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
- Fourteen teams had the day off on Thursday, including BOS, BAL, KC, CWS, DET, TEX, LAA, NYM, WSH, MIA, STL, ARI, COL, and SFG. Each bullpen should be relatively well-rested.
- All 30 teams are scheduled to play today, weather permitting. There are no double-headers.
- Happy Aroldis Chapman (probable) activation day! Unless you’re a Clay Holmes homie (Holmie?), in which case this is not the best news. That said, we don’t expect Chapman to fully supplant Holmes just yet; the Yankee closer situation should be closely monitored against the Astros this weekend.
- As expected, Red Sox closer Tanner Houck was reinstated from the restricted list as the team returned from Canada. Given the continued struggles of Hansel Robles, Ryan Brasier, and Matt Strahm in his stead, he should slot right back in for those ninth-inning opportunities.
- The Rays are headed to Toronto now, and that means it’s Brooks Raley and Ryan Thompson‘s turns to face vaccination-status restriction. In their place, right-handers Javy Guerra and Phoenix Sanders were called up. Ryan Yarbrough was also recalled to throw the bulk innings on Thursday after Jeffrey Springs was placed on the family medical emergency/bereavement list.
- Veteran lefty David Price was also placed on the bereavement list ahead of Thursday’s game, and the Dodgers called up righty Justin Bruihl from Triple-A to replace him. Bruihl should fill Price’s middle-innings bulk role, as he did last night (more on that below).
- Right-hander Silvino Bracho, who joined the Red Sox as a replacement player this week, was DFA’d before throwing a single pitch. But he found a new home rather quickly, as the Braves picked him up hours later in a trade for cash considerations. Bracho has pitched all of one major league inning since 2018.
- Tonight, the Phillies are expected to give lefty Bailey Falter the call to start in Zach Eflin‘s place. In three starts this year, Falter has completed five innings just once — on June 17 against the Nationals (78 pitches). Facing the hot-hitting Cardinals, he could be a candidate for an early exit; bulk reliever Nick Nelson hasn’t pitched since Sunday.
MIN 3 – CLE 5
- The Minnesota bullpen was stretched yet again after Chris Archer lasted just four innings. Jovani Moran and Tyler Duffey both did solid work in relief, with the latter earning five outs for his ninth hold. Tyler Thornburg blew the save this time, allowing two runs in the eighth and two more in the form of a walk-off Andrés Giménez homer in the ninth. The lone bright spot is Jhoan Duran should be well-rested after getting the day off.
- On the other side, Cleveland needed just three relievers to follow Shane Bieber‘s strong outing: Trevor Stephan, Bryan Shaw, and Emmanuel Clase. All three did their job, and Clase earned his second win of the year for keeping the game tied in the ninth. He’ll almost certainly be unavailable today after pitching the last three days.
ATL 4 – PHI 14
- The Phillies avoided a sweep by jumping alllll over Ian Anderson for seven runs in the first two innings Thursday. With the game well out of hand early, the Braves rested all of their high-leverage arms, turning instead to Jesús Cruz to eat some innings. Cruz allowed five more runs, but he got the game into the fifth. Darren O’Day and Jackson Stephens preceded infielder Mike Ford‘s second career pitching appearance in the eighth. FUN FACT: Ford threw an astounding 42 pitches for the Yankees in a 19-5 loss to Cleveland in 2019. He only threw 15 this time, but y’know, I wouldn’t count on him going tomorrow.
- Aaron Nola and the Phillies didn’t even need the help. Nola tossed seven strong for the win, with Jeurys Familia and Mark Appel (!!) pitching scoreless frames in relief.
NYY 1 – HOU 2
- The A.L.’s two best teams got their series underway with a fun duel for 5+ innings between Luis Severino and Luis Garcia. The latter Luis came out on top, but Sevy kept it close. Aaron Boone turned to rookie Ron Marinaccio and Albert Abreu next, neither of whom allowed a hit. Now things get interesting, as Aroldis Chapman rejoins the fold; keep in mind, Clay Holmes has pitched two of the past three days.
- For the ‘Stros, a bevy of holds were earned by Ryne Stanek (8), Héctor Neris (18), and Rafael Montero (12). Ryan Pressly set the Yanks down in order (no drama this time) to earn his 17th save. After pitching the ninth on back-to-back days, he may be unavailable today.
MIL 7 – PIT 8
- Adrian Houser left this one in the third inning with an injury, so the Brew Crew had their work cut out for them. Brent Suter threw 44 pitches in relief, covering nearly three innings but ultimately receiving the loss for his troubles. Jason Alexander also made a 30+ pitch appearance, followed by Jandel Gustave. Josh Hader took a much-needed rest after collecting four saves in the previous six games.
- The Pirates held a narrow 5-4 lead when JT Brubaker exited in the sixth, but they managed to hold on and give him the victory. Wil Crowe and Chris Stratton each collected holds in a fairly efficient manner, but the wheels fell apart for David Bednar in the ninth. He entered in a non-save situation, leading 8-4, but that quickly changed. Bednar allowed four hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. He was pulled with two on and two outs in favor of Yerry De Los Santos, who retired Luis Urías to earn an unlikely save (his second). Don’t be surprised if Bednar, who missed several games this week with back soreness, takes a visit to the IL soon; if he does, Stratton is the best bet to vulture any save chances.
TB 1 – TOR 4
- As mentioned above, Ryan Yarbrough was the bulk man for Tampa Bay in this one. He allowed eight hits and four runs in 5.1 innings, taking the loss after opener Matt Wisler pitched a clean first. Calvin Faucher took it the rest of the way, tossing 33 pitches over the final two frames. The Rays’ closer situation will be even more by-committee than usual in Toronto this weekend with Raley and Thompson out — Colin Poche and Jason Adam remain best-suited to slide in for a save.
- By contrast, the Blue Jays took the classic approach on Thursday. Yusei Kikuchi earned the win with six strong innings, Trent Thornton (2) and David Phelps (6) earned holds, and Adam Cimber captured his fourth save with Jordan Romano resting. Cimber should be unavailable today after three straight appearances.
CIN 7 – CHC 15
- It was not a day to remember for the Reds’ pitching staff. Reiver Sanmartin did a decent job cleaning up for Graham Ashcraft, who surrendered seven runs in less than three innings. Dauri Moreta allowed two more runs in the sixth, Ross Detwiler gave up another in the seventh, and then Max Schrock (yes, that Max Schrock) allowed five more for good measure in the eighth. You might say he got Schrocked. Okay, we’ll move on now…
- The good Kyle Hendricks showed up this time, completing six frames to earn the win. With the game well in hand by that point, David Ross deployed Chris Martin, Rowan Wick, and Brandon Hughes to finish the job. They did so successfully, despite giving up five runs between them.
SDP 1 – LAD 3
- Joe Musgrove was brilliant for the Padres, and frankly, he deserved better. But a Justin Turner home run in the seventh proved the difference in the game, and he was hung with the loss. Nabil Crismatt was the only San Diego reliever to appear, tossing a scoreless eighth with just 13 pitches.
- The Dodgers went with a group approach after Mitch White‘s departure in the fifth. Bruihl threw a scoreless inning and a third in his first appearance since June 10; but it was Evan Phillips who lucked into the win, his second. Alex Vesia earned his seventh hold in the eighth, bridging the gap to Craig Kimbrel, who collected his 14th save without issue. Odds are it won’t be the last time we see Kimbrel this weekend, as the two N.L. West leaders lock horns for the second time this season.
OAK 6 – SEA 8
- Adrián Martínez’s rough seven-run outing put the A’s in the hole, but A.J. Puk did solid work in relief, earning seven outs on 33 pitches. Kirby Snead pitched as well. Nothing else to see here.
- The Mariners rode Logan Gilbert, who picked up his ninth win with six strong innings. Andrés Muñoz picked up his sixth hold in the seventh. Diego Castillo entered to face the middle of the Oakland lineup in the eighth, and he looked shaky, surrendering a run on a walk and two singles. Paul Sewald earned his eighth save, striking out the side sandwiched around a Ramón Laureano homer. Both relievers have pitched twice in the past three days, so it’s anyone’s guess who earns the next save chance.
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 6/30: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday
Closing Time 6/28: Ranking the Top 40 Closers