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
- Thursday’s slate included 13 games, including a doubleheader between the Cubs and Cardinals, which was a make-up for Wednesday’s postponement. Thus six teams had the day off, including BAL, NYY, SEA, MIA, CIN, and ARI.
- Two teams – OAK and SFG – are off today, a rarity for a Friday. Two doubleheaders are scheduled tomorrow, including the Angels/Mariners and Braves/Mets. The Angels haven’t announced a starter for either game, though they are expected to call up Chase Silseth, who should get one of the starts. All four teams figure to tax their bullpens, so keep an eye on today’s usage.
- The Marlins, Guardians, and Red Sox haven’t announced today’s starters yet. Keep an eye on this, as some of these games may end up bullpen affairs.
- The Reds optioned Dauri Moreta to the minors yesterday. We moved Reiver Sanmartin up from long reliever to a holds option as he’s seen more action late in games recently. Ross Detwiler was subsequently slotted into the long reliever spot.
- Dillon Peters went on the IL for the Pirates yesterday, with Eric Stout called up to take his place. We put Stout into the Bulk Reliever spot for now, but we’ll have to see how this plays out.
- Boston activated Matt Barnes from the 60-day IL yesterday and optioned Kaleb Ort. It’s hard to know which version of Matt Barnes we’ll see the rest of the year, but for now, we slotted him in as a candidate for holds. Correspondingly, we shifted Ryan Brasier into the bulk innings role.
- Dennis Santana was placed on the 15-day IL by the Rangers today, who called up a starter Cole Ragans in his place. Ragans figures to fill in for the injured Jon Gray.
PIT 5 – MIL 4 (10 innings)
- The Pirates bullpen came through in a big way after starter Zach Thompson was knocked out of the game in the fifth. Four relievers combined to shut out the Brewers until the tenth, including the recently called-up Eric Stout, Yohan Ramirez, Colin Holderman, and Duane Underwood Jr. The pens’ performance allowed the Bucs to come back and win this one, with Underwood securing the victory even though he allowed the inherited runner to score in the tenth. The Pirates bullpen has worked hard of late, so they could use a quality start by Mitch Keller tonight.
- Brandon Woodruff was cruising heading into the seventh inning, but after three of the first four batters reached base and a run scored, his day was done. Brad Boxberger came on and allowed the inherited runner to score, tying the game. Hoby Milner and Devin Williams kept the Pirates off the board in the eighth and ninth, setting up Matt Bush, who had an opportunity for a save in the tenth. Bush wasn’t up to the task, though, recording only one out before the second/winning run scored on a walk-off wild pitch.
STL 4 – CHC 3 (Game 1)
- Miles Mikolas pitched into the seventh before giving way to James Naile with one out, two on, and a three-run deficit. Naile, who was called up for the doubleheader, got out of the inning and was followed by Giovanny Gallegos. Gallegos proceeded to throw a scoreless eighth after the Cardinals had tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. After Ryan Helsley kept the Cubs off the board in the top of the ninth, they completed the comeback. Helsley recorded the victory as the pitcher of record.
- Cubs’ starter Marcus Stroman was cruising until Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt greeted him with back-to-back home runs to start the seventh. After three more batters, and one more run allowed, Stroman was done, and Brandon Hughes was in the game. Hughes finished the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth, giving way to Erich Uelmen in the bottom of the ninth. Two walks and a single ended the contest, with Uelmen taking the loss.
STL 7 – CHC 2 (Game 2)
- José Quintana pitched well in his Cardinals’ debut, allowing only one run over six innings. He did not earn the win, however, as the Cubs tied the game in the top of the seventh. So the win went to his successor on the mound, Jordan Hicks. Hicks gave up the tying run but was still the pitcher of record when the Cardinals plated three in the bottom of the inning. Sound fair eh? Génesis Cabrera and Chris Stratton covered the last two innings, with Cabrera earning a hold before the Cards ran up the score.
- Sean Newcomb was called up to start Game 2 of the doubleheader and gave Chicago three innings before ducking out down 2-1. Mark Leiter Jr. followed with two scoreless, and Michael Rucker added a clean sixth. But things turned for the worse for the Cubs in the seventh as Kervin Castro served up a two-out, three-run home run to Tyler O’Neill, which broke the stalemate. Matt Dermody didn’t fare much better in the eighth, allowing two more runs to score. It’s going to be a long two months for the Cubs’ fans.
LAD 5 – SFG 3
- Clayton Kershaw couldn’t come out for the fifth inning due to a back injury, so the Dodgers bullpen had to take it from there, sporting a 4-2 lead. Phil Bickford, Chris Martin, Caleb Ferguson, Alex Vesia, and Craig Kimbrel held the lead. Martin got the win for some reason that is difficult to understand, while Ferguson and Vesia recorded holds. Kimbrel earned his 20th save in a very Craig Kimbrel fashion – allowing a run off a double and wild pitch but getting the job done. Kimbrel’s pitched back-to-back, so it would be surprising to see him tonight. Evan Phillips or maybe even David Price could vulture a save if the opportunity arises.
- Jakob Junis got into trouble in the fourth and was pulled in favor of John Brebbia with two out and two on. Brebbia had the pleasure of facing Mookie Betts, who promptly bombed a three-run HR off him. The Giants paraded out five different relievers over the final five innings, with only Yunior Marte allowing a run – this time on a dinger by Trea Turner. The other San Francisco pitchers to throw were Tyler Rogers, Jarlín García, Dominic Leone, and Camilo Doval. The Giants are off today, so they should all be good to go tomorrow.
OAK 8 – LAA 7
- Paul Blackburn got the start for Oakland, and the All-Star didn’t fare too well, giving up four (yes, four) solo homers in his five innings of work. Blackburn was succeeded by Sam Moll, Kirby Snead, Dany Jiménez, Zach Jackson, and A.J. Puk. The home runs did not cease with Blackburn’s exit as Jared Walsh (off Moll), Shohei Ohtani (off Snead – his second of the game), and Mickey Moniak (off Jackson) each hit solo shots over the final four innings. That’s right, the Halos hit seven solo homers and lost. In this bizarre game, Snead, Jimenez, and Jackson earned holds, while Puk, who got Ohtani for the final out, earned his third save.
- Jansen Junk started for the Angels and, well, pitched like Junk (sorry, too easy). Junk allowed six runs in two and 1/3 innings. All six came in the third when mercifully, Touki Toussaint came in and got the final two outs. Toussaint stayed on and gave up a two-run HR to Ramón Laureano the next inning, which put the A’s up 8-3. Toussaint then settled down and, combined with Andrew Wantz, Ryan Tepera, and Jesse Chavez, held Oakland scoreless the rest of the way. If only the Angels could have hit one more solo HR, they could have tied the game.
COL 7 – SDP 3
- Kyle Freeland pitched five scoreless frames before getting into trouble in the sixth. He managed to get two outs in the inning but left with two on and two runs in. Carlos Estévez relieved him and got the last out. The Rockies then trotted out Lucas Gilbreath, Alex Colomé, and Daniel Bard over the next three innings to secure the win. Estevez earned a hold for his efforts, but the others did not, as the score wasn’t close enough.
- Joe Musgrove started for the Friars and may have had his worst outing of the year, allowing six runs over four and 2/3 innings. Most of the damage came in the fifth, capped by a Ryan McMahon three-run dinger. Nick Martinez took over for Musgrove and held the Rockies scoreless over two and 1/3 innings of work. Taylor Scott covered the final two innings, allowing one more run to score.
NYM 6 – ATL 4
- Carlos Carrasco put together a quality start for the Mets, pitching six innings before turning it over to the pen. Adam Ottavino pitched the seventh and earned a hold, though he did surrender a run in the process. Edwin Díaz was then asked to close the game out with a two-inning save, which he did admirably, only facing seven batters and striking out three. Diaz threw 28 pitches in this one, so he may be available again tonight, although doubtful.
- Kyle Wright’s comeback-player-of-the-year campaign took a hit as the Mets lit him up for six runs in his six innings of work. The long ball was a problem for him as the Mets took him deep four times. Tyler Matzek and Jackson Stephens pitched the last two innings without allowing further damage.
HOU 6 – CLE 0
- Speaking of comeback-player-of-the-year candidates, Justin Verlander once again did his thing, blanking the Guardians over six innings. The recently acquired Will Smith, Ryne Stanek, and Phil Maton did the rest, completing the shutout for Houston.
- Zach Plesac was less fortunate as the Astros knocked him out in the fifth with two on, one out, and Cleveland down 2-0. Nick Sandlin finished the inning, but not before both inherited runners scored. After Bryan Shaw had an uneventful six, Cleveland handed the ball to Kirk McCarty and said, “go finish this one.” McCarty did indeed pitch the last three innings but allowed two solo shots in the seventh along the way.
TBR 6 – DET 2
- Jeffrey Springs allowed only two unearned runs over his six innings of work and left with a 5-2 lead. His bullpen did the rest in an orderly fashion, with Colin Poche, Brooks Raley, and Ralph Garza Jr. each pitching a scoreless frame to close out the victory. Poche and Raley recorded holds, but the Rays scored in the top of the ninth, which negated the save opportunity.
- Drew Hutchison also went six innings for the Tigers and also allowed two unearned runs. However, unlike Springs, he allowed two earned runs additionally. Alex Lange relieved him in the seventh and allowed a run of his own, as did Wily Peralta in the ninth. On the bright side, Will Vest pitched a clean eighth inning.
TEX 3 – CHW 2
- Cole Ragans impressed in his first MLB start, allowing only an unearned run over five innings. Brock Burke supplanted him with the score tied and pitched two scoreless frames. Burke took home the win as the Rangers pulled ahead in the seventh. Matt Moore allowed a run to score in the eighth but still managed to get the hold. Jonathan Hernández took over in the ninth and retired the Chisox in order for his second save. Both Hernandez and Moore have gone back-to-back and may not be available tonight. Hernandez is the more likely of the two as he tossed only 12 pitches Thursday.
- There’s nothing to talk about here as Johnny Cueto pitched a complete game for the Sox. You don’t see complete game losses very often – so old school!
KCR 7 – BOS 3
- Kris Bubic went six, allowed two runs, and left with a slim lead which did not hold as the Red Sox tied the game the next inning with Taylor Clarke on the mound. Clarke took the blown save but got the win when the Royals plated four in the bottom of the seventh. Dylan Coleman and Scott Barlow covered the final two innings in style, allowing only a walk each.
- Bosox starter Nick Pivetta allowed three Royals to cross home plate in his five innings of work, one of which came on an MJ Melendez home run. Matt Barnes made his first appearance since May and looked good, retiring the side in order. Darwinzon Hernandez, who was also recalled today, did not fare as well. The first four batters he faced went walk, single, single, Salvador Perez home run. Ouch. Hernandez did settle down from there and finished the game.
TOR 9 – MIN 3
- Alek Manoah went six innings for the victory, though it was only 3-2 when he left the game. Toronto trotted out Tim Mayza, Yimi García, and Anthony Bass over the final three innings, with only Bass allowing a run off a Jake Cave dinger. Mayza earned a hold as the game was still close in the seventh.
- Twins’ starter Sonny Gray did his part, shutting the Blue Jays down for five innings. After he left, the flood gates opened, though. Emilio Pagán was first up and was touched for three runs (two earned), the first of which came via a Teoscar Hernández homer. Trevor Megill was up next and gave up three more runs to the mighty Jays in his one and 1/3 innings of work. Not to be outdone, Tyler Duffey took over for Megill and allowed another three runs to score. The box score is pretty remarkable for these three relievers:
- Pagan: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R
- Megill: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R
- Duffey: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R
PHI 5 – WAS 4 (5 innings)
- Noah Syndergaard won his Phillies debut despite allowing four runs off 11 hits in five innings. No relievers were used as Mother Nature had apparently seen enough and washed the game out after five innings.
- Nationals’ starter Paolo Espino allowed fewer hits than Thor, but he allowed more runs, with a three-run shot by Alec Bohm being the big blow. As with Philly, the Nats bullpen got the night off.
Bullpen Depth Charts
Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)