2015 Breakdowns: Relievers

2015 Breakdowns: Relievers
Matthew Pouliot looks at all of the jumbled closing situations and recommends handcuff options in the Strike Zone.
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Indians released LHP Scott Downs.

The move allows Downs to seek an opportunity with another club. The 38-year-old southpaw was in camp this spring as a non-roster invitee and posted a 2.84 ERA and 5/2 K/BB ratio in 6 1/3 innings during Cactus League action.
Mar 30 - 4:38 PM

Alex Avila went 0-for-4 on Monday, dropping his spring average to .184.

Avila just doesn't hit singles these days, which is why it's curious that Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has penciled him into the seventh spot in between Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Castellanos. It's largely because Avila is a left-hander, but if Ausmus thinks Avila will outhit Castellanos against righties... well, that doesn't bode well for Castellanos.
Mar 30 - 4:37 PM

Vance Worley will begin the season in the bullpen.

Meanwhile, Jeff Locke has secured a rotation spot. Worley entered spring training as the favorite and posted a 5.29 ERA with an 11/1 K/BB ratio over 17 innings. We're surprised to see it go down this way, but odds are Worley will still make a bunch of starts this season.
Mar 30 - 4:34 PM

Jeff Locke has won a spot in the Pirates' starting rotation.

It's a bit of a surprise, as many thought that Vance Worley would begin the year in the rotation while Locke would pitch out of the bullpen, but the situation will actually be flip-flopped. Locke has a 6.59 ERA and 9/5 K/BB ratio over 13 2/3 innings this spring.
Mar 30 - 4:30 PM

Nationals signed OF Reed Johnson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Johnson was just granted his release by the Marlins on Monday and it didn't take him long to find a new opportunity. The 38-year-old batted just .235/.266/.348 with two home runs in 201 plate appearances last season with Miami, but he could have an outside chance to make the Nats' Opening Day roster given their injury issues in the outfield.
Mar 30 - 4:27 PM

Casey Janssen was diagnosed with right rotator cuff tendinitis after undergoing an MRI.

Janssen reported some discomfort after his most recent Grapefruit League appearance last week, so the Nats decided to get him checked out. It's not a long-term concern, but Nationals manager Matt Williams acknowledged that Opening Day is a question mark.
Mar 30 - 4:24 PM

Drew Storen left Monday's Grapefruit League game due to a blister on his right foot.

That's a sigh of relief for the Nationals, who are dealing with all sorts of bumps and bruises at the moment. Storen, who is expected to serve as Nats' closer this season, should be fine by the time Opening Day rolls around.
Mar 30 - 4:20 PM

Lucas Duda drove in five runs with a homer and a double Monday in the Mets' 7-1 defeat of the Marlins.

Duda started the spring 4-for-31 with one RBI. In his last three games, he's 7-for-11 with two homers and nine RBI. We'd call that a rapid improvement.
Mar 30 - 4:19 PM
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