• After experiencing elbow pain again, Keynan Middleton is back on the DL with “damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.” This certainly isn’t good news and it likely means Middleton days of closing this year are gone. Even if he does return to the team, it’s likely an internal or external option would have a more secure handle on the ninth inning. With a save situation last night, Mike Scioscia turned to Justin Anderson who pitched around two hits and a walk for a scoreless ninth and his first save on the year. Jim Johnson had been seeing the ninth previously and Cam Bedrosian is still around as well. All three look to be in a committee of sorts for the time being. However, with the Angels tied for the division lead and looking to make the playoffs this year, I can’t imagine they’re going to finish the year hoping this trifecta of relievers will be enough in October. If you need to chase saves, by all means pick up or hold onto Johnson and Anderson but the team leader in saves this year probably is not on the Angels yet.
The new-ish Wild Card format keeps teams in the race longer and it’s only mid-May but some of the current bottom feeders have relief options that might be available this summer. Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, Raisel Iglesias, Zach Britton and others could certainly be on the block soon and I fully expect the Angels to be calling.
UPDATE: I foolishly left Blake Parker out of the write-up and the grid. I added him below. He has been the best reliever of late for the Angels and was also unavailable last night. It’s of course hard to tell the pecking order here but consider Parker as much of a possibility as Johnson and Anderson, and since he’s pitching the best if he gets an opportunity maybe it sticks longer than his first stint at the start of the year.
• Arodys Vizcaino had pitched the previous two days so A.J. Minter got the call for the save yesterday. Although it wasn’t a clean save, Minter held on for his second on the year and getting the nod certainly places him next in line in Atlanta. The Braves had previously announced that there could be a committee a few weeks ago between the two, but it’s mostly been Vizcaino. This situation could turn yellow or back to a committee but I expect Vizcaino to get the majority of opportunities with Minter filling in on occasion.
• Alex Colome’s early season struggles made the Rays grid red hot to the point many teams found themselves rostering Sergio Romo, something that was unexpected in even the deepest of leagues. Sergio Romo, Jose Alvarado, Chaz Roe and company were unable to seize the opportunity and Colome has turned his season around. After a scoreless inning for his 7th save last night, Colome has a 1.17 FIP in his last 10.2 innings with a 12/1 K/BB. On the year Colome has an unsightly 4.58 ERA but a 3.03 FIP and 3.36 SIERA. It takes a full season for a reliever to get his ERA back on track but if Colome can limit his walks and keep getting whiffs he could finish the season strong, even for another team.
• Quick Hits: Blake Treinen only needed 8 pitches for a scoreless ninth and 7th save on the year, lowering his ERA to 0.93. Shane Greene pitched in the ninth in a non-save situation and allowed a run. His bubble was about to burst a few weeks ago but he’s been excellent of late and his job is secure. Edwin Diaz thew a perfect ninth, striking out the side and now has 37 strikeouts in 20.1 innings supported by an insane 20.2% SwStr%. Adam Ottavino –> Wade Davis continued it’s brilliant run with Ottavino striking out the side for his 10th hold and Davis closing the door for his 15th save. Ottavino now has 41 strikeouts in 23 innings but for frame of reference for how many whiffs Diaz is getting, Ottavino only has a 13.6% SwStr%. He won’t keep up a 49% K%, but Ottavino should remain a top set up option this year.
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