Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 4/29/23 Depth Chart

Find breakdowns of key bullpen usages from Friday'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


  • The normally-full Friday slate was made lighter as rain postponed BAL-DET and PIT-WAS while forcing TEX-NYM to wrap things up after just five innings. The Giants and Padres were off in advance of their weekend Mexico City series.
  • As a result of those two rainouts, we get a rare 17-game schedule today, with doubleheaders replacing today’s rainouts. That means there will be a lot of bullpen innings to go around tomorrow – especially given that these four teams aren’t exactly setting the pace on starting pitching.
  • Brusdar Graterol is off the paternity list and back with the Dodgers.
  • The Rays activated Ryan Thompson from the IL – he’s expected to be a sixth/seventh inning type.
  • Red Sox set-up man Chris Martin appeared on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester yesterday; he’s expected to rejoin the big league club shortly.

Stream of the Day

  • I’m looking to the O’s for vulture opportunities today – neither Dean Kremer nor Grayson Rodriguez is likely to work deep, and facing the Tigers means the ‘pen will likely see win and/or save situations. Even with the rain-induced off-day on Friday, this group has been working hard of late, with every arm throwing on Wednesday, Thursday, or both.
  • Mike Baumann has the best shot to vulture a win here. He only threw nine pitches on Thursday so should be good to go multiple innings today if needed. He’s also been terrific this year, having allowed a single run all the way back on April 2nd and putting up a 13:5 K:BB ratio in 14 innings overall.
  • If you’re hoping to steal a save off the waiver wire, I’d look to Yennier Cano. While he’s really third in line for closing duties, Félix Bautista threw almost 50 pitches across Wednesday and Thursday and Bryan Baker threw 29 on Thursday. Meanwhile, Cano has now had back-to-back rest days. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get ninth-inning duties in one of today’s games.
  • Away from the double-header action, Tanner Scott is likely to see any save opportunities that arise for the Marlins after A.J. Puk and Dylan Floro pitched two and three days in a row, respectively.
Yesterday’s Performances

CLE 5 – BOS 2
SV: Emmanuel Clase (9)
H: Trevor Stephan (4)


  • Pretty ideal bullpen usage here for Terry Francona and the Guardians. After getting seven innings out of ace Shane Bieber, Stephan handled the eighth (around a mini-jam) and Clase closed things out for his ninth save of the season. Something to continue to watch – now almost a month into the season, Clase’s K/9 is still only 5.1. That’s almost half of last year’s 9.5. It hasn’t (yet) impacted his ability to lock down saves – he’s tied for the lead league – but his xERA, FIP, and xFIP predict trouble ahead.
  • Kutter Crawford is beginning to look like one of the premier long-relief arms in the game. Yesterday, he went four innings allowing just 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, and 3 K. He’s been throwing multiple dominant innings every four to six days with good ratios. His K:BB ratio as a reliever? How about 12:0. With Boston’s issues in the rotation, expect him to continue to see this type of usage for the time being, making him a strong win-vulture/points-league play if you can guess when he’ll be called upon.


KC 6 – MIN 8
SV: Jorge López (2)
H: Griffin Jax (5), Caleb Thielbar (7)


  • Jorge López got the save opportunity in this one, striking out one around two hits in his inning of work. Primary closer Jhoan Duran had pitched the day before, but given that he’d only thrown 16 pitches (and had a rest day prior), it’s a bit interesting to see the secondary committee member get the call here. Small sample caveat aside, it does appear that the Twins are a bit hesitant to use their young flamethrower on back-to-back days. They haven’t done so since April 12th, which is also the last appearance in which Duran allowed a run. Lopéz may be a play moving forward on days after Duran’s pitched. Griffin Jax and Caleb Thielbar both threw scoreless innings and struck out two.
  • On the KC side, Josh Taylor, Amir Garrett, and Taylor Clarke saw work, with the former leading the group with five strikeouts in two innings.


TB 3 – CWS 2
W: Colin Poche (2)
SV: Pete Fairbanks (1)
L: Kendall Graveman (2)
H: Kevin Kelly (1)


  • The Rays moved to a ridiculous 22-5 with yesterday’s win, getting four shutout innings out of their pen in the process. Fresh off the IL, Ryan Thompson was first up in the sixth before passing things to Jason Adam in the seventh. Colin Poche pitched the eighth – and was in the right spot at the right time for an Isaac Paredes go-ahead home run. Pete Fairbanks came in for the save opportunity in the ninth. He recorded two outs before leaving with a hand injury, giving Kevin Kelly an unusual two-pitch save. After the game, Fairbanks stated that his exit was due to numbness in his fingers; he’s previously dealt with Raynaud’s Syndrome (numbness in cold weather), so this is worth monitoring. Given the Rays’ bullpen proclivities, it’s likely that they’d go full committee if Fairbanks faced an absence.
  • Kendall Graveman took the loss here after giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Co-closer Reynaldo López actually pitched the eighth here in order to face 4-5-6 in the lineup. Both pitchers are likely off today – look to Aaron Bummer or Joe Kelly for a potential save vulture (although those have been few and far between for teams facing the Rays).


MIA 3 – CHC 2
W: A.J. Puk (3)
L: Michael Rucker (1)

  • Puk got a win for the second day in a row as the Marlins walked it off. Now with three wins and four saves along with a 0.82 ERA, he’s been a very productive fantasy producer. Dylan Floro saw work for the third day in a row, tossing a clean eighth. With both Puk and Floro likely to rest today, look for Tanner Scott to pick up any ninth-inning work.
  • Even with co-closer Brad Boxberger having pitched two days in a row, supposed co-closer Michael Fulmer was given the eighth inning in a tie game to face 9-1-2. It seems that he and his 6.00+ ERA may be more out than in at this point. With the pen fairly taxed, Michael Rucker got the ninth and promptly blew it, failing to record an out. While there are not a lot of great options in this pen, it beats me why Rucker would be used ahead of someone like Adbert Alzolay (who hadn’t pitched in two days).


NYY 5 – TEX 2
W: Dane Dunning (2)
SV: Will Smith (3)
H: Jonáthan Hernandez (5)


  • For the second time in three starts, Jacob deGrom left early with an injury forcing Dane Dunning to pick up multiple innings. He ended up going 3.1 IP with 2 ER, slightly raising his season ERA to 1.77 but picking up the win in the process. He remains a great vulture candidate. Jonathan Hernández pitched a clean eighth before Will Smith struck out one for his third save of the year. Co-closer José Leclerc pitched the day before, so not much to read into here – they’ve vaguely just alternated SVOs recently, and today fits the pattern.
  • Jimmy Cordero (2.0 IP) and Albert Abreu (1.0 IP) both pitched well in relief for New York.


Best of the rest


  • José Alvarado recorded his second save in three days as the Phillies beat the Astros. He also struck out two, raising his K% to an unfathomable 55.8%.
  • Devin Williams netted his fourth save of the season, striking out one. Having only thrown 15 pitches, he should still be available tonight.
  • The Blue Jays pulled out their best arms to beat the Mariners 3-2, using Tim Mayza (W, 1), Yimi García (H, 6), Eric Swanson (H, 8), and Jordan Romero (S, 9).


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)

Ethan McCollister

Diehard Red Sox fan. Vermonter in Philly. Harvard alum. Cat dad. In Chaim we trust...but I miss Mookie.

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