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 of you looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so be sure to check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!
Transaction and Schedule Notes
- Two games that were originally scheduled for Thursday were preemptively postponed to Friday due to expected weather concerns (SEA @ MIN and BOS @ NYY). This gives just four teams with a day off Friday (PIT, STL, KC, CLE).
- The following teams play [at least] 13 straight days without a scheduled day off, so keep an eye on their bullpen usage for the next two weeks as they won’t get a day to recharge – TB, OAK, PHI, WAS, MIL
- After trading for Taylor Rogers from the Twins, San Diego Manager Bob Melvin went on record saying that he expects to use Rogers as the team’s closer out of the gate though he was unavailable in the opener after throwing a heavy bullpen session for the Twins the day of the trade.
- Don Mattingly mentioned that he sees Anthony Bender as the go-to guy in the ninth inning for Miami at the moment.
- The first save of 2022 goes to none other than…David Robertson? True story. Robertson had not recorded a save since the 2018 season and now finds himself the obvious ninth-inning option for David Ross‘ Cubs. Rowan Wick allowed one run off two hits to start the eighth inning while Mychal Givens cleaned up the mess with a strikeout to end the eighth, giving way to Robertson to pitch a one-hit ninth, throwing just 14 pitches in the process.
- Aaron Ashby came in to follow Corbin Burnes for the Brewers, throwing 41 pitches through his 1.2 innings of work where he gave up an earned run off three hits and a walk while striking out [just] one. Ashby could still be in line to start or follow later this weekend or early next week, but don’t expect him back out there for mop-up duty anytime soon.
- Tony Santillan received the first save opportunity for the Reds this season and took full advantage, needing just 15 pitches to sit down the three batters he faced, collecting two strikeouts along the way. Luis Cessa came into the game in the 6th inning, walking two but coming through with a scoreless inning. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, and Santillan should be considered a favorite for future saves in Cincy.
- From the opposing bullpen, Spencer Strider impressed in his two innings of work for Atlanta, striking out five of the six batters he faced, averaging 99.3 MPH on his 18 4-seamers thrown. Strider isn’t a contender for saves, but could vulture a win or two moving forward if deployed in the right situation.
- Triston McKenzie was tasked with pitching three innings for the Guardians, though they came at the end of the game rather than the start. McKenzie came into the game with the score tied at one a piece and pitched a perfect sixth and a scoreless seventh inning before finally succumbing to the Kansas City bats, allowing two runs to score off two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch. McKenzie threw 47 pitches through his three innings and shouldn’t be expected back on the mound for a few days. McKenzie should be expected to join the rotation as a starter but could be someone to monitor if more “piggyback” outings are scheduled down the line.
- Scott Barlow pitched the final two innings for the Royals and walked away with the win and struck out three in the process. Barlow threw 29 pitches in the outing, but with the off-day on Friday, he should be able to rest up and be available again on Saturday if needed.
- With the Pirates down by five runs, supposed co-closer Chris Stratton was asked to stop the bleeding in the 7th inning. He came out of it unscathed, getting the Cardinals’ 5-6-7 hitters to each pop out, using just 13 pitches in the process. Pittsburgh is one of the few teams with an off-day Friday, so everyone should be reset in the Pirates bullpen come Saturday.
- Ryan Pressly notched his first save of the season, needing just eight pitches to collect his three outs. Pressly faced the minimum three batters even after allowing a lead-off single to Mike Trout thanks to inducing a timely double play off the bat of Tyler Wade to end the game. Pressly still found a way to mix in three different pitches though he only threw eight total, so it may have been difficult to notice him averaging just 91.2 MPH on his 4-seamer, down considerably from his 95.4 MPH on the pitch from 2021. Something to watch once Pressly needs more pitches to get through an outing in the future.
- After Yu Darvish threw six innings of no-hit ball, Bob Melvin turned to his bullpen to close things out. Tim Hill and Pierce Johnson did their job, each collecting a hold and combining for two scoreless innings, but Robert Suarez and Craig Stammen failed to record an out in the final inning, with Suarez getting the loss and Stammen officially being credited with the blown save as the last man standing after allowing one run to score on a wild pitch and then giving up a walk-off home run to Seth Beer. Expect the likes of Stammen to be pushed back into a bulk inning role in his next outings and Taylor Rogers will be out there for the next save opportunity the Padres can provide.
- The Mets trotted out Edwin Díaz in a non-save situation as they were leading the Nationals by four. Diaz pitched around a walk to Lane Thomas to end the game and threw 18 pitches in the process. Though Diaz shouldn’t be ruled out entirely for Friday, especially with the rest of the expected high leverage options from the Mets’ bullpen in Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Adam Ottavino each throwing at least 14 pitches of their own in this one.
Wasn’t watching the game, but I read that Santillan had already started warming up when it was still a 5 run game in the 8th before Moreta gave up 2 and made it a save situation. That situation is still very fluid to me.