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
- A full 15 games were played on Wednesday, including several afternoon contests. Thursday’s slate is a little heavier than usual, with nine games scheduled, but 12 teams are still enjoying the day off.
- The White Sox placed de facto closer Gregory Santos on the 15-day IL with elbow inflammation, effectively ending his season. It opens the door for Aaron Bummer and Bryan Shaw to share ninth-inning duties the rest of the way. Garrett Crochet was activated off the IL in a corresponding move, so he should fill in the next available setup role.
- The Marlins officially activated waiver claim Matt Moore, giving their bullpen some added setup depth for the remainder of the regular season. Moore is ineligible for Miami’s postseason roster, should they qualify for the Wild Card.
- New reports indicate that Kenley Jansen may not be activated from the COVID-19 IL until next week, giving Chris Martin additional opportunities at the gig.
MIN 5 – CIN 3
HD: Ian Gibaut (23)
SV: Griffin Jax (3)
- After Josh Winder allowed a run in two innings of relief, Jhoan Duran was called upon to face the bottom of the Reds order in the eighth. He struck out two and ended up with the win thanks to a ninth-inning rally. Griffin Jax came on for the ninth and worked around a leadoff walk for his third save of the year.
- The Reds wasted away an absolute gem of a start from Hunter Greene, and that’s a shame. Ian Gibaut allowed three hits in the eighth and was lucky to come away with just one run and a hold intact. Alexis Díaz was not so lucky in the ninth. A pair of singles tied the game; a pair of walks, one intentional, loaded the bases; and with two outs, Jorge Polanco poked another single to put the Twins up for good. Díaz had been on a solid stretch, but a few outings like this could end up making the difference in the tight N.L. Wild Card race.
PHI 6 – ATL 5
SV: Matt Strahm (2)
- After trailing early, the Braves roared back late (as they so often do) with two in the eighth off Jeff Hoffman and Gregory Soto to tie the game. Facing Craig Kimbrel in the ninth, they nearly walked it off, but Philly was saved by a miraculous catch-and-throw by Nick Castellanos that nailed the winning run at the plate. It paid off for Matt Strahm, who capitalized on some 10th-inning support to nail down the save, allowing only the ghost runner to score.
- Despite a short start from Bryce Elder, the Atlanta bullpen was excellent until the end. Jesse Chavez returned from the IL triumphantly with two and one-thirds innings of one-hit, zero-ER ball. Brad Hand, Pierce Johnson, and Raisel Iglesias each tossed a perfect inning, and Iglesias would have snatched the win if not for Castellanos’ heroics. Finally, A.J. Minter broke the seal in the 10th, allowing a hard-fought two-out walk to Bryce Harper followed by a decisive RBI double. It’s the first runs Minter has allowed in September, in his eighth appearance.
COL 2 – SDP 3
HD: Scott Barlow (6)
SV: Josh Hader (31)
- Chase Anderson (?!?) threw six quality innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh, starting with a leadoff walk to Juan Soto. He was replaced with one out by Justin Lawrence, who allowed a pair of singles and a sac fly to surrender the lead to San Diego. Both runs were charged to Anderson, but it was another less-than-stellar outing by Colorado’s former closer.
- The Padres took advantage of their seventh-inning luck by handing the ball to the trusted duo of Barlow and Hader, who had little trouble putting away the Rox. Hader pitched and earned a save or win in every game of this series; however, the Padres are off Thursday, so he’ll have at least one day of rest before they host the Cardinals this weekend.
Best of the Rest
- The Astros rallied in the eighth and ninth to walk off the Orioles, and Ryan Pressly benefited with his fourth win. It was a solid bounce-back outing for Pressly, who needed just nine pitches to retire the side after allowing five runs in his last two appearances.
- In one of the odder box scores you’ll see this year, Kansas City gave Angel Zerpa free reign out of the bullpen to polish off the Guardians over 5.1 innings of relief. Zack Greinke went three and two-thirds, and then Zerpa took it the rest of the way, allowing zero runs in the process. He would have been credited with a save if he wasn’t the only guy eligible for the win! Gotta love September baseball.
- Justin Topa picked up a save against the A’s, his third of 2023. Andrés Muñoz pitched in the eighth, facing the meat of Oakland’s order, if we can call it that. Muñoz is still the guy in Seattle, but there’s no denying Topa has had an excellent season.
- Former reliever Michael King had himself a gosh darn day, striking out 13 Blue Jays in seven innings Wednesday. Naturally, the Yankees’ bullpen (Tommy Kahnle and Ian Hamilton) immediately blew it. No one man can do it all.
- A matchup between a pair of one-time Cy Young hopefuls (Mitch Keller and Justin Steele) turned into a 13-7 barnburner, with the Pirates and Cubs combining to use 10 relievers. Out of all of them, the guy with the worst line was Mark Leiter Jr. (2 H, 1 BB, 3 ER). Go figure.
Bullpen Depth Charts
(Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)