Relief pitching is perhaps the least glamorous part of baseball. You don’t start and pick up wins. You aren’t pitching the final outs to register the save. You just try to ferry the lead from the starter to the closer. As a middle-man of baseball the bullpen arms are the most forgettable when it comes to roster construction, however a poor bullpen has led to the downfall of many a good team. If you can’t get through the seventh & eighth innings without giving up runs you can quickly turn a winning situation into a losing one.
How to choose the best relief pitchers in MLB The Show 19’s Franchise Mode
In this article we are looking for the best relief pitchers MLB The Show 19 has too offer. These pitchers are not listed as starters or closers and are already in the MLB when we start a Franchise Mode. They don’t need great stamina but they do need impressive pitches and ideally a deep pitching repertoire. These are all the best relief pitchers in The Show 19 with an OVR of 81 or more.
*For a full list please see the table below
Andrew Miller, St. Louis Cardinals (OVR 95)
Contract: 2 years/$22.6 million
Pitches: Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, 2-Seam Fastball, Changeup
Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (99), H/9 (98), Clutch (92), Velocity (90)
Andrew Miller has been on seven teams in his 14 year career. The Tigers and Marlins originally tried him in the starting rotation with little success. In Boston he was moved into the bullpen and found it far more to his liking, posting a strong 2.64 ERA in 30.2 innings during the 2013 season. He spent some time with the Yankees as their closer before moving to Cleveland as the setup man and now fills that role with the Cardinals.
In The Show 19 Miller has four good pitches and the break (99) and velocity (90) combination that can be really dangerous to hitters. He can touch 95mph on his fastball and with a slider & changeup to put hitters away he can be a strikeout machine. He also has the ability in the clutch (92) to step into the closer role should injuries strike.
Will Harris, Houston Astros (OVR 89)
Contract: 1 year/$4.2 million
Pitches: Cutter, Curveball, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (97), Clutch (79), K/9 (79), BB/9 (79)
Will Harris joined the Astros in 2015 and has been a key part of their bullpen ever since. In 2016 he filled in as closer, picking up 12 saves with a 2.25 ERA and earning an All-Star appearance. He’s averaged more than a strikeout per inning with the Astros and has been good at limiting home runs as well.
In The Show 19 Harris terrific break (97) which will help his curveball miss bats and his cutter confuse hitters. His limited ability in the clutch (79) makes him less appealing as a stand-in closer, but he can still get the job done in the 7th and 8th, but he only has the stamina (24) for one inning.
Jeurys Familia, New York Mets (OVR 89)
Contract: 3 years/$30 million
Pitches: Sinker, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, Splitter
Best Stats: Velocity (99), HR/9 (89), Break (88), H/9 (88), K/9 (81)
Jeurys Familia got his debut with the Mets in 2012 but wasn’t a regular fixture in the bullpen until 2014. In 2015 he took over the closing role and racked up 94 saves in two seasons. In 2017 he was the setup man and in 2018 was traded to the Oakland A’s but he re-signed with the Mets as a free agent this winter.
In The Show 19 Familia has excellent velocity (99) to get his fastball past hitter and he keeps the ball in the park well too (HR/9 89). His break (88) is strong which will help with his sinker and slider.
Mark Melancon, San Francisco Giants (OVR 88)
Contract: 2 years/$31 million
Pitches: Cutter, Knuckle Curve, 4-Seam Fastball, Splitter
Best Stats: Break (82), BB/9 (82), HR/9 (81), Control (79)
Mark Melancon has been with six teams in his 11 years in the Majors. He started with the Yankees in 2009 and the moved to Houston where he picked up 20 saves in 2011. After a poor year with the Red Sox he landed in Pittsburgh and turned into one of the deadliest closers around, picking up 131 saves with a 1.93 ERA in a three-season span from 2014 to ‘16. Since then Melancon has moved to San Francisco and come back to earth somewhat in a setup role.
In The Show 19 Melancon has solid control (79) of his stuff and a nice four-pitch repertoire with the tough-to-hit knuckle curve. His break (82) isn’t amazing but it is good enough to make his breaking balls effective. He can control walks (BB/9 82) and homers (HR/9 81) well too.
Ryan Pressly, Houston Astros (OVR 88)
Contract: 3 years/$20.4 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Sweeping Curve, Slider, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: K/9 (86), Velocity (85), Break (81), H/9 (80)
Ryan Pressly was drafted by the Boston Red Sox but made his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2013. He soon became a reliable part of the Twins roster and in 2018 was traded to the Houston Astros to aid their World Series bid. He holds a career 3.50 ERA and has struggled with walks at times.
In The Show 19 Pressly has 4 good pitches and the velocity (85) to throw his fastball for strikes. His break (81) isn’t sensational but it is good enough to make his curve and slider effective. He can walk (67) and be homer-prone (63) though.
Adam Ottavino, New York Yankees (OVR 87)
Contract: 3 years/$27 million
Pitches: Slider, 2-Seam Fastball, Cutter, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (99), H/9 (93), Clutch (85), Velocity (83)
Adam Ottavino debuted with the Cardinals in 2010 but made a name for himself in Colorado as he put up good numbers despite the thin air. Ottavino played 7 years with the Rockies, posting a 3.41 ERA and a 10.2 K/9. He signed a three-year deal as a free agent with the Yankees in January.
In The Show 19 Ottavino has elite break (99) and strikeout skill (K/9 99). He can limit hits well (H/9 93) and has solid velocity too (83). While the Yankees have Aroldis Chapman in the closer role Ottavino’s clutch ability (85) is good enough to step in if Chapman gets hurt or needs a night off.
Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies (OVR 86)
Contract: 1 year/$8.1 million
Pitches: Sinker, Slider, Circle Change, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: BB/9 (89), Control (82), Clutch (80), H/9 (80), Break (78)
Pat Neshek got his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2006 and in his lengthy career he has played for 7 different teams. Neshek has never been a full-time closer anywhere, but has specialized in the setup role, posting an impressive 2.72 ERA and 1.026 WHIP in his career.
In The Show 19 Neshek has good control (82) which allows him to control walks (BB/9 89) and limit hits (H/9 80). His break (78) isn’t great, but with the sinker being his primary pitch that’s ok. Neshek’s velocity (57) is poor though so be careful using that fastball.
Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs (OVR 86)
Contract: 1 year/$6.5 million
Pitches: Sinker, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), H/9 (99), K/9 (81), Clutch (79)
Steve Cishek started his career with the Florida Marlins in 2010, stepping into the closer role in 2013 with good success. He was then traded to St. Louis in 2015 to aid their playoff push as a setup man. He has since made stops in Seattle and Tampa Bay before landing in Chicago in 2018.
In The Show 19 Cishek has excellent break (99) to help his sinker and slider bite. His velocity is poor (65) so be careful with that fastball, but the movement he gets makes it tough for hitters to get good contact and generate hits (H/9 99) and he can get strikeouts too (K/9 81).
Dellin Betances, New York Yankees (OVR 86)
Contract: 1 year/$7.3 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Knuckle Curve, Slurve, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (99), H/9 (99), Velocity (92), Clutch (82)
A four-time All-Star, Dellin Betances got his debut in 2011 with the Yankees but wasn’t a fixture in the bullpen until 2014, when he pitched 90 innings with a 1.40 ERA. Betances has been a strikeout machine in the setup role for the Yankees, posting a career 14.6 K/9.
In The Show 19 Betances break (99) is elite, and paired with good velocity (92) he is a strikeout machine (K/9 99) and keeps the ball off bats too (H/9 99). However he does give up walks (BB/9 37) which can create problems. Betances is also solid in the clutch (82).
Zack Britton, New York Yankees (OVR 86)
Contract: 3 years/$39 million
Pitches: Sinker, Slider, 2-Seam Fastball, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (97), Velocity (96), H/9 (89), HR/9 (88)
Another Yankee. Zack Britton broke into the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles as a starter in 2011. He don’t do too well in the rotation though and by 2014 he was moved to the bullpen and flourished as a closer. From 2014 to ‘16 Britton registered 120 saves with a stunning 1.38 ERA and a 9.3 K/9. In 2018 he was traded to the Yankees as they tried to make the World Series.
In The Show 19 Britton has a killer break (97) and velocity (96) combination that makes him very tough to hit. He controls hits (H/9 89) and homers (HR/9 88) really well, though his K/9 of 73 suggests he won’t be blowing through a lineup regularly.
All relief pitchers with 81 OVR or more
|Andrew Miller||95||33||St. Louis Cardinals||L||25||90||75||99|
|Will Harris||89||34||Houston Astros||R||24||70||63||97|
|Jeurys Familia||89||29||New York Mets||R||25||99||60||88|
|Mark Melancon||88||34||San Francisco Giants||R||24||69||79||82|
|Ryan Pressly||88||30||Houston Astros||R||25||85||79||81|
|Adam Ottavino||87||33||New York Yankees||R||24||83||59||99|
|Pat Neshek||86||38||Philadelphia Phillies||R||23||57||82||78|
|Steve Cishek||86||32||Chicago Cubs||R||24||65||57||99|
|Dellin Betances||86||31||New York Yankees||R||25||92||63||99|
|Zack Britton||86||31||New York Yankees||L||25||96||61||97|
|Jeremy Jeffress||86||31||Milwaukee Brewers||R||25||87||72||92|
|Seranthony Dominguez||85||24||Philadelphia Phillies||R||26||99||57||99|
|Darren O'Day||85||36||Atlanta Braves||R||24||39||79||99|
|Seunghwan Oh||84||36||Colorado Rockies||R||25||63||74||94|
|Carl Edwards Jr||84||27||Chicago Cubs||R||24||81||43||99|
|Daniel Winkler||84||29||Atlanta Braves||R||23||71||68||86|
|Diego Castillo||84||25||Tampa Bay Rays||R||29||99||70||99|
|Nate Jones||84||33||Chicago White Sox||R||24||99||67||99|
|Joe Kelly||84||30||Los Angeles Dodgers||R||26||99||47||84|
|Joe Smith||84||35||Houston Astros||R||24||51||85||94|
|Dylan Floro||83||28||Los Angeles Dodgers||R||28||83||74||80|
|Juan Nicasio||83||32||Philadelphia Phillies||R||39||79||60||80|
|Hector Rondon||83||31||Houston Astros||R||24||97||63||75|
|Richard Rodriguez||83||29||Pittsburgh Pirates||R||26||83||67||87|
|Trevor Rosenthal||82||28||Washington Nationals||R||24||98||62||99|
|Yoshihisa Hirano||82||35||Arizona Diamondbacks||R||24||67||62||91|
|Oliver Perez||82||37||Cleveland Indians||L||20||74||73||95|
|Taylor Rogers||82||28||Minnesota Twins||L||24||81||84||91|
|Chad green||82||27||New York Yankees||R||33||87||68||85|
|Tommy Hunter||81||32||Philadelphia Phillies||R||25||90||81||68|
|Seth Lugo||81||29||New York Mets||R||65||78||74||90|
|Andrew Chafin||81||28||Arizona Diamondbacks||L||21||84||54||99|
|Chaz Roe||81||32||Tampa Bay Rays||R||23||73||66||99|
|Kyle Crick||81||26||Pittsburgh Pirates||R||25||93||63||97|
|Pedro Baez||81||31||Los Angeles Dodgers||R||25||91||73||99|
|Chris Devenski||81||34||Houston Astros||R||24||70||63||97|
|Kelvin Herrera||81||29||Chicago White Sox||R||24||98||76||89|
|Brad Batch||81||32||Chicago Cubs||R||25||76||56||74|
|Drew Steckenrider||81||28||Miami Marlins||R||24||76||58||80|
|Reyes Moronta||81||26||San Francisco Giants||R||24||88||47||99|
|Craig Stammen||81||35||San Diego Padres||R||27||70||72||84|