Welcome back to the latest 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
- All 30 teams were in action on Sunday, while 12 teams will have today off (ARI, ATL, CHC, CIN, DET, HOU, MIL, NYM, PHI, SD, SF, TB).
- Minnesota and Cleveland will participate a doubleheader on Tuesday.
- Tanner Houck will once again be placed on the restricted list as he’s ineligible to travel to Toronto. Boston will likely consider a number of options if they need a game closed out in Toronto, but Matt Strahm seems to be the best bet for me.
- Josh Staumont was placed on the 15–day IL leaving Scott Barlow alone atop the Royals’ closer depth chart for now.
- Matt Bush hit the injured list for the Rangers which shifts around their setup situation behind Joe Barlow. Dennis Santana likely now becomes the second-highest leverage reliever in the pen and has a shot at ancillary saves. Matt Moore also takes a step up into stronger holds consideration.
NYM 2 – MIA 3
- With Edwin Díaz having worked three out of the last four games, the Mets tried to navigate a tie game without their best reliever by turning to Tommy Hunter in the 8th and Adam Ottavino in the 9th, but a hanging slider from Ottavino cost them the game on a walk-off homer. The Mets are one of the teams with an off day on Monday, so Díaz will be plenty rested come Tuesday’s action.
- The Marlins leaned on Steven Okert and Tanner Scott in the late innings of a tie game to get them the victory. Both delivered scoreless innings and Scott added a pair of strikeouts. Scott is in the middle of one of his most successful months as a pro, as he’s risen to the top of the Marlins closer depth chart thanks to his wipeout slider and has 20 Ks in 10.2 IPs so far this month to lock up six saves in seven tries. Scott’s been generally limiting the walks since taking over as primary closer, but he remains basically the reliever version of a cherry bomb with his career 13.5% walk rate weighing down his impressive 30.4% career K-rate.
HOU 3 – NYY 6
- The Astros were also trying to navigate a close game in the late innings without two of their primary options. Ryan Pressly and Rafael Montero were available in emergencies only after working three of the previous four days, so they turned to Phil Maton in the 8th which would have set up Ryne Stanek for a save opportunity in the 9th if all went well. It didn’t all go well. Maton gave up two in the 8th and the game eventually went to extras, where the Yankees took advantage of the Astros’ lack of bullpen depth and roughed up Seth Martinez in the 10th, tagging him with the loss. The Astros have an off day scheduled on Monday, so Pressly and Montero should both be fully rested and ready for Tuesday’s matchup.
- The Yankees used their top arms to keep the game close and eventually allow the offense to come back and win it. Clay Holmes and Michael King continued their stellar seasons by delivering a scoreless inning each. King was credited with his fifth win of the season. Despite their wonderful performance of late, a dark cloud hangs over their fantasy performance in the return of Aroldis Chapman. Last week, the word was that Chapman would come back to a different role in the pen, but the latest word from Aaron Boone is that he will return to 9th inning duty when he comes off the IL. It’s hard to believe a guy with a 0.52 ERA who’s looked nearly unhittable all year could be demoted, but this is still a situation worth monitoriing.
BOS 8 – CLE 3
- Tanner Houck worked for a third straight game despite the five-run lead in a move that would normally be quite strange. However, with Houck ineligible to play in Toronto, Alex Cora was likely squeezing any value he could out of Houck to protect the arms of the guys who can actually play in the upcoming series. Boston is likely to consider a number of options for saves over the next three games and any of their top four remaining arms have a chance to be used in the 9th.
- The Guardians were down 5-0 going into the bottom of the 6th and it didn’t really feel like a game they were going to be able to come back from. Tanner Tully got the mop-up duty and worked the final three innings to save the other arms in the barn.
PIT 2 – TB 4
- Starter Roansy Contreras left the game in a 1-1 tie, but the Pirates couldn’t bridge the gap to the back end of their bullpen. Tyler Beede took the loss, but Anthony Banda sported the worst line, retiring none of the four batters he faced.
- Jason Adam allowed a rare run, but still walked away with his team-leading 11th hold. Brooks Raley worked the 9th inning with two lefties due up and picked up his fourth save of the year and first since May 11th. Raley is still in the mix for save chances, but it seems that Adam and Colin Poche’s numbers have been coming up more recently.
OAK 5 – KC 3
- Lou Trivino picked up his fourth save of the season and second in two days in the absence of Dany Jiménez on Sunday. Zach Jackson picked up a hold and Domingo Acevedo earned the win in relief. Trivino seems to have temporarily regained the closer crown in Oakland and two saves in two days can seem pretty tempting. Trivino’s underlying metrics have been improving and his 13:3 K:BB ratio in June indicates some success could be coming. However, he’s also allowed 18 hits in 9 IPs in June and has yet to put together a solid stretch of performances this year. Trivino isn’t necessarily a foolish bet, but he comes with quite a bit of ratio risk.
- Scott Barlow was the only Royal reliever who worked on Sunday and he faced just three batters, retiring two. He appears to be top dog for whatever saves the Royals happen to scrounge up over the next couple weeks with Josh Staumont on the shelf.
COL 3 – MIN 6
- Austin Gomber and Robert Stephenson combined to get the twelve outs the Rockies needed out of the pen to get through this game. I’m still sad about Tyler Kinley.
- Four holds were handed out to Twins relievers on Sunday plus a shiny save for Jhoan Duran, his fifth of the season. Duran, as usual, came with the gas in this one and blew the Rockies’ 3-4-5 hitters out of the water. Duran is clearly the top arm in this pen, but he’s often used more like an HLR rather than a true closer.
BAL 3 – CWS 4
- The O’s only needed one inning from their relievers and it went to Cionel Pérez. Their top arms should all be available Monday.
- TLR flipped the script yet again and this time went to Joe Kelly in the 8th and Kendall Graveman in the 9th. Kelly picked up his seventh hold and Graveman snagged his third save working around a couple of botched defensive plays. We’ve not gotten to see much of what the back end of this pen looks like in the couple weeks since Liam Hendriks went down, but it seems that Kelly and Graveman are in a committee. Either one of them could grab the next save chance.
TOR 3 – MIL 10
- Lots of mop-up work for the Toronto bullpen on Sunday as they went down early and never sniffed a lead again. It was a light week for a couple of their top arms including Jordan Romano, so look for him to get some maintenance work early next week even in a non-save situation.
- Same story on the other side with the Brewers as they were able to rest their top arms due to the size of their lead. They also have a day off Monday, so their big three will all be fully rested to begin next week.
CHC 6 – STL 5
- After a rough start for Alec Mills, the Cubs bullpen stepped up in a big way and delivered 7.1 scoreless IPs to keep the game close and eventually allow the offense to come back and win. David Robertson logged the final four outs and picked up the victory, his second of the year. Robertson looked particularly nasty in this one and, while the Cubs haven’t given him many save chances, he’s provided a pretty consistently solid performance throughout the year. However, he’s likely to be a trade target, so Rowan Wick could very well be the closer again in a month’s time.
- The Cardinals bullpen also had to put in some extra work on a Sunday, but due to injury in this instance. Both Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos had thrown over 30 pitches on Saturday and were unavailable in this one, leaving it to the middle relievers to try and salvage the game. Nick Wittgren was roughed up the most, but it was Zack Thompson who took the loss, his first of the year. St. Louis is right back to work on Monday and they’ll need their starter to give them some depth as they’re likely to have several middle relievers unavailable due to workload.
WSH 6 – TEX 4
- Tanner Rainey got a surprise save opportunity as the Nationals allowed a 6-1 lead entering the bottom of the 9th to slip to 6-4. Rainey was able to put a stop to the bleeding and convert his tenth save of the season. That makes a three-save week for Rainey as he took advantage of the favorable schedule. The favorable schedule continues with home series against the Pirates and Marlins coming up.
- Glenn Otto served as an opener in this one, as he was followed by Garrett Richards. The big storyline in this one is the continued road to recovery for José Leclerc, who completed his second outing of the year after missing all of 2021 and throwing just two innings in 2020. His fastball again sat around 96, which is around where he was for the 2018/19 seasons where he saw so much success. The difference in this one was that he also had his dominant slider and mowed down the hitters he faced. I think consistency with that slider is going to be the big thing to look for in his road back. As we can see here, when he has it, he has the ability to rise to the levels of an elite reliever again.
CIN 10 – SF 3
- Just a bit of mop-up work for the Reds as they jumped on Anthony DeSclafani in his return from the IL. Good thing because I wouldn’t trust this bullpen with anything less than a seven-run lead.
- This was very likely a scheduled inning for Camilo Doval who hadn’t worked since Tuesday. We saw the same for Dominic Leone, who’s been one of the Giants’ key setup guys, so there’s no reason to fear. The Giants have a scheduled day off on Monday so both of these guys will be good to go for the team’s next game.
SEA 1 – LAA 2
- A couple of interesting wildcards worked the final two innings for the Mariners on Sunday. Andrés Muñoz tossed his sixth straight outing without allowing an earned run, a stretch over which he’s struck out 16 over 7.1 IPs, and Ken Giles logged his second appearance of the year delivering a scoreless inning while working around two walks. Muñoz’s stuff will allow him to have runs like this where he is one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. The next step for him is consistency to avoid multi-run blowups. Giles’ velocity and command still aren’t back to where they were in 2019, his last healthy season. With such a lengthy absence, it might be wise to wait until after the All-Star break to expect anything close to dominant performance.
- A beaning and subsequent bases-clearing brawl led to José Suarez having to essentially make a spot start and he delivered six solid innings. Raisel Iglesias was also among those ejected which explains why it was Oliver Ortega who was left on for the save, his first of the season. Given Iglesias’s post-brawl antics, he may be looking at a one-game suspension, so be on the lookout for the post-brawl fallout today.
DET 7 – ARI 11
- Will Vest surrendered a whopping five runs in this one and saw his ERA balloon from 2.10 to 3.71 after this contest. Reliever sample sizes are crazy. We’re nearly halfway through the season and one bad day makes a stellar ERA into an average ERA.
- The Diamondbacks used their top arms to close out the game despite the lack of saves and holds opportunities. Mark Melancon allowed another run in this one, although he has settled down a bit in June after a disastrous May. Still, with his lack of ratio help and his team’s lack of ability to consistently feed him save opportunities (no save opportunities since June 4th), his value is severely limited.
PHI 8 – SD 5
- Rather than turn to Seranthony Domínguez for a second straight day, the Phillies gave the save chance to Andrew Bellatti which he converted for his first career save. Corey Knebel threw his third straight scoreless inning and delivered his first out on strikes in his past four appearances. With ten walks and only 7 Ks on the month, though, he’s still got some work to do before he’ll be trusted in the 9th again.
- A rough night for the Padres relievers as they turned a 5-3 lead going into the 7th inning into an 8-5 loss. Nabil Crismatt was the main offender surrendering three runs and being saddled with his second blown save and first loss. The Padres have lost a couple key middle relievers recently, so they may face some struggles passing save opportunities to Taylor Rogers until they’re whole again.
LAD 5 – ATL 3
- A late comeback and back-and-forth game forced the Dodgers to use several of their top arms including Brusdar Graterol for a third straight day. Craig Kimbrel was tagged with a tough-luck blown save upon allowing the ghost runner to score in the bottom of the 10th. Graterol came on in the 11th with a 2-run lead and converted his first save of the season. With the injury to Daniel Hudson, it appears that Graterol is now the top option for ancillary saves for the Dodgers and a potential option if Kimbrel continues to struggle.
- Like the Dodgers, Atlanta used most of their top arms for this one, many of them for the second straight day. Unlike Los Angeles, though, Atlanta benefits from a scheduled day off on Monday. Kenley Jansen blew the save in the 9th and Darren O’Day took the loss. After a bit of a rough stretch in May, Jansen seemed to have found his groove again in June converting eight straight save chances before this hiccup.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)