Reliever Ranks – 6/1

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

 

  • There were 15 games on Tuesday thanks to a doubleheader between the Twins and Tigers and a rainout in the matchup between the Rockies and Marlins. Both AL Central teams do not have an off day until June 6th, so their bullpens will be tested across the week, while the two National League teams will make up their game in a doubleheader today.
  • Today, we have 16 more games, with Colorado and Miami squaring off for a pair of games in Coors Field. Similar to the Twins and Tigers, these two squads won’t have a day off until next Monday, so this doubleheader could put some stress on their bullpens.

 

  • The Detroit Tigers activated Will Vest off the COVID-IL and slotted him back into a setup role behind closer Gregory Soto. He hasn’t appeared in an MLB game since May 18th, so he may need some time to get right before securing any high leverage moments.
  • Charted bulk reliever for the Washington Nationals, Austin Voth, was designated for assignment. Paolo Espino should step up and fill that long relief role.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

  • Game one of the doubleheader between the Twins and Tigers saw very little bullpen usage, as both teams attempted to manage their relievers for the long haul. Minnesota turned to Griffin Jax in the seventh inning and let him toss the final seven outs of the win. He kept the Tigers scoreless and only allowed two hits with two strikeouts, inducing eight whiffs with 45% CSW across 33 pitches.
  • Detroit called upon Drew Carlton for three frames, during which he surrendered two unearned runs and struck out four batters. Jacob Barnes came aboard to pitch the top of the ninth in the six-run loss.

 

  • Game two was a bit more eventful in terms of the relievers used. Minnesota received four perfect frames from their trio of relievers. Juan Minaya, Caleb Thielbar, and Jovani Moran lowered their ERAs, but it wasn’t enough, as their offense couldn’t muster a run.
  • With just four frames from the starter, Wily Peralta was able to vulture the win, his second of the season, with two hitless frames. The veteran righty owns a 0.81 ERA through 22.1 innings on the season. Andrew Chafin, Jason Foley, and Michael Fulmer worked the final three frames to complete the shutout, but none were awarded a decision as a result of the four-run lead.

 

  • The Royals were fighting from behind for a majority of their game. They turned to three relievers in the 8-3 loss. Jose Cuas made his Major League debut after an incredible journey through the minor leagues as a position player and a career in the Independent League where he remade himself as a reliever. He features a funky sidearm delivery that produces mid-90s sinkers and a serviceable slider. Dylan Coleman and Taylor Clarke also appeared for Kansas City but weren’t as memorable as Cuas.
  • With the large lead, the Guardians called upon Sam Hentges, Enyel De Los Santos, and Bryan Shaw. Each of them kept the Royals off the board, leading to a quiet ending to the ballgame.

 

  • In the first of three extra-inning affairs on Tuesday, the Giants were able to walk away victorious after an 11-inning game in which they won 7-4. As the extra-inning designation would suggest, this was an interesting ballgame from a bullpen perspective. San Francisco tossed nearly their entire bullpen at the Phillies (seven relievers), with two of them receiving blown saves. Jarlín García was the first out of the bullpen, maintaining his unscathed ERA (17 IP). John Brebbia was next, and he failed to get an out, giving up a double, two singles, and a walk before being replaced by Jake McGee. He forced a double play and a strikeout, but a run scored on the double play, leaving McGee with the blown save—his second of the year—and Brebbia with two earned runs on his line. Tyler Rogers and Dominic Leone pitched the next three innings and were unscored upon, pushing the game to extras. In the 10th inning, after securing a lead, manager Gabe Kapler turned to closer Camilo Doval for the third day in a row, but he was unable to get the job done, allowing the zombie runner to cross home and getting tagged with his second blown save of the season. His night was over after just three batters and José Álvarez finished off the inning. Álvarez stayed in for the 11th with a three-run lead and was able to hold on for his second win of the season.
  • For the Phillies, they turned to Nick Nelson to eat two frames following the departure of their starter. Connor Brogdon got the next three outs before turning the ball over to Seranthony Domínguez for the final five outs of regulation. He didn’t allow a single baserunner, lowered his ERA to 1.83 (19.2 IP), and is someone to keep an eye on if closer Corey Knebel continues his struggles. Things didn’t go as smoothly in extras, however, as Jeurys Familia allowed the zombie runner to cross home while giving up three hits and a walk. Andrew Bellatti ended up taking home the loss, his second of the season, after allowing a double and home run to Joc Pederson in the 11th.

 

  • Not much bullpen activity to report on from the matchup between the Mariners and Orioles due to the ten-run lead Seattle finished with. Matt Festa and Roenis Elías closed out the win with three scoreless frames.
  • Baltimore’s starter couldn’t escape the second, and their bulk reliever wasn’t much better. Zac Lowther covered 5.1 innings, but he surrendered six runs (five earned) along the way. Marcos Diplán threw a scoreless four outs before the O’s threw in the towel and let position player Chris Owings pitch the ninth.

 

  • It was another game with little consequential bullpen usage, as the Angels were felled at the hands of the Yankees by a final score of 9-1. After Noah Syndergaard’s blowup, manager Joe Maddon called upon Kenny Rosenburg to eat some innings and preserve the rest of the pen. He scarfed down five frames, permitting four runs while striking out five. Archie Bradley got the final two outs without allowing a run.
  • The Yankees relievers were glad to get a rest day in the midst of a plague of injuries. Miguel Castro and David McKay were the only two arms to appear out of the pen, and they were able to hold the Angels scoreless to secure Jordan Montgomery’s first win of the season.

 

  • Lucas Giolito was roughed up by the Blue Jays, but the South Side offense and bullpen were able to keep things close. Reynaldo López, Aaron Bummer, and Kyle Crick combined for 3.1 scoreless frames, but the offense couldn’t complete the comeback.
  • With a one-run lead, a bevy of Toronto relievers earned decisions. The only man who didn’t was Trevor Richards, as he failed to secure an out, allowing two runs in relief of Kevin Gausman. However, he was followed successfully by Adam Cimber (seventh hold), Yimi García (11th), and Julian Merryweather (first), each of whom kept the White Sox away from home plate. Jordan Romano entered the ninth with the game close and secured his 16th save of the season on 13 pitches, dropping his ERA to 2.66 (20.1 IP).

 

  • It was a low-scoring affair between two teams that identify as red. Cincinnati came away with the win thanks to Alexis Díaz and Hunter Strickland locking down two scoreless frames, earning their sixth and second holds respectively. Díaz owns a 1.13 ERA (24 IP) and I’m not quite sure why they haven’t entrusted more save opportunities to him. It must be a result of the Reds being cheap and not wanting to push up his arbitration costs in the future. The save went to Tony Santillan, and despite permitting a run on three hits, he was able to lock down his fourth save of the season.
  • With little help from their offense, the Red Sox didn’t want to abuse their relievers, so they went with three guys that hadn’t pitched in a couple of days. Austin Davis and Tyler Danish combined for 2.2 scoreless innings, with Danish striking out three batters and Davis lowering his ERA to 1.69. Jake Diekman pitched the ninth, giving up one unearned run thanks to a Xander Bogaerts throwing error. This bullpen scares me a lot, and I’d advise fantasy owners to stay far away until the dust settles and someone emerges as a must-add.

 

  • The 10-0 drubbing the Nationals took in Queens meant that few relevant bullpen arms got a chance to showcase their stuff. After Patrick Corbin gave up seven runs in his start, Washington turned to Erasmo Ramírez (0.2 IP, 1 ER) and Francisco Perez (1 IP, 2 ER), before handing the ball over to Jordan Weems and Steve Cishek who combined for two perfect frames and three strikeouts.
  • Up big, the Mets had Drew Smith get five outs in immediate relief of the starter. Four of his five outs came by way of the strikeout, as he induced five whiffs with 38% CSW across 29 pitches, and now sports a 2.38 ERA (22.2 IP) on the season. Joely Rodríguez and Adonis Medina were the final pair of pitchers to appear, and they were unscored upon across seven combined outs to complete the shutout.

 

  • There were some very interesting developments out of the Padres-Cardinals game that was decided in extras. On the San Diego side, Craig Stammen, Luis García, and Robert Suarez all put up zeroes across the seventh, eighth, and ninth, affording the offense the opportunity to tie up the ballgame and send the game into the 10th. There, closer Taylor Rogers allowed the zombie runner to score and was tagged with his second loss of the season as a result. It was his second straight appearance resulting in a loss, but considering his 1.64 ERA and 17 saves on the season, I suspect that his leash is still pretty long.
  • Interestingly, the Cardinals turned to Giovanny Gallegos in the eighth inning, during which he allowed two runs on a Trent Grisham dinger and blew his third save of the year. This comes a day after he appeared in the sixth inning, and his ERA is slowly creeping towards four (3.86, 18.2 IP). Once again, Ryan Helsley pitched the ninth in a game in which Gallegos appeared before him. This was Helsley’s first appearance since surrendering his first run of the season, as he is the proud owner of a 0.48 ERA. The most interesting part about this appearance, other than him seeming to receive preferential treatment to Gallegos, was that it was the first time he was trusted to pitch in back-to-back games all season. With all of these factors in concert, it seems as though Helsley is taking over the closer role from his teammate, and this situation should be watched with keen eyes. Drew VerHagen took home the win, his third of the season, following the Cardinals’ walk-off sac fly in the bottom of the 10th.

 

  • Ryan Yarbrough delivered 6.2 frames for the Rays, allowing them to rest the bullpen. Shawn Armstrong was the only reliever to appear, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings with three of his four outs coming via the strikeout. Amazingly, he went 10/19 on whiffs with his four-seamer, earning 63% CSW on a pitch that topped out at 96 mph. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on after he struggled to a 10.80 ERA in 6.2 innings for the Marlins before being DFAd, electing free agency, and signing with the Rays. This was his Tampa Bay debut, so the Rays not only see something in him but also turned him into an incredibly effective reliever, at least for one game.
  • To complete their shutout, the Rangers asked John King to pitch the eighth. The lefty secured his sixth hold of the year with a perfect frame, lowering his ERA to 2.70 (20 IP). Joe Barlow entered the ninth looking to get the save, and he did just that, inducing a pop out, groundout, and flyout to earn his ninth save of the season. He pitched on Monday as well, so the Rangers could look to get him a day off today, but he’s combined for just 25 pitches across the two appearances and would be available in an emergency situation.

 

  • It was a high-scoring yet close game between the Brewers and the Cubs. The Milwaukee starter survived just four frames, so five relievers were needed to get through nine innings. Hoby Milner was first out of the arm barn, tossing a scoreless frame. Trevor Kelley did not have the same success, surrendering four runs without recording an out, as he was tagged with his first blown save of the season. Trevor Gott and Brent Suter were able to piece together two scoreless frames to make up for it, while neither of them forced a strikeout. The final arm to appear was Brad Boxberger, as he allowed a giant long ball to Patrick Wisdom that put the Cubs ahead for good, resulting in Boxberger’s first loss of the season.
  • The Cubs had similar struggles with the bridge to the back end of their bullpen. Rowan Wick allowed three runners to cross home in his lone inning of work and Brandon Hughes surrendered a run of his own while recording just one out, resulting in his first blown save of the season. Luckily for them, the offense stormed back, rewarding Mychal Givens with his fourth win of the season after he put up a perfect four outs. The ninth went to David Robertson who shut the game down with a perfect frame for his seventh save of the season, bringing his ERA below two (1.96, 18.1 IP). It was a promising bounceback for the veteran after he blew a save in his most recent appearance.

 

  • With the game tied at one, the Astros used every single one of their elite arms to keep the score where it was, ultimately resulting in a win. That win went to Rafael Montero, his third of the season, after he followed Phil Maton’s and Ryne Stanek’s scoreless frames. Montero now owns a delightful 0.44 ERA (20.2) and has been one of the most dominant setup men all year long. He has overshadowed Stanek’s equally compelling season, as the right-hander sports a 1.06 ERA (17 IP) on the season. Houston has an embarrassment of riches, and they weren’t done showing them off in this one, handing the eighth to Héctor Neris, as the righty notched his 10th hold of the year with a perfect frame, dropping his ERA ever close to sub-2.00 (2.01, 22.1 IP). The final reliever was none other than closer Ryan Pressly, as he was able to lock down his ninth save of the season. He is not at any risk of losing his job any time soon, but if he begins to falter, there’s no reason for manager Dusty Baker to ride with him when he has so many elite options to turn to, so if things begin to sour, he could lose the grasp of his job quickly.
  • The disparity between the first reliever the A’s turned to and the final two was stark. Zach Jackson must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed because he was unable to find the strike zone, walking all four batters he faced. Sam Moll and Lou Trivino, on the other hand, combined for two perfect frames with two Ks apiece.

 

  • The Braves were oh-so-close to walking away with a victory against the Diamondbacks, but their highly trusted back-end bullpen arms couldn’t pull off the win. A.J. Minter tossed a scoreless sixth for his 12th hold and Collin McHugh pitched a scoreless seventh for his fourth hold. Will Smith maintained the lead to earn his fifth hold, but surrendered a run along the way, reducing the lead to just one run. In the ninth, Kenley Jansen was unable to hold the one-run lead and was tagged with his third blown save, but he was able to finish off the inning to push the game to extras. After the Braves took the lead in the top half of the 10th, Jackson Stephens could only secure one out and was ultimately stuck with his second loss and first blown save after allowing two runners to cross home, resulting in an Arizona walk-off win.
  • Benefitting from that walk-off were five Diamondback relievers. Kyle Nelson finished off the fifth and began the sixth, but was unable to lower his ERA, permitting a run on three hits. From there, it was lights out. 1.2 perfect frames from J.B. Wendelken got the ball to the eighth inning where Joe Mantiply put up a zero. He began the ninth but eventually turned the ball over to Sean Poppen to end regulation. As a result of the walk-off, Mark Melancon went home with his first win of the season despite allowing the zombie runner to score in his lone inning of work. That’s back-to-back nights for Melancon, but he could still be available today due to his light workload (18 pitches) across the pair of appearances.

 

  • Impressively, the Pirates’ pitching staff shut down the Dodgers’ bats. Tyler Beede recorded two outs but gave up an unearned run, ultimately resulting in his first career hold. Finishing off the rest of the sixth and all of the seventh, Duane Underwood Jr. earned his third hold, dropping his ERA below three (2.92, 12.1 IP) along the way. Chris Stratton pitched a perfect eighth—striking out all three batters he faced—and was rewarded with his fifth hold of the season. With David Bednar having tossed 50 pitches on Monday, the Pirates turned to Wil Crowe to secure the save with a two-run lead in the ninth. He got the job done, securing his second save of the season with a perfect frame. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bednar got another day off today, but it’s difficult to expect the Pirates to pull off back-to-back wins against the mighty Dodgers, so a save situation is unlikely.
  • On the other hand, the Dodgers used just two members of the arm barn. Brusdar Graterol was the most effective of the two, going 1.2 frames without allowing a run and topping out at 101.1 mph with his sinker. The other reliever was David Price, who pitched 1.1 innings and struck out three, but also allowed the Pirates to tack on an insurance run in the ninth.

 

Bullpen Depth Charts

 

Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:

Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 5/27

The Hold Up 5/26: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Closing Time 5/31: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

 

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

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.

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