Welcome back to the latest edition of our Reliever Ranks series! 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 looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!
Transaction and Schedule Notes
- We had 15 games across Tuesday’s slate of baseball with all 30 teams in action. No games went into extra innings.
- Braves reliever Collin McHugh was activated from the 15-Day IL.
- The Dodgers reinstated Evan Phillips and added Brustar Graderole to the paternity list.
- The Tampa Bay Rays selected the contract of reliever Heath Hembree from the minors.
BOS 8 – BAL 6
SV: Kenley Jansen (6)
- Josh Winckowski continued his role of any-time multi-inning reliever for the Red Sox as he entered the game in the 7th inning to protect a 6-run lead. Winckowski provided 2 IP with 1K with his efforts.
- After Kaleb Ort surrendered five runs in the 9th inning, Boston relied on Kenley Jansen to shut the door. Jansen responded by promptly securing two drama-free outs to nail down his sixth save. Jansen has settled in nicely in his new Boston home having yet to give up a run while going a perfect 6/6 in save opportunities to start the year.
LAD 8 – PIT 2
SV: Shelby Miller (1)
H: Caleb Ferguson (2)
- And down goes Holderman!! After amassing eight holds through his first eleven appearances, Pirate’s reliever Colin Holderman earned his first blown save and the loss courtesy of a 3-run home run off the bat of Chris Taylor.
- After Noah Syndergaard spotted the Pirates seven runs through four innings, the Dodgers kept the game close with clean innings from two newly activated arms with Victor González handling the 5th and Evan Phillips holding down the 6th. With Alex Vesia’s early season struggles, it might make sense to pay attention to Victor González as a potential candidate to help solidify the high-leverage portion of the Dodgers bullpen.
- Despite securing his first save of the season, Shelby Miller shouldn’t be considered to be in the mix for high-leverage work for the Dodgers moving forward.
TEX 6 – CIN 7
SV: Alexis Díaz (3)
- The Rangers’ bullpen woes continued on Tuesday. After having not pitched in 10 days, Cole Ragans entered the game in the 8th inning to protect a five-run lead. He was not fit to ship as he proceeded to give up five ER via a HBP, three singles, and a walk. Ian Kennedy was called upon to hit the brakes but instead promptly allowed a 2-run double to Jake Fraley to complete the Reds’ comeback.
- The Rangers have now endured bullpen meltdowns in back-to-back games. For a team that spent considerable money and attention improving their rotation and offense recently, it is hard to fathom how the bullpen wasn’t given the same consideration. Look for Texas to acquire bullpen help sooner than later.
- On the flip side, Reds closer Alexis Díaz secured his third save with two strikeouts while only allowing a Travis Jankowski
single. Diaz now has a robust 53.3 K% and has the Cincinnati closer role on lock.
SEA 5 – PHI 2
SV: Paul Sewald (7)
H: Matt Brash (3), Gabe Speier (3), Justin Topa (5)
- Matt Brash continues to offer rough seas with his late-inning work for the Mariners. The good is found in his strikeout upside and continued opportunities in high-leverage and hold situations. The bad is found when he is hittable and struggles with allowing baserunners. If Brash could put it all together, he could be a true weapon in this Seatlle bullpen, but as it stands, it is still a volatile work in progress.
- Since recalling Justin Topa on April 9th in a corresponding move that placed Andrés Muñoz on the IL, the Mariners have enjoyed very steady contributions from the 32-year-old. Topa now has five holds in nine appearances—including three holds in the Mariners’ last four games—with a .89 WHIP while averaging a strikeout per inning. Largely a minor-league journeyman, Topa now seems to have carved out a role as the trusted bridge to closer Paul Sewald.
- Speaking of Sewald, he ran into a little trouble in the 9th inning—allowing an Alec Bohm double and Jake Cave pinch-hit RBI single—on his way to secure his seventh save of the year. Sewald is looking like an absolute bargain so far this year as he settles into his role as the clear-cut 9th-inning option for the Mariners. The longer that Munoz is absent from the mix, the harder it will be to dislodge Sewald.
DET 4 – MIL 3
SV: Jason Foley (2)
- Detroit reliever Jason Foley pitched an economic 1.1 IP—needing only 15 pitches—to secure his second save of the season. The Tigers are employing a full-blown closer committee at this point with both Foley and Alex Lange having two saves a piece. Lange had pitched two straight entering Tuesday’s game, so that may have played a part in Foley’s usage here. For those in Saves + Holds leagues, it is notable that Foley leads Lange in Holds 4 to 1, respectively.
- For the Brewers, Peter Strzelecki was used in the top of the ninth to keep Milwaukee in the game. Strzelecki has put together a nice campaign so far and has solidified his role as the setup man to Devin Williams, particularly as fellow late-inning reliever Matt Bush was just placed on the 15-Day IL.
Best of the rest
- Carlos Estévez picked up his 4th save for the Angels with a clean 1.2 IP. Matt Moore collected his 6th hold. The carousel continues to turn as José Quijada (also with four saves) has not pitched since his meltdown on Saturday.
- Scott Barlow earned his third save for the Royals with a bumpy 1.2 IP. Aroldis Chapman was even bumpier as he managed to only secure one out in the 8th inning but was credited with his second hold.
- Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley blew his third save in dramatic fashion by allowing a Blake Sabol walk-off 2-run home run. Meanwhile, Giovanny Gallegos secured his 2nd hold of the season with a clean 8th inning. Gallegos is off to a sparkling start to the season having not allowed a run with a 11/1 K/BB ratio and a robust 42.1% CSW. We’ve seen this dance before. Be forewarned.
- The Giants employed a bullpen game—and it was true to its name. The following pitchers all threw innings: John Brebbia, Sean Manaea, Jakob Junis, The Brothers Rogers, Scott Alexander, Camilo Doval, and Sean Hjelle.
Bullpen to Stream
- Closer Alexis Díaz has pitched in two straight—needing 21 pitches to secure the save on Tuesday night. He might be unavailable today and open the door to a streamed save. While both Derek Law and Ian Gibaut have vultured saves so far this season, I might actually prefer to stream lefty Alex Young and his 35 K%—particularly in Save + Holds leagues.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:
The Hold Up: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday
Closing Time: Ranking the Top 30 Closers
Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues
You should take McCugh off the injured list for Atlanta! He got a hold yesterday and is looking good! Thanks for all your work on these!