Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 4/10 Depth Chart

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!




Transaction and Schedule Notes


  • Every team played on Sunday and only TOR and DET have a scheduled off day on Monday.


  • José Ruiz was traded from the White Sox to the Diamondbacks, he should immediately fill an important role in the bullpen
  • Devin Smeltzer was called up by the Marlins, he’s likely a long reliever and probably won’t be on the team for the long-term
  • Andrés Muñoz was placed on the IL by the Mariners. The Mariners also optioned Matt Festa. The two were replaced on the roster by Justin Topa and J.B. Bukauskas.
Yesterday’s Performances

HOU 5 – MIN 1

  • Bryan Abreu worked a scoreless 8th and Ryan Pressly a scoreless 9th to close out this four-run game. Abreu continued to show the elite stuff that led to him posting a sub-2 ERA last year. Walks may plague him at times, but he’s got the skills to succeed Ryan Pressly as the closer even with the presence of Rafael Montero. For Monday, Pressly has worked in three of the past five days and the Astros might be careful about overworking him too early in the season. There’s a decent chance Montero gets work to open the series.
  • Jorge Alcala and Emilio Pagán combined to record the final nine outs for Minnesota. Neither was particularly impressive. There was a time in Spring Training last year, before we really knew how much Jhoan Duran was going to break out, that we thought Alcala could succeed Taylor Rogers as the Twins closer, but, unfortunately, this isn’t the same guy that we were excited about. He’s two ticks down on his fastball and went 0/45 on whiffs on Sunday. Yes, 45 pitches without a single swinging strike.


KCR 1 – SFG 3

  • Carlos Hernández surprisingly came on for the 7th with starter Kris Bubic dealing and only at 76 pitches. He recorded two outs before being removed with a leg injury. The Royals then sent out Ryan Yarbrough to close out the 7th and hold the lead for the 8th. He gave up a go-ahead homer to Michael Conforto, taking the loss and the blown save. They were likely saving Scott Barlow for the 9th, but it’s a bit concerning that they opted not to use Dylan Coleman here. He had three days’ rest and was seen as the team’s main 8th-inning guy coming into this year before a rough start in which he featured decreased velocity. Coleman’s access to hold opportunities may be diminishing leaving Aroldis Chapman as the clear second in the saves ladder.
  • Both Rogers brothers worked in this one, but this time it was Tyler Rogers who picked up a save with John Brebbia snagging a lucky win. Camilo Doval had worked two days in a row and it’s a bit early in the year for most teams to let guys go three straight games. Tyler Rogers has snagged an occasional save for the Giants for several years and I wouldn’t expect this to grow into anything more.


TEX 8 – CHC 2

  • Working on three days’ rest, the Rangers decided to get a couple of high-leverage relievers some scheduled work in a secured game. Will Smith recorded four outs across the 6th and 7th while José Leclerc finished out the final three outs. It’s worth noting that Leclerc only averaged 93.2 mph on eleven fastballs after averaging 96.5 last year. 3.3 mph is nothing to sneeze at. Cole Ragans also continues to show much-increased velocity and skills and is a guy to watch as a dark horse option to take over some save shares if Leclerc stumbles.
  • Javier Assad worked bulk innings in relief to allow the rest of the corps to have a rest. After an impressive performance in the WBC where he showed some increased velocity, Assad has struggled to turn that into success at the major league level as he surrendered another three earned runs in this one. Julian Merryweather’s velocity was back up to 97/98 here, but he has only struck out one of sixteen batters he’s faced this year. There’s room in the Cubs bullpen for some people to secure high-leverage roles and potentially even saves, but I can’t chase Merryweather until the Ks come back.


CIN 6 – PHI 4

  • Fernando Cruz, Kevin Herget, and Ian Gibaut combined for five innings of one-hit, scoreless ball with Herget earning the win and Gibaut the save. Alexis Díaz was unavailable after throwing 32 pitches on Saturday, so the Reds had to shift roles around to find outs. The pecking order is extremely unclear behind Diaz and, should Diaz be removed from the 9th inning, I don’t trust the Reds to use one player back there frequently enough to make any other names here worth chasing.
  • The Phillies deployed Gregory Soto in the 6th, José Alvarado in the 7th, Craig Kimbrel in the 8th, and Seranthony Domínguez in the 9th. Even though that was the hierarchy of the day, I wouldn’t say that this is the hierarchy to keep in mind going forward. Dominguez again struggled with control and gave up three runs on two hits and two walks which saddled him with the blown save and the loss. Alvarado has been absolutely dominant so far this season, striking out eleven of thirteen batters faced, however, he has the capacity to come out and walk three straight to begin his next outing and get his walk rate right back up to his career average. This may quickly become a two-man committee between Alvarado and Kimbrel, however, both relievers have histories of wild fluctuations in performance.


BOS 4 – DET 1

  • Kenley Jansen worked around a pair of hits and a walk to record his second save on Sunday. Jansen continues to average around 95 mph on his cutter which is something he’s never done in his career. It will be interesting to see if he’s able to maintain this velocity across a full season. If he stays healthy, he seems to be in line for another solid season as one of the league’s premier closers.
  • Another day, another new inning in which Alex Lange was used. This time, he was deployed in the 7th inning with the team down 2-1. He gave up a run on a hit and a walk and generated just one swinging strike. Now’s about the time that I’d start to worry both about Lange’s usage and performance. He’s now faced eighteen batters this year and struck out none of them. He’s being used in situations that make me think he’s, at best, part of a closer committee in Detroit. If he’s your RP2, I would start strongly considering my alternatives.


OAK 0 – TBR 11

  • This game seemed like it was lost for the A’s after the first few innings. All the same, some of their top relievers hadn’t worked in a while and they needed some maintenance innings. Dany Jiménez faced just one batter, retiring him on seven pitches. Trevor May came on in the 6th and could not find his control, walking four of the seven batters he faced and being unable to finish the inning. By and large, Jimenez has seemed like the guy who was a solid closer for Oakland when healthy last year and has the only save for the team this year. May has interesting skills, but this performance has to hurt the team’s confidence in him.
  • The Rays starters have been working so deep that most of their guys have only been getting maintenance innings and we actually don’t have a good sense of this team’s leverage ladder yet simply because they haven’t played in a close game. To this point, we have learned nothing about the Rays’ bullpen.


MIA 7 – NYM 2

  • Looking to avoid a sweep, the Marlins deployed all of their highest-leverage arms despite a fairly sizable lead from the middle innings. Tanner Scott came on first and scavenged a win with Dylan Floro pitching in the 8th and A.J. Puk in the 9th. This may very well be a committee, but Puk has the team’s only save and this is the second time they’ve shown their hand a bit about how the team sees their own leverage ladder. Puk seems to be the guy to own here with Floro also possibly providing some value.
  • Stephen Nogosek delivered some bulk innings in relief to protect what was a mildly taxed bullpen. They should have their full complement of high-leverage relievers ready for action in their next game.


SEA 6 – CLE 7 (F/12)

  • Three separate Mariners relievers took blown saves in this crazy, back-and-forth game. Paul Sewald was unavailable after pitching in back-to-back games and Andrés Muñoz was placed on the IL before the game, so the Mariners turned first to Matt Brash, then J.B. Bukauskas, then Penn Murfee for the save, all of whom failed. It was interesting that the team went with Brash as their next option to close instead of Diego Castillo, but his control issues were on full display in this one and I don’t think he’s an arm I want to chase. This bullpen is completely taxed after this series and they’ll be hoping for length from their starters early in their series against the Cubs.
  • Both James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase had had several days off, so the Guardians decided to send them out with the team trailing. Nearly every other high-leverage reliever on the team got in the game as Cleveland kept coming back to tie the game. Clase did give up another run and is still sitting a couple ticks slower than last year on his fastball. He’s still very secure in his role, but it’s something to monitor as he eases into the season.


CHW 0 – PIT 1

  • Jimmy Lambert and Jake Diekman got the only two innings of relief for the White Sox with the team down a run. Both of these guys are pretty far down the pecking order for holds and likely only get them when multiple other options are unavailable.
  • The Pirates used their top two arms to close out the 1-0 shutout in Colin Holderman and David Bednar. It was already Bednar’s fourth save and he looks as dominant as ever and past the nonsense earlier in his career of the team using him in various roles outside the 9th inning. Holderman continues to be a solid setup man and seems to be in line to lead the team in holds.


NYY 5 – BAL 3

  • Clay Holmes earned his third save of the year and second in as many days as he retired the side in order. His sinker seems to be as good as ever, but he now seems to be throwing his sliders a bit more often than last year. PLV doesn’t like his sinker that much, certainly not enough for him to continue to use it at 85%, so the change in pitch mix seems like a good idea on the surface.
  • Danny Coulombe, Logan Gillaspie, and Mike Baumann combined to record the final nine outs of the ball game for Baltimore. These are all mid-leverage guys who will only get the occasional hold.


STL 1 – MIL 6

  • Ryan Helsley hadn’t worked in over a week, so the Cardinals got him a maintenance inning despite the large deficit. He had looked slightly fallible in his first two appearances of the year, but he seemed every bit as electric as last year hitting 101 mph on the gun a couple of times and striking out two. When the Cardinals do start getting save chances, Helsley should clean up the vast majority of them.
  • Devin Williams also got work in this one despite the five-run advantage and he made short work of the three batters he faced. He’s looking to be ready for another dominant season, although he’ll likely sprinkle in an outing here or there where he doesn’t have his control and struggles with walks.


SDP 10 – ATL 2

  • Domingo Tapia and Nabil Crismatt combined to clean up the final three innings of this blowout. The relief innings weren’t meaningful here as the game was decided well beforehand.
  • Despite the blowout, Atlanta opted to use some of its high-leverage relievers including Joe Jiménez and A.J. Minter. Minter seems to have seized the highest leverage role in this bullpen in the absence of Raisel Iglesias, who still hasn’t started a throwing program. We haven’t seen concerns over handedness limiting his 9th-inning usage come to fruition, so Minter seems to be a solid RP1 while Iglesias is out.


LAD 6 – ARI 11

  • Phil Bickford recorded a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts in garbage time Sunday against the Diamondbacks. He should be among the mix for holds in LA, but the bigger news for the Dodgers bullpen came off the field. Dave Roberts said that Evan Phillips would get the 9th inning more often than other relievers, so while he wasn’t named closer, he has the two team saves and the support of the manager, so I’d consider him the guy to own here in saves leagues and potentially a top-10 closer the rest of the way.
  • Arizona had a pretty sizable lead, so the team used depth arms Carlos Vargas and Peter Solomon to get the final nine outs. Neither is likely to figure into many high-leverage situations.


WSN 6- COL 7

  • The Nationals first used Erasmo Ramírez in the 6th to attempt to hold their lead, but he surrendered two runs and took the blown save and, eventually, the loss. Hobie Harris then came on to spare what was a fairly taxed bullpen. Right now, this is a bullpen in flux and not worth chasing no matter how desperate you are for saves.
  • Pierce Johnson worked around a walk and returned his third save of the season as he fills in for Daniel Bard. Justin Lawrence again worked the 8th inning and picked up his second hold. Johnson is the clear fill-in while Bard is gone, but nothing in his skill set tells me that he has much of a chance to hold on to saves when Bard comes back. There is no timetable for Bard’s return, though, so he seems like a decent, mid-range option in the short term albeit with the threat of a Coors-related blowup on the table.


TOR 12 – LAA 11 (F/10)

  • Jordan Romano came on with a three-run lead in the 9th and he stuck out the side, but not before allowing three runs and taking a blown save. He later went on to pick up the lucky win when the Blue Jays won in ten innings. Romano’s control was all over the place and that led to the one hard-hit ball off him being a two-run double. He had recorded clean saves in each of his previous four outings needing to face just thirteen batters to record twelve outs, so, as it stands now, this is just a fluke outing where Romano simply couldn’t find his control. Tim Mayza ended up earning the ancillary save as he was brought on to retire Shohei Ohtani with the bases loaded. Both Romano and Erik Swanson have now worked four out of the past six days, but with a scheduled off day on Monday, they should be ready for Toronto’s next game.
  • Carlos Estévez came on in the top of the 10th and allowed a pair of runs (one earned) on three hits to earn himself the loss. This was his first earned run of the season, but he struggled mightily with walks in Spring Training and those problems, in part, followed him to the regular season with three walks in his first three outings. He has yet to record a save and, while he’s seemed at times like the team’s closer, they seem to want to protect him early in the year. He worked last Sunday and Monday and manager Phil Nevin mentioned wanting to give him two days of rest after that, so I wouldn’t expect Estevez’s next appearance to come until Wednesday at the earliest. Jimmy Herget or José Quijada could be in line for a save chance if one arises on Monday or Tuesday.


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)

Eric Dadmun

Eric is a Core Fantasy contributor on Pitcher List and a former contributor on Hashtag Basketball. He strives to help fantasy baseball players make data-driven and logic-driven decisions. Mideast Chapter President of the Willians Astudillo Unironic Fan Club.

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