Reliever Ranks – 7/27

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 30 teams took the field on Tuesday and only two teams, the Cubs and Pirates, will receive the day off on Wednesday.

 

 

  • Minnesota Twins starter Chris Archer is set to pitch on Wednesday in Milwaukee. He has yet to pitch into the sixth all season, and often fails to escape the fifth. A vulture win opportunity could be available for the Minnesota bullpen, with Jharel Cotton the likely candidate to fill a multi-inning role after Archer’s departure.
  • Andrew Heaney is set to be removed from the 15-day IL to start for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Nationals on Wednesday. Even though he lasted five innings in his most recent rehab outing, there is a fat chance he doesn’t pitch that long in his first start back in the bigs. Usual bulk reliever David Price has been overworked recently and the recently recalled Garrett Cleavinger pitched on Tuesday, so the top option to steal a win is likely one of LA’s middle relievers.
  • New York Yankees starter Domingo Germán pitched just three innings in his most recent outing and gets the call to start on Wednesday in Queens. It is unlikely he lasts much further than the fifth if he does find a way to be effective. Lucas Luetge has the best shot at going multiple frames to vulture a win with Clarke Schmidt having tossed 56 pitches on Sunday and Albert Abreu having appeared on Tuesday.
Yesterday’s Performances

 

PIT 2 – CHC 4

  • Trailing from the get-go, just two relievers were needed for Pittsburgh to cover the pair of frames the starter couldn’t finish. Tyler Beede tossed a scoreless seventh while Wil Crowe served up a home run to Seiya Suzuki in the eighth. This bullpen will receive the day off to fully rest up.
  • Seven strong frames from the Chicago starter made it easy on the arm barn. The eighth was pitched flawlessly by Rowan Wick, as he earned his fourth hold and struck out two batters. The ninth was covered by Mychal Givens, who earned his second save. David Robertson was surprisingly not used even though he was rested. It’s possible they’re trying to keep him healthy so that they can get a nice return for him at the deadline. The arms in this pen have today off and will be raring to go on Thursday.

 

MIA 2 – CIN 1

  • Making up for a rough showing in their last outing, the back-end bullpen pairing of Anthony Bass and Tanner Scott was much more effective on Tuesday. Bass shut down the eighth with a perfect frame to earn his 16th hold, dropping his ERA to 1.48 (42.2 IP), a top five mark in the Majors (min. 40 IP). In the ninth, Scott also pitched a flawless inning and snatched his 13th save in the process. He needed just 11 pitches and will be good to go today.
  • Despite the close score, the Reds didn’t go with their top arms, but it didn’t matter because the offense was asleep at the wheel. Finishing off the starter’s seventh and a clean eighth, Buck Farmer pushed the game along to the ninth. There, Ian Gibaut was unscored upon across an inning of work.

 

TBR 3 – BAL 5

  • Another starter pitched through the seventh frame, but this time, the bullpen couldn’t even handle six outs. Colin Poche began the eighth but he was very ineffective, allowing a base hit before serving up a homer to Ramón Urías to give the Orioles the lead. He wasn’t done yet. After forcing a popout, he gave up a double, a steal of third, and a walk before being removed for Shawn Armstrong. The righty got out of the inning, but not before allowing one of his inherited runners to cross home. Poche was tagged with his first loss and third blown save of the season.
  • While the Baltimore bullpen usage was anything but typical, it worked. Following the starter, Joey Krehbiel finished off the sixth and pitched until the eighth, earning seven outs along the way in his scoreless outing. Keegan Akin grabbed his second win after finishing off that second-to-last frame prior to the offense’s comeback. With the newfound lead, All-Star Jorge López pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 19th save, lowering his ERA to 1.55 (46.1 IP) along the way – the second-best mark among pitchers with at least 45 innings pitched. He tossed 16 pitches and should be available to go again today.

 

ATL 6 – PHI 3

  • Moving the ball from the sixth to the ninth, Collin McHugh filled in the gaps with two perfect innings. The ninth started with Will Smith on the mound but ended with a righty finishing off the game. Smith surrendered a two-run shot to J.T. Realmuto and needed help from closer Kenley Jansen once it became a save situation. The veteran righty got the job done with two outs in the field, being credited with his 23rd save for his efforts. It was just two outs and he needed only 12 pitches, so don’t count him out of action today.
  • The Phillies kept it close, but the late-inning heroics from their catcher weren’t enough. Pitching the seventh and eighth without event, Jeurys Familia and Corey Knebel each improved their numbers. The latter has been impressive recently, having not allowed a run across his last 11 appearances (10.1 IP) while permitting just seven baserunners (two hits, five walks) and striking out nine batters. He may be inching his way towards reinserting himself in the closer committee. Nick Nelson got the last three outs, giving up a run but striking out two.

 

STL 3 – TOR 10

  • It was not the best night for the St. Louis relievers. Taking the loss while pitching across the fifth and sixth innings, Jordan Hicks gave up four runs and was stuck with his fifth defeat. That was about all it took to take the Cardinals out of contention for the win, but Junior Fernández did his best to make it worse by serving up two dingers – one a grand slam by George Springer that scored some inherited runners and the other a seventh-inning solo shot by All-Star Alejandro Kirk. T.J. McFarland was able to clean up that mess and finish off the last frame, but the final score wasn’t a pretty sight for fans of the Red Birds.
  • The Blue Birds, on the other hand, had it easy. Tim Mayza finished the starter’s sixth, vulturing his fifth win. With the big lead, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the relief corps. David Phelps, Max Castillo, and Jeremy Beasley were unscored upon across the last three frames. Closer Jordan Romano hasn’t pitched since Saturday and could need some maintenance today.

 

CLE 8 – BOS 3

  • Wooo! A bullpen game! Starting things off as the opener, Bryan Shaw pitched as long as he could, locking down seven outs and giving up two runs before asking Nick Sandlin for some help finishing his inning. The bulk work went to Kirk McCarty, who hasn’t pitched solely out of the pen this season but did so on Tuesday. He covered four scoreless frames, striking out four, and racking up nine whiffs across 67 pitches with a 31% CSW. That solid outing netted him his first career win. Eli Morgan followed in the eighth and gave up a run, most likely due to the disparity of the score. In a weird turn of fate, Emmanuel Clase was used in the ninth despite the five-run lead and having pitched three days prior. He got the job done flawlessly, but it seemed like a waste to use one of the best closers in baseball in this situation. The All-Star right-hander fired off 10 pitches and will most definitely be available to improve upon his top-five ERA mark (min. 40 IP) (1.34 ERA, 40.1 IP).
  • It may seem like the Red Sox also opted for a bullpen game, but in fact, their starter just wasn’t good and only survived three frames. With so much ground to cover, it was all hands on deck as five relievers took the mound. Austin Davis was first, giving up two runs (one earned) across an inning of work. He was one-upped by Hirokazu Sawamura who not only kept the opposition off the board, but he did it across a pair of innings. Jake Diekman was next, and due to his not allowing a hit, he was unscored upon in the seventh. Tanner Houck got some work in the eight after two days off, but the rest wasn’t sufficient or the situation was inadequate because the righty gave up a run. Down by five in the ninth, Kaleb Ort tossed a clean frame with a pair of punchouts.

 

SDP 6 – DET 4

  • San Diego starter Mike Clevinger set the arm barn up for a by-the-book finish with seven strong frames, but the relievers wanted to go off script. Luis García stuck to the guidelines, earning his 17th hold with a scoreless eighth, but closer Taylor Rogers was a rebel without a cause. Not only was he unable to lock down the save, being saddled with his sixth blown save in the process, but he was able to close out the inning before the Tigers could walk it off. He was very lucky not to be bitten worse and notched his first win upon the offense’s 10th-inning explosion. It has been rough sledding for the left-hander in recent months. After starting the season with just one run allowed across his first 20.1 innings (0.44 ERA), he’s been nearly unrosterable, save for the fact he gets…saves. In his next 20.1 IP, he surrendered 17 earned runs, good (bad*) for a 7.52 ERA. It’s going to take some convincing from Rogers to keep GM A.J. Preller from looking for a closer at the deadline, and this outing wasn’t it. A whopping 30 pitches was needed for him to finish off his frame, so he likely has a chance to get his head right today with some rest. Luckily, a different offseason acquisition was able to lock down the save in the 10th. Nick Martinez allowed the zombie runner to score, but the three-run lead he entered with was large enough, and he notched his fourth save.
  • With the game so tightly contested, Detroit turned to its top-tier arms. Alex Lange, José Cisnero, and Michael Fulmer all kept the opposing batters from becoming hitters, combining for three no-hit frames. That set Gregory Soto up to pitch a clean ninth. The Tigers kept him in there for the 10th as well and it didn’t go as planned as the All-Star left-hander hit a couple of batters and wasn’t helped by his defense, giving up three unearned runs along the way. The silver lining was that he racked up four strikeouts across five outs and induced six whiffs on 25 pitches. The final out was secured by Jason Foley.

 

NYY 3 – NYM 6

  • In the opening game of the most recent edition of the Subway Series, the Bronx starter was roughed up, leading to plenty of relief work. Five different relievers entered the game and only one was scored upon. Ron Marinaccio finished off the starter’s third and pitched his own fourth, allowing no hits and striking out two in the process. He was followed by scoreless frames from Jonathan Loáisiga, Aroldis Chapman, and Wandy Peralta. The final inning was covered by Albert Abreu who gave up a run despite the lack of stress given the situation. Closer Clay Holmes hasn’t pitched since Friday and will probably toss some pitches no matter the score today.
  • In a more typical fashion, the men from Queens got the job done with just two relievers. Facing his former team, Adam Ottavino worked 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his 13th hold. That set Edwin Díaz up for a four-out save, his 22nd of the year. The number one closer in baseball recorded all of his outs via the strikeout, dropping his ERA to 1.55 (40.2 IP) and pushing his strikeout rate to a mind-boggling and MLB-leading 51.6%. While the right-hander has pitched in three of the last four days, throwing 23 pitches on Tuesday, I think manager Buck Showalter will consider Díaz available regardless as they compete with the best team in baseball.

 

LAA 6 – KCR 0

  • Zeroes were the preferred snack of the Los Angeles pitching staff, and they were starving. Just two relievers participated in the feast, but they both got their fair share. Earning his third hold, José Quijada finished off the starter’s sixth and worked a scoreless seventh, improving his ERA to a team-leading 1.93 (18.2 IP). Elvis Peguero cleaned up with two innings of his own, striking out four with nine whiffs on 35 pitches, seven of which came on his slider which was sitting at 92.6 mph.
  • With no run support, the Kansas City arm barn was a little bit dejected. They didn’t appreciate the lack of help and the way they pitched proved that. Amir Garrett was the only reliever who failed to give up a run, as he preceded Wyatt Mills and Joel Payamps. The former allowed three runs across 1.2 frames while the latter tossed 2.1 innings and gave up a run on a home run by Max Stassi.

 

MIN 6 – MIL 7

  • A close matchup resulted in heartbreak for Twins fans. With their starter faltering, Minnesota had to turn to five relievers to get through the game. The first, Joe Smith, served up a homer to Kolten Wong, but the next three arms were much more effective. Emilio Pagán, Griffin Jax, and Jhoan Duran, the top three arms in the Minnesota bullpen, were all unscored upon across three frames, combining for five strikeouts. In the ninth, with the game tied at seven, Tyler Duffey was called upon to push the game to extras. He failed to do so, giving up a single, two walks, and a sac fly to allow the Brewers to walk it off. Duran might be the only arm not available after tossing 32 pitches in his outing.
  • With a rookie starting the game, the Brewers followed suit with five relievers of their own. Trevor Gott was the worst of the bunch, surrendering a three-run shot to Gio Urshela in the fifth. The rest of the relief corps was able to shut things down from there, as Jandel Gustave, Brad Boxberger, and Devin Williams pushed the game to the ninth. There, Josh Hader pitched without the benefit of a save on the table, but he still walked away with a decision. Following a perfect frame and the walk-off, Hader earned his first win of the season. It took him just nine pitches to secure three outs, so he likely has a chance to continue adding to his scoreless streak, which he’ll need to do after struggling across the past couple of weeks.

 

CHW 2 – COL 1

  • This low-scoring affair is not representative of what usually occurs inside Coors Field. Nonetheless, it set the stage for plenty of decisions, mostly for the away team. The South Side bullpen didn’t let the thin air get to them, as all four relievers that appeared recorded a decision. Finishing the starter’s sixth and earning his second hold, Jimmy Lambert was unscored upon. Joe Kelly followed with a clean seventh for his ninth save while Kendall Graveman snatched his 15th hold with a scoreless eighth. Liam Hendriks was set up perfectly for a quiet ninth, but he made it interesting by surrendering a solo shot to Ryan McMahon. He was able to recover and logged his 19th save of the season. The outspoken right-hander has pitched in three of the last four days, tossing 27 pitches on Tuesday, but so has Graveman, so I’d expect manager Tony La Russa to do the veteran thing and stick with Hendriks today if a save chance arises.
  • Will the Rockies be sellers at the deadline? It’s hard to tell, but today provided no clarity as their top option, Daniel Bard, didn’t appear. However, Jake Bird, Carlos Estévez, and Alex Colomé did appear. Bird gave up a run, Estévez fanned three, and Colomé was flawless. The latter two pitchers should be on the move in the next week, but the Rockies are gonna Rockie, so it’s hardly a guarantee.

 

HOU 3 – OAK 5

  • A rare loss was handed to the powerhouse Astros. Keeping the game close, Bryan Abreu tossed 1.1 perfect innings while fanning two and inducing four whiffs on 24 pitches. He has been quietly amazing all year long, pitching to a 2.80 ERA (35.1 IP) with 52 strikeouts and the ability to go multiple frames. Héctor Neris pitched the eighth, giving up a run on two hits.
  • Four innings were pitched by the A’s relievers and it went about as good as you could hope. They combined for four perfect innings and each of them was credited with a decision for their efforts. Austin Pruitt recorded five outs and struck out three to nab his first hold. Next up, Sam Moll got all his outs in the field to secure his 11th hold. The team holds leader Zach Jackson added to his total, bringing it to 21 after finishing off the final out of the eighth. The final frame was covered by closer Lou Trivino, who was awarded his 10th save. This may be the best the bullpen performs all season. Trivino has pitched on back-to-back days and likely cedes a save situation to A.J. Puk today.

 

SFG 3 – ARI 7

  • When your ace gives up five runs, you’re gonna have a bad time. Yunior Marte attempted to recover the momentum lost by the starter, but he was extended for two innings of work, spoiling his night. Two runners crossed the plate and Jarlín García was forced to take over and finish off the eighth.
  • An opportunity to vulture a win was up for grabs as soon as the starter exited after four frames. Luke Weaver attempted to snatch it, but he gave up a run. The scorer was also not impressed by Kyle Nelson’s scoreless sixth. The outing he was enamored with was a perfect five-out appearance by Ian Kennedy, as the scorer rewarded the veteran with his fourth win. All-Star Joe Mantiply also received a decision, his 11th hold, after he got one out to finish off Kennedy’s eighth. Despite the lack of a save opportunity, Mark Melancon appeared and he was out of character, pitching effectively and striking out two. He needed just eight pitches to do so and will see work tonight if necessary.

 

WSH 8 – LAD 3

  • It’s not often you witness the worst team in the National League taking down the best, but that’s what happened in Chavez Ravine on Tuesday. The Nationals turned to Jordan Weems for four outs before calling upon Erasmo Ramírez to secure his second win. Víctor Arano worked the eighth, earning his sixth hold in his third appearance since returning from the IL. Finally, Hunter Harvey pitched a flawless ninth to lock down the win.
  • It started off promisingly for the Dodgers, as Yency Almonte notched his sixth hold with a scoreless seventh, but the recently recalled Garrett Cleavinger broke his promise. He gave up six runs (four earned) in a disaster outing that featured a Luis García home run and netted him his first loss and blown save of the season. They even let him continue pitching the following inning and he needed help from Phil Bickford to get through it.

 

TEX 4 – SEA 5

  • The most interesting bullpen news occurred in the final game of the day. Top left-handed bullpen trade target Matt Moore led off the relief work for the Rangers, allowing a run on a Cal Raleigh home run across a duo of innings. Impressively, his ERA (1.74, 46.2 IP) is still the third-best among pitchers with at least 45 innings pitched. Matt Bush followed with a hitless inning of his own. With a one-run lead, newly appointed closer Brett Martin was called upon to end the game. As the final score might suggest, he was unable to do so. He gave up a single and a double to blow the lead, and then watched a sac bunt move the runner on second to third. From there, intentionally walking Julio Rodríguez and Ty France was the best course of action, but it didn’t stop the bleeding. Carlos Santana walked it off with a sac fly, saddling Martin with his second blown save and sixth loss of the season. After securing the first three saves upon Joe Barlow’s removal from the closer role, Martin has surrendered seven runs (five earned) across his past four outings, and I’m tempted to say you might want to look elsewhere for saves because either he’s not fit for the job and will continue to struggle, or the Rangers might be done using him in high-leverage spots and will begin to turn to the likes of José Leclerc, Matt Bush, or Brock Burke.
  • One of the most lights-out bullpens in baseball, the Seattle arm barn once again got the job done. Matt Festa allowed a run across four outs, but he was still lucky enough to earn his fourth hold. The final two outs of the seventh were secured by Ryan Borucki and Penn Murfee. The former notched his sixth hold while the latter logged his fourth. Murfee has been an under-the-radar relief pitcher this year and has recently taken it to another level, striking out 21 batters to zero walks across his last 14.2 innings pitched in spite of a 3.68 ERA. The final two frames weren’t as kind to the M’s, as Paul Sewald blew his third save, allowing two runs and putting the Rangers on top. He has pitched in each of the past two days and will likely need a day off, giving Diego Castillo or Andrés Muñoz a shot at a save today. Erik Swanson was similarly ineffective, allowing his own run in the ninth, but having significantly more luck as he was awarded his first win for being in the right place at the right time. Despite it increasing, his 1.26 ERA (28.2 IP) is still the third-lowest in the Majors (min. 25 IP).

 

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: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Closing Time: Ranking the Top 30 Closers

Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues

 

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Account / Login