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
- There was a full slate of 15 games on Saturday and every team will be in action again on Sunday.
- The Baltimore Orioles placed Félix Bautista on the 15-day IL with a right UCL injury. He was removed from Friday’s game mid-at-bat with two strikes and two outs in the ninth and has now been diagnosed with this unsettling injury. There’s a shot he doesn’t return again this season if his UCL doesn’t show improvement over the next couple of week. Yennier Cano will be the team’s closer until he returns.
- The Chicago Cubs placed Michael Fulmer on the 15-day IL with a strained right forearm. Keegan Thompson will enter the chart as a holds option.
- The Cincinnati Reds placed Alex Young on the 15-day IL with left hamstring tightness. Fernando Cruz will join the chart as the team’s bulk reliever.
WSN 3 – MIA 2
SV: Kyle Finnegan (24)
- Kyle Finnegan continues to kill it. Early struggles soured his overall numbers, but since April 4th, he owns a 1.79 ERA (55.1 IP). He’s turned things on recently too, tying for the MLB lead with 9 saves in August. Jordan Weems earned his fourth win in this one and he’s quietly added to what is a bullpen with some potential. He sports a 3.02 ERA (41.2 IP) and a 27.5% K% on the season.
- David Robertson struck again, blowing his third save since joining the Marlins. The veteran closer has been dismal since the trade, pitching to a 7.20 ERA (10 IP) with a sub-optimal 9/6 K/BB ratio. Meanwhile, Tanner Scott continues to kill it. Since May 14th, he has a 1.51 ERA (41.2 IP) and has struck out 36.7% of the batters he’s faced. He deserves a chance to close out ballgames for the Marlins.
NYY 0 – TBR 3
SV: Pete Fairbanks (17)
- Keynan Middleton posted another scoreless inning for the Yankees. He had a solid first half with the White Sox with a 3.96 ERA (36.1 IP) and a 30.1% K%, but he’s been even better in the Bronx. Since being acquired at the deadline, he’s allowed just one run in 12 innings (0.75 ERA) while striking out 35.6% of the batters he’s faced. If not for a deep late-inning contingent ahead of him, he’d be an elite holds option.
- I hyped up Pete Fairbanks a lot in the preseason and if not for a couple of IL stints, I think he would’ve lived up to it. He’s surprisingly been the team’s clear-cut closer when healthy and since his last IL stint, he’s finally picked up the pace in the strikeout department. After punching out just 20.4% of the batters he faced through May, Fairbanks has fanned 40.2% of opposing hitters since June 15th. His 3.00 ERA (21 IP) isn’t fully reflective of his dominance, but if he keeps this up, he could have a lights out September.
LAA 5 – NYM 3
SV: Carlos Estévez (28)
- José Soriano doesn’t seem to be as heralded as he should be. The 24-year-old rookie right-hander has been electric ever since he broke into the big leagues. With little control (14.3% BB%), his WHIP (1.31) is inflated and his ceiling is limited, but he’s been effective nonetheless. He’s rocking a 2.81 ERA (32 IP) and an impressive 31.4% K%. His curveball-sinker combo is one of the best in baseball. The hook has a 93rd percentile, 43.3% CSW while the sinker, which comes in hot at 96.5 mph, is in the 95th percentile with a 15.6% swinging strike rate. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. Carlos Estévez has now pitched on back-to-back days, setting up Reynaldo López for a potential save opportunity on Sunday.
- Despite a two-run deficit, both Brooks Raley and Adam Ottavino appeared for the Mets. Raley just pitched on Friday, but Ottavino hadn’t appeared since Monday, so it was clearly a maintenance outing for him. Adam Kolarek also pitched in this one and posted another scoreless outing. He began the year on the Dodgers and was recently recalled by the Mets. The southpaw has yet to surrender a run this year, although his sample size consists of just six innings. The most notable aspect, though, is that he’s struck out 31.8% of the batters he’s faced this year. Coming into this season, his career strikeout rate was just 15.4%. We’ll need a larger sample size to determine if this is a development worth keeping an eye on.
CIN 8 – ARI 7
SV: Lucas Sims (3)
- Alexis Díaz was failed by his defense as he attempted to close out a win in the 10th. An error lead to three unearned runs and a blown save on Díaz’s statline. Luckily, the offense picked him up, taking the lead again in the top of the 11th. From there, Lucas Sims was able to put up a perfect frame to secure the victory and his third save of the season.
- On the other side, Arizona deployed seven relievers in the loss. Paul Sewald blew his fifth save of the season, coughing up two runs in the ninth to force extras. The rest of the arm barn was unable to set the offense up for a walk off in either of the next two frames. Kevin Ginkel put up a scoreless inning earlier in the game and has been able to carry over his first half success. Since the All-Star break, his 2.21 ERA (20.1 IP) is the sixth-best among relievers with at least 20 innings pitched during that time. He’s also added nearly 7% to his K% rate, pushing him over the 30% threshold. He’s quickly become the top setup option in Arizona.
The Best of the Rest…
- With Kenley Jansen on the sidelines dealing with a minor hamstring injury, John Schreiber got a shot to record his first save of the season. Garrett Whitlock (1st hold) and Chris Martin (22nd hold) were deployed as the setup men. It’s unclear when Jansen is set to return or who the closer would be if he’s forced to spend time on the IL.
- In the first game without Félix Bautista, the Orioles confirmed out speculation that Yennier Cano would be the interim closer. He locked down his sixth save after DL Hall (1st hold), Jacob Webb (9th hold), Danny Coulombe (22nd hold) and recorded holds.
- Devin Williams locked down his 31st save with a perfect, two-strikeout ninth against the Padres. Elvis Peguero and Joel Payamps preceded him, recording their 18th and 23rd holds respectively.
- Adbert Alzolay entered with two runners on and two men out in the ninth. He struck out the only batter he faced and was rewarded with his 21st save. His 14 saves in the second half lead the Majors. Mark Leiter Jr. earned his 24th hold earlier in the contest.
- Jhoan Duran pitched the eighth inning in a tie ballgame. It was weird usage, but it was a high-leverage situation. The decision might’ve turned out to be incorrect as Griffin Jax blew up in the ninth and lost the Twins the game.
- Giovanny Gallegos pitched for the first time since last Sunday. He surrendered four runs to push the team’s deficit to 11. His underperformance, lack of usage, and deployment in a blowup furthers the idea that JoJo Romero is the team’s active closer.
Bullpen Depth Charts
(Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)