With every first list or preseason edition of anything, there comes question marks. Lots of ifs and buts, with no real sound determination until we actual see the product. I am pretty sure Jane Austen’s first attempt at Pride and Prejudice was an abomination because who knew if Elizabeth Bennett was up to the task of being wifey material? It turns out that I can win a bet and correlate anything into the bullpen situations of the current MLB teams. Until injuries, demotion or a better option arises, we have to go by two main instincts: former ability and common sense. So the list is based off of the news to date that we have gotten on all the potential closers to date and for gigg’s I have ranked them accordingly. I have been doing bullpens for a long time and have been wrong on a few occasions, but I am not the manager or GM for the team pulling the strings, I am merely a fantasy writer. So here is the Spring training edition of the Closer rankings, their set-up men, and the cuffs we covet for fantasy in 2016.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been a long, tough winter (especially for those of you who live in the Northeast), but the wait is almost over. Spring training is in full swing and the regular season is just around the corner. That means, of course, that fantasy baseball draft season is here.
Recently, we’ve attempted to identify the next Corey Kluber and looked at some hitters who displayed above average power and plate discipline over the past couple of seasons. Today, we’re going to focus on relief pitchers. If you’re looking for the latest closer rankings as well as the top handcuff and hold options, check out the Bullpen Report, which provides excellent RP analysis each and every week.
This post will attempt to identify relievers with a very specific profile: power arms with high K-rates. Players who throw hard and miss bats. It’s that simple. Well, mostly. Let’s take a look at the search filters that I used for this exercise:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the questions from Bernard Pivot by way of James Lipton is, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?” That’s easy, “Play ball!” Today, butterflies fly north for the summer, birds and bees have sex to John Fogerty’s Centerfield, and Carlos Quentin is already injured. *slowly smells in a flower* Ahh…Shin-Soo Choo! Stupid allergies. With spring in the air and baseballs in mitts, we’re back in the swing of things. Literally. Sadly, it’s not all good news. With Opening Day comes the news that Clayton Kershaw is starting the year on the DL. Aw, that makes me so sad. Wait, that’s not sadness, that’s happiness. Darn, my emotion detector needs recalibration. My first Sell of the year doesn’t look so bad right now. I feel like Ace Ventura right after he shows up all the other cops. Yes, I have exorcised the demons! The Dodgers are saying it was precautionary and Kershaw will be back shortly. If you own him, I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar. I’d take out my rosary beads and pray to the Patron Saint of Baseball, Ryan Church. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one. I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it. Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note — JERK!] Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note — I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jarred Cosart was fantastical last night in his season debut pitching 8.0 shutout innings, and surrendering just 2 hits and walking three. The rookie carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Ben Zobrist spoiled his fun with a 1-out single. The 23-year-old had the longest no-hit bid in a debut since 1972, and he was the first Astro to go eight scoreless in his major league debut. The Astros big get from Philly in their Hunter Pence trade, Cosart has a mid-90’s fastball and a sick curve he used to baffle the TB hitters last night as he shut down the scorching hot Rays who had won eight in a row. The fact that Cosart was facing off with Tampa’s ace David Price, makes his feat even more impressive. Brandon Barnes also impressed, making a circus catch in the outfield to preserve Jarred’s no-no in the sixth, but who cares, that won’t help your fantasy team. Jarred actually had a chance at the complete game shutout in this one and came out for the ninth, but was pulled for Jose Veras after walking the first batter. Naturally, after the game the Astro’s sent him down to AAA, but I imagine after this outing he should be back before the end of the month. If he were to get recalled after the All-Star break, he would likely face the Oakland A’s next week. Grey told you to BUY him yesterday, so obviously he foretold this start (he’s a wiiitch!), but Cosart is certainly worth stashing in deep mixed and all AL-Only leagues. With talented arms like Cosart, Appel, Lyles and Peacock, the Astro’s have assembled an impressive “future stars” pitching staff, and if games like this are any indication, we won’t be making fun of the Houston Lastros for much longer.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Homer Bailey threw his second career no-hitter, and it was the first time a player who looked identical to Christian Bale has thrown the last two no-hitters in the major leagues. Johnny Vander Meer’s family is currently drawing bat ears on old photos of Johnny to try and contest that record. Nolan Ryan was the last non-Balehead to throw the majors back-to-back no-hitters in 1974 and ’75, but the coincidences don’t end there! Back then the only live action Batman was Adam West, and Nolan was pitching as far West as you can go in California and Joe West called Ryan’s fifth no-hitter and Kanye West wasn’t born yet but Jesus was and that’s who Kanye thinks he is. It’s a small word after all, which is played at Disneyland and that’s in Anaheim where Nolan played. My brain is bugging out! Bailey seems like he’s a one-game-a-year pitcher, but he’s been terrific all year. He’s in the top ten for FIP and has the 4th best K-rate in that group. That’s not a 2nd or third fantasy starter; that’s an ace, over-the-internet friend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mark Twain wrote there are three types of lies; there’s lies, damned lies and baseball stats. That’s from Huckleberry Finn, Page 84…I think. I’m not entirely sure as I went to an “alternative high school” in Maine which was a flannel-clad cross between Glee and Lord of the Flies. Now everybody sing “Don’t you Forget About Me” while I impale this pig’s head on a spear. Happy Mother’s Day!
*Now back to our regularly scheduled blog*Please, blog, may I have some more?
Shelby Miller is living the high life. Major league success, fame, fortune… and twins! Everything’s coming up Shelby. He was masterful last night, tapping the Rockies in a complete game, 1-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. The 13 Ks was a career high and Miller time is now. It’s been an amazing start for the rookie, but this was easily his best performance so far. He gave up a hit to Eric Young Jr. to start the game and then proceeded to retire the next, oh I don’t know…27 batters! Sweet sassy molassy! That’s called dominance, folks. That’s not just a “Shelbyville” idea either, that’s what aces do, and Miller may well have proven himself last night as a legit fantasy ace. He was painting the corners with his fastball yesterday, showing pin point control and throwing serious cheese between 94-96 mph, dude was untouchable. Shelbs grabbed his fifth win and now has a 1.58 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP. The player rater has him as a top five overall pitcher. Yeah, he’s been that good, and it’s the 51/11 K/BB ratio that keeps me up at night thinking about him. He’s the champagne of pitchers and looks like the early favorite for rookie of the year honors. I had my own Shelby Miller fantasy last week and here’s what I said about him, “I believe the best is yet to come for Shelby Miller and have made some substantial offers for him in redraft leagues. I’m buying Miller if I can, even though I prefer Budweiser.” There may be some regression coming, but I expect Miller to continue his success going forward. No matter what beer you prefer to drink, or whether its Miller’s great taste, or the fact that he’s less filling that makes him so good, either way fantasy owners can agree that Shelby Miller has arrived and he’s here to stay.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Diamondbacks said J.J. Putz needs elbow surgery. Imagine the doctor misreads Putz’s chart and J.J. walks out with a new putz that is an arm, elbow to hand. Would that have him get to third base and home all with one swing of the bat? It would help him avoid that awkwardness when you try to hug and undo a girl’s pants. He could also towel himself down while opening a door. Actually, this sounds like a plus-plus, or rather, a putz-putz! I’m reinventing the knuckle shuffle! The Diamondbacks also officially announced yesterday what I announced the day before, Heath Bell would be the closer. Ya know this means he’s going to crap your face and call it Google Glass, right? You know this, right? I do, and I still grabbed him. I’d also grab David Hernandez in case the only thing Bell rings in are blown saves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s Chris Davis‘s ceiling. And here’s where he’s playing right now: take your jigsaw, saw out a hole in your ceiling, put a ladder through the hole, climb to the roof, grab onto the tree branch to your right, monkey-climb up to the top and wait twenty seconds. Please, blog, may I have some more?Please, blog, may I have some more?