As we always do about this time!  *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter*  Damn, how long was I worming for?  September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh.  Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes.  So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)?  It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty.  Aplenty, I tell ya!  By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees.  Yeah, I just made the English language better.  High-five yourself for even knowing to read me.  *Grey worms, alarm goes off*  Damn, I need to get more coins.  At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on Javier Baez (0-for-4) being called up — Javier Na Gila! — but if he’s not playing every day, he’s not helping me in redraft leagues.  I’m intrigued by Brandon Drury (0-for-4), but I’m also hesitant if he doesn’t play every day.  Hector Olivera (0-for-4) was called up, and I’ve already gave you my Hector Olivera fantasy and I do think he plays every day.  It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here.  To get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2016.  (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out!  Not literally!  Ouch.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Mariner bullpen has basically been that round-up ride at your local carnival.  It doesn’t look that bad until it totally messes with your vertigo and you end up spewing up kettle corn and other assorted goods for two hours there after.  Last year, the Mariners bullpen had a 2.60 ERA, good for tops in the MLB.  They also saved 51 games to only 11 blown saves.  They were all comfy and coozy like footed pajamas last year, and basically everyone could rely on the decent value of return from drafting Fernando Rodney.  Then the year changes to five and the ship went askew.  Their bullpen ERA is over 4.30 and are on pace to accumulate 45 saves, and, to date, have already blown 18 saves (behind only three other teams for worst).  So let’s just run down the year so far: Rodney was the closer, then he wasn’t the closer, Carson Smith took over, and now it seems as though they are reverting back to 2012 in hopes that Tom Wilhelmsen can right the ship of battered and injured bullpen dreams.  Stick around for some tid-bits and bullpen ranks…

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I’m in New York celebrating my grandfather’s 88th birthday, or as he calls it “achy-ache,” and we started talking about Caitlyn Jenner, and he said, “She’s a hot number, I’d throw her one.”  Throw her one, I believe, means have sex with her.  I thought this was pretty forward thinking for my grandfather, then he continued, “Do you know how they put lost children on the side of a carton of milk?  I heard if Caitlyn got lost, they’d put her on a carton of Half & Half.”  Ah, there he is.  Reminds me a bit of Marge Schott, which brings us to Raisel Iglesias, who threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks.  “Raise the Church” has looked far superior since he returned from his stint in the minors with an ERA that’s bordering on startable everywhere (3.93), and peripherals that look ownable everywhere (9.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.42 xFIP).  At this point in the year, I would go one start at a time for him, but I would definitely own him, and start him for his next one.  Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back before my grandfather tries to “throw one” at Cougs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Are the Red Sox grasping at proverbial straws here?  I mean, let’s go to the waiver wire in real life… Grab a reliever, Jean Machi, that has three career saves, and let’s say we’ll think about him being the closer for our team.  It sounds weird and crazy, but then you look at the Sawx record (it’s the worst in the AL by the way), and realize maybe it’s not such a far fetched idea.  Hanley Ramirez has nine freaking doubles all year. NINE!  I just hit four at Fenway the other day, until I realized they were hamburgers.  Okay, back to closers.  So the Red Sox, with the loss of Koji Uehara to the DL, will turn to just about anyone to see if they can close the 8-10 chances they will get the rest of the year.  The front runners are Junichi Tazawa (has 4 blown saves in the last 30 days) and Jean Machi, and the sleeper candidate is the former All-Star closer Ryan Cook.  Who in himself was traded for that spectacular fantasy asset: PTBNL.  The situations for closers is getting bleaker with the bad teams losing actual options and not having a genuine fall-back option that you could tie your waiver wire dollars too.  Best advice is don’t chance saves from all these guys, it will nuke your numbers elsewhere.  Concede that you will only get seven points from saves instead of nine. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk while texting or making waiver claims.

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All the fantasy world was hoping that Jonathan Papelbon would be traded to a team without a reliable closer.  Instead, he goes to a team and kicks in the door swinging with the “I make more money than you” swagger that only comes with wearing Jordache jeans. And then he takes Drew Storen‘s job.  From a relief pitcher standpoint, Papelbon jumps from the worst save-driven team to top 10 overall.  The Phillies generated only 26 save opportunities to the date of his trade.  The Nationals were a far better team, and their record says so with 43 save opportunities.  The Nationals have also had a lead 32 more times than the Phillies, so Storen isn’t a completely wasted roster spot. If you got skunked by this, you need to keep him rostered.  He will still get the off-day save chances, and should pitch in a ton of high-leverage situations based on the bullpen shape of the Nationals, which isn’t a blue ribbon. Papelbon immediately jumps to elite status for me because of his history, and the whole contending team thing. He will easily double his saves total (in less games) to date, which stands at 17.  On the flip side of this trade, it opens up the gates to wunderkid Ken Giles to close in the land of steaks covered in cheese.  Giles immediate value is that of a closer, but with the Phil’s, he’s going to basically have a worse representation of what Papelbon had, but he still has moderate save appeal.  I can see him getting 10 saves the rest of the way.  This is posting a day before the deadline, so things could be in flux. And make sure to check out Ralph and myself over on Razzball Soccer, as the FPL is in full go.

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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…

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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…

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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!

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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?