Reliever Ranks – 9/14

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 were in action on Tuesday as 17 games were played because the Pirates and Reds as well as the Rays and Jays participated in doubleheaders.
  • Every team has a game scheduled for Wednesday.

 

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

PIT 6 – CIN 1 (Game 1)

  • In order to preserve the bullpen for game two, Pittsburgh turned to Zach Thompson for eight outs after the fifth inning. He only allowed one earned run along the way, setting up Manny Bañuelos for four flawless outs to secure the victory.
  • The Reds had a similar strategy, deploying Kyle Dowdy for seven scoreless outs before calling upon Hunter Strickland for the final three. The latter allowed a run to score but made up for it by striking out two batters.

 

PIT 1 – CIN 0 (Game 2)

  • In a tightly fought pitcher’s duel, the Pittsburgh pen came out on top thanks to a hitless effort. Chase De Jong, Yohan Ramirez, and Duane Underwood Jr. combined for 3.1 hitless innings despite combining for just two Ks. De Jong was awarded his fifth win, Ramirez his second hold, and Underwood Jr. his first career save.
  • A bullpen game ensued for Cincinnati as five different relievers appeared. Fernando Cruz went untouched for the first five outs as the opener, and Reiver Sanmartin kept the Pirates out of the hit column for the next seven outs. Unfortunately, Raynel Espinal couldn’t keep the magic working, allowing a run across seven outs while taking his first loss. Ian Gibaut and Alexis Díaz were similarly lights out across the final eight outs but the offense couldn’t pull through. Díaz tossed 12 pitches and will be available again today.

 

TBR 4 – TOR 2 (Game 1)

  • After Shawn Armstrong surrendered two earned runs across five outs, he needed help from Pete Fairbanks to close out the game. Fairbanks finished Armstrong’s eighth then went out and closed out the ninth for his seventh save, tossing the fourth-fastest pitch of the day (a 100.8 mph four-seamer). His 30 pitches on the day might force manager Kevin Cash to lean towards using Jason Adam in the ninth today instead.
  • Going with the opener strategy, the Blue Jays failed from the get-go. Julian Merryweather was tagged with his third loss after permitting just one earned run in his lone inning of work. He was followed by six innings from Mitch White, during which the righty allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out two, inducing eight whiffs and a 23% CSW in the process. David Phelps pitched the final two innings perfectly.

 

TBR 2 – TOR 7 (Game 2)

  • In game two, the Tampa Bay bullpen wasn’t nearly as successful. Garrett Cleavinger, Colin Poche, and Kevin Herget each surrendered at least one run, while Jalen Beeks was the only arm untouched besides the starter. Poche got it the worst, allowing four runs and taking his second loss and sixth blown save. Herget allowed two runs when the game was already out of reach while Beeks was saddled with his fourth blown save after allowing an inherited runner from Cleavinger to cross home.
  • Preserving a lead was easy money for the Jays in the second game of the twin billing. Earning his fourth win after completing the starter’s seventh, Anthony Bass recorded just one out. Adam Cimber and Jordan Romano combined to eat the eighth inning, earning their 16th and second holds respectively. With a five-run lead, Zach Pop closed out a hitless ninth. Romano tossed just three pitches, and despite pitching on consecutive days, is likely available considering he combined for just 14 pitches in the two outings.

 

LAA 1 – CLE 3

  • Rarely do the Angles produce solid pitching performances, but they let this one go to waste. After the starter pitched into the sixth, Zack Weiss recorded five outs without giving up a hit. José Quijada kept the hitless streak rolling through the eighth, but the offense couldn’t mount a comeback.
  • With the starter unable to complete the fourth, Kirk McCarty had to make up for the lost time by covering 10 outs. He was rewarded with his third win. James Karinchak set up the closer with a perfect eighth to nab his seventh hold. Closing out the ninth, Emmanuel Clase secured his Major League-leading 35th save while tossing the fifth-fastest pitch on Tuesday (a 100.7 mph cutter). He has thrown 31 pitches across the past two days, but don’t count him out for today, as he has often pitched on three consecutive days throughout the season.

 

HOU 6 – DET 3

  • A hiccup by Héctor Neris in the seventh didn’t stop the Astros from pulling out a victory. Rafael Montero pitched a perfect eighth to notch his 20th hold before Ryan Pressly struck out the side in order in the ninth for his 27th save. 13 pitches left Pressly’s hand, leaving him available for more action today.
  • The Tigers weren’t as fortunate. The starter set them back from the beginning and a two-run seventh at the hands of Andrew Chafin certainly didn’t help. Alex Lange, José Cisnero, and Daniel Norris were unscored upon in their outings.

 

PHI 2 – MIA 1

  • Nobody’s perfect…except for the Phillies pen on Tuesday. It was a trifecta of shutdown performances that led the Phillies to a win. José Alvarado earned his 18th hold for his perfect seventh while Seranthony Domínguez did the same in the eighth to record his 15th hold. The former unleashed a 100.8 mph sinker, the third-fastest pitch of the day. In the ninth, David Robertson was flawless on his way to securing his 20th save. None of them exceeded 14 pitches and will be good to go again today.
  • It was another tough-luck loss for the Marlins’ starter and the case was no different for the arm barn. Both Tommy Nance and Cole Sulser were perfect but it didn’t matter in the long run.

 

BAL 4 – WSN 3

  • Shutdown bullpens were the theme of Tuesday’s slate. That was evidenced by another elite performance from the Baltimore bullpen. Only one baserunner reached against the relief corps across four innings of work. Dillon Tate covered four perfect innings for his 15th hold before Cionel Pérez one-upped him with five flawless outs to notch his 24th hold. Up by one in the ninth, Félix Bautista worked around a walk to secure his 13th save. He fired 15 bullets, one of which was clocked at 101.3 mph (the fastest pitch of the day), but he will be ready for more action today.
  • The Nationals needed a lot of bullpen help after the starter pitched just three frames. Hunter Harvey started it off by recording his first loss after serving up two runs across four outs. Notably, he fired the second-fastest pitch of the day, a 100.8 mph four-seamer. The following 4.2 frames were pitched scorelessly by Andres Machado, Jordan Weems, Steve Cishek, Mason Thompson, and Carl Edwards Jr.

 

CHC 4 – NYM 1

  • It took a solid pitching performance to beat the Mets on deGrom day, but they pulled it off. The bullpen covered just three innings and surrendered the only run (a Pete Alonso dinger), but they secured the victory. Brandon Hughes allowed that lone run across five outs after Michael Rucker tossed four scoreless outs. The former has now used 52 pitches across the past two days and will most definitely receive Wednesday off.
  • You might as well call it a blowout when Jacob deGrom surrenders three earned runs. Seth Lugo served up a homer to David Bote to basically put the game out of reach. Adam Ottavino and Edwin Diaz were untouched across the final two frames, with the latter recording all three of his outs via the strikeout. His 18 pitches won’t limit him on Wednesday.

 

NYY 7 – BOS 6

  • The game’s most bitter rivalry was not only closely fought, but it also went to extras and featured loads of bullpen usage. Lucas Luetge and Lou Trivino combined for a scoreless seventh before Jonathan Loáisiga did the same in the eighth. Clay Holmes pushed the scoreless work through regulation, but after hitting a batter and striking out the next to begin the 10th, was replaced by Wandy Peralta. The lefty proceeded to not only allow the zombie runner to score but also allowed the inherited runner to score. He eventually settled down to secure his fourth save, netting Holmes his sixth win. Holmes fired 16 bullets and should be good to go today.
  • On the opposite side, Ryan Brasier finished the starter’s sixth before John Schreiber set up with a perfect seventh to record his 20th hold. Garrett Whitlock came aboard in the eighth, serving up Aaron Judge‘s 57th long ball to blow his second save. The ninth was pitched flawlessly by Matt Barnes, but Jeurys Familia was unable to do the same in free baseball. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) and was saddled with his third loss. None of the arms that appeared before Familia exceeded 15 pitches, so they are all in line for a save today.

 

KCR 3 – MIN 6

  • With the starter surrendering five runs, there wasn’t much the arm barn could do. Anthony Misiewicz served up a solo shot to Gio Urshela in the sixth and Brad Keller tossed two hitless innings. Since moving to the bullpen full-time in the middle of August, Keller owns a 7.50 ERA (12 IP).
  • The Twins attempted to keep a no-hitter going after the starter exited with more than 100 pitches following seven no-hit frames, but it didn’t work out how they envisioned. Jovani Moran permitted three runs across two innings, but he was able to secure the victory nonetheless.

 

MIL 8 – STL 4

  • Deploying a bullpen game went according to plan for the Brewers. Matt Bush opened, allowing two runs before getting pulled without completing the first. Peter Strzelecki closed out the inning but not before surrendering another run. It would seem like a disaster beginning, but Luis Perdomo turned things around with three innings of one-run ball to earn his second win after blowing his first save. Brad Boxberger and Hoby Milner followed with hitless frames, earning their 27th and 10th holds respectively. Milner kept going, combining to pitch the seventh with Justin Topa who was awarded his first hold. The final two frames were pitched flawlessly by Taylor Rogers and Brent Suter.
  • Little of the St. Louis relief work was consequential after the starter permitted six runs. Chris Stratton combined to pitch the sixth with Packy Naughton, as the former surrendered a run. Naughton went on to toss a clean seventh before Zack Thompson gave up a run in an eighth in which he shared with Jake Woodford. The latter also pitched a scoreless ninth.

 

OAK 7 – TEX 8

  • In the highest-scoring game of the day, the A’s were unable to quiet the Rangers’ bats. Austin Pruitt blew his second save after serving up a two-run bomb to Mark Mathias, while A.J. Puk was untouchable across two frames. It was a nice bounceback after a terrible performance in his last outing. Joel Payamps, however, was the losing pitcher of record after giving up a second homer to Mathias, this one of the walk-off variety. It was the reliever’s fifth loss of the season. Puk tossed 26 pitches and could be in danger of missing out on a save opportunity today because of it.
  • The Rangers’ arm barn covered five innings but it only took two arms to do so. Taylor Hearn pitched a trio of innings without allowing a run. Brock Burke also kept his magical season going, pitching two perfect frames with three strikeouts to earn his seventh win. Nobody with at least 65 innings pitched has a lower ERA than Burke’s 1.47 mark (73.2 IP).

 

COL 2 – CHW 4

  • Just one reliever pitched for the Rockies. His name was Justin Lawrence and he covered five outs, serving up a José Abreu dinger in the process.
  • No runs and lots of decisions were on the menu for the White Sox bullpen. Holds went to Jimmy Lambert (sixth hold), Reynaldo López (eighth hold), and Kendall Graveman (24th hold) as they pitched an inning apiece to set up the closer. Liam Hendriks pitched a perfect ninth to secure his 33rd save of the season. He needed just nine pitches to do so and will be called upon again today in the same situation.

 

LAD 4 – ARI 0

  • No one was touching the Dodgers’ pitching staff on Tuesday. They allowed only three hits the entire game while shutting out the Diamondbacks. Caleb Ferguson contributed a scoreless eighth while Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth. It’s worth mentioning that Kimbrel is on a 9.1-inning scoreless streak. He will be available today should a save chance arise after tossing just 12 pitches on Tuesday.
  • It really didn’t matter what the Diamondbacks’ relief corps did because the offense didn’t fulfill their end of the bargain. Either way, Taylor Widener covered two innings while serving up a solo shot to Max Muncy. The final two frames were goose eggs, as both Keynan Middleton and Mark Melancon were unscored upon.

 

SDP 2 – SEA 0

  • After the starter completed eight shutout innings, Josh Hader was the only arm needed out of the San Diego pen. He tossed a scoreless inning during which he recorded all three of his outs by way of the punchout to earn his 32nd save. That makes back-to-back outings in which the lefty has struck out multiple batters without surrendering a run. His 24 pitches might be enough to hold him out of action today as the Padres look to keep him fresh for the playoffs.
  • As usual, the Seattle bullpen was untouchable, but the offense couldn’t match their intensity. Erik Swanson, Matt Festa, Matt Brash, and Paul Sewald were at their best across the game’s final four frames. Sewald allowed the only run, and it was of the unearned variety. His 15 pitches won’t keep him off the mound today.

 

ATL 5 – SFG 1

  • Who needs more than 16 outs from your starter when your bullpen is equally as effective? Not the Braves. A.J. Minter covered three outs for his 28th hold, Collin McHugh recorded two outs for his 12th hold, and Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect eighth for his ninth hold. Up by four in the ninth, Kenley Jansen was still called upon and he got the job done to secure the victory. He fired 10 bullets and should be available today.
  • The Giants offense didn’t show up and the starter scuffled, forcing the bullpen into inconsequential relief work. Jarlín García and Cole Waites were unscored upon across the sixth and seventh while Luis Ortiz allowed a run across the final two frames.

 

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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