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
- Every team played on Wednesday.
- Just over half the league will be in action on Thursday. The teams with the day off are NYY, BAL, BOS, DET, SEA, TEX, LAA, ATL, WSN, MIL, CHC, LAD, SFG, and COL.
- No notable bullpen transactions.
- Drey Jameson will make his MLB debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday. Look for Caleb Smith or Taylor Widener to eat some innings if jitters get to the rookie.
PIT 10 – CIN 4
- A big offensive day afforded the Pirates calm bullpen action where they utilized just two arms for multiple innings. Tyler Beede took over after four innings, tossing a pair of his own while giving up just one run on an Austin Romine home run to claim his second win. The next three innings were covered by Miguel Yajure who, despite permitting two runs, secured his first career save.
- If you had been told that the Cincinnatti starter pitched into the seventh and only allowed three runs, would you believe the final result? Well, that’s exactly what happened and the final tally reached 10 because every Reds reliever allowed a run. Derek Law gave up one while finishing the starter’s seventh, Joel Kuhnel served up two more on an Oneil Cruz dinger in the eighth, and Luke Farrell surrendered four (three earned) of his own in the ninth.
LAA 3 – CLE 5
- It’s been a rough year from many angles for the Angels, but on Wednesday, uncertain bullpen roles led to a blown save and a defeat. Closer Jimmy Herget entered in the sixth and pitched until the seventh when he allowed a run for his third blown save. José Quijada was able to close out the seventh, but the theme continued in the eighth. Ryan Tepera served up a go-ahead two-run shot to José Ramírez to put the Angels behind for good. He failed to secure an out while recording his third loss. Aaron Loup followed with a clean mop-up inning. The Angels will have today off to forget about Wednesday’s disaster.
- The blown save afforded the Guardians the chance to close out a victory. Trevor Stephan took the eighth and his fifth win after a scoreless outing. With closer Emmanuel Clase having pitched in four of the past fives games, manager Terry Francona turned to James Karinchak in a save situation instead. The fiery righty was unscored upon as he closed out his third save.
HOU 2 – DET 1
- Every Houston pitcher recorded a decision on the way to a victory. The starter got the win while Bryan Abreu and Ryne Stanek each recorded a hold. The former gave up a long ball to Javier Báez but claimed his sixth hold nonetheless. The latter was unscored upon as he registered his 15th hold. With a slim lead in the ninth, Ryan Pressly closed out the game while striking out two for his 28th save. That makes back-to-back days for the Houston closer, so he likely cedes ninth-inning duties to Rafael Montero today.
- The Detroit arm barn was absolutely lights out but it was all for naught because the offense never showed up. Will Vest pitched a clean fifth to get things going, setting up three flawless frames from Jason Foley, Joe Jiménez, and José Cisnero. Closer Gregory Soto got some work in during the final frame, working around a hit and a walk to post a scoreless outing. The Tigers don’t have a scheduled game today and, therefore, will give their hard-working bullpen a rest.
COL 3 – CHW 0
- A rare shutout was produced from the arms of the Rockies’ pitchers and it only required two relievers. Carlos Estévez set up by finishing the starter’s seventh and tossing a clean eighth for his 12th hold. The usual suspect, Daniel Bard, was the man for the ninth. He struck out the side in order to lock down his 30th save. Since 2010, Bard is one of only four Rockies closers to notch 30 saves, joining Rafael Betancourt (31, 2012), Greg Holland (41, 2017), and Wade Davis (43, 2018). An off day on Thursday will help the team recover before their weekend series at Wrigley.
- The White Sox relief corps was nearly as effective, but no matter how well they pitched, they couldn’t overcome a shutout. To start it off, Jake Diekman and Joe Kelly combined for two flawless frames. The latter struck out the side in order. The eighth was pitched without event by José Ruiz before Vince Velasquez tossed one more perfect inning.
ATL 1 – SFG 4
- I don’t know if offenses are getting tired or if other outside factors are at play, but it seems as though relievers have been unhittable in recent weeks. The Braves bullpen continued that trend and supported Wednesday’s focus on lights-out arm barns having an inconsequential effect on the game. Jesse Chavez, Tyler Matzek, and Jackson Stephens combined for 2.2 innings of one-hit baseball in the loss. The Braves have no scheduled game for Thursday.
- The Giants’ relief corps hasn’t been what it was last year, but it has its moments. Wednesday was one of the good ones. Tyler Rogers (14th hold), Scott Alexander (third hold), and John Brebbia (18th hold) combined for three scoreless innings as each of them recorded decisions. With the game on the line in the ninth, Camilo Doval struck out the side in order, firing the third fastest pitch of the day – a 102.5 mph cutter – and securing his 23rd save. An off day on Thursday will give Doval the opportunity to freshen up for the weekend.
SDP 1 – SEA 6
- Set back by a six-run outing from the starter, the Padres’ pen did all they could to make up for his shortcomings. Steven Wilson, Pierce Johnson, and Tim Hill combined for three scoreless frames but it went to waste because of the offense’s inability to push runs across.
- It was just another day of work for the Mariners bullpen as they once again locked down a victory. Despite Penn Murfee allowing a run in a seventh inning in which he shared with Matt Brash, the rest of the relief corps picked up the slack. Erik Swanson and Andrés Muñoz continued their dominant campaigns with a scoreless inning apiece. The Mariners will receive a day of rest on Thursday.
PHI 6 – MIA 1
- The Philadelphia pen has become a trustworthy bunch in 2022 and it kept its run going on Wednesday. Brad Hand, Zach Eflin, and Connor Brogdon each posted a scoreless frame to lock down the victory. This was Eflin’s first relief appearance of the season and he sat a tick higher on all three of his pitches.
- A two-run start was obviously enough to hand the Marlins an L, but the four runs the bullpen surrendered were the nails in the coffin. Both Richard Bleier and Huascar Brazoban surrendered two runs before Andrew Nardi posted two scoreless frames.
BAL 6 – WSN 2
- Maintaining their chase for a wild card spot, the Baltimore bullpen continued to be the most outstanding part of the team. Not only did it cover five whole frames, but it also did so without permitting a run. DL Hall pitched the first inning of bullpen work flawlessly before Austin Voth tossed a hitless sixth for his fifth win. Cionel Pérez was unscored upon in the seventh on his way to his 25th hold. Once the offense took a more comfortable lead, decisions were off the table, but Jake Reed and Bryan Baker posted scoreless innings regardless. Thursday is an off day for the Orioles.
- One brick falling out of a wall has the capability of taking down the whole frame. One blowup has the ability to ruin a whole day for a baseball team. Mason Thompson’s four-run seventh was enough to send the Nationals home as losers as the right-hander was saddled with his first blown save and first loss. Andres Machado cleaned up his inning and Paolo Espino permitted another run in the eighth. Since I mentioned Machado as a sneaky deadline acquisition and breakout on the In The Pen Podcast prior to the trade deadline, the right-hander has pitched to a 2.31 ERA across 11.2 innings. Unfortunately, it comes with a 10/7 K/BB ratio and a 4.47 xFIP. Closer Kyle Finnegan pitched an uneventful ninth in a bout of maintenance work. It must be some sort of national(s) holiday because Washington (D.C.) has the day off on Thursday.
TBR 1 – TOR 5
- The starter and the sole reliever split the game evenly, each covering four frames. The second pitcher, Josh Fleming, allowed just one run on five hits and a walk while striking out one. He induced 10 whiffs and a 33% CSW across 54 pitches.
- The Blue Jays utilized three times as many relievers but the outcome was much more positive. Adam Cimber, Yimi García, and Anthony Bass combined for three scoreless innings to close out the victory. García set down all three batters he faced by way of the strikeout and now owns a 2.35 ERA (53.2 IP).
CHC 6 – NYM 3
- An unknown band of misfits was able to quiet a playoff-bound club. The sixth was pitched perfectly by Erich Uelmen and the seventh was covered scorelessly by Rowan Wick. In the eighth, Michael Rucker allowed a run on a Pete Alonso moonshot but was otherwise unscathed. That created a save opportunity for Mark Leiter Jr. The 31-year-old set down the side in order to secure his second save. Thursday will be an off day for the Cubs as they travel back home to the Windy City.
- With the starter unable to escape even the first inning, a lot was asked of the Mets’ arm barn. Trevor Williams did his best to sort out the mess, covering 4.1 innings. Allowing just four hits, a walk, and four runs, Williams was actually pretty impressive. He struck out eight, inducing 15 whiffs with a 30% CSW across 83 pitches. The rest of the bullpen was untouchable, but that early deficit was insurmountable. Tommy Hunter, Trevor May, Alex Claudio, and Mychal Givens each contributed to 4.1 scoreless innings.
NYY 5 – BOS 3
- The Yankees bullpen preserved a lead as the team races for the playoffs. Clarke Schmidt tossed two perfect frames after the starter exited to earn his first hold before Jonathan Loáisiga allowed a run in the eighth while recording his 10th hold. Up by three in the ninth, Clay Holmes was brought aboard. He worked around a run to secure his 20th save. Since his return from the IL in late August, the right-hander has pitched to a 2.89 ERA (9.1 IP) with a 10/1 K/BB ratio. A day of rest will be afforded to the game’s most storied franchise on Thursday.
- Noteworthy is not the word I’d use to describe the relief work from the Red Sox on Wednesday. Zack Kelly, Kaleb Ort, Eduard Bazardo, and Ryan Brasier each secured three outs. The former and the latter were the only arms to surrender a run. Ort sat 3.3 mph above his season-long average fastball velocity, topping out at 100.7 mph in an eye-catching outing that should be monitored. They will all have a shot to rest up on Thursday.
KCR 0 – MIN 4
- It often feels pointless to watch a bullpen go do their best when the offense doesn’t fulfill their job description. Regardless, Jose Cuas and Amir Garrett combined to pitch the fifth, Carlos Hernández covered two, one-run frames, and Luke Weaver tossed a scoreless eighth.
- On the other side, Caleb Thielbar and Jorge López closed out one of two shutouts from Wednesday’s action. The latter tossed 17 pitches and will be good to go again today if needed.
MIL 1 – STL 4
- Just one inning was needed from the Milwaukee arm barn. Brad Boxberger and Trevor Kelley combined to pitch the eighth. The former was tagged with a run while the latter secured just one out. The Brewers have no game scheduled for Thursday.
- The most exciting bullpen performances were produced by the Cardinals’ relief corps on Wednesday. Not only did every pitcher receive a decision, but they also drove everyone to fireball city. Andre Pallante started things off with a hitless sixth for his eighth hold. Jordan Hicks also recorded his eighth hold as he held the opposition scoreless in the seventh. The right-hander also fired the fastest pitch of the day – a 102.6 mph sinker. He was followed by a perfect frame by Giovanny Gallegos as he notched his 10th hold. Finally, Ryan Helsley came aboard and unleashed the second-fastest pitch of the day – a 102.5 mph four-seamer – en route to his 17th save. His 16 pitches won’t be enough to keep him out of action today.
OAK 8 – TEX 7
- In the highest-scoring game of the day, the A’s pulled away victorious thanks to some late-inning bullpen efforts. After the first reliever, Collin Wiles allowed two runs on a Jonah Heim homer, the rest of the bullpen shut the Rangers up. Kirby Snead got three outs without event, setting up the next three arms for decisions once the offense mounted a comeback. Tyler Cyr earned his first win after covering five hitless outs. Sam Moll kept the mid-game no-hitter going for two more outs as he claimed his 16th hold. With just one more out needed in the ninth, Domingo Acevedo was called upon and secured his first career save.
- A usually quiet bullpen has begun to get louder…in a bad way. Not only did Dennis Santana serve up a two-run shot to Tony Kemp in the sixth, but José Leclerc also allowed two runs (one earned) in the ninth and was saddled with his third loss and first blown save. Sandwiched in between those two unfortunate outings, Jonathan Hernández and Matt Moore didn’t allow a hit, registering their second and 11th holds respectively. No game features the Rangers on Thursday.
LAD 3 – ARI 5
- In the only extra-inning game of the day, baseball’s best team was handed a rare loss. Four strong innings from Chris Martin, Tommy Kahnle, Alex Vesia, and Evan Phillips sent the game to extras. Those four combined to allow just two hits while striking out five. Nothing prepared them for Craig Kimbrel serving up a walk-off three-run shot to Sergio Alcántara in the 10th, as the veteran righty was tagged with his sixth loss and fifth blown save. Kimbrel will have a shot to recover on Thursday after the meltdown.
- The Arizona arm barn was up for the task of taking on the league’s best club. Caleb Smith did the bulk of the work, covering eight outs without allowing a hit. All-Star Joe Mantiply kept it going, sharing a hitless ninth with Kevin Ginkel. In the tenth, Reyes Moronta allowed the zombie runner to cross home, but he went home with his first win following the walk-off.
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)