• There aren’t many big closer changes this far into the season but it looks like the Braves are going to go with Arodys Vizcaino as the primary closer moving forward in Atlanta. With Vizcaino returning from injury and the calendar already pushing October, I figured the Braves wouldn’t make a full change like this, but Vizcaino has pitched quite well and the committee is now over. With Vizcaino in the top chair, look for A.J. Minter, Chad Sobotka to be the primary set up men with Brad Brach, Dan Winkler and others behind them.
• Earlier in the year, Trevor Hildenberger looked like a sneaky future saves option in Minnesota. While he’s reached the promised land of the 9th, he hasn’t been a particularly good option and after last night’s 4 run blow up, Hildenberger now supports a 5.25 ERA, 4.53 FIP, and more promising 3.68 SIERA. Paul Molitor will now move to a committee with the bullpen and we expect Taylor Rogers or Trevor May to receive the next save opportunity. It’s possible Hildenberger gets another opportunity before the season is over, and we don’t know what 2019 will bring, but Rogers (2.73 ERA/2.35 FIP) and May (3.43 ERA/3.41 FIP) have been better and will likely lead the committee in the last week.
• Jace Fry is slated to start a bullpen game for the White Sox which doesn’t necessarily take him out of the committee in Chicago as he’s not likely to throw more than an inning or two, but it does take him out of a potential save today. If you have him in your daily lineup for saves, I suggest you replace him with someone else today.
• Even though Mike Scioscia is stepping down as the Angles manager, he still finds time in the last week to make some last minute bullpen changes. Ty Buttrey had blown his last two save opportunities and last night Scioscia called on Hansel Robles for the save with Blake Parker pitching in the 8th. Buttrey could have been unavailable having pitched in two of the last three games so we won’t make a change to the grid as he’s likely given a longer leash with “closer of the future” potential for the Angels. By keeping Parker in the 8th, the Angels could also be dictating this is the order moving forward, with Buttrey just getting a day off and Robles coming in to not upset the order. However, with all of that said, if Buttrey blows a third opportunity in a row, the Angels may not look to go back to him for the 9th in the season’s last days, even if he enters 2019 as the leading saves candidate.
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