Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon, who has allowed a pair of runs in four spring innings, enters 2015 with a secured closer's spot for the Pirates.

About the only thing that can slow Melancon down is a rising salary -- he'll make $5.4 million this season. Traditionally, Pittsburgh doesn't spend large sums on relievers, so there's the slightest of chances the team trades him. Otherwise, Melancon offers impeccable credentials -- 1.90 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 71:11 K:BB ratio -- and is set for another season of 30-plus saves.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 months ago

Melancon agreed to a one-year, $5.4 million contract with the Pirates on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Melancon's salary will more than double (from $2.6 million) in his second year of arbitration, following another outstanding season at the back of the Pirates' bullpen. The right-hander turned in a 1.90 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 33 saves and 14 holds (four blown saves) in 71.0 innings in 2014. Pittsburgh will face a tough decision next winter in Melancon's third year of arbitration, but for now, he's firmly locked in as the closer.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 4 months ago

The Pirates tendered Melancon a contract prior to Tuesday's deadline.

Melancon enters 2015 as the Pirates' closer for the first time in his three seasons with Pittsburgh. He replaced an ineffective Jason Grilli last year, first recording 14 holds as a set-up man and then saving 33 games (in 37 opportunities). Melancon will likely make more than $6 million as a second-year arbitration candidate and it's doubtful the Bucs will pay much more than that for a closer in 2016 and beyond.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 6 months ago

Melancon recorded his 33rd save in 37 opportunities Friday, setting down the Reds in order on nine pitches (six for strikes).

Melancon has provided Pittsburgh with a lockdown closer after the team traded an ineffective Jason Grilli. He's limited opponents to 51 hits and 11 walks in 71 frames, striking out 71 batters for a 1.90 ERA. The righty has also collected four saves in the last nine days.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 6 months ago

Melancon was not used in a save situation for the second time in three nights Tuesday against the Braves.

Tony Watson picked up his second save in three nights, after Melancon was used to get the save in Monday's game. It seems that manager Clint Hurdle is just evening out the workload between his two best relievers as the Pirates gear up for a playoff run. Melancon has been excellent, giving up just one run over his last 10 outings, and his ERA sits at 1.93 on the season, so there's no reason to think he's fallen out of favor in Pittsburgh. However, there's a chance he could be bypassed again for a save at some point over the final five games of the season if Hurdle deems it necessary in order to keep Melancon fresh.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 6 months ago

Melancon threw a scoreless inning of relief in a non-save situation Sunday against the Cubs. He struck out two batters.

Because the Bucs play six home games in the coming week -- where the team holds a 46-29 record, Melancon could see multiple save opportunities. The closer has notched three saves and a victory thus far in six September appearances.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 months ago

Melancon tossed a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday to record his 28th save of the season.

Retiring all three batters he faced, Melancon had no difficulty navigating the ninth inning Wednesday. With an elite 61:10 K:BB in 63 innings and 0.87 WHIP, Melancon is making his case to be considered as a top-10 closer heading into 2015.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 months ago

Melancon (2-4) earned the win Saturday, tossing two innings of scoreless relief while striking out three Cubs' batters.

The Pittsburgh closer has now pitched consecutive multiple innings for the first time in 2014. With a playoff spot hanging in the balance, look for manager Clint Hurdle to put Melancon in high leverage positions even more frequently than usual.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 months ago

Melancon took the loss Wednesday against St. Louis, giving up the walk off single with two outs in the ninth, pitching 1.2 innings allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two.

Melancon was tasked with getting six outs for the Pirates and ran into trouble after striking out the first two batters to start the ninth. Giving up a walk and back-to-back singles to end the game.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 months ago

Melancon pitched a perfect ninth inning against the Reds on Saturday to earn his 26th save of the season.

The Pirates called upon Melancon to protect a one-run lead and he did just that, retiring the side in order on 15 pitches. He struck out Brayan Pena swinging to end the frame and now sports a 1.15 ERA since the All-Star break.