Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 5/24/24 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


  • We had eight games on this penultimate Thursday in May. As a result, several bullpens are rested heading into the weekend: BOS, TBR, CLE, KCR, MIN, HOU, LAA, MIA, NYM, WSN, MIL, ARI, and LAD.
  • Emilio Pagán was placed on the 15-day injured list by Cincinnati with triceps tightness. The move was retroactive to 5/20.
  • In a somewhat surprising move, the Tigers optioned Alex Lange to AAA Toledo due to his “struggles with the strike zone“. Lange had gotten into some hot water on the field on Wednesday that culminated in him throwing a ball recklessly towards the Tigers dugout, but Tigers manager A.J. Hinch indicated this was not the reason for the demotion. Mason Englert was recalled to fill Lange’s roster spot.
  • Seattle activated Mike Baumann and immediately used him to clean up a small mess.
  • Jonathan Heasley was recalled from AAA to add some bullpen depth after John Means hit the IL with a forearm strain (maybe if these guys would stop hitting the IL, they wouldn’t hurt themselves). Spoiler alert for late in this article… it did not go well for Heasley.


Yesterday’s Performances


NYY 5 – SEA 0

HD: Victor González (2)

SV: Clay Holmes (14)

  • The Yankees had four arms throw in this game and none of them allowed a run. Victor González was first out of the pen and finished off the seventh for Luis Gil and part of the eighth for his second hold of the season. Nick Burdi took the middle out in eighth from González but got into some trouble after walking two batters before giving way to the pinstriped closer extraordinaire Clay Holmes, who himself pitched around two baserunners of his own (hits instead of walks) but managed to get a ground out to lock down his fourteenth save of the season.
  • The Mariners needed to give their closer a little break after nabbing three saves in the past five days so I guess they just figured not winning would help things out, and the Yankees were happy to oblige them. The Mariners were down two when the bullpen took over in the sixth and Trent Thornton added a run of his own to the pile. Thornton had thrown a clean sixth, but he gave up a leadoff double when he came back out for the seventh and Gabe Speier eventually let that run score and then was pulled after recording only one out. Recently activated Mike Baumann came in and kept the pay-it-forward going, allowing the runner he inherited from Speier to score. Eduard Bazardo was the only one who didn’t allow a run to score, either his own or someone else’s, so good for him!


SFG 7 – PIT 6

HD: Randy Rodríguez (1)

SV: Tyler Rogers (1)

  • BULL-PEN-GAME. San Francisco played with fire and… only got slightly burned before walking away with the win? Erik Miller was the opener in this one allowing one run on two hits in 1.2 innings of work while striking out three. Mason Black was the follower in this one and ended up being torched for four runs in his 2.2 innings of work, serving up a Grand Slam to former top Giants prospect Joey Bart. After that Taylor Rogers poured some cold water on the embers and kept things scoreless for 1.2 innings of work. Luke Jackson rekindled a brief spark by serving up a solo shot, but he ended up with his second win of the season when the Giants went off for five runs in the eighth. This let Randy Rodríguez get his first hold of the season and Tyler Rogers get his first save of the season.
  • Paul Skenes was a little more down-to-earth in this start, allowing one run while striking out only three, but he still left with the lead and a chance at a win before Pittsburgh’s bullpen opted to give it away (give it away, give it away now). Hunter Stratton was the unfortunate soul who coughed up five runs in only 0.2 innings of work mostly on the back of a three-run HR. In a tie game, the Pirates opted to use their trusted arms, and Aroldis Chapman came on in the eighth but allowed an inherited runner to score after a wild pitch and passed ball moved the runner over to third. David Bednar still ended up coming in for the ninth with it being a one-run game and threw a clean inning of work.


PHI 5 – TEX 2

HD: José Alvarado (4)

SV: Jeff Hoffman (4)

  • It was Jeff Hoffman’s turn to get the save chance and José Alvarado’s turn to be the high leverage reliever in the eighth, facing the heart of the Rangers lineup. It worked for the Phillies as Alvarado got his fourth hold with a scoreless inning (although he had a little bit of foot traffic) and Hoffman got his fourth save of the season on a perfect ninth. These guys are both definitely better in SV+HLD leagues, but it’s still Alvarado you want for pure saves (unless we see a string of Alvarado HLR deployment and pure Hoffman saves).
  • Andrew Heaney couldn’t get out of the fourth inning, so Texas had to turn to the pen early. Grant Anderson came in and inherited a bases-loaded situation from Heaney and got Alec Bohm to ground into a double play and get out of that jawn jam. Anderson then threw a scoreless fifth inning, only allowing a weak single. Jesús Tinoco allowed a run in his two innings to further push things away and our old friend José Leclerc got a stress-free eighth and rewarded the team with two Ks and a scoreless inning.


SDP 6 – CIN 4 (10)

HD: None

SV: Robert Suarez (14)

  • There were a decent amount of saves on Thursday, but only Robert Suarez got an extra innings one! Suarez has a ridiculous 0.41 ERA at this point and appears to be the winner of the “Closer who was free in drafts and gets a ton of saves” award for 2024. Still workshopping names. Jeremiah Estrada got his first win of the season, going two strong and striking out five batters to lower his ERA to an only slightly-worse-than-Suarez-but-still-amazing 0.66.
  • Embattled Cincy closer Alexis Díaz allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless non-save situation. Still, you gotta take your small victories, and zero earned runs, when you can. It doesn’t really seem like the Reds have anyone they want to entertain as competition for Díaz (plus, who would it even be? this bullpen is atrocious).


ATL 3 – CHC 0

HD: Pierce Johnson (5), Joe Jiménez (10), A.J. Minter (7)

SV: Raisel Iglesias (12)

  • Pure bullpen goodness with holds aplenty and a nice, clean save for Raisel IglesiasNot much else to say, Atlanta is good.
  • The Bullpen Bois of Ben Brown and Hayden Wesneski combined for 5.2 innings, two hits, one run, two walks, and eight Ks. Pretty solid if it’s one guy… but this was two people and it was mostly Brown doing the work and then Wesneski getting saddled with the loss after getting tagged by Jarred Kelenic. Oh, and Kyle Hendricks pitched out of the pen here as well, but it wasn’t great. Ben Brown appears to have the inside track on the rotation spot after this one, but the three have juggled all season so we’ll have to see.


OAK 10 – COL 9 (11)

HD: Tyler Kinley (3)

SV: None

  • We had a wild one in Oakland for all 42 fans that showed up. Mason Miller is human! Of course, he was called on to pitch in a tie game, in extra innings which is the bane of a lot of closers. He’s officially a closer now! Miller ended up allowing five runs, three earned, in his 1.2 innings of work and only struck out one. All the damage was done on sliders that weren’t low enough in the zone, with Colorado laying off the high heat (which was still very much hot) and waiting for a slider they could hit to score the ghost runners. Two of the runs did come from Brandon Bielak allowing them to score after taking over and Bielak eventually even got the win for his 0.1 innings of work when Oakland struck back in the bottom of the inning.
  • Jalen Beeks had a chance to close this game in the ninth with Colorado leading 4-3. Unfortunately, he instead served up a game-tying home run to Daz Cameron. Beeks pitched around a single to get two outs before the Rockies turned to former closer Justin Lawrence to finish out the ninth. Lawrence ended up staying in for the 10th with the opportunity to seal a win… but he, too, was bitten by the zombie runner and allowed the tying run to score. Matt Koch came in for the 11th after Mason Miller’s mishaps allowed the Rockies to take a decent lead… and he didn’t get an out, while allowing four runs to score. Peter Lambert was called upon to try and salvage a win, but it wasn’t to be and Lambert took the loss after allowing the winning run to score. Ladies and gentlemen… the Colorado bullpen.


TOR 9 – DET 1

HD: Zach Pop (2)

SV: None

  • Kevin Gausman was great, and the bullpen behind him held the win for him. Specifically, Zach Pop held the win (his second hold of the season) and then the score went sideways enough that neither Trevor Richards nor Tim Mayza could be credited with a hold despite their scoreless work.
  • All three Tigers pitchers decided to allow three runs. That works when you’re the starter and you throw at least six innings and strike out nine guys (quality work Jack Flaherty) but not so much when you are a reliever (Alex Faedo and Mason Englert, looking at you two… not quality work).


BAL 8 – CHW 6

HD: None

SV: Craig Kimbrel (10)

  • Baltimore was cruising pretty well in this one for seven innings or so. They had scored eight runs and starter Grayson Rodriguez had only allowed two (despite walking five!). Enter Jonathan Heasley, recently recalled from from AAA… *checks notes* today. Heasley actually had a quick and clean eighth inning, retiring all three batters he faced in 10 pitches before being charged with four runs on two hits and two walks upon his return for the ninth. To be fair to Heasley, Yennier Cano allowed three of those runs to score after taking over. But then again, you shouldn’t leave a mess for someone else to clean up. They may not know where everything is supposed to go! As a result of all the chaos, Craig Kimbrel was called upon for the two-out save chance that ended up being a two-pitch save, as he got Andrew Benintendi to pop into an… unassisted double play?! Andrew Vaughn, who was on second near where the ball was popped up, was called for interference because his slow walk back to second was briefly in the way of shortstop Gunnar Henderson on his way to catch the lazy pop up.
  • Chicago really shouldn’t have been in this game, and their bullpen usage mostly reflected this. Jared Shuster provided some long relief that was neither long nor much relief, with three runs on five hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. Tim Hill had a scoreless eighth and John Brebbia a scoreless ninth.


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


Josh Mockensturm

Josh is an Ohio Born, North Carolina residing Boston Red Sox fan thanks to his mom (and her love of Wade Boggs). If he's not watching or reading about baseball, he's probably watching a movie, reading a book, or making a dumb spreadsheet about Baseball, movies, or books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login