Going into yesterday’s game, Gio Gonzalez had a 5.85 ERA and in three of four starts he only threw five innings. I saw the fear in your eyes. Nervousness was percolating just below the surface. You were like Mr. Coffee when he was about to lose his virginity. You were expecting some grinds and instead you were just overheating. Steaming so hard you needed a cup to catch the water beneath you. (How long you think I could keep the visual of Mr. Coffee about to lose his virginity going? Three more lines? Do I hear four?) Finally, the heat was too much, the water dripping too fast and everything began to steam. Quickly, you grabbed your little creamer. She usually likes to put the cream in herself, but you’re just gonna splash it all over the place to avoid a mess on your pants. And that’s how coffee became Mr. Coffee. So, today Gio threw an eight-inning, one-hitter with 7 Ks; his only blemish a Votto opposite-field blast. Things looked awry, making dyslexics wary. Luckily, it’s still freakin’ April and you shouldn’t worry so much. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So we come to another week of debauchery known as bullpendom. Yeah, I like to make up words, Dr. Seuss did it and he is considered a genius, me will settle for 700 on my SAT’s and just scraping by. What can I say – I’m a settler minus the funny hat and the flashy yet obnoxious buckle on my shoes. The Red Sox seem to be leading the pack of news this week with Joel Hanrahan being pipped by Andrew Bailey. It’s going to be a non-fluid situation when Joe-L returns as I see him setting up and waiting for Bailey to go on the rocks. It’s not a bad thing to have if you’re in Boston, 2 closers that have the ability to close out games with some sort of success, for fantasy it sucks worse then burning your toaster strudel cause it gets stuck in the toaster. Best part is there is still some of that glaze that you can just free base as a non-essential part of your daily vitamin allowance. Lots more in this week’s episode of bullpen report so keep on reading and click that red button, or gray button for our color impaired people.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Scenario: Jim Leyland has been a part of a clinical trial to prove cigarettes cause mental illness. On off days, Leyland sits in a hotel room with a monkey and a scientist and they all smoke Camels. All three of them wear nothing but tighty-whiteys and they order out to Papa John’s, which always takes longer than anticipated because they have the pizza man put the pie in a mailbox, so no one knows where they are. After a few hours, Leyland is presented with a few different ink blotches that are clearly just innocuous butterflies. The monkey tries to correctly identify the ink blotches, but the scientist shushes the monkey and waits for Leyland. Inevitably, Leyland always says each ink blotch is Jose Valverde. Second scenario: The closer, who was ineffective last year, is given the closer job again because he’s the best arm in the bullpen. Okay, which scenario seems more likely to you? Agreed, Leyland has officially lost his crackers. “Okay, I know I put some Saltines down on the bench. Where are THEY?!” That’s Leyland after losing his crackers. Either way, Valverde will be joining the Tigers this week and Leyland says he’s the Tigers closer. “Are those cracker crumbs on your jersey, Don Kelly?!” When Leyland walks to the mound to change pitchers, he should just signal to the bullpen by twirling his finger by his ear — the universal sign for he’s crazy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s the first week of the season and there is really only one question as we enter the first week of fantasy SAGNOF-ville. What in the name of Brian Boitano are the Tigers doing with the closer situation. Well I liken it to a drug cartel, 3 Latinos and some coke, with some equal distribution until someone gets too big for their britches and knocks everyone else off. I like a good even mix of Al-Al, Benoit, Dotel and Coke to all get some run based on the situation and it being too early for Leyland to cash in his Marlboro miles for that new kayak. So with the first post of my inauguration, I am starting from scratch and the rankings start with this post so no fancy pluses or minuses until the next post. I will also try and alternate between closers and Holds guys for my weekly posts.Please, blog, may I have some more?
And the Tigerettes sang, “He was talked up as closer, but now he’s sent down… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon… Somebody told me he made Leyland frown… Da Bruce Rondon gone, da Bruce Rondon… Yeah, he sucked in spring… Yes, his stats would sting… But now my team’s saves are boned… Da Bruce Rondon gone, Da Bruce Rondon…” As Randy Jackson would say, we got ourselves a pitchy competition, dawg! *sips from Pepsi cup, looks at Mariah for approval, fixes silver chain, sucks in gut under sweater that he’s wearing with no undershirt which makes it look really itchy, laughs at some Nicki Minaj nonsense, says to Seacrest, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see what America thinks” and smiles* So, Bruce Rondon was sent down and now the Tigers closer job is Hollywood Week. Auditions are down to Al Al’etc, Santa K, New Mexiclosero, Al Al, Coke Is It, Coke Is So 80′s Octavio Dotel Is It, Alquin Cokel, Octaquin BenCokel and Philquin Alburcoke. And that’s only four guys! Hang tight, guys and four girl readers, it’s a closerousel. Lots of possible outcomes here. All four guys could do well in a committee and Leyland utilizes it the whole year. Two guys do well and we get a portmanteau closer, let’s call it a SAGNOFtaur. Three guys could do well, let’s call that, The Three StoogeNOF. Another possibility: as we know from the past with Leyland’s ‘Set it and Forget It’ lineup card management, he likes to stick with one thing. So one guy takes the job by mid-April and holds it for the majority of the year. This is the best possibility for all involved. I think that’s also what happens. Leyland’s got cigarettes to smoke, he doesn’t have time to be walking to the mound to change pitchers! So who from Octavio Dotel, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke does he go with? As the prude brothel’s sign announces, therein lies the rub. Al Al’etc is a monster for Ks, he’s my first option because he could provide solid value while the job is being decided. Then, I like Dotel. He reduced his walks last year and kept his Ks. He also has some closer experience. Next up: Joaquin Benoit. He was very successful last year in middle relief, but he can’t go on back-to-back days or stay healthy. Finally, Phil Coke. I wouldn’t grab him outside of AL-Only leagues. Big strike against him: he’s a lefty. In his favor: he closed games in the playoffs last year. It’s a shituation of epicloser proportions. Oh, and I wouldn’t grab more than one guy. I’d take a gamble on one guy, form a prayer rectangular and hope it works out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Trying to find reliable relievers, especially closers, is like trying to catch squirrels with a hula hoop. Nobody wants to overpay or worse yet end up with a dud who kills your ratios and is always in danger of losing the gig. I’ll be rooting around on the waiver wire or in the final rounds of the draft this year for my saves so I’m not going to be the one to tell you to draft closers early or even at all. This is more about identifying three relievers who will be undervalued this year due to an injury or poor performance in 2012, but who will help fantasy teams either in saves, solid ratios, or strikeout numbers. We’ll start out with a no-brainer and work our way down to a sleeper.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Chris Perez has been shut down for 3-4 weeks. The Indians are saying it’s due to a shoulder strain. Seems pretty coincidental that Chris Perez rocks a mullet and there’s a guy with a “business on top, party in the back” haircut on The Amazing Race this season. I’m calling BS. “Yeah, what’s up?” Sorry, didn’t mean to actually call BS. “Cool, now you’re wasting my time. I’m gonna call myself on you!” So with Perez out, a giant gaping hole opens in Cleveland, and I don’t mean when Drew Carey is eating. Vinnie Pestano should take over the closer role in the mean’s while. Unfortunately (depending on how you’re looking at it), Perez went down so early that he could return as soon as the first or second week of the season. That means you need to draft Perez and Pestano. My advice is to wait two seconds after someone drafts Perez then take Pestano. This will be real cute in auctions. They’ll either have to spend $15-ish to have both Indian closers or they’ll be stuck without one. If I could only draft one, I’d take a late flyer on Pestano. As with most things SAGNOF-related, there’s no sure thing in the bullpens and the cheaper way to get saves is always the most preferable. Anyway, here’s all the closers for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gird your loins – we’re going to be navigating positions battles in each division. Last week, I covered the NL East. Today I’m talking about the AL Central, which actually looks fairly interesting this year. At first glance, the Tigers should run away with the division. At a slightly closer glance, the Indians, Royals, and White Sox all appear to be trying to contend. Who knows? Maybe Verlander’s arm will fall off after pitching over 1,000 innings across the past four seasons, while Miggy and Fielder enter a 24/7 all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas and never return. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to keep an eye on in the AL Central:Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the season growing eerily closer, I sit back today and examine the closer situations for some teams that aren’t as cut and dry as others. Some of these teams have a great situation if one guy can take the reigns and run with, the others, well, as the Fresh Prince said, “that’s not that simple.” So have a gander, minus the goose, at the closer situations that you will want to monitor for your upcoming drafts and who to be proactively drafting just in case.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A quick primer to begin: This is not a list of my top overall prospects — Shelby Miller would not lead that list. No, this list exists only to serve those of us in fantasyland. The names that follow are, at this moment, the prospects who have the best chance at offering positive contributions for fantasy owners in 2013. My method here was quite simple: each player was assigned a grade for both potential fantasy impact, and for current opportunity. Those variables were weighed equally, totals were then tallied, and finally, I sorted out the ties and adjusted here and there as I saw fit. Opportunity grades are always tough. At this point in the year, circumstances can shift overnight and a prospect’s ETA can change dramatically (see Miller). My plan is to revisit this list before opening day, and also to keep a running Top Ten Fantasy Prospects throughout the year in order to keep us posted at any given moment as to which fantasy-relevant prospects are next to arrive in the bigs. In any case, this list should suffice for those of us drafting early.Please, blog, may I have some more?