Everyone likes maximizing stuff, hell, it’s the reason we shop at Costco for wholesale BJ’s. [Jay’s Note: They have that at Costco? I thought it was just hot dogs and slices… I’ve been doing it wrong.] Wait that’s not right, not completely wrong, but off-topic slightly. So maximizing, we are all looking to divest our teams with the best stat stuffers as possible, and the K department is tough to make up when you are chasing it. So how can you make it up slightly? Well relax, I am here to point you in the right direction like a well-trained German Shorthair. So everyone knows the top guys and then the handcuffs, but what about the guys who are owned tiny amounts in almost every format, but have been lighting it up the last few weeks? (And they are just as good as the known guys.) Sounds good to me, though, I did just write it so I kinda have to believe it. The trick is getting you to buy into it. If you’re losing, and not everyone is in first place in every league, you may wanna peer at what I have to say. So bullpens are where we need to focus and sometimes it gets tricky because of the limitations on roster size sometimes. So analyze your roster and keep that in mind with space and such. The relievers that have SP eligibility and give you the best stats are like a chick who has a sense of humor. So stick around, it’s a bit of a change up on the week’s review of holds fellas.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, you may have missed out on Cesar Hernandez and I am partially to blame. (But don’t worry because according to Rotowire “Unfortunately, he lacks both power and speed, assets he would need to be fantasy relevant in all but the deepest fantasy leagues.” On the other hand there is also: “Cesar, basically the awesomest guy in the world.“). Uhhh, anyway, he stole 6 bases in a three game span and I haven’t even written about him yet. If you are wondering how that happens, it’s in large part a timing thing, although I definitely should have looked into him as soon as he started playing more often because I would have seen he did show decent speed in the minors. So what can we expect going forward? Well, prior to an injury to Chase Utley, Hernandez was starting less than half the time. Despite being outfield eligible he has yet to play there this year. Upon Utley’s return he could steal (pun intended) games from Freddy Galvis in addition to occasional starts at second base so maybe he sees 5 starts each week. He has a pretty good track record of stealing bases in the minors but prior to this year he only stole one base in 100 games and 256 plate appearances in MLB. I think that if you picked up Hernandez you can feel ok about it, but temper your expectations somewhat. And if you missed out you should perhaps start by looking at players that may have been dropped in your league.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I am equating this one solely on one thing for the Cubbies… and that term is? Pseudo-intellectual. Joe Maddon does everything different and it’s gotta be the glasses. He makes everyone want, need or have to be involved in his bullpen. Basically, he is the united colors of Benetton of managers. His hydra approach at the bullpen is not only bothersome or troubling for the roster-bater in all of us, it’s damn near impossible to roster and guess which guy it will be today. The trio of Jason Motte, Hector Rondon, and Pedro Strop all seem to play the part of a closer, but get shuffled around like Joe is playing little game in his head. I get that some situations warrant certain match-ups, but sometimes it doesn’t make any sense to me. So for those of you that still care about the Cubs and their six save chances combined between all relievers in the last 14 days, I would roster Motte and Rondon equally, and if I had the space, I would roster Rafael Soriano and hold on tight. Soriano is going to come in like the new city slicker, with a shiny pair of aldo shoes and end up being the cat’s pajamas for about a minute in Maddon’s mind. Personally, rostering three guys to garner one stat is a crazy, crazy thing to get wrapped up into and is a waste. If you are rostering one non-closer reliever to help with ratios, where are you making this roster space up from? Nowhere is the answer, my friends. So stick to the straight and narrow for saves for now, don’t chase unless a clear situation opens it’s doors and gives out the good candy on Halloween. Stick around for some tidbits about the world of relief-dom…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The ESPYS are coming soon, so I decided it might be time to nominate some relief pitchers for mid-season hardware and steal a little bit of ESPN’s ESPYS thunder (that’s just wrong on more than one level) in the process. Anyway, I’ll soon be handing an award to one of the relief pitchers with a chance to regress in a bad way and I’m calling these awards the Jurrjy’s because Jair Jurrjens was a pitcher that was as up and down as I can recall a pitcher being. He was (is, I could say, after all he still exists, somewhere) a BABIP dependent* pitcher because of a low strikeout rate. For instance, here are his 2011 1st half/2nd half ERA splits: 1.87 in 110.2 1st half innings vs 5.88 in a small sample of 41.1 second half innings. While it might have been better to pick a reliever to name this after, I can’t think of anyone that fits the description better than Jair Jurrjens. The only problem is, I’m not sure if the “winner” is the one whose ERA regresses the most or the one who maintains the mirage. I guess that’s up to the Academy to decide. So without further ado, your 2015 Jurrjy nominees in the “rising ERA” category are: Steve Delabar, middle reliever, Toronto Blue Jays (1.42 ERA /4.05 FIP). Bryan Shaw, middle reliever, Cleveland Indians (2.10 ERA /4.62 FIP). Joakim Soria, closer, Detroit Tigers (2.73 ERA /5.09 FIP). Brad Ziegler, closer, Arizona Diamondbacks (1.45 ERA /3.78 FIP), Darren O’Day, middle reliever, Baltimore Orioles (1.21 ERA /3.17 FIP), and JJ Hoover, middle reliever, Cincinnati Reds (1.31 ERA / 3.10 FIP). (*This article basically claims that pitcher BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is 75% luck, 13% defense, and 12% pitcher’s skill).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, I guess that makes all the sense in the world, because those darn Flock of Seagulls got all in your head in the 80’s. Then they had the nerve to be in GTA and get you all singing about running. I don’t even run when chased anymore. It’s a big game of “ooohhh ya got me”. So north of the border, they do it all in groups now apparently. That group started out as a singular to start the year, then a separate individual took over only to fail himself, then they went back to the original guy who had it out of spring. Now they are on to a group format because I am guessing “strength in numbers” is the thing. I think “paint by numbers” should be their next move. So if you are scoring at home, to summarize, that is Cecil, Castro, Cecil, et. all. Yeah, I mean if I had the offensive potential that the Blue Jays have, and they are being all fiddle and benz with the end game, I would make a move to a more permanent solution. Don’t be cheap, I think the exchange rate is in your favor or close. So the committee we are looking at now is a group that consists of Roberto Osuna, Steve Delabar, possibly another occasional save chance for Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Optimus Prime and any prime number. From a rostering standpoint, I would own Osuna, Delabar, then Cecil. If you missed out on all three, just be thankful, because it’s a mess. But saves bring all the craziness out of people, so that’s why it’s bullpen week and we are getting down to the goods of the HOLD. Enjoy the rankings, tidbits and the casual barbs at my peers. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is the Saves Ain’t Got No Face “eff the team managers” edition which will give me a chance to both vent and try to deflect blame for bad calls I’ve made. Joe Maddon of the Cubs decided to go a different route on his closer situation by removing Hector Rondon from the role. For like three days. And I make the call that Pedro Strop had a good chance to take over as closer. Eff Joe Maddon. Then in Tampa (Joe Maddon’s old team.. coincidence??) the following sequence happened: 1. Brad Boxberger gets dinged, Kevin Jepsen becomes the interim closer, (arguably) leapfrogging Jake McGee in the process. 2. Boxberger came back, blew a save. 3. Jake McGee (seemingly) takes over as closer. 4. Kevin Jepsen notches a (random) save. 5. Brad Boxberger (seemingly) regains closer role. As of Sunday, the last 15/30 days for Rays Saves is 2/4 for Jepsen, 3/3 for McGee, 3/6 for Boxberger. Last week I claimed Jake McGee was the new closer. He gets zero save attempts this week. Keep reading folks because this is really just the beginning of the latest twist and turns which will leave you wanting to pull out your hair. (Plus recommendations to follow…)Please, blog, may I have some more?
You ever look at a pitcher and just realize that he’s running out of gas much sooner than you expected him too? Well, that’s what I am noticing from the Mets closer of the moment, Jeurys Familia. He is pitching like his best friend died or his pet rock was used in a terrarium for a science fair project. I am not liking the trend of the K’s disappearing, hell he went four appearances without getting one. For a guy with a 10-plus K/9, that is worrisome. The BAA is up for the month, walks are triple from what the previous two months were, and he is trying to pull of a mocha shoe with a green suit. I mean, come on. So just the other day, Bobby Parnell came in got a nice tidy 5-out save and it made me think, the way the Mets are and what their needs as a team are, is this the solution that they need? They needed bullpen help, a nice veteran returning who knows the ropes, walks with a pimp skip (no cane on the field though), and has the ability in previous years to get the job done if need be. I personally just think Jeurys needs a lessened work load to make him bounce back. Still, it is worth noticing or monitoring that Bobby P is back, and he is rounding up his bottom and top slags from Queens Point and is in waiting. Lets see what other bits of delusion I have to scour up for ya. Enjoy the week… cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
With Byron Buxton and Francisco Lindor now called up that basically leaves Jose Peraza as the most intriguing speedster prospect as of now. His path to playing time is muddled even though they have recently moved him to center field because Cameron Maybin has played extremely well there. It is my (unfortunate) opinion that due to his situation Peraza doesn’t matter for 10 or 12 team leagues yet. Onto the recently called up speedster prospects let’s consider their current fantasy value. Mike has done numerous writeups of these players in various places and he most recently wrote that he considers Buxton to be “Leonys Martin with upside”. Steamer/Razzball projects Buxton for 31-6-30-15 .241 in 78 games. Realistically his AVG will likely fall anywhere from .235 to .270 depending mostly on K rate and BABIP. In the minors he was hitting a very mediocre .283 with a 19.0 K% and .332 BABIP. Sure I think he has plenty of upside but don’t expect too much out of Buxton. I would rather hold on to a red hot and perhaps genuinely improved Cameron Maybin than pick up Buxton. Anyway, depending on your league format Buxton has likely been picked up already. I’d say he’s worth a 15% FAAB bid depending on what else you have for SBs and outfielders.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hate it when the vagueness of an arm injury slams your roster and places the top closer on the DL. Andrew Miller hit it yesterday with a forearm strain. How could it be strained if there are fore of them? I mean aren’t the other three there, to be like, back-up dancers? The only good thing for you and the Yankees is that there is another top-5 relief pitcher in the mix. Dellin Betances will take over as the lead sled dog in the saves in the Bronx. After that, on the off chance you need a third option, there is Adam Warren, which is a deep shot in the dark. Crazy as that sounds, and I dig that he is still starting, but if this drags out for Miller, he could return to what was excellent form from out of the pen last year. If by all intents and purposes you are reaching this far down for saves or speculating that the Yankees are in trouble… then stick around for some extra tidbits, there are a quite few this week. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week I implored you to consider your options in selling Steven Souza, a player who seemed to be at his peak at that time. Yes, I told you to consider moving a player that has been stellar so far. The thing is, what a player’s done doesn’t really move me. All I care about is what a player is going to do. That means past stats are only important insofar as they predict future stats. So when I see that a player has hit 15 home runs so far, or stolen 12 bases so far, all I really care about is to what degree is that level of production sustainable. I came to the “sell” conclusion for Steven Souza by using peripheral statstics, primarily his HR/FB% (unsustainable) and K% (too high and likely to not go down much). Going back to a May 4th post, I mentioned offhand that Jake Marisnick was a sell high. His AVG/SLG at the time it was published: .382/.632. His AVG/SLG since that time: .172/.242. That’s not to say I’m a soothsayer. Or to say that’s precisely how regression to the mean works. So why did that happen? Because baseball. But I do think it’s an example of why we, excepting those times when peripheral stats suggest otherwise, should trust the projections and use the peripheral stats they are based on.Please, blog, may I have some more?