Reliever Ranks – 8/28

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 are back in action today for a third consecutive day
  • 14 teams have Monday off: ATL, BAL, CLE, COL, CWS, DET, HOU, KC, NYM, OAK, SEA, TB, TEX, WAS

 

  • ATL: Jay Jackson was recalled from the minors on Saturday; reliever Jackson Stephens was placed on the 10-day IL.
  • NYY: Aroldis Chapman was placed on the 15-day IL due to an infection on his leg from a tattoo. (Put this one in the Joel Zumaya/Guitar Hero category).

 

  • NYY: Clay Holmes is expected back from the injured list early this week. This can provide late-inning relief for a Chapman-less bullpen.
  • OAK: Dany Jiménez was placed on the 60-day IL (shoulder). The A’s purchased the contract of reliever Austin Pruitt in a subsequent move.

 

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

LAA 2 – TOR 0

Angels: Seven innings from starter Shohei Ohtani kept the Angels’ bullpen at bay for much of Saturday. Jimmy Herget was the only reliever used; he tossed two scoreless innings and faced the minimum en route to his third save of the year. The Angels burned through Andrew Wantz, Jesse Chavez, Gerardo Reyes and José Marte on Friday, so the two-pitcher Saturday did wonders to preserve a full pitching staff.

Blue Jays: Starter Alek Manoah tossed seven frames of his own but took a tough-luck loss after allowing a single run to score. Yimi García tossed a laborious 30-pitch eighth, walking two and allowing a hit, but leaving the bases loaded. Anthony Bass tossed 20 pitches in the ninth, allowing a solo home run. Closer Jordan Romano threw 28 pitches on Thursday (after 15 the day before) and he should be well rested for Sunday’s series finale.

 

BOS 5 – TB 1

Red Sox: More deep starts: Rich Hill tossed seven scoreless, leaving six outs for the Boston bullpen. Manager Alex Cora called upon Jeurys Familia for the first two outs; he retired two of the five batters he faced, with three base hits and one earned run charged. John Schreiber was then tasked with a four-out save, stranding two of Familia’s runners and collecting his fifth save of the season. Garrett Whitlock, Matt Barnes and Matt Strahm had all pitched the day before, but any of those three could be in line for a save after resting today. Whitlock was the only one of those three that did not pitch in back-to-back days entering Saturday, so he could be the most likely for the ninth inning today.

Rays: Six innings by starter Jeffrey Springs left two innings for the Rays bullpen, one day removed from throwing 90 combined pitches. Garrett Cleavinger was the only Rays reliever to pitch on Saturday, striking out three over two perfect innings. Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks haven’t pitched since Wednesday, so their time for a high-leverage situation could be today.

 

PHI 6 – PIT 0

Phillies: It took two relievers to cap off a shutout by the Phillies. Starter Kyle Gibson took care of the first seven frames, followed by Sam Coonrod (1 IP, 3 BF, 1 K) and Nick Nelson (1 IP, 3 BF, 2 K). This wasn’t exactly high-leverage work, but there wasn’t much more Coonrod and Nelson could have done given the circumstance. Their efforts were ideal in preserving the rest of the bullpen, as David Robertson, Brad Hand, José Alvarado and Connor Brogdon tossed on Friday.

Pirates: Pittsburgh needed five relief innings from a team of three pitchers. The team of Chase De Jong (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R), Eric Stout (1 IP, 3 BF, 2 K) and Cam Vieaux (1 IP, 4 BF, 3 K) kept the Phillies off the scoreboard. There weren’t many pressure pitches thrown by either team in relief, but pretty much every reliever got it done on Saturday. Pittsburgh closer Wil Crowe hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, nor have setup guys Duane Underwood Jr. and Manny Bañuelos.

 

MIA 2 – LAD 1

Marlins: Sandy gonna Sandy. Alcantara’s final line: 9 IP, CG, 1 R. No bullpen needed.

Dodgers: Dustin May was caped at six innings in his second start back with the big league club. This left six outs for Caleb Ferguson (1 IP, 3 BF) and Phil Bickford (1 IP, 3 BF), allowing just one baserunner in those two combined innings. The Dodgers pitched five different relievers on Friday, so the depth of the arms that remained was on positive display on Saturday.

 

CIN 6 – WAS 2

Reds: A save was recorded by Alexis Díaz in this contest despite a four-run lead. Buck Farmer recorded just two outs in the eighth while allowing two hits and a walk, bringing a tying run to the plate. Díaz sat down four of the five Nationals he faced, quickly quieting a turbulent situation. Joel Kuhnel (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) danced around some traffic in the seventh, while Ian Gibaut (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) tossed a good chunk of relief innings. This was particularly important after Hunter Stickland’s 25 pitches on Friday; he could be first in line for a save on Sunday after Díaz’s 26 pitches on Saturday.

Nationals: Four relievers were used on Washington’s front, beginning with a rocky showing by newly-acquired Jake McGee (2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R), pitching in back-to-back days. A five-run deficit was then handed to Víctor Arano (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R), and it was then Hunter Harvey (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Carl Edwards Jr. (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) to cap off some lower-leverage late work. Edwards, Harvey and Arano hadn’t pitched since Wednesday, and closer Kyle Finnegan remains rested after 18 pitches that day and none since.

 

DET 11 – TEX 2

Tigers: This was not a high-leverage showing for anybody in the Detroit bullpen but the combined effort was still strong. Will Vest struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh, while Joe Jiménez sat down three of three in the eighth. Low leverage got the best of Daniel Norris in the ninth, however, in the form of one solo homer. Closer Gregory Soto remains rested since Wednesday, while Andrew Chafin hasn’t pitched since Tuesday.

Rangers: Newly-acquired Dallas Keuchel had a rocky debut start for the Rangers, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. This left some anticlimactic work for the Texas bullpen and it only got worse after Josh Sborz’s rocky eighth inning (1 IP, 5 H, 4 R). Dennis Santana faced five batters and retired all except one (BB), while Brett Martin tossed a scoreless ninth, dancing around two hits. Matt Moore hasn’t thrown since Wednesday and could be a strong bet for a potential Texas save this afternoon.

 

BAL 3 – HOU 1

Orioles: The O’s are staying hot! Dean Kremer was four outs away from a complete game, but Félix Bautista capped off the ballgame with three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings (4 BF). Setup man Dillon Tate was likely inactive, having pitched on back-to-back days, and Cionel Pérez was allowed some rest after 14 pitches on Saturday. The back half of the Baltimore bullpen is rested for practically anything today, and with an off day scheduled for Monday, they could be hoping to make another appearance before then.

Astros: Three relievers tossed a combined four innings of shutout work for the Astros, keeping them within striking distance through the end. Seth Martinez worked around two hits in a scoreless 1 1/3 frames, followed by Phil Maton (1 2/3 IP, 5 BF, 3 K) and Bryan Abreu (1 IP, 3 BF, 1 BB). Houston is still facing the effects of Ryan Pressly on the injured list, but a strong showing by the Saturday bullpen suggests there are strong showings to be had throughout the Astros bullpen.

 

NYM 3 – COL 0

Mets: The Mets were three innings shy of a complete-game shutout by David Peterson, facing off against his hometown team. The Mets bullpen was able to cap off that shutout by retiring nine of the 10 batters they faced; the charge was let by Seth Lugo (1 IP), Trevor May (1 IP) and Adam Ottavino (1 IP). Saturday featured the second save of 2022 by Ottavino, and both have come against the Rockies, his former team.

Rockies: Colorado manager Bud Black burned through the available top trio of Daniel Bard, Lucas Gilbreath and Carlos Estévez on Friday, so he was working with a limited lineup card on Saturday. Justin Lawrence (2 IP, 3 H, 1 R) allowed a run to score on an earlier walk, but Jake Bird (1 IP, 3 BF) made a strong statement (albeit against the bottom of the Mets order). With Robert Stephenson now departed to Pittsburgh on waivers, this performance on Saturday could serve as a measuring stick for who is next in line after Bard, Gilbreath and Estévez in high-leverage momtnets.

 

SD 4 – KC 3

Padres: More one-run action with a starter going seven; this time it was Yu Darvish, allowing three runs on five hits. Robert Suarez earned his eighth hold of the year with a scoreless eighth (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R), while Nick Martinez earned his sixth save of the year with a scoreless ninth (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R). San Diego hasn’t used Luis García or Josh Hader since at least Wednesday, so both could be on the horizon as they close a set with Kansas City this afternoon.

Royals: More shutout reliever action! Kansas City used three relievers and they combined to sit down 12 of the 14 batters they faced. Scott Barlow tossed a non-save ninth (3 BF) with a strikeout, while Carlos Hernández (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Collin Snider (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) built some experience with lower-leverage work. Kansas City used six relievers on Friday and only one was used in consecutive days (Snider).

 

ARI 10 – CWS 5

Diamondbacks: Merrill Kelly recorded one out in the eighth inning, later turning the game to Mark Melancon for the next three hitters. Melancon allowed two hits in that span, and All-Star Joe Mantiply was tasked with the final out of the eighth. Luis Frias took over in the ninth with a comfortable five-run cushion (1 IP, 3 BF), and the D-Backs now have one of the most rested bullpens in the league. Mantiply threw just two pitches on Saturday, Ian Kennedy hasn’t pitched since Tuesday (six pitches), and Noé Ramirez hasn’t pitched since Wednesday (eight pitches). Melancon could even come back on back-to-back days, having thrown just 10 on Saturday.

White Sox: Low leverage got the best of Joe Kelly (0 IP, 2 H, 3 R), and it wasn’t kind to Jake Diekman either (2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R). Vince Velasquez was first in relief and allowed one run in a bulk appearance of four innings. This preserved some pitch counts, particularly after Liam Hendriks threw a combined 42 pitches over Wednesday and Thursday. Hendriks could easily be available this afternoon while Kendall Graveman hasn’t thrown since Wednesday (21 pitches), so the top of the Chicago bullpen appears good to go if needed.

 

MIL 7 – CHC 0

Brewers:

Cubs: Starter Drew Smyly carved through six shutout innings, but some rocky appearances by Rowan Wick (1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R/3 ER) and Michael Rucker (1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R) allowed the deciding runs in this contest. After a 27-pitch blown save by Brandon Hughes on Friday, the Cubs are looking at a fatigued core of top relievers. Mark Leiter Jr. could be a default option for a save today only because of the recent workload of others.

 

MIN 3 – SF 2 (F/10)

Twins: Back to the land of one-run contests; Minnesota’s Sonny Gray went five (1 R), and a team of Caleb Theilbar (1 1/3 IP, 4 BF), Griffin Jax (2/3 IP, 2 BF) and Jhoan Duran (1 IP, 3 BF) combined to face the minimum over a combined nine outs. Trevor Megill was tasked with longer relief (2 IP, 3 H, 1 R), allowing some additional traffic but keeping any other relievers from being needed. Twins closer Jorge López has remained rested since his 18 pitches on Thursday.

Giants: Alex Cobb tossed a scoreless five inning to kick this one off; it was then Zack Littell (1 IP, 3 BF) and Alex Young (1 IP, 4 BF, 0 R) carrying that shutout effort through the seventh. John Brebbia danced around two hits in his 2/3 of an inning, but two hits and two walks from Camilo Doval would even the game and give Doval his third blown save of the year. Dominic Leone followed Doval in the 10th inning, walking three of the four batters he faced. There weren’t many bright spots in this bullpen performance after the seventh inning, especially when Doval and Leone walked as many batters as they recorded outs (five).

 

STL 6 – ATL 5

Cardinals: Four innings of shutout relief work fueled the Cardinals to a victory against an NL East squad pushing for a valiant finish. JoJo Romero tossed a perfect sixth, while Jordan Hicks kept Atlanta scoreless in the seventh and eighth. Ryan Helsley made his first appearance since being placed on the restricted list (1 IP, 3 BF, 2 K), earning a win from the Cardinals walking it off in the ninth. St. Louis retains a rested Giovanny Gallegos for Sunday, while Helsley could be available again after his 11 pitches on Saturday.

Braves: Kenley Jansen suffered his fifth blown save of the year after allowing two walks and two hits in the ninth inning. St. Louis scored two runs in that time, erasing a one-run deficit with three outs to play. Atlanta’s bullpen was otherwise dominant: Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter and Collin McHugh combined for three shutout innings of work (one frame a piece). Iglesias and Minter have pitched in back-to-back games, however; given the recent work of others, Tyler Matzek might need to be a setup man (or closer?) on Sunday if needed.

 

OAK 3 – NYY 2 (F/11)

Athletics: Zero earned runs in 11 innings were how the A’s got it done at the Coliseum on Saturday. Domingo Acevedo, A.J. Puk and Joel Payamps each tossed an inning; two walks by Puk weren’t ideal on the bases (especially with the 10th inning runner on second), but the two runs that scored off him in the 10th did so on an error. Acevedo and Payamps tossed perfect frames, and the efforts of Zach Jackson were not needed for the third day in a row.

Yankees: Jonathan Lóaisiga went to work in consecutive games, this time retiring two of the three batters he faced. Ron Marinaccio took over for four total outs, allowing a 10th inning ghost runner to score in addition to an earned run in the 10th. Former Oakland closer Lou Trivino, a New York trade deadline acquisition, took a tough loss in the 11th in his old stomping grounds. A decisive walk-off throwing error by second-baseman D.J. LeMahieu would have otherwise ended the 11th with a 6-4-3 double play.

 

CLE 4 – SEA 3

Guardians: Capping off our slate of one run contests, the Guardians needed just six outs of relief work to shut this one down. James Karinchak tossed 16 pitches in a perfect eighth inning, one day after throwing 18 pitches in a separate outing. Emmanuel Clase also pitched in consecutive days, the latter in which he sat down the Mariners in order for his 30th save of the season. Cleveland’s top half of their bullpen, Clase, Karinchak and Trevor Stephan, could be a little more fatigued than usual. This could mean arms like Sam Hentges and Bryan Shaw filling in for higher-leverage work today if needed.

Mariners: Diego Castillo took over in the seventh inning and posted a perfect frame with two punchouts. It was then Andrés Muñoz in the eighth, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk, erasing a 3-1 lead for the Mariners with six outs to go. Matthew Festa sat down the Guardians in order in the ninth, but not before decisive damage had already occurred. Seattle has used closer Paul Sewald in three of the past six days, and while he should be available today, look for an arm like Erik Swanson to serve as his setup man right before.

 

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)

Justin Wick

Justin Wick is the communications supervisor for MLB's Arizona Fall League. He pitched collegiately at Creighton University (B.A. Journalism) and South Mountain Community College, and is a three-year veteran of the Northwoods League with the St. Cloud Rox. More of his work can be found on Purple Row covering the Colorado Rockies, and on Twitter @justwick.

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