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…

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People standing to the side, huddled together.  Faces ashen.  All they could talk about was the moment the Carlos Carrascident happened.  There was nothing anyone could do.  It was as if time slowed down like Keanu was diving away from a Matrixy bullet.  A split second and a heap on the ground, silence.  Terry Francona dressed as a law enforcement officer putting up yellow tape, people wondering if Francona was working a bachelorette party after the game.  Carlos Carrasco is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring strain but needs to have an MRI, which is never what you want to hear about your ace.  Filling in for him will be Trevor Bauer.  Not farfetched to think Bauer could have value in matchups.  Farfetch is also what they call warming up Bauer.  “Why is our bullpen catcher driving to Akron?”  “Friggin’ Bauer.”  As for Carlos Carrasco, that’s the way the Cookie crumbles.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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!

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Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang.  My bullpen is so polluted!  I can’t even have a save with that bullpen.  It’s so polluted!”  After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers.  Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee.  Great, maybe they can make a camel.  Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA.  Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while.  This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets.  Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors.  Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet.  Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday.  He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning.  Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out.  *intern whispers in my ear*  Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay.  For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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.

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“It’s an All-Star edition of Chopped!  I’m your host, Ted Allen.  Let’s meet the competitors.  First up, Aaron Sanchez.”  *hits fast forward button*  “You know, I didn’t think you could put together such a great starter with turkey jerky, kumquats, Mallomars and boxed rice, but this sauce you made is divine.”  Alex Guarnaschelli lifts the bowl and slurps.  Geoffrey Zakarian, “I thought it could’ve used a bit more spice.”  “Okay, GZ.”  True Story Alert!  My dog’s name is Ted, and the dog walker’s name is Allen, so in my phone I have him listed as Ted Allen.  Whenever he calls, I yell out to Cougs, “I finally got on Chopped!”  So, I started Aaron Sanchez and he threw a dazzler, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks.  His 89th pitch was a 97 MPH fastball.  Sign me up for some of that!  I grabbed him off waivers in my RCL (no idea why he wasn’t owned), and I plan on starting him every time out, Stream-o-Nator be damned!   To keep the runner at first, I’m gonna quick pitch this one.  For the cost of four cups of coffee, you get the Stream-o-Nator.  To buy stats for all major leaguers that helps the tools run costs us about $8,000.  There’s a shizzton of man hours for Rudy to make the tools.  A lot of it is a labor of love; we get that.   No one is getting rich here; again, it’s all good.  I don’t want to pay extra taxes anyway!  Now, with that said (here comes a reversal!), I take the Stream-o-Nator with a grain of salt in April.  Sample sizes need to grow.  Ugh, that’s what she keeps saying!  That’s the size of the sample, sweetheart.  Please, don’t put me on the DL with a fractured ego.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So, Rudy and I took part in Yahoo’s Friends & Family league hosted by Brandon Funston.  I believe Rudy and I are on the Friends side of equation, but some of the things I find on Ancestor.com could shock you.  I’m only like 12 cousins removed from my wife.  I’m so well-adjusted that doesn’t even make me shudder anymore!  Could Brandon Funston be my uncle?  Unkie Funston?  That would be cool.  I would be like, “Unkie Funston, can I have your old baseball card collection?”  And he’d be like, “Sure, if you trade me Starlin Castro.”  In this league is a few Rotoworld guys, a few Rotowire guys, a few Yahoo guys, a Wall Street Journal guy, a boneheaded Razzball guy and our very own, Rudy Gamble.  Quite the array of talent.  It’s like a Dave Navarro supergroup and I’m Sammy Hagar.  “Have you tried my tequila?  It’ll make you slap your momma and call her daddy.”  That’s me as Sammy Hagar.  This league is a standard Yahoo league with a 1400 max IP for pitchers.  Anyway, here’s my Yahoo 12-team, mixed league draft recap:

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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…

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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?

A bullpen battle is like watching a boxing match with a blind man in one corner, and a one-legged man in the other.  The ole’ mantra of never paying for saves is the cattle call of many Razzballians, but in leagues that we all pay, in terms of saves there has to be some semblance of order, and ADP plays a huge part in that.  No one ever admits to paying up for saves, but when push comes to shove in your draft, more times than not, you are most likely jumping at the chance to own an elite closer.  I love being the fifth guy to draft a closer.  It allows me the extra round to grab another essential roster piece, and since I am awesome at my craft, I tend to get my pick of the litter of who I really want.  Listen, not everyone pays for saves, but it isn’t an awful thing to do.  They do only really count for one category, with parts of another, but in reality, so does a hitter drafted in the eighth round.  That eighth round product isn’t going to give you, at best, a five share in a points league (minus Billy Hamilton).  He is the same product that we are saying don’t pay for and falls firmly into the SAGNOF sandbox.  So I am here to tell you that paying for saves is okay, but within reason of course.  Don’t be a lemming and get sucked into a bidding war or a run scenario where it leaves you completely short after the draft without any saves to speak of.  So here are some strategies and basic ideas I like to use for approaching saves based on formats and for giggles, we’ll be looking at some ADP stuff after my advice.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?