Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 6/19/23 Depth Chart

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 16 scheduled games were played on Sunday including a double-header from NYY and BOS. 20 teams are back in action on Monday with the following teams having a scheduled off day: TBR, BAL, NYY,  CLE, LAA, SEA, OAK, ATL, PHI, and LAD.


Yesterday’s Performances

BAL 6 – CHC 3

HD: Danny Coulombe (14), Mike Baumann (4), Yennier Cano (16)

SV: Félix Bautista (19)

  • Bautista had the fastball going in this one, averaging 100.7 mph on ten thrown and touching 102. When his fastball is this good, he doesn’t even need the splitter. He does sport a 13% walk rate, but a historically good K-rate above 50% is more than enough to erase those free baserunners. If his extra velocity here is any indication, Bautista is ready to continue to build on this first half and establish himself as potentially the top closer in the game.
  • The bullpen action was mainly handled by Hayden Wesneski in a bulk capacity here. He upped his sweeper usage, pushing it to nearly 50%, but it only returned 2/21 on swinging strikes. He’s still tinkering to try to find the success that excited us in his final few starts last year and in Spring Training, but this still isn’t it.


COL 6 – ATL 14

HD: None

SV: None

  • Is the heavy usage finally catching up to Brent Suter and Jake Bird? Both have been near the top of the leaderboards in terms of relief innings pitched, but both had been stellar up until the past week or so. Since June 10th, they’ve made seven appearances combined and allowed 9 ERs in 8.1 IPs with only one scoreless outing between them over that stretch. The matchups have certainly been tough @BOS and then @ATL, but their heavy and, at times, questionable usage is likely not doing them any favors.
  • Raisel Iglesias worked around a hit and struck out the side on just eleven pitches in an ultra-efficient performance. Hidden in his rough blown save last Monday against Detroit are some promising signs here including eleven punchouts in his past six innings of work to go along with a swinging strike rate over 20%. Iglesias seems to be finding his groove after missing more than a month to start the season and his ratios should start to come down as he keeps working.


MIA 4 – WSN 2

HD: Steven Okert (7), Dylan Floro (8)

SV: Andrew Nardi (2)

  • With A.J. Puk having worked back-to-back days, the Marlins decided to go with Nardi instead of Floro to pick up this save potentially because they wanted Floro to face the top of the Nats lineup in the 8th inning. Okert and Nardi have both been effective lefties out of the pen and should therefore keep getting a small handful of holds opportunities, but the ancillary saves will likely be few and far between given Puk’s success as the closer.
  • Cory Abbott gave the rest of the bullpen a break and took all three innings of relief here. He was able to record nine fairly clean outs here, but his profile doesn’t give me any reason to believe he’d be able to give these kinds of performances consistently.


NYY 2 – BOS 6 (GM1)

HD: None

SV: None

  • A rare dud from Michael King allowed the Red Sox to pull away here and the offense could never climb back. King took his third loss of the season and has now allowed six earned runs in his past four outings which covered 5.2 IPs. He only went 1/36 on swinging strikes in this one, so there’s something that’s just a little off with him right now, but it’s a bit hard to put a finger on exactly what. He did have four off days between outings, so there was potentially some rust involved here and, despite his use in the 5th inning, should still be involved in the saves conversation from time to time.
  • This was mainly a bullpen game as three pitchers took on 6.2 IPs of relief including Nick Pivetta whose three perfect innings earned him his fourth win and Chris Martin who closed out the four-run game. Pivetta continues to thrive as a multi-inning arm out of the bullpen and now has a 2.20 ERA and 0.92 WHIP across 16.1 IPs as a reliever with eighteen punchouts. He had all his pitches working in this one with each of his three offerings providing at least a 33% CSW and two going over 40%. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started generating some deep-league appeal with these types of performances as three-to-four innings per week of strong ratios, decent strikeouts, and a decent chance at a win should certainly play in 20+ team leagues or AL-only leagues.


NYY 1 – BOS 4 (GM2)

HD: Josh Winckowski (9)

SV: Kenley Jansen (15)

  • Tommy Kahnle returned from the IL at the beginning of June and has been on a tear ever since. He now has logged seven scoreless innings in a row allowing just five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. He struck out the side in order in this one and, although he likely won’t strike out the side that often given his swinging strike rate now sits just a hair above 10% for these seven innings, it’s time to take notice in SVHD leagues. He has two holds already and is clearly in the high-leverage conversation for this team. He’s unlikely to rise into the saves conversation as he’ll be relying a lot on balls in play, but he’s potentially someone who will get about as much leverage as a Ron Marinaccio, which will be enough for him to be a consistent source of holds and ratios.
  • Jansen opted for thirteen straight cutters to earn his fifteenth save and fifth straight scoreless appearance. Despite being one of the pitchers most affected by the pitch clock this year, Jansen has responded well and actually maintained his velocity near 94 mph for the whole season so far, about two ticks higher than last year. There is some market risk given that pitchers who had to speed up a lot are getting hurt slightly more often than pitchers who didn’t, but there’s nothing right now in Jansen’s specific profile to say that an injury is imminent. He looks as healthy as he has in years.


STL 8 – NYM 7

HD: None

SV: Jordan Hicks (2)

  • With Ryan Helsley on the shelf, it was expected that Giovanny Gallegos would be the primary share for saves in St. Louis, but now Hicks has recorded saves on back-to-back days casting doubt on that assumption. Gallegos wasn’t used here, so he’s the de facto closer for Monday at least, but the share going forward is something to monitor. Hicks had a rough start to the year, so his overall numbers hide the dominance he’s shown over the past couple of months with a 1.56 ERA and 0.87 WHIP with 26 Ks in his past 17.1 IPs. Gallegos has been fine this year but hasn’t been quite as dominant as in years past, so I could certainly see Hicks seizing on this opportunity to be the main closer in what could be a lengthy absence for Helsley.
  • The Mets decided to use David Robertson in the 8th inning against the bottom of the Cardinals order and send Adam Ottavino out for the 9th against Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan ArenadoRobertson took care of his business in short order, but Ottavino allowed the game-winning homer in the top of the 9th, taking his third loss of the season. It was an interesting decision as Robertson has been considerably more effective on the year than Ottavino, so sending Ottavino out for the second straight day against the heart of the order seemed to be a questionable decision. It played out according to the numbers this time and only further solidifies Robertson as the main saves share.


CIN 9 – HOU 7 (F/10)

HD: Lucas Sims (10)

SV: Alex Young (1)

  • I haven’t seen any news about Alexis Díaz being unavailable for this game, so it’s certainly worth noting that we didn’t see him on for the save chances in the bottom of the 9th, which was blown by Ian Gibaut, or in the bottom of the 10th which was converted by Young. Keep an eye on this and we’ll hope that it was just the team trying to get him a bit of extra rest after a week of heavy usage. Beyond that, Lucas Sims continues to be a part of a much improved Reds bullpen as he finally seems healthy after a couple of years dealing with injuries. He should lead this team in holds if he stays healthy the rest of the way.
  • Bryan Abreu allowed a go-ahead homer to Jonathan India in the 8th but didn’t take the loss as the Astros tied it up again in the bottom of the 9th. Seth Martinez worked the top of the 10th and allowed three runs taking his third loss of the year. Ryan Pressly also worked in this one and worked around a pair of walks to deliver his scoreless inning. Pressly has been outpitched by Abreu so far this year, but it would still likely take an injury to supplant him as the closer or, at the very least, a prolonged stretch of truly poor performance rather than mediocrity.


LAA 5 – KCR 2

HD: Jaime Barría (2)

SV: Carlos Estévez (19)

  • It was a rare three-inning hold for Barria here as he prevented any other Angels reliever from collecting them. Estevez, while not quite as dominant as he was to begin the year, continues to convert and only convert as he’s now nineteen-for-nineteen on save chances on the year.
  • Carlos Hernández was brought on for the 6th inning here continuing his string of slightly frustrating usage and he only needed seven pitches to complete his inning of work. It was slightly concerning to see his velocity down so much on his fastball here as he averaged just 96.5 mph on five thrown which was two and a half miles an hour slower than his average on the year. These types of outings can sometimes happen, but it’s worth careful monitoring to make sure this isn’t a trend. Another outing with such diminished velocity could be an indicator of an injury.


DET 6 – MIN 4

HD: None

SV: Jason Foley (3)

  • Alex Lange was called upon in the 8th inning of this game and faced five batters, retiring none of them including two HBPs and two walks. Lange has been atrocious in June and now sports an ERA of 18.00 across his seven appearances in the month. Command has always been an issue for Lange, but his dominant April and May made it seem like he had started to work through those issues only for them to come back worse than ever in June. I don’t think Jason Foley is so dominant that he’s going to take the closer’s job and hold it the rest of the year, but he could get some extra opportunities over the next couple of weeks as Lange finds his footing again.
  • Jordan Balazovic took over most of the bullpen work and saved the arms of his teammates in what was a blowout when he entered. After eleven outs without scoring a run, the Twins had started climbing back in it, so they inserted Jovani Moran to keep the game close in the 9th. Moran’s elite changeup makes him an interesting option, but he’s struggled a bit too much with control to rise to the ranks of the truly elite in Minnesota’s pen.


PIT 2 – MIL 5

HD: Angel Perdomo (1)

SV: Devin Williams (12)

  • A rare rough outing for Dauri Moreta who has been among the most dominant and reliable setup men in baseball coming into this one. He didn’t generate any whiffs on his nineteen offerings, but I don’t see anything right now that would make this anything other than a blip in the radar.
  • Continued dominance for Williams who rapidly bounced back from his rough outing on Tuesday with a pair of scoreless appearances with two strikeouts. He did so without walking a batter on Sunday. He has six walks in six innings in June and a walk rate hovering around 13% on the year. He generally strikes out enough batters to make that manageable, but a 35% K-rate is right on the borderline for that. He still may have some ups and downs throughout the year due to fluctuating control issues.


TOR 7 – TEX 11

HD: Grant Anderson (2)

SV: None

  • Lots of Jays relievers had to chip in here, but not their two highest-leverage arms. Nate Pearson had been really climbing the leverage ladder and putting himself in position for some holds in the near future before this outing. His usage still points to the team seeing him more as a long reliever who will work in the middle innings rather than a later inning reliever and that will likely limit his exposure to holds, but he’s shown enough skills to take on that role if the construction of this pen ever changes.
  • Grant Anderson seems to have settled into a role in Texas as a 6th/7th inning guy and he likely stays there. The strikeouts we saw in his dominant debut have not continued and, without them, he doesn’t have the helium to rise to the 8th or 9th inning even in a bullpen that needs a spark at times. We also saw Joe Barlow here making his third appearance back from a short IL stint and he seems to be the same guy we’ve seen before. He can get some saves in a pinch, but if the Rangers are going to compete for the AL pennant, they’re going to have to do better.


PHI 3 – OAK 2

HD: Matt Strahm (2), José Alvarado (5)

SV: Yunior Marte (1)

  • Marte picked up the surprise save here on his second day after being called up from AAA after Alvarado worked the 8th. Craig Kimbrel was apparently unavailable after working three of the previous four days. The play paid off here as Marte struck out the side, but I wouldn’t expect him to continue to deliver these kinds of performances. Maybe the plan was for Alvarado to work two innings, but they pivoted when he needed 25 pitches to get out of the 8th.
  • I feel like Shintaro Fujinami is eventually going to be a solid reliever in this league as his combination of velocity and solid split generally leads to decent results, but I feel like the change from the NPL ball to this one has hit him harder than most Japanese pitchers that come over. Maybe he never gets the command to actually be a starter, but every time I watch him I feel like there’s a solid reliever in there.


CLE 12 – ARZ 3

HD: None

SV: None

  • This game was well in hand for Cleveland by the time the starter left, so they were able to save all but their low-leverage arms.
  • Austin Adams has been used very situationally so far with Arizona as three of his past six appearances have been for just one out, but he continues to make the point that they should expand his usage. The slider-heavy approach has been working well for him and he’s ridden it to a 1.08 ERA in his 8.1 IPs so far. He has six holds in ten appearances so far on the season and he should continue to be a decent source of holds on this team.


SFG 7 – LAD 3

HD: None

SV: Camilo Doval (19)

  • Camilo Doval came in after Scott Alexander struggled to get through the 9th inning with a five-run lead and the Giants needed to bring in their closer to put out the fire. Doval seems poised to build on his career last year as he’s already just eight saves from his career-high set last year along with a higher K-rate and lower ERA.
  • It’s still unbelievable for me to look at the team relief stats and see that this Dodgers bullpen is second worst in the league in bullpen ERA ahead of only Oakland. There are still a number of good options in this pen including Victor González and Evan Phillips who went today. As you look to the back of the bullpen, though, the last few guys in their pen are not the typical reclamation project successes that they’ve had in years past. Perhaps some of their young starters end up there in the second half and have success, but it’s still a big surprise to see the Dodgers bullpen, which seemed to have nearly limitless depth the past couple of years, struggle like this.


TBR 4 – SDP 5

HD: Steven Wilson (15), Nick Martinez (9)

SV: Josh Hader (18)

  • A couple of reclamation projects saw work for the Rays today in Robert Stephenson and Jake Diekman. Both have had major control issues over the past couple of seasons but showed enough promise for the Rays to give them a shot with the team. They’ve both gotten a few holds over the past month or so, but neither has shown enough to really merit much consideration in SVHD leagues as they’ve both continued to hold walk rates over 13%.
  • Josh Hader is now five-for-five in saves in June with nine punchouts and two walks across six innings. All of his numbers point to him being back to his 2021 dominance after a bafflingly inconsistent 2022. It will be interesting to see how we look at 2022 in the context of Hader’s career as it seemed like he was truly lost, but it didn’t really get reflected in things like K-BB% or velocity. His barrel rate was high, but not even higher than in 2019, another year in which he was dominant pretty much from start to finish. For our purposes now, though, he seems like a safe RP1 the rest of the way.

CWS 1 – SEA 5

HD: Justin Topa (13)

SV: None

  • Reynaldo López had been on quite a roll before his past two outings, including this one, in which he allowed two earned runs a piece. The stuff is there for Lopez to be a dominant, back-of-the-bullpen type reliever, but the consistency in his command just hasn’t been there and has led to six outings in which he’s allowed two runs or more.
  • Justin Topa was a 28-year-old in A-ball in 2019 and here he is leading the Mariners in holds in 2023. He’s not a big strikeout guy and is definitely behind Andrés Muñoz in the leverage ladder, but this is still an excellent story even if he only has fantasy use only in the deepest of leagues.


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)

Eric Dadmun

Eric is a Core Fantasy contributor on Pitcher List and a former contributor on Hashtag Basketball. He strives to help fantasy baseball players make data-driven and logic-driven decisions. Mideast Chapter President of the Willians Astudillo Unironic Fan Club.

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