Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 5/28/23 Depth Chart

Find breakdowns of key bullpen usages 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


  • All 30 teams were in action on Saturday and we’ll have a full slate of 15 games on Sunday.


  • The Diamondbacks recalled Drey Jameson from the minors. He’ll be the team’s bulk reliever. He inspired plenty of excitement early in the season, but his 5.79 ERA in five starts at Triple-A following his demotion doesn’t inspire the same feelings.
  • Duane Underwood Jr. was optioned to the minors by the Pirates. Jose Hernandez will replace him as a holds option on the chart.
  • The Padres placed Luis Garcia on the 15-day IL with a left oblique strain. We probably won’t see him for a few weeks. Domingo Tapia was recalled to replace him on the roster, but Tom Cosgrove will be the one to replace him on the chart.
Yesterday’s Performances 


SDP 2 – NYY 3

W: Clay Holmes (3)

L: Nick Martinez (2)

  • With the game knotted at 2 entering the eighth, the Padres turned to Nick Martinez. He survived two scoreless frames to finish regulation but was extended too far into extras. After an intentional walk and a sac bunt, he surrendered a walk-off single to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Martinez has been great all year, especially since transitioning to a bullpen role in late April. Through his first 20 innings out of the pen, the right-hander owns a 1.35 ERA and a 25% K rate.
  • The walk-off netted Clay Holmes his third win following his perfect 10th. Although it’s been a committee for a while, Holmes recorded the team’s most recent save and has been excellent after a shaky start to the year. He’s currently working on an 11-inning scoreless streak during which he’s struck out 15 batters to just three walks. I expect him to secure the majority of the Yankees’ saves for the rest of the season.


TOR 7 – MIN 9

H: Jovani Moran (6)

SV: Brock Stewart (1)

  • Three relievers, Anthony Bass, Adam Cimber, and Yimi García, pitched for the Blue Jays. Despite being some of the team’s top options out of the arm barn to start the year, the trio’s performance has pushed them all into lower-leverage roles. None of them has an ERA below 4.50 and Garcia is the only one with an above-average strikeout rate. Luckily others have stepped up for the Jays, but the lack of depth in this bullpen could haunt them in close games later in the year.
  • The Twins utilized their bullpen in an unusual fashion on Saturday. They turned to closer Jhoan Duran in the eighth despite a four-run lead. In the ninth, setup man Jorge López nearly blew that lead by permitting three runs to score without recording an out before Brock Stewart was called upon to put out the fire. The 31-year-old Stewart has quickly made a name for himself in Minnesota. Since being promoted at the end of April, he’s yet to allow a run across 14 innings while striking out batters at a 25% rate. This was just the second save of his career.


HOU 6 – OAK 3

H: Phil Maton (3), Hector Neris (8)

SV: Ryan Pressly (10)

  • Ryan Pressly is recreating his 2022. After an awkward and shaky start to the season, he has gotten completely back on track. Since April 18th, he’s allowed just one run across his last 16 innings (0.56 ERA) with a strikeout per inning and all 10 of his saves on the season. While the strikeouts aren’t as elite as they once were, he should be trusted as a top-10 closer throughout the year, especially given his team context. He’s now pitched on consecutive days, so expect Bryan Abreu to close out a tight lead on Sunday.
  • The A’s went full bullpen game with Hogan Harris filling the bulk role. The 26-year-old lefty tossed five scoreless frames with five punchouts while inducing 11 whiffs and a 30% CSW. Trevor May also pitched in this one as he works to regain his confidence in the Majors. I expect him to be the man in the ninth the next time the A’s win a game.


WSN 4 – KCR 2

W: Mason Thompson (3)

L: Josh Taylor (3)

H: Carl Edwards Jr. (11), Hunter Harvey (10)

SV: Kyle Finnegan (11)

BS: Josh Taylor (2)

  • The Nationals’ bullpen was lights out in holding a newfound, mid-game lead. Kyle Finnegan surprisingly continues to hold on to the closer role despite up-and-down performances and Hunter Harvey continuing to succeed. Just when it seemed like his time was done, he rattled off 7.2 scoreless frames to go along with 10 Ks, so we may have to wait a while longer until our prayers are answered and Harvey’s pitching the ninth. Finnegan, Harvey, and Carl Edwards Jr. have all been heavily worked in the past four days, so we may see an unlikely reliever close out a win on Sunday.
  • All four of the Nats’ runs came in the sixth. The Royals attempted to keep the score close, turning to a lot of their trusted options. One of those was Scott Barlow, who pitched the ninth down by two. This should be seen as a maintenance outing as the right-hander hadn’t seen action since last Monday. Outside of the three runs (2 ER) he gave up in that outing on Monday, Barlow has actually been quite good in recent appearances. Since 4/22, Barlow sports a 1.35 ERA (13.1 IP) with an incredible 40.8% K rate. If he keeps this up, he won’t be ceding ninth-inning duties to Aroldis Chapman any time soon.


LAD 6 – TBR 5

W: Yency Almonte (3)

L: Colin Poche (1)

H: Brusdar Graterol (6), Evan Phillips (4), Jake Diekman (4)

SV: Caleb Ferguson (2)

BS: Colin Poche (2)

  • Both Brusdar Graterol and Evan Phillips were used as high-leverage relievers for the Dodgers on Saturday. Usually one or the other is closing, but this time it was Caleb Ferguson. After Phillips got the first out in the ninth, Ferguson was brought on to face two switch-hitters and three righties, so it definitely wasn’t matchup based. I don’t think he’s going to be the clear-cut closer at any point, but with how well he’s pitching this year (1.42 ERA, 19 IP), maybe he’ll factor into the ninth-inning mix more often.
  • I can’t help but think that the Rays will turn Jake Diekman into an integral member of the arm barn. He’s had great stretches in the past, and even at 36 years old, he hasn’t lost a step in the velocity department. If they can rein in his wildness and get him to throw more strikes, he could hint at his days in Oakland. So far, he’s walked just two batters in 5.1 innings since landing in Tampa Bay.


BOS 2 – ARI 1

H: Kutter Crawford (1), Chris Martin (9)

SV: Kenley Jansen (11)

  • I’m happy to see Kutter Crawford back in action. He was one of the relievers I was streaming in points leagues because of his excellent K/BB ratio and his ability to go multiple innings. I’d consider him to be somewhat of a Michael King-lite. With 2.1 perfect innings and three Ks on Saturday, he now owns a 3.30 ERA (30 IP) with a K/BB ratio of 30/4.
  • The Diamondbacks turned to Miguel Castro in the ninth despite a one-run deficit. He seems to be the go-to option for saves at the moment, and it stems mostly from the fact he’s a right-handed pitcher. He’s been pretty lucky on balls in play (.233 BABIP) and has reverted back to the low K% arm he was early in his career. Racking up saves right now is awesome for fantasy teams, but I don’t expect his success to last much longer.


CIN 8 – CHC 5

W: Buck Farmer (1)

L: Michael Fulmer (4)

H: Alex Young (6)

SV: Alexis Díaz (11)

  • Despite pitching for the NL Central’s worst team, Alexis Díaz continues to stack up the saves. With 11 now on the season, he’s proving that pitching for a poor team can have its benefits. When the Reds do win games, they’re not by much, and with Diaz being the clear-cut closer in Cincy, he’s called upon every time to secure the tight lead. Pair that with one of the best strikeout rates in baseball, and you have yourself a top-five fantasy closer.
  • By the time the Cubs’ bullpen jumped into action, there wasn’t a lead for them to hold. That didn’t stop manager David Ross from deploying a flurry of high-leverage arms. The most notable was presumed closer Mark Leiter Jr. who pitched a flawless ninth down by three. He’s far from certain to get the majority of save chances going forward, but as the best strikeout-inducer in the arm barn with the relief corps’ most pristine ERA, he deserves the opportunity until he falters.


MIA 8 – LAA 5

W: Dylan Floro (3)

L: Jaime Barría (2)

H: Huascar Brazoban (8)

BS: Matt Barnes (1), Steven Okert (2), Chase Silseth (1)

  • That’s now three straight days with an appearance for Dylan Floro and surprisingly he didn’t record a save in any of them. He earned his third win with a scoreless ninth before the team took the lead in extras. Until A.J. Puk makes his inevitable return to the closer role in a couple of weeks, Floro is a must-roster in 12-team leagues or deeper.
  • Carlos Estévez also got the same treatment as Floro, pitching the ninth with the game tied. The right-hander has lived up to all of our hopes and dreams since leaving the unfriendly confines of Coors Field. His 1.17 ERA and 34% K rate are both elite and make him a universally enticing option.


Best of the Rest


  • Joe Kelly blew the save for the White Sox in the seventh inning, surrendering three runs in the process, and was tagged with his second loss. Jason Foley was the benefactor, earning his second win despite blowing a save of his own. Chasen Shreve also nabbed his sixth hold with a scoreless eighth to set the Tigers up for a win.
  • Two runs allowed by Will Smith in the ninth with a four-run lead made this game closer than it needed to be. The outing hiked his ERA up nearly a full run. This was just the second time this year he’s given up multiple runs in an outing.



  • David Bednar pitched the ninth down by five in a maintenance outing. It had been almost a full week since he last pitched and he didn’t look rusty, setting down the side in order with one strikeout.
  • Craig Kimbrel worked around a solo shot to secure his seventh save of the season. While the strikeouts are back, he’s giving up boatloads of homers and is walking batters at his highest rate since his rookie year in 2010. He’ll likely cede the closer role upon José Alvarado’s return in a couple of weeks. He’s now pitched on back-to-back days, so expect Seranthony Domínguez, Matt Strahm, or Gregory Soto to fill in on Sunday.


  • Camilo Doval and Tyler Rogers teamed up to shut down the final two innings in a dominant performance by the entire pitching staff. Doval is up to 14 saves now which leads the National League while Rogers is up to 11 holds, making him one of the most consistent late-innings options. This duo will be deadly in SV+HLD leagues all year.
  • Ryan Helsley secured the final four outs of regulation to earn his third win. Giovanny Gallegos then pitched the 10th after the offense grabbed the lead and secured his sixth save in the process. They will continue to be used in tandem in the final frames.
  • Pierce Johnson recorded his 11th save with a scoreless ninth in a win over the Mets. It’s not often you see a closer with a 6.23 ERA, especially when there are other options, but that’s the Rockies for you.


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)

Jake Crumpler

A Bay Area sports fan and lover of baseball, Jake is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English Literature. He currently writes fantasy articles for Pitcher List, is the lead baseball writer at The Athletes Hub, and does playing time analysis at BaseballHQ. Some consider his knowledge of the sport to be encyclopedic.

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