What I particularly like about relievers is versatility.  The situation in San Diego is the one in particular I want to discuss.  We were all lured into the Carter Capps preseason love, and I was on the wagon driving the horses as well, but his injury and the results that we expected aren’t coming as fast as we hoped.  He isn’t bowling over anyone in the minors, sporting a 6-plus ERA, and the obnoxious K-rate hasn’t materialized.  Now onto the major league roster which isn’t lighting any fires.  They are second from the bottom in bullpen ERA, have only 12 holds on the year, and now their closer has hit the skids.  He being Brandon Maurer.  Enter who I think should, could be the next man up while we wait (forever) for Capps.  Brad Hand offers that former starter turned good.  I may just call him the Vigilante of holds and possibly saves very soon.  He has the K-rate, the BAA and the moxy to do the job… it is just a matter of if SD is ready to pull the trigger on something because Maurer looks cooked.  Regardless of his situation moving forward or your league perimeters, Hand is worthy for a spot because of speculation and the K’s that he will produce.  This is the bullpen report for this week, so let’s see what’s happening in the setup game and the hold chase…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The biggest question I get regarding the Hold stat is: “How long should I hold onto a stud holds reliever if he isn’t getting the precious stat?”  Well, the stat is fluctuation between the sublime and the superfluous.  It is usually as explainable as binary calculus.  Take, for example, the story of the San Francisco Giants bullpen.  They have all the right pieces there to be a successful bullpen.  A stud closer and an excellent mix of RH and LH set-up men.  Now look closer at the stats.  Hunter Strickland is by all intents and purposes the 8th inning guy.  He has 12 appearances, 11 of which have come in the 8th inning or later in ball games.  He checks every other box for stats, low ERA, K/9 right about where you want it, but the inevitable stat faux pas is he has zero holds.  On a team that only has 9 holds collectively, what is going wrong?  He isn’t doing anything wrong, he isn’t vexed by a succubus or anything bad.  hell I bet he helps old ladies cross the street and then steals their groceries.   The simple answer is that the hold stat is an ever flowing team driven ideal.  Doesn’t mean I hate it, one bit.  i love the secondary save.  It just comes out of the blue sometimes and people who sometime deserve to be the beneficiary aren’t that’s all.  Hunter will finish the year with his share, but right now in holds leagues he is almost unownable.  So look elsewhere for good match-ups, good form in pitching, and the ever important stat with relievers is when did they pitch last.  That is the best determinant in acquiring a waiver wire darling.  If he pitched yesterday, odds are he won’t today.  Be smart as picking reliever for holds is a dumb game, don’t over-think it.  Here are some other deets, in the game of set-up…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Even being 1/10th of the way through the season, it is never too early to see some trends forming.  The trends I am learning you about are the bullpen usage rates.  Not every team follows an A to B to C type formulas, and it would be nice, but usage rates in certain situations, even 15 games into the season, peak their heads out for fantasy usefulness.  The ancillary stats that no one really notices, and that I use all year, are runners inherited and appearances with the lead.  All key factors for what a reliever is and what they are at sustaining.  The inherited runners stat is a ruiner, not only for themselves but for the pitchers they are replacing.  Basically a sad trombone in the case of reliever sad trombones.  The appearances with the lead factor is what we all eat our Holds and gravy with.  It basically says that they are pitching with a lead, granted, holds are scored the same as a save.  So all that less than four runs runner on deck shenanigans that people made up for it to qualify.  So welcome to the first Holds/bullpens post of the year as we embark on a road far less traveled then it should.  Holds matter, regardless of color.

Please, blog, may I have some more?


Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post… Brendan O’Toole, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Boston Red Sox!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I wish filling out your fantasy roster with middle relievers was as easy as plop-plop, fizz-fizz.  But I’m sure it isn’t, because not everyone is using the same model of success.  I can dig that, I mean, I come from a long line of Smokeys that like the art of shoveling.  Listen, I get it if you don’t wanna help your team-rates and ratios by adding guys that are stout in production for basically free at the end of your draft.  Streaming relievers is a real thing, I didn’t make it up.  It does exist, and it lives in the house between Nessy and Sasquatch.  It’s not for the faint of heart and is probably not for everyone.  It is about optimizing your free innings (very useful in RCL leagues that have games started limits, which everyone wants to win).  It’s a basic theory and the patent is pending, so stick around as I get into the art of streaming relievers. And as an added bonus, I have broken down the MR corps into four separate groups.  These groups are broken down by usefulness.  We have one for straight cuffs, one for rates and holds, a straight holds, and then some stone cold sleepers for you deep-leaguers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (28) | 2012 (21) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [76-86] NL West
AAA: [68-75] Pacific Coast League – Fresno
AA: [70-72] Eastern League – Richmond
A+: [83-57] California League – San Jose
A: [82-55] South Atlantic League – Augusta
A(ss): [47-29] Northwest League — Salem-Keiser

Arizona Fall League PlayersScottsdale Scorpions
Kyle Crick (RHP); Cody Hall (RHP); Derek Law (RHP); Alberto Mejia (LHP); Andrew Susac (C); Angel Villalona (1B); Jarrett Parker (OF)

Graduated Prospect
Jean Machi (RHP)

The Run Down
When considering the San Francisco farm system from a fantasy perspective, one must always keep in mind the ballpark in which these prospects will eventually spend their days playing. In most places you look, AT&T Park grades out as the most pitcher-friendly venue in the game. That means that if you’re building your dynasty roster, it’s never a bad idea to take some chances with Giants pitching prospects. Conversely, it’s extremely risky to take on any of their offensive prospects (not that there are any). Overall, this is a rather thin system, featuring high-impact potential only in Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn. Crick, in particular, is quite awesome.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (21) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8) | 2008 (16)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [94-68] NL West
AAA: [74-70] Pacific Coast League – Fresno
AA: [70-71] Eastern League – Richmond
A+: [75-65] California State League – San Jose
A: [69-70] South Atlantic League – Augusta
A(ss): [32-44] Northwest League — Salem-Keiser

Arizona Fall League Players — Scottsdale Scorpions
Ryan Bradley (LHP); Jacob Dunnington (RHP); Chris Gloor (LHP); Heath Hembree (RHP); Dan Runzler (LHP); Ricky Oropesa (1B); Joe Panik (SS); Gary Brown (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Hector Sanchez (C); Brett Pill (Util)

The Run Down
I can’t help but think that this system would look a whole shizzload better if it still included Zack Wheeler. Sorry, Giants fans, but that Wheeler-for-Beltran swap was for naught, and more than a year removed from it, I’m sure you’re all wishing that Gary Brown had been the guy sent to the Mets. I feel your pain, San Francisco. But then y’all went and won the World Friggen Series, and all wounds have been healed. Still, though, this farm system isn’t tremendous. Brown has crashed back down to Earth, and there doesn’t seem to be much high-impact talent beneath him. Big years in 2013 from guys like Kyle Crick and Chris Stratton will fill that void, but until then, the Giants will have to rely on their big league roster… which happens to be quite good, actually.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

San Francisco Giants 2011 Minor League Review

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:

2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8) | 2008 (16) | 2007 (23) | 2006 (21) | 2005 (30) | 2004 (28)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [86-76] NL West

AAA: [65-79] Pacific Coast League – Fresno

AA: [76-66] Eastern League – Richmond

A+: [90-50] California League – San Jose

A: [70-68] South Atlantic League – Augusta

A(ss): [34-42] Northwest League – Salem-Keizer

The Run Down

Maybe it’s just me, but these Giants prospects are boring.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?