Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 4/17/24 Depth Chart

Breakdowns of key bullpen usage from yesterday's slate of games.

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


  • Tuesday almost featured a full slate of games as the Royals and White Sox got rained out, but there was still plenty of theatrics and late-inning drama.  Wednesday will again see all 30 teams on the diamond with a slew of afternoon games.  The Giants and Marlins kick things off at 12:10 pm EST.
  • With the postponement, Kansas City and Chicago will squeeze in a traditional doubleheader Wednesday with their first game at 2:10.
  • As expected, the Blue Jays activated both Jordan Romano and Erik Swansonif they’ve been collecting dust in your IL slots, move them to your starting rosters accordingly.  Nate Pearson was optioned to AAA Buffalo and Mitch White DFA’ed.
  • Jhoan Duran threw 25 pitches Tuesday and reportedly felt ‘great’he’ll face live hitters on Friday as a next step.  It remains to be seen whether he’ll need a quick rehab assignment before assuming the closer duties for the Twins, but since his next session is at Target Field, a quick activation appears likely.


Yesterday’s Performances

TEX 2 – DET 4

W: Andrew Chafin (1-0)

SV: Jason Foley (5)

  • The Tigers were able to hold the defending champs at bay after six strong innings from starter Casey MizeAlex Lange pitched a clean seventh and Chafin worked the eighth.  Once the offense knocked a couple of runs out of Jose Urena and Jacob Latz, Chafin stayed in the game to work the left-handed Evan Carter before giving the Save opportunity to Foley.
  • Given Detroit’s penchant for being in low-scoring, close games, the ‘pen has come up huge.  Chafin now carries a 1.42 ERA and .79 WHIP, Lange has a 1.69 ERA and a 10.2 K/9, and Foley has become a revelation.  There will be opportunities galore in the Saves and Holds department with this club.
  • More on Foley: with a couple of Wins and now his fifth Save, he may be entering the discussion of top-10 closers.  His fastball velocity is in the 96th percentile and he’s carrying a 29% K-rate.  The 12.9% walk rate is a little high but he gets a lot of ground balls so expect a lot of double plays to wipe some of those baserunners off the board.  If there’s any chance he’s available, he needs rostering.


NYY 4 – TOR 5

HD: Yimi García (1)

SV: Jordan Romano (1)

  • Jordan Romano was quickly thrown into the fire after hitting Gleyber Torres and giving up a double to Alex Verdugo, putting runners on second and third with one out in a two-run game.  But Romano was able to coerce a pair of ground balls (the first one scoring Gleyber) to secure his first save of the season.  Throwing nine of his eleven pitches for strikes, Romano may have felt a little rusty but dialed in when needed, reaching back to hit 98 with his fastball.  He should be more than fine going forward.
  • The save earned Yusei Kikuchi his second win of the season and he has looked sharper than ever.  This could be a breakout season for Kikuchi and the Jays will need him with Gausmann looking rocky at the start.
  • Yimi García, who performed admirably filling in for Romano as the closer along with Chad Green, moves back into a setup role but will have plenty more opportunities for Holds.  He might be called upon to spell Romano at times in the early going.  This outing dropped his WHIP to .35 over 8.2 innings.


LAA 6 – TBR 7

W: Garrett Cleavinger (3-0)

L: Carson Fulmer (0-1)

H: Luis Garcia (1), Hunter Strickland (1), Matt Moore (4)

BS: Carlos Estévez (1), José Cisnero (1)

  • As you can see from the stat sheet, this was a wild one.  Lasting 13 innings, each team had (and squandered) multiple chances to secure the game.
  • With Robert Stephenson still out (and suffering another setback), Estevez took the hill in the ninth with a two-run lead.  He got the first two batters out before surrendering three consecutive hitsthe final one being a clutch triple by José Caballeroand letting Tampa tie it.  At least he was able to strike out Jose Siri to send it to extras, but the damage was done.
  • The teams emptied their ‘pens from there.  The inherited base runner reached home in consecutive innings for both squads but Phil Maton was able to throw a perfect twelfth to put the pressure on.
  • It was Carson Fulmer’s turn in the bottom half, and he was equally impressive as the Rays went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the twelfth.
  • Garrett Cleavinger came on next, allowing the free runner to score with one out.  A steal and a wild pitch put another runner at third, but after pitching around Mike Trout Cleavinger squeaked out of it.
  • Fulmer came back in the thirteenth to finish the game and looked impressive striking out the first two batters.  But fatigue may have set in from there and the wheels came loose.  Tampa won on a walk-off single by Amed Rosario to end the ballgame.


PIT 1 – NYM 3

W: Reed Garrett (2-0)

H: Jorge López (1)

SV: Drew Smith (1)

BS, L: Luis L. Ortiz (1-1)

  • Jared Jones was mowing down the Mets, but a quick hook proved costly for the Pirates.  Jones struck out seven in five dominant innings.  He only threw 56 pitches but Pittsburgh looks to already be in innings management mode.
  • Looking good in the sixth, LL Ortiz couldn’t get through the heart of the order in the seventh as Lindor and Alonso both reached.  After a pitching change put Jose Hernandez on the hill, a suddenly hot Jeff McNeil knocked a double to give the Mets three runs in the inning.
  • After getting Saves in two consecutive nights, Edwin Diaz was off.  Drew Smith took his place and looked nasty, throwing ten of twelve pitches for strikes and K-ing two for a spotless inning.


SDP 6 – MIL 3

H: Yuki Matsui (3)

  • The game wasn’t as close as the score might suggest, but the interesting thing here was how Milwaukee deployed its arms.  With Wade Miley only able to go three very rocky innings, the Brew Crew called on Abner Uribe (!) for the fourth.  He didn’t allow a run in almost two innings of work but it appeared to be a precipitous drop in the pecking order for who was thought to be the closer-apparent after Devin Williams went down.
  • Since there wasn’t a Save opportunity with a four-run lead in the ninth, the Padres kept Robert Suarez on the shelf.  He’d notched Saves on Sunday and Monday so likely was off-limits anyway, but only totaled 21 pitches in those outings so should be fine Wednesday.
  • Joel Payamps appeared in the ninth here while trailing.  He struck out both Profar and Machado and looked solid, so possibly-maybe will get the next Save opportunity.  Still, it’s messy in Milwaukee so would recommend staying away until things settle out.


CLE 10 – BOS 7

W, BS: Emmanuel Clase (1-0)

L: Josh Winckowski (1-1)

HD: Brennan Bernardino (1), Chris Martin (3)

SV:  Scott Barlow (1)

BS: Kenley Jansen (1), Cade Smith (1)

  • Things got wild in Beantown as this one also went to extras.  Both closers blew saves as Kenley couldn’t shut the door in the top of the ninth, giving up a double to no. 9 hitter Tyler Freeman who eventually would come around to tie it.  Clase then had a one-run lead in the 10th, but his inherited runner scored on a sac fly which was more bad luck than anything.
  • The Guardians got it going in the tenth, however, taking the lead for good on a looping single by José Ramírez.  They’d add two more on a walk, a sac-bunt to move the runners over, and another single.
  • Scott Barlow then was on to ice the three-run lead, facing the top of the Boston order (though Rafael Devers had left the game with a sore knee).  Barlow retired the side and earned his first save, though likely won’t see too many chances like these with Clase pitching well.


STL 3 – OAK 2

H: JoJo Romero (7)

SV: Ryan Helsley (7)

  • Lance Lynn might have only struck out a single batter, but went seven solid innings otherwise, keeping the A’s to two runs on five hits.
  • JoJo Romero and Ryan Helsley now lead the Majors in Holds and Saves respectively, as both were able to preserve the single-run advantage with little fanfare.  Both retired the side with a strikeout apiece.  St. Louis might be the Detroit Tigers of the National League in how they keep winning close games.


CIN 1 – SEA 3

H: Andrés Muñoz (3), Ryne Stanek (2)

SV: Tayler Saucedo (3)

  • The Mariners continued to confound a bit by bringing on Munoz in the seventh, though it was to face the heart of the Reds’ order.  Munoz was ‘effectively wild’, as the commentators put it, walking Elly De La Cruz and giving up a hit to Nick Martini, but Julio Rodríguez nailed Elly at third to end the inning and prevent Jake Fraley from scoring.  Munoz came back in the eighth and mowed down the bottom of the order.
  • The Reds made things interesting in the ninth, loading the bases on a couple of walks by Stanek and a Ty France error.  Stanek also dove trying to get Jake Fraley out at first and landed roughly, then was pulled after the next batter so Saucedo could face a lefty. Stanek threw 28 pitches and Munoz 24, so both may be shelved Wednesday.
  • On the Reds side, Hunter Greene needed 98 pitches to get through four innings, and though he struck out eight his efficiency will be a question going forward.


CHC 11 – ARI 12

Win: Kevin Ginkel (1-0)

H: Jack Leiter Jr. (3), Yency Almonte (4)

BS: Adbert Alzolay (3), Kyle Nelson (1)

L: Drew Smyly (2-2)

  • We saved the wildest one for last.  Runs piled up all night long with homers by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Joc Pederson, and a grand slam courtesy of Ian Happ, who apparently took issue with being dropped to the bottom half of the batting order.
  • Adbert Alzolay came on for the save in the bottom of the ninth, staked to a one-run lead.  Ketel Marte BARELY cleared the fence in right-center to tie things up, then a walk and stolen base by Corbin Carroll made things even dicier.  Another walk brought up Christian Walker but he wasn’t able to deliver.
  • Ginkel worked the top of the tenth and induced three easy outs on six pitches.  Drew Smyly was then called upon by Chicago to hold things down but it only took two sinkers for Randall Grichuk to park a double and score the winning run.
  • This marks Alzolay’s third blown save on the young season and bullpen collapses have unfortunately become a theme for the Cubs this year.


The Best of the Rest…

  • Tanner Scott entered the final frame in the Marlins-Giants game with a three-run lead and was able to work around a couple of walks to earn his second Save.  Only seven of his fifteen pitches were strikes but he got the job done.  With AJ Puk’s illness lasting a few extra days, Scott will have some cushion to show he can keep the job.  Ryan Weathers struck out ten in six innings of work to get the Fish their fourth win of the season.
  • Ranger Suárez had no need from the ‘pen as he threw a complete game shutout against the infamous ‘Rockie Road’, who might just be the league’s worst offense when away from Coors.  Suarez needed 112 pitches to do it but struck out eight with just one walk.  All seven hits for the Rockies were singles.  Suddenly Suarez is looking like a top-3o starter but faces the Reds in Great American next week.
  • The Orioles absolutely thumped Chris Paddack and things got out of hand quickly in Baltimore.  Gunnar Henderson’s fifth homer broke the game open and the O’s were up a touchdown by the end of the third.  Paddack, pitching to contact at this phase in his career and usually in the 90th-percentile in Average Exit Velocity, allowed loads of hard contact in this one.  Grayson Rodriguez coasted to his third win and a couple of Baltimore’s lower-leverage bullpen armsYohan Ramírez and Mike Baumannfinished things off.
  • Raisel Iglesias lucked into his fourth Save after the Astros started threatening a six-run lead in the ninth.  Aaron Bummer initially got the call but surrendered a long fly to Kyle Tucker and allowed another three base runners.  Iglesias quickly warmed up and threw five pitches to get the final out.
  • The Dodgers’ Ryan Yarbrough piggybacked off of Kyle Hurt to pitch through the seventh and earn a win against the Nationals.  The game ended without a Save situation but Joe Kelly earned his fourth Hold.


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

Scott McDermott

Scott lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, two daughters, and a couple of furballs. When he’s not dissecting box scores and pondering over the optimal starting lineup for the Cincinnati Reds, he covers fantasy baseball for Pitcher List. He’s also the author of the award-winning book series 'Election 2064', available on Amazon.

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