Jose Alvarado has more September saves than Craig Kimbrel

September 22, 2023

Philadelphia Phillies — On Thursday, Jose Alvarado notched his third save in September — in all of the saves, Craig Kimbrel served as his setup man, so this situation definitely has entered committee status. Kimbrel himself has just two saves in September.

Updated hierarchy: *Kimbrel | Alvarado | Dominguez.
* = closer-by-committee

Los Angeles Angels – Rookie fireballer Ben Joyce returned earlier in September after a multi-month absence and has looked impressive, striking out four in four scoreless innings, including an eighth-inning hold Thursday. Jimmy Herget served as an opener earlier this week, so that’s enough evidence for us to slide Joyce back into the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Estevez | Soriano | Joyce.

1. Brusdar Graterol (LAD) – Evan Phillips has gone in two straight.

1. Shintaro Fujinami (BAL) – An outing Friday would be four of six for Yennier Cano.
2. Jose Soriano (LAA) – Carlos Estevez threw 29 pitches in a rough outing Thursday and if he goes Friday he’d very likely be out Saturday.

Garrett Crochet and Jason Adam return

September 21, 2023

Chicago White Sox – Aaron Bummer and Bryan Shaw are in line for saves now that Gregory Santos is out for the year, but they’ll be joined in the bullpen by old friend Garrett Crochet. Although Crochet might be a starter next season, he’s likely to stay in relief for the next few weeks.

Updated hierarchy: *Bummer | Shaw | Crochet.
* = closer-by-committee

Chicago Cubs – Mark Leiter Jr. pitched in the sixth inning on Wednesday, with the Cubs down 8-6, and let three more runs score. We’ve got to think this gives Julian Merryweather the inside track at Chicago’s next save chance, with Adbert Alzolay and Michael Fulmer still out injured.

Updated hierarchy: *Merryweather | Leiter Jr. | Boxberger.
* = closer-by-committee

Milwaukee Brewers — Elvis has left the building, with righty Peguero hitting the injured list with right elbow trouble. He will miss the rest of the regular season, but could conceivably return for the playoffs. We’ve got Abner Uribe slightly ahead of Hoby Milner and Trevor Megill for the time being.

Updated hierarchy: Williams | Payamps | Uribe.

Tampa Bay Rays — Jason Adam was reinstated from the injured list Thursday morning and should be thrown right back into the Rays’ late-inning mix.

Updated hierarchy: Fairbanks | Adam | Poche.

Detroit TigersSee! Will! Vest! See Will Vest! We’ll admit he’s not the best. But when the Tigers need a vulture, he’s the righty that they culture. Lange’s a mensch, but on the bench; had to get his arm refreshed. Holy moley, Jason Foley’s gotta sit and watch his homey — that’s Will Vest! Wasn’t stressed: he got five outs with flair and zest. Yes, Detroit chose to exploit their bullpen guest! Will’s ringing up the K’s, Thursday he’ll spank the A’s, see Will Vest, see Will Vest, seeeee Willll Vessssssssst!

Updated hierarchy: Lange | Foley | Vest.

Seattle Mariners — Protecting a three-run lead against the heart of the Oakland lineup on Wednesday, the Mariners went with top arm Andres Muñoz, which left Justin Topa to pull down the save against lesser hitters in the ninth. Muñoz is still the main guy here, but expect him to get the occasional high-leverage eighth.

Hierarchy remains: Muñoz | Brash | Topa.

Philadelphia Phillies — Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth in a tied game, leaving the tenth-inning save to Matt Strahm, making him the sixth Phillie reliever with at least two saves. Strahm, Gregory Soto, Jeff Hoffman, and Seranthony Dominguez are all neck-and-neck (and other-neck-and-other-neck) for that second-in-line spot in Philadelphia’s bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Alvarado | Dominguez.

Minnesota Twins — Jhoan Duran came into the game in the eighth inning to keep Minnesota within a run, so when Alexis Diaz gave up three in the ninth, it was Griffin Jax called on for the save.

Hierarchy remains: Duran | Jax | Pagan.

1. Shintaro Fujinami/Danny Coulombe (BAL) — Yennier Cano hasn’t thrown a lot of pitches lately, but an appearance Thursday would be his fourth in five days.

1. Jason Foley/Will Vest (DET) — SEE…. WILL… Okay, we won’t put you through the reprise, but Alex Lange has had a lot of work lately and his backups could grab another save against Oakland.
2. Hunter Harvey (WAS) — Kyle Finnegan has pitched a lot recently.

Gregory Santos placed on IL

September 20, 2023

Chicago White Sox – Gregory Santos’ season is over, as the righty was placed on the IL with elbow inflammation. Look for Bryan Shaw and Aaron Bummer to lead this committee through the end of the year.

Updated hierarchy: *Bummer | Shaw | Ramsey.
* = closer-by-committee

Watch out for the red-hot Royals!

September 20, 2023

Kansas City Royals – Don’t look now, but the Royals have won six of their last seven games! Four different relievers have picked up a save in that span, with Collin Snider earning his first MLB save on Tuesday. Carlos Hernandez faced the 9-1-2 hitters in the eighth and gave up a homer, walk and single before being pulled for James McArthur, who struck out all three hitters he faced to continue a September to remember. McArthur has retired 31 of the 32 hitters he’s faced in September, striking out 11 and walking zero. Hernandez has basically done the opposite, allowing at least one run in five of his six September outings. This still isn’t a bullpen to trust (especially with three games against Houston on the horizon) but McArthur looks to be the best arm to own in Kansas City.

Updated hierarchy: *Hernandez | McArthur | Clarke.
* = closer-by-committee

Texas Rangers — The Rangers called on Aroldis Chapman to face Rafael Devers and Justin Turner with runners on second and third in a tie game. Chapman struck out Devers and got Turner to ground out to end the threat. Chapman stayed on for a 1-2-3 eighth when the Rangers regained the lead, which left the ninth for Jose Leclerc. The righty completed a perfect inning of his own for the save. Chapman remains the best bet for a save on any given night, but Tuesday proved the Rangers are willing to pitch him in what they deem is the most important spot, regardless of inning.

Hierarchy remains: *Chapman | Smith | Leclerc.
* = closer-by-committee

Baltimore Orioles – With the Orioles leading by four, Jack Flaherty was in line for a three-inning vulture save. However, he allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth. Yennier Cano, who had pitched the previous two days, entered and gave up a single before inducing a double play. After a walk, which included a wild pitch, Brandon Hyde lifted Cano for Cionel Perez, who struck out Jordan Alvarez to collect the save.

Hierarchy remains: Cano | Fujinami | Coulombe.

Boston Red Sox — Kenley Jansen won’t rejoin the team in Texas – he’s projected to be back on Friday.

Hierarchy remains: Martin | Winckowski | Whitlock.


1. Shintaro Fujinami/Danny Coulombe (BAL) – Yennier Cano has pitched in three straight while Fujinami and Coulombe got yesterday off. It’s likely Brandon Hyde elects to play matchups if his team is leading in the final two innings.
2. Jason Foley/Will Vest (DET) – Alex Lange has gone in three of four, including a 24-pitch blown save last night. Foley has also gone in three of four, though he’s thrown far fewer pitches than Lange. Beau Brieske threw 30 pitches last night. If the Tigers somehow find themselves leading in the ninth inning, they may turn to Vest or even Jose Cisnero.
3. Collin Snider (KC) – Both Carlos Hernandez and Taylor Clarke threw over 25 pitches last night while James McArthur has gone in two straight and three of four, so the Royals could turn to Snider again.
4. Andrew Nardi (MIA) – Tanner Scott has gone in two straight and four of five. He needs a breather.
5. Hunter Harvey (WAS) – Kyle Finnegan has gone in three of four, including a 24-pitch save last night.
6. John King/Drew VerHagen (STL) – Ryan Helsley may get a second day off after working two straight games.
7. Robert Suarez (SD) – Josh Hader has thrown in two straight and three of four.

1. Hunter Harvey (WAS) – If Kyle Finnegan does go today, it’s very likely he’s down on Thursday.
2. John King/Drew VerHagen (STL) – If Ryan Helsley ends up pitching today that will be three of four.

Giovanny Gallegos placed on the IL

September 19, 2023

Kansas City Royals – James McArthur picked up his first career save on Monday, pitching a scoreless 9th inning after the Royals scored 4 runs against the scuffling Trevor Stephan. With a win, a hold, and now a save, all in the past week, we welcome McArthur to this hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: *Hernandez | Clarke | McArthur.
* = closer-by-committee

St. Louis Cardinals – Giovanny Gallegos was placed on the IL with shoulder inflammation. Look for Drew VerHagen to get more holds opportunities in his absence.

Updated hierarchy: Helsley | King | VerHagen.


1. Jorge Lopez – The entire Baltimore hierarchy has pitched in back to back games, so we’ll tab old pal Jorge Lopez for a possible save chance today.
2. Bryan Abreu – Ryan Pressly threw 31 pitches in a blown save yesterday, and Hector Neris has thrown 53 pitches over the last three days.
3. Andrew Nardi – Tanner Scott has gone in three of four, including a 24-pitch loss last night.
4. Drew VerHagen – Ryan Helsley and John King have gone back to back.

1. Josh Winckowski – If Chris Martin goes today, it’s back to back and three of four.
2. Robert Suarez – Same for Josh Hader.
3. Jason Foley/Beau Brieske – If Alex Lange or Jason Foley go today, it’s three of four.