Who really doesn’t love a song that isn’t closely related to baseball being the lead in? I mean I could have made the title Africa, same band, but further from the premise. So we are onto an update of those every crazy relievers that garner some attention but are like the guys buried in the lower left corner on Hollywood Squares. Sure, they’re useful, but only when you need to go for the win. These guys aren’t rosterable everywhere because not every league is cool enough to have a Holds category. Holds are about as wonky to figure out this early in the season as to why BJ and the Bear isn’t still on TV. Once you get through all the early stretches, you start to see patterns form on the lesser known guys. The big guns for Holds, are guys that are rosterable everywhere and help out with all those hip peripheral numbers that all the stat heads try to figure out in their dorm rooms in between smoking the tweed and Intro to Human Anatomy. So with 4 weeks in, we can see who is setting up who and how they are being used in certain situations. So enjoy the holds update and how some teams bullpens are breaking down. The NL version will be along shortly. (Before we get into the Holds post, here’s this week’s FanDuel contest.)
Boston - A muddled up mess. No clear definition is the best I can come up with. Franklin Morales looks to be the only usable guy outside of when they get the whole Daniel Bard and Afredo Aceves situation in order. Sleeper guy here is Scott Atchison, he is a hundred years young and has been pretty affective so far.
New York – K-Rob and Soriano should be owned in most hold leagues already. Look out for Boone Logan, great K rate early on and has started to get more burn with Girardi. Sleeper guy is Cory Wade as he swoops in and vultures all those wins.
Baltimore – Matt Lindstrom is the most popular guy here, but Pedro Strop is the guy to own in Charm City. Dude throws hard and Baltimore goes to their bullpen often. Re-tread Luis Ayala has been getting a few 7th inning appearances and could be a sneaky AL-Only guy.
Toronto – CoCo was the main guy, but now he is off to greener pastures. Until Sergio gets back it looks like Luis Perez is the guy to own here, failed starter turned reliever. 12/4 K/BB rate so far. Jason Frasor is the veteran presence when all is normal and sees tons of time in front of the closer, whomever it may be.
Tampa Bay – Has the third worst bullpen ERA in the AL. Joel Peralta is still the favorite for holds, if you can stomach his 10 ERA. Jake McGee is on the radar but has been very ineffective.
Chicago – I think they have the best set of bullpen arms in MLB. Crain. Reed and Thornton have basically been unhittable and Crain is doing his normal thing. Ventura mixes and matches but all 3 should be owned universally.
Detroit – Joaquin Benoit is the guy here, he should have been drafted as a #1 option in holds leagues anyways. Coke and Dotel are the other options for when Leyland needs a smoke break. Leyland uses the same set of relievers a ton so expect to see a lot of games from both guys.
Kansas City – Greg Holland was supposed to be the man and he stumbled, enter Aaron Crow. Has a .161 BAA and should see most set-up chances if they get any. Sleeper til Holland gets better is Tim Collins, the non alcoholic version of Tom.
Minnesota – Glen Perkins was supposed to be the stalwart here and he has battled both injury and ineffectiveness. Jared Burton has pitched very unheralded because it’s usually Capps who blows the lead after he holds it.
Cleveland – Tons of great arms here to choose from. Pestano is most likely owned but other usable options are Tony Sipp and Joe Smith. Sleeper here is Jairo Asencio.
Oakland – Oakland’s pen has done a nice job so far in front of Balfour. Ryan Cook leads the team in holds and is the best option moving forward. Blevins and Figueroa are lying in the weeds for low AL Only productivity.
Los Angeles – Scott Downs is the guy to own here. LaTroy Hawkins and Kevin Jepsen have contributed early. Outside of Downs, this is not a bullpen that screams pennant contender.
Seattle – The flame throwing pot smoking Tom Wilhelmsen is the main set-up guy to League. Sneaky good option Steve Delabar has a comfy 12/0 K/BB rate in the early going, too bad he gave up 4 Hr’s already. Sleeper here is Lucas Luetge.
Texas - Mike Adams and Alexei Ogando lead the way in holds for baseball and will be used a ton. Underutilized Koji is still very usable and the sleeper here could be Robbie Ross who is the win vulture in the early going.