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
- It was the normal 15-game slate Friday night, and as usual, we’ll see 15 more tonight. Given the light six-game schedule on Thursday, many teams are (mostly) rested heading into the weekend.
- Arizona set-up man landed Joe Mantiply was placed on the 15-day IL with a right hamstring strain. The move is retroactive to May 12. The team called up RHP Anthony Misiewicz in a corresponding move, who promptly picked up the win as the first man out of the pen.
Streamer of the Day
- With most teams off Thursday, there isn’t a clearly taxed bullpen to target for a save stream. Your best bet may be the Mets and Adam Ottavino, as head-of-the-committee closer David Robertson threw 40 pitches yesterday. Ottavino did throw 14, but the team has been comfortable using him on back-to-back days.
- For those looking to stream a win or a multi-inning appearance, I’d look to follow Reid Detmers‘ start for the Angels. Detmers has failed to get more than an out in the 5th in his last two starts, and the Guardians’ lineup can run up a pitch count. Take your pick between Ryan Tepera and Andrew Wantz here – Tepera was first out of the pen in Detmers’s last start, but Wantz has an extra day of rest and has been the more effective pitcher.
- Fresh off his historic 400th save – which prompted a slew of articles on his return to dominant form – Jansen looked more like his rockier self of the past two years in this one, blowing the save and taking the loss while giving up three runs without recording an out. The damage was done on a walk, single, home run, and a double (who did not score). All three hits were scorched, with an average exit velocity of 101 mph. While Jansen wasn’t throwing 99 like in his last appearance, his velo was comparable with his season average, maxing out the cutter around 97. He left a few pitches over the plate, and the Cardinals punished them – he’s still having a great season and has a great hold on the closer job in Boston.
- For the Cardinals, Ryan Helsley locked down his first win of the year thanks to Jansen’s blowup in the top half of the inning. He pitched the eighth as well, recording four strikeouts. Giovanny Gallegos gave up two runs in the eighth, and Andre Pallante was credited with his second hold of the year.
TB 5 – NYY 6
- Jason Adam took his first loss of the year, allowing a go-ahead two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the eighth. Josh Fleming pitched well here in his bulk-relief role, going four innings while allowing one run. Kevin Kelly followed him unsuccessfully, giving up two runs in the seventh and walking Aaron Judge in the eighth who scored on Rizzo’s homer. Adam’s usage in the eighth shouldn’t be a concern; leading by a run with the 3-4-5 hitters up and a runner on first, it was the highest-leverage moment of the game.
- Aaron Boone’s bullpen decisions continue to confound. In recent days, he’s emphasized how he still has faith in Clay Holmes’s abilities as the team’s closer, trusts numerous guys to close games, and won’t consider Michael King as the team’s closer until he can pitch single innings on back-to-back days. With all that in mind, he:
- Used one of those “numerous” closer options, Ian Hamilton, to pitch the sixth (0 ER, 2 H, 3 K)
- Brought King in the seventh and when the Yankees took the lead, left him in for the eighth, when he served up three runs and the lead.
- Turned things over to Holmes in the eighth with the Yankees now down by a run.
- Gave Wandy Peralta the ninth for his first save of the year.
- To be clear, nothing is wrong with using your best arms in a tight game against the best team in your division. It just feels like the Yankees can’t decide how they want to use what’s honestly a pretty talented group of pitchers, and some of them (King) are being hurt because of it.
PHI 6 – COL 3
- Kimbrel recorded his first save for the Phillies since losing José Alvarado to the IL, striking out three around one hit in the ninth. He’s expected to get the dominant share of save opportunities until Alvarado is healthy. Dominguez pitched the eighth for his sixth hold of the year. Kimbrel certainly seemed amped to be back in a save situation – his velo on both his fastball and curve was up over a full tick.
- On the Rockies’ side, Lawrence had a rare blunder, serving up three runs (two earned) over four outs to take the loss. Brad Hand pitched a scoreless ninth. Lawrence has really pitched well this year, and given closer Pierce Johnson’s struggles, I still think the former has a chance to take over the job sometime this year.
TEX 7 – OAK 9
- With closer Will Smith having pitched the last two days, Texas called upon Brock Burke to preserve the tie game in the 9th with the go-ahead run in scoring position. He accomplished that task but failed to record an out in the bottom of the 10th when Brent Rooker hit a walk-off three-run home run to end things. Hernandez was charged with a blown save after allowing the game-tying run to score in the seventh, charged to Ragans.
- The A’s won! It took seven pitchers to get there, but mission accomplished I suppose. No one did anything too exceptional, but Fujinami was in the right place at the right time to record the first win of his MLB career. Closer Zack Johnson almost blew this one, allowing two runs in the top of the 10th while throwing 32 pitches. He’s certainly not available today, but there’s not likely to be a save or win chance to vulture, so don’t chase it.
LAA 5 – CLE 4
- Estevez continued his strong season, locking down his ninth save despite allowing three two-out baserunners. His ERA now sits at 0.96 and he’s become one of the relatively few clear-cut closers on a winning team. He’s still available in 20% of Yahoo leagues but is disappearing fast.
- Clase had yet another blow-up in what’s been an odd season for the top-tier closer. He allowed two runs on two hits while striking out one, although the second run was unearned thanks to a throwing error that allowed a lazy flyout to become a sac fly. His velo was actually up here – a full two ticks on the cutter, maxing at 101, and 1.4 ticks on the slider. Those jumps made a difference; his 33% CSW was the best out of his past five appearances. Maybe this velocity is the missing piece that can return Clase to his strikeout ways of the past.
Best of the rest
- Félix Bautista recorded his ninth save of the year, striking out the side. Things actually weren’t so clear cut – the O’s had a four-run lead heading into the ninth, and therefore, no save situation. They brought Austin Voth, who quickly gave up a run and created the opportunity for Bautista to do his thing. He’s now struck out 43% of hitters he’s faced.
- Alexis Díaz recorded his eighth save of the year, striking out two without allowing a baserunner. His SVO was created by the Marlins’ Dylan Floro (L, 2-2) coughing up three runs in the top half of the ninth to give the Reds the lead.
- Potential changing of the guard in Arizona? Miguel Castro recorded his second save of the year, while closer Andrew Chafin handled the eighth. Given Chafin’s recent struggles, it’s something to keep an eye on…
Bullpen Depth Charts
Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:
(Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)