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
- Every team played on Wednesday, while four teams (NYM, PIT, MIN, and NYY) participated in doubleheaders.
- Less than half of the league will be in action on Thursday. Additionally, the Giants and Brewers will partake in a doubleheader, meaning only 12 teams will take the field. The teams with a day off are TBR, TOR, BAL, BOS, CLE, KCR, DET, HOU, SEA, TEX, LAA, NYM, ATL, PIT, LAD, SDP, ARI, and COL.
- No notable transactions to mention.
- The Giants will turn to Scott Alexander to open the first half of their doubleheader and have yet to announce a starter for game two. Alex Young will likely be called upon for multiple innings and the rest of the bullpen is likely to be relied upon heavily.
NYM 5 – PIT 1 (Game 1)
- You’d usually expect a bullpen to be stretched in the course of a doubleheader, but the Mets bullpen was spared by two incredible starts. In the first game, Seth Lugo was the only arm needed, as he pitched two scoreless innings. The 32-year-old right-hander hasn’t been talked about much this season for someone with his track record and a 2.96 ERA (54.2 IP), but the main detractor has been the lowest strikeout rate (24%) of his career since he was a full-time starter in 2017.
- Utilizing Duane Underwood Jr. as the opener wasn’t enough to keep the Mets’ bats quiet. The reliever allowed a run in his lone frame before making way for Bryse Wilson. As the follower, Wilson went six innings, allowing seven baserunners (all via base hits), while striking out three. He induced just four whiffs, splitting them between his four-seamer and slider, and produced a 19% CSW across 77 pitches. The final two frames were pitched scorelessly by Miguel Yajure.
NYM 10 – PIT 0 (Game 2)
- It was deGrom time in game two and, surprisingly, the Mets’ offense showed up again. They made it a comfortable evening for the pitching staff, allowing manager Buck Showalter to utilize Adam Ottavino and Alex Claudio for one inning apiece to produce one of only two shutouts on the day. Closer Edwin Díaz still has yet to pitch since last Thursday and likely gets at least a maintenance inning this weekend after the team’s off day today.
- With the starter unable to survive the second, it was basically another opener situation for the Pirates. Eric Stout finished the second and the third without event and turned the ball over to Zach Thompson for the next three frames. The righty allowed three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. The next three frames also produced three runs as Tyler Beede and Yohan Ramirez struggled to keep the Amazins off the board. Pittsburgh will be able to give their bullpen a rest today.
MIN 4 – NYY 5 (Game 1)
- It was going to be a long day for both teams as soon as the first game of the twin billing hit extra innings. This 12-inning affair knocked the wind out of the Twins. After Griffin Jax blew his fifth save in the sixth by serving up a dinger to Gleyber Torres, the Minnesota bullpen was strong for the next five frames. Caleb Thielbar, Jorge López, Jhoan Duran, and Michael Fulmer kept the Bronx Bombers off the board during that time. Thielbar was the only one to not allow a baserunner while Duran was the only one to go multiple innings. The latter also threw the four fastest pitches on the day, topping out at 102.9 mph with his heater. Unfortunately, all that hard work went to waste when Trevor Megill not only allowed the zombie runner to score in the 12th but also an additional run on an Oswaldo Cabrera walk-off single. He was tagged with his third loss and second blown save.
- Trading blows with the Minnesota arm barn, the Bronx bullpen was just as magnificent. Six arms combined to not allow an earned run across six lockdown innings. Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Clay Holmes closed out regulation and the latter went on to pitch a clean tenth. The 11th was also quiet thanks to Ron Marinaccio, but when the 27-year-old righty was extended into the 12th, he was unable to keep the zombie runner away from home. Greg Weissert was needed to close out the inning and the 27-year-old righty was awarded his third win upon the walk-off.
MIN 1 – NYY 7 (Game 2)
- Both teams needed a deep start after their marathon matinee, but the Twins were forced to go into mop-up duty after the starter lasted just four innings. Jovani Moran and Emilio Pagán combined for three scoreless innings to push the game to the eighth where Austin Davis surrendered three runs, struggling with his control (four walks). Moran has quietly become a sleeper in the Minnesota arm barn. The 25-year-old lefty sports a 1.91 ERA (28.1 IP) with a 1.16 WHIP and a 32.5% strikeout rate. Keep an eye on him next year, as his 34.6% CSW changeup could help him take off in 2023. Closer Jorge López tossed 15 pitches in game one and considering the state of the bullpen, will likely be counted upon today.
- While the Twins were unable to get that elusive deep start, New York’s starter pitched into the seventh, affording them the opportunity to utilize just one reliever. That man was Lucas Luetge, as he went 2.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Despite the doubleheader, the Yankees don’t have the day off today, and with closer Clay Holmes using 27 pitches in his outing just two days after pitching in back-to-back games, they may need to find an interim closer. The most rested arm in the bullpen is Lou Trivino.
MIL 4 – COL 8
- I think I heard somewhere once that pitching in Coors isn’t easy. I don’t know, I could be wrong. The Milwaukee starter certainly thought so, as his seven runs set the Brewers back and forced the bullpen into action in the third. Luis Perdomo jumped into action for the second day in a row and shut out the Rockies across seven outs. Brent Suter followed with two innings of his own, during which he surrendered the team’s eighth run. With the big deficit, infielder Jace Peterson pitched the final frame and did so flawlessly.
- Not much was needed from the Colorado bullpen thanks to the offense’s efforts. Despite their ineffectiveness (three earned runs), Justin Lawrence (two innings, one run) and Jake Bird (one inning, two runs) held the lead. The Rockies have no game scheduled for Thursday.
ATL 7 – OAK 3
- A few well-known relievers pitched the final three frames for Atlanta. Collin McHugh, Tyler Matzek, and Raisel Iglesias all have their fair share of notoriety and each held the lead. McHugh recorded all three of his outs via the strikeout, Matzek was the only one to permit a run, and Iglesias was the only one to keep runners off the basepaths. Those three, as well as the rest of the team, will take Thursday off.
- The A’s also turned to three relievers, although these were much less known. Tyler Cyr, Kirby Snead, and Norge Ruiz got outs in each of the final four frames. Cyr surrendered a run, Snead allowed three without getting anyone out, and Ruiz was impressive. The latter grabbed eight outs without allowing a run.
DET 5 – LAA 4
- It took a lot of work, but the Detroit bullpen came through to nab a victory. Will Vest and Andrew Chafin were the only relievers to allow a run, doing so in the fifth and seventh respectively. The only pitcher to go unscored upon and not be recognized by a decision was Jason Foley, as he was sandwiched between the two innings with one tally. José Cisnero wound up with his first win after pitching a scoreless eighth and Gregory Soto was called upon for the save opportunity in the ninth. The All-Star left-hander recorded all three of his outs via the strikeout and converted his 25th save. The Tigers have Thursday off.
- Attempting to go toe-to-toe with the Detroit bullpen, the Angels’ arm barn failed to hold a lead. It began on the wrong foot as Andrew Wantz earned his fourth hold despite serving up a solo shot to Eric Haase. Jaime Barria followed suit by permitting another run in the seventh and was tagged with his third blown save for losing the lead. Luckily, the league was reclaimed and Jimmy Herget was able to earn his third hold with a scoreless eighth. With a lefty leading off the ninth, José Quijada was brought aboard for the save. However, he sunk the ship, surrendering two solo homers to rookies Kerry Carpenter and Ryan Kreidler. Quijada was saddled with his fourth loss and second blown save and needed help from Zack Weiss to close out the frame. The team should be able to get the sour taste from this outing erased from their mouth with their rest day today.
SFG 3 – LAD 7
- Failing them once again, the Giants’ bullpen couldn’t hold on in their rivalry matchup. It could all be blamed on one arm, as Zack Littell surrendered four runs in the eighth, three of which came on a Max Muncy long ball. Prior to his blowup Yunior Marte and Alex Young combined for five scoreless outs. Afterward, Luis Ortiz finished off the eighth in his San Francisco debut.
- The Dodgers wouldn’t have needed that Muncy dinger if not for Justin Bruihl blowing his first save in the seventh by serving up his own home run to David Villar. Luckily for Evan Phillips, he was set up to earn his sixth win as he not only finished Bruihl’s inning but also pitched a clean eighth. The final frame went to Alex Vesia, who dropped his ERA to 2.36 (45.2 IP) with the scoreless outing. The 26-year-old lefty has been incredible in LA since being acquired from the Marlins in the 2020-21 offseason deal that sent Dylan Floro the other way. In two seasons with the Dodgers, he owns a 2.31 ERA (85.2 IP), a 1.09 WHIP, and a 33.5% strikeout rate. No game will feature the Dodgers on Thursday.
CHW 9 – SEA 6
- As the Chicago starter returned from the IL, the bullpen was forced to cover for his lack of in-game seasoning. Beginning in the fourth, José Ruiz recorded three outs. The next four went to Jake Diekman and Joe Kelly, as the former allowed a run and the latter notched his 13th hold. Aaron Bummer blew his second save in the seventh by way of an Eugenio Suárez dinger but wound up with his first win when the lead was resecured. The eighth was pitched flawlessly by Vince Velasquez before an Australian took over in the ninth. Liam Hendriks struck out the side in order in dominant fashion, earning his American League-leading 31st save (tied with two others). His 13 pitches won’t keep him out of action today.
- There haven’t been many instances in 2022 in which the Seattle bullpen has let the team down, but Wednesday was just one of those days. Penn Murfee started things off right by completing the starter’s sixth and Matt Festa kept it going with a perfect seventh. However, Diego Castillo permitted an unearned run in the eighth and received an unlucky loss, his third. I guess unearned runs were the special menu item on Wednesday because Chris Flexen gave up two more of his own in the ninth. Seattle will rest up today before their weekend series against the red-hot Braves.
BOS 0 – TBR 1
- A pitcher’s duel didn’t go Boston’s way. The starter allowed just one run while John Schreiber, Matt Strahm, and Zack Kelly were unscored upon across the final three frames. Schreiber has slowed down somewhat in the second half, sporting a still-impressive 2.78 ERA (22.2 IP) post-All-Star break. Nonetheless, the 28-year-old owns a 2.08 ERA (56.1 IP) and a 0.89 WHIP in a magnificent Boston debut. The Red Sox won’t play on Thursday.
- In an effort to limit pitch counts, the Rays piggybacked starters. The opening starter went the first three frames while the following starter went three of his own. That secondary starter was Yonny Chirinos, as the righty made his 2022 debut after a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery. He was unscored upon and struck out three batters while inducing six whiffs and a 26% CSW across 53 pitches. Colin Poche and Jason Adam set up the ninth perfectly with a scoreless inning apiece, earning them their 19th and 21st holds respectively. Pete Fairbanks was the Tampa Bay closer of the day, pitching a hitless ninth to secure his sixth save. The Rays will use Thursday to rest up for their weekend series in the Bronx.
MIA 3 – PHI 4
- With the Marlins being one of the few teams on Thursday’s schedule, they decided one reliever was enough. They were able to preserve the bullpen, but the deficit grew in a crucial manner as Huascar Brazoban allowed the deciding run in two innings of work. I love Brazoban’s story as a 32-year-old rookie as much as the next guy, but don’t be fooled by his 2.91 ERA (21.2 IP) because it comes with a 1.48 WHIP and a 14.7% walk rate that doesn’t portend future success. Closer Tanner Scott has still yet to pitch since last Wednesday and is in dire need of a maintenance outing.
- The Phillies bullpen provided just what the manager asked of them. Andrew Bellatti finished the starter’s sixth and his own seventh to earn his seventh hold before José Alvarado pitched a perfect eighth for his 16th hold which set Connor Brogdon up for the save chance in the ninth. He worked around a home run off the bat of Jacob Stallings to secure his second save of the season.
TOR 4 – BAL 1
- An eight-inning masterpiece from the starter allowed the Blue Jays to go straight to the closer. Jordan Romano pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to tie for the AL lead with 31 saves. I feel like his season has been quiet for someone with a 2.03 ERA (53.1 IP) and that many saves, but it’s probably because he’s become more of a finesse pitcher as opposed to the overwhelming arm he was in 2021. He has struck out batters 5% less often but has made up for that by walking batters 2% less often. xFIP (3.36) and SIERA (2.96) suggest he’s been relatively lucky. The Blue Jays won’t play on Thursday.
- The Baltimore starter was returning from injury, so the team utilized starter Dean Kremer as the follower. He pitched just fine in the role, covering 5.1 innings with eight baserunners (six hits, two walks), three runs (two earned), and three strikeouts. The righty induced seven whiffs and produced a 24% CSW across 92 pitches but was tagged with his fifth loss. Joey Krehbiel and Jake Reed secured the next five outs to end Baltimore’s night. The team won’t see action again until their weekend matchup with the Red Sox.
CIN 7 – CHC 1
- In an uncommon occurrence, the Cincinnatti pitching staff was actually effective on Wednesday. The moon must’ve been blue. Derek Law and Joel Kuhnel were the only relievers to appear, as they covered 3.1 scoreless frames, combining to allow just two hits while striking out six. Closer Alexis Díaz hasn’t appeared since Friday and it might be time for a maintenance inning.
- It wasn’t the most exciting bullpen usage for the Cubs, as they don’t employ many household names and were working with a large deficit. Erich Uelmen and Jeremiah Estrada added to that deficit in the sixth and ninth respectively. In between, Michael Rucker was unscored upon across five outs and Sean Newcomb tossed a perfect eighth. Rucker owns the lowest ERA of the arms that appeared, but it isn’t too noteworthy as it currently sits at 4.30 (44 IP). I think that says more about the state of the bullpen than it does about Rucker.
WSN 5 – STL 6
- Oof. That’s how the game ended, but it began perfectly. Literally, Erasmo Ramírez and Carl Edwards Jr. failed to allow a baserunner across 3.2 innings of work to set up the ninth for Kyle Finnegan. Then things got bad. The right-hander’s night looked like this: single, walk, double (first run scores), ground out (second run scores), walk, strikeout, single (third run scores), and then a walk-off two-run double by Tommy Edman. This seems like a case of manager Dave Martinez failing to realize that Finnegan didn’t have it and needed to be removed before disaster struck. He failed to do so, and thus, the team blew a four-run ninth-inning lead, adding insult to injury to their Majore League-worst 48-89 record. Finnegan likely has today off to get his head right after firing 31 bullets in the outing.
- The Cardinals were twice as lucky to receive a blowup on the other side because their own late-inning hiccup was overshadowed. In the eighth, JoJo Romero and Giovanny Gallegos combined to give up four runs to put the team in a pretty big hole. Zack Thompson was able to close out the inning, but the damage had been done. Luckily, the offense bailed them out and handed Jake Woodford his fourth win following his scoreless ninth.
CLE 1 – KCR 2
- A rookie starter took the mound for the Guardians and kept the opposition scoreless for four frames. The bullpen kept up that pace across the next four innings. Sam Hentges pitched a perfect fifth before Enyel De Los Santos (third hold), James Karinchak (fifth hold), Trevor Stephan (13th hold), and Bryan Shaw (fifth hold) were unscored upon through eight innings. Just as everything seemed to be going according to plan, Emmanuel Clase went ahead and blew his third save and took his fourth loss of the season by surrendering a walk-off sac-fly to Salvador Perez. It was one of the few failures of Clase’s remarkable season, but he won’t have a chance for redemption until this weekend’s series in Minnesota.
- It took fewer arms, but the Royals reliever were able to outClase (see what I did there?) the opposition. Collin Snider and Dylan Coleman contributed one scoreless inning apiece to set up Scott Barlow to pitch the top of the ninth. Without the benefit of a save opportunity, Barlow was still his sturdy self, putting up a perfect inning and earning his sixth win as a result. It’s most definitely going somewhat unnoticed because of his team context, but he owns a 2.49 ERA (65 IP) and is 21/24 in save opportunities. An off day will keep Barlow fresh for the weekend matchup with the Tigers.
TEX 3 – HOU 4
- In the final extra-inning affair on Wednesday, the Rangers were once again defeated in the battle of Texas. With their rookie starter pitching only a third of regulation, a lot of bullpen work was necessitated. That will be alright for the future because the team has Thursday off, but it wasn’t alright on Wednesday. The first reliever out of the pen, Brett Martin, allowed a run and ended the shutout. Dennis Santana held on for four scoreless outs and his 18th hold, but John King blew his fourth save by giving up a two-run blast to Kyle Tucker. Jésus Tinoco pushed the game to the ninth where Jonathan Hernández forced extras. Extending Hernández’s outing into overtime was a mistake, as the righty allowed the zombie runner to score in walk-off fashion on a wild pitch. He was saddled with his second loss as a result. The Rangers’ interim manager will have time to think about his decision with today’s off day.
- After Seth Martinez put two runners on base while completing the starter’s sixth, the bullpen went into lights-out mode. Bryan Abreu was perfect across two innings and Rafael Montero was flawless in the ninth. In extras, Héctor Neris kept it going by leaving the zombie runner on base and not adding to the chaos. The righty earned his fifth win thanks to the offenses’ efforts. The Astros will take Thursday to rest up for their weekend series against the Angels.
ARI 3 – SDP 6
- Despite trailing for the majority of the game Arizona turned to a few of their top arms with the benefit of foresight letting them know about their planned day off. Keynan Middleton escaped the starter’s fifth and pitched his own sixth prior to Mark Melancon tossing a hitless seventh. The eighth went to All-Star Joe Mantiply who surrendered a run on two hits. A 2.21 ERA (36.2 IP) in the first half rightfully earned Mantiply the All-Star nod, but he hasn’t been nearly as effective since the All-Star break. The left-hander has put up a 4.50 ERA (18 IP), but a 2.43 xFIP that is right in line with the first half’s 2.37 mark suggests he’s been unlucky.
- Is the universe returning to order? Josh Hader seems to be moving back into the closer role, recording two saves in the past week-plus. Those two saves sandwiched an outing during which he allowed another run, but he seems to be regaining his confidence. A perfect ninth on Wednesday resulted in his 31st save, but it was against the DBacks and didn’t feature any strikeouts. Don’t hold your breath, because he may not be out of the water yet. Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez set up with a scoreless inning apiece. The former notched his ninth hold while the latter earned his fourth. The Padres won’t play on Thursday.
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)