When your team is battling for a playoff spot, what’s the most important thing? Winning. Winning out of the bullpen is a thing that is not predictable, I get it, but when your team goes 7-0 from the bullpen in the last 14 games, that is just a damn near beautiful thing if you love bullpens as much as I… I mean, you may not, but that’s cool (maybe). You have your love interests… invested in beanie babies or all your Gregg Jefferies’ rookie cards that your whole childhood fortune is invested in… Just saying, you should probably move out of your mom’s basement or branch out from the family business for a bit. As a whole, the Pirates are a top-3 club for bullpen ERA, and are led by the king of Holds currently: Tony Watson. Him and his merry men of “set-uphood” have completely just wrecked shop out of the pen lately, their ERA is 1.21 and they have allowed just a measly 34 hits in 52 innings. Take it from me, that is getting the job done. The addition of Joakim Soria has lengthened their bullpen to the point where Jared Hughes, Joe Blanton, and Arquimedes Caminero are in prime win plucking spots. Yeah, I just used Joe Blanton in a fantasy write-up, and no it’s not 2000-never. So stick around as I wax symbolic about other bullpen situations arising as we stream towards the fantasy baseball playoffs.Please, blog, may I have some more?
All this talk about the Blue Jays offense is completely detracting from the fact that their bullpen to date has been mediocre-to-awful for most of the year. The additions they have made, namely Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins, are a future holds market band-aid. The one true positive addition for the back-end of the pen is Aaron Sanchez. He comes in with filthy stuff, isn’t afraid to pitch inside, and gives them a hard throwing right-hander, which they’ve been lacking. The Blue Jays, to date, have the fewest saves (19) namely because they do one of two things that both involving blowing. (It’s either a blow-out or a blown save.) It’s a miracle that they are where they are record-wise with the amount of blown saves they have (it’s 17 and counting). But the team is setup to win, and they are going to score a ton of runs, so from a fantasy holds perspective, anyone outside of Sanchez is a fool’s chance at holds gold. With 13 games remaining against front-running New York, the schedule isn’t on their side as the slugging they do takes away from the bullpen allure.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here I thought the Brew Crew were a dying entity this year with all this talk of punting and trading all their mid-level talent. For soothe, they have had an impressive last 30 days in the Holds department. It isn’t just one guy garnering them either… It is a multi-syllabic hold dragon with three heads. Each head is completely different and has a really cool story. The first is the Fresh Prince of Holds, Will Smith. He has basically been what we all thought Jonathan Broxton would be this year, but probably with more success. Over the last 30 days he has 5 holds, 2 Wins, and a K/9 rate over pushing 14. That is sassy with a Jor and extra emphasis on the dache. The next is Michael Blazek, who in some weird way is basically Jeremy Jeffress‘s boy by name only. I will call them Smoke, and yes please. Common sense is there for anyone who knows dudes history. He is my honorary hero and on the Smokey hall of fame wall with Lincecum, Chris Perez, and Dock Ellis. So to their stats before I teeter out from pure excitement… Blazek and Jeremy have both garnered 4 holds over the last 30 and form a power/finesse RH combo in front or beside Smith, and in front of K-Rod. With all the trade talk surrounding basically everyone in baseball, it seems if K-Rod gets bounced out I have them Smith and Jeffress in a tie, then Blazek for saves, with Broxton on ready for that veteran preference. So let’s see what other bags of factoidal goodness I can come up with and of course the Holds chart for some good toilet reading…Please, blog, may I have some more?
So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half. It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains. So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season. So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues). The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats. So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS. Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck. Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect. Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent. So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…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?
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?
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?
After beginning his career almost no-hitting the Red Sox through six innings last Saturday, the legend of Chi Chi Gonzalez, whether I mean that ironically or not, continued Friday night with a complete game 3-hit shutout of the Kansas City Royals for his second win. He allowed just five base runners in all, striking out two. Oh, hello there. I am now intrigued. *Raises eyebrow, googles stats* Err. O…k. Despite my intriguement, in 43.1 innings at AAA, Chi Chi posted a 4.15 ERA with a 26/19 K/BB rate. Hmm. Well, that’s not very good at all. Still, I am not one to stare a gift horse in the butt. That’s how you get kicked in the teeth. Gonzalez has now pitched 14.2 scoreless innings to start his MLB career, allowing just five hits. Let’s focus on that. So maybe he’s almost walked twice as many batters as he’s struck out. Fair enough. I’m not saying he’s here to save your team, but he gets the Oakland A’s next week and should certainly be worthy of a ping on your fantasy radar at this point.
Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For a few days it’s been all quiet on the closer front. Usually in the lede, I talk about a change in regime and the pluses/minuses and my opinion on it. There hasn’t been one for two whole weeks… It’s crazy. MLB is putting me outta business in the jibing about fantasy closers market. Where does the unemployment line start? I am only half kidding, and I’m also half crazy too. So that makes me half-something. So believe it or not, the season is officially 3/8 of the way over. That is just crazy in itself to even fathom. I think I have rambled on about nothing long enough… let’s talk about someone, anyone, shall we? I like the rebound to form that Mark Melancon has shown, due to a K/9 of 4.68. I haven’t seen a true one-outcome reliever before, but if you own him, I would sell for a better product. You can probably get by on two things in your favor. One, his name uses letters that can be read in a left-to-right format, which, from what I am understanding, is standard for reading purposes. Two, he has 6 saves in the last two weeks and when people look to see how he has been doing, they will see that he is tied for the lead during that time frame in saves. Listen, if you need saves and you own Melancon, I am not saying go out and sell him cause I said so. I am saying swap him and a extra player and see if you can get an improvement on the K category. The other owner will be so smitten that he got a closer and another player for just a closer, he won’t realize that he was jobbed. Side note, make sure he doesn’t read this blurb first or the jig is up. Stick around more snippets of informative justice are on the way…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Adrian Beltre was diagnosed with a dislocated left thumb. The doctor said it could be anywhere, his glove compartment, upstairs by the hamper, in the basement by the weights we bought you in high school that you never used. Beltre will miss two to three weeks. So… the Rangers called up Joey Gallo! *searching Gallo on Google, coming across Orson Welles commercial outtakes* Damn, that Orson guy was a genius. Orson Bean too. You cannot go wrong with the name Orson! Could Gallo be Orson-like? I think he can, but, like the dentist tells you, there’s some caveats. Here’s what I said this offseason, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly last year in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter. In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate. That’s absurd. That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask. Fun fact! Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties. So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance here of him hitting above .200? Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts. Right now, he’d probably hit .150 in the majors. Jot noking, Spooner. Luckily, for the sake of all that is holy, I don’t think he’s going to break camp with the club and will have time to fix his swing tendencies. His power is completely for real, and I think he could hit 30 homers in the major leagues right now. Like the bowling alley that doesn’t cater to dwarfs, no small feat there. He’s only going to be 21 years old, so 30 homers from a guy that young is crazy.” And that’s me quoting me! So, did Gallo fix his swing tendencies this year in the minors? No, not really. His strikeout rate in the minors so far is 33.6%, which is awful for Double-A, and the Rangers have specified that Gallo is merely a two to three week call-up while Beltre gets right. I’d grab Gallo for power in any league, but not at the expense of anyone that worthwhile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?