Reliever Ranks – 9/21

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

 

  • Every team was in action on Tuesday. There were 16 games as the Diamondbacks and Dodgers participated in a doubleheader.
  • All 30 teams will take the field once again on Wednesday.

 

  • The New York Mets activated Drew Smith from the 15-day IL. The move works out with perfect timing as Tommy Hunter landed on the 15-day IL with lower back tightness in a corresponding move. Smith will kick Tylor Megill out of holds opportunities.
  • Garrett Whitlock of the Boston Red Sox has been shut down from throwing and will require hip surgery. The procedure will hold him out of action for the rest of the season. John Schreiber will become the top setup option in Boston while Zack Kelly joins the chart as a holds option.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

ARI 5 – LAD 6 (Game 1)

  • With the Arizona starter surviving just a trio of frames, the bullpen was relied upon heavily. Both Taylor Widener and Caleb Smith pitched a pair of innings with the former posting a zero and the latter giving up two runs. The fourth arm of the day, Kevin Ginkel, failed to record an out while watching three runners score (one earned), ultimately resulting in his first loss. Joe Mantiply was able to finish out the inning but not without allowing two inherited runners to score (both credited to Ginkel). Despite the scoreless outing, he was tagged with his first blown save.
  • Piggybacking a couple of young arms, the Dodgers received five innings from the starter before Ryan Pepiot tossed a trio of innings. He allowed just two baserunners while striking out four in the scoreless outing, inducing nine whiffs and a 28% CSW on 58 pitches. The stellar outing netted him his third win of the season. With closer Craig Kimbrel having appeared on consecutive days, Chris Martin was called upon for the save. He struck out two in a perfect inning to secure his second save.

 

ARI 5 – LAD 2 (Game 2)

  • Game two was all Diamondbacks as they led from the second inning through the end of the game. The final third of the game was covered by four relievers. The first three, Mark Melancon (first hold), Luis Frias (second hold), and Joe Mantiply (21st hold), each recorded a hold and set up for the closer. It was a banner day for Mantiply as he was unscored upon across both ends of the doubleheader, reducing his ERA to 2.79 (58 IP) in his All-Star campaign. Instead of turning to regular closer Ian Kennedy in the ninth, the team went with Reyes Moronta against his former team. The big righty was flawless in recording his first save of the season.
  • Saving the high-leverage arms in a losing effort, the Dodgers called upon Phil Bickford and Justin Bruihl. The former served up a homer to Ketel Marte across two innings of work while the latter surrendered a run in the eighth.

 

BOS 5 – CIN 3

  • We got to see how the Boston bullpen would be arranged in the absence of Garrett Whitlock. Prior to the final two frames, Ryan Brasier and Zack Kelly posted a perfect inning apiece, recording their 10th and first holds respectively. In the eighth, the man everyone thought would be first in line to close out games, Matt Barnes, pitched a flawless eighth for his fourth hold. The offense put a save situation out of reach in the top of the ninth, but Matt Strahm quickly reacquired it by giving up two runs while securing only one out. Fortunately, the team saved John Schreiber who was able to lock down the final two outs and his eighth save. Will Barnes or Schreiber be the closer over the final couple of weeks or will they split opportunities? Both will be available today as the former tossed 13 pitches and the latter threw seven.
  • I wouldn’t call it domination, but the Red Sox handled the Reds throughout the game. Regardless, the home team still turned to a few of their most-trusted arms. Dauri Moreta recorded four outs all via the strikeout while Ian Gibaut and Reiver Sanmartin covered the next five outs. In the ninth, Hunter Strickland served up a two-run shot to Rafael Devers, making the brief comeback in the bottom half of the ninth much less effective.

 

HOU 5 – TBR 0 

  • In one of two shutouts on the day, the Astros pulled a Rays and utilized five relievers after the started departed. Phil Maton, Ryne Stanek, and Will Smith posted a scoreless inning apiece to push the game to the ninth. Stanek’s 1.07 ERA (50.1 IP) is the lowest in the Majors among pitchers with at least 25 innings pitched. It would definitely be cool to see him finish with the only sub-1.00 ERA. In the final frame, Bryan Abreu put three men aboard while getting only one out, so with a five-run lead and only two outs remaining, Ryan Pressly was brought out of the pen. The right-hander got the job done and recorded his 29th save, a decision you wouldn’t expect to see in such a score. He tossed just eight pitches and will be good to go today.
  • The ace of the team went just four innings so you can imagine who the Rays turned to. Their low-leverage arms, Shawn Armstrong, JT Chargois, Javy Guerra, and Colin Poche, combined for five flawless frames and three punchouts. Chargois owns the best ERA of the group at 2.76 (16.1 IP). He’s been able to pitch around mediocre strikeout numbers (12 Ks) by inducing ground balls more than 60% of the time.

 

CHC 2 – MIA 1

  • In just his second appearance of 2022, Adbert Alzolay has already recorded two decisions. His first resulted in a loss but on Tuesday he fired two flawless frames to earn his first win. Brandon Hughes pitched a clean ninth to notch his sixth save. He tossed 16 pitches on the day and should be in line for a save chance today unless Rowan Wick decides to muddy the waters.
  • As one team gets a win, the other team is usually stuck with the opposite. Steven Okert was tagged with his fourth loss as a result of permitting a run in the eighth. Prior to his appearance, Huascar Brazoban finished the starter’s seventh. Dylan Floro pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts and continues to look more and more like the favored ninth-inning-option. 12 pitches left his hand, meaning he could be on the mound again today.

 

TOR 18 – PHI 11

  • A shootout commenced in Philadelphia and few arms were left unscathed. Zach Pop walked away with his third win following two scoreless innings after the starter exited. Tim Mayza pitched a perfect seventh, and that was the extent of scoreless work by relief pitchers on the day. Julian Merryweather surrendered five runs in the eighth, needing help from David Phelps who went on to pitch the ninth, where he served up a homer to J.T. Realmuto.
  • A whopping 18 runs crossed home against the Philadelphia pitching staff, and only seven were credited to the starter. Zach Eflin pitched the best of the relievers despite allowing an unearned run in the sixth. You might want to cover the eyes of any children sitting near you for these next three innings. Connor Brogdon gave up two runs in the seventh, Sam Coonrod surrendered four runs in the eighth, and Brad Hand permitted four more (three earned) in the ninth. He even needed the help of catcher Garrett Stubbs for the final two outs. Shockingly, Stubbs was the only Phillies reliever that failed to be tagged with a run.

 

DET 3 – BAL 2

  • Many decisions were had in the Detroit arm barn. Alex Lange (17th hold), Joe Jiménez (11th hold), and Andrew Chafin (17th hold) were all credited with holds. Jiménez was the least effective of the three, serving up a two-run blast to Gunnar Henderson. With a slim margin in the ninth, Gregory Soto set down the side in order to secure his 26th save. Despite a 3.44 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP, and a 23.4% K% (all worse than 2021), the lefty has set a career-high in saves while going 26/28 in save opportunities. He fired 10 bullets and will be ready to go again today.
  • As a result of the low-scoring nature of this affair, the O’s still relied on some of their most trusted arms. Joey Krehbiel served up a homer to Kerry Carpenter across two innings while Cionel Pérez and Bryan Baker were unscored upon in the eighth and ninth. Pérez now sports a 1.36 ERA, the sixth-lowest mark in baseball (min. 35 IP).

 

PIT 8 – NYY 9

  • In the most dramatic game of the day, the Pittsburgh bullpen failed the rest of the team. Not only did Duane Underwood Jr. blow his second save by permitting two runs in the sixth, but the ninth was also a complete disaster. Before then, Robert Stephenson and Yohan Ramirez each pitched a scoreless inning. That aforementioned ninth was pitched by Wil Crowe. The right-hander might have made himself infamous by serving up the 60th long ball of Aaron Judge’s season to start the inning. That set the tone for the remainder of Crowe’s evening. Next, he gave up a double, walked a batter, and allowed a single to load the bases. With a three-run lead and Giancarlo Stanton striding to the plate, Crowe grooved a changeup in the zone which Stanton blasted to left field for a walk-off grand slam. The highlight is likely to be played for many years to come. Crowe threw 23 pitches and may get a day off as he continues to pray for the return of David Bednar.
  • The heroics might not have been needed had the Yankees’ arm barn done its job. All but one of the five Bronx relievers allowed a run. The relief work began with Ron Marinaccio recording his sixth hold despite giving up two runs in the sixth, all of which came around to score against Lou Trivino. At the moment, Trivino wasn’t tagged with his first blown save. That came in the following frame when he served up a game-tying dinger to Bryan Reynolds. Jonathan Loáisiga was next, surrendering three runs (two earned) to put the Yankees behind before Clay Holmes gave up additional runs on a Rodolfo Castro long ball. The only scoreless outing came when Aroldis Chapman set down the side in order in the top of the ninth, earning his third win following the walk-off. Holmes tossed 14 pitches and should be available today, but the right-hander has given up runs in four of his last five outings and may be losing his grip on the ninth.

 

WSN 2 – ATL 3

  • When you’re the worst team in baseball and your starter exits in the first inning with an injury, things can’t get much worse. Erasmo Ramírez made up for the loss of bulk by recording nine outs. He was still saddled with his second loss as a result of allowing two runs to score on a Travis d’Arnaud dinger. Jordan Weems was even better, nabbing seven outs without allowing a baserunner. Hunter Harvey kept the zeroes flowing with a scoreless seventh before Kyle Finnegan let Atlanta put up an important insurance run on a Dansby Swanson bomb in the eighth. The closer tossed 19 pitches but should be available today.
  • One of the most consistent arm barns all year, Atlanta continued the trend on Tuesday. Collin McHugh and A.J. Minter each had a scoreless outing on their way to their 14th and 31st hold respectively. Along with having five more holds than anyone in baseball, Minter also sports a 2.15 ERA (62.2 IP) and a 35% strikeout rate. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth, working around an unearned run to secure his National League-leading 36th save, tying him with Emmanuel Clase for the MLB lead. He has now pitched in three of the past four days, tossing 36 pitches in that time. He likely cedes ninth-inning duties to Raisel Iglesias today.

 

NYM 7 – MIL 5

  • The Mets were back at it again, utilizing their deep relief corps to shorten the game. With the starter exiting after four, Trevor Williams was called upon to secure four outs, during which he gave up a run. Joely Rodríguez finished Williams’ sixth and began the seventh, sharing it with Trevor May. Rodríguez was credited with his second win and May his sixth hold. Since returning from the IL at the beginning of August, May owns a 2.77 ERA (13 IP) and a 20/3 K/BB ratio. Adam Ottavino began the eighth and permitted a run while recording his 19th hold before handing the reins over to Edwin Díaz for the remainder of the ballgame. The closer struck out three of the four batters he faced on the way to his 31st save. The three fastest pitches of the day came from his arm as he topped out at 101.6 mph with his four-seamer. On top of owning a top-five ERA among pitchers with at least 55 innings pitched (1.40, 58 IP), he also is the owner of the best strikeout rate (49.5%) in baseball by a wide margin. His 15 pitches won’t hold him out of action today.
  • It was basically a bullpen game for the Brewers as their starter was making his return from the IL and pitched only two innings. He was followed by five flawless outs from each of Peter Strzelecki and Hoby Milner, the latter of which was credited with his 11th hold. It was all downhill from there as Brad Boxberger surrendered three runs on a Pete Alonso homer and Taylor Rogers allowed four more on a Francisco Lindor grand slam. Rogers was saddled with his eighth loss and his 10th blown save. The lefty not only owns a 6.63 ERA (19 IP) since switching teams but also an even worse 7.43 ERA (40 IP) since May 28th. The relief work finished with a perfect inning from both Matt Bush and Brent Suter.

 

LAA 5 – TEX 2

  • The Angels went back to the well, calling upon Jimmy Herget to close out the ninth. He worked around a single to convert his sixth save. It’s been a tough time speculating on the Angels’ bullpen as they have dolled out saves to both Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup in recent days. Speaking of Loup, he pitched a clean eighth to notch his 17th hold. Prior to that, Andrew Wantz tossed two perfect frames with four strikeouts, inducing six whiffs and a 50% CSW on 28 pitches. Herget tossed 11 pitches, but it remains unclear if he is the go-to option in the ninth.
  • Blowing the game for the Rangers in the fifth, Dennis Santana surrendered three runs while completing the starter’s fifth. He was followed by seven scoreless outs from John King, during which he recorded all of his outs in the field. Jésus Tinoco covered the final five outs while striking out three batters. Closer José Leclerc hasn’t appeared since Friday and could use a maintenance outing.

 

MIN 4 – KCR 5

  • In a tie game, the Twins turned to four arms but they weren’t able to hold the Royals at bay. Griffin Jax finished the starters fifth before Caleb Thielbar recorded all three out in the sixth by way of the strikeout. The seventh was when Michael Fulmer permitted the deciding run, resulting in his sixth loss. Trevor Megill tossed a scoreless eighth to end the night for Minnesota on the defensive end.
  • Scott Barlow was the benefactor of the late-inning lead change. The righty flawlessly covered the final five outs of the game to secure his 22nd save, dropping his ERA to 2.37 (68.1 IP) in the process. Before Barlow’s dominance, Amir Garrett, Dylan Coleman, and Jose Cuas appeared. Garrett blew his first save by allowing an inherited runner to score while completing the starter’s sixth. Coleman earned his fifth win with a scoreless seventh. Cuas notched his 11th hold by securing the first out of the eighth. Barlow tossed 23 pitches but likely won’t be limited today because of his light workload recently.

 

CLE 10 – CHW 7

  • In the only extra-inning game of the day, the Guardians came away victorious. Their day began on the wrong foot as Nick Sandlin allowed an unearned run in the sixth to blow his third save. The game was tied for the next three frames as Trevor Stephan, James Karinchak, and Enyel De Los Santos held the score. In extras, Emmanuel Clase allowed two runs to score, blowing his fourth save. He was bailed out when the offense went off for five runs in the 11th, netting him his third win. With the big lead, Bryan Shaw had the leeway to surrender two more runs on an AJ Pollock dinger before putting an end to the game. Clase fired 17 bullets but should be good to go again today.
  • The White Sox attempted to keep up with the Guardians but they failed to do so when it mattered most. Jimmy Lambert surrendered two runs in the seventh thanks to Aaron Bummer allowing inherited runners to score. As a result, Lambert grabbed his eighth hold and Bummer was tagged with his third blown save. Reynaldo López and Liam Hendriks covered the next two frames perfectly, sending the game to extras. There, Kendall Graveman allowed two runners to score in the 10th before Jake Diekman got lit up for five runs (three earned) in the 11th, resulting in his fourth loss. 15 pitches left Hendriks’ hand, so he should be set for more work today.

 

SFG 6 – COL 3

  • Turning to relievers for the entirety of the matchup, the Giants employed a bullpen game. John Brebbia opened with a scoreless inning before Tyler Rogers tossed two more scoreless frames to earn his third win. Sean Hjelle acted as the bulk reliever, pitching four innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out three batters. He induced eight whiffs and a 26% CSW across 66 pitches while recording his first career hold. Thomas Szapucki pitched the eighth, permitting one run in the process. The final frame was started by Yunior Marte and finished by Jarlín García. Marte was credited with his second hold and García his first save.
  • Three frames were pitched by the Rockies’ arm barn. Jake Bird surrendered two runs while recording two outs in the seventh. Chad Smith finished that frame and completed the next without allowing a baserunner. In the ninth, Dinelson Lamet permitted another run while striking out two. Contrary to common sense, Lamet has actually been pretty solid during his time in Colorado. He has pitched to a 3.18 ERA (17 IP) with a 25/7 K/BB ratio and is looking pretty comfortable in his new threads.

 

SEA 1 – OAK 4

  • Lights-out bullpen work was not enough to make up for Seattle’s lack of offense. Matt Brash, Matt Festa, and Chris Flexen combined for 3.1 scoreless innings but it didn’t light a fire under the Mariners’ bats. Since returning to the Majors as a full-time reliever in July, Brash has pitched to a 1.42 ERA (25.1 IP) with a 1.18 WHIP and a 35.9% strikeout rate. If he doesn’t get back to starting games next year, he could be one of the best up-and-coming relievers in the game.
  • Four hitless innings from the Oakland pen got the job done. Joel Payamps (third hold), A.J. Puk (19th hold), and Tyler Cyr (1st hold) got the job done across the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. They set Domingo Acevedo up to continue to lay claim to the closer role. He set down the side in order to secure his third save in the past week. If you’re in desperate need of a save in the final couple of weeks, Acevedo may be the guy to turn to. He fired 10 bullets and will be available again today.

 

STL 0 – SDP 5

  • With the offense being shut out, there was no point in the Cards turning to any more than one reliever. Packy Naughton was that arm, tossing two innings of one-run ball.
  • With a comfortable lead, the Padres turned to Nick Martinez first. He completed the starter’s sixth and then went on to pitch the seventh as he notched his sixth hold. Tim Hill pitched a perfect eighth before Luis García tossed a scoreless ninth. The latter fired the fourth-fastest pitch of the day – a 100.8 mph sinker.

 

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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