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
- 14 teams have Monday off: ATL, BAL, CLE, COL, CWS, DET, HOU, KC, NYM, OAK, SEA, TB, TEX, WAS.
- Alex Colomé was activated from the IL and replaced Lucas Gilbreath on the active roster. Gilbreath himself was placed on the IL. The two essentially swap roles as Colomé should take over as one of the set up men in front of Daniel Bard.
- After disastrous performances on Sunday, both Hirokazu Sawamura and Austin Davis have been DFA’d by the Red Sox. Kaleb Ort and Zack Kelly will be called up from the minors to give the pen a fresh look.
- Look for Clay Holmes to be activated today. Once he is, he’ll be right back at the top of the pecking order for saves for the Yankees.
LAD 8 – MIA 1
- It’s no surprise that Chris Martin has found his best self again after being traded to the Dodgers in a largely under-the-radar move. With his inning on Sunday, he’s now sporting an ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP of 0.47 in 10.2 IPs with the Dodgers in which he’s struck out thirteen and walked none. If Craig Kimbrel does end up losing closing duties, Martin is a sleeper candidate to take at least a share of the save chances.
- It was another rough game for the Marlins bullpen as Tommy Nance allowed a trio of inherited runners to score and Cole Sulser allowed the Dodgers to extend their lead in the 9th. Richard Bleier has been a bright spot recently sporting a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings since July 1st.
CIN 2 – WAS 3
- Only one inning of work for the Reds pen here. Art Warren was a really exciting player coming into this year, but it’s now a question whether he’ll find consistent command enough to stick around in the majors.
- Three scoreless innings from the Nats pen capped off by save number eight from Kyle Finnegan. Hunter Harvey has been dominant of late and he’s looking like a dark horse to close for the team in 2023. However, remember he was in the same position for Baltimore a couple years ago and just couldn’t stay healthy.
TBR 12 – BOS 4
- New closer candidate Christian Bethancourt fired ten of his twelve pitches for strikes in a scoreless 9th while retiring the heart of the Red Sox order. Even their position pitchers can get three outs. The Rays truly do have a stable of guys who can get outs.
- Boston’s relief corps had a combined ERA of 6.11 in the second half coming into this game. This…. did not help. Turns out that their 28-5 drubbing the first game out of the All-Star Break was foreshadowing.
PIT 5 – PHI 0
- Wil Crowe recorded the final three outs for the Pirates to complete the shutout. He’s the closer of the moment in Pittsburgh right now with David Bednar on the shelf, but he doesn’t really offer enough upside to be tempting to anyone but those most desperate for saves.
- Connor Brogdon spent most of the first month of the year in AAA after a rough first couple outings. After returning to the majors on May 8th, he’s been an extremely valuable part of the bullpen with a 2.57 ERA in 28 innings. He’s placed himself in the high-leverage mix for Philadelphia, but there are simply too many veteran arms for him to get consistent save chances for now.
LAA 8 – TOR 3
- Angels relievers combined to allow just two runs in their five innings of work and they propelled the team to a series sweep in Toronto. Andrew Wantz picked up the win in this one and Jaime Barria logged a hold. Both have taken advantage of their opportunities so far this year, but with their peripherals and with the Angels expected lack of chances over the next month, they’re not recommendable deep holds plays.
- The Blue Jays ended the 6th inning down just 3-1, but the pen allowed five runs over the final three frames to let the game slip away. Perhaps this was just some regression to the mean as the team had the second-best second-half bullpen ERA coming into this game, but the 24th best FIP. They saved their top three arms, though, so they should be able to send their A-team out there on Monday should the need arise.
COL 1 – NYM 0
- Daniel Bard earned his 27th save as he continues to defy both Coors and the Rockies poor record and provide elite fantasy production as a closer. He’s been among the most consistent relievers in baseball and has only one outing of allowing more than one earned run all year.
- More shakiness from Mychal Givens who has had a very rough start to his Mets career. He did get out of the inning without allowing a run, but he did give up a rocket of a double and didn’t strike anyone out yet again. He’s only struck out one of his past sixteen batters faced and carries an ERA over 9 as a Met. Don’t be surprised when they look to other options for key holds down the stretch until Givens turns it around.
BAL 1 – HOU 3
- While the O’s pitching put on a clinic in this weekend series, it was mostly the starting pitching that did most of the leg work. The bullpen was asked to record just 4.1 IPs across all three games plus they have a scheduled off day on Monday, so they will be at 100% for their next scheduled game on Tuesday.
- After Justin Verlander left with a calf injury after three innings, the Astros relievers had to step up and they did so combining to allow just one run across six innings to secure the win. Ryne Stanek was credited with the W while Rafael Montero picked up a dirty save where he allowed three hits and a run. Despite the shakiness here, Montero appears to be the preferred top option while Ryan Pressly recovers, although Héctor Neris may also pick up an occasional chance.
SDP 7 – KCR 15
- The Padres tried to get Josh Hader some low-leverage work and we saw another ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ blowup as he allowed six runs on five hits and recorded just one out. The problem is, this is the second ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ level blowup we’ve seen in the past six weeks with some other pretty large blowups in between. The Milwaukee blowups and the San Diego blowups feel markedly different to me. July was a historically bad month for Hader, but underlying numbers still told us Hader was fine. He recorded eighteen strikeouts to five walks and, while his FIP was 8.16, his xFIP which controls for home run rate was 3.55. Not great, especially by Josh Hader standards, but fine. It seemed like the five homers he gave up in the month, three of which from one game, were largely driving the crash and would likely normalize in time. August Hader is not getting beat by home runs. He’s allowed one in 35 batters faced. With all the issues he’s had, you’d think they’d be barreling him up left and right, but you’d be wrong. He’s yet to allow a barrel in August. It’s not homers here, but walks and singles. His strikeout rate has plummeted and his walk rate has ballooned. August Hader is beating himself and the batted ball gods are making it even worse. Maybe we’ll learn that it was all something simple like he was tipping his pitches, but he’s failing in many different ways, so I’m not sure if it’s something simple that gets fixed overnight. It may take until the offseason before he can really figure things out.
- Five holds were given out to Royals pitchers but their massive 8th inning meant they could give Scott Barlow a rest for the 9th. He came on when it was a 9-6 game in the top of the 8th, so a save would have been granted had he closed out the game, but the club opted to get him out of there instead. Because of this, Barlow should be good to go on Tuesday after the Royals’ scheduled day off.
SFG 3 – MIN 8
- Not much to talk about with the Giants bullpen today as they were behind for most of the game and gave many of their top arms a rest. We saw the season debut of Scott Alexander who came over from the Dodgers on a minor league deal. Jarlín García is still good. What’s new?
- Michael Fulmer and Jorge López took the 8th and 9th respectively despite the five-run cushion to close out the game. Lopez hasn’t been quite as dominant since becoming a Twin, but he looked the part on Sunday retiring the side in order on just eleven pitches.
ARI 3 – CWS 2
- Noé Ramirez delivered a clean bottom of the 8th to keep the game tied and ended up earning the win when the team pushed the go-ahead run across in the top of the 9th and Ian Kennedy shut things down for his ninth save. It wasn’t the cleanest outing from Kennedy as he had to work around a rocket of a double from Elvis Andrus and a walk, but his two swinging strikes came at opportune times to get out of the jam.
- Only one inning of relief was needed from the White Sox and it went to Kendall Graveman who, unfortunately, just didn’t have it in this one. He threw just six of sixteen pitches for strikes and gave up the run in the top of the 9th that would prove to be the game winner for the Diamondbacks. While he was saddled with his third loss, he’s generally lived up to expectations in Chicago and should continue to be a solid source of holds and ancillary saves.
CHC 7 – MIL 9
- The Cubs hoped Sean Newcomb would give them a couple innings and make up for their starter recording only ten outs, but instead Newcomb was walloped for six runs in his inning plus of work. In good news, Rowan Wick delivered a nice bounce back performance after getting similarly shelled the night before. Despite Brandon Hughes‘ blown save on Friday, he’s still the guy to target for saves in this pen.
- Devin Williams barely broke a sweat delivering three outs on eight pitches while facing just two batters. He entered the game with a runner on first and promptly recorded a strikeout and double play to slam the door shut. It was his third save of the month in four opportunities, but not all his outings have been so smooth since taking over as closer. He has three losses to his name this month and both home runs he’s allowed this year have come this month and have been game-winning home runs for his opponent. His underlying metrics tell us there is an elite closer buried in there, but his control issues might lead to some volatility from time to time keeping him out of the upper echelon of 9th inning weapons.
DET 9 – TEX 8
- Gregory Soto entered the game with a four-run cushion and nearly gave everything away as he retired just one of the five batters he faced, giving up three runs and three hits in the process. Joe Jiménez was called upon to save the day and he recorded his second save of the year. It was Soto’s second disastrous outing of the month, but even in clean outings something’s been a bit off. He has as many walks as strikeouts (7) in August and, despite technically going four-for-four in save chances, he’s struggled all month.
- The return of Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernández could give the Rangers the foundation of a solid bullpen in 2023 as both have come back from injury and provided valuable innings for the club. Leclerc has 20 strikeouts compared to three walks in August and Hernandez is three-for-three in save chances with a 2.45 ERA. Both should play key roles for the Rangers down the stretch and into 2023.
NYY 1 – OAK 4
- With all of their injuries, the Yankees are having to search deeper and deeper to get outs from the bullpen. Greg Weissert had a much improved encore after his debut earlier in the series ended in disaster. Luke Bard, freshly called up after being claimed off waivers from the Rays, also delivered a clean inning. Neither are expected to play big roles in the bullpen, but this is the state of the back of the bullpen now.
- Three holds and a save were handed out to Oakland relievers as the pitching staff continued to dominate the Yankees’ bats. A.J. Puk received his fourth save of the season striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning. Both Puk and Zach Jackson should each receive save chances down the stretch with Dany Jiménez confirmed out for the year.
CLE 0 – SEA 4
- Enyel De Los Santos got a couple more outs to continue his strong second half. He sports a 2.08 ERA in 13 IPs since the All-Star Game. Beyond that, not much to speak of in the Guardians bullpen today.
- Erik Swanson extended his most recent scoreless innings streak to 13.1 innings. When you’ve only allowed four earned runs all year in 44 appearances, you’re normally working on some kind of streak like that. Paul Sewald closed out the game, but did not receive a save due to the four-run margin.
ATL 3 – STL 6
- A.J. Minter allowed a pair of home runs and took his fourth loss and fourth blown save of the season. They were the first runs of any kind he had given up in the month of August and an error by Austin Riley made all but one of the four runs he allowed unearned, so Atlanta fans will simply have to forgive Minter for this rare transgression.
- Ryan Helsley came on as a fireman in the top of the seventh, but allowed a go-ahead three-run homer which earned him his fourth blown save of the season. As has happened so many times this year it seems, the Cardinals offense rallied behind him, though, and took the lead in the 8th. Giovanny Gallegos stepped on in the 9th and earned his thirteenth save despite some loud contact. Helsley’s ERA has risen above 1.00 for the first time all year, but he’s made up for that by recording four wins in the month of August already and nine overall. He and Gallegos have split saves equally this month and about the same should be expected for September.
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)