Reliever Ranks – 9/7

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

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


  • Every team was scheduled to be in action on Tuesday, but the game between the Twins and Yankees was postponed and will be made up today. 17 games will occur on Wednesday as two doubleheaders will be played. The Mets will square off against the Pirates for two games, while the Twins will take on the Yankees for a pair of contests.



  • Duane Underwood Jr. is the scheduled starter for the first half of Pittsburgh’s doubleheader, so look for Tyler Beede to pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen as the follower. Additionally, the team doesn’t have a scheduled starter for game two and likely relies heavily on their relievers throughout the day.
  • Louie Varland will make his Major League debut in game one of Minnesota’s doubleheader. If jitters get in the way of him lasting five frames, he may need some help from the likes of Aaron Sanchez or Trevor Megill.
  • The White Sox don’t have a scheduled starter for Wednesday. If one isn’t announced, Vince Velasquez, Jimmy Lambert, or Reynaldo López may be called upon for multiple innings.


Yesterday’s Performances


NYM 2 – PIT 8

  • The Mets continued their September slide, following a series loss to the Nationals by starting off a series against the Pirates on the wrong foot. The bullpen wasn’t too inspiring as Mychal Givens was the only reliever unscored upon, as he recorded all three of his outs in the sixth via the strikeout. Bryce Montes de Oca allowed three runs in the eighth, with one coming home on an Oneil Cruz dinger given up by Tommy Hunter. Closer Edwin Díaz hasn’t pitched since Thursday and will definitely be a key part of today’s doubleheader.
  • A two-run run bomb surrendered by Robert Stephenson in the first inning of Pittsburgh bullpen work had fans holding their breaths, but everyone let out a sigh of relief when Manny Bañuelos escaped the inning without further damage. The left-hander finished off the eighth in flawless fashion, setting up Wil Crowe for a hitless ninth to secure the win. Crowe tossed 19 pitches and should be available for at least one end of today’s dual matchup.


BOS 4 – TBR 8

  • Trailing from the start, the Boston bullpen was unable to hold the score and promote a comeback. Both Eduard Bazardo and Tyler Danish allowed runs across the fifth, sixth, and seventh before Ryan Brasier settled things down for a hitless eighth.
  • In a bullpen game, the Rays worked their magic once again. JT Chargois opened, surrendering Triston Casas‘ first career long ball in the second. The follower was Garrett Cleavinger who held the Sawx scoreless for two frames to earn his first win. Calvin Faucher and Brooks Raley combined to cover the next three innings, going unscored upon and earning their second and 22nd holds respectively. The game looked to be moving away from high-leverage work, but Jalen Beeks gave up a two-run shot to Tommy Pham. That necessitated closer Jason Adam’s help with a four-run lead in the ninth. He did his job perfectly and will be available again today after throwing just 10 pitches.


MIA 2 – PHI 3

  • After seven strong innings from the starter, the game was still knotted at two. Steven Okert kept it that way with a hitless eighth, but Tommy Nance was unable to keep it going in the ninth. The right-hander gave up a double before an intentional walk and a walk-off single from Jean Segura. He was tagged with his third loss of the season. Closer Tanner Scott hasn’t appeared since last Wednesday and today would be a good day for a maintenance inning.
  • Staying strong to secure the win, the Phillies bullpen persevered. Finishing off the starter’s seventh, José Alvarado earned a one-out hold (15th hold). Brad Hand began the eighth, earning a one-out hold of his own (11th hold). Connor Brogdon allowed one of the inherited runners from Hand to cross home and was tagged with his second blown save. David Robertson backed him up with a clean ninth and following the walk-off, was awarded his fourth win. He tossed 24 pitches and also threw 41 on Sunday and could be a candidate to take today off.


TOR 6 – BAL 9

  • It may as well have been a scheduled bullpen game for the Blue Jays, as their starter didn’t survive the third, forcing six different relievers into action. First up was Julian Merryweather, who cleaned up the starter’s third-inning mess before tossing a clean fourth. Anthony Bass secured the next four outs before Yusei Kikuchi finished his sixth, but not before permitting a run. The seventh was covered flawlessly by Yimi García but the eighth was the opposite. Trevor Richards forced three runs on the board and needed the help of Tim Mayza to put an end to the arm barn’s day of work.
  • On the other side, another short outing from a starter forced extra work onto the relief corps. The Baltimore bullpen was up for the task. Dillon Tate covered the first five outs, and despite surrendering a run, was still able to earn his fourth win. Cionel Pérez finished Tate’s fifth and pitched his own sixth to nab his 22nd hold. Bryan Baker sparked a benches-clearing altercation following his one-run seventh, but he did his job and was awarded his seventh hold. The O’s wanted to put an end to this one, so they called upon “The Mountain”, Félix Bautista. The towering right-hander pitched a clean eighth but ran into trouble in the ninth. He permitted a run but worked around it to secure his 12th save. The first and second fastest pitches of the day left his hand across those frames, as he topped out at 101.9 mph with his heater. He was able to escape the two innings on just 25 pitches, meaning he is likely available again today if necessary.


CIN 3 – CHC 9

  • A bullpen that hasn’t been easy to watch all season continued its trend on Tuesday. Ian Gibaut and Reiver Sanmartin each allowed a run across the first three outs of bullpen action, with Gibaut stuck with his first loss. Fernando Cruz finished Sanmartin’s sixth before Art Warren and Hunter Strickland permitted four more runs across the next two frames. In total, the Cincinnati arm barn covered 3.2 innings, allowing five hits, six earned runs, and seven walks while striking out four batters. Closer Alexis Díaz hasn’t appeared since Friday and may pitch today even if the team doesn’t provide the rare save opportunity.
  • Only one reliever pitched for the Cubs, but he was magnificent. Hayden Wesneski, the return the Cubs got in the Scott Effross deal with the Yankees at the deadline, made his Major League debut. He pitched the final five innings of the ballgame, allowing just three baserunners while striking out eight. He was unscored upon and induced eight whiffs and a 33% CSW across 61 pitches. His best and most-used pitch was a low-80s curve that secured half of his swings and misses while earning a 35% CSW across 26 offerings, while his fastball averaged 93.7 mph. It will be interesting to see if they let him start a ballgame following such an impressive debut.


WSN 1 – STL 4

  • In his return from Triple-A, Andres Machado pitched a perfect sixth. Jake McGee’s hitless eighth allowed the team to sandwich two scoreless outings around a one-run frame from Steve Cishek during which he surrendered a home run to Nolan Gorman. Closer Kyle Finnegan hasn’t seen game action since Thursday and is in dire need of a maintenance inning.
  • Revealing the strength of their arm barn, the Cardinals went all out against baseball’s worst team. Fireballer Jordan Hicks led things off and somehow didn’t land on the pitch velocity leaderboard. Regardless, he completed two scoreless innings to notch his seventh hold. Since returning from the IL and moving to the bullpen full time at the beginning of July, Hicks owns a 4.50 ERA (28 IP) that appears much worse than his 3.37 xFIP would suggest. It is additionally supported by a 61.4% ground ball rate and a 26.1% strikeout rate. He turned the ball over to Giovanny Gallegos for a flawless frame and his ninth hold. Ryan Helsley pitched the ninth, working around a hit and a walk to secure his 14th save. He unleashed the fifth-fastest pitch of the day, a 101.5 mph fastball, and lowered his ERA to an MLB-leading 0.98 mark (55.1 IP). The right-hander tossed 21 pitches but should be good to go again today.


CLE 4 – KCR 1

  • Just one inning was needed from the bullpen and it was covered by one arm. James Karinchak was called upon in a save situation because closer Emmanuel Clase had pitched the previous three days. Karinchak shut down the Royals in order with two strikeouts to secure his first save of the season. His ERA now sits at 1.04 (26 IP) to go along with the third-best strikeout rate in the Majors (41.7%).
  • The Royals did their best to thwart the Cleveland bats, but the offense didn’t provide enough punch to make their work fruitful. Jose Cuas completed the starter’s seventh before Brad Keller allowed one run while pitching the final two frames.


TEX 4 – HOU 3

  • A lights-out arm barn was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Rangers bullpen combined for five shutout innings to lock down the victory. Taylor Hearn covered the first two to earn his sixth win. Jésus Tinoco and Matt Moore combined to pitch the next two frames and were credited with their second and eighth holds respectively. In the ninth, José Leclerc was called upon in a save situation. He didn’t strike anyone out but got the job done to secure his third save. With Jonathan Hernández struggling, Leclerc could be transitioning into a more secure role in the ninth. He has now pitched in each of the last two days and likely gets today off. Hernández would be first in line for a save chance and some redemption.
  • After the starter blew the tie in the seventh, the Houston arm barn kept things close but the comeback never occurred. Phil Maton completed the starter’s seventh prior to Ryne Stanek and Will Smith pitching the final pair of innings. Stanek struck out the side in his frame, continuing an incredible season that has seen him record the third-lowest ERA in baseball (min. 45 IP) at 1.17 (46.1 IP).


MIL 7 – COL 10

  • In the first of two extra-inning affairs on Tuesday, the Milwaukee bullpen struggled mightily. It began on a sour note as Luis Perdomo surrendered four runs without securing an out, bringing the Rockies within one. Peter Strzelecki then came aboard and allowed another run for the Rockies to tie. He was saddled with his second blown save but was able to escape the inning and the following frame without any further damage. Hoby Milner was unscathed as he finished Strzelecki’s ninth. In extras, Taylor Rogers was the man for the job, but he was absolutely uncomfortable. The lefty gave up a double to lead off the inning and force home the zombie runner to knot the game up again. He intentionally walked the next batter before securing a force out, then served up a walk-off three-run shot to Randal Grichuk to end the night. Rogers was ultimately stuck with his seventh loss and eighth blown save.
  • Not many predicted serviceable bullpen work from the Rockies in Colorado to help secure a win, but here we are. Each of the three relievers covered more than three outs. Austin Gomber grabbed seven outs and allowed just a single run prior to Dinelson Lamet recording four outs of his own. With the game tied up, Daniel Bard pitched the ninth and tenth. The ninth was fine, but in the tenth he allowed the zombie runner to score. However, following the walk-off, the veteran was rewarded with his fourth win. He fired 23 bullets and should be available for today’s action.


DET 4 – LAA 5

  • Two bottom-feeders squared off in Anaheim, with the star-studded team exiting victoriously. The result was caused by shotty defense and zombies being allowed on the field. Alex Lange and Joe Jiménez each put up a scoreless frame to force extra innings, but Andrew Chafin crumbled in the 10th. An error forced the zombie runner home before a wild pitch and a walk set up Magneuris Sierra for a walk-off single. Chafin was tagged with his third loss and first blown save.
  • It hasn’t been witnessed often this season, but the Angels’ bullpen actually came through on Tuesday. Aaron Loup finished the starter’s sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his 14th hold. Then, José Quijada got an out but was removed with runners on base, ultimately recording his seventh hold despite the events that followed. Jimmy Herget wound up allowing the inherited runners to score and was saddled with his second blown save. In the final two frames, Ryan Tepera held the score in the ninth but allowed the Manfred Man to score in the 10th. Nonetheless, he was awarded his fourth win upon the walk-off. The five pitches Herget threw won’t hold him out of action today.


ARI 5 – SDP 6

  • An innocuous eighth, during which Kyle Nelson (ninth hold) and Reyes Moronta (third hold) held the Padres scoreless, got Arizona fans’ hopes up. That was a bad idea because Ian Kennedy quickly blew the lead in the ninth, surrendering a walk-off single to Jorge Alfaro, and was saddled with his seventh loss and sixth blown save. He utilized 22 pitches but the team may seek help from Joe Mantiply or Mark Melancon because Kennedy has struggled recently, blowing saves in each of his last two appearances.
  • Capitalizing on the late-inning collapse on the opposite side, the Padres bullpen secured the victory in impressive fashion. Four arms pitched and only one runner reached base. Tim Hill, Robert Suarez, and Luis García combined for 3.2 scoreless frames to get the ball to the ninth. García fired off the fourth-fastest pitch of the day, a 101.7 mph sinker. Nick Martinez pitched a scoreless ninth with the team down by two and was rewarded with his fourth win when the offense walked it off. Martinez has pitched on back-to-back days and likely cedes ninth-inning duties to Josh Hader, García, or Suarez today.


ATL 10 – OAK 9

  • In the highest-scoring game of the day, the Braves bullpen needed to make up for the eight runs their starter permitted. They did so by allowing just one run across the final five innings. Dylan Lee allowed that lone run in the fifth, but Jesse Chavez cleaned up his inning and pitched the next to earn his third win. The next two frames were pitched without event by Raisel Iglesias (seventh hold) and A.J. Minter (26th hold). As usual, the ninth was pitched by the legendary Kenley Jansen. The veteran pitched a perfect inning with two Ks to secure his MLB-leading 32 saves. At the age of 34, Jansen has the ninth-most saves of all time (382) and is eight shy of tying Dennis Eckersley. The right-hander used 12 pitches to complete the inning and should be good to go today.
  • The Oakland starter somehow did one worse than his opponent and set the bullpen up for failure. They allowed the same amount of runs as the Braves but were ultimately sent home as losers. Joel Payamps allowed the only run and was tagged with his fourth loss. Sam Moll, Austin Pruitt, and Kirby Snead combined for 3.1 scoreless innings to end the mound work, but it ultimately went to waste.


CHW 0 – SEA 3

  • In the lowest-scoring affair on Tuesday, any bullpen work from the White Sox was thwarted as a result of the offense failing to score. Jimmy Lambert tossed a perfect seventh while Reynaldo López served up a two-run bomb to Cal Raleigh. The former isn’t talked about much, and for good reason, but he has still been able to post a 2.61 ERA (38 IP) despite a 1.29 WHIP and a 21.6% strikeout rate.
  • It was a textbook team performance shutout for the Mariners. The starter went six then turned the ball over to Matt Brash for a clean seventh and his seventh hold. Then Andrés Muñoz was called upon to wipe out any hope the opposition had. The right-hander notched his 20th hold and threw the third-fastest pitch of the day, a 101.8 mph four-seamer. The ninth went to Paul Sewald who set down the side in order to secure his 18th save. He tossed 16 pitches but has also pitched in three of the last four days, and considering the depth of the Seattle bullpen, is likely to get a rest today.


SFG 3 – LAD 6

  • In the big rivalry matchup, the Giants once again didn’t stand a chance. They turned to a bullpen game, utilizing John Brebbia as the opener. He pitched a scoreless frame, but Jarlín García ruined the rest of the night by surrendering five runs on two homers across five outs as the follower. He was saddled with his fourth loss. Tyler Rogers covered the next seven outs without permitting a run and Dominic Leone got six more but gave up a solo shot along the way. Finally, Zack Littell put an end to the night with a perfect eighth.
  • The Dodgers bullpen was perfect as they pitched the final two frames. Chris Martin set up the ninth with a flawless frame that saw him strike out two batters and earn his seventh hold. Meanwhile, Craig Kimbrel was preparing for a comeback performance. He pushed his scoreless innings streak to 7.1 and secured his 22nd save with the perfect inning. I mentioned Kenley Jansen’s save total earlier, but Kimbrel is, in fact, the active leader. His 394 saves are the seventh-most of all-time and put him 28 back of Billy Wagner. Kimbrel tossed 13 pitches and will likely be available for a save opportunity today.


Bullpen Depth Charts



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

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)

Jake Crumpler

A Bay Area sports fan and lover of baseball, Jake is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English Literature. He currently writes fantasy articles for Pitcher List, is the lead baseball writer at The Athletes Hub, and does playing time analysis at BaseballHQ. Some consider his knowledge of the sport to be encyclopedic.

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