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
- We had a full slate of 16 games on an exciting Tuesday full of baseball, as the Tigers and the A’s played a doubleheader to account for the additional game.
- Looking forward, there could be a few options to turn to for bulk relief. The Pirates are sending Dillon Peters out to open their morning set against the Dodgers. The lefty topped out at 19 pitches in his last appearance, so look for Max Kranick or Wil Crowe to take on a multi-inning role, setting themselves up for an unlikely win opportunity against a tough LA squad.
- Bailey Falter was recalled to join the rotation in a start versus the Mariners, but the young lefty isn’t fully stretched out and could use some help from a long reliever to transfer the game to the back end of the bullpen. The Phillies have a bevy of options that are able to toss multiple frames, so Nick Nelson and Francisco Morales are worthy bulk relief arms that could see work on Wednesday.
- Lastly, the Rangers are turning to late-inning reliever, Matt Bush, to open their game against the Royals. Garrett Richards will most likely get the chance to follow him unless the Rangers have a surprise plan to use an unannounced starter in a relief role.
- On the transaction front, Orioles closer Jorge López was placed on the bereavement/family medical emergency list and will miss three to seven games as a result. Look for Dillon Tate or Felix Bautista to pitch the ninth in his absence.
- Nationals middle reliever Andres Machado was sent to AAA, as the team purchased Carl Edwards Jr.’s contract from the minors. There aren’t many great options in this bullpen, but Paolo Espino should have an increased chance of receiving hold opportunities in the future with one more arm out of his way in the pecking order.
- The last bit of transactional news was Tigers long reliever, Drew Hutchison, being DFA’d. It seems as though the recently recalled Rony García or Wily Peralta could be the bulk reliever going forward.
- The score was 6-0 by the time the Tigers called on their bullpen in game one of their doubleheader. Manager A.J. Hinch asked Joe Jiménez and the soon-to-be DFA’d Drew Hutchison to pitch the final two innings. They got the job done with two scoreless frames.
- A’s starter Frankie Montas pitched into the seventh, affording the team the luxury of using just two relievers as well. Kirby Snead finished off the seventh, but not before giving up a bases-clearing double to Jeimer Candelario. Fortunately for Snead (and unfortunately for Montas’ ERA), one of those runners was inherited, so he was only tagged for two earned. Snead then pitched a clean eighth, and Adam Kolarek also received an inning of work in the ninth, keeping the score as it was.
- Game two was a bit closer. The A’s were the natural away team in the second half of the doubleheader in Detroit, turning to their top arms in a game they won 4-1. Zach Jackson relieved rookie starter Adrian Martinez’s scoreless start by finishing off his sixth inning and then working a scoreless seventh for his sixth hold of the year. Domingo Acevedo recorded his fifth hold with a zero in the eighth, and then the A’s put up an extra run in the top of the ninth, leaving Lou Trivino without a save situation. The right-hander pitched anyway, giving up one run on two hits and a walk, but he escaped trouble to send the A’s home with a split of the doubleheader.
- The Tigers trailed from the fourth inning on, but they still got some of their best arms some work. Striking out all three batters he faced, Will Vest pitched a perfect sixth, turning the ball over to Andrew Chafin for the seventh inning, during which the lefty allowed one run on three hits. Rony García and Alex Lange finished off the final two innings in the Tigers’ loss, pushing them to a dreadful 9-21 record on the year.
- It was a blowout in the Dodgers’ favor as they handily dealt with the Pirates. With an 11-1 final score, few notable relievers appeared in this one. Brusdar Graterol pitched the sixth while the lead was still just seven, and Alex Vesia worked a perfect seventh to hold the lead at 11. Getting some work in with the massive lead were Reyes Moronta and Phil Bickford.
- With their starter being unable to finish the third, the Pirates decided to go the long relief route with the game out of hand. Anthony Banda finished the third after starter Bryse Wilson’s exit. Beau Sulser was the pitcher called upon to eat up the innings left on the Pirates’ plate by the starter. He covered four innings, allowing four runs on four hits with four strikeouts (4!). Chase De Jong logged the final two innings and was the only Pirates pitcher to keep the Dodgers off the board on the day.
- In contrast to the Dodgers/Pirates game, it was a close contest between the lowly Reds and the division-leading Brewers. For Milwaukee, three relievers were credited with a hold (Brent Suter [first hold], Brad Boxberger [eighth], and Luis Perdomo [first]), but the biggest news came from Devin Williams blowing the eighth. The electric righty was unable to find his control, issuing three walks and two hits, and was ultimately tagged for three earned runs, forcing manager Craig Counsell to call on Perdomo to finish the inning. The blowup afforded Josh Hader a save opportunity, which he converted with ease, tying him for the Major League lead with 12 saves on the season.
- The Cincinnati bullpen entered the game in the sixth inning with a runner on base and one out. Manager David Bell asked Tony Santillan to be the first man out of the pen, but he couldn’t get the job done. He fell apart, giving up a double to the first batter he faced, scoring his inherited runner, before hitting the second batter he faced and walking the third. For Bell, that was enough to tell that Santillan did not have it on the day, so he called on Lucas Sims. Sims shut down the inning and pitched through the seventh, not allowing any runs to score, but also not instilling much confidence in fantasy managers by recording zero strikeouts. The eighth was covered by Hunter Strickland, who gave up two earned runs, while the ninth was given to Art Warren, as he pitched a scoreless frame. This is not the bullpen you’re looking for.
- In a tight affair against the Nationals, the Mets were afforded two hold opportunities and a save chance, converting all of them. Drew Smith (eighth hold) and Joely Rodríguez (fourth) worked scoreless outings to hold the Mets’ one-run lead. Smith is having himself a breakout season, as this was his 12th straight appearance (13.1 IP) to start the year without giving up a run. The ninth inning save opportunity was given to Edwin Díaz, as usual, and, as usual, he threw a zero on the board, garnering his seventh save of the season.
- In his first appearance with the Nationals, Carl Edwards Jr. didn’t give the best first impression. The veteran right-hander permitted three runners to score and was credited with the loss. Steve Cishek and Erasmo Ramírez did their best to keep the game close across the final three innings, but a comeback didn’t come to fruition.
- In a heated game between the Blue Jays and Yankees, both teams used at least four relievers to varied results. The first man out of the Toronto arm barn was Yimi García, but he was tossed from the game after giving a home run to the first batter he faced and subsequently hitting the following batter. David Phelps had to get warm quickly, but he was able to get the job done and send the game to the seventh. From there, Adam Cimber threw a scoreless frame, while Tim Mayza and Trevor Richards were credited with their seventh and fourth holds respectively for completing a scoreless eighth inning. The ninth inning was a different story. Top closer Jordan Romano couldn’t handle the pressure, giving up three runs on an Aaron Judge walk-off dinger, and was tagged with his second loss of the season. Keep your confidence in Romano, as he leads the American League in saves, and remember that sometimes these kinds of days happen.
- For the Yankees, Miguel Castro was electric, premiering his upper-90s sinker and striking out all four batters he faced across the fifth and sixth innings. Jonathan Loáisiga pitched a scoreless seventh, but, when asked to begin the eighth, he gave up a walk that would come around to score at the hands of Chad Green. The Blue Jays put another run on the board against Green but it wouldn’t end up being enough. Wandy Peralta walked away with his first win of the season after holding Toronto scoreless in the top of the ninth prior to the walk-off.
- The Red Sox received just three innings from starter Garrett Whitlock, forcing them to turn to the bullpen early, but they were still able to survive and lock down the win. The win went to Tyler Danish, who pitched two scoreless frames with two strikeouts. Ryan Brasier and Hansel Robles threw scoreless innings themselves, earning their fourth and sixth holds respectively. The final two frames were given to John Schreiber, as he locked down his first career save. The 28-year-old right-hander has logged 6.1 scoreless innings across his first five outings this year, but I wouldn’t put too much stock into his ninth inning usage. I still believe Jake Diekman, Matt Barnes, and Robles are the first up for save opportunities going forward, but it was still very interesting to see Alex Cora use his bullpen in this fashion.
- On the other side, Atlanta was down by six after just two innings and never mounted a comeback. Therefore, the relievers used were either getting in work or just getting the team through garbage time. Jesse Chavez recorded an out, Tyler Matzek threw a scoreless inning, Jackson Stephens struck out two in a perfect seventh, and A.J. Minter got the eighth, holding the score and punching out two. It all culminated in Tyler Thornburg allowing three runs in the top of the ninth. It was a pretty meh day for the pitching staff.
- A great start from Justin Verlander afforded the majority of the Houston bullpen the night off. JV took a no-hitter into the eighth but allowed a single to Gio Urshela before inducing a double play to end the inning. Blake Taylor came aboard in the ninth to shut the door, needing 21 pitches to do so. The top two arms in this bullpen (Ryan Pressly and Rafael Montero), have each had at least three days off, so they will be fully rested heading into Wednesday’s action.
- No pitchers of note were used for Minnesota. Newly recalled Jharel Cotton was the most eye-catching, going 3.2 scoreless frames with five baserunners and four strikeouts. His changeup was on point, inducing six whiffs on 23 thrown, good for a 35% CSW%. I doubt Cotton gets a chance in the rotation or at the back end of games, but he was once a pretty highly regarded prospect for the A’s and could thrive in a multi-inning role for the Twins.
- We got to see what the Orioles bullpen would look like without Jorge López. After seven amazing innings from rookie starter Kyle Bradish, manager Brandon Hyde went with Joey Krehbiel in the 8th. The righty lowered his ERA to 2.92 and recorded his third hold of the season. Even though he was credited with his fourth hold, Dillon Tate permitted a run to score in the ninth and was ultimately lifted in favor of Felix Bautista. Bautista shut the game down with a strikeout of the only batter he faced to earn his first career save. He registered two of the three hardest thrown pitches on the day; one at 101.9 mph and the other at 100.5 mph. I’m not sure what this means for the relief corps across the next week. Tate entered in a save situation in the ninth, so he was obviously the first option. He couldn’t get the job done, but the manager had the confidence in Bautista to end things, so I’m not sure who he favors more going forward; the guy he turned to first or the one he trusted to get the team out of a jam?
- The Cardinals decided to keep their high-leverage relievers on the backburner and get some work for the rest of the crew, following Packy Naughton’s first career start as a Cardinal. Kodi Whitley and Nick Wittgren combined for 2.2 innings and two earned runs in relief of the lefty. Andre Pallante pitched a perfect seventh and turned the ball over to T.J. McFarland, who threw two scoreless innings in the losing effort. With four straight days off, expect Ryan Helsley to get some work on Wednesday.
- In a close contest, the Royals turned to three of their best relievers, but it wasn’t enough, as the team ultimately fell to the Rangers, 6-4. The final out of the sixth went to Amir Garrett, while all three outs of the seventh were given to Dylan Coleman. After nine agonizing days off, Josh Staumont finally got some action and looked great. The hard-throwing righty faced three batters and struck all of them out, inducing six whiffs in total across 17 pitches. This was a good sign after Staumont had given up a run in three of his previous four outings. He should still be factored into the few save chances the Royals produce this season.
- The Rangers didn’t need to turn to their bullpen until the seventh inning. The final two outs of that inning were recorded by John King, who pitched through the eighth as well, allowing two hits and a walk with two strikeouts, but keeping the Royals off the board and being awarded his second hold of the year. That performance set Joe Barlow up to lock down his fifth save of the season. He has recorded two saves in the last three days and is as clear-cut a closer as you’ll find.
- Another close game on Tuesday occurred in the matchup between the Guardians and the White Sox in Chicago. Cleveland utilized just two relievers; Bryan Shaw and Sam Hentges. Both had perfect outings with no strikeouts.
- Three relievers were used by the South Siders, each of whom recorded a decision. José Ruiz notched his eighth hold, splitting the eighth inning with Bennett Sousa, who took home his third hold of the season. With Liam Hendriks being heavily overworked across the last week and having blown the save in dramatic fashion on Monday, manager Tony La Russa asked a man with prior experience to shut things down while his usual closer took a break. Kendall Graveman was that man, and he was able to do what La Russa asked of him. He was awarded his second save of the season for his efforts but will be ceding the ninth inning to Hendriks for most of the opportunities in the future.
- There was polar opposite bullpen usage in the night game in Anaheim. Rays starter Corey Kluber gave up eight runs in three innings of work, so it was mop-up duty for the relief crew. Jason Adam, Colin Poche, Ryan Thompson, and J.P. Feyereisen each got an inning of scoreless work in before the real star of the show arrived. Outfielder Brett Phillips took the mound for the eighth, which is always a fun sight; however, he wasn’t as successful as his counterparts. He gave up two bombs that I suggest you check out for yourself. One was absolutely scorched by the legendary Mike Trout. I’m sure we all would have felt in awe of the former MVP just as Phillips was. In between Trout and the next dinger, Shohei Ohtani blasted one off the wall in right field. Then the real fun began. With such a fun pitcher on the mound, former All-Star Anthony Rendon decided to have some fun himself. He turned around to the left side of the plate, switch-hitting for the first time in his 10-year Major League career, and promptly crushed a home run into the right field bleachers on the very first pitch. It was a sight to behold and it preceded the great ending of an eventful night for the Angels.
- Congratulations Reid Detmers! The 22-year-old left-hander threw a no-hitter, the first solo no-no of the 2022 MLB season. The incredible performance afforded the night off for the LA bullpen, and simultaneously etched Detmers’ name into the history books. What a night!
- Wade Miley’s Cubs debut returned just three innings, so there was some ground for the bullpen to cover. The loss went to Robert Gsellman, as he tossed 2.2 frames and gave up a single run. Chris Martin got an out but also gave up a run of his own. The final two innings were covered by Mychal Givens and Daniel Norris, completing those frames in a scoreless fashion. With closer David Robertson on the COVID-IL, this game did not provide any clarity as to who might be the closer until his return.
- The Padres also had a starter on the mound that isn’t quite built up to a traditional starter’s workload, with Mike Clevinger being unable to finish the fifth in his second start back from the IL. Nonetheless, the Padres were able to take home the win, specifically, Steven Wilson, as he was credited with his third win of the season with five consecutive outs. Robert Suarez earned his third hold with a scoreless inning and turned the ball over to Luis García who recorded his sixth hold of the year with a zero in the eighth. All of that relief work prepared Taylor Rogers to notch his 12th save of the season, putting him in a three-way tie for the Major League lead. Unfortunately for him, he permitted his first run on the year, but with all of his great work so far, his ERA still sits at a shiny 0.71 mark.
- Despite the one-run difference in the final score, the Phillies trailed this one from the start. They turned to Brad Hand, Jeurys Familia, and Andrew Bellatti to cover the 2.2 innings that starter Aaron Nola couldn’t finish. None of the three allowed a run, while Familia was the only one to induce multiple whiffs, forcing the opposition to swing and miss at three of the 10 sinkers he threw.
- The Mariners bullpen apparently wanted some excitement, so they kept the game close while all of them were awarded a decision. Andrés Muñoz notched his second hold by finishing off Robbie Ray’s sixth inning. Erik Swanson gave up a run but still secured his third hold by maintaining the lead. The final hold went to Anthony Misiewicz, as the lefty recorded two outs to garner his third hold of the season. The save chance was given to Paul Sewald, and despite the run he gave up on a Jean Segura homer, he was still able to convert the save successfully. It was his first save of the season and firmly plants the notion that the Mariners’ closer job is a full-blown committee.
- There were some interesting developments in the Marlins bullpen last night. Their starter lasted just 2.2 innings so we got to see some extended work from Cody Poteet after Louis Head finished off the third. Poteet went four scoreless innings, allowing only three baserunners while punching out three batters. He has been one of the most effective emergency bulk guys in the league so far this season with a 0.55 ERA and 0.98 WHIP across 16.1 innings with 14 Ks, and in leagues where muli-inning relief outings are ultra-valuable, I’d keep an eye on his matchup every few days. The last reliever to appear in the loss was Dylan Floro, as he pitched for the first time this year after starting the season on the IL. His debut was not great, however, as the veteran righty permitted three runs off four hits and a walk while failing to record a strikeout. His pitches were down in velocity across the board and this outing does not bode well for his prospects of taking the closer job from Anthony Bender.
- With a big lead, the Arizona bullpen had a quiet night. Three relievers were used, and none took home a decision. J.B. Wendelken was perfect across two outs, and so was Keynan Middleton through his inning of work. Caleb Smith pitched the ninth, allowing one run to score, but kept it from getting out of hand and sent Diamondbacks fans home happy.
- In San Francisco, the Giants won by seven, so there wasn’t any reason for the Rockies to turn to high-leverage relievers. Lucas Gilbreath struggled in his outing, giving up three earned while only recording two outs. Former Giant Ty Blach ate some innings with 2.2 scoreless. Jhoulys Chacín was the final reliever to get work in, affording the Giants an insurance run in the 8th.
- With a big lead, the Giants still got some work for their A-team to keep them fresh. Zack Littell finished off the sixth after the starter’s exit. Across just 11 pitches, the righty induced five whiffs; three on his four-seamer and two on his slider. Jarlín García was equally impressive across two perfect frames, striking out one and notching three whiffs of his own. He also pushed his scoreless streak to 11.1 innings to begin the season. Finally, Jake McGee came in to shut things down with an eight-run lead. He gave up a run on two hits and a sac fly and has really not looked himself this season. The lefty now sports a dreadful 9.58 ERA on the season and won’t be factoring into the save chances until he figures things out.
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)