Reliever Ranks – 9/18

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

 

  • First things first: Minnesota and Cleveland relievers are running on absolute fumes today. A 15-inning marathon, and 24 innings in the past 24 hours, has a perhaps-record-setting amount of arms fatigued. Neither club will enjoy a Monday off day, so the road ahead could get interesting for both teams in a hurry.

 

  • All 30 teams are in action today – per usual for Sundays – while no doubleheaders are on the schedule.
  • 12 total teams anticipate an off day this Monday: BOS, NYY, TOR, CWS, KC, OAK, TEX, PHI, CIN, PIT, STL, SD.
  • Cincinnati and St. Louis played in doubleheader action on Saturday and will enter Sunday with greater-than-otherwise bullpen fatigue. Both have Monday off to recover.

 

 

 

Yesterday’s Performances

CLE 5 – MIN – 1 (Game 1)

  • Guardians: A grand total of four pitchers were used in this contest (two for each team), faring particularly well for both sides in the first game of a doubleheader. Shane Bieber tossed eight innings in a dominant one-run start, leaving just one frame for closer Emmanuel Clase to close this one out. A four-run lead did not permit a save, but Clase capped off an otherwise dominant showing by Cleveland pitching.
  • Twins: On both Thursday and Friday, Minnesota burned through almost all relievers outside of closer Jorge López. Three innings of one-run work by long reliever Aaron Sanchez kept the available core rested; one reliever needed in Game 1 helped set the table for a close Game 2.

 

STL 5 – CIN 1 (Game 1)

  • Cardinals: St. Louis saw similar strong fate in preserving their bullpen on doubleheader day; an eight-inning start by Dakota Hudson left just one inning for Andre Pallante to cap off a shutout. Pallante made his third appearance in four days, and with multiple St. Louis relievers entering today with a similar workload, a low-stress ninth inning was huge in Game 1.
  • Reds: Cincinnati was in a hole early after starter Mike Minor lasted just three innings. It was then the dominant work of Kyle Dowdy – in his second MLB game of 2022 – tossing four shutout innings and coming up big for the entire Reds bullpen. Hunter Strickland tossed a scoreless ninth; both teams combined to throw six innings of shutout relief work in this game.

 

COL 3 – CHC 1

  • Rockies: Six innings by starter José Ureña led to three innings of shutout work by the Rockies bullpen. Dinelson Lamet, Carlos Estévez and Daniel Bard each tossed a scoreless frame; nine of the 11 batters faced by Colorado relievers were retired. Bard collected his 31st save of the season after the Rockies took the lead in the top of the ninth; the seasoned mental skills coach-turned-pitcher was unfazed by a quick warmup.
  • Cubs: Today was the season debut for Adbert Alzolay after missing time with a lat injury. Cubs manager David Ross wasted no time throwing Alzolay into the fire, entering a 1-1 contest in the eighth inning. He posted a zero in his first frame and recorded five strikeouts in two innings, but a ninth-inning walk, triple and single proved decisive in an eventual two-run defeat. No other relievers pitched for the Cubs in this contest, despite a rested Rowan Wick, Mark Leiter Jr. and Michael Rucker. (Credit lies in Ross giving Alzolay a great opportunity in his first outing back, however.)

 

TOR 6 – BAL 3

  • Blue Jays: Toronto rolled out the bullpen A-team for this one; Jordan Romano collected save number 34, Yimi García was a setup guy in the eighth and Tim Mayza posted a zero in the seventh. Anthony Bass was about the only top reliever that didn’t throw for Toronto (having thrown 14 pitches on Friday). Romano had not thrown since Tuesday, but the Blue Jays bullpen was otherwise pretty taxed with five different arms throwing one day prior. Toronto will likely look to David Phelps for an appearance in some capacity today, while Romano is potentially down after throwing 19 pitches on Saturday.
  • Orioles: An extremely-rested Toronto bullpen entered Saturday action; Félix Bautista, Dillon Tate, Cionel Pérez and Keegan Akin had thrown a combined 53 pitches in the previous five days. Akin was the only one of those four to pitch on Saturday, throwing a scoreless ninth as he struck out the side (his first appearance in more than five days). DL Hall was another bullpen standout on Saturday, tossing a perfect sixth with a strikeout.

 

WSH 5 – MIA 3

  • Nationals: Kyle Finnegan collected his second save in as many days, striking out the six in the ninth. The entire Washington bullpen came to play, tossing five innings of scoreless work with zero walks and one hit allowed. Carl Edwards Jr. collected hold number 12, Erasmo Ramírez earned his fourth in a two-inning effort, and Hunter Harvey collected a one-inning win due to starter Erick Fedde only tossing four innings.
  • Marlins: Miami starter Trevor Rogers was removed after a single inning of work, allowing three hits and two earned runs. Jeff Brigham was then tasked with three innings of relief on short notice, allowing two runs on two hits but also striking out five. Jake Fishman was needed for the final 11 outs (0 R, 12 BF); both he and Brigham did wonders to preserve a Miami bullpen after an extremely-taxing Thursday and similar Friday.

 

KC 9 – BOS 0

  • Royals: Low-leverage bullpen work was no challenge for Kansas City relievers; Brad Keller, Carlos Hernández and Anthony Misiewicz each tossed a scoreless frame and preserved the shutout. This was a great effort by middle relievers after Scott Barlow, Dylan Coleman and Amir Garrett all pitched on Friday.
  • Red Sox: Rich Hill was one out shy of the five-inning mark on Saturday, allowing four runs before Ryan Brasier recorded the final out of his last frame. Franklin German was called upon in the sixth for his MLB debut, but a two-hit, two-walk, zero-outs-recorded showing credited four runs to his debut line. Boston finished this one off with a pair of two-inning showings by Eduard Bazardo and Tyler Danish, which did preserve a core of Garrett Whitlock and John Schreiber, both having thrown just 10 pitches in the past four days. Those two are in some serious save-or-hold territory this afternoon.

 

TB 5 – TEX 1

  • Rays: It was bullpen day for the Rays on Saturday afternoon; six total arms toed the rubber with none pitching more than three innings. Opener Shawn Armstrong sat down five of six to begin the game, while bulk ’starter’ Ryan Yarbrough allowed one run in the following nine outs. Javy Guerra and Jalen Beeks recorded middle-inning holds before a save situation was off the table. PEte Fairbanks is now working on four days of rest after throwing 30 pitches on Tuesday, so he’s in prime save position for the Sunday series finale.
  • Rangers: Taylor Hearn and Dennis Santana were the only two relievers used by the Rangers, allowing a combined three runs on five hits over 3 2/3 innings. Texas had thrown José Leclerc, Jonathan Hernández and Matt Moore in three of their previous five games, so the Rangers entered this contest with limited options to begin with. Leclerc has thrown 47 pitches since Wednesday, so it could be Moore in a save position if needed today (24 pitches in that time).

 

CWS 4 – DET 3 (F/11)

  • White Sox: A one-inning parade sealed this contest for the White Sox; five relievers each recorded three outs. Liam Hendriks tossed a perfect 10th, stranding the bonus ‘ghost’ runner, while Joe Kelly preserved a lead in the seventh with a perfect, two-strikeout showing. Kandall Graveman was credited with a blown save in the eighth after a walk and base hit tied up this game, but the Chicago bullpen picked him up for the ensuing nine outs. A semi-rested Jake Diekman may be needed in a big way this afternoon, while Hendriks is also no stranger to pitching three games in three days.
  • Tigers: A seventh-inning blown save was credited to Jason Foley after allowing inherited runners to score, but he otherwise posted a two-out scoreless inning to his own line. Will Vest, José Cisnero and Alex Lange followed with one-inning showings, and with closer Gregory Soto waiting in the wings, his chance finally came in the 11th after 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief by other Tigers pitchers. Soto allowed two runs (one earned, one ‘ghost runner’) on two hits, taking a loss after throwing 16 pitches on Friday.

 

OAK 8 – HOU 5

  • This game was tied for the highest-scoring of the day; a combined three runs were scored in five total relief innings between both teams.
  • Athletics: A.J. Puk earned hold number 18 despite allowing one run on two hits. Oakland had a four-run cushion upon his entrance, so his one run meant a save situation was on the table for Domingo Acevedo. In his second save of 2022, Acevedo allowed one base hit but faced the minimum with a rally-killing double play. Oakland will likely look to a rested Kirby Snead or Austin Pruitt today, although a save or hold could be tough against a division-leading Houston lineup.
  • Astros: Will Smith, Héctor Neris and Bryan Abreu each tossed an inning on Saturday, while Smith and Abreu each allowed a run. Neris’ perfect eighth was the cleanest appearance by any pitcher in this game. Closer Ryan Pressly remains rested since his back-to-back saves on Tuesday and Wednesday, and against a fifth-place divisional opponent, he could very well be in line for a save as the Astros look for Sunday revenge.

 

NYM 5 – PIT 1

  • Mets: David Peterson took on a relief role for Saturday’s game, tossing 2 1/3 innings after Chris Bassitt’s six-inning start. Peterson allowed one run on a solo homer in that time, but otherwise had a strong appearance with four strikeouts. Adam Ottavino recorded the final two outs in a non-save situation, and the Mets gave Edwin Díaz the night off after his 17-pitch save on Friday.
  • Pirates: Pittsburgh needed 2 2/3 relief innings on Saturday and they saw six outs from Chase De Jong. Despite three walks and a lofty pitch count at 46, De Jong allowed only one run. Pirates closer Wil Crowe is now significantly rested after 44 pitches on Monday (with no appearances since then). Robert Stephenson has thrown just nine pitches in the past five days, so he is also a candidate for a high-leverage situation on Sunday if needed.

 

CLE 7 – MIN 6 (Game 2 – F/15)

  • Here we have the longest game of the year so far!
  • Guardians: After using just two pitchers in Game 1, the preservation tactic was much appreciated in Game 2’s 15-inning marathon. Nine different pitchers took the hill for the Guardians in the second set, with relievers taking 9 1/3 frames of their own. James Karinchak was in line for a potential save but saw his first one blown of the year after allowing a game-tying homer. It was then Eli Morgan, Enyel De Los Santos, Bryan Shaw and Kirk McCarty absolutely carving through a combined seven innings, allowing just two hits and no runs outside of a single extra-inning, unearned bonus runner. McCarty tossed three innings of no-earned-run work to finish this one off in a big way, after Cleveland’s bullpen was pretty much tapped out.
  • Twins: Minnesota also went heavy on relievers (of course), sending six to the mound. Dereck Rodríguez was called up literally the day of, tossing the final 15 batters for the Twins and allowing no earned runs of his own. The road to his outing was paved by Griffin Jax, Michael Fulmer and Jorge López tossing a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings, and despite three walks by the Twins in extra innings, no earned runs found a way home. Both teams will now try to figure out how

 

MIL 4 – NYY 1

  • Brewers: Eight innings by Brandon Woodruff paved the way for Devin Williams‘ 13th save of the year. Williams faced the minimum in the ninth and recorded two strikeouts. Milwaukee cycled through six different relievers on Friday, so the deep start by Woodruff was a great effort in saving the Brewers’ relief arms.
  • Yankees: Three scoreless innings of relief were posted by a combined three Yankees relievers. Greg Weissert faced the minimum in the seventh, Aroldis Chapman allowed one walk in an otherwise-perfect eighth, and Ron Marinaccio posted three strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. Damage was already done with Milwaukees early lead, but the New York bullpen did plenty to keep their team alive in this one.

 

STL 1 – CIN 0 (Game 2 – F/11)

  • Another second-game-of-doubleheader extra-inning contest!
  • Cardinals: In a similar tune to Cleveland and Minnesota – although not quite as extreme – the Cardinals shut down the Reds with minimal damage done to relievers. Closer Ryan Helsley was called upon in the ninth inning, leading the way for Giovanny Gallegos and Steven Matz in the 10th and 11th, respectively. All three pitched a scoreless inning, while one hit off Helsley was the only traffic.
  • Reds: This game was decided by a single unearned run; it came off Fernando Cruz after he threw 24 pitches the day before. Cruz allwoed a walk and base hit in the 11th inning and the Cardinals won in walk-off fashion. Cincinnati pitching was otherwise dominant across the board, posting 10 scoreless innings with four in relief by a team of Reiver Sanmartin, Buck Farmer and Alexis Díaz. Both teams have tired bullpens after the Saturday doubleheader, but Joel Kuhnel is now a semi-rested option for high-leverage work today.

 

ATL 4 – PHI 3

  • Braves: Kenley Jansen’s 34th save of the year was made possible by an eighth-inning setup by Raisel Iglesias, although his two hits allowed threatened a narrow one-run lead. A.J. Minter and Collin McHugh combined to allow two runs in two innings (3 H), but the pitching performance by all Braves pitchers was otherwise tremendous as they maintained position in the AL East. Jansen needed just nine pitches to seal this one, which suggests he’s in position for another save today if needed.
  • Phillies: Aaron Nola tossed seven innings of four-run work, leaving just one frame for Brad Hand (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R). The Phillies haven’t used closer David Robertson since Tuesday, and their collective team of relievers is far more rested than Atlanta’s after today.

 

SD 2 – ARI 0

  • Padres: Josh Hader may have hit his stride on Saturday night in Phoenix, recording his 33rd save of the year with one hit and a strikeout to his line. Nick Martinez earned a hold, facing the minimum over two innings. Add in Joe Musgrove’s six frames of shutout work, and the Padres posted nothing but zeros for all nine innings of this one. Luis García and Robert Suarez could find themselves in high-leverage situations today.
  • Diamondbacks: Caleb Smith recorded eight outs of relief, allowing just one baserunner. Mark Melancon was then tasked with the ninth and faced the minimum, pushing his season ERA a little further south of five. Joe Mantiply is recovering from back-to-back outings on Wednesday and Thursday, but could be back in the fold for a save today after Ian Kennedy threw 27 pitches on Friday.

 

LAD 7 – SF 2

  • Dodgers: The now-100-win Dodgers saw three innings of shutout relief work in their Saturday rout of the Giants. Tommy Kahnle, Chris Martin and Justin Bruihl combined for that line, collecting five total strikeouts and allowing just one baserunner. A six-inning, one-run appearance by Julio Urías put the Dodgers in great position, and they now have Craig Kimbrel and Evan Philips rested even more for the Sunday Night Baseball series finale. Neither have thrown since Wednesda (20 combined pitches).
  • Giants: Five relievers took the hill for the Giants in a bullpen day; ’starter’ John Brebbia threw one inning, but it was a rocky showing by Sean Hjelle in the second (8 H, 6 R) that pushed this one into low-leverage work. Jarlín García did a tremendous job saving the Giants relief core that was left, tossing three innings and allowing just one hit. Camilo Doval remains rested since Wednesday, so both the Dodgers and Giants have a closer ready to roll as they end the series tonight.

 

LAA 2 – SEA 1

  • Angels: Ohtani bump day ended in threatening fashion for the Angels, holding a narrow lead upon his pitching departure. His seven innings of work led to Jaime Barría, and his two-hit, one-run eighth inning threatened Ohtani’s win. After five relievers were used on Friday, the Angels turned to one of them, Aaron Loup, for a save situation in the ninth. He got the job done for his first save of 2022, facing the minimum and earning some points with Ohtani.
  • Mariners: The top of the Mariners bullpen remains rested after Saturday, despite a close contest. Erik Swanson and Matt Brash were the only two pitchers used, and both tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Paul Sewald hasn’t thrown since Tuesday (15 pitches), Andrés Muñoz hasn’t since Wednesday and Diego Castillo hasn’t made an appearance in the past six games, so Seattle can be prepared to throw the gauntlet at the Angels in the Sunday series finale.

 

 

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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