Reyes Moronta records another save

September 25, 2022

Arizona Diamondbacks — Despite blowing the save chance on Thursday, the Diamondbacks went right back to Reyes Moronta yesterday.  Moronta struck out a pair in a scoreless 9th inning for his 2nd save of the season.  We will move Moronta to the top of this committee and we think he will see the majority of save chances for the rest of the season.  

Updated hierarchy: *Moronta | Mantiply | Melancon.
* = closer-by-committee

Miami Marlins — Dylan Floro pitched a perfect 9th inning for his 7th save of the season.  Floro has now recorded the Marlins last four save and that’s enough to kick the committee tag.  

Updated hierarchy: Floro | Scott | Okert.

New York Yankees — Scott Effross loaded the bases on a single, hit batter, and walk but was able to keep the Red Sox scoreless and earn his third save of the season.  It was Effross’s first appearance since returning from a shoulder strain and he should continue to be in the mix for saves for the rest of the season.

Hierarchy remains: *Holmes | Effross | Chapman.
* = closer-by-committee

Seattle Mariners — Paul Sewald pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th inning with the game tied and picked up the win.  That left Andres Muñoz for the 9th inning and he pitched a scoreless inning for his fourth save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Sewald | Muñoz | Swanson.

Detroit Tigers – Joe Jimenez has been placed on the IL with a back injury after enjoying a solid season for the Tigers’ bullpen.  Alex Lange should see more time in the later innings with Jimenez out. 

Updated hierarchy: Soto | Chafin | Lange.

1. James Karinchak (CLE) – Emmanuel Clase has pitched in three straight.
2. Dillon Tate (BAL) – Felix Bautista has pitched in two of three, including a 33 pitch blown save yesterday.
3. Erik Swanson (SEA) – Paul Sewald has pitched in two of three, including a two inning outing yesterday. Andres Muñoz has pitched in three of four.
4. Tanner Scott (MIA) – Dylan Floro has pitched in two straight and four of five.

1. Raisel Iglesias (ATL) – If Kenley Jansen pitches on Sunday, it will be two straight.

Dodgers go to a Committee, Pujols joins an elite club.

September 23, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers said yesterday that Craig Kimbrel would be used in a variety of roles and that the Dodgers will be switching to a closer by committee, presumably for the rest of the season. Kimbrel did pitch a clean inning last night, but it was with the Dodgers down by 8 in the 6th inning. We think Evan Phillips and Alex Vesia are the best bet to get saves. The Dodgers have other options as well, as Chris Martin recently vultured a save, and Brusdar Graterol has electric stuff. We will see how the Dodgers deploy their arms moving forward, but it is a good time to speculate with the season drawing to a close.  

Updated hierarchy: *Phillips | Vesia | Martin

Chicago Cubs — With a 1 run lead going into the 9th the Cubs turned to rookie Erich Uelmen for the save opportunity. He made it interesting, loading the bases before getting a strikeout to end the game for his first career save. Uelmen has had a rocky season, but is riding a modest 4 game scoreless streak, and with the Cubs already eliminated, they may be showcasing some of their younger players in the last few weeks. It also doesn’t help that Brandon Hughes took an awkward step a few days ago, although he stayed in the game. We will keep an eye on this situation as the season winds down, but its perhaps best left alone. 

Hierarchy remains: *Hughes | Wick | Leiter Jr..
* = closer-by-committee

September 24, 2022
Los Angeles Angels
With the 3-4-5 hitters coming up in the 8th inning, the Angels gave the ball to Jimmy Herget. He got through the inning and this left the save to Ryan Tepera. Tepera gave up a hit, but secured his 4th save on the year. The Angels don’t have much to play for, but Herget and Tepera have both pitched quite well down the stretch. They should continue to split save chances for the next couple weeks.
Hierarchy remains: *Herget | Tepera | Quijada.
* = closer-by-committee

Kings of Crash – Albert Pujols hit his 699th and 700th home run last night. Phil Bickford was the reliever who helped make history, the 455th pitcher to surrender a home run to Albert Pujols. With those bombs, Pujols joins the most exclusive club in baseball: relief Pitchers who have hit at least 700 home runs. On May 15 of this year, in his only career relief appearance, he gave up 2 home runs, (to Joey Bart and Luis Gonzalez). He joins founding member Babe Ruth (who only gave up 1 home run as a reliever), and it may be a long time before we see anything like this. The next closest player to this list is Gary Gaetti, with 360 career homers and 1 given up as a reliever.

Updated Hierarchy: Ruth | Pujols | Gaetti

Vulture Save Watch:

  1. Rowan Wick (CHC) — Brandon Hughes is day to day with an ankle injury.
  2. Trevor Stephan (CLE) — Emmanuel Clase has pitched in back to back and 3 of 4, while James Karinchak has also gone in 3 of 4.
  3. Tanner Scott (MIA) — Dylan Floro got the save last night but has gone in 3 of 4 while Scott is well rested.
  4. Amir Garrett (KC) — Both Scott Barlow and Dylan Coleman have pitched in 3 of 4.
  5. Scott Alexander (SF) — Camilo Doval has pitched in back to back games.

For Sunday:

  1. Nick Martinez (SD) — Today would be back to back and 3 of 4 for Josh Hader.
  2. Jonathan Hernandez (TEX) — Today would be 3 of 4 for Josh Leclerc.
  3. Carlos Estevez/Alex Colome (COL) — Daniel Bard threw 26 pitches last night, so another outing would earn him a day off.

Clay Holmes appears to continue to lead Yankees’ closer committee

September 23, 2022

New York Yankees — The Yankees activated Scott Effross and Zack Britton on Thursday. A corresponding move led them to place Wandy Peralta on the IL. So what does the back end look like now? Well, manager Aaron Boone essentially said this week the Yankees will use a closer-by-committee approach, so we’ll keep the committee tag and insert Effross and Aroldis Chapman, who has been up and down of late. Other late-inning options include Jonathan Loaisiga, Lou Trivino and Britton. Holmes earned the extra-inning win Thursday, pitching the game’s final two innings, so he will continue to lead this ‘pen.

Updated hierarchy: *Holmes | Effross | Chapman.
* = closer-by-committee

Arizona Diamondbacks — In a tight game on Thursday, the Diamondbacks turned to Reyes Moronta for the save chance, but he could not close out the Dodgers, loading the bases with one out. Arizona turned Joe Mantiply to save things, but he allowed a game-tying infield single and a walk-off single. While Moronta didn’t finish the job, we probably need to reshuffle this Diamondbacks hierarchy given Thursday’s usage. Ian Kennedy had a scoreless eighth inning in a five-run game Wednesday, but he has been terrible as of late, allowing 11 earned runs over his past six appearances (4.1 IP), to balloon his ERA to 4.91.

Updated hierarchy: *Melancon | Moronta | Mantiply.
* = closer-by-committee

Chicago Cubs — Mark Leiter Jr. pitched the final 2.1 innings Thursday to earn his third save. It was his second save in three appearances, and that’s enough to enter him into the hierarchy for the Cubs. Brandon Hughes leads this committee, but he was shaky on Thursday, getting just one out in the seventh while allowing a hit and two walks, to make way for Leiter Jr. Hughes is still the best bet for Cubs saves down the stretch.

Updated hierarchy: *Hughes | Wick | Leiter Jr..
* = closer-by-committee

San Francisco Giants – Three of John Brebbia’s past four appearances have been opener-type “starts,” and if he’s starting games, he can’t earn saves. With this recent usage we’ll move Tyler Rogers back into the hierarchy behind Scott Alexander and Camilo Doval, who pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, on Thursday. Brebbia could be in the mix, too, so we’ll keep an eye on things.

Updated hierarchy remains: Doval | Alexander | Rogers.

Pittsburgh Pirates — David Bednar was activated from the injured list Thursday and will likely resume his role as Pirates closer down the stretch.

Updated hierarchy: Bednar | Crowe | Underwood.

Philadelphia Phillies — Jose Alvarado got the last out of the eighth and was left in to finish things off in the ninth Thursday for his second save. David Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez and Alvarado all pitched the day before, but the Phillies stuck with Alvarado, who came into the game against a tough lefty (Matt Olson) and retired him on just one pitch. After the game, interim manager Rob Thomson explained the decision to stick with Alvarado in the ninth, saying, “We wanted to see by the end of the year if Alvarado could pitch the ninth and more than one inning and he did that tonight.”  

Hierarchy remains: *Robertson | Dominguez | Alvarado.
* = closer-by-committee

St. Louis Cardinals – Ryan Helsley pitched the eighth inning on Thursday, allowing a solo shot but earning a hold ahead of Giovanny Gallegos, who tallied his 13th save with a clean ninth. Helsley had the team’s previous six saves so he’s the clear closer, but there are times when St. Louis will use Helsely in the game’s tightest spots before the final inning, like on Thursday when he was called in to face the 3-4-5 hitters.

Hierarchy remains: Helsley | Gallegos | Pallante.

Kansas City Royals — Brad Keller earned his first career save on Thursday, notching two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning against the Twins. Scott Barlow, Dylan Coleman and Amir Garrett had all pitched in back-to-back games and all were given the night off Thursday, so Keller won’t normally factor into the team’s late-inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Barlow | Coleman | Garrett.

1. Jonathan Hernandez (TEX) – Jose Leclerc has pitched in two straight games.
2. Scott Effross (NYY) – Clay Holmes threw two innings Thursday and has gone in two of three.

1. Scott Alexander (SF) – If Camilo Doval pitches Friday, it would be two straight and four of six.
2. Rafael Montero (HOU) – An outing Friday would be four of six for Ryan Pressly.
3. James Karinchak (CLE) – A Friday outing would be three of four for Emmanuel Clase.
4. Dylan Coleman (KC) – If he goes Friday, it’d be three of four for Scott Barlow.
5. Anthony Bass (TOR) – Jordan Romano recorded four outs Wednesday and if he has a taxing outing Friday, he’d likely need Saturday off.
6. Raisel Iglesias (ATL) – If he goes Friday, it’d be three of five for Kenley Jansen.

Two committees adjourned with two weeks of games to go

September 22, 2022

Oakland A’s — Four straight saves, including three in five days, is more than enough to anoint Domingo Acevedo Oakland’s official closer down the stretch. Sam Moll, out with a strained left shoulder, has been replaced in the hierarchy by Joel Payamps.

Updated hierarchy: Acevedo | Puk | Payamps.

Washington Nationals — After a few weeks where Washington played matchups, Kyle Finnegan seems to have fully regained the ninth, allowing us to banish the asterisk from the Nationals’ pen.

Updated hierarchy: Finnegan | Edwards | Harvey.

1. Anthony Bass (TOR) — Jordan Romano threw 24 pitches yesterday and has a total of 67 over the last five days.
2. Dylan Coleman/Amir Garrett (KC) — All three of the Royals’ top relievers have gone back-to-back, but Scott Barlow has thrown more pitches than Coleman, who has thrown more pitches than Garrett.
3. Rafael Montero (HOU) — Ryan Pressly has pitched in two straight and three of four.

1. Raisel Iglesias (ATL) — If Kenley Jansen pitches Tuesday, it’ll be three outings in four games and four out of six.