• Earlier this season Blake Treinen was dealing with some elbow discomfort and now he has been placed on the IL with a shoulder issue. The A’s are calling it minor but in the meantime Liam Hendricks is expected to fill in as closer as he secured his first save last night, pitching a perfect 9th while striking out a pair. Some muscle memory with Joakim Soria on the grid in recent years almost made me throw him below but Yusmeiro Petit pitched 1.1 innings with 4 strikeouts in the 7th and 8th and has been a little more effective than Soria this year. Lou Trivino was expected to be next in line for Oakland, but he’s been struggling himself of late and Hendricks leapfrogged him in the pecking order. Whether Hendricks is closing for a couple of weeks or more will depending on how Treinen recovers. I’m clearly now doctor but it’s also clear that Treinen has not quite been himself this year even if his velocity has maintained.
• We mentioned Diego Castillo’s recent struggles yesterday and those continued with Castillo allowing two runs and four baserunners in the 7th inning last night, getting his 6th loss this season. The Rays have always been in a committee so its still a three-headed closrer with Castillo, Jose Alvarado, and Emilio Pagan but the preferred order of operations isn’t necessarily known. With Castillo’s struggles (11 runs in his last 9 appearances) I have put Alvarado atop the committee even though he has dealt with his own struggles this season. I don’t feel confident enough to say Pagan has jumped into the lead but if he keeps throwing like he has been that could happen.
• Naturally after I take off the committee tag for the Twins, Taylor Rogers is used in the 8th inning and blows the lead. After the Twins scored in the top of the 10th to take the lead Blake Parker was used in the bottom half, throwing a perfect inning for his 10th save. I am going to sadly reapply the committee tag here as the Twins will still throw their best option in the earlier innings on occasion, but Rogers is still by far the best reliever to own in Minnesota.
• Jose Leclerc pitched in the 8th inning last night, throwing a scoreless frame dropping his ERA to 4.72. Although he has an elevated ERA his 3.07 SIERA and 3.58 xFIP are closer to in line with what we expected from him this year. With that said, Leclerc still isn’t getting saves yet in Texas with Chris Martin getting the nod for the 9th instead of Shawn Kelley last night. Martin pitched a clean inning for his 3rd save. With Leclerc looming it feels silly for Texas to anoint Chris Marin as the closer but it seems as though he and Kelley could be co-closers moving forward. With that said, Kelley has struggled of late so a change wouldn’t be surprising. Leclerc had a few poor outings in a row in early June but in spite of that, since May 12th he has a 1.58 SIERA, 41.9% K-BB%, and a 16.1% SwStr%. Leclerc will never have particularly good control but he’s back to missing bats again and I would bet the over on his rest-of-season saves compared to Kelley+Martin.
• Quick Hits: Will Smith remains an obvious trade deadline candidate but amidst that he keeps shutting down the 9th, getting 20th save last night. With Aroldis Chapman getting a break, Zack Britton recorded his 3rd save. Britton’s experience (and contract) might place him next in line in New York but he walked three batters last night and overall hasn’t been particularly effective, with Adam Ottavino the obvious best reliever behind Chapman. Josh Hader threw two perfect innings for his 18th save, Brad hand (22), Felipe Vazquez (19), and Ken Giles (12) all recorded saves as well.
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