Giovanny Gallegos firmly in control of closer gig for Cardinals

September 10, 2021

St. Louis Cardinals – Giovanny Gallegos earned his sixth save Thursday, tossing a clean ninth with two strikeouts. He has the team’s last four saves overall and has booted the asterisk. 

Updated hierarchy: Gallegos | Cabrera | Reyes.

Oakland A’s – Sergio Romo pitched a spotless eighth inning Thursday to set up Andrew Chafin, who converted in the ninth for his third save of the season. Romo and Chafin figure to be the top two saves options moving forward, but one of them might not pull away with the gig. If you could only roster one, make it Chafin given how well he has performed (1.64 ERA, 0.81 WHIP).

Hierarchy remains: *Romo | Chafin | Diekman.
* = closer-by-committee

Kansas City Royals — Greg Holland (5.79 ERA) was activated from the IL on Thursday, but we still need to see how he’s used before placing back into the hierarchy. Scott Barlow, Josh Staumont and Jake Brentz have pitched well in recent weeks. 

Hierarchy remains: Barlow | Staumont | Brentz.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today:
1. Daniel Bard (COL) – Carlos Estevez has gone in two straight, throwing 45 pitches over that span.
2. Tyler Duffey (MIN) – Even with a day off on Thursday, Alex Colome has gone in four of six. 

Saturday:
1. Genesis Cabrera (STL) – A Friday outing would be three in a row for Giovanny Gallegos, who tossed 20 pitches combined Wednesday and Thursday.
2. Cole Sulser (BAL) – If he goes Friday, that would be four of six for Tyler Wells.
3. Richard Rodriguez (ATL) – A Friday appearance would be three of four for Will Smith.
4. Adam Cimber (TOR) – Same as above for Jordan Romano.
5. Andres Machado (WAS) – Kyle Finnegan could need rest if he pitches Friday – that would be his third time in five days.
6. Trevor May (NYM) – Same as above for Edwin Diaz.

Aroldis Chapman is Mr. Hyde again

September 9, 2021

New York Yankees — Aroldis Chapman was booed off the mound on Wednesday after a low-leverage outing that included a home run, two walks, and a wild pitch. Chapman started the season with no earned runs in 18 appearances and he had a 0.39 ERA (1 ER, 23 IP) going into the game on June 10. Over the last three months, however, he boasts a 7.23 ERA, three blown saves, 24 walks, and seven homers allowed. You can’t trust him and neither should Aaron Boone. Chad Green seems likeliest to get the next save chance, and we’re sticking an asterisk back on this bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: *Chapman | Green | Peralta.
* = closer-by-committee

Boston Red Sox — Boston is in full-fledged committee mode, calling on Hansel Robles for the save with a one-run lead against Tampa on Wednesday night. 

Hierarchy remains: *Ottavino | Whitlock | Robles.
* = closer-by-committee

Minnesota Twins — That’s fresh Vulture Save we smell, courtesy of Tyler Duffey. You’re welcome.

Hierarchy remains: Colome | Duffey | Thielbar.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today:
1. Juan Minaya (MIN) — Alex Colome has pitched in four of five, and Tyler Duffey and Caleb Thielbar have each gone in three of four.
2. Ryne Harper (WAS) — Kyle Finnegan has gone in two of three and has thrown 89 pitches over the last five days. Andres Machado has pitched in four of five and Austin Voth threw 40 pitches Wednesday. Looks like Harper’s up.
3. Cole Sulser (BAL) — Tyler Wells has appeared on three of the last four days.

Friday:
1. Trevor May (NYM) — An appearance Thursday for Edwin Diaz would be three out of four.
2. Adam Cimber (TOR) — Jordan Romano has pitched back-to-back.

Tyler Clippard lands on the COVID-19 list

September 8, 2021

Arizona Diamondbacks — The Diamondbacks have placed Tyler Clippard on the COVID-19 list and sent Taylor Clarke down to Triple-A. We expect Noe Ramirez, who pitched the ninth in a losing effort yesterday, to take over as closer while Clippard is out.

Updated hierarchy: Ramirez | Wendelken | Mantiply.

Pittsburgh Pirates – David Bednar faced the heart of the Tigers’ order in the eighth inning and maintained his team’s one-run lead, setting the stage for Chris Stratton to earn the save in the ninth.

Hierarchy remains: *Bednar | Stratton | Shreve.
*=closer-by-committee

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today

1. Tyler Duffey (MIN) – Alex Colome has pitched in four straight.
2. Chasen Shreve (PIT) – Both David Bednar and Chris Stratton have gone back-to-back days, with Stratton having worked in three of four.
3. Drew Steckenrider (SEA) – Paul Sewald has gone in two of three, including a 25-pitch blown save last night, though the Mariners do have Thursday off.
4. Austin Voth (WAS) – The Nationals might give Kyle Finnegan a second straight day off after he threw 30 pitches on Monday. Andres Machado has gone in three of four.

Tomorrow
1. Cole Sulser (BAL) – If Tyler Wells goes today, it’ll be two straight and three of four.
2. Adam Cimber (TOR) – If Jordan Romano appears today, that will be two in a row.

Adam Morgan, Brandon Bielak pick up saves

September 7, 2021

Chicago Cubs – Rowan Wick got the day off after throwing 2 innings Sunday, so Adam Morgan picked up the save in his stead. We’ll move Morgan up to the handcuff slot.

Updated hierarchy: Wick | Morgan | Heuer.

Houston Astros – Brandon Bielak pitched the final three innings in a blowout, earning his first save. He does not factor in to the Astros usual late inning plans.

Hierarchy remains: Pressly | Graveman | Stanek.

VULTURE SAVE WATCH
Today

1. Andres Machado – Kyle Finnegan pitched two innings on Monday.

Tomorrow
1. Chris Stratton – If David Bednar goes today, it’s back to back.