Welcome back to the newest 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
- San Francisco is working with a much-depleted bullpen today after an extra-inning win on Friday, a one-run loss on Saturday, and some shaky performances from top arms.
- Toronto is still recovering from over eight innings of relief work on Friday, and a one-run victory on Saturday could be taxing for today’s action.
- Colorado went all in with bullpen A-listers on Saturday despite a deep start from Germán Márquez. With two relievers on the COVID-IL, their series finale with the Dodgers could run thin on tested relievers.
- Atlanta could be running low on top relievers with high pitch counts from both Kenley Jansen and Will Smith this week.
- The Cubs were rained out on Friday and didn’t tap far into their bullpen on Saturday after a 9-0 win.
- The White Sox pieced together four innings of one-run relief work on Saturday after a rough inning from Liam Hendriks on Friday. The work on Saturday was capped off by Aaron Bummer, striking out the side in the ninth and collecting his first save of the season. He spiked some Chicago heart rates in the process, allowing two base hits. Rookie Bennett Sousa posted a hold and now has 2 1/3 scoreless frames under his belt; he’s got some momentum and could be a reliever to watch.
- Detroit’s bullpen combined to throw four innings of one-run baseball on Saturday. The headliner was right-hander Michael Fulmer, working a perfect ninth and striking out two. Will Vest also faced the minimum over 1 1/3 frames. Detroit relievers have thrown nine innings in their past two games and they won’t see an off day until April 18.
- After a Saturday rainout, the Cubs shut out the Brewers on Saturday behind four scoreless relief innings. They led by at least seven runs from each pitch from relievers, so David Ross has the deck stacked for his top relievers on Sunday. Keegan Thompson carved through 2 2/3 hitless innings, collecting four strikeouts and walking one.
- Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff failed to complete four innings on Saturday and handed over a seven-run deficit. Trevor Gott struck out the side in the eighth inning, while Hoby Milner pitched a scoreless, low-leverage ninth. The arms that pitched in relief are not the ones in line for many saves or holds, but Gott and Milner stood out the most for the Brewers.
- The Rays divided up their bullpen in true Tampa Bay fashion. Starter Drew Rasmussen worked four innings, while long reliever Josh Fleming battled out 3 1/3 scoreless frames. The Rays turned it over to J.P. Feyereisen for two-out hold, stranding an inherited runner and handing a three-run lead over to closer Andrew Kittredge in the ninth. Kittredge allowed two well-hit doubles but tabbed his first save of the season. He tossed 17 pitches and will look to regain footing against the A’s in the next series.
- Baltimore didn’t have to dig deep in their bullpen on Saturday; it was long reliever Keegan Akin tossing the final three innings after starter Jordan Lyles fought through five. Akin allowed a single hit and posted three strikeouts. His role doesn’t seem conducive for saves or holds, but it could be ideal in keeping other Orioles relievers fresh.
- Seattle needed 12 outs out of the bullpen on Saturday and the eighth inning was the major hurdle. Andrés Muñoz allowed two earned runs and a walk, receiving a blown save and forcing reliever Diego Castillo to preserve a one-run lead in the ninth. Castillo faced the minimum and posted two strikeouts, earning save number one. The Mariners have now won each of their last two ballgames by a single run, so this bullpen could be taxed quickly in the early days of the season
- Sonny Gray was unable to complete five innings in his Twins debut, but Caleb Thielbar, Joe Smith and Jharel Cotton picked him up with a combined 3 1/3 scoreless frames. (Thielbar was perfect over 1 1/3.) It was then that things got sour; Tyler Duffy allowed three hits, two of them doubles, and the blown save lifted the Mariners from a one-run deficit to a one-run lead. Minnesota’s bullpen could be even more worn out than Seattle’s for today’s series finale.
- Adam Ottavino has shown quick footing with the Mets in the early stages of 2022, now with 1 2/3 scoreless innings under his belt. He recorded the final two outs on Saturday in a non-save situation, while Drew Smith and Joely Rodríguez tossed a combined 2 1/3 innings of perfect relief work. Mets relievers were pitching with a four-or-more run lead for all of Saturday’s contest. The club is now 3-0 and hasn’t won by anything less than four runs, so there hasn’t been much high-leverage action for them yet. (Give them some love for a Saturday shutout, however.)
- Washington’s bullpen broke in the cherry blossom jerseys with a combined 5 2/3 innings of one-run action, although they trailed 4-0 before they got there. Right-hander Kyle Finnegan was the top performer, working a perfect sixth inning with two strikeouts. Tanner Rainey posted a scoreless frame of his own, collecting two K’s and allowing one hit.
- St. Louis had a great bullpen showing on Saturday, tossing 4 1/3 scoreless frames. Closer Giovanni Gallegos pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation, presumably to get his work in. Holds were aplenty in this Cardinals lineup and it could be the case again today; Pittsburgh has scored just two runs in the series so far.
- Pittsburgh hasn’t had to dig very deep in their bullpen to start the season. Anthony Banda had himself a solid inning with two strikeouts on Saturday, but we have yet to see a Pirates reliever work in some high-leverage action. It’s tough to bank on a save or hold here without the run production to get there.
- We had a good old-fashioned 0-0 tie after nine innings in Kansas City on Saturday. Saves and holds were off the table for this very reason, but every single reliever did their job: the only run to score was unearned. Kansas City had five relievers throw one inning or fewer and all five had one strikeout and no walks. Anybody in that mix proves to be a good candidate for saves or holds this week, although the Cleveland bats they face today and Monday are far from the top in the AL Central.
- Guardians’ closer Emmanuel Clase was the final pitcher of the day, allowing the unearned run. He also allowed two hits without recording an out, so while it doesn’t damage his ERA, it was far from a flawless appearance. He only threw five pitches, so he could be in line for a save today.
- Will Smith earned save number one for Atlanta on Saturday but allowed one run on a walk, balk and single. He’s pitched in consecutive days and likely won’t be up again until at least Monday. A.J. Minter and Darren O’Day earned holds with a perfect inning each. Three innings was enough for Atlanta to seal the deal after Kyle Wright worked six complete. Kenley Jansen threw 30 pitches on Friday and Smith threw 21 on Saturday, so Atlanta’s bullpen could be running on fumes today.
- Cincinnati’s bullpen kept the team in it on Saturday, working a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings despite trailing 2-0 once they got there. Hunter Strickland was first in relief and tossed a perfect 1 2/3 innings. Dauri Moreta pitched a scoreless ninth and rebounded from a two-run inning on Thursday.
- San Diego’s bullpen was exceptional on Saturday; three relievers combined to face 11 batters over three innings, and the only two batters to reach did so on a walk. Taylor Rogers shut it down with a perfect ninth and he’s already got two saves just three days into the season. San Diego will take on San Francisco and Atlanta in their next two series, however, so save opportunities could be a little harder to come by compared to Arizona’s struggling bats.
- It was a rough end to the night for the Diamondbacks, as their two headliners were tabbed with a combined three runs in the eighth and ninth. Mark Melancon made his Diamondbacks debut on Saturday night, allowing a run on two singles and ending the ninth with a runner caught stealing. Manager Torey Lovullo handed a tie ballgame in the eighth inning to setup man Ian Kennedy and he allowed two runs by way of two singles, a walk and a wild pitch. The best relief work came from Noé Ramirez, striking out two in a scoreless seventh.
- It took just two hours and 58 minutes for the Red Sox and Yankees in a game that saw 11 different pitchers on the mound. Relievers for both teams combined to throw 8 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball, so this was definitely the game to watch if you’ve made it this far in this article. New York threw six relievers for one inning a piece, while Aroldis Chapman earned save number one with a scoreless ninth. Everybody seemed to prove themselves in the Yankees bullpen on Saturday, so there could be plenty of opportunities for holds if this pattern continues.
- Boston’s Hirokazu Sawamura and Phillips Valdez each tossed a perfect inning; neither are really on the radar for saves or holds in the Boston bullpen, but they are laying the ground work at least.
- Corey Knebel earned his first save with the Phillies, taking on a 4-1 lead in the ninth. He allowed one hit, one walk and an unearned run. José Alvarado ended the shutout bid in the eighth inning, allowing a run on two hits in his first appearance of the season.
- Oakland relievers worked 2 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball to close out the night, although they never worked with anything less than a three-run deficit. A.J. Puk tossed a scoreless eighth and collected two strikeouts, throwing 20 pitches in his single inning.
- Dave Roberts ran out some split-starter action for the Dodgers on Saturday, starting Tony Gonsolin for three innings and giving Tyler Anderson the next four. This got the Dodgers to the eighth inning where Blake Treinen took over; he struck out the side but not before a decisive home run landed over the center field fence. Treinen faced four hitters.
- Late innings at Coors Field proved dangerous once again, despite a tremendous seven-inning, one-run performance by Colorado starter Germán Márquez. The Rockies called upon newly-acquired Alex Colomé for the first time in the eighth inning, and a series of two weak-hit singles landed in the expansive Colorado outfield. Another infield single ended his tough-luck outing after just 2/3 of an inning. Carlos Estévez threw two pitches to close the night, but Daniel Bard stole the show with a perfect ninth — striking out the side. If there was any question about Bard reclaiming his closer role to start 2022, Saturday night sealed the deal. Don’t close the book on Colomé just yet, either.
- After falling in extra innings Friday night, the Marlins rebounded with a one-run victory of their own. Their relievers rebounded perhaps more than anybody; closer Anthony Bender collected a one-inning save after blowing a save on Friday, so his job is preserved in the early stages of 2022. Richard Bleier threw a perfect eighth and struck out the side, picking up a hold after failing to complete an inning on Friday.
- Camilo Doval bounced back on Saturday for the Giants, posting a scoreless 1 1/3 innings after a three-run blown save the day before. It was Jake McGee that wavered on Saturday, called upon for the seventh inning and recording two hits, one run and two outs. McGee was the Giants’ preferred weapon for saves last year, but Saturday marked the second consecutive game where McGee pitched earlier than the ninth inning. Doval may have established himself as the called-upon closer if Friday is an indicator, but McGee also had 31 saves last year.
- After using seven different relievers on Friday, the Blue Jays returned on Saturday with four shutout innings in relief. Jordn Romano collected save number two, facing the minimum in the ninth. Yimi García and Tim Mayza also had perfect one-inning appearances, and Saturday was García’s second hold of the year. Toronto relievers struck out one hitter in four innings, however, so they weren’t necessarily carving up there.
- Texas’ Brett Martin has a tough 2022 debut, facing only four batters, allowing two hits and being pulled with two outs in the sixth. Spencer Patton and Matt Bush shut it down from there, posting a combined 2 1/3 innings of two-hit action. They may not be the A-listers in the Rangers’ bullpen, but they proved to keep their team in it while trailing by one.
- The Angels worked a shutout on Saturday night, a much-welcomed performance after a torrential seventh-inning collapse on Friday. Raisel Iglesias notched his first save, pitching a perfect ninth with a strikeout. Setup man Ryan Tepera recorded five perfect outs to get to Iglesias, so there could be some save/hold combos in the foreseeable future for that duo.
- Houston didn’t call upon their top relievers, but Cristian Javier was first in relief and struck out three of the six he faced. Ryne Stanek took on the ninth and allowed two walks, a hit and a run, so Héctor Neris and Ryan Pressly are separated even further atop the Astros’ bullpen.