Reliever Ranks – 5/31

Which relievers might be in line to vulture a save or win today?

Welcome back to the newest 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


  • Six teams were off on Monday (NYY, TOR, CHW, LAA, SEA, CIN), giving their bullpens a day to recharge coming into the the week.
  • Minnesota and Detroit play a double header Tuesday, and both teams do not have an off day scheduled until Monday, June 6th, so a heavy reliance on their bullpens through the weekend should be expected.
  • The Boston Red Sox placed Matt Strahm on the Covid IL and in return recalled Hirokazu Sawamura from AAA Worcester to take his place in their bullpen.
  • The Chicago White Sox placed Kendall Graveman on the restricted list prior to their road trip to Toronto and replaced him on the active roster with Kyle Crick.
  • The Chicago Cubs designated Robert Gsellman for assignment following Monday’s double header.


Yesterday’s Performances


  • With Matt Strahm hitting the Covid IL the Red Sox end game situation gets even murkier, especially since the team has not recorded a save in their past nine games. Matt Barnes got the call to mop up the end of their losing effort against Baltimore on Monday, only adding to the deficit by giving up a pair of singles followed by a three run shot off the bat of Anthony Santander. We’ll have to see how long Strahm is out and how Cora decides to move forward once Boston has a tighter game to evaluate, but expect John Schreiber to be in the mix.


  • Closing out game 1 of the Brewers/Cubs double header, Josh Hader continued on his tear through the season, recording his 17th save of the year with yet another scoreless inning and recording all three outs with a strike out. Devin Williams once again made it look easy with a scoreless inning of work himself, setting up Hader in the eighth and recording his 12th hold.
  • And in case his dominance in game 1 wasn’t enough, Hader tacked on his 18th save after pitching a perfect ninth inning in game 2 of their double header. Hade threw a combined 29 pitches across both games, so he would deserve a day of rest Tuesday. Williams needed 26 pitches of his own during his outing in the matinee, so one may look toward a well rested Brent Suter to get the ball in the final inning on Tuesday.


  • Gregory Soto picked up his eighth save of the year, pitching put one hit and striking out one as he closed out the Tigers’ two run victory over the Twins on Monday. The outing marks back-to-back saves for Soto and even with the double header scheduled for Tuesday, should provide him with the day off Tuesday as he combined for 29 pitches between the two outings. Look for Michael Fulmer and Andrew Chafin to get the nod late in both games on Tuesday.
  • In ultimately what turned into a bullpen game for the Cardinals, Giovanny Gallegos was tasked with closing down Padres with a two run lead – in the sixth inning. Gallegos was called upon to finish up what what reliever Andre Pallante couldn’t, after he recorded the previous 10 outs of the game. Though Gallegos did give up a run scoring single to his first batter, he was able to close out the inning with a pop out and would ultimately be credited with his first hold of the season after recording the first two outs of the seventh inning as well. With such a strong bullpen in St. Louis, situations like this are going to come up that bring Gallegos in to tight spots, some of which will not provide him with the save opportunity. He very well may get Tuesday off after throwing 25 pitches on Monday, where as Ryan Helsley and Génesis Cabrera stayed under the 20-pitch mark in their Monday efforts.


  • Corey Knebel continued with his struggles, giving San Francisco the lead in the ninth inning via a solo shot to Evan Longoria. Knebel would avoid being a pitcher of record however thanks to his team’s bats tying things up in the bottom of the inning and ultimately sending the game to extra innings.
  • Camilo Doval pitched in his second straight day, this time recording his eighth save of the season in the process. Doval was called upon after the Giants were able to score two in the top of the 10th inning of their extra inning affair with the Phillies on Monday, closing things out without giving up a hit or walk, though did allow his inherited runner to score thanks to some sacrifice plays on behalf of Philadelphia before striking out the final batter of the contest to end it.
  • The Astros’ bullpen received an unscheduled day off thanks to the efforts of starter Framber Valdez. Read more about his start in today’s SP Roundup.


  • Emmanuel Clase pitched the final inning for the Guardians, albeit after his offense took the lead by picked up four extra runs in the bottom of the eighth inning in what was a tie ballgame, keeping the save opportunity just out of reach. Clase was plenty efficient, throwing just 10 pitches while striking out two and allowing one hit, and should be available Tuesday if a new opportunity were to present itself.
  • Dennis Santana, Matt Bush, and Joe Barlow combined for three scoreless innings as they closed out the Rangers’ four run victory over the Rays on Monday, and ultimately cleaning up the mess left by Matt Moore after he allowed three runs in the seventh inning without recording an out. Santana would be credited with his seventh hold thanks in part to the timing of his arrival, while Bush and Barlow would leave empty handed thanks to Texas’ four run sixth inning and clear bases upon entering the game.


  • Ian Kennedy set up Mark Melancon on Monday, with both throwing scoreless innings at the end of Arizona’s four run victory over Atlanta. Both end game options stayed under the 20 pitch mark, with Melancon being especially efficient needing just nine pitches to get through his perfect inning of work.
  • David Bednar recorded his first blown save of the season but was bailed out by his bats and ultimately walked away with his second recorded win on the year. As much as the Dodgers’ bats got to Bednar, to the tune of two earned runs off three doubles and a single, the Pirates’ bats got to Dodgers’ closer Craig Kimbrel just a little bit more, resulting in Kimbrel’s first blown save of the year and giving him the game’s loss. Bednar’s 50 pitches through his twi innings of work should surely provide him with a couple days worth of rest, giving Chris Stratton ninth inning duties for the next few days.


Bullpen Depth Charts


Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs. Check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:

Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 5/27

The Hold Up 5/26: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Closing Time 5/24: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday


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

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

One response to “Reliever Ranks – 5/31”

  1. Jayson says:

    I think it’s time to lower Knebel in all ranking. He has been struggling since the beginning of the season and I wouldn’t be unsafe to state he could be washed. In a deep SV only league, he must remain someone to hold until further notice, but in a shallow SV only league or in SV+HLD league, he’s not worth. In a SV+HLD league, I don’t understand how Knebel is ranked higher than someone like Boxberger. It doesn’t make any sense. Knebel and Doval are the kind of closers who won’t get as many saves as some relievers while get HLD and/or a mix of HLD and SV.

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