• We mentioned earlier that the Mets bullpen usage might change moving forward and that seems to be the case. Last night Seth Lugo entered in the 8th inning and instead of handing the ball off to Edwin Diaz for the save in the 9th, finished the game himself. We have this as a committee with Lugo and Diaz and it will stay that way with Lugo ahead. Lugo gave up a solo homer which ended an impressive hot streak for him but he’s still their best reliever at the moment and should see more saves than Diaz for the time being. It might not take long for Diaz to find a groove and reclaim the role but for now it’s hard to expect Diaz to have a higher save total moving forward. I would expect Diaz to enter next year as the closer but there is a long time between now and March.
• A day after being named closer, Mark Melancon gave up a four spot for the Braves while recording just one out and the Braves bullpen situation remains a bit of an issue. Shane Greene blew the lead in extra innings and Chris Martin has had his struggles on the Braves as well. I’m putting this situation into a committee with Melancon, Greene, Martin, and even our old friend Luke Jackson as guys who could see saves moving forward. It’s hard to say who will both see the next opportunity and not blow it, but the Braves have a few options of similar quality, so whoever gets the hot hand should claim the job but for now it’s anyone’s guess.
• We knew Ken Giles was going to be a little bit iffy for the rest of the year as he wasn’t even pitching back to back days when healthy and now he’s toying with another IL stint. It’s been touch and go with Giles and his elbow of late and although he doesn’t need any surgery (for now) he hasn’t been able to fully right the ship. With Giles out, Derek Law got the final four outs against the Yankees for his 3rd save on the year and he’s cemented himself as the go to closer while Giles figures out his elbow.
• Those of you with shares of Alex Colome were certainly happy when he remained on the White Sox after the trade deadline and although he gave up a couple of of (unearned) runs he still recorded his 23rd save last night. Colome would need quite the catastrophic run to lose his role and should continue to see however many save opportunities the White Sox dole out in the remaining weeks.
• Speaking of untraded closers, Will Smith recorded his 28th save for the Giants last night, striking out a pair in the process. Smith entered the season as a compelling closer who should get a few handful of saves before being traded and instead he has the 4th most saves in the league with a 2.44 SIERA and a career best K% and BB%. We focused so much on the pecking order behind Smith expecting a trade and those of you who held on now have a top tier closer for the final push.
• Quick Hits: With Josh Hader getting rest, Mat Albers closed his 3rd door for the Brewers this year and we’re going to move him up a slot in the grid behind Hader. Taylor Rogers pitched the 8th and 9th for his 18th save for the Twins. Sergio Romo was called on for the previous four outs and although he’s an effective option for the Twins, it’s Rogers job alone. Emilio Pagan is still in a committee in Tampa but he got a save for the second night in a row for his 11th of the year. Kirby Yates struck out a pair for his league leading 33rd save and has an insane 1.16 ERA with similarly impressive peripherals – 2.03 SIERA and 36.1% K-BB%. Geovanny Gallegos pitched into the 9th inning but Carlos Martinez recorded the final two outs for his 12th save. Martinez has been a little up and down of late and although he’s still the closer, other pitchers are entering his 9th inning territory. If he has any more blow ups, a committee could be prescribed in St. Louis.
When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias