Reliever Ranks – 5/25

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

 

  • As usual, all 30 teams played yesterday, leaving a lot of bullpen usage to be broken down.
  • TOR, STL, KC, and ARI have a scheduled day off today and will be given a chance to rest their relief arms.

 

  • SF, SD, PIT, MIA, NYM, SEA, HOU, and BAL are all scheduled to be off tomorrow, while CWS and CHC have a rare Friday off-day scheduled this week.
  • COL, LAD, MIL, WAS, ATL, MIN, and DET don’t see a scheduled day off until Monday, June 6th.

 

  • Major news in New York as long time closer Aroldis Chapman hit the 15-day IL with left Achilles tendinitis, opening up the closer role for Clay Holmes who has been lights out with a 0.40 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, and 9.13 K/9. Miguel Castro should see additional holds opportunities as everyone in the Yankee bullpen moves up an inning.
  • Holds option Heath Hembree landed on the 15-day IL with a strained right calf. Dillon Peters will take his spot on the Pirates section of the chart.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

  • With their starter unable to make it through the fifth inning, the Colorado bullpen was arranged for a vulture win. However, the team was down 1-0 when the relievers were called into action, so they would have to put forth a positive performance to capitalize on the tight score. They did just that, with Jhoulys Chacín, Lucas Gilbreath, and Alex Colomé combining for 3.2 scoreless innings, giving the offense the time it needed to post a run and send the game to extras. Before the free baseball commenced, Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless ninth. After the offense knocked in the zombie runner in the top half of the 10th, the hard-throwing right-hander stayed on to finish off the game and was rewarded with his second win of the season for his two strong frames. He needed 35 pitches to do so, which could lead to a possible day off today.
  • It was an unlucky day for the Pittsburgh pen, as they gave up two runs and both of them were unearned. Duane Underwood Jr. recorded his second hold of the season with 2.1 innings of work across the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. A runner reached via an error in the eighth and later came around to score under the watch of Chris Stratton. The unearned run was pinned to Underwood Jr.’s line, but Stratton was assigned the blown save, his third of the season. David Bednar was unable to keep the game tied once free baserunners began to be awarded to the opposing team in extras, and he went home with his first loss of the season despite allowing just one hit. That’s back-to-back days for Bednar (43 pitches), so he will get a day off today, leaving Stratton or Wil Crowe as the relievers with the best chance at vulturing the save.

 

  • A blowout was on the schedule for the Cubs in Cincinnati, and they needed just two relievers to finish off the final four innings with an eight-run lead. Brandon Hughes pitched a perfect sixth and turned the ball over to Robert Gsellman. The 28-year-old right-hander allowed two runners to score but held the lead, closing out his first save since 2019. It was of the rare three-inning variety and gave the top arms in the relief corps a much-needed day of rest.
  • Tyler Mahle got crushed for eight earned runs, which meant the relievers that appeared were there for nothing more than mop-up duty. Luis Cessa, Joel Kuhnel, and Jared Solomon pitched four combined innings before the Reds completely threw in the towel and let infielder Matt Reynolds toss a few pitches.

 

  • Just one reliever appeared out of the arm barn for the Marlins because their starter was able to cover the first seven innings and the team lost. Anthony Bass threw a scoreless frame, dropping his ERA to 1.53 to go with his 0.91 WHIP (17.2 IP). The rest of the top arms haven’t pitched in at least three days, so everyone is available for a close game today.
  • The Rays needed just two relievers in their shutout victory in the battle of Florida. Dusten Knight pitched two scoreless innings but failed to strike out any of the eight batters he faced. Up by four, the ninth was covered by Ryan Thompson who completed the shutout with a perfect frame.

 

  • In a rematch of the 2019 NLDS, the Dodgers took on the Nationals, but this time the Dodgers were able to come away victorious. It required an inning from David Price and two scoreless frames from Brusdar Graterol, but they went home with the win nonetheless.
  • Nats starter Josiah Gray lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs, so it was a day of maintenance innings and clean-up work. Víctor Arano and Josh Rogers each allowed a run across a combined 2.2 innings, but the rest of the bullpen kept the Dodgers off the board. Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Finnegan, and Paolo Espino all lowered their ERAs and combined to allow just two baserunners across the final 3.1 frames. Only four saves have been secured by this crew all year, so don’t go looking to Washington as the savior for your closer problems.

 

  • In a back-and-forth affair that required additional frames to decide the final result, the Orioles received mixed results from their relievers. The first blown save of the night went to Logan Gillaspie who allowed the Yankees to tie the game with two outs in the seventh. Keegan Akin worked as a band-aid, covering up the scar left by Gillaspie. The lefty bulk reliever threw 2.1 hitless frames and was pretty impressive, striking out six batters to go with 10 whiffs, good for a 49% CSW rate across 39 pitches. Akin pushed the game into extra innings and Dillon Tate was able to escape the 10th with the zombie runner stranded on second, but the 11th wasn’t as fortunate. The offense had given the O’s the lead in the top of the 11th but in a save opportunity Bryan Baker allowed the zombie runner to score before giving up a walk-off single to Jose Trevino and was tagged with his first blown save and second loss of the season. I have to believe that had Jorge López and Félix Bautista not been used on back-to-back days, one of them would have pitched in place of Baker, but with each of them having thrown at least 35 pitches across the two previous days, they may have been just as ineffective.
  • Handed a one-run lead in the seventh, Michael King was unable to hold it, giving up a three-run shot to Rougned Odor. The rest of the Yankees’ pen had King’s back and set the team up for an 11th-inning walk-off. Lucas Luetge was the arm to finish off King’s disaster inning and Clay Holmes worked a scoreless eighth in his first game as the top arm in the Bronx. A scoreless ninth was pitched by Wandy Peralta and, despite allowing the zombie runner to cross the plate in his second inning of extra-inning work, Clarke Schmidt went home with his third win of the season. With both Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green out, it will be interesting to see who steps up in this bullpen to relieve the burden placed on Holmes, Jonathan Loáisiga, and King.

 

  • It was an unfortunate evening for the Philadelphia relief corps as they allowed Atlanta to answer their runs twice, resulting in the team’s 23rd loss of the season. James Norwood was the first to do so, giving up two runs without recording an out after the offense was able to tie the game in the previous half-inning. Andrew Bellatti escaped Norwood’s jam and was followed by a scoreless inning from Brad Hand and another from Nick Nelson, setting up the offense to take the lead in the top of the ninth on a Bryce Harper bomb. That wasn’t enough, however, as Nelson was stretched too far, having been asked to pitch a second inning to secure the win with regular closer Corey Knebel requiring a rest day after two straight days of work. The Braves scored two runs off Nelson, culminating in a walk-off single from the bat of William Contreras.
  • On the other hand, the Braves were bailed out by their offense. Holds went to Will Smith (fourth hold) and A.J. Minter (ninth) as they held the lead across the seventh and eighth innings despite Smith giving up a run. The ninth inning was dramatic, with Kenley Jansen giving up the go-ahead home run to Harper that was ultimately all for naught. It was Jansen’s second blown save of the season and the home run pushed his ERA to 3.86 (18.2 IP), but he was fortunate to go home with his third win of the campaign following the walk-off. We could see a redemption outing for Jansen today.

 

  • The low-scoring affair between the Tigers and Twins saw the only two runs of the ballgame cross home in the second and third innings. From then on, Jason Foley, Jacob Barnes, Michael Fulmer, and Drew Carlton pitched one scoreless frame apiece, but Detroit still went home with the loss. Fulmer was the most impressive, striking out all three batters he faced, lowering his season-long ERA to 3.31 (16.1 IP).
  • The Twins bullpen held on to the lead handed to them by Sonny Gray, securing one of just two shutouts on the day. The eighth and the hold were given to Tyler Duffey who struck out two in a perfect inning. With Emilio Pagán having pitched the day prior, it was Jhoan Duran’s turn to notch a save. He did so by exhibiting his blazing heater, recording four of the top five fastest pitches on Tuesday, topping out at 102.5 mph. It was his fourth save of the season, and with the young righty having pitched every other day starting last Wednesday, my best guess is that he has the day off today.

 

  • Up by seven by the time they turned to the bullpen, the Blue Jays called upon Ross Stripling to tackle two frames before he lateralled to Andrew Vasquez for the touch- I mean the ninth. Neither were electric, but they got the job done and afforded a very taxed relief corps a day of rest.
  • With their starter lasting just three frames, the Cardinals asked each of their relievers to cover six outs. Both Nick Wittgren and Drew VerHagen were under the false assumption that multiple frames had to be accompanied by multiple runs, as both of them allowed two men to cross home. Junior Fernández, however, didn’t get that memo and held the Jays scoreless across his pair of innings in his 2022 debut. The 25-year-old right-hander maxed out at 100.3 mph on his sinker but didn’t induce any swings and misses with the pitch across 18 thrown.

 

  • The Guardians finally tapped into the bullpen to finish off the fifth inning, but by then they were already trailing by six runs. Enyel De Los Santos, Anthony Gose, and Eli Morgan combined for 3.1 perfect frames with each of De Los Santos and Morgan recording multiple punchouts. If only they had gone with a bullpen game instead.
  • Needing to stay fresh, Héctor Neris and Rafael Montero worked the eighth and ninth innings in relief of Framber Valdez. Both of them failed to give up a hit and lowered their ERAs in the process. Montero’s sits at a shiny 0.51 mark (17.2 IP) and he is the clear number two in a bullpen that features four elite righties.

 

  • In the battle of the Sox, the red ones went up big early and never looked back. The offense had already tallied all 16 runs they would score on the night after just five frames, so the three relievers that pitched were just there as a formality. Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Barnes, and Tyler Danish each worked a scoreless frame. It was good to see Barnes have another successful inning with his usual velocity (94.9 mph avg. fastball yesterday) and he could be getting into the rhythm manager Alex Cora has been waiting for to anoint him as the closer.
  • Down by a wide margin, the White Sox tried everything but couldn’t keep Boston from blowing them out. José Ruiz allowed three runs, Bennett Sousa gave up five runs, and Matt Foster watched one runner cross home, each of them pitching two-thirds of an inning. Vince Velasquez was able to stop the bleeding, tossing three frames, allowing just one baserunner, and striking out five batters. He induced 10 whiffs and a 36% CSW% across 45 pitches, but still sports an ERA north of five. Maybe a bullpen role could see him thrive, but that wasn’t the case last season. Aaron Bummer was the final reliever to pitch and was also able to keep Boston off the board.

 

  • Garrett Richards was the only reliever to appear for the Rangers, and he had an uneventful 1.2 inning outing. In other news out of Texas, closer Joe Barlow hasn’t pitched since May 16th and should be getting a maintenance inning any day now.
  • Noah Syndergaard took the Angels to the precipice, but two relievers were still required to finish off the final frame. Struggling in his appearance, Aaron Loup gave up two runs and needed to be bailed out by Raisel Iglesias with a save opportunity having arisen. Iglesias allowed a hit but struck out the next batter and was awarded his 11th save of the season. That saves total is the fifth-highest in the Majors and Iglesias is once again appearing to be one of the game’s elite “capital C” closers.

 

  • It wasn’t the greatest of the showings for the Kansas City bullpen in Arizona. In relief of the starter, Amir Garrett finally claimed his first hold of the season, but it required him to allow two baserunners and record just one out. He was replaced by Taylor Clarke who proceeded to strike out the first batter he faced before giving up a three-run dinger to Jordan Luplow, a double to Daulton Varsho, and a home run to Pavin Smith before escaping the inning. The damage had been done, however, and Clarke was saddled with his first loss and second blown save of the campaign. It was a really disastrous sixth inning. The final two frames were covered by Gabe Speier as he struck out four and went unscored upon.
  • The Diamondbacks had an opposite outcome, as their starter struggled but their arm barn made up for it by keeping the Royals off the board. Joe Mantiply finished off the sixth inning that was left unfinished by the starter. After the offense captured the lead in the previous frame, Noé Ramirez vultured the win, his first of the year, with a scoreless seventh. Ian Kennedy claimed his seventh hold of the season with a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon received the save opportunity in the ninth. The veteran righty was able to get the job done to lock down his 10th save of the season, but he owns an ERA north of seven, which is an unsettling sight next to the name of a team’s closer. He now has three saves since last Thursday, but he might be the riskiest closer in baseball.

 

  • With just 18 wins on the season, the A’s were in desperate need of a lights-out relief performance tonight, and that’s exactly what they received. Vulturing the win, his second of the season, with 1.1 scoreless frames and three strikeouts was Sam Moll, as he lowered his ERA to 0.61 (14.2 IP). Domingo Acevedo and Zach Jackson secured their sixth and eighth holds respectively with scoreless outings of their own. The game was capped off by a hitless ninth by Dany Jiménez, as he recorded his ninth save of the season. The 28-year-old is having a career year in just his second Major League season as he is the proud owner of a 0.52 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP (17.1 IP) and will be the closer in Oakland as long as he continues to earn whiffs on his slider, as he did tonight, going 4/9 on swings and misses with the sweeper.
  • On the other side, the Mariners did not get the relief work they envisioned. Drew Steckenrider blew his second save of the season when he gave up a home run to Elvis Andrus in the sixth inning. Similarly, Anthony Misiewicz gave up a couple of runs of his own in the seventh inning and took home his first loss of the season. Sergio Romo and Penn Murfee were able to keep the A’s off the board for the final 2.1 frames, but it was too little too late. Romo (8 IP) and Murfee (14.1 IP) both maintained their sub-1.30 ERAs.

 

  • On the second day of Josh Hader’s absence, we got absolute confirmation that Devin Williams is the man for the ninth inning. After Hoby Milner (first hold) and Trevor Gott (fifth) recorded holds with a scoreless frame apiece, Williams was called upon to hold a three-run lead. The changeup specialist did so by recording two strikeouts across a perfect frame to notch his third save of the season. He has thrown 36 pitches across the past two days, so expect someone else to pitch the ninth tonight. It could be Brent Suter as he has slightly more rest than his contemporaries.
  • The Padres didn’t get the run support they needed to take home any decisions. Craig Stammen, Steven Wilson, and Tim Hill worked a combined 3.2 frames to keep the game close, but it wasn’t enough. Stammen gave up a home run but both Wilson and Hill pitched perfect innings with one strikeout each. This bullpen has been used heavily recently, so expect manager Bob Melvin to get the most out of Yu Darvish in his start today.

 

  • What a game! There were three ties and three lead changes in this one, as well as a six-run comeback by the Mets, so you know there was a lot of bullpen action. Stephen Nogosek worked some bulk innings in relief of Chris Bassitt’s unfortunate start in which he gave up eight earned runs. Nogosek, however, tossed 2.2 scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Drew Smith for the eighth inning with a newfound three-run lead. Smith got the first two batters out, but then gave up a single and a walk before permitting the third home run of the game off the bat of Joc Pederson and was tagged with his first blown save of the year. He was replaced by Joely Rodríguez who had paramount struggles, giving up three hits but was removed and saved by an Adam Ottavino strikeout before things got ugly. The offense retook the lead with a triple and a sac fly in the ninth and Edwin Díaz was called upon in the bottom half to shut down an exciting game, but the excitement wasn’t over. Díaz was not at his best and gave up a single, forced a double play, and just when you thought he might clutch the save, he issued a walk, allowed a single, and then gave up the game-tying hit to none other than Pederson. Manager Buck Showalter displayed confidence in him by leaving him out there after his third blown save of the season, but it was unfounded as Díaz gave up a walk-off single to Brandon Crawford.
  • For the home team, it was equally as chaotic. Jarlín García pitched a scoreless sixth, maintaining his spotless ERA for the season (16.1 IP). From there it was different. Dominic Leone allowed two runners to cross home in the seventh, but he held the lead. Tyler Rogers, however, could not do so, as he was tagged with seven earned runs in an outing that jumped his ERA from 3.78 to 7.41 (17 IP). Yikes! Camilo Doval was the pitcher that came aboard to clean up the mess, but he allowed all of his inherited runners to score before escaping without allowing any runs of his own. In the end, John Brebbia pitched the ninth during which he gave up the lead again, but he was ultimately awarded his second save of the season following the team’s walk-off. What a game!
Bullpen Depth Charts

Jake Crumpler

A Bay Area sports fan and lover of baseball, Jake is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English Literature. He currently writes fantasy articles for Pitcher List and is the lead baseball writer at The Athletes Hub. Some consider his knowledge of the sport to be encyclopedic. Without baseball, Jake would be a Pokémon master.

One response to “Reliever Ranks – 5/25”

  1. JR says:

    I couldn’t stop myself from rage dropping Loup and Tyler Rogers yesterday after they completely obliterated my ratios. Welcome to the team, Lange and Schreiber!

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