Two saves in two days for Lou Trivino; Tanner Houck won’t pitch in Toronto

June 27, 2022

Tampa Bay Rays – Brooks Raley picked up his 4th save of the season with a clean 9th, after a scoreless 8th from Jason Adam. It’s his first save since May 11 so he’s probably still in about the right place on this hierarchy, but it’s the Rays so, you know, whatever.

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

Oakland A’s – Two saves in two days for Lou Trivino? That… really wasn’t expected, nor was this type of usage deserved, but given that the A’s are surely going to be selling off parts in the near future, maybe they’re seeing if Trivino can built enough value to net some random AA player at the deadline. We’ll shuffle him up a spot.

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

Boston Red Sox – The unvaccinated Tanner Houck won’t be making the trip to Toronto with the rest of the team, so we’ll remove him from the hierarchy for the next couple days. The Red Sox will likely give the keys to the 9th inning to John Schreiber during their time in Canada.

Updated hierarchy: Schreiber | Strahm | Robles.

Los Angeles Angels – After Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera both got ejected in an early-inning fracas, Oliver Ortega was tasked with the final two innings of a one-run game. Ortega delivered two scoreless innings, earning his first save of the season in the process.

Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Tepera | Loup.

Philadelphia Phillies – Seranthony Dominguez and Brad Hand had gone two of the past three days, so after Corey Knebel and Jose Alvarado put up zeroes in the 7th and 8th innings, Andrew Bellatti got the 9th inning and retired the side in order. Bellatti now has 35 Ks in just 23.2 innings and could see more late-inning action.

Updated hierarchy: *Dominguez | Hand | Bellatti.
* = closer-by-committee

Los Angeles Dodgers – Brusdar Graterol got an 11th inning save on Sunday night after Craig Kimbrel had pitched earlier in the game. Also, keep an eye here on Reyes Moronta, who pitched two scoreless innings in this one and has been stellar when healthy this season.

Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Graterol | Phillips.

Cincinnati Reds – While he wasn’t needed during Cincinnati’s 7-run blowout victory on Sunday, Hunter Strickland is now the man for the Reds for the time being, David Bell confirmed. There are a lot of injured relievers in this pen right now, so this could change as guys come off the IL, but for now, we’re removing Strickland’s asterisk.

Updated hierarchy: Strickland | Hoffman | Kuhnel.


1. Evan Phillips – Craig Kimbrel threw 25 pitches last night and has appeared in three of the last five, while Brusdar Graterol has gone three straight.

1. Brusdar Graterol – If Craig Kimbrel is able to go, however, he’ll certainly be off Tuesday.
2. Anthony Bass – If Tanner Scott goes tonight, it’s back to back.
3. Kyle Finnegan – If Tanner Rainey goes tonight, it’s back to back and three of four.

Lou Trivino and Seranthony Dominguez record saves

June 26, 2022

Oakland A’s – Lou Trivino recorded a six-out save yesterday after A.J. Puk and Zach Jackson were used earlier in the game.  Trivino was the A’s closer to start the season but has struggled all season and even after his two scoreless innings yesterday, his ERA is still 7.52 and his WHIP is barely under 2.00.  The save is enough to get Trivino back on the hierarchy but we will have to see a couple more before he moves up in this committee.

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

Philadelphia Phillies – Seranthony Dominguez pitched a perfect 9th inning for his second straight save. Dominguez is having a dominant season, but manager Rob Thomson is not ready to declare him closer yet.  We will leave this as is a committee for now and see if Dominguez can pull away from the committee.

Hierarchy Remains: *Dominguez | Hand | Alvarado
* = closer-by-committee

Seattle Mariners — Paul Sewald and Andres Muñoz both got the day off after pitching in the prior two games.  Diego Castillo came on in the 8th when the Angels brought the tying run to the plate and pitched a scoreless inning.  That left Erik Swanson for the 9th.  Swanson worked around a pair of walks to pitch a scoreless inning and pick up his first save of the season.  Swanson has an ERA and WHIP both under 1.00 on the season and he could work his way onto the hierarchy if he can keep that up.

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

Houston Astros – Ryan Pressly bounced back with a perfect 9th inning to record his 15th save of the season and complete the combined no-hitter of the Yankees. Manager Dusty Baker also confirmed that Pressly is his closer even after that rough outing on Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: Pressly | Montero | Stanek.

St. Louis Cardinals — Genesis Cabrera has been placed on the IL.  Zack Thompson should become a bigger part of the later innings while Cabrera is out.

Updated hierarchy: *Helsley | Gallegos | Thompson.
* = closer-by-committee

1. Matt Strahm (BOS) – Tanner Houck and John Schreiber have both pitched in two straight
2. Andrew Chafin (DET) – Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer have also both picked in two straight
3. Rafael Montero/Ryne Stanek (HOU) – Ryan Pressly has pitched in three of the last four
4. Drew Smith (NYM) – Edwin Diaz has pitched in two straight and three of four
5. Chris Stratton (PIT) – David Bednar has pitched in two of three, throwing a total of 43 pitches. Wil Crowe has also pitched in two of three, throwing a total of 63 pitches.

1. John Schreiber/Matt Strahm (BOS) – Boston starts a series in Toronto on Monday and Tanner Houck will not be making the trip since he isn’t vaccinated.
2. Zach Jackson/Lou Trivino (OAK) – If A.J. Puk pitches Sunday, it will be two straight and three of four. Same for Zach Jackson.
3. Giovanny Gallegos/Zack Thompson (STL) – Ryan Helsley threw 36 pitches yesterday while Giovanny Gallegos threw 32 pitches so if either pitches on Sunday, they will likely get Monday off.

Hudson done for the year, McGee may be stepping back.

June 25, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers — While protecting a 3 run lead in the 8th inning, Daniel Hudson fell awkwardly off the mound, and suffered a season ending ACL injury. Hudson had been the team leader in holds, and was the only Dodger with a save besides Craig Kimbrel. Bursdar Graterol will take over the primary set-up responsibilities, while Evan Phillips (who pitched a clean 7th inning last night) will jump into the hierarchy. We wish Hudson a speedy recovery. 

Updated Hierarchy: Kimbrel, Graterol, Phillips.

Houston Astros – The Vulture Save Watch almost nailed an off hierarchy save, with Phil Maton getting the the 8th inning and earning a hold, but the Astros sent Rafael Montero out for the 3rd day in a row for the save chance. Montero walked a couple hitters, but converted for his 5th save on the year. Pressly was coming off one of his worst performances of the year, but this was a usage based vulture save and we expect Pressly to be right back in line for the next save chance.

Hierarchy remains: Pressly | Montero | Stanek.

San Francisco Giants — 2 days after blowing a vulture save chance, Jake McGee was brought into the 6th inning of a game his team was losing by 2. He gave up another run, ballooning his ERA to a not-so-nice 6.98. McGee had worked his way back into the late inning mix until this most recent spell, but the 6th inning of a losing game is not where you would expect to see a first in line reliever. Experience may win out in the end, but we think McGee is going to spend some time working in lower leverage spots before he gets another save. 

Updated Hierarchy: Doval, Leone, McGee.

Vulture Save Watch:

  1. Rowan Wick (CHC) – David Robertson has pitched in 3 straight.
  2. Luis Garcia (SD) – Taylor Rogers threw 29 pitches last night,
  3. Jason Adam (TB) – Colin Poche has pitched in 3 of 4, and its the Rays.

For Sunday:

  1. Brusdar Graeterol (LAD) – Today would be back to back and 3 of 4 for Craig Kimbrel.
  2. Drew Smith (NYM) – Same for Edwin Diaz.
  3. Diego Castillo (SEA) – Today would be 3 in a row for Paul Sewald, but he has kept his pitch count low.
  4. Felix Bautista (BAL) – Same for Jorge Lopez.
  5. Joel Kuhnel (CIN) – Same for Hunter Strickland, meanwhile Jeff Hoffman has been placed on the COVID list.

Jhoan Duran excellent again, but who got the Twins’ save?

June 24, 2022

Minnesota Twins — Jhoan Duran was dominant Thursday (3 Ks in 1.1 IP) and on his way to a 2-inning save when manager Rocco Baldelli pulled his best reliever with one out in the ninth inning in a 1-0 game, much to the dismay of the home crowd. Lefty Caleb Thielbar was called upon to face lefty Andres Gimenez, but allowed a double to make things interesting. He managed to record the final two outs, though, for his first career save. Thielbar had a disastrous April (12.79 ERA), but he has a 3.79 ERA since May 1, so there has been marked improvement. He has seven holds and could continue to get late-inning looks if the matchup is right.

Hierarchy remains: *Duran | Pagan | Jax.
* = closer-by-committee

Miami Marlins — Tanner Scott converted his seventh save overall on Thursday and has the Marlins’ last six saves. The job is his and the asterisk is booted.

Updated hierarchy: Scott | Bass | Okert

Houston Astros – Ryan Pressly had a rough go of it Thursday, allowing all five of the hitters he faced to reach base to blow the save against the Yankees. Pressly allowed two walks, a three-run homer, an infield single and another single before he was pulled. He eventually took the loss when Ryne Stanek yielded a game-winning RBI single. Pressly had been pitching better of late, with five straight scoreless outings dropping his ERA to 2.41 heading into Thursday, so perhaps the ugly outing was just a blip. As Pressly put it, “I didn’t have it tonight. It sucks.” Yup.

Hierarchy remains: Pressly | Montero | Stanek.

1. Phil Maton (HOU) – OK, hear us out. Ryan Pressly will certainly be off after a bad outing. He’s also gone two straight. But, so have bullpen mates Rafael Montero, Hector Neris and Ryne Stanek. That leaves Phil Maton, perhaps?
2. Rowan Wick (CHC) – David Roberston has pitched in two straight. He hasn’t gone three in a row all year.

Saturday :
1. Anthony Bass (MIA) – A Friday appearance would be three of four and four of six for Tanner Scott.
2. Someone on the Astros (HOU) – As you read above, the whole back-end of the bullpen is tired. Whoever pitches Friday will definitely be off on Saturday.
3. Eli Morgan (CLE) – If he goes Friday, that would be four of six for Emmanuel Clase.
4. Emilio Pagan (MIN) – A Friday outing would be three of four for Jhoan Duran.

Jhoan Duran could get the next save chance in Minnesota

June 23, 2022

Minnesota Twins — The local paper wrote up Emilio Pagan as the Twins’ pseudo-closer on Tuesday, but  since then, the 31-year-old has blown the lead in back-to-back games. The article quotes Rocco Baldelli as saying that he won’t commit to one particular closer, but we think Jhoan Duran is now more likely to get the next save chance. Behind Duran and Pagan, Griffin Jax has emerged as a solid option for Minnesota.

Updated hierarchy: *Duran | Pagan | Jax.
* = closer-by-committee

San Francisco Giants — We did our part, correctly forecasting that Camilo Doval would get the night off and Jake McGee would get a shot at a vulture save. Unfortunately for our readers, McGee gave up a home run and two singles, and Tyler Rogers couldn’t keep the winning run off the board in relief.

Hierarchy remains: Doval | McGee | Leone.

St. Louis Cardinals — Second-in-line Genesis Cabrera grabbed the vulture save we forecast on Wednesday night, spinning two scoreless innings to give Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley the night off.

Hierarchy remains: *Helsley | Gallegos | Cabrera.
* = closer-by-committee

Baltimore Orioles — Rookie Nick Vespi — just one of several relievers quietly having an excellent season for Baltimore this year — pitched a clean sixth inning with a three-run lead and wound up with an unexpected save when the game was rained out.

Hierarchy remains: Lopez | Bautista | Tate.

San Diego Padres — With a big lead, the Padres turned to Nick Martinez, who reinvented himself during a stint in Japan. Martinez got 11 outs for his first major-league save.

Hierarchy remains: Rogers | Garcia | Crismatt.

1. Eli Morgan (CLE) — Emmanuel Clase hasn’t thrown many pitches, but he’s appeared in three of four.

1. Michael King (NYY) — An appearance Thursday for Clay Holmes would be two straight and three of four.
2. Joe Kelly (CWS) — A Kendall Graveman outing on Thursday would also be three of four.
3. Luis Garcia (SD) — Same for Taylor Rogers.
4. Jake McGee/Dominic Leone (SF) — And Camilo Doval.