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
- The following teams have Monday off: BAL, BOS, NYY, CWS, KC, MIN, OAK, SEA, PHI, WSH, MIL, STL, COL, SD.
- Texas and Miami are anticipating a Monday doubleheader.
- The Pirates, Reds, Rays and Blue Jays will participate in Tuesday doubleheaders.
- Nabil Crismatt was optioned to the minors and was replaced on the roster by Craig Stammen. Crismatt had thrown 38 pitches on Saturday, so this was likely a move to get a fresh arm for a couple days. Crismatt is a key member of this bullpen who happened to have options left and will be back very soon.
- Seranthony Domínguez was activated by the Phillies and immediately retakes a role in the back of the bullpen. It remains to be seen if he’s still in the mix for saves.
- Jake McGee cleared waivers and was released leaving the Nationals with no lefties in their bullpen.
BOS 1 – BAL 0
- Matt Barnes picked up his fifth save of the season and third since returning from the IL in early August. Since that time, he’s put up a 2.45 ERA in sixteen appearances. Despite this strong run, he still hasn’t come close to matching his dominant stretch from the first half of the 2021 season where he was the clear closer in Boston. The swinging strike rate, K-BB%, and SIERA show the 2021 version was vastly superior. This is still very much a committee and both Garrett Whitlock and John Schreiber are in the mix for saves.
- The Orioles threw Dillon Tate and Cionel Pérez to keep the game close, but the offense was unable to muster a run to tie the game. It’s rare that someone loses 1.5 mph of velocity and improves, but that’s exactly what Tate has done this year. He improved his control and cut his walk rate in half and that plus the change in pitch mix has driven his success.
STL 4 – PIT 3
- After throwing 24 pitches on Saturday, Ryan Helsley picked up his second save in as many days to get up to sixteen on the year. Like Saturday, it was a slightly dirty save as Greg Allen ran into a home run, but Helsley’s recent use seems to show that they’re ready to use him as an every day closer through the stretch run and into the playoffs. The Cardinals have an off day Monday and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Helsley available for Tuesday if needed.
- Wil Crowe was unavailable after having thrown 30 pitches on Saturday where the Cardinals took the lead in the 9th, so the Pirates decided to go with Chase De Jong here to close out the game. The result was no different as De Jong was shelled for four runs, including a pair of homers. Pittsburgh is very low on options right now, but De Jong had been having a great season up to this point. It’s tough to trust any relievers against the Cardinals right now.
TBR 4 – NYY 10
- The Rays had to unexpectedly throw Ryan Yarbrough in a bulk role after starter Luis Patiño couldn’t escape the second inning. He did his job and saved the bullpen from getting gassed at the beginning of a stretch of eighteen games in seventeen days.
- The Yankees also went to their bullpen early although this was more scheduled with Domingo Germán pitching on three days’ rest and a scheduled off day tomorrow. Eight pitchers took the mound for New York as basically everyone who hadn’t worked the day before was called upon. Clarke Schmidt was among those called to action and he delivered two scoreless innings as he continues to thrive as a reliever. He now has a 2.06 ERA in 35 relief innings on the year.
NYM 9 – MIA 3
- The Mets went up big early on in this one and also got a great start from Taijuan Walker, so there wasn’t any high-leverage work for the bullpen. We did still see Adam Ottavino, one of their top setup men, but coming off three off days, it was probably just to keep him fresh.
- There was an equal lack of leverage innings for Marlins relievers and not one of the five relievers they trotted out delivered a clean inning. The Mets bats just seemed on from the beginning. It’s been a rocky year for the Marlins and the bullpen is no exception.
LAA 4 – HOU 12
- An early exit from starter Tucker Davidson forced the Angels to use Mike Mayers in a bulk relief role to bridge the gap to the rest of the bullpen. The Angels used only bulk arms in this one and none of them are particularly interesting from a fantasy perspective.
- It was a pretty light workload this week for several Astros relievers, so we saw Ryne Stanek and Héctor Neris despite the eventual margin of victory. Both will continue to be key setup men down the stretch and in the play for holds.
DET 0 – KCR 4
- It’s been a rough stretch for Gregory Soto, but he seems to be finding his form again. He delivered another scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts. In four appearances in September, three have been scoreless, three have had multiple strikeouts, and two involved no walks. He hasn’t put it all together and gotten a clean, 1-2-3 inning since August 10th, though, a stretch of twelve appearances.
- The Royals used their top two bullpen arms to finish off the shutout. Given the four-run lead, however, no holds or saves were awarded. Dylan Coleman has gone seven straight scoreless appearances and seems to be settled firmly into the 8th inning role. He may not be a dominant closer, but Scott Barlow has been a model of consistency over the past two years and has just one month in the 2021 and 2022 seasons in which his ERA was over 3.25.
CLE 4 – MIN 1
- Emmanuel Clase had thrown 37 pitches across three appearances in the last four days, so James Karinchak was called upon to pick up the save on Sunday. He did deliver for his second save of the season, but had to work around two walks. Karinchak’s performance makes it seem like he could be a great ratio eraser down the stretch and, while he might be, he’s not as sure a bet as some other top names. His funky delivery has proven tough to repeat and he’s battled control problems off and on his whole career. He carries more than the average amount of blowup risk for a reliever with his stuff.
- The Twins asked Jorge López to keep the deficit at one in the top of the 9th, but he was unable to do so. He gave the Guardians two insurance runs and finished the outing with two runs on three hits and two walks. He’s given up runs in three of four September appearances. Jhoan Duran continues to be virtually untouchable. After recording all four of his outs via strikeout on Sunday, his last nine innings of work look like this: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K.
CIN 6 – MIL 7
- Fernando Cruz has looked pretty good since getting a September callup and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move up the leverage ladder in Cincinnati. There’s not much competition to keep him down and he’s got a nasty splitter that’s been fooling good hitters. The 18% swinging strike rate in his first five appearances is also quite promising. Don’t run out to grab him as there aren’t many opportunities in this bullpen to get saves and holds, but he’s a guy I’ll monitor for a potential breakout next year.
- It was the shakiest of saves for Devin Williams as he had to work around a pair of hits and an error to avoid blowing the three run lead he was gifted. In the end, it was his twelfth save of the year. After not allowing a run in June and July, he’s had some growing pains since taking over as the (mostly) full-time closer, but he’s still six-for-seven in save chances in that time.
TOR 1 – TEX 4
- The Blue Jays went for a bullpen game here and still didn’t end up using many of their top arms. Julian Merryweather got his third appearance since missing a couple months on the IL and threw 19 of 23 pitches for strikes. The fastball velocity was there and the slider was a swing-and-miss pitch, so this is the closest we’ve seen him come to those magical first few appearances of 2021 in a while.
- The Rangers went with José Leclerc to close things out in the 9th and he punched out two on the way to his fourth save of the season. Leclerc now has each of the team’s last three saves and seems to be moving in the direction of becoming the outright closer if he’s not already there. He struggled a bit in his first few appearances way back in June, but he’s been stellar since the All-Star Break with a 2.00 ERA, 31 Ks, and all four of his saves in 27 IPs. At this point, I’d expect the team to pick up his $6M option for 2023 and have him enter camp as the expected closer.
WSH 5 – PHI 7
- After Wednesday’s mega-sized blowup, Kyle Finnegan struggled and took the loss again as he was brought on in the 7th inning of a tie game. He had a great August, but the underlying numbers didn’t inspire a ton of confidence that it would continue. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Carl Edwards Jr. get a couple of save opportunities down the stretch. I’d love to say Hunter Harvey, but he seems to be locked into more of a fireman role and has been generally used at key points earlier in the game.
- A lengthy weather delay forced some weird usage in the middle of this game, but the end of it was boilerplate. Seranthony Domínguez worked the 8th inning in his first game back since missing nearly a month on the IL. David Robertson came on after him and struck out the side in order to secure his nineteenth save. Dominguez did struggle a bit with command here, but ultimately looked fine in his return. The general thought is that he’s still in the mix for save chances, but I think Robertson is at the very least the 1a for now.
ARI 12 – COL 6
- Ian Kennedy came on in the 8th inning of a 10-3 game after having four off days and he was unable to record an out. Joe Mantiply relieved him and passed it off to Reyes Moronta who recorded the final three outs. Arizona is 10-6 in their last 16 games, so they’re improving as a team and there are likely to be save opportunities down the stretch. There just isn’t a guy in the bullpen to give me innings I really like, so I’m still avoiding the situation.
- It was a rough day for Rockies pitchers of all kinds as six relievers combined to allow eight runs. The Dinelson Lamet experiment hasn’t gone well so far and I, for one, am shocked that the Rockies, of all organizations, haven’t been able to fix Lamet.
CWS 3 – OAK 10
- A rough day all around for the White Sox and they were able to get some work for key relievers Reynaldo López and Kendall Graveman after neither had worked for several days. I’m not sure if I 100% trust Aaron Bummer yet.
- Oakland only needed two low-leverage innings from their relievers here as they went up big in the 5th and never looked back.
LAD 11 – SDP 2
- Alex Vesia was the first reliever out of the pen for the Dodgers and picked up a hold. Chris Martin came out next and continues to be a solid piece for LA and everything after that developed into a very low-leverage situation.
- The Dodgers just always seem to beat up on relievers to the point that I’d consider benching them anytime there’s a week your reliever faces LA. Five pitchers combined to allow seven runs in 4.2 IPs for San Diego here and only one of those runs was allowed by Wil Myers.
ATL 7 – SEA 8
- Handed a one-run lead and a boatload of momentum going into the final frame, Kenley Jansen allowed the go-ahead and game-winning runs to score on a pair of solo bombs. It was Jansen’s seventh blown save of the year in 40 tries. Jansen has had second-half struggles before and he seems to be in a major funk now. He’s allowed seven runs in his last seven appearances and has blown three saves in that time. His second-half FIP now stands at 5.89. It’s an extremely tight divisional race and Raisel Iglesias is just waiting for his number to be called.
- Rough night to be a closer in Seattle as Diego Castillo allowed three runs as he attempted to protect a four run lead in the 9th. Paul Sewald came in to stop the bleeding and proceeded to allow more bleeding to happen as he gave up the go-ahead two-run shot. Sewald was punished with his fifth blown save, but also picked up by the offense for his fourth win. This likely does little to shake up their late-inning formula going forward. Sewald and Andrés Muñoz have both been used in back-to-back days, but with a scheduled off day on Monday and a tight race for wildcard positioning which could give them homefield advantage in the ALDS, I’d expect both to be available on Tuesday.
SFG 4 – CHC 2
- Camilo Doval locked down his 22nd save in a bullpen game for the Giants in which six relievers were used. Doval has had a solid first season as the Giants’ primary closer, but he’s blossomed in the second half to the tune of a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 IPs while going ten-for-eleven in save chances.
- Appearance number two for Hayden Wesneski didn’t quite go as well as he allowed three runs on four hits in 3.2 IPs. The Giants were able to foul balls off that the Reds couldn’t handle and this drove the pitch count way up. He needed 88 pitches to get his eleven outs and wasn’t able to finish the game as Rowan Wick had to come on to record the final out. I’m not terribly impressed and I think we saw a guy take advantage of an aggressive lineup in his first time out. With that pitch count, we won’t get a chance to see him again until the weekend series.
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)