Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 8/12/23 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


  • Everyone was in action on Friday with 15 games, and with only 8 games on Thursday a lot of the bullpens got some needed rest.
  • Detroit reinstated Will Vest from the IL. With Alex Lange not getting any high-leverage situations in the past 7 days, it may be worth it to keep an eye on how the Tigers deploy Vest in his first couple of appearances. The corresponding move was the designate Chasen Shreve for assignment.
  • Reynaldo López was activated from the bereavement list by the Angels, and Zack Weiss was optioned back to Salt Lake.
  • With Cedric Mullins returning from the IL, the Orioles needed a roster spot and sent Joey Krehbiel down to AAA.
  • The long-awaited return of Chris Sale meant Brandon Walter returns to Worchester.
Yesterday’s Performances


TBR 9 – CLE 8

HD: Colin Poche (14), Pete Fairbanks (2)
SV: None

  • “Hi, that’s me right there, Pete Fairbanks, on the holds list. You’re probably wondering why I got a hold instead of a save”. Woof. Fairbanks entered the game in the 9th inning with a 3-run lead and proceeded to walk the first two batters before hitting the next one. Good news: He managed to strike out the next two guys. Bad news: he threw 2 wild pitches that resulted in runs scoring. Walking Bo Naylor was the final straw on Pete’s night, and he was pulled for Robert Stephenson who wound up with the win only after Wander Franco walked it off in the bottom of the inning. Believe it or not this is only the second time all year Fairbanks has allowed more than a run in an appearance, so all things point to him keeping his job since he’s been successful more than not. That being said, Kevin Cash hasn’t shied away from committees in previous seasons, so I wouldn’t put it past him.
  • Daniel Norris walked four, but also struck out four in an inning and a third in relief of non-opening Xzavion Curry, who was allowed to go five innings but matched that with five runs. Things cooled down a bit for Michael Kelly in 1.2 innings of scoreless relief before Wander hit his walk off home run on Nick Sandlin’s 3rd pitch of the game.


NYY 9 – MIA 4

HD: Jonathan Loáisiga (3), Tommy Kahnle (11)
SV: None

  • Randy Vásquez got the win, following 2 IP of 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 Ks from Ian Hamilton who has moved from long relief to an opener as of late. The Yankees bullpen didn’t allow another runner the rest of the game with Jonathan Loáisiga going 1.1 innings, and Tommy Kahnle and Clay Holmes throwing an inning apiece. Some late runs for New York in the 9th spoiled Holmes save chance. You’re never quite sure what you’ll get out of the Yankees offense outside of Aaron Judge, but you can count on the bullpen to deliver.
  • Jesús Luzardo did not have himself a great game, allowing 7 runs, so Miami turned to their middle innings eaters to keep the game moving. George Soriano proved effective in 3.2 innings of work, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 6, while walking 3. Jorge López threw a scoreless 8th, shaking off his previous 2 run allowing appearances, and Steven Okert was less than OK, allowing 2 runs in his inning of work.


KCR 12 – STL 8

HD: Nick Wittgren (2), Carlos Hernández (12)
SV: None

  • Carlos Hernández got in 2 pitches of work after having not pitched in the past 3 days. There’s not a lot of clarity with the bullpen usage here, but it is worth noting that Hernandez came in to finish the 8th after Tucker Davidson allowed 2 batters to reach. At this point, it wasn’t a save situation, so this was most likely the manager using his perceived top option to escape a jam and keep it close. There’s probably not going to be a lot of saves to be had in KC anyway, so it’s best to avoid unless desperate. Nick Wittgren picked up his 2nd hold in a scoreless 7th.
  • Kansas City jumped all over Adam Wainwright, destroying him for 8 runs in an inning of work, so Zack Thompson worked essentially as a follower going 4 innings of 1 run ball and tallying 5 strikeouts. After a perfect inning from James Naile, Andre Pallante came in with a 3 run deficit in an attempt to keep the game from getting away, but he ended up allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, in his 2 innings of work.


BOS 5 – DET 2

HD: None
SV: Chris Murphy (1)

  • Chris Sale came back and struck out 7 guys in 4.2 innings, but that’s another article. In terms of relievers, we had Kyle Barraclough, fresh from the WooSox after starting the year with the High Point Rockers (my local team!), come on and take care of business to the tune of 1 hit, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts in an inning and a third, good enough to earn him the win. Barraclough had been solid as a starter for Worchester and will look to be one of the first relievers in a game after the starter departs. With the top 4 options on the Red Sox high leverage depth chart having pitched in 2 straight, Chris Murphy threw 3 immensely valuable hitless, scoreless innings for his first save.
  • Fresh from the injured list, Will Vest returned to pitch in the sixth after Tarik Skubal was lifted with his pitch count exceeding 90, and trouble brewing on the basepaths. Vest definitely showed a little rust, walking 2 and allowing the inherited runner on a single to Connor Wong. Down by 3 runs, the Tigers rolled out Brendan White and Andrew Vasquez to keep things close, which they did with scoreless appearances, only allowing a baserunner apiece.


MIL 7 – CHW 6

HD: None
SV: Abner Uribe (1)

  • Milwaukee made one of the biggest gambles in baseball: letting your closer pitch in the 9th inning of a tie game. Of course, Milwaukee has Devin Williams, so they ended up winning that gamble and Williams won the game. When the Brewers went up in the 10th inning, Abner Uribe stepped in to secure his 1st save of the season.
  • With starter Michael Kopech unable to complete 5 innings, the White Sox turned to Bryan Shaw to start the bullpen brigade. He allowed 2 runs in only 0.2 IP, so it wasn’t an auspicious start. Aaron Bummer turned in 2 innings of scoreless work… at least scoreless in terms of his runners, as he allowed 2 of Shaw’s to score. Presumed closer Gregory Santos came on in the 8th in a tie game and threw a scoreless inning, keeping things close before Jimmy Lambert threw the final 2 innings, taking the inevitable loss after Mark Canha doubled in ghost runner Andrew Benintendi in the top of the 10th. It still seems like Santos is the preferred add here for saves, but the White Sox are… not great.


TEX 2 – SFG1

HD: Aroldis Chapman (13)
SV: Will Smith (22)

  • Remember when Bruce Bochy pretended like it was going to be a closer committee in Texas? Since then, Aroldis Chapman has 1 save, while Will Smith has 8, so it’s safe to say that was never a thing. Smith and Chapman have turned into quite the dynamic duo, with a Save and Hold in five straight appearances for them. Smith did allow a run and has allowed a run in 3 of his last 6 appearances, but it really doesn’t look like he’s in danger of ceding the 9th to Chapman. Also, for the 10th time this season, Chapman struck out 3 batters in an inning. It’s kind of his thing.
  • Scott Alexander started this one as the opener… again. This time as the opener for Ross Stripling. Definitely seems like Alexander is starting every other game as an opener for the Giants at this point. His opener buddy, Ryan Walker, took over after Stripling and completed a scoreless 7th. In a 1-run game, San Francisco then turned it over to Taylor Rogers for 3 K inning. Luke Jackson rounded things out in the 9th with an empty frame, but with no offense to speak of the Giants fell.


The best of the rest…

  • Several high leverage relievers for Atlanta made appearances in a not particularly close game, but sometimes guys just need work. Brad Hand, Pierce Johnson, Kirby Yates, and A.J. Minter all threw an inning, and with it either being a high pitch count or 2nd appearance in 3 games, I wouldn’t expect to see any of them today.
  • Michael Fulmer and Adbert Alzolay got some work in a close game that wasn’t close enough for holds or saves. Both should be available if needed today.
  • Cory Abbott picked up a win in relief of Joan Adonwhile Robert Garcia and Jose A. Ferrer notched holds. This being Washington, there’s not much to chase here outside of Kyle Finnegan.


Bullpen Depth Charts

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.

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