Mariano Rivera notched his 13th save on the season and the 621st of his career this afternoon as the Yankees clipped the Rockies, 3-1. The future Hall-of-Famer got two quick outs off the bats of Wilin Rosario and Nolan Arenado before plunking the third batter he faced, Jordan Pacheco. But the potential tying run, Josh Rutledge, grounded out to Jayson Nix to seal Colorado’s fate. The closer’s age and last year’s injury are clearly not a factor. Mariano is Mariano. Arguably (hardly) the best closer ever.
Rafael Soriano untucked for the 12th time this afternoon as the Nationals tamed the Tigers, 5-4. The Nationals’ ninth-inning man surrendered four earned runs in his first four appearances in ‘13, but since April 9th, he’s failed to allow a single opponent to score. In those 11 outings, Soriano successfully closed out nine contests with a 0.00 ERA, a 0.63 WHIP and a 21% K%. Aside from these notable improvements, the velocity on his fastball and cutter, as well as his swinging strike rates continue to lag. his isn’t uncommon for the right-hander — an owner of a career 3.56 ERA and a 23.6% K% in March/April — who progressively get better as the season wears on. Keep an eye on Soriano’s progress anyway, but this could simply be a case of the closer getting “warmed up.”
The Boston Red Sox placed Joel Hanrahan on the 60-day disabled list today to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Jose De La Torre, whose contract was purchased from Pawtucket. The move for the Sox appears to be both short and long-term. With both Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey hitting the disabled list within two days of each other, the Sox ‘pen was in desperate need for reinforcements. But the move could also indicate the severity of Hanrahan’s injury or the minimum length of time the hurler would need to rehab it. Although the initial diagnosis of a flexor-pronator strain of Hanrahan’s forearm doesn’t exactly require surgery, it frequently results in damage to the ulnar collateral ligament which could need Tommy John surgery to repair. Hanrahan will travel to Birmingham, Alabama to visit Dr. James Andrews on Friday.
In more shocking news out of Boston, Andrew Bailey doesn’t feel like he will be able to return from the disabled list this coming Tuesday when he’ eligible to do so. He played catch today (Thursday), but noted he will need more time to build up strength before he’s activated. With all of that said, and despite a fair outing on Wednesday, Junichi Tazawa continues to be the closer to own in Boston for now. If by chance Bailey is available in your league, I’d suggest you make the add and stash in case the Tazawa experiment doesn’t pan out.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]