Reliever Ranks – 9/22

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 took the field on Wednesday.
  • Four teams will have Thursday off as 13 games will be played. The teams that won’t be in action are DET, NYM, MIA, and WSN.

 

 

  • The Giants have yet to announce a starter for their matchup in Coors on Thursday. It’s a bit of a gamble considering the setting, but the team could call upon another bullpen game, opening up vulture win opportunities for the middle relievers. Jharel Cotton could see an extended outing if he is provided an opener.
  • The Rays will utilize an opener (JT Chargois) in their matchup versus the Blue Jays. Ryan Yarbrough is the scheduled bulk reliever and should have a pretty good shot at vulturing a win.

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

WSN 3 – ATL 2

  • Needing five frames from the relief corps, the Nationals were able to secure a tightly fought victory. Hunter Harvey began the relief work with a scoreless fifth and Andres Machado’s scoreless sixth netted him his sixth win upon the offense snatching the lead. The best performance came from Carl Edwards Jr. who posted two scoreless frames to notch his 13th hold. He lowered his ERA to 2.64 (58 IP) in the process and continues to have a renaissance campaign reminiscent of his days with the Cubs (2.81 ERA in 118.1 IP from 2017-18). Shutting down the ninth with ease, Kyle Finnegan fanned two in a flawless frame to convert his 11th save. He has now pitched on consecutive days, but a day off on Thursday will afford him the rest he needs.
  • Unable to escape some early bullpen struggles, Atlanta sent their fans home wanting more. Tyler Matzek was able to escape scrutiny while recording his eighth hold, however, in the seventh, Jesse Chavez served up a homer to Joey Meneses that drove in an inherited run. The blast gave the Nats the lead and saddled Chavez with his second loss and fourth blown save. Scoreless frames from Dylan Lee and Jackson Stephens weren’t enough to keep Atlanta in it.

 

NYM 0 – MIL 6

  • The Mets weren’t able to overcome offensive woes and, therefore, had less than consequential bullpen action. After the starter and David Peterson loaded the bases in the seventh, Drew Smith came aboard to work out of a jam. He was unable to do so, serving up a grand slam to Mike Brosseau. After the big inning, Tylor Megill was able to quiet the Brewers’ bats with a perfect eighth in his second appearance out of the bullpen since returning from injury. The Mets’ pitching staff appears to be stacked heading into the postseason. They will receive a day off on Thursday.
  • In one of two shutouts on Wednesday, the Brewers turned to six different arms in the scoreless effort. The bullpen came in clutch, providing 4.1 innings worth of zeroes. Hoby Milner finished the starter’s fifth and Trevor Gott earned his third win in his return from the IL with a hitless sixth. Brad Boxberger, Brent Suter, and Jake Cousins covered the final trio of frames without surrendering a hit. The former recorded his 28th hold and dropped his ERA to 3.32 (57 IP), his best mark (min. 20 IP) since 2014. Closer Devin Williams hasn’t appeared since Saturday and could use a maintenance outing today.

 

BOS 1 – CIN 5

  • The low-leverage portion of the Boston bullpen got some work because of the lack of offense. Eduard Bazardo was perfect in the sixth, Tyler Danish was unscored upon in the seventh, and Frank German served up a homer to Donovan Solano in the eighth.
  • It might be time to change Cincinnati’s nickname to “Decision City” because all five of the pitchers that appeared on Wednesday earned decisions. Fernando Cruz (first hold), Reiver Sanmartin (seventh hold), and Derek Law (second hold) were members of the holds club as they held the Red Sox scoreless across the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. The latter arm locked down the first out of the ninth before being replaced after back-to-back singles. His replacement was closer Alexis Díaz, who locked down his eighth save without any drama. He needed just four pitches to do so and will have a fresh arm if needed again today.

 

HOU 5 – TBR 2

  • It was textbook work for the Houston arm barn as the starter cruised through seven frames. Rafael Montero set up for the closer by tossing a scoreless eighth for his 21st hold. The ninth went to Ryan Pressly as usual. The right-hander worked around a walk to secure his 30th save, marking the first 30-save season of his career. He has now pitched on consecutive days and in three of the last four, so Héctor Neris is the likely candidate to vulture a save today.
  • The Rays also utilized only two relievers but they were much less effective. Brooks Raley had a rough eighth, surrendering three runs, two of which came on a Kyle Tucker long ball. The ninth was pitched by Dusten Knight who served up another home run, this one coming off the bat of Martín Maldonado.

 

CHC 4 – MIA 3

  • Just one reliever appeared for the Cubs and he was mighty impressive. Keegan Thompson pitched the final three frames of the ballgame in his return from the IL. He held the Marlins scoreless while permitting only two baserunners. He set six batters down by way of the strikeout, inducing six whiffs and a 42% CSW on 43 pitches. The performance earned him his 10th win and lowered his ERA to 3.86 (107.1 IP).
  • The Fish were unable to hold on to the two-run lead handed to them by the starter. Jeff Brigham did his job, completing the starter’s seventh on the way to his first hold. Unfortunately, Steven Okert wasn’t at his best and was tagged with his fifth loss after surrendering three runs (one earned) thanks to a couple of walks and a throwing error. Dylan Floro finished out the rest of the inning but not before allowing one of those inherited runners to score, resulting in his third blown save. Tanner Scott made a rare appearance in the ninth, recording all three of his outs by way of the strikeout. It may have been worth noting that Floro has pitched on back-to-back days, but the Marlins have Thursday off so his absence won’t become a factor.

 

TOR 3 – PHI 4

  • In the only extra-inning affair on Wednesday, the Blue Jays had only three innings to go to secure a victory. Their lead lasted only one frame, a scoreless outing from Tim Mayza. In the eighth, Yimi García served up a leadoff homer to J.T. Realmuto, grabbed two outs, then loaded the bases on three singles. That outing somehow netted him his 21st hold. With only four outs to go, closer Jordan Romano was called upon. The righty surrendered a game-tying, two-run single to Kyle Schwarber and was tagged with his sixth blown save. He was able to close out the inning and pitch a perfect ninth to send the game to extras. In the tenth, Adam Cimber gave up a walk-off single to Matt Vierling that scored the zombie runner, tagging Cimber with his sixth loss. Romano tossed 24 pitches but will likely be the man called upon if a save situation arises again today.
  • With the Philadelphia starter returning from injury and being limited to four frames, the relief corps had a lot of ground to cover in a game that entered extras. The plan was to utilize Noah Syndergaard as the piggyback pitcher in what was the second relief appearance of his career (first since 2016). The big righty excelled, tossing two scoreless innings before turning the ball over to José Alvarado for a hitless seventh. The left-hander fired the fastest pitch of the day – a 101.1 mph sinker. An identical eight-inning blowup cost the Phillies the shutout. Seranthony Domínguez served up a three-run moonshot to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to put the Phillies behind. Nick Nelson was able to close out the inning and the offense had Domínguez’s back. A hitless ninth from David Robertson pushed the game to overtime where Andrew Bellatti tossed a hitless tenth. The walk-off awarded him his fourth win. Robertson threw 18 pitches and won’t be held out of a save situation today.

 

DET 1 – BAL 8

  • The Tigers fell behind early and a lack of offense ensured they remained in a deficit. Daniel Norris was the lone bright spot, covering five flawless outs while fanning three. Jason Foley also appeared, allowing three runs in the eighth. The Tigers are one of the few teams with a day off on Thursday.
  • There was no need for any relief work for the Orioles as the starter pitched a complete game.

 

PIT 2 – NYY 14

  • As you can imagine by the score, there isn’t much to draw from the Pittsburgh pen performance on Wednesday. Chase De Jong recorded five outs without permitting a baserunner but that was the extent of positive bullpen work. Miguel Yajure pitched a scoreless seventh, but the eighth was much different. Both he and Eric Stout were tagged with four runs as Gleyber Torres went deep twice in the inning.
  • With the massive advantage, there was no need for the Yankees to expend any more energy than they needed to. Lucas Luetge covered two innings while surrendering the only run allowed by the bullpen. Ron Marinaccio and Greg Weissert pitched the final two frames without permitting a hit.

 

LAA 2 – TEX 7

  • As has become commonplace, mediocre pitching and a lackluster offense plagued the Angels on Wednesday. Jaime Barría was serviceable across the sixth and seventh innings, with his only blemish being a home run off the bat of Josh Smith. The eighth was a disaster for Rob Zastryzny as he surrendered three runs (two earned) without recording an out. Zack Weiss was the culprit for the runs as he allowed all three inherited runners to score on a single and a throwing error. He finished out the inning without any further damage.
  • The Rangers turned to their best high-leverage arms in this one. One of the biggest 2022 breakouts, Brock Burke, continued his incredible campaign. He pitched two scoreless frames on the way to his ninth hold. He also dropped his ERA to 1.53 (76.2 IP), the lowest mark in baseball among pitchers with at least 65 innings pitched. The only other pitcher with that many innings and a sub-2.00 ERA is Justin Verlander. Now, back to the game. In the eighth, Matt Moore continued his renaissance, tossing a hitless inning for his 13th hold. His 2.01 ERA (67 IP) is not only a career-best but is also the first sub-3.00 ERA (min. 15 IP) of his career. Despite the lack of a save situation, the team still called upon José Leclerc, as he struck out two in a scoreless ninth. He fired 14 bullets and should be good to go again today.

 

MIN 2 – KCR 5

  • Piggybacking two starter’s didn’t work out great for the Twins. The starter went five and Aaron Sanchez covered the last three frames. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four, inducing four whiffs and a 32% CSW on 41 pitches.
  • The Royals utilized a litany of relievers to hold the Twins scoreless across five frames. Collin Snider pitched a scoreless fifth to kick things off and from there it was smooth sailing. Anthony Misiewicz got four outs while striking out three to earn his first win. The next four outs were locked down by Dylan Coleman while the final out of the eighth was secured by Amir Garrett. The former was credited with his 15th hold and the latter his 10th. Scott Barlow pitched the ninth, setting down the side in order to convert his 23rd save. He has blown just two saves in his last 37 outings since June 24th and now sports a 2.34 ERA (69.1 IP) with an even 1.00 WHIP. He has fired 45 pitches across the last two days and will most likely hand the ball over to Jose Cuas if a save situation arises today because the next best option (Coleman) has also appeared in consecutive games.

 

CLE 8 – CHW 2

  • Not much was needed from the Cleveland arm barn because the starter was electric across eighth frames. James Karinchak was the only reliever to appear, tossing a scoreless ninth to end the game. He has been absolutely dominant in his half-season in the bigs in 2022, posting a 1.62 ERA (33.1 IP) and the fifth-best strikeout rate by a reliever (39%). While he has definitely been aided by a 90.6% left-on-base rate, he has rebounded astoundingly from a second-half meltdown in 2021 following the sticky stuff crackdown.
  • The White Sox saw the dominance on the mound against them and realized they had no shot. They decided to give their overused high-leverage arms a break. José Ruiz pitched the seventh, serving up a two-run shot to Josh Naylor. The next two frames were covered by Tanner Banks who didn’t allow a hit in his outing.

 

SFG 6 – COL 1

  • Impressively, the Giants’ pitching staff was able to avoid the pitfalls of pitching in Denver. Alex Young kept the starter’s shutout alive by completing his sixth and pitching his own seventh. The shutout remained alive in the eighth as Cole Waites and Scott Alexander combined to finish the inning. The latter was credited with his fourth hold after working out of a jam. In the ninth, the shutout dream died as Thomas Szapucki served up a dinger to Elehuris Montero. Nonetheless, he was able to close out the inning to secure the victory.
  • A bulk appearance from Austin Gomber gave the majority of the Colorado bullpen the night off. He secured ten outs, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out two. The lefty forced just five swings and misses and recorded a mediocre 22% CSW across 55 pitches. Gavin Hollowell closed out the ninth in just his second Major League appearance.

 

SEA 1 – OAK 2

  • One of the most-trusted bullpen arms all year was the main reason the Mariners went home as losers. Erik Swanson permitted two runs without recording an out in the seventh and was tagged with his first loss. He still sports an ERA below 1.50 despite the lackluster outing. His two runs were the only runs charged to the Seattle pitching staff as Andrés Muñoz and Diego Castillo pitched a scoreless inning apiece.
  • It’s all but set in stone now. Domingo Acevedo converted yet another save on Wednesday – his fourth since being anointed the closer on September 14th. He should be the favorite for saves in Oakland going forward and might be fantasy managers’ final shot at acquiring a closer in the stretch run. A.J. Puk set up for Acevedo, serving up a long ball to Luis Torrens while notching his 20th hold in the eighth. Both pitchers have pitched on back-to-back days, but it’s hard to figure out who would be first in line for a save in their absence. Austin Pruitt is the only other reliever with a save this season for the A’s, but my gut tells me that Joel Payamps is the most-trusted option.

 

STL 0 – SDP 1

  • In a pitcher’s duel that ended in the only other shutout of the day, the Cardinals came out on the losing end. The only run they surrendered was of the unearned variety and it came against the starter. Jake Woodford and JoJo Romero split the seventh and the latter went on to pitch a hitless eighth. Woodford is far from a household name, but since moving to the bullpen full time at the end of August, the righty owns a 2.51 ERA (14.1 IP) despite striking out only eight batters. Closer Ryan Helsley hasn’t pitched since Saturday and may be in need of some work to keep his arm loose.
  • It was a banner day for the San Diego pitching staff. Not only did the starter strike out 13 batters, but the bullpen was perfect across two frames. I guess they thought that the starter used up all the strikeouts because they failed to fan anyone. Regardless, Robert Suarez and Josh Hader were flawless. The former earned his 10th hold for setting up in the eighth and unleashed the second-fastest pitch of the day – a 101 mph four-seamer. The latter converted his 34th save after closing out the ninth. Somewhat surprisingly, Hader is 34/37 in save chances in spite of his 5.72 ERA (45.2 IP). Don’t look now, but Hader is on a five-inning scoreless streak and has only given up one run across his past seven outings. He fired 12 bullets on Wednesday and should be available again today if needed.

 

ARI 6 – LAD 1

  • Rarely have the Dodgers been manhandled by a pitching staff in recent seasons, but the Diamondbacks were able to do so on Wednesday. They allowed only three hits and just five baserunners in total. The bullpen was awesome as Kevin Ginkel, Ian Kennedy, and Mark Melancon all held the Dodgers scoreless across the final third of their victory. Kennedy threw 19 pitches and will be available in the off chance that another shot at a victory arrives today.
  • The Los Angeles starter struggled across four frames and left the bullpen with a lot of work to do. Chris Martin and Alex Vesia didn’t allow a hit across the fifth and sixth innings. Tommy Kahnle also held the DBacks hitless in the seventh, that is if you only count bats. He hit a batter, unleashed a wild pitch, and allowed a sacrifice fly. That outing turned out an awkward box score line (1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) that would seem impossible if not for the added insight. Caleb Ferguson and Justin Bruihl kept the hitless streak rolling across the eighth and ninth. In all, the Dodgers’ bullpen tossed five no-hit 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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