Reliever Ranks – 8/7

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

 

  • Four teams were in doubleheader action on Saturday (SEA/LAA, ATL/NYM), and none of them have Monday off.
  • More than half of the league has the day off on Monday (BOS, TB, CWS, CLE, COL, DET, HOU, KC, LAD, MIA, MIL, MIN, PHI, TB, TEX, STL).
  • All 30 teams will return to action on Tuesday, with the White Sox and Royals playing in a doubleheader.
  • 14 teams have this upcoming Thursday off, while the Cubs and Reds have Friday off as they return from a showdown in Dyersville, Iowa.

 

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

NYM 8 – ATL 5 (Game 1)

  • NYM: The Mets ran into a troubled ninth inning in this one, needing closer Edwin Díaz to enter and shut down a frame that began with a 8-2 Mets lead. Yoan López (1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R) was tasked with the ninth but departed after allowing four of his five batters faced to reach with a hit. New York first turned to Seth Lugo (1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R) and Adam Ottavino (1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R), each earning holds and carrying the six-run lead into the ninth. Díaz (2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) retired both batters he faced en route to his 25th save of the year.
  • ATL: Atlanta opened the doubleheader with 3 1/3 total relief innings, starting with Tyler Matzek (1 IP, 2 H, 2 R). Bryce Elder (2 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R) did not have a great showing either, but his seven total outs kept the Braves from using another reliever before Game 2.

 

NYM 6 – ATL 2 (Game 2)

  • NYM: The Mets used the Max Scherzer cheat code in the second bill of a doubleheader, needing just two relief innings to end the day 2-0. A six-run lead was handed over to Mychal Givens (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and Trevor May (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R), but they were unable to cap off a shutout. Any more damage could have forced a save situation for someone else.
  • ATL: Max Fried allowed just two earned runs (compared to four total) in his six-inning start, leaving two frames for Jackson Stephens (2 IP, 2 H, 2 R). Atlanta ended the doubleheader well beneath the bullpen workload one might expect.

 

SEA 2 – LAA 1 (Game 1)

  • SEA: The Mariners kickstarted their bullpen day with two holds; Matthew Festa (2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R) retired two of the three batters he faced, while Andrés Muñoz (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K) sat down all four he faced. It was then Erik Swanson earning his third save of the year (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R), while typical closer Paul Sewald did not pitch after taking a 12-pitch loss on Friday.
  • LAA: Here we find the old split-starter technique on doubleheader day. Mike Mayers (3 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R) carved in his time on the mound, serving as the only reliever used by the Angels in Game 1.

 

LAA 7 – SEA 1 (Game 2)

  • LAA: The good work by Mayers in Game 1 gave the Angels some breathing room after tapping heavy into their bullpen on Friday. A five-run lead at the seventh-inning stretch provided that breathing room, too. Ryan Tepera (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Oliver Ortega (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) showed well during some low-leverage work, capping off a doubleheader split.
  • SEA: Matt Brash (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) pitched a perfect seventh inning with his team trailing 5-1. It was then rookie Brennan Bernardino (2 IP, 2 H, 2 R/1 ER) on the mound for his second-career MLB appearance. Bernardino was recalled as the 27th Mariner for the doubleheader, helping preserve the existing Seattle bullpen in today’s series finale.

 

CHC 4 – MIA 0

  • CHC: One reliever was used in this one; Mark Leiter Jr. (2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) capped off the shutout and four-run victory. A 3-0 victory or two additional outs recorded by Leiter would have earned him a save.
  • MIA: Miami’s bullpen combined for three innings of one-hit work, but already trailing 4-0 meant lower-leverage action. Jeff Brigham (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Richard Bleier (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) kept the rest of the bullpen fresh, which was a huge asset after four top relievers (Anthony Benter, Steven Okert, Dylan Floro and Huascar Brazoban) all pitched on Friday.

 

BAL 6 – PIT 3

  • BAL: Baltimore had themselves three holds in this interleague matchup. Keegan Akin (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R), Joey Krehbiel (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Nick Vespi (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) combined for those holds while sitting down nine of 11 batters faced. Dillon Tate recorded the final two outs in dominant fashion (2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R), but without pitching a full inning, he did not record a save.
  • PIT: Pittsburgh needed four innings out of their bullpen and it opened with a rocky appearance. Eric Stout (1 IP, 2 H, 2 R) entered with a 3-2 deficit and left it 5-2. Setup man Duane Underwood Jr. (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) made his first appearance after throwing 23 pitches on Thursday, but a hit and walk was not ideal for his momentum. Chase De Jong (2 IP, 0 H, 1 R) was later tasked with the final two frames, walking three.

 

PHI 11 – WAS 5

12 total pitchers touched the mound on this one. Here we go:

  • PHI: Philadelphia opted for the standard one-inning route with Andrew Bellatti (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R), José Alvarado (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Corey Knebel (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R), polishing off the final nine outs despite some minor jams. Nick Nelson (2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R) didn’t help starter Ranger Suárez’s cause with inherited runners, however. A six-run victory helped the Phillies bullpen breathe easier, but three runners against Knebel wasn’t ideal as they looked to close it out.
  • WAS: Washington also opted for the one-inning train with Steve Cishek (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R), Hunter Harvey (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R), Carl Edwards Jr. 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R), Kyle Finnegan (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Andres Machado (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R). Harvey danced around some hits and Edwards was burned with two hits and two walks, but the Nationals bullpen after the third innings was otherwise dominant. A 2/3-inning start by Patrick Corbin meant the Nationals needed to push Jordan Weems into long relief (2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R), and with nine runs allowed in those first three frames, there wasn’t much for Nationals fans to be excited about.

 

CLE 4 – HOU 1

  • CLE: The Guardians threw the gauntlet of Trevor Stephan (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R), James Karinchak (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Emmanuel Clase (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) at the Astros and it was a relatively quick showing. Clase had not pitched since Monday and did not earn the save; despite a three-run victory, he allowed one run in the ninth.Stephan and Karinchak had two strikeouts a piece, and neither had thrown since Wednesday. Eli Morgan will likely be a hold candidate for Sunday, should the Guardians find themselves leading again.
  • HOU: Phil Maton (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Will Smith (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) shut down some Cleveland bats but not before Houston starter Luis Garcia allowed all four of Cleveland’s runs in the first two innings. Garcia settled in for six total innings of work, helping to preserve the bullpen far more than the early struggle may have suggested.

 

DET 9 – TB 1

  • DET: Detroit carved through the Tampa Bay lineup with 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief work. Alex Lange (1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Andrew Chafin (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) earned holds before Detroit posted a five spot in the seventh. Joe Jiménez (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K) and Luis Castillo (not Seattle’s Castillo; 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) closed out the final six outs, not recording holds but keeping the rest of the Detroit Bullpen rested. Closer Gregory Soto threw 16 pitches on Friday and should be available today without restriction.
  • TB: The Rays saw 6 1/3 innings from Shane McClanahan; he allowed two runs in his first six, but his work in the seventh tabbed two extra runs to his name – and three total runs to Jimmy Yacabonis (2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R) as he looked to clean up the jam. Yu Chang (1 IP, 3 H, 2 R) tossed the ninth in struggling fashion. Tampa Bay used plenty of top relievers on Friday, so the lower-leverage action on Saturday allowed them to rest up at least.

 

TEX 8 – CWS 0

  • TEX: Rangers starter Dane Dunning left just six outs to the Texas bullpen, and all were thrown by Taylor Hearn (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R). This team has a bullpen in outstanding shape for the series finale against the White Sox today.
  • CWS: After burning through Liam Hendriks, Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly on Friday, the White Sox threw a less-regarded core of José Ruiz (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R), Matt Foster (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Tanner Banks (2 P, 1 H, 4 R/2 ER) on Saturday. Banks saw his ERA jump to a 3.16, while Ruiz and Foster pushed theirs lower in the fours.

 

SF 7 – OAK 3

  • SF: A team of middle relievers closed out the Giants’ showing; one fewer run scored and it could have easily been the bullpen A-list. Tyler Rogers (2/3 IP, 1 H, o R) and Yunior Marte (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) recorded outs on six of seven batters faced, while Jarlín García (2 IP, 3 H, 2 R) tossed a slightly-less-comforting eighth and ninth. Despite two runs scored by Oakland in the bottom of the ninth, the Giants were able to escape without any more relievers needed.
  • OAK: As the A’s continue to adapt to live without Lou Trivino, it was Kirby Snead tasked with the early stages of relief on Saturday night. Snead’s tough showing (2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 HR) gave way to Austin Pruitt (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Sam Selman (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R), each dancing around a walk. Oakland now has Zach Jackson, A.J. Puk and Dany Jiménez ready to roll after two games of rest.

 

KC 5 – BOS 4

  • KC: The Royals’ exceptional relief work paved the way for a ninth-inning walk-off. Taylor Clarke (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) opened the relief tab with two strikeouts, while closer Scott Barlow (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) pitched a scoreless eighth in otherwise non-closer fashion. Dylan Coleman (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) was the pitcher of record in the ninth.
  • BOS: Six innings by Nathan Eovaldi left 2 2/3 innings for Garrett Whitlock (1 H, 1 R). His day ended abruptly after a walk-off homer by Nick Pratto, but Whitlock otherwise held the Royals scoreless over his first eight batters.

 

MIN 7 – TOR 3

Hold on for this one, too: 13 total pitchers were used.

  • MIN: The Twins put together a team of six relievers for this one, combining to allow one run on two hits over five innings. Caleb Thielbar (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) recorded the most outs of the crew, while pretty much every reliever that pitched on Friday also pitched on Saturday. Closer Jorge López (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) tossed in a non-save situation, one day removed from throwing 30 (!) pitches in a blown save. Four total relievers for the Twins have now thrown on back-to-back days, so expect to see some intense managing situations unfold today if any saves or holds are in question.
  • TOR: Toronto rolled out six pitchers of their own; closer Jordan Roman was almost the only active reliever to not throw on Saturday. Zach Pop (1 IP, 0 R, 0 H) was the only Blue Jays reliever to record more than two outs. Some tough showings by Tim Mayza (2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R) and David Phelps (2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R) pushed the Twins ahead just enough to keep a save off the board; Mayza is reportedly headed to the injured list today; the Blue Jays bullpen is even more limited after heavy use on Friday and Saturday.

 

STL 1 – NYY 0

  • STL: An extreme capacity crowd gathered at Busch Stadium on Saturday and watched a team of three relievers shut the door against a legit Yankees offense. Jordan Hicks (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Génesis Cabrera (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) each posted a hold, followed by Giovanny Gallegos (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) collecting his 11th save of the year. Closer Ryan Helsley was unavailable after pitching in each of the past two days, but he could be active for the series finale against New York today.
  • NYY: The Yankees were likely hesitant with Clay Holmes and Scott Effross on Saturday, each having thrown 20 or more pitches on Friday. Neither were needed in Saturday’s contest, and with dominant showings by Ron Marinaccio (2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and recent pickup Lou Trivino (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R), the Yankees were able to preserve the rest of their bullpen. Aroldis Chapman (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) polished off the eighth inning of this one, lowering his ERA to a 4.62.

 

CIN 7 – MIL 5

  • CIN: No saves in this one, despite a score that may suggest it. Hunter Strickland (1 IP, 2 H, 2 R) allowed a late Milwaukee comeback but was able to finish, while nearly every other Cincinnati reliever carved. Buck Farmer (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R), Reiver Sanmartin (1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R), Joel Kuhnel (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and Alexis Díaz (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) bridged from the late fifth through the eighth inning; Farmer earned a win, while Sanmartin, Kuhnel and Díaz earned holds.
  • MIL: All three relievers that the Brewers used on Saturday allowed a run, which proved to be decisive in a two-run contest. Hoby Milner (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R) fared slightly better than Jake McGee (1 IP, 3 H, 1 R), and two innings by Brent Suter (1 H, 1 R) featured two walks that could have proved dangerous. Closer Devin Williams had thrown in three consecutive games entering Saturday, so he could easily be down again today with Taylor Rogers filling in as an emergency closer.

 

COL 3 – ARI 2

  • COL: Starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela made his way through seven innings in this one, spacing nine hits and allowing two runs. Carlos Estévez (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) posted a dominant showing, bridging to closer Daniel Bard for his 23rd save of the year. Bard touched triple digits
  • ARI: As the affects of Torey Louvullo’s closer committee become reality, the Diamondbacks are forced to strategize around once-closer Mark Melancon not pitching for the fifth day in a row. All-Star Joe Mantiply carved his way through the eighth, while Kennedy had a home run burn him in

 

LAD 8 – SD 3

  • LAD: Six unanswered runs kept the Dodgers ahead of the Padres on Saturday, and it kept the L.A. bullpen in a rather comfortable spot. Chris Martin (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) earned the win with starter Andrew Heaney one out shy of qualifying. Alex Vesia (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R) picked up a hold, while Evan Phillips (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Reyes Moronta (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R) tossed the final six outs. Craig Kimbrel and Yency Almonte could be top candidates on Sunday for a Dodgers sweep; Almonte hasn’t thrown since Wednesday, while Kimbrel could be rested after back-to-back appearances on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • SD: The Dodger Stadium woes have continued for the Padres, but a whole bunch of unearned runs on Nabil Crismatt (1 IP, 1 H, 2 R/0 ER) pushed San Diego further out of contention.Robert Suarez (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) made his first appearance back from injury and appears to be settling in even more, while Adrian Morejon (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R) likely having a tough show.

 

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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