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Reliever Ranks – 6/22

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

 

  • Every team played on Tuesday and will do so again today.
  • 10 teams have tomorrow off and will be able to push their bullpens today knowing there will be a day of rest on the horizon. Teams with no game on Thursday include BOS, TB, TOR, DET, KC, LAA, TEX, NYM, WSH, & ARZ.

 

  • Oakland Athletics closer Dany Jiménez landed on the 15-day IL with a right shoulder strain. The right-hander had been struggling in recent weeks, and we may now be aware of the cause. An MRI revealed no structural damage, so he will hopefully be out for the minimum of two weeks. Without him, the A’s will turn to A.J. Puk, Zach Jackson, and Domingo Acevedo in a closing committee. Lefty Kirby Snead was called up to fill the open bullpen slot.
  • In other Oakland bullpen news, left-handed holds option Sam Moll was placed on the COVID IL. It is not clear whether or not he tested positive, but he will require two negative tests to be reactivated. Domingo Tapia was recalled as the immediate replacement. With both Moll and Jiménez being removed from the chart, Lou Trivino will make his return while the aforementioned Snead will look to add to his total of four holds on the season.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

LAD 8 – CIN 2

  • This matchup was close until the Dodgers pulled away with four runs in the eighth. Before that, Evan Phillips (sixth hold) and Phil Bickford (third) notched a couple of scoreless innings. Brusdar Graterol and David Price worked the eighth and the ninth up by six. With the recent struggles of closer Craig Kimbrel, I’m excited to see who manager Dave Roberts turns to in the next save situation. My bet is on Daniel Hudson as Kimbrel works a couple of low-leverage innings to get his confidence back and work out any kinks in his delivery.
  • The Dodgers were able to pull away in that eighth inning because of the unfortunate outings from Reiver Sanmartin and Luis Cessa. Sanmartin began the year in the rotation but is in the middle of transitioning to a long-relief role. He pitched a scoreless seventh, but when asked to do his job of covering multiple innings, he fell apart. The final reliever to appear was the recently recalled Dauri Moreta as he lowered his ERA to 8.62. This is another closing situation in flux with Alexis Díaz on the IL, and it has yet to be resolved as of this writing with no save opportunities presenting themselves.

 

COL 8 – MIA 9

  • A high-scoring, back-and-forth affair saw the Marlins take the lead in the eighth off Colorado setup man Alex Colomé. Prior to Colomé’s second loss of the season, Jhoulys Chacín gave up three runs (two earned) across 1+ innings while Jake Bird impressed with two scoreless frames to extend his season-long spotless streak to four innings.
  • With a chance at a win on the table, manager Don Mattingly called upon six different relievers to lock it down. They pitched to varying degrees of success, with the first two relievers out of the pen, Jimmy Yacabonis and Dylan Floro, both giving up runs. Yacabonis gave up just one across 1.2 innings while Floro allowed three, but all were unearned and he was awarded his third hold. One of those runs was an inherited runner brought in under the watch of Richard Bleier as the veteran lefty blew his second save of the season. From there, the Fish shut things down with Anthony Bass putting up a perfect frame and Steven Okert recording his fourth win of the season with his own perfect outing before turning the ball over to Tanner Scott for his sixth save. It was another welcome bounceback for the newly established closer as he recovered from his blown save two outings ago.

 

WSH 3 – BAL 0

  • Taking the lead in the top of the first, the Nationals never felt obligated to give it back. That unwillingness set three Washington relievers up for decisions. Kyle Finnegan worked a scoreless seventh for his 10th hold, recording all of his outs via the strikeout. Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a perfect eighth for his fourth hold, reducing his ERA to 2.82 (22.1 IP). Finally, closer Tanner Rainey came aboard to shut the game down with a three-run lead, and did so in a quiet fashion with just one baserunner, two strikeouts, and 12 pitches needed to end the ballgame. It was his eighth save of the season, and although he has a stranglehold on the closer’s role, the Nats are just 25-46 and won’t provide Rainey with too many save opportunities going forward. If you’re in a shallow league, consider shipping him off in a trade and speculating on higher upside arms like Seranthony Domínguez, Daniel Hudson, or Diego Castillo.
  • Trailing the entire game, the O’s pushed their starter into the seventh before asking just one reliever, Keegan Akin, to finish off the final 2.2 frames and give the rest of the bullpen a day to recover. Akin allowed just one hit, a home run off the bat of lefty killer Lane Thomas, but was otherwise untouched.

 

CHC 1 – PIT 7

  • Continuing to struggle on the mound, the Cubs were losing once again by the time the bullpen jumped into action. Brandon Hughes attempted to keep the game close, but he watched a run cross home in his lone inning of work. More effectively, Mark Leiter Jr. pitched a trio of frames and only allowed one hit, the first home run of Bligh Madris‘ career. Other than that, he struck out four batters and got the Cubs through the end of the game without having to burn another arm.
  • Despite a five-run lead, the Pirates still decided to call upon a couple of hold options to secure the win. Anthony Banda went multiple scoreless frames and Chris Stratton tallied his own scoreless inning. While both of these arms are in the thick of hold opportunities, they both sport ERAs north of five, so this might have been an opportunity to give them the confidence they need to be factors in the late innings. The final frame was covered flawlessly by Yerry De Los Santos.

 

DET 4 – BOS 5

  • It was a close one, and the Tigers attempted to keep it that way by featuring three of their better relievers. Down by two in the sixth, Jason Foley struck out two in a scoreless inning before handing the ball to offseason acquisition Andrew Chafin who added to the deficit by surrendering a home run to catcher Christian Vázquez. Alex Lange did his job by tossing a perfect eighth, but the Tigers were unsuccessful in making a comeback and placing Lange among the decision-makers.
  • Across four frames, four relievers garnered decisions as the Red Sox took home their 38th win of the season. Holds were awarded to Ryan Brasier (sixth hold), Tyler Danish (second), and Matt Strahm (eighth), with Brasier going two frames and Strahm recording two outs and surrendering a dinger to Jonathan Schoop. That homer required John Schreiber to be called upon on the third straight day to record the final out. The sidewinder was gifted his second save of the season as he lowered his pristine ERA to 0.84 (21.1 IP) on a night in which closer Tanner Houck was in need of some rest. Expect Houck back in the ninth today if necessary.

 

NYY 4 – TB 5

  • The difference-maker in this game was Isaac Paredes. The infielder touched up Nestor Cortes for two home runs before tagging Clarke Schmidt with his third as he tried to finish off the fifth inning for his starter. With the Rays ahead, the Yankees turned to Ron Marinaccio for two perfect frames (albeit with zero strikeouts) and Lucas Luetge for one. In news outside of the relievers from Tuesday, longtime closer Aroldis Chapman began a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset and should be nearing a return while Jonathan Loáisiga is hoping to throw a bullpen session this week. Both would be impactful reinforcements to a bullpen that has been able to survive thus far in their absences.
  • A bullpen game led to seven relief arms appearing with all but the opener recording a decision. Jalen Beeks led things off with 1.2 frames, but he allowed two runs to get the Rays off on the wrong foot. Luckily, everyone else in the pen was ready to make up for it. Earning the win, his first of the season, Shawn Armstrong struck out three batters across four outs before the holds began to flood in. Those holds went to Matt Wisler (sixth hold), Ryan Thompson (fourth), Brooks Raley (10th), and Jason Adam (ninth). Each of them set the stage for Colin Poche to notch his team-leading fifth save, which I decided was enough for him to overtake Adam as the charted closer. However, he wasn’t flawless, allowing two runs via a home run off the bat of Marwin Gonzalez before settling down and solidifying the win.

 

SF 12 – ATL 10

  • With a starter making his return from the 60-day IL, it was always going to be the case that the Giants would have to fill some innings. Seven innings needed to be covered, and six relievers were used to do so, with the first, Zack Littell, missing out on a decision with his two-run fourth, and the last, Camilo Doval, also avoiding a scorer’s designation with his two-run ninth. The win went to Tyler Rogers, his first of the season, as he tossed two perfect innings. Holds were awarded to John Brebbia (sixth hold), Jake McGee (fourth), and Dominic Leone (ninth). This bullpen has been taxed heavily across the last week, with Doval having worked four of the last five days, while Leone and Rogers have worked three out of the last four. If a save situation were to arise today, I’d expect McGee to get the call after tossing just five pitches on Tuesday and 15 across the past four days.
  • A high-scoring affair such as this one usually denotes poor bullpen performances, as starters are rarely given the opportunity to give up double-digit runs. That was the case here, but it certainly didn’t look that way after Dylan Lee pitched 1.2 scoreless innings. Once he was removed, though, it was all downhill from there. Failing to record an out, Darren O’Day allowed two runs and was tagged with his first loss of the season. In to finish off his poor appearance, Collin McHugh blew his third save and allowed a run of his own. Lastly, Jackson Stephens worked two innings but surrendered three runs along the way. The silver lining here is that Atlanta wasn’t forced to make a decision on who to use in a save situation with Kenley Jansen having pitched in each of the two days prior.

 

CLE 6 – MIN 5

  • In the first of four extra-inning affairs on Tuesday, the Guardians went home victorious thanks in part because of solid bullpen work in the latter half of the game. In the front half of the game, however, both Enyel De Los Santos (second hold) and Eli Morgan (second blown save) gave up runs in the seventh to blow the lead they were handed. Luckily, Bryan Shaw and Sam Hentges were capable enough to push the game to extras with scoreless outings. In the 10th, Trevor Stephan tossed a hitless frame with three strikeouts and was rewarded for his work with his third win after the offense grabbed the lead in the 11th. It is interesting to note that Stephan was successful while Morgan was not because they sort of flip-flopped roles in the past month, and this might be a sign that it’s switching back. With a tight one-run lead and a zombie runner on second, flamethrowing closer Emmanuel Clase closed out the game for his 16th save, tied for the fifth-highest total in baseball. It was a perfect frame and he needed just six pitches to get the job done, keeping him available for a save today and lowering his ERA to a team-leading 1.53 (29.1 IP) mark.
  • Fewer relievers were used on the other side of this one, and considering the tally in the win column for Cleveland, the Minnesota pitchers weren’t as fortunate. The seventh was covered exceptionally by Jharel Cotton, but Emilio Pagán didn’t appreciate his usage in the eighth inning and blew his fourth save of the season by giving up a homer to Franmil Reyes in his return from the IL. Jumping at his newfound opportunity to establish himself as the go-to closer, Jhoan Duran pushed the game to the 11th with two scoreless frames, throwing three pitches north of 102 mph. He deserves more love from Rocco Baldelli, as the 24-year-old is a special talent with a 2.35 ERA (30.2 IP) and an incredible 41/6 K/BB ratio. Back to the game. Griffin Jax was unable to keep the zombie runner from limping home and was saddled with his fourth loss. Despite the top three arms being used, only Jax had pitched in any of the previous five days, so Duran and Pagán will be good to go tonight if needed.

 

PHI 0 – TEX 7

  • In the second and final shutout on Tuesday, the Phillies never had a chance after Jeurys Familia surrendered four runs in an inning and a third in relief of the starter. As the away team in a loss, Philly covered eight innings with the final out going to José Alvarado. The left-hander is hoping to turn around a season that saw him demoted to Triple-A because of a bloated ERA.
  • On the other side, the Rangers had no trouble subduing the dangerous bats they matched up against. Their three relievers combined for three perfect frames in relief of their starter. Matt Bush and Dennis Santana each recorded holds, their eighth and 11th, respectively, before the game got out of hand. Brock Burke continued his unhittable season, lowering his ERA to 0.80 (33.2 IP), making him one of just three pitchers, alongside Jorge López and Clay Holmes, with a sub-1.00 ERA across at least 30 frames. He has been so successful thanks to a three-mph increase on his four-seamer to 95 mph as a result of his move to the pen.

 

NYM 2 – HOU 8

  • What do you get when all of your pitchers give up a run? I’ll give you time to think about it. In relief of his starter, Chasen Shreve allowed four runners to cross home as he struggled with his command. Backing him up and finishing off the game, Adonis Medina tossed three innings of one-run ball as the Mets couldn’t keep pace with the Astros. The answer to the trivia question: A Loss.
  • A six-run lead was large enough for the Astros to preserve their high-leverage arms. After six innings from their starter, they turned to Phil Maton for the seventh, Seth Martinez for the eighth, and Bryan Abreu for the ninth. Martinez is still building upon his scoreless start to the season, having thrown 17 innings without allowing a run. What’s impressive about his streak is that he throws in the low-90s, hasn’t really been striking guys out (20.3% K%), and doesn’t produce many ground balls (34.1% GB%), but his xERA (1.54) and xwOBA (.194) suggest that his success has been earned.

 

TOR 6 – CWS 7

  • A solid start from Kevin Gausman and a scoreless frame each from Adam Cimber and Yimi García (12th hold) set up Jordan Romano perfectly to notch a save. Unfortunately for fantasy managers and Blue Jays fans, Romano blew his third save, but lived to tell the tale as the game remained tied while he finished out the inning. He has definitely not been as successful as he was last year or in April of this year, but he’s the locked-in closer of a championship-caliber team without any clear competition, so don’t go dropping him anytime soon. Another blown save was handed out to Tim Mayza (second blown save) after he allowed the zombie runner to score in the 10th, and a third was given to Matt Gage (first) as he took home his first loss of the season while watching Josh Harrison send White Sox fans home happy with a walk-off in the 12th.
  • It was a rollercoaster of emotions for both White Sox players and fans alike. An incredible outing from their starter was wasted when Jimmy Lambert (first hold) and Davis Martin (first blown save) combined for four runs across the 1.2 innings immediately following in relief of Dylan Cease. José Ruiz was able to clean up Martin’s mess and push the game to extras, but once again, the White Sox couldn’t hold the score. Kendall Graveman escorted the zombie runner home in the 10th, but Vince Velasquez played bullpen hero by making up for his zombie runner scoring in the 11th with a scoreless 12th to secure the win. He was awarded his third win of the season, but I’m sure the South Siders are sorely missing Liam Hendriks right now after back-to-back close games that were nearly ruined by their bullpen. Graveman has pitched each of the last two days, so expect to see Joe Kelly in the ninth today.

 

STL 6 – MIL 2

  • It was a textbook bullpen performance despite the lack of a save opportunity. Now that I think about it, the order was by the books, but the usage was not. The Cardinals turned to two bulk relievers for a combined two innings and then turned to their closer committee for two innings apiece. I’m pretty sure that’s backward. Nonetheless, they secured the win thanks to Zack Thompson (first win) and Drew VerHagen (third hold) combining for two hitless innings, Giovanny Gallegos (third hold) tossing two perfect frames, and Ryan Helsley going unscored upon across his own two frames. Gallegos threw 22 pitches and will most likely be available, but Helsley, despite not having thrown in a week, threw 31 pitches and will most likely remain on the bench unless things become dire.
  • The Brewers saw no reason to turn to their high-leverage arms in this one. Brent Suter, Miguel Sánchez, and Peter Strzelecki covered the final five frames, with Sánchez and Strzelecki both surrendering runs. This was really the most inconsequential bullpen usage of the day.

 

KC 12 – LAA 11

  • The Royals exhausted all of their options in this extra-innings affair, with eight relievers making an appearance. In an effort to shorten this blurb, I’ll attempt to not go play-by-play with my analysis. Jose Cuas allowed a run but still secured his second hold in the sixth, while Amir Garrett also got his second hold by finishing off that frame with one out. Josh Staumont followed in Cuas’ footsteps by surrendering two runs but still recording his fifth hold of the year. Gabe Speier, however, allowed Staumont’s inherited runners to score and was tagged with his first blown save after finishing off the seventh. The eighth was pitched perfectly by Taylor Clarke, notching his fourth hold along the way. Another top Royals reliever, Scott Barlow, blew the save, his second, surrendering three earned runs in the ninth after he served up a game-tying long ball to reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani. Luckily for the Royals, Dylan Coleman shut down the 10th and earned his second win upon the offense taking the lead in the 11th and Daniel Mengden shutting down the bottom half for his second career save even though he allowed the zombie runner to score. Phew! What a game! Barlow, Staumont, and Coleman have pitched back-to-back days, leaving Garrett the most likely benefactor of a save opportunity today, having thrown just five pitches in the past six days.
  • On the other hand, the Angels’ bullpen was able to push the game to extras, but they weren’t able to take home the win. Andrew Wantz, Aaron Loup, and Jimmy Herget all surrendered runs across separate frames. Archie Bradley and Raisel Iglesias were the only LA relievers unscored upon. The loss, his second, went to José Quijada who was unable to hold the score. It’s too bad that a two-homer, eight-RBI performance from Ohtani went by the wayside because of incapable pitching once again.

 

ARZ 2 – SD 3

  • Five scoreless outings were wasted by one zombie runner being allowed to score in the 11th. Joe Mantiply, Noé Ramirez, Mark Melancon, Kyle Nelson, and Sean Poppen strung together four hitless frames to push the game into the second inning of extras. There, Ian Kennedy took home his fourth loss of the season, allowing the Padres to walk it off on a Jorge Alfaro single. I wish we could see more high-leverage usage for Mantiply. The lefty owns a 0.34 ERA (26.2 IP), the second-lowest mark in the Majors among pitchers with at least 25 innings pitched, trailing only Ryan Helsley by one-hundredth of a point.
  • The Padres went toe-to-toe with the Arizona arm barn, matching their four hitless frames and taking it even a step further. Nabil Crismatt, Luis García, and Taylor Rogers got the Padres through regulation. Steven Wilson then tied the Arizona hitless streak by pitching the 10th unscathed and pushed the envelope by getting two outs in the 11th before giving the final out to Tim Hill, making it five hitless innings from a lights-out San Diego relief corps. Hill would receive his second win of the season thanks to the walk-off. Rogers has worked back-to-back days and will most likely receive a day off, although, the most likely candidates to fill in for him pitched on Tuesday, making me think that they’ll ask Rogers to work a third day in a row if necessary.

 

SEA 8 – OAK 2

  • Seven frames and a six-run lead left just two easy innings for the Mariners bullpen to cover. Erik Swanson worked a perfect eighth, dropping his ERA to an even 1.00 (18 IP). In addition to that pristine ERA, he owns the third-lowest WHIP (0.61) among pitchers with a minimum of 10 innings pitched, with only Ryan Helsley and the injured J.P. Feyereisen sporting lower marks. Pitching in his first inning of the season in his return from an extensive IL stint, Ken Giles was perfect in his lone inning of work closing out the win. It will be interesting to see how he factors into this loaded bullpen in the coming weeks.
  • This game was actually close until the bullpen grabbed an official baseball. They allowed five runs in the seventh, with one scoring on Kirby Snead and the other four on the watch of Austin Pruitt. Adam Oller was also unable to maintain zeroes, surrendering a run in his second frame of work. This bullpen is going to need to figure itself out with their closer landing on the IL, but I’m hopeful former top starting pitching prospect A.J. Puk can take advantage of the open job and transform himself into the AL’s version of Josh Hader. He’s already got the looks down, he just needs to start pitching like the All-Star closer I know he can be.

 

 

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 6/16: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds

Closing Time 6/21: Ranking the Top 40 Closers

Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 6/17

 

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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