Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 9/9/23 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


  • Friday night saw a return to action for all 30 teams, after only six games the night before. Nearly every team had their top relievers available, with the exception of SEA and CLE, whose high leverage arms had all seen action in consecutive games.


  • The Cubs activated Brad Boxberger from the 60-day injured list. Boxberger should return to action as a sixth/seventh inning guy ahead of the usual suspects.
  • Fernando Cruz was activated from the 15-day injured list. In a corresponding move, Kevin Herget was designated for assignment.
  • Despite apparently still feeling some shoulder pain, Joe Kelly was sent out on a rehab assignment for the Dodgers. The expectation is that he’ll return for the Padres series next week, but it isn’t exactly encouraging that he won’t be at 100% for the regular season.


Yesterday’s Performances


TOR 5 – KC 4

HD: Austin Cox (6), Tim Mayza (22)

SV: Jordan Romano (33)

  • Jordan Hicks came in for the sixth inning here to take on the heart of the order instead of waiting for the seventh or eighth. This doesn’t really indicate anything other than that the Blue Jays like to use their relievers in any order at any time, with the exception of Jordan Romano, who is the clear closer and secured his 33rd save of the season. Romano’s last two saves have been of the one+ inning variety, and he’s allowed a run in both, but there’s nothing to see here. As for holds, Tim Mayza got his 22nd on the season and seems to be the guy for holds on the roster with Erik Swanson still on the IL.
  • Kinda funny to see two guys pitch in the same inning for the same team where one guy gets the hold (Austin Cox), and then the very next guy (Carlos Hernandez) gets the blown save and eventually the loss. But that’s baseball… things can turn on a dime (or a seeing-eye single). There isn’t really anything positive to take away from the Royals’ bullpen lately. It’s definitely one to avoid if possible.


MIA 3 – PHI 2

HD: Steven Okert and Andrew Nardi

SV: Tanner Scott (6)

  • Tanner Scott continued his hot streak with this sixth save of the season while David Robertson got the win pitching in the sixth, after having not pitched in a week. Steven Okert and Andrew Nardi were the bridge men to Scott, both turning in scoreless appearances to notch holds.
  • A solid start from Cristopher Sánchez was spoiled by Seranthony Dominguez in the sixth inning after he allowed two runs to score on a Jesús Sánchez home run. Matt Strahm finished up the inning for him, but allowed the go-ahead, and what became the eventual winning run, to score in his next inning of work.


STL 9 – CIN 4

HD: Andre Pallante (14), Casey Lawrence (2)

SV: None

  • In the second game since his return to action, it was Ryan Helsley again who took the ninth inning, with Giovanny Gallegos in front of him. The game wasn’t a save situation after St. Louis went ahead in the seventh, but the order of the reliever still gives us our biggest hint that Helsley seems to be the preferred option. The only question will be if he will be allowed to go back-to-back down the stretch. Matthew Liberatore took the seventh inning, and the win, with one and one-third innings of scoreless baseball, striking out three of the five batters he faced.
  • Fernando Cruz was activated today and immediately thrust into the seventh of a close game, and he promptly allowed two runs to blow the game open. Cruz shouldn’t factor in too much in the late innings, especially after an outing like today.


OAK 6 – TEX 3

HD: Lucas Erceg (8), Dany Jiménez (4)

SV: Trevor May (19)

  • After being a punching bag for most of the season, Oakland has decided to play spoiler a bit during the playoff race having won six of their last 10 games. As a result, and also because of his contributions, Trevor May has five saves in those 10 games. It seems like every week we are seeing different MLB teams towards the bottom of the standings go on mini-runs, resulting in a nice collection of saves and holds. It was Washington before, now it’s Oakland. Juice the orange that is Trevor May but be ready to move on when the Oakland carriage turns back into a pumpkin.
  • On the flip side, Texas has been floundering. I’m not sure if we had some sort of Freaky Friday scenario where Oakland and Texas have changed places, but wins have been hard to come by, and as a result, so have saves. They have yet to record a save in September, with the last opportunity going to Aroldis Chapman last Saturday and the last save, also Chapman, on Tuesday, August 29th. All this being said, Texas is too good to stay down and we should see some opportunities for the likes of Chapman and Will Smith this weekend against Oakland that will provide some clarity to the situation. José Leclerc did appear in this one, coming on to finish off the sixth before allowing a run in the seventh on a Ryan Noda double, which seems to preclude him from save opportunities this weekend.


The best of the rest…

  • Zac Gallen decided to give the bullpen a rest since they were one of the six teams playing yesterday and threw a complete game shutout. Paul Sewald had pitched on Thursday, but with the day off here, he should be good the rest of the weekend as needed, barring any large pitch counts.
  • Another day, another multi-strikeout save from Pete Fairbanks. Ever since his blow-up on August 11th, Fairbanks has been dialled in, collecting two wins and six saves while striking out 17 batters, only allowing one run in nine and two-thirds innings of work.
  • Evan Phillips records his 22nd save on the season and hasn’t allowed a run in just over a month. Ryan Brasier got his ninth hold ahead of Phillips and it’s still unreal how good Brasier has been since going to the Dodgers.
  • He may lead the National League in saves, but it hasn’t always been fun for Camilo Doval, notching his 36th save but allowing a run on two hits in the process. Maybe he just likes to make games a little tighter before he closes them out.
  • Cleveland may be fading in the playoff hunt, but they are still a steady source of holds and saves with four different relievers getting a hold in their win over the Angels. Emmanuel Clase bounced back from his last appearance to throw a perfect inning for his league-leading 39th save.
  • Jhoan Duran helped keep Minnesota atop the AL Central with his 25th save, while Griffin Jax matched him with a scoreless inning in the eighth for his 23rd hold.


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


(Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)

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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