Blake Treinen captured his 15th save of the season on Tuesday night against the Rays, but he was fortunate to have had a two-run cushion entering the bottom of the ninth inning. In starting off with a four-pitch walk to Brandon Lowe, Treinen followed in his recent trend of not throwing enough strikes. Over his six innings pitched in the month of June, he has issued seven walks while locating in the strike zone at an anemic 31.9 percent rate and throwing first-pitch strikes just 41.4 percent of the time.
The walk came back to hurt Treinen, as Lowe scored on a two-out Willy Adames single to cut the Athletics’ lead to one run. However, he stranded Adames by getting Kevin Kiermaier to ground out for the final out.
While Treinen’s job does not appear to be in danger just yet, we need to keep Lou Trivino and Liam Hendriks on our radar. Trivino had his first 1-2-3 inning since May 24, rebounding from a three-run, 0.2-inning outing on Sunday against the Rangers. While Trivino has been a steady presence in the eighth inning, Hendriks has only recently started to receive high-leverage assignments. In striking out the side in the seventh inning, Hendriks recorded his fourth hold. Since April 30, he has posted a 1.25 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 29.8 percent K% and has not allowed a home run despite a 26.5 percent ground ball rate. It helps that no other pitcher who has allowed at least 25 flyballs has a lower average flyball distance allowed than Hendrik’s 294 feet.
It is probably a little too soon to remove the committee tag from the Orioles’ row in the roster grid, but Mychal Givens is making a strong case to take the closer’s job back all for himself. He recorded his sixth save on Tuesday night, pitching a perfect inning in a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays. Givens has not given up a run over his last four appearances, which have covered a total of 4.1 innings, and he has struck out two batters in each of those four outings.
Trevor May notched his first save of the season, bouncing back from allowing back-to-back, no-out singles to preserve the Twins’ 6-5 win over the Mariners. While May is on an impressive run, having pitched 5.2 scoreless innings with a 17.1 percent SwStr% over his last seven appearances, this outing may say more about the future role of Blake Parker. Taylor Rogers was unavailable due to a minor back issue, but there have been no reports of Parker being unable to pitch in Tuesday night’s game. The former Angel’s last outing was on June 7, when he picked up his ninth save of the season against the Tigers but walked two batters in the process. He has allowed 10 baserunners and four home runs over his last 5.1 innings, and his absence against the Mariners is just one more sign that, when healthy, Rogers is likely to get the bulk of the Twins’ save chances.
Luke Jackson missed out on an opportunity to seize his 10th save when the Braves-Pirates game was called after a rain delay that lasted nearly two hours. Anthony Swarzak got the final out in the top of the eighth inning, so he got credit for the save in the Braves’ 7-5 win. What was more notable was that A.J. Minter got the first two outs of the inning, as well as the final out in the seventh, making an appearance right away after getting called up from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier on Tuesday. He was credited with a hold, and after a successful stint at Gwinnett (2.53 ERA, 34.9 percent K%, 4.7 percent BB%), he could figure into more holds in the near future. Maybe he could even close again, should Jackson continue to be unsteady in the role.
The fact that Ty Buttrey is owned in more than 25 percent of the leagues on CBS and Yahoo, even though Hansel Robles has blown only two saves, is a sign of how much the fantasy community still believes in Buttrey — and mistrusts Robles. Lately, Buttrey hasn’t done much to threaten Robles’ status as the Angels’ closer. Against the Dodgers, Buttrey did get his 13th hold on Tuesday night, but it was a messy outing, as he worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning and yielded a leadoff pinch-hit homer to David Freese in the eighth. Robles was called in for a five-out save after Buttrey issued a one-out walk to Max Muncy. It wasn’t a clean save for Robles, who had to overcome a pair of singles to start off the ninth inning, but he came away with both his ninth save and his fifth straight scoreless appearance.
Raisel Iglesias, pitching the bottom of the 10th inning in a 1-1 tie with the Indians, snapped his scoreless streak of 13.1 innings when he allowed Oscar Mercado’s bases-loaded single. The walk-off hit dropped Iglesias to 1-6. Brad Hand shut out the Reds in the ninth and 10th innings, extending his scoreless streak to 13 innings and picking up his third win. Over this 13-inning stretch, Hand has struck out 20 batters and allowed three singles, a double and three walks.
Quick hits: Will Smith (15), Hector Neris (14), Alex Colome (14) and Ian Kennedy (5) all recorded saves. In his perfect inning against the Padres, Smith got a pair of strikeouts to go along with a Manuel Margot lineout. Margot’s ball in play made Smith the only pitcher with at least 50 batted balls to not have allowed a barrel…The Jose Leclerc Watch continues. He pitched in the seventh inning with the Rangers leading the Red Sox, 9-3, and gave up a run on a pair of doubles…The Red Sox placed Ryan Brasier on the bereavement list on Tuesday…Scott Alexander went on the IL for left forearm inflammation, retroactive to June 8.
Al Melchior has been writing about Fantasy baseball and sim games since 2000, and his work has appeared at CBSSports.com, BaseballHQ, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and FanRagSports. He has also participated in Tout Wars' mixed auction league since 2013. You can follow Al on Twitter @almelchiorbb and find more of his work at almelchior.com.