No Changes to Speak of On the Closer Front
Cleveland Indians: The Indians have let it be known that they will ease Andrew Miller back into his setup role in the bullpen. They have even gone as far as to say that Miller is unlikely to pitch multiple innings in a playoff game in order to protect his balky knee. Then again, what teams say, and what they do, are usually two different things when it comes to the playoffs. It’s safe to activate Miller if you’re looking to protect your ratios, but I wouldn’t expect a large workload from here on out.
Colorado Rockies: Greg Holland had recorded five straight saves before taking the loss Monday versus San Diego. He was struggling mightily in August with a 13.50 ERA, but his outing Sunday was probably more of a blip on the radar rather than a sign of things to come. I would still roll him out there with confidence, as the Rockies aren’t going to make a change this late in the season unless Holland implodes in multiple outings.
Kansas City Royals: Although the Royals have never officially announced anything, Scott Alexander has been chosen to close out games if the need arises. Kelvin Herrera received another chance to pick up a save last Thursday but that didn’t go well, and it’s unlikely that he will get another chance to do so this season. The Royals have never announced an injury to Herrera but his pitching has gone south over the past month, as his 4.56 ERA and 1.43 WHIP will attest to. Perhaps the long season just got to him. Alexander is the guy you want is he’s available and you need saves or just if you want to block your competition.
Miami Marlins: Brad Ziegler has returned to the Marlins bullpen after missing several games due to a back injury. The Marlins have eased him back, however, and he hasn’t been used in the ninth inning yet. The team could elect to keep Kyle Barraclough as the closer just to find out what they have for the future. Ziegler has pitched well but is not an elite closer and the Marlins know what they have in him. It would seem the smart thing to do would be to find out what they have in Barraclough and find out if he can be their closer of the future.
New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman is once again pitching well and has even earned a couple of multi-inning saves over the past week. On Monday, the final pitch was clocked at just less than 104 MPH. Yeah, good luck with that. The problem now for the NYY is what to do with Dellin Betances? He looks awful of late as he can’t find the strike zone. He’s not in my starting lineup right now and shouldn’t be in yours either. You have to wonder if manager Joe Girardi will start putting him in low pressure situations until he gets over his control issues. I can’t see how you can put him in your lineup right now.
Toronto Blue Jays: Roberto Osuna is back at closer for the Jays after missing a few games due to a neck injury and to witness the birth of his child. Osuna has had a few bumps in the road this season but has still compiled 36 saves and should add a few more to that total before the end of the season.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
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