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
- Thursday’s slate was light, with only eight games, highlighted by the “Field of Dreams” contest between the Cubs and Reds. Off on Thursday were NYY, TOR, TBR, MIN, SEA, LAA, OAK, NYM, ATL, WSN, MIL, LAD, SDP, and SFG.
- The Cubs and Reds get today off, but the remaining 28 teams are scheduled to play. Two teams, the Braves and Rangers, have yet to announce a starter. Jackson Stephens could be in line to soak up some innings for Atlanta, while Josh Sborz seems the most likely for multiple innings for the Rangers.
- The Braves and Marlins have a doubleheader on tap for tomorrow, and the Marlins have yet to announce a starter for the second game. Thus, their bullpen could be in line for a long day.
- The Guardians will be without James Karinchak this weekend in Toronto. Presumably, he’s not vaccinated, as he will be placed on the Restricted List today.
ARI 9 – PIT 3
- Merrill Kelly gave the D’Backs five innings before turning it over to the bullpen down 3-2. The bullpen held the Buccos scoreless over the final four innings, which allowed Arizona to come back and win the game walking away. Tyler Holton, Kevin Ginkel (who got the win), Joe Mantiply, and Mark Melancon were the relievers who completed the task.
- JT Brubaker mimicked Merrill Kelly and left after five, though he had the lead at the time. Pittsburgh’s pen did not have a pleasant afternoon, though. Chase De Jong threw a scoreless sixth but allowed the first three batters to reach in the seventh and left with the score tied and two on. Yerry De Los Santos did him no favors by allowing a double to the first batter he faced. He then started hurting his own ERA by issuing three walks (one intentional) and a double before hitting the showers. Duane Underwood Jr. replaced De Los Santos and restored order, but by that time, the Bucs trailed by six.
COL 8 – STL 6
- Germán Márquez held the Cards in check, allowing only two runs over six innings before taking a seat with the score tied. Lucas Gilbreath threw a scoreless seventh and earned the win when the Rockies plated six in the bottom of the inning. Alex Colomé started the eighth and did his best to let St. Louis back in the game by serving up back-to-back dingers to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Carlos Estévez was summoned to cool the Red Birds’ jets, which he did, earning him a hold. Daniel Bard nabbed his 24th save by closing the game out. It wasn’t an easy save for Bard, though, as he gave up a run and had to throw 30 pitches. Even though he hadn’t pitched in a while, there’s a good chance Bard won’t be available tonight.
- St. Louis got five innings out of Dakota Hudson before Jordan Hicks entered the game. Hicks had a clean sixth but walked a couple of batters in the seventh and departed in favor of Génesis Cabrera. This move did not pan out for St. Louis as Cabrera faced only four batters who went: single, single, home run, home run. Jake Woodford relieved him and finished the game with no further damage, but it was too big a hole for the Cardinals to climb out of.
HOU 7 – TEX 3
- Framber Valdez dominated the Rangers over seven scoreless innings and left with his team up 7-0. Seth Martinez gave up two runs in the eighth, and Rafael Montero allowed a solo homer to Marcus Semien in the ninth, but the game was already in hand.
- Rangers’ starter Cole Ragans couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. The final blow came on an Alex Bregman dinger which put the ‘Stros up 5-0. John King followed and pitched well for an inning and two-thirds. Garrett Richards handled the last two innings and didn’t fare well, allowing Houston to pad their lead by a couple more runs.
KCR 5 – CWS 3
- Zack Greinke flashed back to the past, pitching into the seventh inning without allowing a run. Three Royals’ relievers closed out the game, though less successfully. Jose Cuas recorded his ninth hold even though he surrendered a two-run jack to Yasmani Grandal. Wyatt Mills also earned a hold and didn’t allow a run, although he gave up a couple of hits. Scott Barlow finished the Chisox off for his 18th save despite allowing an Andrew Vaughn HR.
- Dylan Cease pitched well for the White Sox, only allowing one run over six innings. Chicago’s bullpen imploded, however. Joe Kelly left with lightheadedness after recording only one out and was replaced by José Ruiz. Kelly left a couple of men on, who both scored. Ruiz also allowed a run of his own in a long seventh inning for the Sox. Last up was Matt Foster, who had his own issues, allowing one run off of two hits and a walk.
CLE 4 – DET 3 (10 innings)
- Zach Plesac and four Guardians relievers held on to secure the victory in extra innings. Sam Hentges and Trevor Stephan earned holds, though Stephan ran into trouble in the ninth. After allowing a run to score, he was pulled in favor of Enyel De Los Santos, who couldn’t prevent the tying run from coming across. De Los Santos got the last laugh, though, earning the win when Cleveland scored in the tenth and Detroit did not. Bryan Shaw notched his first save of the year with Emmanuel Clase not available.
- Tigers’ starter Garrett Hill gave them five innings, surrendering three runs (though only one was earned). The bullpen picked him up and got the team to extras, shutting out Cleveland from the sixth through the ninth. José Cisnero, Jason Foley, Will Vest, and Luis Castillo threw an inning each. Gregory Soto couldn’t prevent the inherited runner from scoring in the tenth and thus, took the loss. Soto has gone in back-to-back games and therefore is probably not available tonight. Andrew Chafin or Alex Lange could get a shot at a vulture save.
BOS 4 – BAL 3
- Josh Winckowski pitched five scoreless innings for Boston before finding trouble in the sixth. A two-run triple by Terrin Vavra followed by an Austin Hays infield single tied the score at three and led to his departure. Austin Davis finished the sixth and got the win after the Bosox rallied in the bottom of the inning. Matt Barnes earned his first hold of 2022 by pitching a scoreless seventh, and John Schreiber covered the last two innings for the save. Alex Cora seems to like alternating his closers for multiple innings, so figure it will be Garrett Whitlock’s turn tonight if the opportunity arises.
- Dean Kremer got the same number of outs as Winckowski but arrived there a bit differently, allowing runs in the first and third before being knocked out in the sixth. He left with the score tied, a runner on first, and two outs, but Nick Vespi allowed Eric Hosmer to double, which saddled Kremer with the loss. Bryan Baker and Keegan Akin covered the final two innings cleanly.
MIA 3 – PHI 0
- Edward Cabrera, Steven Okert, Dylan Floro, and Tanner Scott combined to shut out the Phillies. Okert and Floro walked away with holds while Scott got a four-out save for his 16th of the season. The free-swingin’ Phils were swinging freely in this one as Miami generated 13 strikeouts, seven by the bullpen.
- Kyle Gibson deserved a better fate after allowing only two earned runs (three total) over six innings. However, his offense couldn’t get anything going. Philadelphia’s bullpen also pitched well as Nick Nelson, Corey Knebel, and Connor Brogdon all threw scoreless innings.
CHC 4 – CIN 2
- The “Field of Dreams” game wasn’t as dramatic as last year, but the Cubs will take the victory. Drew Smyly went five shutout innings before passing the baton to Michael Rucker. Rucker pitched a scoreless sixth but started the seventh with a walk and two doubles, which cut Chicago’s lead in half. He was pulled in favor of Brandon Hughes, who finished the seventh and the eighth, earning a hold. Rowan Wick set the Reds down in order in the ninth for his seventh save. Wick, Hughes, and Rucker have all pitched in back-to-back games but thankfully get today off.
- Nick Lodolo struggled through four and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs in the process. After his departure, the Reds’ fortunes improved as their bullpen didn’t allow another run to score. Buck Farmer, Joel Kuhnel, Alexis Díaz, and Hunter Strickland combined for four and one-third scoreless frames with only three hits and a walk allowed. Unfortunately for the Reds, the offense couldn’t pick up the slack. Not that it matters as they are off today, but Hunter Strickland has pitched in two consecutive games.
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)