Reliever Ranks – 7/13

Which relievers might be in line to vulture a save or win today?

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!

 

 

Notes

 

Transaction and Schedule Notes

 

  • All but two Major League teams were in action on Tuesday, but a doubleheader between the White Sox and Guardians gave us 15 total games.
  • Today, there are  16 games on the docket, as the Mariners and Nationals partake in a pair of showdowns to make up for their postponed matchup from Tuesday.

 

  • There weren’t any notable roster moves that will have an effect on the bullpen depth charts.

 

  • Looking ahead, the Mariners will call upon Tommy Milone to start the second game of their doubleheader in D.C. He last pitched nine days ago, tossing just one inning in San Diego. The opener strategy is likely to be put into place, meaning a bulk reliever will be needed. With the relief corps being fairly well-rested, there are many options Seattle could turn to. The two pitchers that are likely to cover a couple of innings are Ryan Borucki and Matt Brash. Borucki has the ability to toss multiple frames and hasn’t thrown since Friday, while Brash was a starter at the beginning of the season and could be counted on for more than one inning, having not pitched since Thursday.
  • Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants have scheduled John Brebbia as their opener for their matchup with the Diamondbacks. The reliever most often used in a multi-inning capacity has been Sam Long, but he pitched on Monday, meaning he may not be able to cover as much ground as he’d be capable of normally. Mauricio Llovera and Yunior Marte also have the ability to pitch more than one inning, but considering Llovera threw 37 pitches on Monday and Marte tossed 73 of his own across the past three days, they might be out for the count. Expect a team effort here.
Yesterday’s Performances

CHW 1 – CLE 4 (Game 1)

  • Just three games (20%) on Tuesday finished with scores outside of a three-run differential, and one of them was an extra-innings affair. The first save opportunity of the day appeared in the matinee matchup between the South Siders and the Guardians. The White Sox utilized just two relievers in the loss, with José Ruiz and Joe Kelly tossing a perfect inning apiece.
  • On the other side, the save situation was squandered because starter Shane Bieber went the distance, affording the bullpen the opportunity to be at full strength for the nightcap.

 

CHW 7 – CLE 0 (Game 2)

  • In the second game, the Chicago pitching staff shut out its opposition. The only reliever of the three that appeared to register a decision was Reynaldo López as he was credited with his third hold for the four outs he secured. Across his last 15 appearances, the former top prospect has a 0.98 ERA (18.1 IP) with a 28/2 K/BB ratio. He was followed by Kendall Graveman and Matt Foster who had no problem closing out the victory.
  • Resting the bullpen for the second game wasn’t fruitful for Cleveland, as the offense didn’t give them a lead to protect. Down by four upon the relievers’ arrival, Nick Sandlin tossed a perfect frame before James Karinchak put up two hitless frames of his own with three strikeouts. Their night was capped off by a three-run outing from Bryan Shaw who gave up a long ball to Luis Robert.

 

PIT 3 – MIA 2

  • A bullpen game from the Pirates gives us lots to talk about. Chris Stratton was the opener and he went more than just the opening frame, recording seven outs and allowing just one run. The follower was Dillon Peters, as he earned his fifth win in his return from the IL. The lefty exceeded Stratton’s outs recorded by one and similarly allowed just a lone run to cross home. A third straight reliever tossed multiple frames, as Tyler Beede didn’t allow a baserunner across the sixth and seventh innings. The right-hander earned his third hold for the outing, while Wil Crowe earned his 12th hold for his perfect eighth. Lastly, All-Star closer David Bednar earned his 16th save with a scoreless ninth. He used 17 pitches and has pitched in three of the last four games as well as four of the last six. Heavy usage like this would usually lead to a day off for a closer, but given how much the rest of the bullpen has been taxed recently, I think the best bet is for Bednar to be used again today in a save situation.
  • Despite the one-run deficit, the Miami bullpen was pitching from behind for the entirety of the game. They covered the sixth through ninth innings, with Elieser Hernandez doing the majority of the heavy lifting with three scoreless frames before Richard Bleier pitched a scoreless ninth.

 

CIN 4 – NYY 3

  • One of the worst teams in the National League beat the best team in baseball. That’s a pretty intriguing headline! The Reds arm barn was lights out in the Bronx as they put up four scoreless frames to give their offense the opportunity for a surprising ninth-inning comeback. Jeff Hoffman and Ian Gibaut were the first half of the four who didn’t record a decision, but each of them pitched a scoreless frame. Reiver Sanmartin earned his second win upon the comeback after putting up a hitless eighth. To finish off the game, Alexis Díaz was called upon, and he delivered with a hitless ninth to earn his third save. He is the best reliever in this bullpen and I expect him to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Edwin, becoming the clear-cut closer in Cincinnati.
  • An ace performance from starter Gerrit Cole was backed up by a perfect eighth frame from Michael King. He earned his 15th hold as he set up the closer admirably. Upon his entrance, first-time All-Star Clay Holmes had other ideas. He walked the first batter, allowed a single to the next, hit the third batter, and then allowed the Reds’ first run on a single following a mound visit. Oh wait, that wasn’t it? Holmes hit the next batter in the hip to drive in another run and was replaced, getting booed off the mound by ungrateful Yankee fans. Wandy Peralta came in to save the day, but I guess he forgot his super suit. He forced a ground out to get an out at home, but then Jonathan India hit a go-ahead two-run single to right, tagging Peralta with his fourth blown save before he finished off the inning with a strikeout. All four runs in the ninth were attributed to Holmes, however, and the closer received his first loss as a result. He may need a day off to recover from the disaster, but what is more likely is that he’s sent back out, no matter the situation, to regain his confidence.

 

PHI 3 – TOR 4

  • The second bullpen game of the day came in Toronto where the Phillies turned to Andrew Bellatti as the opener. He allowed two runs in an ineffective outing before 2013 number one overall pick Mark Appel tossed three innings of one-run ball. The 6’5″ righty owns a 1.29 ERA across the first seven innings of his debut MLB campaign. Unfortunately, Jeurys Familia came aboard to vulture a win in the fifth, but he left with a loss instead after giving up a run across four outs. Cleaning up his mess in the sixth was Corey Knebel, as he earned two outs and extended his scoreless innings streak to 8.1 frames. José Alvarado and Michael Kelly pitched the final two innings without giving up a run, but the Philadelphia offense never mounted a comeback.
  • A 13-strikeout performance from starter José Berríos set the tone for the Toronto relief corps to strike out some batters. Oh…just one strikeout was notched across the next three innings, but each one of the trio of relievers that appeared earned a decision regardless. Tim Mayza and Yimi García notched their eighth and 13th holds respectively, combing for two perfect innings. As usual, Jordan Romano was called upon for the save and converted it, his 19th of the season. He needed just 14 bullets and hadn’t appeared since Friday, so he will be good to go today for a save opportunity.

 

BOS 2 – TB 3

  • It was a blown save speed run for the Red Sox. Within three outs of the starter exiting the ballgame with a two-run lead, Ryan Brasier and Matt Strahm blew the save and the game. Brasier earned his seventh hold before exiting, but it wasn’t for exceptional work on the mound. He departed with two runners on and two out, but Strahm allowed both of them to score, partly because of a terrible, error-laced turn of events that ended with the lefty being tagged with his third loss without recording an out. Kaleb Ort cleaned up the mess before John Schreiber and Hirokazu Sawamura covered the final two innings without allowing a run. Schreiber owns a 0.60 ERA (30 IP), the lowest in the Majors among pitchers with at least 25 frames. Oh yeah, he also has a 0.60 WHIP, the lowest in MLB among that same group of pitchers. You’re telling me this man wasn’t deserving of an All-Star nod?! He was snubbed, and it’s a shame!
  • Benefitting from that blow-up in the sixth, the Rays had a newfound lead to work with. Jalen Beeks pitched a pair of scoreless innings to earn his third hold before handing the ball over to Brooks Raley. The left-hander secured his fifth save with a hitless ninth. It’s nice to have the Tampa Bay closer committee down to just three guys (Raley, Jason Adam, Colin Poche) after sifting through what seemed like a dozen relievers throughout the first half of the season.

 

NYM 1 – ATL 4

  • Just one run from the Mets’ offense made it unwise to use high-leverage relievers. The end of the sixth and the start of the seventh were covered by Seth Lugo, who gave up two runs on an Adam Duvall dinger. The rest of the seventh and all of the eighth were pitched hitlessly (I don’t care if it’s not a word, it is now) by Colin Holderman. Closer Edwin Díaz had pitched each of the last three days, so the silver lining of the loss was that it afforded the All-Star a rest day.
  • A vulture win, a hold, and a save – the Cerberus of bullpen efforts. The win, his first, went to Tyler Matzek following his four outs of perfect baseball that included closing out the fifth for the starter. It’s good to see the lefty looking like his old self after struggles and an injury earlier in the season. The hold, his sixth, was awarded to Collin McHugh for the two hitless frames he pitched to set up the closer. The save, his fourth, was clutched by A.J. Minter, as the lefty dropped his ERA to 1.66 (38 IP), a top-10 mark in baseball (min. 30 IP).

 

MIL 6 – MIN 3

  • Just four innings from the Milwaukee starter set the Brewer bullpen up for tons of action. The fifth was covered by Jandel Gustave, as he vultured his second win with a hitless frame. From there, Hoby Milner held the opposition scoreless in the sixth and Brad Boxberger gave up a run in the seventh. As an offense, once you get to the eighth inning against the Brewers and you don’t have the lead, it’s basically game over. Devin Williams and Josh Hader are two of, if not the two, best relievers in baseball, and they absolutely shut up the Minnesota bats on Tuesday. Williams recorded his Major League-leading 23rd hold with a perfect eighth. He owns a 1.87 ERA (33.2 IP) and a 41.2% strikeout rate (second-best in the Majors, min. 30 IP), while his five saves give him the most saves plus holds in baseball – one ahead of his teammate. Hader grabbed his MLB-leading 27th save, striking out all three batters he faced to hike his K% to 45.2%, the second-highest in the Majors among pitchers with at least 25 innings pitched. The dominant lefty owns a 1.82 ERA (29.2 IP) and a 0.88 WHIP and will be available again tonight after tossing 16 pitches.
  • There wasn’t much the Minnesota bullpen could do to make up for the deficiencies of the offense. Nonetheless, Trevor Megill, Jovani Moran, and Emilio Pagán covered the final four frames of the ballgame. None of them gave up an earned run, with Moran dropping his ERA to 1.13 (16 IP) and Pagán striking out all three batters he faced in a promising outing.

 

LAD 6 – STL 7

  • A one-run deficit would usually lead to meaningful bullpen work, but it took a Herculean effort from the offense and the bullpen to make the final score appear close after the starter allowed six runs. Phil Bickford and Yency Almonte pitched scoreless innings before David Price surrendered a run in the eighth. The top arms in this bullpen are well-rested for the second game of the series today.
  • Today must be my lucky day. It’s a bullpen game…thanks! The “starter” was Jordan Hicks. I guess I didn’t really need quotes there because I could’ve fooled some into thinking it was a normal occurrence, considering he began the year in the rotation. Hicks is back in the bullpen after his return from the injured list and secured five outs to begin the game, recording the fastest pitch of the day with a 103.2 mph sinker. In classic weird scorer antics, Johan Oviedo vultured his second win, although he got fewer outs than Hicks and allowed a run. The bulk of the work was done by Matthew Liberatore, who earned his first career hold, allowing three runs across 2.1 frames. Two more holds were handed out – Junior Fernández and Packy Naughton each with their second of the season. In an odd turn of events, the order of the closer committee was switched, as Ryan Helsley pitched a perfect eighth against the top of the Dodgers’ lineup to earn his sixth hold. That means that Giovanny Gallegos earned his 10th save, despite giving up a home run to the first batter he faced, Freddie Freeman. This is definitely not a changing of the guard, as I think Helsley is still favored as the ninth-inning option, but maybe manager Oli Marmol wanted to play matchups and use the better arm in a more dangerous situation. Helsley owns a 0.71 ERA (38 IP) and a 0.66 WHIP, both the lowest marks in the Majors among pitchers with at least 35 innings. He is also one of five pitchers (min. 20 IP) with a strikeout rate north of 40% (40.9%), and he may need a day off today after pitching in three of the last four days and four of six.

 

BAL 4 – CHC 2

  • It was light, but high-leverage, work for the Baltimore bullpen. Up by two, Cionel Pérez pitched a perfect eighth to earn his 12th hold and drop his ERA to 0.93 (29 IP), the fourth-best mark in the Majors (min. 25 IP). Most of his newfound success likely comes from the 10% increase in his slider usage, a pitch with a lot more vertical depth compared to other pitches of the same classification. All-Star closer Jorge López came aboard in the ninth and locked down his 17th save with a perfect frame. The right-hander owns a 1.70 ERA (42.1), the third-lowest mark in MLB (min. 40 IP). With one more year of control, there is no guarantee he is traded, but if the Orioles wanted to sell him at the peak of his value, now would be the time to make the move.
  • The Chicago arm barn did its best to keep the offense in the game, but they failed to deliver a run, meaning their 3+ innings of work went by the wayside. Brandon Hughes was the only reliever to surrender a run, as he finished off the starter’s sixth but gave up a homer to Jorge Mateo. From there, Scott Effross and Mychal Givens pitched perfect frames before Matt Swarmer worked around three walks and a hit to record a zero. Closer David Robertson hasn’t worked since Friday and could see some time on the mound no matter the score to stay loose.

 

OAK 14 – TEX 7

  • If you didn’t have the ability to look this up, would you believe me if I told you that this game lasted 12 innings? Not only is that impressive in this day and age of zombie runners, but the game also finished with a seven-run differential. Absolutely bonkers! It was a marathon of mixed emotions for the A’s. At first, things were looking great, as Sam Moll notched his eighth hold with a perfect sixth, and A.J. Puk recorded his 10th hold, covering both the seventh and eighth flawlessly. The ninth was put on a platter for Lou Trivino, but he blew his second save when he gave up a homer to Corey Seager (his fifth day in a row with a home run) and a game-tying RBI single. The bullpen recovered…somewhat, as Zach Jackson blew his second save when he allowed the zombie runner to score in the 10th. They sent him back out there to start the 11th before Kirby Snead finished out the frame and earned his first win after the offense exploded the following inning. Austin Pruitt earned an easy game-ending inning in the 12th, allowing only the zombie runner to cross home. I do think Trivino is the favored ninth-inning option in Oakland, but Puk has been putting together some great outings recently, striking out 12 batters against zero walks across his last 7.1 innings, so Trivino will have to step it up to stave off the left-hander.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, the extensive, reliever-infested affair ended in heartbreak for the Rangers. It began with Matt Moore tossing 1.2 perfect frames, finishing off the starter’s fifth and covering the sixth perfectly to lower his ERA to 1.80 (40 IP). What a comeback it has been for the former number one overall prospect in his age-33 season. The seventh was pitched without a hit by Matt Bush. Pitching for the second time since being removed from the closer role, Joe Barlow gave up a run in the eighth and was followed by Brock Burke in the ninth, who shaved his ERA down to 1.19 (45.1 IP), the lowest mark in the Majors (min. 40 IP). Upon the beginning of extras, new closer Brett Martin worked the 10th, allowing the “Manfred man” to cross home. His offense picked him up to push the game onward, but it didn’t go too well from there. Dennis Santana pitched the 11th with ease, but the 12th was another story, as the right-hander surrendered six runs (five earned) on two hits and three walks before asking his bullpen mate Kolby Allard to clean up his mess. Allard allowed a couple more runs to cross home on a Chad Pinder grand slam, leading to the disparate final tally. Martin has pitched back-to-back days but the rest of the bullpen has been heavily taxed, so it’s anyone’s guess who closes out a potential save today.

 

DET 7 – KC 5

  • Holding on for the win the Tigers had a pretty typical day of bullpen work. The seventh was pitched scorelessly by Andrew Chafin while Joe Jiménez permitted two runs in the eighth before handing the ball over to Michael Fulmer to finish it off. Fulmer earned his 16th hold and cut his ERA down to 1.89 (33.1 IP). The ninth was pitched by All-Star closer Gregory Soto, as the left-hander secured his 18th save with his scoreless frame. Just 19 pitches were thrown by Soto, setting him up to be available again today.
  • The Royals had the lead until the bullpen jumped into action. Amir Garrett was able to successfully finish off the starter’s sixth, but Jose Cuas struggled in the seventh and went home with his first career loss. It wasn’t all his fault as just one of the four runs he allowed was earned because of two errors, including one that allowed Miguel Cabrera to…*checks notes*…steal third base?! Joel Payamps settled down the excitement by pitching the final 2.1 innings of the game as he went with the minimalist approach, allowing just one hit and striking out nobody.

 

SD 3 – COL 5

  • It was a quiet night for the San Diego bullpen, both in terms of usage and damage. Nick Martinez finished off the starter’s sixth but was unable to continue after suffering an injury, allowing an unearned run thanks to a Trent Grisham error. Reiss Knehr was able to take over for Martinez, getting five outs perfectly. He has yet to allow a run across his first 8.1 innings this year.
  • Grabbing the lead in the seventh, the Rockies never looked back. The first reliever to enter was Robert Stephenson, as the righty earned his fifth hold for a scoreless seventh. In the eighth, Alex Colomé struggled, allowing two runs (one earned), but he was helped out by Lucas Gilbreath who earned his fourth hold for finishing off that frame. In the end, Daniel Bard closed out the game with his 19th save with a perfect ninth. That total of saves ties him for fourth in the Majors, which is impressive by itself, but even more so when considering that he calls the most hitter-friendly ballpark in MLB his home. He needed just 10 pitches to get the job done and will be called upon again tonight should a save situation arise.

 

HOU 6 – LAA 5

  • Failure was not an option for the Astros. They blew a save, but the offense recovered the lead, and the closer wouldn’t be denied. Phil Maton and Rafael Montero were the blown save culprits. Montero earned the blown save, his first, but it wasn’t without the help (or lack thereof) of Maton and the defense. Maton and Alex Bregman both committed errors, leading to four unearned runs on the board, with the game-tying run coming while Montero was toeing the rubber. The benefactor of the lead change was Héctor Neris who earned his second win with a hitless eighth. This time, the save would be converted, with Ryan Pressly pitching a perfect frame to earn his 19th hold. It may be going unnoticed because of how poorly his year started off, but the veteran righty has been lights out since his blowup in the Bronx in the middle of June. Across his last six appearances (six IP), Pressly has not permitted a baserunner and has struck out 11 batters with 95 mph average four-seamer velocity. I think he might be back to normal. He tossed 15 pitches and hadn’t pitched since Thursday, so he will be prepared to continue his scoreless innings streak today if needed.
  • It was sort of a disaster for the Angels as their spiral continues. They got just four innings from their starter. The fifth was pitched flawlessly by José Marte, but Andrew Wantz surrendered two runs (one earned) in the seventh. Austin Warren and José Quijada worked a scoreless inning apiece to set up the closer. As has been the tradition the past two seasons, Raisel Iglesias was called upon for the save, but as has been the tradition over the past two weeks, he couldn’t keep the opposition off the board. This was a non-save situation, which has historically troubled the right-hander, but this was also his third straight appearance giving up a run and it pushed his ERA to 4.65 (31 IP). I would normally start to preach about someone taking over this job, but there are no pitchers knocking on the door right now and Iglesias is well compensated for his role, so I don’t see interim manager Phil Nevin making a change any time soon. If you were looking for a buy-low candidate, this is the guy. Most of his underlying metrics are in line with his incredible 2021 campaign, as he still strikes out more than 34% of batters, limits walks (6.3%), and has underperformed his xFIP significantly (2.78), and the culprit may be an exceedingly low 60.7% strand rate that should fix itself in due time. The closer needed 25 pitches to be saddled with his sixth loss, but he could be available today in an opportunity to get his confidence back.

 

ARZ 0 – SFG 13

  • In the most lopsided matchup of the day, the Diamondbacks just needed to get the game over with after their starter gave up eight runs and the offense couldn’t scratch across any. Edwin Uceta finished off the starter’s third and then pitched both the fourth and fifth without allowing a run to spare the rest of the relief corps. Luke Weaver tossed a scoreless sixth before Caleb Smith surrendered two runs on a Thairo Estrada dinger in the seventh. Lastly, catcher Carson Kelly climbed atop the mound to give up three more runs, topping out at 83.7 mph and bottoming out at 48.8 mph.
  • With a humongous lead, the Giants had no reason to waste arms. Yunior Marte tossed two frames before manager Gabe Kapler followed the Diamondbacks’ lead and called upon outfielder Luis González for the ninth. The left-hander was surprisingly effective, tossing a scoreless frame to bring his ERA to 5.06 (5.2 IP). He surpassed Kelly in both effectiveness and disparity of pitch velocities, throwing his fastest pitch at 89.3 mph and his slowest at 42.3 mph. Closer Camilo Doval hasn’t appeared since last Wednesday and likely sees work today regardless of the score.

 

Bullpen Depth Charts

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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