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
- There was a full slate of 15 games on Tuesday and there are 15 more scheduled for Wednesday.
- The Orioles optioned Keegan Akin to the minors and recalled 23-year-old lefty Drew Rom. Akin broke out with a 3.20 ERA across 81.2 innings last year, but has struggled to recreate that success, pitching to a 5.91 ERA across his first 10.2 IP. Rom hasn’t been much of a reliever during his time in the minors, but with the Baltimore rotation full, he’ll likely factor into the bullpen. He posted a 2.87 ERA (31.1 IP) across six starts in Triple-A this year.
- The Angels recalled Jimmy Herget from the minors and DFAd César Valdez. Herget was maybe the best Angels reliever in 2022, pitching to a 2.48 ERA (69 IP), but struggled to start 2023, recording a putrid 6.23 ERA (8.2 IP). His 5.40 ERA in five innings at Triple-A shouldn’t inspire confidence that he’s returned to form.
- The Mets placed Jimmy Yacabonis on the 15-day IL with a left quad strain. Stephen Nogosek will enter the chart as the team’s long reliever.
- The Cardinals recalled Andre Pallante from the minors. He may not initially factor into high-leverage work, but the young right-hander was a key part of the St. Louis bullpen in 2022. That year, he posted a 3.17 ERA (108 IP) across the rotation and arm barn. However, he lost that touch in April, struggling to a 7.56 ERA (8.1 IP) before a demotion. He regained the front office’s confidence by pitching to a 2.79 ERA (9.2 IP) with a newfound ability to strike batters out (36.8% K%).
DET 0 – CLE 2
SV: Emmanuel Clase (13)
- José Cisnero and Tyler Alexander combined for just one inning out of the Detroit arm barn. Neither is remotely fantasy relevant unless you are desperate for holds. Like, “willing to sell your house for holds” levels of desperation.
- Emmanuel Clase continues to rack up saves without needing to strike anyone out. His save on Tuesday helped him maintain his claim of the MLB lead. With more saves than strikeouts (11), it’s worth worrying whether Clase will eventually regress or return to his days of punching batters out. It’s not burned him yet, but continuing to rely so heavily on batted-ball luck is playing with fire.
- Speaking of league leaders, James Karinchak’s ninth hold tied him with Colin Holderman for the Major League lead in that category. He’s held slim leads despite sporting a career-worst 5.19 ERA and 30.7% K%. He’s offset those holds with four losses and is a Cherry Bomb in SV+HLD leagues.
TBR 2 – BAL 4
SV: Félix Bautista (8)
- After a nine-year career as a starter and swingman, Chase Anderson has found his way into the Rays’ bullpen. He ate the final two frames of their loss on Tuesday and featured a dramatically altered pitch mix, most notably, a four-seamer that sat 2.5 mph faster than it did last year. The Rays can really make any pitcher interesting.
- Will Yennier Cano ever allow a run? The 29-year-old right-hander is now 17.2 innings into a scoreless streak that has lasted all season. He’s the only pitcher with at least 10 innings to have yet to cough up a run. Equally as incredible, he’s permitted just four baserunners to reach, leading to a fantastic 0.17 WHIP (also the best mark among pitchers with at least 10 IP). None of those baserunners have come via a free pass, so Cano currently sports a pristine 21/0 K/BB ratio. His player page is a beautiful sea of red and it’s difficult to determine how his sinker/changeup/slider combo has been so lethal. He’s an imposing presence on the mound, but his stuff doesn’t stand out in terms of raw numbers. Despite that, PLV loves his sinker and change, as they are both in the 90th percentile or better. I’m excited to see how long he can make this last.
NYM 6 – CIN 7
SV: Alexis Díaz (7)
- Utilizing some high-leverage arms, the Mets attempted to keep the game close as their offense mounted a comeback. In the end, it was unfruitful, but Adam Ottavino and Drew Smith did the job requested of them. The latter has been an underrated reliever with a 2.89 ERA (87.1 IP) and a 26.9% K% from 2021-22, but it looks like he might be getting even better this year. So far, the right-hander has career-best marks in ERA (1.93, 14 IP) and strikeout rate (32.2%). He should be one of the top holds options throughout the year.
- The younger Díaz brother continues to get the job done. With three more strikeouts and a scoreless outing, the right-hander dropped his ERA to 2.19 (12.1 IP) and raised his strikeout rate to 52.2%. The latter mark leads baseball (min. 10 IP) and he’s been filling his brother’s shoes nicely in 2023. The saves will come in bunches due to his being a member of a mediocre team, but when he does pitch, he’ll be one of the most unhittable pitchers to toe the rubber.
STL 6 – CHC 4
W: Chris Stratton (1)
L: Javier Assad (2)
SV: Giovanny Gallegos (2)
BS: Andre Pallante (2)
- Giovanny Gallegos has continued to be one of the league’s best handcuff closers. Despite the slow start to the season for the Cardinals, Gallegos has had his hands in a couple of saves and has done his usual act of preventing runs from scoring. He’s not the most dominant reliever and he doesn’t have the coveted closer role, but he should be owned in almost every league because of his help in the ratios department and because he has a higher volume of vulture save opportunities than most setup men due to the fact that the Cardinals are afraid to overwork Ryan Helsley.
- The Cubs were forced to turn to Javier Assad for 16 outs after their starter exited in the third. The young right-hander allowed two runs while striking out one batter and inducing just a single whiff with a 16% overall CSW. There’s too much talent in this relief corps to allow Assad any fantasy relevance.
CHW 4 – KCR 2
SV: Kendall Graveman (1)
- Early in the offseason, many considered Kendall Graveman to be the closer while Liam Hendriks underwent chemotherapy. By March, the hype had risen so high on Reynaldo López that Graveman almost became an afterthought. Those ideas persisted throughout the first month of the campaign as the veteran righty floundered in a setup role. On Tuesday, he finally recorded his first save of the season. It’s far from conclusive evidence that he could be the incumbent closer until Hendriks returns, but it’s a solid consolation prize for anyone that’s held out this long or took him in a draft-and-hold league.
- The Royals bullpen got the night off as Jordan Lyles threw a complete game while allowing four runs in a loss. It’s been a while since we saw an effort like this.
HOU 3 – LAA 1
SV: Ryan Pressly (5)
- Is Ryan Pressly back? It took until April 21st for the veteran right-hander to record his first save, but in just less than three weeks, the right-hander has already multiplied that total by five. Since surrendering three runs on April 11th, Pressly has thrown nine consecutive scoreless innings. The strikeouts had been missing until he fanned two batters on Tuesday. I think it’s safe to say those early-season question marks have been erased.
- Just one arm also appeared out of the Angels’ bullpen following the starting pitching duel between Framber Valdez and Shohei Ohtani. Andrew Wantz tossed two scoreless frames to bring his ERA to a minuscule 0.59 mark (15.1 IP). He hasn’t been considered for many holds opportunities, but at this point, he’s clearly the third-best reliever in this bullpen behind Carlos Estévez and Matt Moore. If you’re looking for dark horse holds candidates, Wantz is a good dart throw.
WSN 1 – SFG 4
H: Tyler Rogers (6)
SV: Camilo Doval (8)
- There’s not much to say about the Nationals’ bullpen other than, “Make Hunter Harvey the closer! NOW!”
- Giants fans were screaming the same thing about Camilo Doval during his debut campaign. Now with little competition, he’s quietly becoming one of the better closers in baseball. A perfect, two-punchout ninth brought his ERA to 2.30 (15.2 IP) which pairs wonderfully with his 33.3% K%. He relies mostly on his velocity to induce a plethora of groundballs (62.5% GB%), but the fact that he isn’t a one-note pitcher makes his success sustainable.
Best of the rest
- Three Phillies relievers recorded a hold before the offense took away a save situation with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Seranthony Domínguez (fifth hold), Gregory Soto (seventh hold), and Connor Brogdon (second hold) set up nicely for a stress-free ninth from Craig Kimbrel.
- The same thing happened in Minnesota, as the Padres put up three runs in the top of the ninth to take away a save situation. Prior to the offensive explosion, Luis Garcia (seventh hold), Steven Wilson (eighth hold), and Nick Martinez (third hold) each recorded a decision.
- Despite not pitching in a save situation, Clay Holmes continued to work his way back to relevance in the New York arm barn. The right-hander hasn’t recorded a save since April 12th, but by recording all three of his outs via the strikeout in a scoreless appearance on Tuesday, Holmes has allowed just one earned run in his last 6.1 innings with nine strikeouts. The groundouts won’t be as abundant as they were with the shift last year, but he’s still one of the best options the Yankees have for the late innings.
- After Brusdar Graterol allowed two runners to reach base with two outs in the ninth, Evan Phillips was called upon to shut the door. All it took was a groundout, but Phillips was credited with his sixth save of the year nonetheless.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces: