Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan misses save chance with hamstring injury

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Joel Hanrahan was unavailable out of the Pirates’ bullpen last night because of a hamstring injury, so Juan Cruz got a rare save opportunity and closed out a 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks.

Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that Hanrahan tweaked his hamstring while throwing the final pitch of his Sunday save versus the Giants and “remains day-to-day with tightness in that area.”

Hanrahan said last night that he’s hoping to be available again Friday or Saturday, which would be nearly a week since the initial injury and means any further setback puts a disabled list stint in play.

He was fantastic last year with a 1.83 ERA and 40 saves in his first full season as a closer, but Hanrahan has gotten just one save chance so far this year. Last night’s save was surprisingly just the fourth of Cruz’s career despite his being a late-inning reliever with bat-missing stuff since 2004.

Blue Jays sign Michael Saunders

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The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement.

Saunders, of course, played for the Blue Jays in 2015 and 2016, putting up a line of .250/.336/.461 in 594 plate appearances. It was his good play in the first half of 2016, in fact, which earned him an All-Star spot and, presumably, made the Phillies think he was worth the $9 million deal they gave him over the offseason. That didn’t work out, as he hit .205/.257/.360 over 61 games and was released last week.

The Phillies will pay the rest of that $9 million. The Jays will see if he has anything in the tank to help them out.

Giants closer Mark Melancon is heading to the disabled list once again

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The Giants have placed closer Mark Melancon on the 10-day disabled list with a right pronator strain.

This is the same injury that sent him to the disabled list last month. He came back from that quickly, but it can’t be great that this is happening again. You have to assume he’ll miss more time given the recurrence of trouble. He’s going to get an MRI too. Sam Dyson is expected to serve as the Giants’ closer while Melancon is sidelined.

Melancon has a 4.35 ERA and 11 saves in 22 appearances this year. He signed a four-year, $62 million deal with San Francisco last December.