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
- All 30 teams were in action on Wednesday, with new trade acquisitions settling in across the league. Several relievers have made their first appearance with their new team already. Only four clubs are off on Thursday, so it should be another busy day of baseball.
- A few of the trade pieces that were officially activated Wednesday include Dominic Leone on the Angels, Phil Bickford on the Mets, Brad Hand on the Braves, Scott Barlow on the Padres, Tucker Davidson on the Royals, Jose Cuas on the Cubs, and Keynan Middleton on the Yankees.
- To make room for Barlow and their other acquisitions, the Padres designated Brent Honeywell Jr. for assignment. They also placed LHP Tim Hill on the 15-day IL with a sprained finger, and activated RHP Steven Wilson.
- The Blue Jays optioned Nate Pearson to Triple-A, calling up RHP Thomas Hatch in his place.
- To make room for Jack Flaherty, the Orioles sent Bryan Baker down to Triple-A.
DET 6 – PIT 3
- Alex Lange stalled at the finish line, one out away from closing out the Pirates (albeit without a save, since he started the 9th inning with a four-run lead). Lange struck out the first two batters, then promptly walked in a run (0.2 IP, 2 K, 3 BB, 1 H). He was finally pulled in favor of Holton, who retired Ke’Bryan Hayes to earn his first career save.
- The Pirates ‘pen had to cover six innings, and somehow, it did so. Dauri Moreta and Yerry De Los Santos were each tagged with a run as Detroit padded its lead.
CLE 2 – HOU 3
- Nick Sandlin ended up taking the loss for Cleveland after allowing a 6th-inning homer to Chas McCormick, who may or may not be the Second Coming. Otherwise the pen put up solid work, with Sam Hentges, Trevor Stephan and Enyel De Los Santos putting up zeroes to keep the Guards in the game until the end.
- It was the classic formula for Houston, as they went Maton-Neris-Abreu-Pressly to close it out with a narrow lead. Pressly was his usual dominant self, striking out two on 16 pitches in a perfect 9th.
BOS 3 – SEA 6
- John Schreiber earned a hold despite allowing four earned runs, the last of which ended up giving the Mariners the lead after Schreiber left the game in the 7th. Baseball is a weird sport sometimes.
- We got our first real look at the post-Sewald Seattle bullpen machine, and it was indeed Andrés Muñoz who earned the call in the 9th. Muñoz induced a flyout to start the frame and then struck out the next two batters, earning his first official save as the M’s closer. The hard-throwing right-hander has a leg up in high-leverage spots for the time being, but a few rough outings could allow Justin Topa or Matt Brash to creep up the totem pole.
PHI 8 – MIA 9 (12)
- The Phillies, impressively, blew three separate saves during their 12-inning loss in Miami. Gregory Soto served up the 9th-inning Jorge Soler blast that sent it to extras, Craig Kimbrel gave up a pair of hits and tying sac fly in the 10th, and Dylan Covey allowed the RBI single that sent it to the 12th (plus the walk-off hit an inning later). Bravo!
- David Robertson made his third appearance as a Marlin in the 10th, and it wasn’t much better than the last — a Brandon Marsh home run gave the Phillies a lead they would quickly squander. Jorge López was a little better in the 11th, allowing just one unearned run. Tanner Scott got the win for pitching a scoreless 12th.
BAL 1 – TOR 4
- The Orioles deployed Shintaro Fujinami to relieve Grayson Rodriguez in the 6th, and boy, it did not go well. Fujinami walked his first batter and hit the next two, beaning in *back-to-back* runs, which was followed by an error that scored another. Somehow, that was only worth one ER. Did I mention that baseball is a weird sport?
- Toronto turned to newcomer Jordan Hicks in the 8th, and his second appearance as a Blue Jay went significantly better than the first. Hicks walked one and struck out one before inducing a double-play and turning it over to Erik Swanson in the 9th. You could argue that Hicks drew the tougher assignment, facing 2-4 of the Baltimore lineup, but it may just be that the Blue Jays were more comfortable with the veteran Swanson closing things out until Hicks gets settled. A few more outings like this one, however, and Hicks could gain a clear edge in the absence of Jordan Romano. Swanson has the edge on Thursday, though, with Hicks having thrown back-to-back days.
ARI 2 – SFG 4
- Tyler Gilbert allowed hits to each of the first four batters he faced in the 6th, and that ended up being the difference in the game. Scott McGough and Joe Mantiply took it the rest of the way without issue, though.
- The Giants’ pitching consistency has really been something to admire this season, all things considered. Wednesday was just another example, as Logan Webb cruised through seven frames before handing the ball to Rogers and Doval to close it out like they do. Doval has already surpassed his career high in saves — need I remind you, we just started August. I’m still not even convinced that June is over, to be honest. The SF ‘pen is rock solid.
The best of the rest…
- After an excellent 10-game stretch, Devin Williams had a bit of a hard-luck blown save against the Nationals on Wednesday. He loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the 9th after a leadoff error, and then got the ground ball he needed… only for it to be thrown away at home plate as the go-ahead run crossed the plate. Both Williams and Joel Payamps have thrown back-to-backs, but Payamps is more likely to be used again Thursday based on pitch counts.
- Clay Holmes, who was notably not traded this week, pitched a scoreless 9th to close out New York’s 7-2 win over the Rays. The Yankee closer allowed one run in the whole month of July, and he looks to be starting off August on a similar note.
- The career ERA of Reds catcher Luke Maile took another unfortunate hit in their 16-6 loss to the Cubs, as he allowed home runs to two of the first three batters he faced in the 8th. It was the seventh pitching appearance of Maile’s eight-year career, but the fourth this year, and also the second in as many days. Put another way: Luke Maile had allowed one career home run as a pitcher as of Tuesday. He has now allowed five. Baseball… very weird.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)