Welcome back to Relievers to Stream for Wins and Saves! This will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning for the day’s games and makes for a great tool for those of you looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so be sure to check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!
- The Red Sox and Blue Jays game yesterday was postponed, so they will play a doubleheader today to make it up. Adjust your relievers accordingly. All other teams are in action.
- The best chance to vulture a win tonight could come from the New York Yankees, who will ask Nestor Cortes to try to get through four innings in their game against the Rays. Despite struggling last time out against the Red Sox, Cortes had looked useful in two wins against the Mets and Astros. Lucas Luetge or the newly acquired Clay Holmes could be in line to pitch a win in relief.
Transaction and Injury Notes
- The Astros acquired Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero from the Mariners in somewhat of a bargain deal. Graveman has been one of the best closers in baseball since assuming the role earlier in the year. It is a home-run deal for the Astros, who sit six clear atop the AL West and already have a dominant closer in Ryan Pressly. It will be interesting to see if we start seeing a time-share in Houston. The Mariners received infielder Abraham Toro and veteran reliever Joe Smith in the lopsided deal.
- The Yankees traded away lefty relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Reds for a player to be named later. The starting pitching has been the issue for the Yankees this season, something the bullpen has often had to mop up this year. Cessa sports an impressive 2.82 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings; Wilson, who has spent plenty of time on the injured list, has only pitched 18 innings and has an ugly 7.50 ERA. Ashton Goudeau and Edgar Garcia were designated for assignment in corresponding moves for the Reds.
- Michael Fulmer was activated from the injured list in Detroit. Fulmer had been handling save opportunities before his one-month layoff with a nasty cervical spine strain. He pitched a clean inning and looked strong on his return. Keep an eye on the late-innings situation in Detroit. Devin Williams was also activated from the 10-day injured list for the Brewers and will resume setup duties behind Josh Hader.
- Twins closer Taylor Rogers, who many see as a trade piece, hit the injured list with a left middle finger strain after exiting Monday’s game. This could make it difficult for the Twins to get above-average value for the lefty.
- Mark Melancon is still six shots ahead of the field after recording his 31st save of the year against the Oakland Athletics yesterday. Melancon only needed nine pitches to see off the A’s and preserve a three-run lead. Earlier in the day, former A’s superstar Liam Hendriks gave another stellar performance to record his 25th save of the season for the White Sox. Hendriks struck out Jorge Soler and retired the next two batters to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth in impressive fashion. The strikeout was the Aussie’s 71st of the season in just 44 1/3 innings. Elite.
- Alex Reyes may have suffered a blip last week, the day after setting a new Major League Baseball record for the longest streak of converted save opportunities at the start of a player’s career, but since then, he has notched two saves in three appearances and hasn’t given up a hit. He did hit Bobby Bradley with a low breaking ball in the dirt yesterday but otherwise had little trouble recording his 24th save of the season. He will continue to own the ninth inning for the Cardinals.
- After two disastrous blown saves on consecutive nights for closer Brad Hand, you may have thought the Nationals would have turned elsewhere yesterday when going into the ninth with a 6-4 lead. However, they did indeed call on their veteran closer for the third day running to close the game out against the Phillies. Fresh off giving up a three-run walk-off homer to Andrew McCutchen, Hand redeemed himself with a clean 1-2-3 inning to notch his 21st save of the campaign. This marks the fourth time this season the Nationals have rolled out Hand on three consecutive nights. Never again shall we give him the dreaded red-tag after two relief appearances!
- Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has seen his fair share of ups and downs like Hand this season, however, he too was solid yesterday, recording his 19th save of the year despite giving up a two-out walk to Wander Franco to bring Nelson Cruz up to the plate. With the count at 3-0, it looked like it could be another rocky night for Chapman, but he came back brilliantly to strike out Cruz with a slider to end the game.
- Ian Kennedy saw his first save opportunity for the Rangers since Jul 10 and made light work of the Diamondbacks in the ninth inning, fanning David Peralta en route to his 16th save of the year. A surprising trade candidate, Kennedy has been excellent in just 32 appearances this year – his impressive 35/7 K/BB ratio is backed up by a 2.51 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 35 Ks. He is 16-of-17 for the year in saves. All eyes on Kennedy this week.
- On the day Trevor Rogers hit the injured list, the back of the Twins bullpen gave nobody anything to smile about as they blew a 5-1 lead in the ninth inning against the Tigers, eventually losing the game 6-5. Hansel Robles gave up a single to Robbie Grossman and a double to Miguel Cabrera before walking Jeimer Candelario to load the bases with just one out. Robles then hung a 96 mph fastball over the middle of the plate with the count full that Eric Haase duly dispatched for a Grand Slam to tie the game. Young Jorge Alcala was brought on in extras but gave up a hit to Miggy to take the loss. It could be an ugly end to the year in Minnesota.
- Veteran reliever Daniel Norris took advantage of the Twins’ collapse to pitch a clean bottom of the 11th inning for the Tigers to pick up his first save of the season. Gregory Soto threw 42 pitches, taking the loss on Monday night, so he was unavailable out of the bullpen. Jose Cisnero took the win despite intentionally walking Josh Donaldson and then hitting Mitch Garver to allow two base-runners with just one out in the 1oth. Cisnero stuck out Miguel Sano and Max Kepler to keep the game deadlocked.
- Another nail-biting contest between the Giants and the Dodgers in the hotly contested NL West provided more late-innings drama, with Blake Treinen giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the loss for the Dodgers in a 2-1 defeat. Tyler Rogers pitched around base runners on first and third with just one out to get out a jam to earn the win. The mercurial Jake McGee retired all three Dodger hitters he faced to earn his 21st save of a sensational season for the Giants. They now hold a three-game lead in the division.