Mark Melancon RP PIT 10 hours ago

Melancon logged save number 10 retiring the only two batters he faced in the Pirates' 4-1 win over the Mets on Friday night.

Starter Gerrit Cole came out to start the ninth and retired the first hitter, but a single and a walk prompted the pitching change, and Melancon needed just three pitches to finish off the win. He looked extremely shaky early on this season, but his velocity has been on the upswing, and he has enjoyed more typical results of late, solidifying his role as the team's closer.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 6 days ago

Melancon struck out one during a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his 11th save of the season on Sunday against the Cubs.

After a rocky start to the season, Melancon has now been scored upon only once in his last ten outings and has lowered his ERA to 3.44. He will continue forward as a very reliable fantasy closer now that he is getting back to his best.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon recorded his third save in as many days Monday despite allowing Odubel Herrera's first major-league home run.

The Pirates closer wasn't as crisp as he's been in recent days, perhaps because he was making his fourth appearance in five days. His cutter velocity has stabilized around 90 mph -- not as good as last year but better than in April. Tony Watson will almost surely close Tuesday (should there be such an opportunity), with Melancon getting a well-deserved day off.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon hit 91 mph with his cut fastball Saturday en route to earning his first save since April 25.

Eight of his 10 pitches went for strikes and he sat 90 mph. Melancon was so confident in his heater that he didn't throw any curve balls against the Cardinals.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon pitched a clean ninth inning to pick up the save in the 7-5 win over the Cardinals Saturday.

Melancon has now pitched four clean innings in a row, but he was unable to strike anyone out on Saturday night. After a rocky start, it seems Melancon has found his stride and reclaimed a tight grip on the closer's role for the Bucko's.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon has thrown three shutout innings in three non-save situations over the last 13 days.

It's been hard to get a read on him lately, given his inactivity caused by the team's losing ways. Melancon's fastball velocity remains depressed -- 88.2 mph as compared to a career mark of 92.9 mph -- but there's a chance he simply went through a dead-arm phase. Fantasy owners should find out over the next couple games, as manager Clint Hurdle will likely find a way to get his closer some work.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 3 weeks ago

Melancon struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday against the Cubs.

He's still sitting in the high 80s with his velocity (88.2 mph on Wednesday), but getting outs nonetheless. Manager Clint Hurdle continues to wait on increased speed, but the righthander recorded five saves in six outings prior to Wednesday.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 4 weeks ago

Pirates GM Neal Huntington said he's not overly worried about Melancon because he's still getting good movement on his pitches.

"We're still not seeing velocity, but there's more to pitching than velocity," Huntington noted on his weekly radio show Sunday. The general manager made no mention of any injuries with Melancon, so fantasy owners just have to hope the closer regains the fastball speed which made him an elite stopper in 2014. He pitched in three straight games from Thursday to Saturday, reaffirming his health.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 4 weeks ago

Melancon isn't available out of the Pirates' bullpen Sunday against the Diamondbacks, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Melancon has been called upon in relief during four of the past five days, prompting manager Clint Hurdle to give him a breather. The right-hander has alleviated some of the recent pressure on his job by delivering three consecutive scoreless innings during save situations, but Tony Watson's number figures to be called upon Sunday should another save chance arrive Sunday.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 4 weeks ago

Melancon tossed a scoreless ninth inning Friday to earn his fourth save of the season.

Velocity remains an issue for Melancon, as he averaged 88.7 mph on his cutter during Friday's outing. The Pirates are sticking with him as their closer for now, but his margin for error is much smaller now than it was a season ago, making him more vulnerable to lose the job if he runs into a prolonged stretch of struggles. Tony Watson remains an option to step in as a replacement if needed.