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
- Every team played on Saturday and all 30 teams will take the field on Sunday.
- The Yankees placed Jonathan Loáisiga on the 15-day IL with right elbow inflammation. The team decided to forego the bullpen replacement and recalled Jhony Brito to take over in the rotation.
- Other minor bullpen transactions include the Cardinals placing Packy Naughton on the 15-day IL with a strained left forearm and recalling Génesis Cabrera as well as the Braves replacing Jared Shuster in the rotation with Danny Young in the bullpen.
- There are a lot of uninspiring starters going on Sunday, meaning you’ll have the pick of the litter to find a starter that blows up, exits early, and leaves a vulture win opportunity for the bullpen. With so many options, throw a dart and see if you get lucky.
HOU 6 – MIN 9
- The Houston arm barn was unable to maintain the tie with which they were presented. Phil Maton set himself up for a vulture win with a perfect fifth, but Seth Martinez lost his first game by giving up a run in the sixth. Ryne Stanek kept it close with a flawless eighth, but Ronel Blanco struggled, allowing four runs, three of which came via a Byron Buxton bomb.
- A poor ninth-inning performance by Jovani Moran set up Jhoan Duran for his second save. He needed just one out to get the job done but still had enough time to unleash the fastest pitch of the day – a 101.3 mph four-seam fastball. While he tossed just three pitches, he has now pitched on consecutive days. That would usually mean that Jorge López or Griffin Jax would have a shot at the ninth on Sunday, but they’ve also both pitched on back-to-back days, earning their second and third holds respectively with perfect innings on Saturday. That leads me to peg Emilio Pagán and Caleb Thielbar as possible closing options for the Twins in the absence of Duran.
KCR 6 – SFG 5
- With Scott Barlow having pitched on consecutive days, Aroldis Chapman got his shot at closing out the ninth. He set the opposition down in order while throwing the third-fastest pitch on Saturday – a 100.2 mph heater. Barlow is probably shaking in his boots and sending his resume around the league as his closer job may be in jeopardy with the way Chapman is pitching. Setting up for the big left-hander was another big southpaw. Amir Garrett pitched a scoreless seventh before Taylor Clarke tossed a scoreless eighth, recording all of his outs via the strikeout to earn his first win.
- In a tie game in the ninth, the Giants turned to Camilo Doval to keep it that way. During his appearance, he threw the second-fastest pitch of the day – a 100.3 mph cutter. He wasn’t able to hold the score and was saddled with his first loss. Stock up for Taylor Rogers. In fact, that’s back-to-back days for Doval, so any save opportunity on Sunday likely goes Rogers’ way. We also saw Ross Stripling create a disaster across just five outs as he served up two longballs and was tagged for four runs. John Brebbia was the only reliever with a clean plate, finishing off Stripling’s eighth.
TEX 3 – CHC 10
- It wasn’t a great outing for the Rangers’ pitching staff, but there were some standouts. Ian Kennedy recorded just one out and allowed two runs (one earned), but he did induce five whiffs on 12 fastballs despite a 1.4-mph dip in velocity. Brock Burke got the memo as he took the ball from Kennedy to close out the sixth and induced three whiffs of his own on just eight fastballs while sitting down one tick. The final two frames were covered by former starters Taylor Hearn and Dane Dunning.
- Preparing for a save situation, the Cubs set up with Keegan Thompson in the seventh and Brad Boxberger in the eighth. However, a four-run bottom of the eighth took away the save chance, leading to Michael Rucker pitching the ninth.
CIN 2 – PHI 3
- After the starter shut down the Phillies, the Reds went straight to Alexis Díaz in the eighth hoping for a two-inning save. The first frame went swimmingly, but the Phillies were intent on coming back and got to Diaz in the ninth. Three runs were attributed to Díaz as he was saddled with his first loss despite also recording his first hold. Ian Gibaut was given a blown save for surrendering the winning run when he allowed an inherited runner to score on a Bryson Stott single. Díaz threw 32 pitches and may need some rest on Sunday, setting up Derek Law or Reiver Sanmartin for a shot at a save.
- The Phillies’ relief corps did well and was awarded a W, which ironically went to the only reliever to allow a run, Andrew Vasquez. Prior to his appearance, Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, and Seranthony Domínguez combined for three scoreless innings to set the offense up for a walk-off.
BOS 14 – DET 5
- The blowout led to inconsequential relief work on both sides. The Red Sox turned to Zack Kelly for two scoreless frames, Kaleb Ort for a clean eighth, and Ryan Brasier in the ninth.
- The Tigers called upon Garrett Hill for 10 outs and Tyler Alexander for 9 before using a position player pitcher (Zach McKinstry) in the ninth.
OAK 0 – TBR 11
- The blowout afforded the A’s an opportunity to get their arms some work. Sam Moll completed the starter’s fifth, Domingo Acevedo served up two dingers in the sixth, Jeurys Familia was flawless in the seventh, and Carlos Pérez pretended to be a pitcher in the eighth.
- The Rays did the opposite and turned to Kevin Kelly for two perfect innings.
MIA 2 – NYM 5
- Trailing from the get-go, the Marlins arm barn attempted to keep things close. However, the first member of the pen didn’t get the memo. Huascar Brazoban served up a two-run shot to Pete Alonso in the fifth before Andrew Nardi, Matt Barnes, and JT Chargois pitched the final three frames without allowing a run.
- David Robertson might’ve put the final nail in the coffin of any notion that someone else will be the Mets’ closer with his save on Saturday. He tossed a perfect ninth for his second save, and with the way Adam Ottavino has been used and how he’s performed, I’d say Robertson’s role is pretty safe for the time being. Drew Smith, Brooks Raley, and John Curtiss set up for Robertson. Raley notched his fourth hold to make him the league leader in that category. This was Curtiss’ first hold of the season.
SEA 3 – CLE 2
- For the second straight day, Paul Sewald locked down a save in Cleveland. This has to confirm that he will be the preferred ninth-inning option again in 2023. However, with Sewald going on consecutive days, Andrés Muñoz will be the one to pitch in a save situation on Sunday. Penn Murfee, Matt Festa, and Gabe Speier set up for Sewald and they each recorded their first hold of the campaign.
- The Guardians got two flawless frames out of Eli Morgan to push the game to the eighth. There, Enyel De Los Santos tossed a clean frame before turning the ball over to Trevor Stephan for a scoreless ninth. Morgan struck out three batters and induced whiffs on half of the eight sliders and four changeups he threw. If he keeps going multiple innings, I’m going to start considering him as an option in a number of my leagues because of the elite K-BB rates he’s put up in the past.
CHW 11 – PIT 5
- A five-run seventh gave the White Sox all the breathing room they could ask for. Weirdly enough, they still turned to their top arms. Joe Kelly earned his first hold before the offensive glow-up. Aaron Bummer and Kendall Graveman each pitched a scoreless frame across the seventh and eighth. Finally, Reynaldo López pitched the ninth and served up a homer to Andrew McCutchen. As much fun as López being the closer and pumping 100 is, don’t get too attached because Liam Hendriks could be back in the next month or so.
- A poor showing from the starter set the tone for the night. Chase De Jong, Rob Zastryzny, and Duane Underwood Jr. combined to give up six runs before Jose Hernandez posted two perfect frames. He induced four whiffs on just nine sliders, and as a Rule 5 selection, he has a hint of intrigue and upside.
NYY 4 – BAL 1
- It was a strong showing from the bullpen in the Bronx. Michael King tossed two scoreless frames with three Ks to notch his first hold. Wandy Peralta pitched a hitless eighth to set up for a hitless ninth from Clay Holmes. That outing earned Holmes his second save of the season. With injuries to Jonathan Loáisiga and Lou Trivino, Holmes’ job is pretty safe.
- Nothing all that interesting of note out of Baltimore. Austin Voth pitched a pair of frames and served up a longball to Giancarlo Stanton, Keegan Akin recorded four outs flawlessly, and Mike Baumann tossed a hitless ninth.
STL 6 – MIL 0
- Zack Thompson and Drew VerHagen were successful in sustaining the shutout. The former pitched a scoreless eighth and the latter tossed a perfect ninth.
- With no help from the offense, the Brew Crew turned to Gus Varland and Javy Guerra for a pair of frames apiece before Joel Payamps closed out the game with a zero in the ninth.
SDP 4 – ATL 1
- Josh Hader secured another save for the Padres, recording all of his outs via the strikeout. After last year’s disaster, it’s been confidence-inducing to see the southpaw strike out eight batters across his first four scoreless innings. With Luis Garcia recording his third hold in the eighth on Saturday, both he and Hader have pitched each of the past two days. Steven Wilson, who recorded his second hold with a hitless seventh, would be the likely candidate to appear in a save situation on Sunday.
- With a lack of offense, the Braves turned to Dylan Lee for two flawless innings, Danny Young for four outs, and Kirby Yates for the final two outs.
LAD 8 – ARI 12
- In this shootout, the Dodgers drew their weapon the slowest. Is that how that works? Anyway, Alex Vesia, Brusdar Graterol, and Andre Jackson combined to surrender six runs across four innings. My hopes of Graterol being a save candidate are dwindling.
- For the Diamondbacks, Kyle Nelson vultured his first win while Kevin Ginkel and Scott McGough recorded their first and second holds respectively despite each allowing a run. McGough is pegged as the closer, but he was pitching with a five-run lead. Not sure what that’s about. He also gave up another home run, so keep an eye on the closer situation in Arizona because McGough’s grasp of the ninth seems to be slipping. Also, Luis Frías recorded five outs, so that’s a thing.
WSN 7 – COL 6
- We got to see all of the high-leverage arms pitch for the Nationals. Hunter Harvey completed the starter’s sixth, Mason Thompson tossed a perfect seventh, Kyle Finnegan got some work in with a scoreless eighth, and Anthony Banda started off the ninth by giving up three runs. Wait, aren’t you forgetting someone? I’m getting there. Banda’s poor outing necessitated Carl Edwards Jr.’s presence, as he squashed any semblance of a comeback and earned his first save. Finnegan, Harvey, and Edwards Jr. have all pitched on each of the past two days. I would advise against it given the talent level and setting, but Mason Thompson or Erasmo Ramírez likely have first dibs on a save if it arises on Sunday.
- Just two dudes relieved for the Rockies. Connor Seabold recorded five outs and gave up one run, and Brent Suter pitched two innings and surrendered a single run. Just a couple of dudes pitchin’ in Colorado.
TOR 5 – LAA 9
- A mid-game blowup from the starter led to bullpen usage in the fifth. Adam Cimber served up a dinger to Mike Trout in that frame but escaped without further damage. Trevor Richards and Zach Pop pitched the next two innings without allowing a run. Lastly, Anthony Bass gave up a longball to Hunter Renfroe in the ninth, the first of his Angels tenure.
- Carlos Estévez got screwed out of a save because of that Renfroe moonshot but still pitched anyway. His fastball velocity is slowly returning as he sat just 1.2 mph below his average from last year. Before him, Jaime Barría vultured a win and Ryan Tepera (first hold), Aaron Loup (first hold), and José Quijada (second hold) earned holds.
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
(Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)