Relievers to Stream for Wins and Saves – 8/3

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

New week, new bullpen changes. Hopefully, you got all your FAAB bids last night. If not, don’t fret—there’s sure to be more movement before it’s all over.

First, notes from last night and thoughts on today’s games:




  • Orioles, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Tigers, Astros, Angels, Rangers, Marlins, Nationals, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks are all scheduled to be off Monday. So, unless there’s a last-minute make-up game scheduled, you can expect these bullpens to get a full day of rest.
  • Lewis Thorpe is slated to start for the Twins on Monday, most likely giving way to the bullpen before the end of the fifth inning. With Tyler Clippard, Devin Smeltzer, Matt Wisler, and Tyler Duffey all pitching in Sunday’s game, I may bet on Cody Stashak to get the ball first once Thorpe is pulled. Meanwhile, Sergio Romo picked up the save to give Taylor Rogers a breather after pitching the previous two games. Rogers should be good to go if needed on Monday.
  • Another day, another blown save for the Angels. This time it was Ty Buttrey (again) putting Mike Trout’s playoff aspirations in jeopardy.  With Cam Bedrosian being called to the mound in the fourth inning and Keynan Middleton not exactly lighting up box scores, we’ll take our chances with Noe Ramirez getting the next shot if an opportunity were to arise, though we’d like to see Joe Maddon move Felix Pena away from the middle innings and into the ninth.
  • After getting three days off, Kenley Jansen closed up shop for the Dodgers and recorded his second save of the short season. Jansen didn’t allow a baserunner and recorded two strikeouts on the evening.
  • Liam Hendriks pitched in back to back days, collecting back to back saves for the Athletics. Hendriks threw 13 pitches on Saturday, and 21 on Sunday. Joakim Soria is the obvious arm to take the ninth on Monday, though he himself threw 28 pitches on Saturday, and the last time he pitched (Monday 7/27) he threw 23 and was then given the next four days off. Like Hendricks, Yusmeiro Petit and Jake Diekman each took part in both Saturday and Sunday, so there’s a chance the A’s turn to Lou Trivino.
  • With the Rangers’ end-game position up in the air, Jonathan Hernandez made his case Sunday night pitching two innings and recording four strikeouts. Veteran Edinson Volquez ultimately closed out the game in a non-save situation, pitching a clean ninth and recording a strikeout of his own. The Rangers are one of many teams off on Monday, so everyone should be available Tuesday.
  • With Wade Davis and Scott Oberg on the shelf, all eyes were on Colorado to see who would ultimately take over the ninth-inning duties for the Rockies. In comes Carlos Estevez. Being called to the mound with two outs in the eighth, Estevez was asked to clean up a mess made by James Pazos. With the bases loaded, Estevez gives up a triple to Wil Myers, scoring the three inherited runners. He ends the inning with a groundout by Jurickson Profar. On to the ninth, Josh Naylor leads off with a triple of his own off Estevez, scoring on the Ty France ground out. After getting Fernando Tatis Jr. to strike out swinging, Estevez got a little unlucky with a Trent Grisham double. That was enough to bring in Jairo Diaz, who was able to get the coveted one-pitch save by getting Manny Machado to fly out to right on the first pitch he saw. That was a really long-winded way of saying Jairo is the guy to grab in Colorado.
  • Technically, Nick Burdi was called upon to end the ninth inning for the Pirates but never threw a pitch after a long delay convinced Derek Shelton to save the arm for another day. On the other side of the ball, Rowan Wick and Kyle Ryan were seemingly unavailable after pitching in each of the previous two games, so it was Jeremy Jeffress who got the win for the Cubs after pitching the top of the 11th inning, prior to Javier Baez’s walk-off single. Now it’s Jeffress who’s pitched in the previous two games going into Monday’s matchup against the Royals, giving the edge to Wick to pick up another save opportunity assuming Craig Kimbrel is still figuring things out.
  • James Karinchak let up two hits but got all three of hits out by way of strikeout in a non save situation Sunday and needed 24 pitches to do so. Brad Hand still technically has the ninth-inning job in Cleveland, and it should be assumed he’ll get the ball on Monday if the opportunity arises.
  • Greg Holland came in for the Royals with the score tied in the seventh inning and two runners on base by way of two singles given up by Scott Barlow. Holland then proceeds to allow both inherited runners to score and allow two earned runs of his own to score, setting up Glenn Sparkman to come in and ultimately let his inherited runners to score as well. All in all, a pretty abysmal inning for the Kansas City bullpen, and perhaps helps Mike Matheny make a quicker decision on giving Trevor Rosenthal the next save opportunity if he isn’t going to go back to Ian Kennedy.
  • Mark Melancon closed out the game for the Braves on Sunday in a non save situation. Melancon is the only Atlanta pitcher to have pitched in back to back games this season thus far, but after throwing 21 pitches and Shane Greene throwing 28 of his own on Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris Martin find his way into the ninth inning again on Monday.
  • Edwin Diaz gave up a walk and recorded a strikeout while pitching the entirety of the seventh inning with the Mets down by three. It’s clear he needs time to get the ship corrected, but it’s still safe to say he’s not fully trusted to close out games right now. The Mets seem to like Seth Lugo in multiple situations as needed, and Dellin Betances may have already blown his chance with his recent blow-up, so look for veteran Jeurys Familia to step up when asked next.
  • Cole Sulser recorded his third save of this short season for the Orioles, only needing 21 pitches to get through two innings of work on Sunday, but did not record a strikeout.
  • Joe Jimenez took the loss Sunday, giving up three hits and the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of the first game of the Tigers/Reds doubleheader. Nothing too worrisome here as of yet and the Tigers are off Monday so he should be available Tuesday if needed.
  • Zack Britton got right back to it with his third save for the Yankees closing out the ninth after New York took a two-run lead in the eighth inning—also giving Adam Ottavino the win. Britton only needed 10 pitches to get through this one so should be available if needed on Monday.
  • Roberto Osuna hit the IL and Ryan Pressly rejoined the team and should be assumed to be the new closer until proven otherwise—or until Fernando Rodney forces his hand.


Bullpen Depth Charts


Green = closer is available/long reliever expected to pitch after starter
Yellow = closer pitched previous day/LR has chance to pitch after starter
Red = closer has pitched back to back days and likely has the day off
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm 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.

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