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Reliever Ranks – 6/9

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

 

  • Eight teams get to enjoy a day off today (TOR, DET, HOU, SEA, TEX, NYM, CHC, SD).
  • The Cubs and Orioles were rained out on Wednesday, which means the Cubs are now working on two days of rest once they return to the diamond on Friday. Baltimore opens a new set in Kansas City this evening.

 

  • Minnesota purchased the contract of 30-year-old Jharel Cotton on Wednesday in a subsequent move following the DFA of 31-year-old Juan Minaya. Both have a combined 5.2 years of MLB service time (Cotton, 3.1; Minaya, 2.1).
  • The Angels designated Ty Buttrey for assignment. He had posted a 5.81 ERA through 27 appearances (26 1/3 IP).

 

  • Not a reliever move, but a worthy one to include: Stephen Strasburg makes his 2022 debut today and the Nationals tossed a lot of their top relievers on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see 1. how long Strasburg throws, and 2. the situation he turns over to a taxed bullpen.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

KC 8 – TOR 4

  • Kansas City bats broke this game open as early as the first inning; the Royals squandered that early 3-0 lead by the middle of the third, however. It looked to be a prime day for saves and holds but Kansas City would then score five unanswered runs between the fourth and seventh, permitting just one hold for Dylan Coleman in a scoreless sixth inning. Closer Scott Barlow entered the game to preserve a five-run lead in the ninth. He allowed three hits and allowed one run, lifting his ERA to a still formidable 1.88. Josh Staumont was a standout performer, tossing a perfect eighth with two strikeouts.
  • Toronto’s bullpen was forced to cover 8 1/3 innings after a 2/3-inning start by Yusei Kikuchi. Trent Thornton was first in relief and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings, but Trevor Richards‘ three runs allowed in 1 1/3 frames would plate all the additional runs Kansas City would need. Closer Jordan Romano scored some additional rest, while setup man Yimi García pitched only the final out after tossing 11 pitches on Tuesday. Late-inning Adam Cimber also threw but allowed two hits and a run in his lone inning. The Blue Jays have a much-needed off day today before they suit back up in Detroit starting Friday.

 

DET 3 – PIT 1

  • Also with today off, the Tigers ended their set with the Pirates on a high note. Starter Alex Faedo carved through five innings of one-run work and Detroit would shut it down from there. Andrew Chafin, Will Vest, Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto each threw a scoreless inning while allowing a combined one hit and striking out a combined six. Soto earned his second save in as many days, walking one and allowing that aforementioned hit but working his way out of a dangerous ninth. It was his 12th save of the year, while Fulmer recorded his seventh hold and Vest earned the win.
  • Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller went toe-to-toe with Faedo; the Pirates’ starter went six innings, allowing one run on four hits. His team would then allow two earned runs in three innings of work, however; Wil Crowe allowed three hits and one run over 1 1/3 innings, while Chris Stratton allowed a run of his own on two hits. Crowe now holds a still-notable 2.38 ERA, while Stratton climbed slightly to a 3.75. Closer David Bednar hasn’t pitched since Sunday and he should be fresh for the upcoming series in Atlanta.

 

SEA 6 – HOU 3

  • Seattle rolled out the gauntlet on Houston, tossing Andrés Muñoz, Paul Sewald and Diego Castillo for one inning each. They combined to allow one hit and strike out four, posting three zeros and erasing any chance at a comeback. Muñoz and Sewald earned holds while Castillo earned save number four on the year; with a day off today, the Mariners can hit the ground running when they host Boston on Friday.
  • Houston entered Wednesday action with a relatively taxed core of top relievers. Ryan Pressly and Rafael Montero would not throw on consecutive days as their team didn’t hold a lead; it was instead Brandon Bielak tossing three frames of long relief, allowing one run but only permitting two hits. The Astros rounded out the final 1 2/3 frames with Seth Martinez; he has yet to allow a run this year through 14 innings, and has allowed just two runs in his 17-inning MLB career. Houston is off today and can stack everybody back into a fresh deck before Miami visits this weekend.

 

MIA 2 – WAS 1

  • The Marlins will get one more taste of the Nationals today before heading to Houston, and Miami’s pitching performance on Wednesday was a welcome sight. It didn’t involve a lot of relief, however; starter Sandy Alcantara shoved through nine shutout innings. Tanner Scott tossed the 10th and allowed the “ghost runner” to score, but otherwise limited the damage with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. Anthony Bass and Dylan Floro should be well rested for today’s action.
  • Washington pieced together 4 1/3 innings of work between four relievers, and it wasn’t until extra frames that the Marlins would get the best of them. Steve Cishek put together 1 2/3 innings of shutout, no-hit relief that lowered his ERA to a 3.91. He was followed by Carl Edwards Jr. tossing a shutout, no-hit 1 1/3, and Kyle Finnegan threw a shutout ninth while allowing one hit and a walk. Closer Tanner Rainey was a blown save victim, however, allowing two hits and lifting his ERA to a 3.06. The Nationals emptied the bullpen tank and could be in need of a day off, but they will go without one until June 20th.

 

TB 11 – STL 3

  • The Rays took care of interleague action rather handily on Wednesday, tossing four frames in relief and posting four zeros. Jason Adam earned the lone hold of the day, tossing a perfect sixth and lowering his ERA to a cool 0.75 (24 IP). Luke Bard tossed a scoreless two innings of his own, which made for a nice 2022 debut for the recent call-up. Shawn Armstrong regained some footing with a two-punchout ninth, and the Rays were able to rest Andrew Kittredge and Colin Poche after both throwing on Tuesday. Tampa Bay continues the home series with St. Louis today and their bullpen appears well prepared without any additional rest needed.
  • St. Louis took the bitter end of an eight-run deficit, needing four relievers to toss a combined 6 2/3 innings. Johan Oviedo and T.J. McFarland combined for 4 1/3 innings of work, but it was Oviedo that served as the standout, allowing one earned run (2 2/3 IP) to McFarland’s three (2 IP). The Cardinals ended the night with a shutout frame from Yadier Molina — yes, that Yadier — and he even collected a strikeout that fired up the boys. That was perhaps the highlight of the night for the Cardinals; their top relievers should also be well rested for the series finale today and a weekend set with the Reds.

 

CLE 4 – TEX 0

  • Cleveland put together some shutout action! 4 2/3 innings of relief were pieced together with only three hits allowed. Closer Emmanuel Clase shut it down in a non-save situation; he has now thrown four of the past six days and has collected three saves in that time. Setup man Bryan Shaw tossed a scoreless eighth and lowered his ERA to a 4.00, while Eli Morgan earned the win tossing 1 2/3 innigns and lowering his ERA to a stellar 1.95 (27 2/3 IP). Morgan has also pitched in four of the Guardians’ past six games, so don’t expect to see him or Clase pitching in the series opener against the A’s today.
  • Texas didn’t allow a run after the third inning. Their first reliever entered in the fifth and a team of three pitchers cruised through 12 outs, allowing just three hits and striking out five. Brock Burke was the two-inning headliner, lowering his ERA below one (0.90) through 30 innings of work in 2022. Setup man Matt Bush pitched the ninth and faced the minimum, while closer Joe Barlow scored some perhaps-needed rest on Wednesday night.

 

ATL 13 – OAK 2

  • Atlanta’s relievers dominated. Jesse Chavez, Will Smith and Jesús Cruz combined for one inning a piece, allowing a total of two hits. Those two hits were the only thing standing between them and a perfect three innings. They pitched with nothing shy of a five-run lead, and all pushed their ERA’s down closer to the low threes (Chavez, 3.91; Smith, 4.15; Cruz, 3.00). Kenley Jansen got the night off after pitching in three of the Braves’ previous five contests; he’s potentially got the Pirates tonight.
  • Oakland needed four innings out of their bullpen and they split it amongst four arms. Position player Christian Bethancourt was the top reliever on the night, tossing a hitless, scoreless ninth. It was extreme low leverage and perhaps dismissive pitching at that point, however; the A’s relievers had allowed eight earned runs in the previous two innings. Sam Selman and Austin Pruitt were credited with a combined seven, while Oakland hasn’t used top relievers Dany Jiménez or A.J. Puk since last Sunday.

 

MIN 8 – NYY 1

  • Minnesota needed 12 outs from their relievers and they got four innings of shutout work; Air Force’s own Griffin Jax tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh, allowing one hit, striking out two, and lowering his ERA to a 2.86 (28 1/3 IP). The Twins would then roll out Emilio Pagán for the first time in several days, and his shutout eighth with two strikeouts helped him build back some momentum. Jhoan Duran hasn’t thrown since Sunday and he only threw eight pitches, so he is in a prime spot for a save if the situation presents itself.
  • With Nestor Cortes on the mound, tonight would have appeared to be one where the Yankees’ bullpen wouldn’t be needed until late. New York’s first reliever surfaced with one out in the fifth, however, while Cortes’ night ended with 4 1/3 innings and four earned runs (seven hits). The Yankees would use just two relievers, Clarke Schmidt and Manny Bañuelos, for the remaining 3 2/3 innings of work. Schmidt allowed four earned runs to Bañuelos’ zero, and the Yankees haven’t used top relievers Clay Holmes, Michael King and Miguel Castro since last Sunday. They are likely more than ready to pitch again, and a lack of availability has not been an issue this week with Aroldis Chapman on the injured list.

 

ARI 7 – CIN 0

  • A shutout performance by Arizona was anchored by three shutout frames, one each by Sean Poppen, Joe Mantiply and Ian Kennedy. Mantiply’s torrid 2022 has continued with 22 innings of work; he currently holds a tremendous 0.41 ERA which can easily have many teams on trade deadline notice. Kennedy was able to limit the damage from a two-hit ninth, striking out two and lowering his ERA to a 3.32.
  • Cincinnati allowed five of their seven runs within the first six innings of Wednesday’s action. Hunter Strickland pitched with a six-run deficit and the lack of leverage on Wednesday turned into a two-hit, two-walk ninth inning. Only one run was cashed in, however. Cincinnati’s top performer was Ross Detwiler, pitching a scoreless inning and now holding 4 2/3 frames of scoreless work on the year. Tony Santillan and Alexis Díaz haven’t thrown since Saturday and the Reds have a perhaps-unnecessary off day today for those guys.

 

LAD 4 – CWS 1

  • There were only four saves recorded across the league on Wednesday and this game featured one of them. In the absence of the paternity-listed Craig Kimbrel, it was Daniel Hudson getting Kimbrel all fired up from afar. Hudson earned his fifth save of the year, striking out two in the ninth and lowering his season ERA to a 1.86. Two holds were awarded, one to Yency Almonte’s one inning of two-strikeout work and one to Brusdar Graterol’s shutout inning in the eighth. One hit was recorded by the White Sox in three innings of Dodger relievers, and even without Kimbrel in today’s series finale, the Dodgers can roll out Evan Phillips and Alex Vesia for higher-leverage work.
  • The White Sox saw six innings out of Johnny Cueto but his three runs allowed would not be overcome. Bennett Sousa was first in relief, getting some traction back with a scoreless inning that lowered his ERA to a 6.50. Matt Foster and José Ruiz finished the day with one inning a piece; Foster struck out two in a perfect eighth, while Ruiz allowed one run on two hits, one being a homer. Virtually all of the top White Sox relievers are available today as they close the home series with the Dodgers.

 

PHI 10 – MIL 0

  • Eight innings by starter Aaron Nola kept the Phillies bullpen at bay for all but 10 pitches by Andrew Bellatti. Those 10 pitches contributed for a perfect ninth inning, and Phillies closer Corey Knebel could rest assured after throwing 32 pitches on Tuesday night.
  • Milwaukee needed three innings of relief work and it wasn’t a great showing by Luke Barker in the ninth. He allowed five hits and four earned runs, while the Brewers’ other reliever on the night, Brent Suter, allowed one run in a two-run showing. After emptying the top reliever tank on Tuesday, the Brewers had ample reason to utilize other arms in a wide deficit. Josh Hader just allowed his first run in a near-record-setting appearance streak, and it will be exciting to see his first response back after throwing 21 pitches in a Tuesday blown save.

 

BOS 1 – LAA 0

  • Tyler Danish, Jake Diekman and John Schreiber all went home with holds on Wednesday while Matt Strahm collected save number three. All four of them combined to toss four innings of one-hit baseball, while Schreiber’s ERA now sits at a 1.08 though 16 2/3 innings. This was not a fun gauntlet for the Angels to run through, but the horizon could shine a little better for the Angels today with few Boston relievers fresh.
  • The woes have continued, Angels fans. The losing streak has continued but it wasn’t from a lack of pitching on Wednesday; one earned run in nine innings is nothing to speak poorly of. 4 2/3 of those innings came from relievers, spacing four hits and collecting a combined five punchouts. José Quijada was a top performer, pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts and lowering his ERA to an early 1.69 through 5 1/3 innings. This could be an arm the Angels quickly lean upon if he keeps throwing at this pace.

 

SD 13 – NYM 2

  • The San Diego nightcap on Wednesday wasn’t for the high-leverage bullpen enthusiast. It was great for fans of deep starters, however; Sean Manaea tossed seven innings of three-hit baseball, chipping away at a now-3.52 ERA with only one earned run allowed. The Padres finished the night only using one reliever, Nabil Crismatt, over two scoreles innings. Crismatt now has a 1.67 ERA (27 IP) while San Diego reaps the reward of a rested Taylor Rogers and Luis García.
  • New York leaned upon a crew of four relievers over 4 2/3 innings. Their first arm, Stephen Nogosek (1 2/3 IP), saw his ERA climb to a 3.55 after allowing four earned runs on four hits. Adam Ottavino had a great showing with a perfect seventh and this was the clear highlight; Seth Lugo also tossed a scoreless inning but worked around two hits.

 

SF 2 – COL 1

  • Seven innings by starter Alex Wood were enough to keep the Giants simply in the contest; they were pushed to 10 innings and it was Dominic Leone, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval teaming up for three innings of shutout work. Each picked up a single strikeout in their one inning a piece, silencing the Rockies bats with even a 10th-inning runner on second. The series finale is this afternoon in San Francisco and both the Rockies and Giants could be running on bullpen fumes.
  • Colorado saw a great six-inning performance by starter Antonio Senzatela, allowing one run while collecting six punchouts. They then turned to their top three relievers — Alex Colomé, Tyler Kinley and Daniel Bard — each tossing a scoreless, hitless inning. Kinley upped his trade deadline status with two strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to a head-turning 0.75 (24 IP). Carlos Estévez was then tasked with the 10th but the inning ended due to no fault of his own; after a popout to second base, a ground-ball single to right fielder Charlie Blackmon was misplayed, allowing the winning tiebreaker runner to come home.

 

CHC @ BAL – Postponed

Makeup scheduled for August 18

For all things considered — this NL vs. AL reschedule in the last game of a series — the rescheduled date for August 18th isn’t bad. Baltimore had a scheduled off day and will simply begin a homestand one day earlier, while Chicago plays in Washington the day before. The Cubs will now play 24 games in 23 days from late August through early September, however. Baltimore will have 17 straight in August.

 

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 6/7: 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.

  • Todd says:

    Is Houck really the closer in Boston now? Or is that speculation?

    • BB says:

      Doesn’t seem like much of a closer since he has no save opportunities yet and has not even entered a game in the ninth. Cora’s quote last night: “We’re going to use him in high-leverage situations. We’ll try to avoid the 4-inning, 3-inning stints. The maximum he’ll go is 2 (innings). Kind of like the way we used Garrett (Whitlock) last year.”

      • Scott Youngson says:

        I’d consider it a committee for now. Strahm actually saved the last two games.

      • BB says:

        OK, he finally got an opportunity tonight and converted (with a little luck). But yeah, it’s still a committee.

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