The early closing job for the Orioles is still in limbo. Brad Brach blew his first chance at a save on March 29th when he allowed two runs and four baserunners over two-thirds of an inning with two Ks. His stuff played better in his next two outings (two shutout innings with three Ks). Mychal Givens appeared to be gaining closing momentum after 2.1 shutout innings with three Ks, but Baltimore pitched him in the 6th on the April 3rd when Mychal struggled (two runs over one innings with two Ks). I get the sense that Givens will emerge as the winners early in the season. Darren O’Day remains in the mix after pitching two perfect innings with three Ks.
Chicago White Sox
The Nate Jones supporters in the high-stakes market have been beaten by the manager for saves so far in 2018. Jones tossed 2.1 shutout innings with three Ks, but he’s been bypassed for saves. Joakim Soria struggled in spring training (four runs and nine hits over four innings with one K), yet he stepped onto the mound for the first two saves for the White Sox. Soria allowed no runs and two baserunners in his first two innings with three Ks. Look for Joakim to hold the job as long as he doesn’t post crooked numbers in the 9th.
After two games, Shane Greene looks to be at risk. He allowed two runs and six baserunners over 1.7 innings with no save chances. Future closer Joe Jimenez struggled with command in his first game (two walks and hit over two-thirds of an inning). Joe pitched 1.2 perfect innings in his next two games. I would keep a close eye on Mr. Jimenez earlier in the year as he may take the closing job and run with it.
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