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
- Two rainouts yesterday will lead to two doubleheaders today. The SD-CLE and PIT-DET matchups will be made up today with back-to-back games, so expect these bullpens to be worked to the bone. All four teams have had the last two days off, so the relievers will be fully rested for whatever workload they are called upon to handle.
- Boston is turning to Garrett Whitlock to start today’s game. The righty went four innings in his first start of the year and three innings in his second start last Thursday, so long reliever Kutter Crawford could see some multi-inning action as the bridge to the back end of the bullpen.
- The Angels placed Austin Warren on the 10-day IL with a nasal fracture while right-hander Elvis Peguero was called up to replace him on the active roster. Jimmy Herget seems to be the next in line to take over in Warren’s absence as the fourth man up behind closer Raisel Iglesias.
- Trevor May of the Mets was placed on the 10-day IL with right triceps inflammation and will miss at least the next two weeks. Adonis Medina was called up to replace him in the bullpen. Stepping up as the setup man behind closer Edwin Díaz will be Seth Lugo, while Drew Smith should see more usage in the late innings in May’s absence.
- The main closer for the A’s in 2021, Lou Trivino, was finally activated off the COVID-IL after having not pitched since May 16th. He will most likely take over the closer role again in his return but will have stiff competition as Dany Jiménez has looked awfully comfortable in the role in his absence.
- Albert Abreu of the Rangers landed on the 10-day IL with a left ankle sprain. Expect Garrett Richards, Matt Moore, or Brock Burke to take over the multi-inning role in the Texas bullpen.
- The Braves and Mets took part in a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Braves opted to use Jesse Chavez in a bulk role as he ate 2.1 innings in relief of Charlie Morton in the first game. He rode his cutter to 47% CSW% and just one hit allowed in his outing.
- Holding on to a one-run lead, the Mets turned to three high-leverage arms. Adam Ottavino recorded his second hold of the year with a perfect sixth, inducing three whiffs on 10 swings with his whiffle ball slider. The seventh and eighth innings went to Drew Smith, as he took home his seventh hold of the year after he held the Braves scoreless across his six outs. Edwin Díaz shut the door in the ninth, permitting no runs and striking out two batters to record his fifth save of the season.
- In game two, the Braves again pitched from behind from the very start. The only inning of relief work went to Will Smith, as he pitched a perfect eighth inning following Kyle Wright’s seven strong frames. The remainder of the relief corps will be all rested up for today.
- A masterful, eight-inning performance from starter Carlos Carrasco made it easy on the Mets’ bullpen in the second game. They were given another save opportunity, but after Díaz was used in game one, manager Buck Showalter asked Seth Lugo to close out the ninth. He did so successfully, converting his second save of the season. With Trevor May on the IL with triceps inflammation, Lugo will be first in line to receive save opportunities in situations like this when Díaz is unavailable.
- A five-run lead through six innings was nearly blown by middle reliever Luis Frías serving up four runs in two-thirds of an inning, but the Arizona bullpen was able to persevere and secure the win, their 12th of the season. Caleb Smith and Keynan Middleton each notched their first holds of the season while Joe Mantiply took the ninth and was credited with his second save of the season. Don’t read too much into Mantiply’s usage. Ian Kennedy is the current replacement for regular closer Mark Melancon while he recovers from a stint on the COVID-IL. Kennedy had been overworked recently, tossing 53 pitches across the previous four days, and was in need of a rest day. He should be back in the ninth inning tonight should a save chance arise.
- Fighting from behind, the Marlins’ bullpen did its best to keep their team in the game, but only a couple of notable relievers received any work. Cody Poteet was the most noteworthy arm to appear for Miami, as he covered 2.2 innings without allowing a run. Most impressively, he ranked third (tied with Alek Manoah) among all pitchers on the day with 12 whiffs. He needed just 38 pitches to reach that tally, earning the majority (nine) with his devastating changeup. It may have just been a good day, but any time a reliever racks up that many whiffs, it’s something to take note of.
- In his return from the IL, Jon Gray lasted just three innings as the starter, so the Texas bullpen had six innings to cover. They covered them about as effectively as possible, with all five relievers receiving a decision and allowing just one earned run in total. The win went to Brock Burke, as he went 2.1 frames, cementing himself as the long reliever in a bullpen that just lost their multi-inning arm, Albert Abreu, to the IL. Dennis Santana (fourth hold), John King (first), and Matt Bush (third) were each credited with a hold for keeping the Rangers in the lead. For just the second time this season, Joe Barlow entered in the ninth and converted the save on just eight pitches. It’s his second save in four days, so his manager may finally be gaining confidence in using him exclusively in save situations.
- In this interleague affair, the Phillies needed four innings from their bullpen in low-leverage situations. Seranthony Domínguez took the sixth inning, allowing a run on two hits but striking out a pair of hitters. His fastball touched 97.7 mph in this outing. Covering the final three innings, Nick Nelson and Andrew Bellatti permitted just one hit and no earned runs while combining for five strikeouts. Nelson induced six whiffs on 31 pitches, while Bellatti notched five whiffs across his 15 pitches. The top arms in this pen will be fully rested for today’s action, having not pitched for the past two days.
- Moving to an AL Central-best 15-9, the Twins’ bullpen turned in yet another lockdown performance. Yesterday, it was Caleb Thielbar recording his first win of the season before turning the ball over to Tyler Duffey as he notched his second hold of the year. Both relievers threw exactly 18 pitches before yielding the ninth inning to Cody Stashak with a five-run lead. The top four arms in this pen had just pitched on Monday, so it was a welcome sight for them to receive a night off heading into Wednesday’s action.
- On the other hand, the Orioles’ relievers blew the tie game they entered. Joey Krehbiel gave up three runs and Keegan Akin gave up two of his own. From there, Paul Fry got an inning of work for the second day in a row. The top two arms in this pen, Dillon Tate and Jorge López, have not pitched since Saturday, so expect them to at least appear for a maintenance inning today, regardless of the game’s score.
- Facing the daunting Blue Jays lineup, the Yankee bullpen was lights-out despite the tough matchup. Wandy Peralta, Miguel Castro, and Lucas Luetge combined for three scoreless innings, three strikeouts, and three hits allowed. They had a massive lead to work with, so it wasn’t as if the situations they entered were stressful. Nonetheless, they got the job done and gave the top arms a much-needed day of rest.
- After the starter exited with the game tied at one, the Toronto bullpen was unable to keep the game close. Adam Cimber allowed three runners to cross home, although just one of them was earned. Failing to record an out, Julian Merryweather also permitted three runners to score. Trent Thornton kept the New York bats quiet, but it wasn’t for long, as Andrew Vasquez entered and gave up a couple of runs of his own. It wasn’t the best showing for this relief corps and will force manager Charlie Montoyo to rely even more on lockdown closer Jordan Romano going forward. He is at risk of being overworked if the rest of this bullpen doesn’t step up.
- The Angels got seven innings from their starter, so they only needed one inning from their bullpen in a game they lost on the road. The newly recalled Elvis Peguero got the 8th inning and gave up a homer to J.D. Martinez before ending his outing. The rest of the Los Angeles pen will be fully rested for today’s game.
- The Red Sox celebrated facing the Angels by shutting them out across nine innings. The bullpen covered 3.1 frames of the scoreless game and did not permit a hit. Jake Diekman was credited with his eighth hold across 1.2 innings, while Ryan Brasier notched his second hold of the year with a perfect inning that included two punchouts. Hirokazu Sawamura worked a scoreless ninth with a four-run lead to finish off the shutout. Diekman’s usage suggests that he may not be in line for save opportunities anymore, as he was brought in to finish off the sixth inning and is sporting a 4.32 ERA on the year.
- It was a closely fought battle for the city of Chicago on Tuesday between the White Sox and Cubs. The South Side ultimately came out on top 3-1 with the help of five relievers combining for just one earned run across five innings of work, each of them factoring into the decision. Reynaldo López earned the win with a perfect fifth. José Ruiz (sixth hold), Aaron Bummer (fifth), and Matt Foster (first) each recorded three outs and were credited with holds. Liam Hendriks worked for the second day in a row and looked like his old self once again. He notched his sixth save of the year with a perfect ninth inning on just 10 pitches. He likely needs a day off today after combining for 22 pitches across the past two days and pitching in three of the last four, but it’s a welcome sight to see him back on track after a bumpy start to the season.
- The team from the North Side decided to go with a bullpen game, and it almost worked out. Serving as the opener, Scott Effross gave up two unearned runs after an errant Patrick Wisdom throw and was tagged with the loss. The follower was Keegan Thompson, who worked 3.2 frames, allowing four hits and just one earned run, but he failed to strike out a batter as he recorded just a 24% CSW% across all of his pitches in the outing. Michael Rucker followed with two innings of his own and topped out at 101.8 mph, the fastest pitch across the entire slate of games. The Cubs ended their night by giving some work to Mychal Givens and Chris Martin, each of whom hadn’t pitched for at least four days.
- Starter Tyler Mahle worked just 3.1 innings for the Reds, so there was ground to make up, and as his short outing would suggest, it was with a deficit. All three Cincinnati relievers worked at least four outs. Alexis Diaz went 1.2 perfect frames with two punchouts, throwing his four-seamer 15 times compared to just one slider. Jeff Hoffman also recorded five outs, but he one-upped Diaz by striking out three batters. Phillip Diehl permitted a run to cross the plate, but it ultimately didn’t matter as the Reds fell to a disastrous 3-20 record on the season after Tuesday’s 6-3 loss. There won’t be many saves to find in this bullpen.
- Facing the worst team in baseball, the Brewers knew that it wasn’t going to take much to come away victorious in this one, but they still pitched wonderfully. After their starter struck out 12 batters, the Brew Crew turned to Aaron Ashby as the multi-inning bridge to the closer. He went 2.1 scoreless, allowing just two hits and striking out three Reds batters, inducing nine whiffs on 31 pitches with an impressive 50% CSW%. Notably, Ashby didn’t walk a batter in an outing for the first time this season. He had walked 13 batters across his first 17 innings of work, so it’s a good sign for him to show some reliable control. The save went to Devin Williams, his second of the year. It was a concerning turn of events as lockdown closer Josh Hader seemed to be fully rested, having not pitched since last Wednesday. After the game, it was announced that he was unavailable due to back spasms. He is expected to be available today and tomorrow, but don’t be surprised if we see Williams or Brad Boxberger in the ninnth today as the Brewers play it safe with their All-Star closer.
- Failing to put up any runs, the Mariners’ offense made it difficult for the bullpen to secure any decisions. As a result, few high-leverage arms got any work. Anthony Misiewicz and Diego Castillo combined to pitch the sixth, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks with no strikeouts. Matt Festa and Penn Murfee took over for the seventh and eighth, respectively, but didn’t do much of note.
- Joining in on the fun that the Mets and Red Sox had on the day, the Astros completed a shutout of the Mariners thanks to the efforts of their starter and three relief arms. Blake Taylor was the only reliever to record a decision, logging his third hold of the season with five scoreless outs. Phil Maton and Bryan Abreu filled in for the eighth and ninth innings with a four-run lead. Maton was solid, but Abreu was downright filthy, forcing four swings and misses on just seven sliders while hitting 99.6 mph with his fastball. The Astros have an embarrassment of riches in their bullpen.
- In a game in which the Cardinals failed to put up a run until the eighth inning, the relief corps was pitching from behind for the majority of the game. They rode their starter for six innings before allowing T.J. McFarland and Jake Woodford to cover the last two. Neither pitched all that well, as they combined to give up four runs on six hits and a walk. At the very least, the A-listers in this arm barn got a day off.
- The Royals needed just three relievers to finish off their eighth win of the season. Collin Snider walked away with his third hold of the year after he finished off the seventh inning following starter Brad Keller’s exit. He needed just two pitches to record two outs and push the game to the next inning. Amir Garrett and Gabe Speier worked the eighth and ninth, respectively. Only Garrett allowed a run, but neither of them notched a punchout. It was a quiet night for the Kansas City bullpen, but as I’ve said before, that’s exactly what you want from your pitching staff.
- Riding Erick Fedde’s seven-inning start, the Nationals needed just two frames from their arm barn. Erasmo Ramírez worked one of them while Paolo Espino worked the other. It was an uneventful night for the Washington bullpen, as they won this game in dominating fashion, 10-2.
- Mop-up duty was on the schedule for the Colorado pen after starter Germán Márquez allowed seven earned runs across five innings. Ty Blach ate the majority of the remaining outs, going three frames and allowing four hits and two more runs before turning the ball over to Justin Lawrence who gave up an additional run. Pitching in Coors will sometimes result in horrid performances, and last night was one of those nights.
- It was an exciting extra-innings affair between the Rays and A’s on Tuesday night. For the Rays, Ryan Yarbrough lasted just 2.1 innings as the starter, and in a 10-inning game, there was a lot of ground to make up. Ryan Thompson was first out of the pen and went a perfect 1.1 frames with one punchout. To help ease the load on the rest of the relievers, Jeffrey Springs logged 3.1 innings, permitting just two hits while striking out two batters. Springs was followed by a perfect inning from Matt Wisler. Andrew Kittredge was brought on in his usual spot in the ninth, but this time with the game tied at five. He would end up leaving the stadium with his second win of the season under his belt after the Rays took the lead in the top of the 10th. He will need a day off after appearing on back-to-back days. Jason Adam pitched the bottom of the 10th with a five-run lead and did his best to make it a stressful half-inning, giving up two runs on two hits, but he got the job done, securing the Rays’ 14th win of the year.
- As exciting as the Rays’ side of this game was, it was even more so for the A’s. Their starter couldn’t finish the fifth inning, so they too had a lot of innings to eat. Zach Jackson finished off the fifth before turning the ball over to A.J. Puk, who recorded his second hold of the year with two perfect innings. Dany Jiménez was next out of the pen, pitching a perfect eighth for his first hold of the year. With a two-run lead in the ninth, manager Mark Kotsay turned to Kirby Snead. He got the first out, but then allowed a single before giving up a game-tying home run to catcher Mike Zunino. He was removed after giving up another single and forcing a ground out. To replace him was the recently returned Lou Trivino. In his first game since coming off the COVID-IL, Trivino was able to force a ground out to end the ninth and keep the game tied, but the 10th inning was a much different story. He gave up extra-base hits left and right and was ultimately only able to record one out in the 10th, giving up five runs along the way. Justin Grimm was able to stop the bleeding, but it was too little too late. This first outing was not what A’s fans wanted to see from Trivino in his return and it could mean that Jiménez ends up maintaining the closer role he took over in Trivino’s absence.
- The final game of the evening was a nailbiter between two bitter rivals; the Dodgers and Giants. San Francisco utilized two pitchers in relief of starter Carlos Rodón’s six-inning start. Neither performance was too notable as John Brebbia pitched a scoreless seventh before being extended to the eighth where he gave up a double that came around to score on the watch of José Álvarez. Top arms Jake McGee and Camilo Doval are fully-rested while elite holds option Tyler Rogers will definitely get a maintenance inning tonight, having not pitched in a week.
- With such an elite offense and effective rotation, there aren’t many nights where the Dodgers have close enough games to afford decisions to their relief corps. Last night, however, was a different story, as Los Angeles turned to four relievers and all four of them were credited with a decision. Brusdar Graterol notched just one out and gave up a run, but was still rewarded with his third hold of the year. Alex Vesia was credited with his first hold of the year for finishing Graterol’s seventh inning. Working the eighth, Daniel Hudson secured his fourth hold of the season with a scoreless inning that included two punchouts. Called upon to shut the door in the ninth, Craig Kimbrel successfully converted his fifth save of the campaign with a scoreless inning of his own and is now sporting a 1.35 ERA on the season through 6.2 innings, a much more impressive mark than the 5.09 ERA he posted with the White Sox in a setup role in the second half of the 2021 season. He is back to being his Hall-of-Fame-caliber self.
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)