By leading the major leagues in saves with 51, Mark Melancon lifted himself to the top of the Fantasy reliever rankings in 2015. That was no minor feat for a pitcher who averaged only 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings, but Melancon excelled at avoiding walks, homers and hard-hit balls in general. He could have a difficult time keeping pace with the strikeout artists among the relief corps, but he should still produce well enough to be a low-end No. 1 reliever in standard mixed leagues.
Melancon agreed to a one-year, $9.65 million contract with the Pirates on Friday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Melancon permanently secured the Pirates' closing role in 2014, and continued to thrive in that role in 2015, finishing with 51 saves along with a 2.23 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 62 strikeouts over 76.2 innings. While he doesn't feature the stuff to consistently put away opponents via the strikeout, he spots the ball well enough to get the job done. The 30-year-old will once again serve as the club's closer in 2016, but it's difficult to see much improvement from his previous numbers.
Pirates closer Mark Melancon (3-2) absorbed the loss Monday night, giving up three earned runs on three hits while striking out two in a 3-0 defeat to the Cardinals. Melancon endured a rough outing in a non-save situation, giving up a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds after a Gregory Polanco fielding error allowed the game's first run to score. The right-hander's ERA jumped to 2.29 with Monday's performance, but Melancon has been otherwise spotless this season -- leading the majors with 51 saves.
Pirates closer Mark Melancon allowed one run on two hits, striking out three in his inning of work to record his 51st save of the 2015 season. He came on with a two-run lead, but allowed a double and a run-scoring triple before finishing off the 3-2 victory over the Cubs. Melancon has been money all season converting 51-of-53 save chances while compiling a tidy 1.95 ERA.
Mark Melancon continued to lay claim to the distinction of being the finest closer in the game Thursday by nailing down his 50th save in 52 tries. He retired Colorado in order and fanned two in the ninth to complete a key victory for the Pirates. He is the second National League closer to reach 50 over the last 12 years. Pittsburgh clawed back from a 4-2 deficit entering the eighth inning to afford Melancon his second save opportunity of the series. Though he doesn't possess the swing-and-miss stuff of some of the league's other top-tier closers, Melancon's reliability with the game on the line has been unparalleled this season.
Pirates pitcher Mark Melancon converted his 49th save with a scoreless ninth inning in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Rockies. It's the eighth scoreless outing in a row for Melancon, who has surrendered no hits and has a 8:1 K:BB ratio during that span. The right-hander has a 1.24 ERA and 0.83 WHIP since April 23.