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Reliever Ranks – 8/3

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

 

  • It was trade deadline day, and boy, was it eventful. The bullpen ramifications were chart-breaking, and that doesn’t even include the blockbuster Juan Soto deal.
  • All 30 teams were in action after the dust settled, but the Rockies and Padres participated in the first half of a doubleheader while the action was occurring. All 15 teams will take the field on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

  • The Miami Marlins traded both Anthony Bass and Zach Pop to the Toronto Blue Jays. Bass becomes one of the better holds options in Toronto. Pop won’t make the chart, but he has a lot of potential and could be someone to watch for as a second-half breakout.
  • Anthony Bender was removed from the 60-day IL by the Marlins as well. He had missed the past two-and-a-half months with back stiffness. He could give Tanner Scott a run for his money because he was the closer prior to the injury, but for now, he’ll be placed as the top setup man in Miami, replacing the departed Anthony Bass.

 

  • The Kansas City Royals demoted Jose Cuas to Triple-A even though he had been one of their top holds options. Amir Garrett will be appointed a spot on the chart as the member of the bullpen with the most holds that wasn’t yet charted.
  • Tommy Milone was released by the Seattle Mariners. He was the bulk reliever on the chart, so he will need to be replaced. His replacement will be a former starter, Matt Brash.

 

  • The Oakland Athletics activated Dany Jiménez from the 15-day IL. The right-hander had been absent for a month-and-a-half with a right shoulder strain and will rejoin the Oakland bullpen with a shot at reclaiming the closer role he had prior to his injury. He will have to fight A.J. Puk and Zach Jackson for the role and will likely be eased into action, but for now, he is a member of a three-man committee until further notice.
  • Luis Cessa was removed from the 15-day IL by the Cincinnati Reds after being out with a strained left side. He will be slotted back in as a holds option for Cincinnati, replacing Joel Kuhnel.

 

  • The Tampa Bay Rays will turn to Jalen Beeks to start their game today against the Blue Jays. He tossed just 19 pitches in his last appearance and will need some help from the rest of the pen to get the job done.
  • Tommy Henry is set to make his Major League debut for the Diamondbacks in Cleveland. He may need some multi-inning help from Taylor Widener in this one, as rookie pitchers don’t usually fair too well in their first appearance on the big stage.

 

  • Tyler Alexander has transitioned from reliever to starter but has yet to surpass four frames. He may need some help from Derek Law and the rest of the pen to get through his start in Minnesota.
  • Freddy Peralta is set to make his return from the IL for the Brewers in Pittsburgh. He tossed fewer than 60 pitches in his final rehab start and likely doesn’t make it past the fifth, leaving a vulture win opportunity open for the newly acquired Dinelson Lamet. On the other side, Tyler Beede is scheduled to start for the Pirates. He hasn’t tossed more than three innings all season, leaving Chase De Jong as a likely vulture win candidate.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

COL 5 – SDP 13 (Game 1)

  • I will attempt to keep these blurbs brief as the trade deadline news already makes this article extremely lengthy. The Rockies got blown up and attempted to salvage the game, tossing Jake Bird, Robert Stephenson, and Ty Blach. All three of them surrendered multiple runs in a disaster of a game.
  • It was easy work for the Padres bullpen with the massive lead, allowing them to rest up for the nightcap. Nabil Crismatt allowed a couple of runs, but Tim Hill and Michel Baez were unscored upon.

 

COL 2 – SDP 3 (Game 2)

  • It was another loss for Colorado, but at least it was close this time. Austin Gomber ate some innings after the starter’s departure, going 2.2 frames before handing the ball over to Lucas Gilbreath. The lefty struck out three of the four batters he faced before giving Alex Colomé the ball for the ninth. The veteran promptly lost the game, giving up a walk-off homer to Trent Grisham. It was his fourth loss of the season.
  • The Padres got only 3.2 innings from their starter in game two, so it was good that they rested the bullpen in the previous game. The first three arms were lights out, as Steven Wilson, Tayler Scott, and Adrian Morejon combined for 4.1 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed. In his first game for the Friars, Josh Hader pitched a perfect frame and was credited with his second win after the walk-off. He needed just 15 pitches and will be good to go again today.

 

CIN 2 – MIA 1

  • A stellar outing from their starter set the Reds up for a two-out save. Alexis Díaz locked down those two outs for his fourth save and that was all that was needed from the bullpen. Tossing only six pitches, Díaz is without a doubt still an option for today.
  • The Marlins did their best, but the offense couldn’t cut it. The relief corps, featuring Huascar Brazoban, Anthony Bender, and Tanner Scott, was perfect across 3.1 frames, combining for four strikeouts. Scott used only 10 pitches, so he won’t be held out of a save chance today.

 

NYM 1 – WSN 5

  • The Mets’ offense must have a good memory because they recalled that they’re supposed to go silent when Jacob deGrom is on the mound. Their lack of impact forced the team to turn to low-leverage arms in the defeat. Stephen Nogosek took home his third loss after surrendering a pair of homers in a tie game after deGrom’s departure. Yoan López also gave up a dinger, but Tommy Hunter was able to quiet things down with a scoreless frame.
  • Capitalizing on the lack of offense produced by a playoff-bound team, the Nationals called upon their top arms. Víctor Arano was first, and he pitched before the big lead change, so the home run he gave up led to his first blown save. On the bright side, he was credited with his first win as well once the offense took the lead. Erasmo Ramírez and Kyle Finnegan pitched next, earning their second and 13th holds respectively. It was weird to see the expected closer, Finnegan, utilized in the seventh and eighth, so this could be a hint of an impending committee or of the man used in the ninth gaining favor. Carl Edwards Jr. pitched in the ninth without allowing a run, and the fact he wasn’t dealt at the deadline could be a sign of how the Nationals feel about him.

 

SEA 8 – NYY 6

  • A parade of relievers did their best to make up for the not-so-great start that preceded them. It began with Penn Murfee finishing off the sixth and earning his second win. From there, Paul Sewald, Erik Swanson, and Matt Brash pitched the next two frames flawlessly, earning their sixth, eighth, and second holds respectively. It was odd to see the closer, Sewald, used in the seventh frame, so just like in Washington, this could be a bullpen that is nearing a committee approach. The Mariners may be the Rays of the West. With Sewald pitching earlier, Andrés Muñoz was called upon to close out the ninth. He did so, but not before loading the bases, as he recorded all three of his outs via the strikeout to earn his second save. He also threw all five of the day’s fastest pitches, topping out at 102.6 mph. Sewald threw 12 pitches and could be the preferred closer of Muñoz today.
  • Testing out some of their new toys, the Yankees couldn’t come away victorious. Lucas Luetge took the loss after surrendering a home run to Sam Haggerty. Scott Effross followed, making his Yankee debut. The next reliever, Albert Abreu gave up another run before Lou Trivino made his own debut in the Bronx. After being stung by so many injuries, the success of these additions will be key.

 

MIL 3 – PIT 5

  • In their first Hader-less game in years, the Brewers didn’t have a chance to show us who their ninth-inning arm would be. Instead, Brad Boxberger, Jake McGee, and Hoby Milner pitched in the loss. Boxberger surrendered an unearned run while the other two were flawless. Milner even struck out all three of the batters he faced, dropping his ERA to 2.93 (40 IP).
  • With all of the run-scoring damage coming in an eventful sixth frame, all of the bullpen work for Pittsburgh was scoreless and came after that inning. Colin Holderman earned his fifth win in his first appearance with the Pirates since being acquired as the return for Daniel Vogelbach. Manny Bañuelos and Yerry De Los Santos followed with their third and second holds respectively. Finally, with David Bednar nursing a back injury, Wil Crowe was called upon for the save. He earned it, allowing one hit, but striking out all of the other batters he faced for his third save. Let’s hope Bednar’s injury isn’t too serious, because he’s been a rock for countless fantasy managers.

 

ARI 6 – CLE 3

  • An aesthetic box score defined the Arizona bullpen’s efforts on Tuesday. Not only were they perfect, but they also recorded one, two, and three strikeouts consecutively. Kyle Nelson nabbed his seventh hold, striking out one. All-Star Joe Mantiply (yes, I will be referring to him by this title through the end of time) locked down his 13th hold, fanning two. Ian Kennedy, filling in for Mark Melancon who had earned the loss in the previous two games, secured his fifth save, whiffing three. Melancon could be back today, but it’s worth watching if the Diamondbacks are done letting him blow leads.
  • The Guardians only needed to cover three frames with their arm barn. Those three frames were pitched by just two relievers. The two relievers were Enyel De Los Santos and Nick Sandlin. De Los Santos tossed an inning and gave up a home run, while Sandlin was unscored upon across his pair of frames.

 

TOR 3 – TBR 1

  • Eight innings from their starter left just the final frame for the closer. The Blue Jays ordered the usual: a Jordan Romano save. It was surely interesting, as he gave up a long ball, but he calmed down and secured his 25th save of the season. He tossed just nine pitches but has thrown in four of the past six days, so don’t count out a rest day, especially with their new deadline acquisitions in tow.
  • As a result of the closer game, the Rays still called upon their top arms. Brooks Raley and Jason Adam pitched perfect innings before Shawn Armstrong allowed two runs in the top of the ninth. It’s one of the murkiest committees, so whoever didn’t pitch yesterday is likely in line to be considered for a save today.

 

PHI 1 – ATL 13

  • Oof. Not the best post-deadline showing, but I guess this proves the need for their big additions. With bulk reliever Nick Nelson starting the game and giving up two earned across just a pair of frames, the bullpen had its work cut out for them. It’s actually easier to name the relievers that didn’t give up a run than the ones that did because only Connor Brogdon was able to lower his ERA. Andrew Bellatti, Corey Knebel, Mark Appel, and Francisco Morales all surrendered runs, with Knebel and Morales allowing a combined nine runs between the two of them.
  • With the massive lead, there was no reason for the Braves to waste expensive bullets. Tyler Matzek finished off the starter’s seventh, while Jackson Stephens finished off Matzek’s eighth and pitched the ninth. They now have one of the most loaded bullpens I have ever seen.

 

DET 5 – MIN 3

  • You couldn’t have asked for much better bullpen work from the Tigers. They were unscored upon across four frames, surrendering just two hits in the process. Jason Foley earned his first win in the sixth, Andrew Chafin grabbed his 13th hold in the seventh, and Joe Jiménez snatched his seventh hold in the eighth. Two-time All-Star Gregory Soto shut things down with a perfect ninth for his 20th save. He has now pitched on back-to-back days, throwing 43 pitches in that time, and likely cedes ninth inning duties to Chafin or Alex Lange today.
  • Their new toys hadn’t arrived in the mail yet, so the Twins were forced to turn to their broken ones, resulting in a loss. Jovani Moran finished off the starter’s fifth and Emilio Pagán was credited with his seventh hold in the sixth. Neither allowed a run. However, in the sixth, Griffin Jax imploded, allowing three runs and blowing his fourth save. He was tagged with his third loss as well. Trevor Megill finished off the frame, but the damage was done. Tyler Duffey and Joe Smith pitched the final two innings flawlessly, but it was too late to salvage the game.

 

CHC 0 – STL 6

  • Without any familiar bullpen names, you’re bound to learn something new from reading the Cubs section of the Reliever Ranks every day for the next couple of weeks. Today, you can learn about Michael Rucker and Anderson Espinoza. Rucker is a 28-year-old right-hander that has been in the Cubs organization since 2016. He owns a 4.97 ERA (25.1 IP) in the Majors, but a more impressive 1.17 ERA (15.1 IP) at Triple-A this season. Espinoza is a former top prospect that was part of a couple of high-profile trades. His stock has fallen, but the potential is still there.
  • In the only shutout of the day, the Cardinals turned to a flamethrower and their newly acquired bullpen piece to finish off the game. Jordan Hicks pitched the eighth while Chris Stratton covered the ninth. Both were perfect.

 

BAL 8 – TEX 2

  • A smooth win for the Orioles made it easy on their relief arms. Dillon Tate finished off the starter’s seventh while Nick Vespi attempted to close out the final two innings of the game. He allowed two runs in the ninth, with the second coming on a home run that knocked him from the game in favor of impending closer Félix Bautista. He threw just three pitches to close it out, so he’ll have a shot at his first save as the sole closer today.
  • The first two Rangers relievers each pitched a pair of innings without event. Josh Sborz and Taylor Hearn were those two arms, as they both lowered their ERAs (though both their marks still stand above 5.30). Dennis Santana continued his slide, allowing two runs on a Jorge Mateo dinger in the ninth.

 

BOS 2 – HOU 1

  • A close affair afforded Boston the opportunity to record some decisions. Hirokazu Sawamura pitched a scoreless seventh for his second hold and Austin Davis began the ninth but recorded just one out and put two men on. Alex Cora got cold feet and turned to Tanner Houck to close things out for the second night in a row. He got the job done, getting Davis his third hold and earning himself his eighth save. Houck has now gone back-to-back nights, which likely means that Garrett Whitlock gets any save chance today.
  • The Astros tried to keep it close with Bryan Abreu, Héctor Neris, and Rafael Montero, but it wasn’t enough as the offense struggled. Those top arms have been lights out all year, and the Astros are sitting pretty in the AL West.

 

KCR 2 – CHW 9

  • When your starter gives up eight runs, there usually isn’t much room for high-leverage work. Amir Garrett gave up a home run to make it nine runs surrendered, so Josh Staumont’s inning of work was mostly just maintenance.
  • The White Sox got to see what their trade deadline acquisition, Jake Diekman, could do, as he tossed a perfect sixth with two punchouts for his 13th hold. With the large lead, no more holds were given out, but he was followed by Joe Kelly, Matt Foster, and Tanner Banks, as all of them kept the opponent off the board.

 

OAK 1 – LAA 3

  • Only two frames were left for the bullpen to cover, and even if they had blown up, it wouldn’t really have mattered. Regardless, the two arms did their job, as Kirby Snead and Austin Pruitt held the Angels scoreless across the last six outs.
  • In a rare second-half victory, the Angels turned to Andrew Wantz and Jimmy Herget for the first three frames of relief work. Each of them earned their second hold. In the team’s first game without Raisel Iglesias, José Quijada notched the save, his second, despite everyone believing Ryan Tepera was first in line. Hopefully today, we’ll garner more clarity as we see who closes out the ballgame in the next save chance.

 

LAD 9 – SFG 5

  • Not that the Dodgers really needed it with their offense putting up nine runs, but the arm barn permitted just one hit across five scoreless frames. Evan Phillips and Alex Vesia worked the sixth and seventh, earning their 13th and 11th holds respectively. With a larger lead, the newly acquired lead singer of Coldplay (wait, that doesn’t seem right) Chris Martin pitched the eighth. To finish the game and the day off, David Price tossed a perfect ninth.
  • The Giants bullpen was not nearly as successful. John Brebbia started things off right by closing out the starter’s sixth, but Tyler Rogers allowed two runs to score across 1.2 frames and the newly recalled Alex Young gave up another in his 1.1 innings of work. Somehow, the Giants won 107 games last year.

 

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.

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