up his first career save.  With Jonathan Broxton due to be activated as early as tomorrow, Parra probably won’t be getting many more opportunities, but the lefty is off to a fine start this season, having logged 4.2 scoreless innings.  Hierarchy change: Manny Parra to 2nd in line, replacing Logan Ondrusek.

April 6, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – J.J. Hoover blew his first save opportunity of the season yesterday as he gave up a walk-off grand slam to Ike Davis. Jonathan Broxton should be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and immediately take over as closer. No hierarchy change.

April 3, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – J.J. Hoover’s run as the probably-closer will last for only one more week or so.  Jonathan Broxton, who pitched in several spring games but started the season on the DL, is getting ready to make his debut, and should be back within a week.  Bryan Price has already tapped the hard-throwing righty to close games once he gets settled in.  No hierarchy change.

March 21, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Jonathan Broxton will pitch again today, but manager Bryan Price announced this morning that Broxton will also start the season on the disabled list, removing all obstacles between J.J. Hoover and the ninth inning — although Price won’t anoint a specific closer. The manager’s comments suggest that Broxton will have the inside track at the job if his DL stint is as short as expected. With Sean Marshall also banged up to start the year and Alfredo Simon moving to the starting rotation, Logan Ondrusek will see some high-leverage action, with Manny Parra called on to face lefties. Hierarchy change: J.J. Hoover to Closer, Sam LeCure to Set-Up, Logan Ondrusek to 2nd in line, Jonathan Broxton injured.

March 20, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — UPDATE (12:38 PM):, NBC Sports, and the Cincinnati Enquirer are reporting that Aroldis Chapman suffered a “mild concussion,” will have surgery for his facial fractures today (including the insertion of a plate), and is expected to return in six to eight weeks.

Wednesday’s game between the Reds and Royals was called off after Aroldis Chapman was hit in the face (WARNING: video may be disturbing) with a line drive. X-rays indicated fractures above his left eye and nose. Chapman will undergo further testing, and is a sure bet to begin the 2014 season on the disabled list. After Jonathan Broxton’s successful spring debut, we think he is most likely to take over the closer role, with J.J. Hoover, Sam LeCure, and Sean Marshall close behind. Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to Closer, Aroldis Chapman injured.

March 13, 2014
Cincinnati Reds — Aroldis Chapman has perhaps the best pure stuff in the game, although he walked a few more men than normal last year. Ranked #2 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 9, 2014
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman is already one of the best closers in baseball and could be even better this year now that he feels more at home off the field.  J.J. Hoover and Sam LeCure will see time in the 7th and 8th innings.  Jonathan Broxton is working his way back from injury but could factor into the late innings if he proves he is healthy.   Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Aroldis Chapman, Set-up – J.J. Hoover, 2nd in line – Sam LeCure.

September 17, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — Sean Marshall returned to Cincinnati on Monday, but after four months off, he’ll be the third lefty out of the Reds’ pen. No hierarchy change.

September 10, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — Lefty Sean Marshall, on the DL since late May with shoulder trouble, pitched a simulated game on Tuesday and could be back with the Reds this week. No hierarchy change.

August 23, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Despite listing two Cincinnati relievers in the Vulture Save Watch space yesterday, we missed on the Reds one-night closer, as Sam LeCure got the call in the 9th inning.  Before the game, it was revealed that Jonathan Broxton was experiencing forearm soreness, and is likely out for the season.  J.J. Hoover, meanwhile, got the night off after pitching in three straight, leaving the job to LeCure, who may see more late-inning work with Broxton out.  Hierarchy change: J.J. Hoover to Set-up, Sam LeCure to 2nd in line.

August 16, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton got the last two outs of the 8th inning last night with the Reds up 1.  Broxton has now made four scoreless appearances since returning from the DL.  Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to Set-up,  J.J. Hoover to 2nd in line.

August 13, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — Aroldis Chapman struck out the side for the second straight day, and has now K’d 12 of the last 15 batters he’s faced. News flash: this guy’s pretty good. No hierarchy change.

August 8, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton was activated from the DL yesterday.  Given his past closing experience, he’ll likely be considered for any saves when Aroldis Chapman is unavailable, but he’ll have to show something formidable to unseat J.J. Hoover from the set-up role, as Hoover has now thrown 21.2 consecutive scoreless innings.  Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to 2nd in line, replacing Manny Parra.

August 7, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — While J.J. Hoover has picked up three high-leverage eighth-inning holds over the past nine days, Sam LeCure has been consistently used with the team behind, including in a four-run, five-hit debacle on Sunday. Hierarchy change: J.J. Hoover to Set-up, replacing Sam LeCure.

July 26, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – On June 7, Manny Parra had a 7.71 ERA, a 2.40 WHIP, and seemed to be on the verge of losing his job.  But since then, he’s rattled off 18 straight scoreless appearances, turning himself into the go-to lefty in the Cincinnati bullpen.  It hasn’t been a fluke — during his dominant stretch, he’s struck out 17 hitters while walking only three — and last night, he was summoned to finish off the 8th inning, earning his sixth hold of the season.  Hierarchy change: Manny Parra to 2nd in line, replacing J.J. Hoover.

July 18, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Cincinnati’s bullpen has been excellent lately, and Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton are expected to return from the DL soon; the Reds don’t need to make a move in this areaTRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 30, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds placed Johnny Cueto on the DL on Friday, and Tony Cingrani will take his spot in the rotation.  J.J. Hoover picked up the win yesterday and should see more time in the late innings.  Hierarchy change: J.J. Hoover to 2nd in line, replacing Tony Cingrani.

June 22, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — J.J. Hoover was brought on in the 5th inning on Friday and his usage has been all over the place this season.  Tony Cingrani has made three scoreless appearances since moving to the bullpen and clearly has the stuff to pitch at the back end of games if he isn’t need as a starter. Hierarchy change: Tony Cingrani to 2nd in line, replacing J.J. Hoover.

June 18, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — After Johnny Cueto’s successful return from the disabled list on Sunday, Dusty Baker and the Reds had to decide what to do with their sixth starter, talented young lefty Tony Cingrani. On Monday, Baker announced they would move Cingrani to the bullpen — a move the Reds may look into patenting — and he promptly got two high-leverage outs in a tight eighth inning. Cingrani is too valuable a starter to use in relief over the long term, but given the injuries to Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall, his presence in the bullpen will be a welcome one as long as it lasts. No hierarchy change.

June 17, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Alfredo Simon picked up a three-inning save with an impressive, 6-strikeout outing on Sunday.  He’s had a solid year, but only has two holds on the season to this point, and is unlikely to break in to the usual late-inning hierarchy, even with Jonathan Broxton on the shelf.  No hierarchy change.

June 16, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton was finally put on the DL Saturday with a right forearm injury.  Sam LeCure should see time in the set-up role while Broxton is out.   Hierarchy change: Sam LeCure to Set-up,  J.J. Hoover to 2nd in line, Jonathan Broxton to DL.

June 14, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton was supposed to have the night off on Thursday, but was pressed into duty when the Reds game stretched into the 14th inning.  He ultimately took the loss, allowing a run on two hits and a walk.  Broxton confirmed after the game that he was hurting a bit, and this wasn’t an issue of overuse — he’d had three days off prior to yesterday.  Broxton’s fastball velocity is down this year, and after last night, his ERA sits at 4.33.  If he’s now dealing with arm trouble, then Sam LeCure could be inheriting the 8th inning role soon.  No hierarchy change.

June 5, 2013
Cincinnati Reds — Although Sam LeCure gave up a two-run homer that gave the Rockies the lead, the blast broke a 10-game, 9.2-inning streak in which he had allowed no runs and only one hit. LeCure is still a strong third option in the Reds bullpen. Hierarchy change: Sam LeCure to 2nd in line, replacing J.J. Hoover.

May 17, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman took a tough blown save last night, taking over for Mat Latos in the 9th with a 1-run lead and a runner on 3rd with 1 out.  Chapman allowed the runner to score, and after the Reds retook the lead in the 10th, it was J.J. Hoover who closed the game out.  Hoover was warming when the game was still 2-2, so this isn’t an indication that he’s passed Jonathan Broxton on the depth chart.  But, due to various game circumstances, he’s now picked up 3 saves in May and deserves a place on the Reds depth chart.  Hierarchy change: J.J. Hoover to 2nd in line, replacing Sean Marshall.

May 6, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – After pitching in back to back games, both Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton got the day off on Sunday, and the Reds played matchups in the late innings to protect a three-run lead, with Sean Marshall in the 8th and J.J. Hoover in the 9th.  This was Hoover’s 2nd save in three days, but he won’t likely see many more opportunities.  No hierarchy change.

May 4, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – J.J. Hoover got a one out save last night.  Aroldis Chapman started the 9th with a 4 run lead and gave up 3 runs before being replaced by J.J. Hoover, who struck out Darwin Barney to end the game.  No hierarchy change.

April 28, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall returned from the DL and pitched a perfect inning with 2 strikeouts last night.  Look for Marshall to slide back into that late inning role for the Reds and could be an option to close when Chapman needs a day off depending on the matchups.   Hierarchy change: Sean Marshall to 2nd in line, replacing Sam LeCure.

April 12, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – After not pitching for the first week of the season, the Reds finally put Sean Marshall on the DL earlier this week.  Sam LeCure has been pitching in some important spots thus far, and has started the season having allowed only 1 run in 5 innings.  Hierarchy change: Sam LeCure to 2nd in line, Sean Marshall to DL. 

April 5, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman picked up his first save of the year, and Sean Marshall, who has been kept out this season due to shoulder soreness, announced that he expected to be back for Friday night’s game against the Nationals.  No hierarchy change.

March 24, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds have announced that Aroldis Chapman will be their closer.  Chapman said earlier in the spring that he’d prefer to close, and apparently Dusty Baker wanted to keep him in the bullpen.  With both player and coach in the same corner, the higher-ups in the Reds organization that wanted Chapman to start eventually backed down, allowing the young Cuban to return to his 9th inning role.  Jonathan Broxton’s value takes a huge hit.  Hierarchy change: Aroldis Chapman to Closer, Jonathan Broxton to Set-up, Sean Marshsall to 2nd in line.

March 20, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – All spring, it seemed that Aroldis Chapman would become a starting pitcher, but recently Chapman has been saying that he’d prefer to close, and he has Dusty Baker in his corner.  The Reds front office has been pushing for Chapman to move to the rotation, so his status remains up in the air as the Cincinnati decision-makers argue amongst themselves.  Jonathan Broxton remains the only option to close if Chapman’s destination is the rotation.  No hierarchy change.

March 7, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – All signs point to Aroldis Chapman heading to the rotation.  Even Mike Leake, who has pitched well so far this spring, told the Dayton Daily News that he thinks Chapman will win the 5th starter’s spot.  Jonathan Broxton will close, while Sean Marshall sets up.  Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to Closer, Sean Marshall to Set-up, Jose Arredondo to 2nd in line.

February 24, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds are keeping ambiguous their intentions with Aroldis Chapman.  Until they say otherwise, Chapman should still be expected to close.  Jonathan Broxton will be the 9th inning man if Chapman is moved to the rotation.  Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Aroldis Chapman, Set-up- Jonathan Broxton, 2nd in line- Sean Marshall. 

September 21, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – As predicted, the Reds gave Jonathan Broxton the night off — but it was Alfredo Simon who picked up the save in Aroldis Chapman’s continued absence. No hierarchy change.

September 20, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Another night, another save for Jonathan Broxton. Aroldis Chapman told reporters that his fatigued shoulder “feels good,” but also said he could need two or three more sessions in the bullpen to regain his command. No hierarchy change.

September 19, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton picked up his third NL save in Aroldis Chapman’s absence on Tuesday. Chapman is throwing a bullpen session today and could resume closing shortly, but Broxton is worth holding on to in case the Reds shut the hard-throwing lefty down until the playoffs. No hierarchy change.

September 17, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton picked up his second NL save on Sunday. Aroldis Chapman will be sidelined for a few more days with a tired arm. No hierarchy change.

September 13, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Jonathan Broxton had pitched in four of the past five games, so the Reds used young J.J. Hoover in a one-run ninth. No hierarchy change.

September 12, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – After Aroldis Chapman’s last outing, when even his best fastball was clocked several miles per hour slower than it had been all year, the Reds became concerned that the flame throwing lefty may be injured. Fortunately, a scan revealed nothing serious, but Chapman will likely be shut down for a week or so to recover. Jonathan Broxton should see save opportunities in his place over the next few days; he picked up his first National League save of the year on Tuesday. No hierarchy change.

August 2, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – In Wednesday’s game, the Reds used newly-acquired Jonathan Broxton for the 8th inning after Sean Marshall pitched the 7th. It appears Broxton is now the man to get saves on days when Aroldis Chapman is unavailable. Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to Set-up, Sean Marshall to 2nd in line.

August 1, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds acquired Royals closer Jonathan Broxton on Tuesday. Aroldis Chapman will remain the closer, while Broxton will share the 8th inning role with Sean Marshall. Hierarchy change: Jonathan Broxton to 2nd in line, replacing Logan Ondrusek.

July 12, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman, despite some recent road bumps, is locked in to the closer role for the remainder of the year. Sean Marshall has also been rock solid in the 8th inning role. If the Reds look to make a trade, it won’t affect the bullpen. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 25, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman surrendered a walkoff HR on Sunday, and has now given 8 runs in his last 6.1 innings. Chapman still has spectacular season-long numbers, but if he blows another save, Dusty Baker could go back to Sean Marshall, who has a 0.79 ERA in June and has given up just 1 run in his last 17 appearances. Aroldis Chapman to Hot Seat.

June 18, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman was available on Sunday, but had pitched in three of the past four games. Wanting to give his closer some rest, Dusty Baker went to Sean Marshall, who picked up the save. No hierarchy change.

June 2, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Logan Ondrusek pitched the 8th setting up Aroldis Chapman for the save. Ondrusek continues to have a solid season for the Reds and got the save the last time Chapman was unavailable. Hierarchy change: Logan Ondrusek to 2nd in line, replacing Jose Arredondo.

May 25, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – With Aroldis Chapman and Jose Arredondo unavailable, the Reds played match-ups in the late-innings on Thursday. Sean Marshall pitched the 8th, and Logan Ondrusek pitched the 9th for his second save of the year. No hierarchy change.

May 24, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Jose Arredondo pitched 1.1 innings on Wednesday, bridging the gap to closer Aroldis Chapman. Logan Ondrusek has struggled as of late (7.04 ERA in May) and Dusty Baker has been looking to Arredondo more as his late-innings righty. Hierarchy change: Jose Arredondo to 2nd in line, replacing Logan Ondrusek.

May 22, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall got a one-out save on Monday. As noted in yesterday’s Vulture Save Watch, Aroldis Chapman had pitched in four of the last five, and had the night off. No hierarchy change.

May 21, 2012
Cincinnati RedsDusty Baker said before Sunday’s game that Aroldis Chapman was his new closer, then sent him out for the 9th inning against the Yankees where the hard-throwing lefty recorded his first save. Logan Ondrusek and Sean Marshall will share eighth-inning duties. Hierarchy change: Aroldis Chapman to Closer, Sean Marshall to Set-up.

May 20, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall had to be bailed out again yesterday, as Jose Arredondo was summoned to record the game’s final two outs. After the game, Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was considering giving the closer job to Aroldis Chapman. “Who knows – maybe graduation time is here?” Baker said of Chapman. “We’re got to discuss it, talk about it.” Even if Marshall keeps the job, he’ll remain on a blazing Hot Seat, but the Reds clearly could look elsewhere sooner rather than later. No hierarchy change.

May 10, 2012
Cincinnati Reds – Sean Marshall had a rough outing yesterday and was lifted by Dusty Baker in favor of Logan Ondrusek, who got the game’s final out and the save. Marshall has been serviceable as closer this year; he has a 4.91 ERA and is 5 for 6 in save opportunities (for yesterday’s meltdown, he actually got a hold). But set-up men Aroldis Chapman and Ondrusek are both sporting perfect 0.00 ERAs, and some fans in Cincinnati are already clamoring for a switch. Sean Marshall to Hot Seat.

April 14, 2012
Cincinnati Reds
– Logan Ondrusek pitched 1.2 scoreless innings last night and has yet to give up a run this season. He replaces the injured Nick Massett and moves to second in line behind Marshall and Chapman. Hierarchy change: Logan Ondrusek to 2nd in line, replacing Nick Massett.

April 1, 2012
Cincinnati Reds- With Ryan Madson out for the year, the Reds will turn to Sean Marshall to close out games. His injury might force Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen for another year, with Masset picking up the scraps when he is back healthy. Should the Reds make a playoff run, they could deal for an established closer if any of these guys struggle. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Sean Marshall, Set-up- Aroldis Chapman, 2nd in line- Nick Masset.