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
- Fifteen games were played on Sunday involving all 30 clubs and twenty more teams are slated to suit up on Monday. The ten teams with scheduled off days are:: TBR, BOS, NYY, CHW, LAA, OAK, ATL, MIA, NYM, and CHC.
- Glenn Otto was optioned to AAA by the Rangers and replaced on the roster by Owen White. White figures to slot in to a low-leverage, long relief role.
- Nate Pearson was optioned to AAA by the Blue Jays with no corresponding move yet announced. While he competed for a high-leverage role earlier in the year, he fell out of the holds picture and will be able to get more work in AAA.
SDP 1 – DET 3
SV: Alex Lange (17)
- With the recent return of Robert Suarez, there’s now one more guy competing for holds in the back end of this Padres bullpen. While Steven Wilson isn’t likely to be removed from a high-leverage role, Tom Cosgrove is a bit on the outside looking in right now as he competes with Tim Hill to be the preferred lefty. Cosgrove has been shaky recently with four walks and five strikeouts in his past five outings, but he managed to only allow runs in one of those outings and still carries a 2.00 ERA on the year.
- Jason Foley continues to look like the more stable and reliable pitcher to me, but Alex Lange continues to get the save chances. With four more years of team control, I doubt they’re trying to boost his value for an imminent trade, but I suppose it’s possible. Foley needed just twelve pitches to retire the side in order and earn his eighteenth hold while Lange needed 22 pitches and worked around a walk, an error, and a wild pitch which got the tying run in scoring position. Overall, Foley hasn’t displayed the same strikeout upside as Lange, but Lange’s elevated walk rate now above 15% more than erases his advantage in punchouts.
SFG 1 – WSN 6
- Anthony Desclafani came on as a bulk reliever and Jakob Junis also handled a couple of innings to provide yet another day off for Camilo Doval and Tyler Rogers, who will certainly be needed maintenance innings soon if they don’t get in one of the next two games. Taylor Rogers pitched for the first time since Tuesday and continued his standout performance since May 1st. Apart from a rough outing on July 7th, the elder Rogers twin has continued his dominance in July and seems to be having a major bounce-back campaign after a rough 2022.
- There aren’t many Nationals relievers left who have much potential to have a fantasy impact. Of those who pitched Sunday, Mason Thompson has the best chance followed by Jordan Weems given the latter’s strikeout potential, but I wouldn’t trust either of them at all. The Nats injured relievers don’t seem to be coming back anytime soon, so someone will eventually get holds behind Kyle Finnegan, but it’s just a question of volume and what kind of ratios you’d have to eat to get those holds.
KCR 5 – NYY 8
- Maybe Scott Barlow doesn’t want to leave Kansas City. In his past two outings, Barlow has now allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits and five walks while recording just one strikeout and five outs overall. His season ERA is now up over 5.00 and his season WHIP is over 1.50 and I can’t imagine any contender wanting to pay to have that on their team. Over the past week, Barlow may have effectively tanked his trade value, but guaranteed he stays in line for saves for the rest of the year.
- You know it’s a deep bullpen when a guy having a season like Ian Hamilton has only been able to work himself into three holds and one save. Ron Marinaccio come on in a low-leverage situation and allowed a couple runs. When you compare his overall numbers to the guys he’s competing against for holds (Wandy Peralta, Tommy Kahnle, and Ian Hamilton), it seems like he’d be a step behind in the pecking order, but I don’t think that’s the case given the track record of success Marinaccio has had over the past twelve months.
ARZ 3 – CIN 7
SV: Lucas Sims (2)
- It was a straight bullpen game for Arizona on Sunday and several pitchers stumbled to contribute to the loss. The most notable of which was Miguel Castro who continued his slide in July and now has seven earned runs in 7.2 IPs across eight appearances in the month. After a spectacular start in April and May, Castro has really struggled these past two months and, given the Diamondbacks’ willingness to change bullpen roles on a whim so far this year, Castro may find himself passed over for holds opportunities in favor of hotter relievers like Kevin Ginkel.
- Alexis Díaz had recorded saves in three of the previous four games, so when Levi Stoudt allowed a couple 9th inning baserunners that threatened the team’s four-run lead, Lucas Sims was called upon to close the game out and earn his second save. Sims has looked a bit shaky his past few outings and threw just two of seven pitches for strikes in this one, but it’s all he needed to force a game-winning double play. Both he and Ian Gibaut should be considered the top contenders for holds here.
BAL 5 – TBR 3
HD: Yennier Cano (24)
SV: Félix Bautista (28)
- Mike Baumann provided an eight-out bridge to our two familiar faces at the end of the Orioles’ pen, Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista. While Cano was nearly untouchable for the first couple months of the year and has been merely good in July, Bautista started out great and has ascended to legendary status recently. While he did allow two hits, he struck out the side to keep his season K-rate above 50% and push his K:BB ratio since June 1 up to 42:2. Simply put, he’s putting up one of the most dominant stretches by a reliever we’ve ever seen in history. Both Cano and Bautista have now worked in four out of five games, though, so expect some rest days to be coming up in the next week.
- Unlike in recent years, there seems to be a clear hierarchy in the Rays pen with Pete Fairbanks working the 9th, then, generally Jason Adam before him, and Colin Poche in the most high-leveraged spot before him. The Rays brought Poche on in a tie game in the 6th here, but he allowed what would eventually be the game-winning homer and took his third loss of the year. Despite this, their clear roles relative to the way the Rays typically have worked the past few years make all three mentioned pitchers here decent plays in SVHD leagues.
PHI 8 – CLE 5 (F/10)
HD: Gregory Soto (14)
SV: Yunior Marte (2)
- Craig Kimbrel took the ball with a one-run lead in the 9th but allowed a game-tying homer and was tagged with his first blown save of the season after sixteen straight converted opportunities to begin the campaign. The offense picked him up in the 10th, though, and gave him his sixth win of the year with Yunior Marte coming on to pick up the ancillary save in extras after coming on with the bases loaded and no outs and allowing no further runs to score. The chance was initially going to go to Jeff Hoffman, but he was unable to find the plate and allowed all three batters he faced to reach base. Despite his inability to convert, injuries in the back end of the Phillies bullpen will likely force Hoffmann into more holds and high-leverage situations in the final two months of the season.
- The bullpen covered seven innings of work here and needed seven pitchers to do it as we saw pretty much everyone in the bullpen except Emmanuel Clase. Michael Kelly is an interesting name to watch as he put up a 36% K-rate across 33 IPs in AAA this year and has started his MLB career by striking out seven and walking one in his first 4.2 career innings.
COL 2 – MIA 3 (F/10)
HD: Tanner Scott (19)
- It was pretty much a bullpen game for Colorado and it went pretty well all things considered. Two more scoreless innings for Brent Suter and I really wonder if he will actually get moved. Everyone else is pretty much stuck there and not very relevant to any fantasy discussion.
- A.J. Puk came on with a 2-1 lead in the 9th inning, but allowed a game-tying bomb to Randal Grichuk to blow the save. He allowed another hit and a run after that and needed to be saved himself by Huascar Brazoban who ended up picking up a win thanks to a scoreless 10th as well. Puk has now blown three of his past four save chances and has allowed nine runs (eight earned) on ten hits (including four homers) in 7.1 IPs in July. The strikeouts are still there and the walk rate isn’t bad, but he’s just been grooving too many pitches lately. Given that the team has a shot to compete for a wildcard spot down the stretch, I’m wondering if the Marlins don’t make a move soon to put in Tanner Scott for the 9th inning.
CWS 4 – MIN 5 (F/12)
- Joe Kelly and Reynaldo López combined for three scoreless innings with five punchouts as they each earned impressive holds. I’ve been really impressed with the stuff of both of these guys at different points in the year and I could easily see either putting up solid numbers as a closer for this team down the stretch or, in the case of Kelly, as a setup man on a contender. Kendall Graveman blew a three-run lead and took his fourth blown save of the season and second in his past three chances. I don’t think he is necessarily guaranteed to stay where he is, both in terms of his role and in terms of the team, so his value as a closer may be dwindling.
- The Twins’ relievers combined for six innings with seven Ks and no walks allowing just a lone unearned run to give the offense enough time to claw back and win this game. Both Griffin Jax and Emilio Pagán delivered scoreless innings in extras with the latter picking up the win for his efforts. After a rough April, Pagan has really stepped up as a solid addition to the back of this bullpen and he plus the emergence of Oliver Ortega could give Minnesota the push it needs to put some distance between itself and the rest of the AL Central.
ATL 4 – MIL 2
SV: Raisel Iglesias (18)
- Raisel Iglesias struck out the side in order on just fourteen pitches in one of his more dominant outings of the year on Sunday. Iglesias has yet to put up a really dominant stretch this year, but the peripherals seem to tell me that he has it in him although the hot summer air in Atlanta might prevent him from getting to the top of his game. Since June 1, he has a 26:4 K:BB ratio, but two of those walks were intentional, so it’s really more like a 26:2 ratio, which would be in elite company. His general performance and team context seems to be pointing to a strong second half.
- Elvis Peguero was saddled with his second blown save of the season when he allowed a three-run rack that turned a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit. Peguero has generally stepped up this year to be an extremely effective 7th-inning guy and this blip against one of the league’s best offenses isn’t enough to change that quite yet.
STL 2 – CHC 7
- The Cardinals were down 7-0 after three innings and never sniffed the lead. They used Zack Thompson as their only reliever in a couple innings of mop-up duty.
- Similarly on the other side, the bullpen was never in a very high leverage situation in the three and a third innings it worked and the Cubs were able to provide some rest to their top arms that had been used to protect close leads on both Friday and Saturday. With another day off scheduled for Monday, they should all be available again when the team next takes the field.
LAD 4 – TEX 8
- Don’t read into Evan Phillips being used in the 6th inning here. He hadn’t worked in a week and needed a maintenance inning. The Dodgers opted to get him in earlier in the game for one reason or another. As a team, the bullpen delivered four and a third more scoreless innings to lower their team bullpen ERA to a league-best 2.06 in July.
- With a four-run lead, the Rangers decided to still go with their top bullpen arms due to the Dodgers’ high-powered offense and the fact that they hadn’t seen too many high-leverage situations recently. Aroldis Chapman worked the 8th in this one while Will Smith took the 9th. It’s still unclear how the exact distribution of saves will play out, but it seems to be at least pretty close to 50/50 for now. Given the stronger strikeout potential for Chapman, he’d be the guy to target for now, but Smith isn’t trailing far behind. Chapman has yet to allow a run in seven innings for the Rangers with twelve punchouts and no walks.
HOU 3 – OAK 2
SV: Bryan Abreu (3)
- With Ryan Pressly still recovering from a back-to-back-to-back appearance, Bryan Abreu was called upon to secure the save when the Astros took the lead in the top of the 9th. Hector Neris picked up the win as both Neris and Abreu continue to be among the most productive setup men in the league in terms of holds, strikeouts, ratios, and ancillary saves.
- Chad Smith was called back up from AAA a couple days ago and was immediately used in the 9th inning of a tie ball game which, in case you needed it, is another example of the lack of depth this bullpen has. Trevor May is the only one who has a chance to be valuable in fantasy down the stretch and even he may end up not providing good enough ratios to justify the few saves he’ll provide.
PIT 5 – LAA 7
HD: Matt Moore (14)
SV: Carlos Estévez (23)
- Colin Holderman struck out the side in order on sixteen pitches as his sweeper consistently fooled batters. It’s been a rough stretch for the Pirates, but the bullpen, while having taken a step back, seems to be a bit more resilient as long as both Holderman and David Bednar are healthy at the back end.
- Carlos Estévez is now a perfect 23-for-23 on save chances for the Angels as he continues his excellent breakout campaign. Having Matt Moore back and healthy in front of him helps provide this bullpen more structure and allows guys like Jacob Webb and Aaron Loup to work more based on matchups in which they thrive.
TOR 4 – SEA 3
SV: Jordan Romano (27)
- Trevor Richards worked the 8th inning to set up Jordan Romano for the save on Sunday as Toronto continues to show a great amount of trust in him to get the job done in any role they give him. His increased reliance on his excellent changeup has allowed him to establish himself as a key part of this bullpen and will be trusted with key, high-leverage innings as the Blue Jays fight for a playoff spot down the stretch. Romano did work around a walk and a hit batsmen here which gives him five walks and an HBP in his 6.2 IPs so far in July. Two of those walks were intentional, so it’s not a gravely serious situation, but I’m not sure if Romano has a dominant stretch run in the cards this year.
- The Mariners opted to throw Paul Sewald in the 8th inning of a game in which they were down a run despite him having to miss a save opportunity the previous day due to workload. The Mariners have been extremely consistent using Sewald in the 9th this year, but, in recent seasons, when everyone has been healthy, they’ve used more of a committee approach. With both Andrés Muñoz and Justin Topa looking like solid options, is it possible Seattle uses more of a committee approach down the stretch? Too early to say, but I’m definitely monitoring.
NYM 1 – BOS 6
HD: Josh Winckowski (11)
- The Mets needed to use five relievers to get through this game in which they were down five runs after three innings. Fortunately, they have a scheduled off day on Monday to get their guys fresh and ready to go for games they have a better chance of winning.
- Chris Murphy worked as a bulk reliever here and Josh Winckowski managed to eek a hold out of a five-run cushion due to coming on with multiple runners on base. Boston did also have to use Chris Martin for one batter which ended up being an eleven-pitch battle that ended in a strikeout. With the team’s scheduled off-day, though, it shouldn’t affect his availability for their next game.
Bullpen Depth Charts