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
- 22 of 30 teams have Monday off
- Of the eight teams in action on Monday – BAL, BOS, NYY, TOR, ATL, WSH, CIN, and PIT – only BAL and BOS don’t have an off day on Thursday
- The Phillies placed Brad Hand on the 15-day IL, ending his season. This opens up more hold opportunities for Andrew Bellatti and Zach Eflin.
- Freddy Peralta was activated and started on Sunday without getting stretched out in rehab assignments. He’ll likely get another start this week and still won’t be fully stretched out, so look for another day of heavy bullpen usage when he goes again.
- Art Warren was activated by the Reds after missing a few weeks with an elbow injury. He could factor into the holds conversation over the final week of the year.
- The Royals optioned Collin Snyder to the minors and called up Max Castillo who started on Sunday.
HOU 6 – BAL 3 (F/11)
- A brief rain delay forced the Houston bullpen into action a bit earlier than they otherwise would have given how starter Cristian Javier was working and that plus the extra innings led to Houston using every one of their high-leverage arms. Ryan Pressly came in to keep a tie game in the bottom of the 9th and force extras. Héctor Neris got the first crack at closing down the game in the 10th, but he allowed the extra innings runner to score. Finally, Rafael Montero ended things in the 11th, but did not earn a save as the lead was four runs when he entered. The Astros will be thankful for the day off on Monday and are one of four teams who also have a day off on Thursday.
- Like the Astros, the Orioles’ bullpen also got a healthy serving of work on Sunday afternoon and seven pitchers combined to log seven innings of relief. Keegan Akin took the loss as he let the flood gates open to the tune of four runs in the 11th. The Orioles do not have another day off before the end of the year, so they’ll need to regroup after two straight days of a heavy workload for the bullpen.
TOR 7 – TBR 1
- Toronto expanded their lead in the late innings and were able to take their foot off the gas pedal after Zach Pop and Adam Cimber earned holds in the 6th and 7th. This will allow Jordan Romano to remain available for Monday’s action.
- The light workload continued for the top two arms in Tampa Bay’s relief corps, Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks. Each have just one appearance since last Sunday. The Rays are being cautious even with maintenance innings here as they try to keep their top two arms fresh for the postseason, so expect them to only be used when they’re really needed.
CHC 8 – PIT 3
- The Cubs led 8-1 going into the 9th, so they threw out Erich Uelmen to close out the game, but two hits and two walks later, Brandon Hughes was on anyway for his seventh save of the year. Hughes was used in the 7th inning on Thursday, but was pulled after rolling his ankle and wasn’t used when a save situation came up on Friday. It seems like he’s better and while he may not always be used as the typical closer, he’s the Cub with the best chance to earn a save on any given night.
- David Bednar got in his second game of work after his stint on the IL and worked around two hits to deliver a scoreless inning. He notched six swinging strikes on 23 pitches, so he seemed to be mostly back to form, however it seems like his appearances are at least somewhat scheduled right now as he was used in the 6th inning with the club already down three runs. He may not be in the running for saves the rest of the year as the Pirates hope to just keep him healthy and moving with good momentum into 2023.
WSH 6 – MIA 1
- Erasmo Ramírez and Hunter Harvey earned holds before the Nationals extended the lead in their half of the 8th and never looked back. Despite being one of the few teams to play on Monday, they went ahead and deployed Carl Edwards Jr. and Kyle Finnegan anyway to close the game. They threw thirteen and sixteen pitches respectively, so they should each be available on Monday if needed.
- An injury to starter Edward Cabrera forced the Marlins into their bullpen early and the deficit allowed them to stick to their low-leverage relievers. After the off day Monday, all of their top relievers should be ready to go if called upon on Tuesday.
MIL 1 – CIN 2
- It was a scheduled bullpen day as starter Freddy Peralta hadn’t been stretched out yet after coming off the IL. Five relievers combined to work the remaining six innings of the game. Matt Bush took the loss on the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 8th, but the Brewers appeared ready to roll with the Brad Boxberger, Matt Bush, Devin Williams 7-8-9 combo that has been their preferred way to end games recently.
- Alexis Díaz struck out the side to earn his ninth save of the year in dominant fashion. Diaz has been on fire all year, but his K-BB% has risen from 16.4% in the first half to 24.2% in the second half indicating more efficient performances. While he greatly overperformed predictive metrics like FIP in the first half, he’s reduced his FIP by nearly a run in the second half and could be solidifying his role as the team’s closer going into next year.
SEA 12 – KCR 13
- Bunches of runs were scored off each bullpen here and Seattle relievers combined to give up eight earned runs in 2.2 IPs. Erik Swanson took the loss and the whole team will try to forget this one on their off day.
- The back end of this Royals pen took an out-of-control game and really calmed it down. Dylan Coleman earned his sixteenth hold and Scott Barlow logged his 24th save as they quieted down a Mariners offense that had scored eleven runs in the previous three innings before they entered the game. Coleman has delivered scoreless outings in twelve of his past thirteen appearances while Barlow has yet to allow a run in nine September outings.
LAA 10 – MIN 3
- José Quijada and Ryan Tepera were deployed for holds before the Angels extended their lead in the 9th which conceivably would have left the door open for a save opportunity for Jimmy Herget had the need arisen. Herget appears to be receiving most of the save opportunities, but still cedes one to either Tepera or Quijada from time to time.
- Most of the bullpen innings were eaten up by Ronny Henriquez who notched 4.2 IPs scoreless to keep the Twins in it before Trevor Megill melted down to allow five runs in the top of the 9th. Henriquez really saved a bullpen that had to use five of their top arms for five innings the night before and ensured that they’d be rested and ready to go for their next game on Tuesday.
DET 4 – CWS 1
- The Tigers went Andrew Chafin, Will Vest, and Gregory Soto for their 7-8-9 punchout of the White Sox on Sunday with Chafin being credited with his second win of the year and Soto with his 28th save. Soto has had his ups and downs over the season, but he has still somehow converted fifteen saves in a row. Seven of his nine losses on the year came when he entered in non-save situations.
- Reynaldo López and Kendall Graveman provided the 1-2 punch to turn a 1-0 lead for Chicago entering the 7th inning to a 4-1 deficit by the middle of the 8th. Graveman had been stellar all year, but is struggling here in September allowing runs in three straight outings and eight total runs in his last six appearances.
CLE 10 – TEX 4
- The Guardians were up big for most of this game, but James Karinchak got in there anyway after Texas started to show signs of breaking through in the 8th. He delivered a scoreless inning and lowered his post-All-Star Break ERA to 0.92. Karinchak is nearly unhittable when he’s on, but his walks and tendency to work up in the zone with his fastball leaves him vulnerable to multi-run homers that can spoil an outing very quickly.
- Joe Barlow is still working back from injury and trying to end the season on a positive note, but this outing does not help. He allowed a grand slam to Steven Kwan which raised his ERA a full run from 3.06 to 4.09. Barlow is not supplanting José Leclerc as closer this year, so he’s mainly fighting for his role next year. He leaned heavily on the slider and it just didn’t have the bite it usually does and hitters were generally able to recognize it for a ball or stay on it long enough to foul it off. He ended the outing by throwing a hanger to Kwan and that was all she wrote. That slider will need to be effective for Barlow to return to high-leverage innings.
ATL 8 – PHI 7 (F/11)
- Here’s another game where a rain delay and extra innings led to heavy bullpen usage on both sides. Atlanta asked five guys to record 6.1 IPs and they were able to do so allowing just one unearned run in the bottom of the 11th. Raisel Iglesias and Kenley Jansen saw work in the 8th and 9th respectively while Jackson Stephens worked the extra innings and took home his third win of the year. Iglesias has been lights out since coming to the NL East allowing one earned run in 21.1 innings of work for a 0.42 ERA while Jansen continues to be mediocre. It would likely take another couple bad outings from Jansen for them to make the switch.
- Philadelphia used six relievers to work six innings and they combined to allow three runs (two earned) in the game. David Robertson was credited with his eighth blown save of the year and third as a Phillie when he allowed the tying run in the top of the 8th. Andrew Bellatti took home the loss. Of the Phillies’ three top closing options, José Alvarado has been most impressive recently by a mile. In his 9.2 innings pitches in September, he’s allowed no runs, one hit, and two walks and struck out seventeen. Absolute filth. However, we all know how quickly things can turn south if he loses his command.
SDP 13 – COL 6
- Pierce Johnson and Robert Suarez were able to secure holds before the Padres offense took advantage of Coors and grew their lead to a touchdown. This bullpen is finally looking like what the organization hoped it would with Josh Hader tentatively seeming to be back to form and glue pieces like Pierce Johnson and Steven Wilson back with the major league club and pitching well. Their 3.81 team bullpen ERA has been middle off the road so far, but if this crew stays healthy, they’ll pitch significantly better than that.
- We saw seven Rockies relievers to cover 6.1 IPs and they allowed six runs over that stretch which was a big improvement in ERA terms from the starting pitcher. It was a Coors kind of day and Rockies pitching took it on the chin.
SFG 3 – ARI 2
- Camilo Doval was able to secure his 26th save of the year despite allowing a double and a walk that put the tying run in scoring position for the last batter. It was Doval’s first run allowed in September, a month in which he recorded ten straight scoreless outings coming into this one and has gone eight-for-eight in save chances. Safe to say there will be no speculation of splitting time with Jake McGee going into next season.
- The bullpen struggles for the D’Backs continue as they allowed three runs across the 8th and 9th innings to blow a 1-0 lead and lose the game. Luis Frias, Reyes Moronta, and Mark Melancon all played a part in the fall from grace, but Frias was credited with the loss and Moronta with a blown save. With the starting pitching in the top-10 in ERA in baseball in the second half and the young bats starting to round into form, a complete overhaul of this bullpen could turn this team around next year.
NYM 13 – OAK 4
- Despite the lopsided score, we did see some of the Mets’ high-leverage arms here as they ensured the victory to keep pace ahead of Atlanta in the race for the NL East. Adam Ottavino, Drew Smith, and Seth Lugo all got work and, thanks to the scheduled off day on Monday, all should be ready again on Tuesday if needed.
- Oakland basically threw Jared Koenig to the wolves and asked him to finish the lopsided game. He allowed six runs on eight hits over the final three innings.
STL 1 – LAD 4
- An impressive showing for Cardinals relievers as they held the Dodgers to one hit in five innings while striking out six. Unfortunately, the bats couldn’t get it going and no holds were handed out.
- The Dodgers new closer is…….. Andre Jackson?! No, that can’t be right. He came on in the 7th inning and maybe Dave Roberts was just going to leave him in until he faltered and he just never did. They’re coasting now and they could afford to treat a three run lead like a six run lead and see what they have in Jackson as he makes his case to be on the playoff roster.
BOS 0 – NYY 2 (F/6)
- This game was shortened by rain and neither team used a reliever.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)