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
- Rained out: Kansas City @ St. Louis. The Cardinals don’t play today, so expect a seriously replenished bullpen from them on Friday.
- The Angels, Marlins, Rockies, and Rangers had the day off on Wednesday and will enter Thursday action with restocked relievers across the board.
- No notable reliever transactions or injuries occurred on Thursday.
- Wednesday’s contest between the Tigers and Red Sox featured a little bit of everything out of the bullpen. Boston opted for classic short relievers — five of them — while Detroit split 5 1/3 innings over three guys. The Red Sox came out on top but it wasn’t without late-inning drama; after an extremely tough showing by Kutter Crawford (1/3 IP, 3 ER), it was Jake Diekman tasked with shutting down a bases-loaded seventh inning with one out. He struck out the first two batters he faced, leading virtually everyone to believe Diekman was the hottest reliever in baseball. He would allow a single and a hit-by-pitch after that, however, allowing two inherited runners to score. With two outs in the eighth, Alex Cora replaced him with Hansel Robles, quickly popping out Trevor Story to end the frame. Robles would return for a scoreless ninth and picked up his first save of the year, while Diekman was credited with his second hold. It’s too early to presume the closer spot has been defined in Boston, but Diekman and Robles are clear frontrunners.
- The Tigers saw a strong long relief appearance from Rony García but it came after Boston plated seven runs (two earned) off starter Eduardo Rodriguez. García tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts, but Detroit would then give the ball to Drew Hutchison and the deficit turned a little more sour. He allowed four hits and two walks in two innings, and despite an eighth-inning comeback by Tigers bats, those two runs proved to be the difference. Closer Gregory Soto still pitched a scoreless ninth down two runs, as he hadn’t pitched since Monday.
- It’s time for the reliever rundown that most people don’t want to see: Dave Roberts handed a perfect game bid to Alex Vesia in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s contest, and only a walk and single by Vesia stood between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the coveted perfecto. Clayton Kershaw demoralized the Twins all afternoon for the first seven innings, but Vesia was still able to post a scoreless eighth and preserve a shutout despite the hit and walk. (Give the man some credit — that is a difficult position for Vesia to even get warmed up in.) Justin Bruihl pitched a perfect ninth and the Dodgers will open a set against the Reds tonight with a well-rested bullpen, courtesy of Kershaw and two relievers that kept everyone else rested.
- There weren’t many eyes on any pitcher other than Kershaw, and Minnesota’s relievers didn’t do much to steal the show. Dereck Rodríguez allowed three runs on four hits over four innings, while Griffin Jax allowed one run in the ninth on a hit and walk. The Twins didn’t tap into their bullpen too far, which is at least one positive in an otherwise tough showing.
- Cleveland called upon starter Triston McKenzie in a four-inning start, followed by Eli Morgan for three innings as a piggyback. Both combined to allow a single run, handing a 6-2 lead over to the bullpen in the eighth. The Guardians sent Nick Sandlin to the mound, allowing two runs on a double and home run. Closer Emmanuel Clase was called in a non-save situation to change the momentum for the ninth; he threw a scoreless inning and will rest up today with an off day on the schedule.
- Cincinnati was forced to toss five innings in relief, controlling the damage far more than their hits allowed may suggest. Buck Farmer pitched the fifth and sixth, allowing a single run despite giving up four hits. The Reds closed out Wednesday with low-leverage work from Alexis Diaz, tossing a scoreless 1 1/3 and keeping his season ERA perfect through two appearances this year (2 1/3 IP). Dauri Moreta allowed a solo homer in the eighth but sat down the other five he faced. Cincinnati opens a series with the Dodgers tonight and while a 2-4 record is not great momentum for it, a replenished top of the bullpen should help a little bit.
- There were holds all over the place for the White Sox, and while Liam Hendriks wasn’t showing his usual dominance, he did pick up his second save of the year. He allowed two hits in the ninth and one unearned run was scored. José Ruiz and Kendall Graveman each threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, earning their second and third holds of the year, respectively. Kyle Crick earned hold number two after pitching a scoreless sixth.
- Seattle recorded five outs from relievers on Wednesday after starter Robbie Ray allowed all of Chicago’s six runs. Matthew Festa closed out the final two outs of the seventh with a strikeout, while Yohan Ramirez pitched a scoreless eighth. Ramirez also walked two, however.
- After virtually emptying the tank on Tuesday, the Cubs were not in any high-leverage relief situations on Wednesday. Starter Kyle Hendricks failed to finish four complete innings and allowed six earned runs. Chicago’s relief core did their job from there, however, which can be huge in making sure the arms used Tuesday are Coors Field ready tonight. Michael Rucker and Scott Effross were the notable performers on Wednesday, combining for 3 1/3 shutout innings with two strikeouts apiece. Rowan Wick danced around some fire, posting a scoreless frame despite allowing a hit and walk.
- Long relief was the name of the Pirates’ game on Wednesday, tossing five relief frames between two pitchers. Dillon Peters posted two scoreless innings and saved the day in the fifth inning, stranding two inherited runners and turning over a 6-2 lead upon his departure. Wil Crowe took over from there, tallying a three-inning save while collecting four strikeouts and allowing one hit. It’s tough to foresee Crowe in a lot of similar save situations, but his performance should not go quietly; he has yet to allow a run this year and holds a WHIP of 0.57.
- Wednesday’s action at Yankee Stadium was deservedly the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. show, but the effort by the Toronto bullpen should not go without applause. Four relievers combined to toss four innings of one-run action, spacing four hits with zero walks. Jordan Romano collected his fourth (!) save of this young season and boasts a 0.00 ERA with a 0.75 WHIP in that time. Yimi García scored himself his third hold of the year, and if this Toronto core continues their current trend, there could be a lot of saves and holds to be had here.
- The Yankees pitched four relievers for the final 3 1/3 innings, headlined by JP Sears in the ninth with a scoreless, hitless, walk-less inning. Jonathan Loáisiga allowed two hits in just 1/3 of an inning, allowing one run. His ERA still sits at a 2.45, however, but a 1.64 WHIP thus far suggests that ERA could be generous. Chad Green took the tough-luck loss after allowing an unearned run in an inning of relief after starter Gerrit Cole. Green still boasts a 0.00 ERA through three innings, however, and his 0.67 ERA suggests he might emerge as a higher-touted piece for this bullpen. It’s still early too, of course.
- Corbin Burnes did his thing on Tuesday, tossing seven scoreless and handing a 2-0 lead to the Milwaukee bullpen to record six outs. This did not happen; reliever Devin Williams was credited with two earned runs over 1/3 of an inning, and Brad Boxberger was credited with a blown save after allowing some inherited runners to score. Milwaukee was able to retain the lead for a standard ninth-inning save for Josh Hader, however, and the pitching staples for Milwaukee shined through as Hader picked up his third save of the season.
- Baltimore needed five innings of relief work on Wednesday and it was plenty to keep them in it for the early going. Joey Krehbiel, Dillon Tate, and Felix Bautista combined to toss four scoreless innings, spacing two hits. Jorge López had a tough showing in the ninth inning, tasked with preserving a tie but instead allowing two runs on three hits. Lopez was replaced by Paul Fry for the final out of the ninth before Milwaukee shut things down in the bottom half.
- Tuesday’s 9-8 contest between the A’s and Rays depleted the bullpen reserve on each side. Oakland still went to closer Lou Trivino in the ninth on relatively short rest, collecting his first save of the year with a scoreless frame. Kirby Snead and Zach Jackson were the bridge to get there, each posting scoreless innings and earning holds. It was Snead’s second hold of the year despite currently holding a 5.40 ERA through 3 1/3 innings; Trivino’s figures haven’t been much stronger, however, holding a 6.75 through 2 2/3.
- Tampa Bay dug into their bullpen with four relievers making appearances. Matt Wisler recorded the final out of the fifth inning for starter Shane McClanahan and was promptly replaced for the sixth by closer Andrew Kittredge, showing the Rays are not dead-set on tossing their closer in conventional situations. Kittredge shoved, striking out two over a scoreless sixth. J.P. Feyereisen recorded the final two outs with a strikeout. It’s tough to predict saves and holds with this Rays bunch when their use can change so much on the situation, but it’s not to be always ruled out with frontrunners like Feyereisen and Kittredge.
- 10 combined relievers were used in Wednesday’s game between the Mets and Phillies and a combined 11 runs were scored. This was not ideal for a game with Max Scherzer on the mound; his five innings of one-run ball were enough for the Mets to tread water at the end. Scherzer gave way to Sean Reid-Foley and Joely Rodríguez in the sixth, each allowing two earned runs on two hits with a combined three walks. Adam Ottavino would be called to save the day from there, posting a scoreless frame despite allowing two hits. Seth Lugo earned himself a hold with two strikeouts in the eighth, the most impressive showing of all 10 relievers. Edwin Díaz was then called upon in the ninth with a four-run lead, allowing a run but finally closing the book on a roller-coaster day for relievers.
- Aaron Nola wasn’t able to finish the fourth inning and the bullpen phone would ring off the hook for a little while with mid-inning switches. Seranthony Domínguez, Damon Jones, and Connor Brogdon combined to throw 2 2/3 innings and none of them started their own frame. They combined to allow five runs on five hits and handed over an 8-1 deficit after the top of the sixth. The Phillies wouldn’t get their top relievers going in this contest but José Alvarado settled in for his second outing of the year, tossing a scoreless seventh with a strikeout. Bailey Falter would later allow one run over the final two innings.
- Washington and Atlanta found themselves battling it out in a close 3-1 contest after a Tuesday blowout, while the Nationals burned through virtually all of their top relievers. Kyle Finnegan, Sean Doolittle, Steve Cishek, and Tanner Rainey each tossed an inning after Josiah Gray held the Braves scoreless over the first five. Washington’s bullpen combined to allow one run on two hits; Finnegan allowed the only run on a solo home run, while Doolittle and Cishek each tossed a perfect frame.
- Atlanta didn’t burn any top relievers on Tuesday so they were in a position to do so on Wednesday. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth inning despite his team trailing by two. He was preceded by Tyler Matzek for the eighth and both worked a three-up, three-down frame. With low pitch counts, both could be available in San Diego again tonight.
- After throwing five relievers on Tuesday, the Diamondbacks threw down on Wednesday with six. 5 1/3 scoreless frames from Merrill Kelly were extended to six courtesy of Kyle Nelson, but the seventh inning would see a blown save from Sean Poppen where a run scored on two hits. Arizona’s relievers would settle in after that, however; Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon, Noé Ramirez, and Oliver Pérez each combined for three innings where only the 10th-inning runner placed on second would score. Arizona relievers struck out just two batters in 4 2/3 innings, so while they aren’t exactly carving, they did get the job done for the most part on Wednesday.
- Ryan Pressly suffered a tough-luck blown save on Wednesday, but it also wasn’t a strong showing with two walks allowed. Pressly came on for the 10th with the auto-runner on second; Arizona would promptly bunt over said runner on a 3-4 putout and Pressly would then pitch a single, walk, and another base on balls. The game ended on a flyball fielding error in what would have been the second out of the inning. To get there, Houston saw six consecutive scoreless innings from their bullpen. Cristian Javier was the headliner with three innings of five-strikeout work, while Rafael Montero tossed an inning with two punchouts of his own.
- For the second consecutive day, San Francisco didn’t have to dig too far into their bullpen. Logan Webb tossed an exceptional eight innings of one-run ball while closer Camilo Doval shut things down in the ninth with a one-run lead. It wasn’t an easy path en route to Doval’s first save of 2022, however; he allowed two baserunners by way of a base hit and walk.
- One day removed from throwing a position player, the Padres found themselves in a 2-1 dogfight with another dominant showing from starter Sean Manaea. His six innings of two-run work transitioned to Steven Wilson for the final two frames, and Wilson shoved. He struck out five of the six he faced, which was all the relief work San Diego needed.