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Bullpen Depth Charts: Relievers To Stream – 9/9

Which relievers might be in line to vulture a save or win today?

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 an excellent 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!

 

Notes

 

Schedule Notes

 

  • After a full day of games yesterday, 14 teams will have the day off today: BOS, TB, DET, HOU, LAA, SEA, TEX, CHC, CIN, MIL, PIT, ARI, SD, and SF. Several of these teams have closers go back-to-back last night, but with the rest day today, the red on the chart doesn’t matter.
  • Streaming wins today looks difficult with the limited schedule, but the opportunity for a streamed save looks solid: Toronto’s Jordan Romano should be off, and Tim Mayza was rested last night, giving him a likely shot at the 9th tonight against the Yankees. Mayza is the only high-end arm for the Blue Jays who didn’t appear last night, making him a near-lock to appear if the game is close, and with both José Berríos and Nestor Cortes Jr. on the mound, there’s a reasonable chance that it will be.

 

Transaction Notes

 

  • The Oakland A’s optioned A.J. Puk yesterday. Puk has a 6.08 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP in just 13.1 innings this year, so a trip back to the minors could be more necessary for his confidence than anything else.
  • Toronto’s Julian Merryweather returned from the 60-day IL after his months-long battle with an oblique injury. Merryweather was a breakout arm early in the year before the injury, but he’s yet to pitch in the majors in the post-goop enforcement era. If his early success was deserved and sustainable, he has a shot at being an impact arm in a bullpen in need of them.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

  • 13 of yesterday’s 15 games finished within three runs. Not all were save situations, but that’s still an enormous number of games where bullpens had a meaningful role in determining the outcome. Despite this, Toronto’s Jordan Romano was the only notable closer who we can expect will be off for the day today while his team plays. He picked up save number 16 on the year in their 6–3 win over the Yankees, striking out one and setting down the side in order. Go-to setup man Tim Mayza was rested last night and should be fresh today for the series finale, so if you’re looking to stream for saves opportunities, he’s the most obvious candidate.
  • The other notable closer candidate who could be rested today is Baltimore’s Tyler Wells, who pitched just the last two pitches of the game last night to technically appear on back-to-back nights. That means, though, that Wells has two saves in the last four days, his first two of his career. Wells’ rookie year has been genuinely impressive: through 52 1/3 this year, his 31.5% strikeout rate and 5.0% walk rate have led to a 3.27 ERA. He’s worth keeping an eye on throughout the rest of the year — his performance has more than justified him having a meaningful late-inning role.

 

  • A handful of other top-end arms picked up what we can probably call “routine” saves last night: the Padres’ Mark Melancon (37), the Brewers’ Josh Hader (30), and the Giants’ Jake McGee (30) all appeared and picked up saves last night that did nothing to change what we know or think about them. Hader should be good to go again tomorrow if the situation arises, and the other two have the day off with the rest of their team.
  • If you have remaining trust in the Minnesota Twins, their dominant win over Cleveland could have rewarded you with a streaming save from Tyler Duffey, who pitched the ninth after Alex Colomé picked up three saves in three days. Explaining Duffey’s fall isn’t as simple as pointing to declining spin, but his curveball spin has dropped off this year and his strikeout rate has cratered from 34% to 22%. At the same time, he’s managed a 3.33 ERA, but that does seem to be propped up by his opponents’ seeming inability to hit the ball hard and in the air at the same time. Barrels allowed numbers for pitchers take nearly a full season from a starter to become reliable, so don’t expect his success to sustain itself — there’s a much lower floor for the former SV+HD ace, and we’d be wise not to get excited just because the Twins have eked out a handful of close wins lately between blowouts.

 

  • Washington’s Kyle Finnegan picked up his eighth save of the year, all since Brad Hand was added to the COVID-19 IL just days before being traded at the deadline. That pace places him on the same trajectory as many other valuable and reliable closers, and he has seemingly no competition for any competitive ninth-inning appearance. If you were so lucky to pick him up then, that’s more than paid off.
  • Giovanny Gallegos continued his fight to win the St. Louis closer job, managing to leave with his fifth save of the year after entering the game with one out, bases loaded, and his team up two. A sac fly and a strikeout kept the damage at bay. Don’t fret over the veteran reliever’s barrel and hard-hit numbers — he’s striking out enough batters that Statcast’s insistence on measuring those out of contact rather than out of batters faced makes him look like he’s getting hit hard far more often than he actually is. His sub-one WHIP better represents who he is: a flyball/strikeout pitcher who gives up solo shots. While that can be scary with the bases loaded, he’s done an excellent job of limiting his own baserunners — the exact opposite of Alex Reyes, the man whose job he’s working on taking.

 

  • Ryan Pressly’s command let him down in the Astros’ loss to Seattle. After allowing a scorched one-out single to Luis Torrens, he walked Jared Kelenic on four pitches before throwing a wild pitch that advanced both runners. Jose Marmolejos singled in both runners, and Pressly was lifted for Blake Taylor, who promptly gave up a home run to score Pressly’s last runner. This doesn’t read as anything more than a bad night: his stuff isn’t any less nasty, and he hasn’t had this issue often this year. Expect him to be ready to be himself again after today’s scheduled rest day.

 

Bullpen Depth Charts

Alexander Chase

When he's not writing about baseball (and sometimes when he is), Alexander Chase teaches test prep and elementary through high school math. He loves Shohei Ohtani, Camden Yards, and the extra-innings ghost runner rule. Don't you?

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