Reliever Ranks – 9/4

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 are scheduled in action today after 28 took the field on Saturday
  • Colorado and Cincinnati were rained out on Saturday; both teams will square off in a doubleheader today.
    • Three of the Rockies’ last four games have been one-run contests, so their relief core could become especially tired depending on the doubleheader workload of their starting pitchers.
  • Six teams anticipate a Monday off day: ATL, CHC, CIN, MIA, PHI, OAK.

 

  • NYY: Ryan Weber’s contract was purchased from the minors; reliever Anthony Banda was designated for assignment in a subsequent move.
  • NYM: Trevor May was placed on the COVID-19 IL. 26-year-old Bryce Montes de Oca was called up to fill the bullpen spot.
  • BAL: Anthony Castro was claimed off waivers from Cleveland. Phoenix Sanders was designated for assignment in a related move.

 

 

Yesterday’s Performances

 

SF 5 – PHI 4

Giants: It took seven pitchers for the Giants to cap this one off; three holds and a save were tallied. Camilo Doval retired all four batters he faced en route to his 19th save of the season, while Alex Young, Jarlin García and John Brebbia earned holds with a combined 1.2 scoreless innings leading up to it. San Francisco’s bullpen combined to pitch 4.2 innings of five-hit work, facing just four batters more than a minimum 14.

Phillies: After 4 1/3-inning starts on both sides of the ball, the Phillies used four relievers to the Giants’ six. Connor Brogdon worked around two hits in a scoreless 2/3 innings, while high-leverage arm Brad Hand immediately followed with a three-walk, one-hit sixth inning. He held the damage to a single run, but would ultimately take the loss as the Phillies wouldn’t post another run. Andrew Bellatti and José Alvarado each tossed a scoreless inning from there, striking out two each. David Robertson remains the likely candidate for a save today if the situation presents itself.

 

BOS 5 – TEX 3

Red Sox: More high-leverage action kicked off the early Saturday games, but it was a tough start for the Red Sox bullpen with Garrett Whitlock allowing four hits (two homers) and three runs in two innings. Matt Barnes took over in the ninth with a save on the line, but after allowing three hits and recording a single out, it was John Schreiber tasked with the final two outs. Schreiber shut down Texas and earned his sixth save of the year, while Barnes and Whitlock earned some valid-but-questionable holds.

Rangers: Unearned runs were costly in this two-run defeat; the Texas bullpen allowed four total runs but only one was earned. Brett Martin had the cleanest frame, retiring all three batters he faced in the eighth. Kohei Arihara was tasked with a serious workload, facing 12 batters in two innings and allowing four hits. Brock Burke allowed two unearned runs (0 ER) in the sixth, but two walks lifted his pitch count to a lofty 29 in three outs of work.

 

KC 12 – DET 2

Royals: A seven-inning, two-run start by Jonathan Heasley left two innings of work for the Kansas City bullpen. Wyatt Mills finished off the 10-run victory from there, retiring six of the seven Tigers he faced. The Royals now have a well-rested bullpen, while closer Scott Barlow hasn’t pitched since Tuesday.

Tigers: Detroit needed five innings of relief work on Saturday and the effort was forgetful to start. Jason Foley faced six batters and allowed five hits, tasking Daniel Norris with a one-out jam. Norris would close the inning and pitch two more, allowing three runs of his own on three hits. The eighth featured a clean frame by José Cisnero, but it was then position player Kody Clemens tossing the blowout ninth.

 

TB 2 – NYY 1

Rays: Seven shutout innings by Corey Kluber set the table for a one-inning hold by Pete Fairbanks, a one-inning save by Jason Adam (his eighth), and a whole bunch of postgame frustration for the Yankees, mustering up just three hits in a pitching-heavy contest. Adam broke up the shutout bid in the ninth with a solo home run, but recovered in time to preserve the one-run victory.

Yankees: New York’s bullpen combined to pitch 3.2 innings of scoreless work, spacing three hits and two walks to a combined 13 hitters. Lou Trivino (1.1 IP), Ron Marinaccio (2/3 IP) and Jonathan Loáisiga (1.2 IP) provided a bright spot in an otherwise tough loss; their workload could easily mean Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta are first in line for high-leverage work today.

 

TOR 4 – PIT 1

Blue Jays: Seven total arms took the hill for Toronto on Saturday and none of them pitched more than 2 1/3 innings. The tank was emptied on bullpen day: Jordan Romano earned save 29 with a perfect ninth, while Anthony Bass, Tim Mayza and Adam Cimber earned holds. Bass allowed two hits to open up the seventh, but both were stranded after Mayza struck out the final batter of the inning (his only work of the day).

Pirates: A dominant start by starter Roansy Contreras (6 IP, 1 R) put the Pirates in a great position, but Duane Underwood Jr. allowed three runs in the two outs that would follow, washing away Contreras’ win. Newly-acquired Robert Stephenson (acquired by waivers) tossed a perfect 1.1 innings with two strikeouts, while Manny Bañuelos worked a perfect ninth. Aside from a tough seventh inning, this was a great game by Pirates pitchers.

 

Postponed: COL @ CIN

Doubleheader scheduled for today

 

BAL 8 – OAK 1

Orioles: 5.2 innings of scoreless relief work sealed this low-blood-pressure finish, and Baltimore’s bullpen pitched with nothing shy of a five-run lead for the entire game. DL Hall worked a perfect eighth with two strikeouts, a welcome sight with an ERA just south of 10 entering Saturday. Nick Vespi earned his keep between a series of call-ups, tossing a scoreless ninth with a punchout.

Athletics: Taking over with a 6-1 deficit, the A’s bullpen allowed three hits and two runs in the remaining three innings. Zach Logue allowed two of those hits and one earned run, while Kirby Snead was the only Oakland pitcher to post a scoreless appearance (1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB). Sunday could feature A.J. Puk after 27 pitches on Friday, although the A’s may elect to give him further rest after that labor-intensive blown save.

 

WSH 7 – NYM 1

Nationals: A five-run ninth inning by Washington took a save off the board, but an eighth-inning hold by Carl Edwards Jr. set the table for it. His outing wasn’t without traffic, however; the Mets nearly pushed across a tying run after a hit and walk. A six-run lead was then developed, and Erasmo Ramírez put on the finishing touches with a perfect ninth (2 K). Closer Kyle Finnegan should be ready to roll on Sunday after consecutive outings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mets: Max Scherzer’s five innings of one-run work was preserved until the eighth inning. Tommy Hunter and Joely Rodríguez tossed scoreless frames, spacing a combined three hits, but the recently-dominant Adam Ottavino was later charged with a loss after a solo home run. The floodgates would then open in the ninth, with Adonis Medina allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits. Bryce Montes de Oca was needed to record the final two outs, but allowed a hit and walk in the process. The Mets are left with a tired bullpen, especially after a a lot of relief pitches thrown on Friday. In an ideal world for the Mets, a deep Sunday start can lead directly to Edwin Díaz, now rested since Thursday.

 

SEA 4 – CLE 0

Mariners: Robbie Ray carved his way through six scoreless innings, while a one-inning committee of Matt Brash, Andres Muñoz and Paul Sewald polished off the final three frames. Sewald allowed two hits in the ninth, giving the Guardians some form of late life, but only one hit was mustered by Cleveland bats against the other two relievers. A four-run victory kept saves and holds off the table, however.

Guardians: More dominant relief work: Cleveland combined to pitch 4 2/3 shutout relief innings, allowing just two hits and one walk. James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase each tossed a scoreless inning, both lowering their ERA’s to an identical 1.13. Both accustomed to save or hold situations, a trailing score did not seem to affect their Saturday performance. Enyel De Los Santos worked a perfect ninth, capping off a strong bullpen performance.

 

STL 8 – CHC 4

Cardinals: Adam Wainwright barely scratched the five-inning mark, earning a win despite allowing nine hits, two walks and four runs. The St. Louis bullpen was lights-out from there, retiring 13 of the Cubs’ final 12 hitters. Four arms were tasked with one inning each: Andre Pallante, Jake Woodford, JoJo Romero and Giovanny Gallegos. A four-run cushion was held for the duration of the Cardinals’ relief work, so about the only thing they didn’t earn on Saturday were saves and holds.

Cubs: Five arms were used out of Chicago’s relief core in interesting fashion. Rowan Wick was the highest-leverage arm of them all, tossing a perfect fifth with two strikeouts. Luke Farrell made his fourth appearance of 2022 (two starts, two in relief), working around two walks in a scoreless and hitless eighth and ninth. Wick and Mark Leiter Jr. (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) were the only two Cubs pitchers that didn’t issue a walk. Look for Brandon Hughes to take a save opportunity today, rested since his 12 pitches in a Wednesday hold.

 

CWS 13 – MIN 0

White Sox: A complete-game shutout by Dylan Cease – hitless through 8.2 innings – kept the bullpen door closed at Guaranteed Rate Field. This was big after some relatively high pitch counts by Joe Kelly and Liam Hendriks on Friday; it could very well be Kendall Graveman, rested since Thursday, factoring in some high-leverage Sunday work.

Twins: Opener Tyler Mahle allowed four runs in two innings, while bulk starter Aaron Sanchez tossed five innings to follow. A 7-0 deficit was then handed to position player Nick Gordon, and a forgettable 2/3-inning, six-run outing did little to speed up the game (as Cease sat patiently in the dugout holding a no-hit bid). This game featured zero traditional relievers on both sides of the ball, so if you’re reading this game feature to the end, big shoutout for being super committed to the Reliever Ranks.

 

ATL 2 – MIA 1

Braves: A 1-0 lead was handed to the Atlanta bullpen after the sixth inning. A.J. Minter earned a hold with a scoreless seventh, while Raisel Iglesias tallied a hold with a one-hit, zero-run eighth. Kenley Jansen took over in a ninth-inning save situation, but he allowed two hits, one walk and a tying run in 2/3 of an inning. After Jansen’s sixth blown save of the year, it was Tyler Matzek ending a jam with a quick out – and eventual win as the Braves walked it off.

Marlins: Three innings of scoreless relief work led the Marlins to the ninth inning with a 1-1 tie. Huascar Brazoban, Richard Bleier and Dylan Floro worked scoreless innings between the sixth and eighth, but it was a ninth-inning, two-hit showing by Steven Okert that broke the tie. Okert faced six batters in the final frame, walking two.

 

MIL 8 – ARI 6 (F/10)

Brewers: Extra innings in the desert! Taylor Rogers earned save number 30 for the Brewers, stranding the extra-inning ghost runner and striking out two of the three batters he faced. Devin Williams tossed a perfect ninth to preserve the extra-inning opportunity, and a team of five Milwaukee relievers combined for 4.1 innings of scoreless work. Today could feature a taxed relief core, but not as much as the opponent they will face in the series finale.

Diamondbacks: After five innings of three-run (two earned) work from Madison Bumgarner, it was a team of seven relievers pitching a combined 15 outs. Holds were plenty (Kevin Ginkel, Caleb Smith and Reyes Moronta). The table was set for Ian Kennedy in the ninth with a one-run lead, but one swing of the bat was all it took for the Brewers to hand him a fifth blown save of the year. It was then All-Star Joe Mantiply pitching in the 10th, but another home run cleared the Chase Field fence. The D-Backs now have an extremely fatigued bullpen, and the tough momentum of Kennedy and Mantiply could make that even more costly. (Mark Melancon might save the day for Arizona today, which could be a delight for the entire Arizona bullpen.)

 

LAD 12 – SD 1

Dodgers: Three arms, three innings, nine batters retired. Blake Treinen, Craig Kimbrel and Hanser Alberto carved through San Diego’s lineup, and there isn’t much to say here other than there was little more they could have done. Kimbrel wasn’t impacted by low-leverage work, and low pitch counts mean all three relievers could return today.

Padres: It’s a tough line when a position player has the best relief appearance of the day. Wil Myers worked a perfect eighth inning. Actual reliever Tim Hill fared well, working a scoreless seventh with a single walk allowed, but the deficit was already huge after four runs allowed by Reiss Knehr (1 2/3 IP). The Padres will have a rested set of top relievers as they close this series at Dodger Stadium, but their opponent isn’t running short on arms either.

 

LAA 2 – HOU 1 (F/12)

Angels: Despite eight innings of one-run work on the mound by Shohei Ohtani, the Angels needed extra innings to win this one. It wasn’t the fault of their relievers, however; three arms combined for four innings of scoreless work. The extra-inning was stranded in the 10th, 11th and 12th, with Ryan Tepera, Jimmy Herget and José Quijada carving through Houston hitters. Those three arms combined to allow a single hit in their time on the mound, walking one and striking out four.

Astros: Trade deadline pickup Will Smith took a tough loss in this contest, with his credited extra-inning ghost runner scoring. The run didn’t even score on Smith, either; he opened the frame, but it was Seth Martinez allowing an RBI single to the only batter he faced. Phil Maton pitched a scoreless 11th after Héctor Neris‘ scoreless 10th, Bryan Abreu’s scoreless ninth, and Ryne Stanek’s scoreless eighth.

Both bullpens in this game (nine total pitchers) combined to allow zero earned runs in 8 2/3 innings.

 

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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