• Bud Norris was placed on the DL with knee inflammation and he’s been replaced on the grid somewhat by Cam Bedrosian. Bedrosian threw a scoreless frame on Saturday and also threw a perfect seventh this evening getting the Hold against the Yankees. There was no save situation but David Hernandez pitched in the ninth with Keynan Middleton also seeing some high leverage innings throwing a perfect eighth. It’s tough to gauge where the saves lie currently in Anaheim but I’m going to put Cam in the closer’s chair as he’s their best currently healthy reliever (when he’s healthy). I’d partially consider this a platoon of sorts until it gets sorted out which won’t get any less confusing as Huston Street is set to return at some point this week. I could see Street leapfrogging the competition if they do poorly but given his lack of success and health concerns of his own in recent years I think Street will be eased into the bullpen.
• It wasn’t a clean save as Alex Colome gave up a couple of earned runs but he held on for his 20th save. Colome had a more pristine ERA earlier in the year but was missing the strikeouts. However, since May Colome has essentially been a strike out per inning kind of guy which isn’t as sexy as his 11.28 K/9 last season but acceptable nonetheless. His 2.43/2.95/4.15 ERA/FIP/xFIP line after today’s poor outing is plenty good and should continue to improve if he can keep improving his whiff rate as well. Of more interest might be Tampa’s place in the standings. The Rays are only three games back of the Wild Card as of this writing but if they fall behind by the trade deadline, a “proven closer” like Colome could return quite the haul.
• Mark Melancon rebounded from back-to-back blown saves to nail down his 11th save tonight. His 4.82/3.82/3.36 pitching line leaves a bit to be desired but he’s mostly been the victim of bad luck with a likely unsustainable .362 BABIP, 68.6% LOB%, and 17.6% HR/FB%. Those numbers might not all drop to his career rates but he’s still projected to have an ERA around 3.00 or lower. Our brilliant commenters noted Melancon’s no-trade protection which could certainly prevent him from being moved this deadline but if he’s willing to be on the move the Giants will likely have several suitors.
• No save situation in Pittsburgh but Felipe Rivero handled the ninth. There was somewhat of a job-share with Juan Nicasio but Rivero has been perfect since Tony Watson was removed from the role while Nicasio blew his one opportunity allowing three earned without recording an out. I’m going to keep this yellow for now but consider it one with a reddish hue.
• Brad Brach continues to do a fine job filling in for Zach Britton as he got his 13th save for Baltimore tonight. Speaking of Britton, he threw a scoreless inning in his first rehab appearance from his latest DL stint. He’s is scheduled to throw again on Thursday and after that he should move up the minors and prepare to throw in back-to-back games. Brach will continue to own the ninth with Britton out but it looks like won’t be too long until Britton reclaims his role. Britton returned once from the DL already this year only to get hurt again so I would temper some excitement but one of the game’s best is close to coming back.
• Some additional housekeeping notes: Joe Smith was placed on the DL, Danny Barnes slides into the second chair with Ryan Tepera moving behind Roberto Osuna. Our brilliant commenters last night recommended placing Jose Leclerc ahead of Keone Kela in Texas but I’m going to keep as is for now. Leclerc has no doubt been the better and more dominant pitcher but Kela has more consistently pitched in the eighth. This could change and very soon but for now I’m keeping as is. Josh Fields and Derek Law have been demoted to AAA and they’ve been replaced by Luis Avilan and George Kontos respectively.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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