Reliever Ranks – 6/2

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

 

  • 15 games were played on Wednesday courtesy of a Marlins/Rockies doubleheader and Angels/Yankees rainout. Colorado and Miami both have Monday off.
  • The Angels and Yankees are the only doubleheader on the 12-game Thursday slate, but with Shohei Ohtani opposite Nestor Cortes on the mound for Game 1, perhaps it won’t be a bullpen-heavy double-dip.
  • The Astros, A’s, Diamondbacks, Guardians, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, and Royals have today off, and no teams are slated for Friday doubleheaders.

 

  • Boston reliever Matt Barnes was placed on the 15-day injured list on Wednesday (shoulder).
  • Boston reliever Matt Strahm was activated from the COVID-19 IL on Wednesday.
  • Arizona reliever Paul Fry was recalled from the minors; he holds over three years of service time and was just acquired by the Diamondbacks from Baltimore within the past month.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

  • On the heels of a Tuesday doubleheader, there was little relief action between Detroit and Minnesota on Wednesday. Tigers starter Tarik Skubal carved through seven shutout innings, turning a 5-0 ballgame over to relievers Joe Jiménez and Will Vest. Both relievers tossed a scoreless, hitless frame and each maintained their season ERA’s in the twos. Detroit can now breathe easier with a rested Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer as they cap off the series this afternoon.
  • Damage was already done once the Twins went to the bullpen; starter Bailey Ober allowed five runs in six innings. The lone reliever on the Twins’ billing, Trevor Megill, finished the ballgame with two perfect innings and three strikeouts. Megill’s ERA now sits at a clean 1.04 (8 2/3 IP) and the services of Emilio Pagán and Jhoan Duran should be readily available against the Tigers in the series finale.

 

  • Miami and Colorado combined to score 40 runs in 19 innings on Wednesday. The first billing was the lopsided affair, a 14-1 victory by Miami where three innings were tossed in relief. Dylan Floro pitched a perfect seventh inning and recorded his seventh-consecutive scoreless outing. Zach Pop was tasked with the eighth and ninth and broke the shutout, allowing a run on two hits in two innings. Game 2 was the questionable bullpen showing, however; after starter Trevor Rogers failed to complete four innings. Louis Head was able to record the final out of the fourth but allowed three runs in the fifth without recording an out. (His ERA sits at a still-impressive 2.76.) The showing was far from over, however: Richard Bleier was credited with a blown save in the fifth inning, allowing three hits and two runs in 2/3 of an inning. Miami’s strongest work would come from setup man Anthony Bass, carving through eight total outs while allowing a single hit. This forced Game 2 into extra innings, but one swing of the bat would yield a walk-off homer out of Cole Sulser’s hand. It was Sulser’s fifth blown save of the year and his ERA now sits at an even five.
  • Colorado’s Game 1 starter Antonio Senzatela allowed 13 hits in 5 1/3 innings, and it was just the start of an abysmal afternoon showing by Rockies pitching. Jhoulys Chacín tossed 2/3 of an inning, allowing three hits and two runs, lifting his season ERA to a 6.93. Trailing 8-0, the Rockies called upon their doubleheader 27th man Chad Smith; before he was sent back down to Triple-A, he allowed six earned runs, five hits, and two walks in one inning. Colorado did get some good work out of Carlos Estévez for the eighth facing the minimum, but it ultimately led to position player Randal Grichuk tossing the ninth (in which he did sit the Marlins down in order). The Rockies’ effort in Game 2 was far more considerable; their arms allowed five runs in five innings, but none of those five were earned. Robert Stephenson was on the tough end of some misfortune; he allowed four unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning (zero earned) but walked two. Alex Colomé worked around a hit for a scoreless seventh, while setup man Tyler Kinley worked around two hits in a scoreless eighth. Kinley now has a 0.90 ERA on the year (20 IP). Closer Daniel Bard tossed two innings and worked around four — yes, four – walks, without allowing an earned run. (It’s also rare for a closer to throw 42 pitches in a day.) Six walks in five relief innings is not a great showing at Coors Field, but the Rockies found a way to get it done in Game 2. They will likely run on bullpen fumes today for their series opener with Atlanta.

 

  • The Guardians were able to piece together a seven-hit shutout with four innings of two-hit relief. Ei Morgan earned his second hold of the year with two scoreless innings, striking out four and spacing two hits. It was then Bryan Shaw chipping away at a now-4.50 ERA in a perfect eighth, while Emmanuel Clase put the finishing touches on a perfect ninth. Neither earned a save or hold but there also hasn’t been a save recorded by the Guardians since May 14.
  • Kansas City only tossed two innings in relief, one inning thrown by both Arodys Vizcaíno and closer Scott Barlow. Vizcaíno’s scoreless seventh was his second appearance of the year, while Barlow was unfazed by a four-run deficit, lowering his ERA to a cool 1.64 through 22 frames this year. The Royals have today off, which helps to explain the use of Barlow while trailing.

 

  • The Mets remained atop the NL East in shutout fashion on Wednesday, their bullpen combining for four innings of shutout work. Seth Lugo tossed the sixth and seventh while allowing one hit, while Adam Ottavino was able to work around a hit and a walk for a one-inning hold. Edwin Díaz was in line for a save situation entering the bottom of the eighth but his team scored two runs; Díaz still entered the game and capped off the shutout with a perfect frame and two strikeouts. His ERA is now a 2.49, while Ottavino has chipped away at a now-3.86.
  • The Nationals threw the kitchen sink at New York, tossing six different relievers for no more than four outs a piece. Two of them currently have ERA’s below four: Víctor Arano, down to a 3.68 after 1 1/3 shutout innings today, and Carl Edwards Jr., holding a 2.08 after stranding a walk in the sixth. Tanner Rainey and Kyle Finnegan were understandably avoided in such a deficit, and each should be more than rested as their team opens their new series in Cincinnati.

 

  • Now we tap into some saves and blown saves: Houston closer Ryan Pressly earned save number 10 despite allowing two hits in the ninth. Houston would take down the A’s 5-4 in Oakland, taking the lead after seven innings of no-decision work by Justin Verlander (7 IP, 3 ER). Bryan Abreu lowered his ERA to a 2.91 (21 1/3 IP) with a perfect eighth.
  • Oakland closer Dany Jiménez earned one of the strangest holds you will see: a 2/3-inning, two-hit, two-walk, four-earned-run performance. This jumped his ERA to a 3.92, and the damage was not complete from there. Inherited runners would come around to score off Sam Selman, and it was Selman credited with the blown save despite not allowing a run of his own. Oakland did see a great showing from A.J. Puk, recording four outs without allowing a run. Puk’s ERA is now a 1.29, but the tale of Wednesday for the A’s was the abysmal eighth and ninth.

 

  • St. Louis and San Diego combined to pitch 2 1/3 innings in relief; five of the seven runs allowed on the day were credited to Padres starter Yu Darvish (7 2/3 IP!), while Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson went seven innings and allowed four hits. The Cardinals ran into a turbulent ninth with Kodi Whitley walking two and allowing two hits in just 2/3 of a frame. This opened a save opportunity for Nick Wittgren, tasked with recording a single out which he did on a flyout. Wittgren now has a 5.30 ERA through 18 2/3 innings. The Cardinals can get back to bullpen normal today after Ryan Helsey and Giovanny Gallegos were unavailable on Wednesday.
  • Darvish was one out shy of a complete game; he had allowed three runs through seven innings. He allowed two runs in his final frame (two outs in the eighth), while Nabil Crismatt closed the inning with a groundout. Crismatt now has a 1.88 ERA 24 IP) and the Padres now have a rested Taylor Rogers and Luis García.

 

  • Atlanta’s bullpen made quick work of the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon. With Kenley Jansen and Will Smith likely unavailable, it was Collin McHugh and Jesse Chavez combining for three perfect innings with four total strikeouts. McHugh’s ERA is now a 3.86 while Chavez now holds a 4.50; Atlanta now holds a rested bullpen after burning through some A-listers earlier in the week.
  • Arizona’s Noé Ramirez allowed three hits and three earned runs while recording just two outs, inflating his season ERA to a 3.97. Caleb Smith would have the best showing with four outs of scoreless work, but the damage would ensue in the ninth after recent call-up Paul Fry allowed two walks and two hits in a single inning. Mark Melancon was likely out of the picture anyways on Wednesday, and the whole Arizona crew can take advantage of an off day today before gearing it back up in Pittsburgh.

 

  • There were saves and holds aplenty in Philadelphia on Wednesday, with Corey Knebel earning save number nine, Brad Hand picking up hold number five, and Cristopher Sánchez earning his first hold of the year. All three tossed one inning a piece, and all three faced the minimum. Hand now holds a tremendous 1.20 ERA; Knebel rebounded well after allowing runs in his previous two outings.
  • Giants starter Carlos Rodòn allowed just one earned run in five innings on Wednesday, but it was washed away after a one-out, four-hit, four-run performance by Jarlín Garcia. He had started the season with 17 scoreless innings, but at 17 1/3 innings, he now holds a 2.08 ERA. Jake McGee got a chance to build some new momentum, holding a one-run deficit with a scoreless eighth. His ERA is now an 8.03 and he is scoreless in two innings since his return from the injured list.

 

  • Baltimore took care of Seattle 9-2 on Wednesday, thanks to 4 1/3 scoreless innings by Orioles relievers. Keegan Akin was tasked with the final two innings and he faced the minimum, lowering his ERA to a 1.60 (33 2/3 IP). Cionel Pérez continued his tremendous start to 2022, recording four scoreless outs while allowing a single hit. Pérez has tossed 16 1/3 innings this year and has allowed a single run.
  • Seattle’s Sergio Romo allowed five earned runs on four hits, recording just two outs. This was enough to give the Orioles a 9-2 advantage through six innings, and some low-leverage relief ensued. Penn Murfee and Anthony Misiewicz took advantage; however, each combined to pitch 2 1/3 innings of no-hit relief, spacing two walks. Murfee has now pitched 16 2/3 innings since his debut earlier this year and has allowed just two earned runs.

 

  • Between 17 innings pitched between the White Sox and Blue Jays, only seven of them were thrown by starters. Chicago combined for five relief innings and three of their four relievers posted scoreless appearances. Matt Foster lowered his ERA to a 2.35 (23 IP) with a two-strikeout sixth. Liam Hendriks was rested and available, but he’ll be more rested and available for the series finale in Toronto this afternoon (as will setup man Aaron Bummer).
  • Ross Stripling recorded eight outs in long relief, posting nothing but zeros in the run column. He spaced three hits and didn’t allow a walk, lowering his ERA to a 4.22 through 32 innings of work. One hold was earned in this ballgame; a 1 1/3 inning scoreless showing by David Phelps en route to his fifth of the year. Yimi García now has an even 3.00 ERA after his perfect ninth. Closer Jordan Romano and setup man Adam Cimber were questionable to pitch on Wednesday but they should be readily available for Thursday after extra rest.

 

  • Boston didn’t need a lot of relief on Wednesday after taking an early 4-0 lead; their 7-1 victory still came with three shutout innings in relief, however. Tanner Houck tossed two innings of one-hit work, while John Schreiber capped off the ninth while lowering his ERA to a 1.32 (13 2/3 IP). Matt Strahm is now active after a stint on the COVID-IL while Matt Barnes has hit the IL with a shoulder injury; it could be a timely off day for the Red Sox today as they get their bullpen feet underneath them again.
  • Cincinnati’s bullpen was having a great day up until the ninth inning. Their first 3 1/3 innings were scoreless with Boston hitters tallying a single hit.Luis Cessa was a top performer, recording four outs with two strikeouts, no runs and no hits. His ERA is now a 5.40 and some momentum could now be on his side. Ross Detwiler also faced the minimum over 1 1/3 frames, striking out one and keeping his ERA at a perfect zero through three innings of work this year. Jeff Hoffman’s ninth inning was not a decisive outing in Wednesday’s outcome, but it did little to keep his ERA in the twos. After three earned runs on three walks, Hoffman now has a 3.20.

 

  • An 11-inning win in Texas was hard-earned by the Tampa Bay pitching staff. Six relievers combined to toss six frames, and every single one of them has an ERA below three. Jalen Beeks recorded five outs and now has a 1.19 ERA (22 2/3 IP), while Jason Adam pitched two outs and now has a 0.84 (21 1/3 IP). J.P. Feyereisen now ha 24 consecutive scoreless innings to begin 2022, and while he did not earn a save or hold, he got big with a scoreless ninth while allowing two hits. A blown save was credited to Colin Poche in the 10th although it was only the tiebreaker runner at second that scored off him. He still allowed a hit and two walks, however, so one run of damage was minimal compared to the bigger picture. Matt Wisler was available to shut the door in the 11th and he did so in three-up, three-down fashion. It was Wisler’s first save of the year.
  • Texas starter Jon Gray tossed seven innings of one-run baseball, but it was washed away after two runs were scored in the eighth. John King was first in relief and he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits. Dennis Santana pitched both of the extra innings and allowed the decisive two runs, although only one was earned. Santana now has a 1.53 ERA on the year (17 2/3 IP).

 

  • There were three extra-inning affairs on Wednesday; our final one came at Wrigley Field where the Cubs bullpen combined for five innings of shutout work — with 10 strikeouts. Michael Rucker was a highlight reliever, striking out the side in the seventh while allowing one baserunner. Closer David Robertson lowered his season ERA to a 1.86 (19 1/3 IP) with two strikeouts in the ninth. Recent call-up Mark Leiter Jr. was tasked with the 10th and he faced the minimum, throwing just eight pitches and setting the table for the Cubs to win in walk-off fashion.
  • Milwaukee allowed four runs on the day and two were earned; those unearned runs proved to be the difference in a 3-4 defeat. No earned runs were scored off the Brewers’ bullpen arms, however; Miguel Sánchez tossed a scoreless eighth and now has 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief on the year, while Devin Williams pitched a scoreless ninth for a now-3.15 ERA through 20 innings. Hoby Milner recorded outs in the 10th — a groundout to move the tiebreaker ‘ghost runner’ and a sac fly to cash in the decisive run. Milwaukee was unable to plate their tiebreaker runner in the top half of the 10th, so Milner had his work cut out for him before even onto the mound.

 

  • Pittsburgh continued to shock the baseball world on Wednesday after an 8-4 victory inside Dodger Stadium. Four relievers combined to toss 4 2/3 innings; two runs were scored in the ninth off Anthony Banda (5.73 ERA, 11 IP), but the Pirates otherwise saw holds from Dillon Peters and Chris Stratton with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit action. Chase De Jong lowered his ERA to a 1.86 with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He now has a 1.86 ERA through 19 1/3 innings.
  • The Dodgers recorded four innings in relief and it was a dismal ending to an otherwise momentous game. Alex Vesia and Michael Grove combined to allow five runs in the final two innings of Wednesday’s game, combining to allow five hits in that time. The Dodgers saw a great performance by Evan Phillips with two scoreless, hitless innings, but it was ultimately washed away by late-inning damage.

 

Bullpen Depth Charts

 

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

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

Closing Time 5/31: Ranking the Top 40 Closers

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

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

Justin Wick

Justin Wick is the communications supervisor for MLB's Arizona Fall League. He pitched collegiately at Creighton University (B.A. Journalism) and South Mountain Community College, and is a three-year veteran of the Northwoods League with the St. Cloud Rox. More of his work can be found on Purple Row covering the Colorado Rockies, and on Twitter @justwick.

2 responses to “Reliever Ranks – 6/2”

  1. Greg says:

    I think Eli Morgan’s role is changing. Got the hold yesterday. I see him getting more high leverage work moving forward.

  2. J.C. Mosier says:

    Excellent write-up, Justin. I especially like how you lead off each paragraph by identifying the team, which makes it much easier to scan for specific teams.

    Maybe share this with your colleagues as a best practice?

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