The save buffet line in Minnesota is becoming a tiresome “wait-and-see who gets the chance today”. We all sit there and wait to own all the bullpen condiments that they offer, whether it be Brandon Kintzler, Fernando Abad, Trevor May, Kevin Jepsen, or Michael Tonkin. Including Perkins, those are the names that have been gifted a precious save chance for the occupants of the Twin Cities. A save opportunity total that is second to last in the league (18), in front of a surprise first place team in the Cubs. The Cubs are only there because they are beating everyone up and don’t have the late-inning chances that other losing teams do. So back to the Twinkies… they have the least amount of saves, holds, and have the least amount of appearances by relievers with the lead. All those things are so bad for roster space that you are speculating it to get you a save. They are on pace to average less than 3/4 of one whole save a week. But if people want to keep roster shuffling, looking for the odd save here or there, who am I to judge? I mean, some people say cucumbers taste better pickled. The fortunate thing for you is that I am here to guide that steady hand and give you astute advice for a nominal (not nominal, it’s free) fee. So here the rankings of closers for week 11, now with more added snippets of goodness!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone. Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in. Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that. “Smyly, is that you? Why do you keep calling me?” That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone. “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.” Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone! So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles. Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson: Passive Aggressive Starter. Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch. Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks. On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2. Those are ace numbers. Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row. His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers. But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest. He just doesn’t throw hard enough. I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Situations arise all the time with closers. Injuries occur, poor performance, and then the return of the incumbent. In the preseason, Will Smith was the guy the Brewers had tabbed as the closer. Then, like I just said, an injury happened. So now that he is back, what goes on in the back-end of the Brewers bullpen? Jeremy Jeffress has done a stellar job with a less than average set-up crew in front of him. He has pitched to a 2.45 ERA and a slightly more bloated xFIP of 3.41. For all his previous tangles with pitching, he is striking out far less then he is normally accustomed to at just a 6 K/9 rate. Low for a closer, even from the Lauvern and Shirley state. He has managed 14 saves in 15 opportunitioes, and for a team like the Brewers, 14 is a healthy total. So does his reign come to an end now that the best reliever is back in the fray? Granted, it is never a great thing when usual mop-up relievers start stealing your stats, namely Blaine Boyer and Carlos Torres, who have 3 saves between them in the past nine games. And granted, saves are wonky and games dictate them sometimes, come from behind wins, and situational loogy-ness are also a factor. So I think with the way Jeffress has been going, he stays there until Will comes and steals his mojo and never looks back… Until the trade deadline, which could alter things up completely and basically revert it back to the way it was. So if Will Smith is on your waivers, do yourself a service and add him speculatively for a week or two. If he doesn’t give you the returns that you expect, then, well, the opposite happened of what I think should happen. Enjoy Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season’s closer report!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Besides that Eric Prydz catchy a** song, the bullpen situation/decision in Tampa is drawing nearer and dearer to our closer hearts. The return of the “Box” is coming, and it drums in the deep. Now we automatically assume, myself included, that three weeks ago, Brad Boxberger would just go all cutzies like in the high school cafeteria and get his job back at the time he arrives. Fast forward three weeks, or to now, and that situation doesn’t look like it is a foregone conclusion because look what Alex Colome is doing in the role. He checks all the “I am keeping my job” boxes. He of the 10 saves in 10 chances, 12 K/9, 2 BB/9, BAA under two bills variety. Those are all good things to have, and better than 15 other closers in baseball for stats across the board. Now, I just said that I don’t see Box claiming what’s his right away, but it could happen, because loyalty rules everything around baseball. So if you own Colome and can get Boxberger before he gets noticeable stats on the cheap, I advise to do so. If you own Boxberger and don’t own Colome, well, the price will be higher because the people that own him can read stats just as easily as I can type them out for you. So be proactive as we reach the quarter post in the fantasy year, and for giggles, stay around as I find some goofy things to learn you…Please, blog, may I have some more?
A Duvall hasn’t looked this good since Popeye starring Robin Williams. You thought I was going Robert Duvall and I steered it into Crazytown with Shelley Duvall. By the way, don’t look at current pictures of Shelley Duvall. She’s a Shelley of her former self. I have a theory. She had to do everything just so for Kubrick in The Shining, to the point where she couldn’t even think for herself, then she started working with Robert Altman, who was like, “Do whatever you like, improv,” and going from one extreme to the other drove her crazy. I’d put money on it that this is the biggest update on Shelley Duvall you will ever get on a fantasy baseball website. Any hoo! Adam Duvall (1-for-4, and his 7th homer, hitting .284) has been crushing the ball for the last two weeks. Now seven homers in 33 games. Fluky, right? Not so fast, Cousin Sweatpants. Duvall hit 26 homers in only 100 games in Triple-A and 27 homers in 91 Double-A games. He was always a power guy, just never really had a chance to play. He’s now getting that chance and proving he can continue to hit homers. Will he hit anything besides homers? That’s yet to be seen, but I’d grab him in all leagues where I needed power. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ugh, the smell of my onsies de Mayo is so much worse than a normal day. I reek of sizzlin’ fajitas and am all cotton-mouthed from… well let’s just say alcohol. So attacking the usual Saturday bullpen rundown is a dizzying affair to say the least. Speaking of a dizzying places, let’s look at the Rockies bullpen situation; it’s definitely not all kush, but it’s not charcoal brick pack. The trust in Jake McGee is still there, because to be honest, the talent level behind him isn’t really there, is not ready, or has no experience in the end-of-game thing. Behind Jake are Chad Qualls, who has pitched the majority of the right-handed match-ups in the 8th inning with a smattering of Boone Logan mixed in. Now, I was nervous about McGee’s K-rate until I saw what Qualls’ was. The stout bunch of McGee and Qualls have a combined K/9 over the last 14 games of 5.16. That is combined! I can’t make up this stuff. The role of closer is most likely safe because the next guy up is Qualls, and well, if that last stat statement wasn’t enough to make you bored, I don’t know what else to say. The look of the rest of the pen is very unproven with Scott Oberg, Justin Miller, and Gonzalez Germen. What this bullpen needs is a youth movement to come front and center. They have the guys there, but aren’t utilizing them in a role that is conducive for anything outside of dynasty leagues that count holds. Eddie Butler and Carlos Estevez (no not that one) are a good start to what could be a decent mix. And yes, I see Butler as a bullpen arm. Getting chances are sparser than other teams for the Rockies, but with time, and once they start invigorating the youth into the chain of holds and saves command, progress will be made even above sea level. Let’s see what other gobs of knowledge we have for the closers over the last few weeks…Please, blog, may I have some more?
At some point, you look at your roster, then look at yourself in the mirror and the repeat that 31 more times and ask yourself this question… When is chasing saves from the worst possibilities a bad idea? My best advice, as your advocate of bullpen swagger, is never. Realize the talent that is in the bullpen and say: is 1-2 saves really worth a waiver claim, a roster drop of someone else and a complete destruction of your rates and quite possibly your dignity? If you haven’t guessed it, I am discussing the shatuation in the ‘Nati. Just to get everyone up to speed on the demise, their (and keep in mind that it has only been two-plus weeks of games roughly) Hoover sucked. Jumbo is demoted to minors, Hoover back in and bad again, Cingrani more like Cingran-no. Now all the hype is on Caleb Cotham. Who has the time and rosterbatory rituals to have the right frame of mind to roster these guys from change to change? I get that if you are in a NL-only league, it makes sense to be on the ball, but in mixed league… well, these guys are poop. I was searching for a better word, but I can’t, and poop it is. The combined ERA this year of Reds relievers in a save situation is over five. That, my friends, is not worth the stretch for the sexy total of one save as a team. Seriously, one whole save… you could have been rostering Ivan Nova and gotten the same total number so far. So anyone who likes the punishment, keep an eye on the health of Michael Lorenzen, as he could be next up. So what I am saying is: yes it’s cool and swanky to be the first guy on your fantasy block to unlock the new closer somewhere, but use common sense. If a team is a pile of dung and will kill more stats then the assist, then, well, you already know my response because this is the end of the lede and I just went over it. Stick around for some rankings, general chicanery with words on a page, and hell, maybe a whole pack of lies wrapped around stats. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
A week into the season and everyone has basically contracted closer asthma. Breathe… I know it’s tough from time to time to fathom that the fantasy kingdom that you drafted two weeks ago is coming crumbling down because Shawn Tolleson just wet the bed and is shaking the Walker Texas Rangers bullpen. He has guys behind him that have been gone over, which in most leagues that count pitchers who throw the bal,l should have been rostered. Namely Kela and Dyson. So what is all this bad karma at the beginning of the season good for, besides chasing saves? It is good for people who panic and drop the top set-up guys too early. Dellin Betances was dropped four times more then he was added this week. That is a coup for you, don’t run to that, hop on a tricycle and find a hill to roll down as fast as possible. Early season turnover and panic buttons are what make your team weak in one department now, and especially strong in the next several weeks by “calculated” guessing. So with that, here is the first installment of the 2016 Closer Report with the changes and job winners from Spring Training newly nestled into their respective spots. I will tackle Holds and the set-up crews next week when we start seeing usage and match-up based stuff.Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the baseball season starting in the blink of seven-days-eyes, I figured it would be fitting since we all crunch drafts ’til the last possible moment. Waiting until the end isn’t always a bad idea, you get the last news possible on injuries and job security. Bad thing is that you lose some of the sleeper appeal. By now, if you haven’t heard of a guy who could be closing, there is a great possibility that he doesn’t have a Sam Hill’s chance of closing. Just facts. These guys aren’t born yesterday and matriculate with a mastery of three pitches overnight. The bullpen folk have one job and that is to make a save situation stay a save situation. This holds true for holds guys, pun semi-intended. So the list is basically where it should be until we start seeing some production from the lads. The committee situations that exist in Milwaukee and possibly Philly will be that until someone gets the bulk of the load on his back. Which sounds gross, but from a fantasy perspective, you want a full orgy of saves on your closer. After all, quantity is the name of the game, that and continued success at it. It is like everyone else’s job; you do good you stay. You do poorly, you get pink slipped and sent to middle relief-dom. So fingers crossed, or if you play the cuff odds, just simply uncross them and pray for the worst. Here is the last rankings of Closers and their hand-cuffs for the start of fantasy baseball version, 2.016…Please, blog, may I have some more?
No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page. Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom. I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy. It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that. Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either. Add in the fact that I remember my first beer… So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks. The NSVH question… I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it. Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever? That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance. The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know. I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss. So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.Please, blog, may I have some more?