Mark Melancon RP PIT 3 days 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 1 week 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 1 week 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 1 week 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.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 1 week ago

Despite temperatures in the mid-40s, Melancon's fastball velocity increased Thursday afternoon to about 89 mph, touching 90 mph against the Cubs.

With Tony Watson unavailable after a two-inning, 30-pitch outing Wednesday, Melancon likely earned a longer leash as closer. He threw free and easy, looking confident in a clean ninth-inning against Chicago. The righthander might actually make for a decent buy-low candidate with owners who've lost confidence in him.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 1 week ago

Melancon returned to the ninth inning Thursday against the Cubs, tossing a perfect frame with a strikeout for his third save.

Melancon's struggled early this year with reduced velocity, and his heat was still down Thursday, but he found a way to be effective anyway. Tony Watson still makes for an intriguing speculative pickup, but the strong outing should give Melancon a bit of a tighter grip on the ninth-inning role.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon will not be available Wednesday but manager Clint Hurdle said he will remain in the closer role, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Melancon gave up three runs on three hits and two walks against the Cubs on Tuesday, blowing the save and taking the loss. While it was his first blown save, it was the second time already this season Melancon has given up three runs in an outing, and his fastball velocity has been down more than four mph from last season. Hurdle said he believes Melancon's fastball velocity will improve in time. Tony Watson seems like the top candidate to fill in for Melancon in the ninth inning Wednesday.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon allowed three runs on three hits while walking two during the ninth inning of Tuesday's loss to the Cubs. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said that Melancon is not injured, and that he's currently in the process of "working through some things," Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

The Cubs scratched out a run against Tony Watson in the eighth inning Tuesday night, while the speculation is that Watson would be the leading candidate to replace Melancon if the Bucs decide to make a change at some point. There's been no indication from Hurdle that Melancon is in danger of losing his job, but his diminished velocity continues to be a problem and his offerings have been very hittable early on this season.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon walked one batter in a scoreless ninth inning to notch his second save of the season against the Brewers on Sunday.

Save opportunities were nonexistent for Melancon during the season's first two weeks, but he has gone 2-for-2 over the last three games to open his account for the season. Melancon should have plenty of chances to rack up saves for the Bucs this year and is still a fine fantasy relief pitcher.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 2 weeks ago

Melancon recorded his first save of the season as he retired the only hitter he faced in the ninth inning of a 6-3 win over Milwaukee on Friday night.

His velocity has been down early this season, and the results have been disturbing. He needed just two pitches (both for strikes) to finish this one off, so it may not be prudent to declare his problems solved just yet. Fantasy owners should monitor his next few appearances to see if his velocity and effectiveness return.