Reliever Ranks – 4/18

Which relievers might be in line to vulture a save or win today?

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!

 

Notes

 

Transaction and Schedule Notes

 

  • NYY, TOR, MIA, DET, KCR, SEA, TEX, and STL have the day off Monday. Kansas City and Detroit had their game rained out on Sunday and were the only teams not to play. Both bullpens will get two full days of rest.
  • Ryan BoruckiPhil Bickford, and Cody Stashak were activated for the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Twins respectively. All three carry some level of intrigue and could get a few holds throughout the year, but none really deserve their own bullet point.
  • A.J. Puk is slated to be reinstated from the restricted list today, but his path towards save opportunities looks even cloudier than when he hit the list with the emergence of Dany Jiménez

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

  • A rare breakdown from stud reliever Jonathan Loáisiga led to four runs on the board and his first tally in the loss column on the year. ERAs after 5.1 innings of work are rarely indicative of a reliever’s actual performance, but K:BB ratios can help us begin to get an idea of performance even at small sample sizes. On the year, five walks and five strikeouts for Loáisiga, so it’s safe to say he’s still working his way into the season. Nothing to worry about yet.
  • The Orioles team pitching has to be one of the big surprises of the year so far, right? Jorge López came on in a scoreless game in the eighth and closed out his own win in the ninth after the Orioles rallied in the bottom of the eighth. Dillon Tate continues to somehow get the job done despite a major drop in velocity. Many others have just done their job when called upon.

 

  • It was a rough afternoon for the Nationals bullpen as Víctor Arano allowed two inherited runners to score and Steve Cishek blew up in the 7th to take the blown save and the loss. There are, unfortunately, likely many more games like this in store for this bullpen.
  • A day after being brought on as a stopper in the 7th, David Bednar entered in the 9th in a save situation and converted his first save of the season. In terms of performance, there’s nothing to worry about from Bednar. However, his role as HLR (highest leveraged reliever) and team context will limit the amount of save chances he gets.

 

  • Tyler Duffey came on in the seventh inning of a close ball game after not having worked since Monday. Because this was likely a scheduled appearance, I don’t think it definitely says he’s not a major part of the competition for saves, but it’s an early sign that he might be remaining in his typical setup role. Cody Stashak was activated and got his first action of the year. Stashak has a 23% K-BB% and a 3.25 FIP over 55.2 IP over the past three years, so he has potential to factor into the holds conversation as he gets healthy. Definitely give him a few more appearances to get his legs under him; nobody’s rushing to grab him.
  • In a 2-1 ballgame in the top of the 8th, it was Jake Diekman who went in for the hold which would have set up Hansel Robles for another save opportunity. The Red Sox broke it open in the bottom of the eighth, so Robles got to sit down, but that’s probably a blessing in disguise for those who were looking to add Robles in their leagues this morning. Another save might have sent his FAAB price skyrocketing. If you got him, congratulations, he’s stealthily first in line for saves on any day that isn’t Garrett Whitlock day.

 

  • The Athletics’ bullpen needed to cover four and two-thirds innings today and did so in scoreless fashion. Despite the result, none of the relievers used look to have much fantasy relevance anytime soon.
  • Following starter Alek Manoah, the Blue Jays went with Tim Mayza and Adam Cimber to get holds before turning it over to Jordan Romano for the save. That’s already six saves for Romano in ten games, a 97-save full season pace. He looks the part of an elite closer.

 

  • It became a bullpen game in New York after both starters traded blows for the first four innings and left in the fifth in a scoreless game. Over the final four frames, the Mets’ bullpen clearly outclassed the Diamondbacks’. Noé Ramirez ended up being saddled with the loss, but he wasn’t alone in his struggles.
  • Chasen ShreveDrew Smith, and Edwin Díaz combined for four scoreless innings of relief with five strikeouts and the former recording the victory. Díaz sat a tad slow in this one, but he still generated seven whiffs on fifteen pitches. Full steam ahead.

 

  • A day after a lot of San Fran’s higher leverage relievers got a lot of work, they were able to get their lower leverage guys in to close out a more comfortable lead. Turns out their lower leverage guys are also pretty good. Seriously, Zack Littell put up a sub-3 ERA in 60+ innings last year and he’s like fifth in line for holds. It’s crazy.
  • Konnor Pilkington made his second appearance for the Guardians and got through two clean innings. Acquired from the White Sox at the deadline last year, Pilkington has some intriguing minor league results and could be an interesting long reliever for Cleveland at some point this year. He’s likely going to be up and down a few times this year, though, as Cleveland makes room for other established veterans.

 

  • It was a very José Alvarado inning as he bookended it with strikeouts on absolutely filthy cutters, but, in the middle, he hit a batter and center cut a sinker to allow in a run. But hey! No walks for Alvarado in his first three innings of work on the year! Just you wait, though. They’re coming.
  • Cole Sulser came on with the game well in hand and allowed his first run of the season in his fifth appearance. Despite the lack of runs, Sulser has been having trouble missing bats and has generally been hit pretty hard in the early going. I don’t know if he’s a guy I want to be holding much longer in SVHD leagues.

 

  • It was a bullpen game for the Rays and five different pitchers saw work. Of course, it was the guy who allowed eight of the fifteen batters he faced to reach base, Chris Mazza, who picked up the win. At least Jalen Beeks and Ryan Thompson were rewarded for their good work with holds. Tommy Romero also got his second appearance in this one and it went much, much better than his first start. A solid three-pitch mix with eight swinging strikes on 29 total pitches. If he starts filling in as a follower, he could have some 15-team league value.
  • It was the low-leverage guys who got to work the majority of the game for the White Sox as they went down four in the top of the first and never sniffed a lead afterwards. Not much to read into here.

 

  • It was the second appearance for Jordan Hicks and this one was also of the multi-inning variety. He wasn’t super efficient, needing 35 pitches to get six outs, but he also recorded three punchouts and hit 102.1 mph on the gun. I know they teased him as a starter, but I see potential for him to be a dominant follower/multi-inning reliever.
  • Holds went to Brad Boxberger and Devin Williams with Josh Hader picking up his fourth save in a clean 1-2-3 inning. All according to plan for the Brewers, except Devin Williams walked three more batters giving him six walks in his first four appearances of the year. Remember, Williams struggled at the beginning of last year, too, before recording six wins, three saves, and a 0.60 ERA across 30 innings in June, July, and August. Hold on tight.

 

  • Mike Mayers got some earlier-than-usual work in the fifth inning, but was rewarded with a win for his efforts. The Angels had a pretty big lead for the late innings and opted to rest their high-leverage relievers for the rest of this one.
  • We saw a couple of upstart Texas relievers in this one. After dazzling in his first two appearances, Brock Burke got roughed up a bit in this one, while Matt Bush continued his solid start to the season generating five swinging strikes on thirteen pitches in a scoreless ninth. If Joe Barlow struggles, I’d bet it’s one of these two who gets the first stab to take over closing duties.

 

  • Save number three on the year for David Robertson who has emerged as the clear top option for saves on the north side of Chicago. Rowan Wick worked the eighth and, while he picked up a win for his efforts today, seems to be relegated to a setup role leaving him with a sliver of value only in holds leagues.
  • Solid job by the Rockies ‘pen to hold things together for 4.2 innings, but I haven’t seen anyone outside of Daniel Bard I’d be interested in rostering so far.

 

  • As expected, Art Warren got some maintenance work in the bottom of the 8th and it didn’t go well. It was an @LAD matchup in a low leverage game, so we can forgive Warren for his transgressions here. He still has claim to a share of the save opportunities in Cincinnati.
  • Like the Giants, the Dodgers were able to use their lower leverage guys to close out the final three innings, but, also like the Giants, gosh, even those lower leverage guys are good! Justin Bruihl with eight swinging strikes on 26 pitches to get through two innings despite allowing a couple hits.

 

  • This was a maintenance inning for Ryne Stanek and not a final confirmation that Héctor Neris is the top option for saves in Houston. Neris is the presumptive favorite and Stanek is coming off of some back tightness. I mean, no way Stanek could be throwing harder than he’s ever thrown in his life. Wait, WHAT?! Stanek threw all seven pitches over 99 mph yesterday?! Checks notes. Is he allowed to do that? We’ve never seen that before from Stanek. Maybe Neris has some competition after all. If you were a super smart player in a league with a deep bench, you saw Stanek’s performance and put out a minimum bid to add him and zig while the rest of the market zagged towards Neris.
  • We saw all four of Seattle’s four-headed bullpen beast and they combined for 3.2 scoreless innings with five Ks. In a non-save, non-hold situation, the order of appearance is not something to read into too closely. Andrés Muñoz averaged 100.3 mph on his twelve fastballs and is tied for third on the team in strikeouts on the year, despite having four innings to his name. He WILL record a save for the Mariners by June and his FAAB price will be massive if you wait until then to add him.

 

  • Happy Spencer Strider day, everyone! It was a bit of a bittersweet holiday this week. Yes, 3.2 scoreless, hitless innings with three strikeouts! But also, three more walks giving him six in his first nine innings of work. He’s also only allowed three hits, so he’s been able to get away with the walks, but those will almost certainly come back to bite him eventually. That .176 BABIP will likely regress to the mean and a few more balls will drop in as hits. Still, ride the wave. He’s a fun pitcher to watch.
  • Taylor Rogers picked up save number four easy as you like retiring the side in order on just twelve pitches. In his first four innings of work, he’s allowed just one baserunner and struck out five. He seems to be settling in well to his new home.

 

Bullpen Depth Charts

 

Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)

Eric Dadmun

Eric is a Core Fantasy contributor on Pitcher List and a former contributor on Hashtag Basketball. He strives to help fantasy baseball players make data-driven and logic-driven decisions. Mideast Chapter President of the Willians Astudillo Unironic Fan Club.

3 responses to “Reliever Ranks – 4/18”

  1. JR says:

    In a SV+H league, would you think there is more value in owning either Helsley, Mayza or Stanek rather than Warren who won’t be getting so many SVO in a bad Reds team (+ the impending return of Sims)?

    • Eric Dadmun says:

      Predicting save/hold opportunities is so, so hard. At this point in the year, I’m still relying mostly on offseason analysis and my evaluation of overall pitcher quality. I thought Warren had the most upside over the offseason, but the Reds are also the most fluid with their reliever roles. In terms of upside, I’d rank them Warren, Stanek, Helsley, Mayza, but in terms of security, it’s the opposite. I’m personally still holding Warren because I’m OK with that risk this early in the season. If you just want safety, I think Mayza’s the play.

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