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 Tuesday while the Royals and White Sox participated in a doubleheader.
- We’ll see 15 more matchups on Wednesday as long as all of the scheduled games are played.
- The Boston Red Sox placed Tanner Houck on the 15-day IL with lower back inflammation. John Schreiber will become the top setup option while Austin Davis joins the chart.
- Reynaldo López was activated from the 15-day IL after missing some time with a lower back strain. He will bump Jimmy Lambert from the bulk reliever slot.
- The Kansas City Royals placed Taylor Clarke on the 15-day IL with a left oblique strain. He will be replaced on the roster and the chart by Jose Cuas.
- Touki Toussaint will make his third start as a member of the Angels in Oakland. He hasn’t survived through the fifth in either of his first two outings, so look for Jaime Barria to earn a shot at vulturing a victory.
CHW 2 – KCR 4 (Game 1)
- Just two innings were needed in the matinee defeat for the South Siders. Joe Kelly tossed a perfect frame while Matt Foster pitched around two hits to post a spotless outing.
- On the other side, three relievers were deployed, all earning decisions. Scott Barlow was used in a high-leverage situation rather than his usual closer role which happens from time to time. Nothing to worry about, though, as this is something manager Mike Matheny (MMM) likes to do sometimes in close games. Barlow earned his fifth hold for helping the starter finish off the eighth. Dylan Coleman began the ninth but was quickly removed after surrendering two hits, a sac fly, and a hit by pitch. He earned his 10th hold regardless, as the recently recalled Jose Cuas came aboard to shut the door, securing his first career save.
CHW 3 – KCR 2 (Game 2)
- Game two went the other way, as this time, the White Sox earned the victory and could hand out decisions to a multitude of pitchers. Jake Diekman grabbed his 15th hold for finishing off the starter’s sixth before Reynaldo López and Kendall Graveman each pitched a clean inning of their own. They were awarded their fifth and 19th holds respectively. With a two-run ninth-inning lead, Liam Hendriks was called upon, and he got the job done despite giving up a run. It was his 23rd save and he used just 11 pitches, so back-to-back days of use won’t be out of the question.
- Using high-leverage arms in the first game forced the Royals to turn to the rest of the bullpen in game two. Amir Garrett finished the starter’s sixth and Wyatt Mills pitched a hitless seventh. Then, for the second time on the day, Jose Cuas was called upon. He gave up a run, which is understandable considering his relentless usage. The final frame was covered flawlessly by Josh Staumont. While Cuas definitely has the day off today, Barlow should be good to go in a save situation considering he tossed just 11 pitches.
TOR 5 – BAL 6
- It looked like the Blue Jays had this one in the bag before the bullpen threw everything away. A mid-game rain delay played a part as well, forcing Zach Pop to be unable to pitch after he was set to appear. Instead, Anthony Bass made an appearance, tossing a perfect frame for his 18th hold. His 1.49 ERA (48.1 IP) is the fifth-best in baseball (min. 45 IP). Adam Cimber followed, and despite surrendering a run, he finished his inning and clutched his 12th hold. Finally, with a slim one-run lead in the eighth, Yimi García served up a two-run shot to Rougned Odor to blow his fourth save. When the offense didn’t recover, he was officially tagged with his fourth loss as well.
- Following a two-run outing from Bryan Baker that resulted in his second blown save, as he attempted to finish off the starter’s sixth, the bullpen went on X-Games mode to hold the lead and close things out. Louis Head got four outs before Nick Vespi helped by finishing off the eighth. He did that prior to the go-ahead home run, earning him his fourth win. With the newfound lead, Félix Bautista shut down the ninth for his sixth save, dropping his ERA to a minuscule 1.69 (48 IP), the seventh-lowest in MLB (min. 45 IP). The towering right-hander has now pitched on consecutive days, tossing 29 pitches in that time, and could cede ninth-inning duties to Cionel Pérez or Dillon Tate today.
MIA 1 – PHI 4
- A lack of offense made the Miami bullpen meaningless. Nonetheless, Anthony Bender, Richard Bleier, and Elieser Hernandez took the mound, combining for 3.1 hitless innings with three strikeouts.
- The Phillies also received hitless work from three relievers, but they featured more meaningful results because of their lead. José Alvarado and David Robertson earned holds number 10 and one respectively. The ninth went to Seranthony Domínguez, as he secured his seventh save and lowered his ERA to 1.56 (40.1 IP), the ninth-lowest among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched. Manager Rob Thomson’s notion after the trade deadline that this situation would remain a committee has continued to ring as true as the Liberty Bell.
CLE 5 – DET 2
- Looking like his pre-sticky-stuff-ban self, James Karinchak continued to dominate batters. He struck out two in a flawless frame, setting his ERA at 1.84 (14.2 IP) as he sports a 43.1% strikeout rate and a 0.95 WHIP. Eli Morgan followed but continued his downfall, surrendering two runs and needing help from Emmanuel Clase to finish off the game. Clase was rewarded with his 25th save for his troubles and now maintains a 1.35 ERA (46.2 IP), the third-best in the league (min. 45 IP). His 25 saves are also tied for the American League lead with Jordan Romano. He will be available today after needing three pitches to get the one out he secured on Tuesday.
- A strong seven-inning performance from their starter wasn’t enough to put the Tigers in a winning position. That case was especially apparent when Will Vest allowed three runs in the eight, putting the team down by five. Wily Peralta pitched a scoreless ninth, but it didn’t mean much at that point.
CIN 2 – NYM 6
- It wasn’t a blowout, but the game also wasn’t particularly close. Either way, the Reds turned to four relievers in their midweek defeat. Luis Cessa finished off the starter’s sixth and Joel Kuhnel needed help from Ross Detwiler with his seventh after giving up two runs. Ryan Hendrix also appeared, pitching the eighth without event.
- It looked like the Mets might have some decisions on their hands, but after the Cincinnati catastrophe in the seventh, that probability was out of the window. Mychal Givens struck while the iron was hot, earning his seventh hold by completing the starter’s seventh. Trevor May followed with a scoreless eighth, working around two walks and a hit by recording all three of his outs via the strikeout. The ninth was pitched flawlessly by Seth Lugo as Edwin Díaz rests up from a busy weekend.
ATL 9 – BOS 7
- The first of two extra-inning games saw the Braves call upon almost every reliever in their arm barn. Six relievers appeared, and despite a hiccup, they got the job done. The seventh was shared by Collin McHugh and A.J. Minter. In the eighth, Raisel Iglesias was called upon to set up the closer. Even though he recorded all of his outs by setting the opposition down on strikes, he wasn’t effective in between, allowing a run on two hits to blow his fourth save. Kenley Jansen pitched anyway, sending the game to extras with a scoreless ninth. With free baseball, the Braves turned to Dylan Lee who allowed the zombie runner to score and was tagged with his third blown save. To overcome that negative, Lee was awarded his third win when the Braves took the lead in the following inning, allowing Tyler Matzek to shut things down for his first save of the season. No one has been overworked recently, so it should be all hands on deck if another extra-inning affair arises today.
- It was a similarly long game for the Red Sox, but they topped the Braves by using seven arms. It wasn’t the best day for the starter to be pulled after four, but Ryan Brasier was up for the task of filling in for the fifth. Matt Barnes began the sixth, but he gave up a run and continued to not look great after an early season bout with ineffectiveness. Hirokazu Sawamura helped him out before needing help himself from John Schreiber. That brought the game to the eighth, where Garrett Whitlock began his two-inning stint to send the game to extras. He gave up a run, but it didn’t matter much as the overtime crew wasn’t ideally prepared. Not only did Kaleb Ort allow the Manfred Man to score in the 10th, but he also saw two additional runners cross home in the 11th, setting him up with his first loss. Austin Davis closed out the inning and the night for the Boston bullpen. While Whitlock tossed 26 pitches, he could be used as the closer today, but it would make more sense for Schreiber, who tossed just six pitches, to get the call instead.
WSN 6 – CHC 5
- It was anything but smooth for the Nationals to secure their win. First, Erasmo Ramírez gave up two runs in the sixth and earned his third hold anyway. Then, Kyle Finnegan gave up two more runs, awkwardly pitching the seventh, where he was tagged with his fourth blown save. He ended up winning his third game as well, as the offense recovered the lead and set Andres Machado up to share the eighth with Carl Edwards Jr. The former grabbed his second hold while the latter went on to close out the ninth as well for his first save of the season. It was weird to see the presumptive closer used in the seventh and the next-man-up in the ninth, so this may be a situation to monitor. Finnegan tossed 14 pitches, so if Edwards Jr. doesn’t see the ninth again, it will be because he nearly doubled his competition’s pitch count.
- Both of the Cubs’ relievers covered a pair of innings. Erich Uelmen was unscored upon in his two, but he also forced all six of his outs in the field. Mark Leiter Jr., however, gave up two runs on a Joey Meneses homer and struck out three. He blew the lead and was saddled with his second blown save and fifth loss.
TEX 5 – HOU 7
- The Texas starter got absolutely lit up for seven runs, so the two members of the relief corps couldn’t do much upon their entrances. José Leclerc was lights out, tossing two perfect frames before Brett Martin tossed a scoreless inning of his own. It is presumed that Jonathan Hernández is the closer in Texas, but he hasn’t pitched since last Thursday and is likely to earn a maintenance outing today no matter the score.
- It was textbook work for the Astros. The relievers pitched in their usual order, each tossing an inning, and all earning decisions. Will Smith pitched a scoreless sixth for his 11th hold, Rafael Montero tossed a perfect seventh for his 17th hold, and Héctor Neris appeared for a flawless eighth and his 19th hold. Montero’s 1.55 ERA (46.1 IP) is the sixth-best in baseball (min. 45 IP). As usual, Ryan Pressly was called upon for the save, and he locked it down. It was his 22nd of the year despite missing more than half a month during the early portion of the season. He fired off 20 bullets in this one but should be available for a save chance today.
TBR 3 – MIL 5
- A reliever, Jimmy Yacabonis, was utilized to open for bulk reliever Ryan Yarbrough. Neither was too great. Yacabonis was unlucky, giving up an unearned run, but the Fratty Pirate’s poor outing couldn’t be pinned on luck, as all three of his runs were earned across 3.1 innings. Ryan Thompson finished off Yarbrough’s fifth and added on another run of his own. Jalen Beeks quieted down the Milwaukee bats with a hitless sixth before Shawn Armstrong was untouchable across two flawless innings with four strikeouts, inducing eight whiffs across 27 pitches. Jason Adam, a member of the closing committee, could see a maintenance inning having not pitched since Friday.
- Capitalizing on the Rays’ lack of success, the Brewers deployed effective relievers without needing the A-Team. Trevor Gott pitched a hitless sixth for his 11th hold while Hoby Milner allowed a run in the seventh, but grabbed his sixth hold nonetheless. Brad Boxberger set up for the closer with a perfect eighth, and instead of Devin Williams or Taylor Rogers taking the mound, Matt Bush was used as the closer. He pitched his own flawless frame, featuring two punchouts, to earn his second save.
STL 5 – COL 16
- Just by looking at the score, it’s easy to tell how inconsequential bullpen usage would be on either side. The Cardinals went symmetrical, matching the starter’s workload of 2.2 frames by pitching both of their relievers an identical 2.2 innings. Packy Naughton went first, giving up four runs, and then T.J. McFarland came aboard to surrender two more of his own. That’s Coors folks.
- On the other side, the Rockies also used their relievers for greater than three outs, but they did so much more effectively. Jake Bird was unscored upon as he secured four outs and Dinelson Lamet did the same across six outs. This was his first appearance as a member of the Rockies and it went about as well as anyone could have hoped.
LAA 5 – OAK 1
- I was at this game, and the A’s had no chance against the force that is Shohei Ohtani. I was enamored with the man that not only tossed six shutout innings but also cranked out a laser to right field. He was supported by five outs from Jimmy Herget and four more from José Quijada. The latter served up a dinger to Chad Pinder in the ninth, allowing my hometown A’s to avoid the dreaded shutout.
- The A’s, however, were much harder to watch. Nobody was terrible, but they stood no chance against a team that really hasn’t been that great for upwards of two months. Sam Selman surrendered the solo shot to superstar starter Shohei in the seventh (if that isn’t alliteration, I don’t know what is), but was otherwise untouched across five outs. As a way of keeping the bullpen fresh, Domingo Tapia covered the next seven outs without a run scoring to end the ballgame.
PIT 4 – ARI 6
- This game might’ve gone the other way if Duane Underwood Jr. hadn’t imploded for a four-run outing. Prior to his disaster, Eric Stout got two outs, and after the disaster, Yohan Ramirez and Wil Crowe had perfect outings. Crowe needed just five pitches for two outs and will be used today in a save opportunity as the top option in David Bednar’s absence.
- The Diamondbacks received a great seven-inning performance from their rookie starter but nearly blew it. Chris Devenski climbed the mound in the eighth only to give up three runs, including a Michael Chavis dinger. Luckily, he escaped with the lead, setting up Mark Melancon for his 16th save with a hitless ninth. He and Ian Kennedy have alternated save opportunities in the past week, so that could be the case today, but don’t count Melancon out after using 18 pitches on Tuesday.
SFG 4 – SDP 7
- A bullpen that was so lights out last year has lost its spark in 2022. Yunior Marte lit hope inside Giants fans’ hearts with a perfect sixth and Jarlín García kept that flame bright with a scoreless sixth, but from there, the fire diminished. Dominic Leone allowed a run in the eighth before the Giants came back to tie things up in the ninth. There, Tyler Rogers ended everything by serving up a walk-off three-run moonshot to Manny Machado.
- The Padres had a similar night but were ultimately able to work around what could have been labeled as something to worry about. Adrian Morejon and Luis García worked the eighth without event, setting up the ninth and earning their second and 19th holds respectively in the process. As was the plan when they acquired him at the deadline, Josh Hader was brought aboard for the ninth, but he didn’t exactly impress. He couldn’t find the zone, walking three and giving up a hit as he permitted three runs and was saddled with his third blown save. It wasn’t ideal, but Tim Hill finished off the inning and was in the right place to earn his third win upon the walk-off. Hader has thrown 48 pitches across the last two days and most definitely gets today off, especially after the blowup. Despite pitching today. García should be first in line for a save because he tossed just five pitches in his outing on Tuesday.
MIN 3 – LAD 10
- A seven-run loss is not the ideal breeding ground for notable bullpen usage. Trevor Megill added to that deficit by giving up two runs across four outs and Emilio Pagán did the same, permitting two runs of his own across five outs.
- An easy blowout afforded the Dodgers the luxury of using low-leverage arms. That manifested itself in the form of Phil Bickford pitching the eighth, surrendering a home run to Byron Buxton, and Caleb Ferguson tossing the ninth, as he struck out the side in order. He has yet to let a runner cross home in 15.2 innings of work so far this season.
NYY 0 – SEA 1
- The most exciting game of the day saw not a single run score until the 13th but featured awesome bullpen action. The Yankees called upon six relief arms, none of which allowed an earned run. Aroldis Chapman and Clay Holmes were the regulation pitchers, covering the eighth and ninth. From there, Scott Effross tossed a hitless 10th and Wandy Peralta secured four outs across the 11th and 12th. Lou Trivino helped out by finishing Peralta’s 12th, but Jonathan Loáisiga couldn’t keep the train chugging as he permitted the zombie runner to score in the 13th. He was saddled with his third loss despite not giving up an earned run. Both Holmes and Chapman have pitched on back-to-back days, so any of Effross, Loáisiga, or Peralta could earn the ninth today after tossing single-digit pitches on Tuesday.
- The Mariners one-upped New York by lasting all 13 frames. Eight innings from the starter made it somewhat easier, but five innings were still at stake. The first three were perfect, as Andrés Muñoz struck out the side in order in the ninth, Paul Sewald went 1-2-3 in the 10th, and Matt Festa got three outs in the field in the 11th. Matt Brash played hero, as the rookie went two hitless frames to earn his third win upon the walk-off. Sewald used 15 pitches in this one and is likely available today.
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)