All’s quiet on the home front or the calm before the storm? There hasn’t been any major unrest in the ninth inning recently, but there are still a number of situations that you should continue monitoring as the season progresses.
Kansas City Royals – For those who continue to wonder if Greg Holland is all right, allow me to give an emphatic yes. If you haven’t owned Holland regularly, then you aren’t aware of the fact that he has always seemed to struggle early on in the year, but always rights the ship soon enough. Now obviously the pectoral issue has altered his timetable for greatness, but believe me…the last thing you want to do is give up on this guy before you should. By year end he will again be one of the best closers in the game.
Oakland A’s – Sean Doolittle was officially reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday and, according to manager Bob Melvin, he will be eased back into the closer’s job. There’s no real timetable established for the transition, but Tyler Clippard value takes an immediate hit. Don’t drop him just yet though. At least not until you see Doolittle string together a few scoreless outings and notch a save or two.
Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays said that they would ease Jake McGee back into the closer’s role even though Brad Boxberger had done a perfectly fine job in his absence. McGee made three-straight scoreless appearances but got blown up Tuesday in the eighth inning and was charged the blown save. Similarly to the Oakland situation, there’s no timetable for the transition to fully take place so don’t go dropping Boxberger just yet. There’s not even a guarantee that the job actually changes hands even, so stay tuned.
Texas Rangers – It would seem that Shawn Tolleson has temporarily locked down this job for now as he’s now notched five saves in his last five appearances and manager Jeff Banister doesn’t appear to be looking in anyone’s direction but his. Keone Kela still lurks in the shadows and there’s always the possibility that Neftali Feliz returns to the role, but for now, there’s no reason to change anything up.
Arizona Diamondbacks – With Enrique Burgos hitting the DL with shoulder tendinitis, the committee situation in Arizona seems to have come to an end and Brad Ziegler should stand alone in the ninth. There’s been talk of refining Oliver Perez’ delivery to help make him a more effective reliever, but it seems unlikely that he’ll get any save opportunities unless Ziegler is unavailable. Meanwhile, Addison Reed, who hopes to regain the job at some point this season, has made six appearances since losing the job and has allowed two earned runs with an unfortunate 4:5 K:BB over 6 1/3 innings. There’s obviously a chance that he regains the role at some point in the season, but he still needs to prove himself in these low-leverage situations first.
Chicago Cubs – Since the last time we reported on the Cubs, closer Hector Rondon, who had been going through a rough patch, has made two scoreless appearances in non-save situations and grabbed one win. He’s not completely out of the woods just yet, but it’s looking good so far and he remains locked into the job.
Blown Saves This Week:
|Jake McGee||TB||1||(charged in 8th inning)|
Handcuffs to Watch: