Ah, charts with actual stats are so much nicer to look at.   The first bullpen report of the year was like reading Playboy in braile, ’cause technically we shouldn’t need both hands, but we do.  The cream is rising to the proverbial top when you look at the chart below.  The familiar names are settling in, and if you drafted some of them, or they have been mentioned in the closenado of 2014 for save chances, they probably are owned, were owned  or some semblance there in between.   Middle relievers are like that old cartoon Pound Puppies, yeah they are cute and good ‘n all, but they are still living in the pound in acartoon.  No homes to go to, no freedom…  Sad, but as kids we were fooled.  Relievers are much the same, they never really have a home unless we give them one.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are going to take a break from the closenado news to bring the middle-reliever news and updates for those of you that are in Holds and NSVH leagues. While it’s not as sexy as the closer news that you usually expect, it is still fundamental in forming a well-balanced pitching staff. It has been a bizarre season, as far as Holds go, and no one person is showing their stoutness and running away with being “that guy”.  The usual candidates are lying in the weeds [Ed. Note-- you haven't smoked it all?] waiting to jump out and show you how to make balloon animals. So here are some snippets that I’ve noticed so far this year, though the season is still short ‘n sweet. There’s a long ways to go my friends. So be patient when it comes to the dudes who pitch after the dudes, but before the dudes that really matter.

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?

Grey covered the Andrew Bailey and Frank Francisco situations nicely on Tuesday. However, I had already started putting information together, so I’ll leave you with a few lines from my Francisco write-up:

While Francisco is not expected to miss anytime, we’re talking about a relatively fragile relief pitcher here and a Mets organization that has a hard enough time keeping healthy players off the disabled list. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Madson hit the DL and some Bastardo took over, Broxton is a bastardo and Guerra is getting saves since Kuo can’t watch Lifetime without crying — assuming there are Dodger saves, Rauch was named the closer and Frank2 started getting all the saves, Lyon is out for the season and Melancon looks terrible, La Russa changed closers three times since you started reading this run-on sentence, Jordan Walden has been taking pointers from Fernando Rodney and Kevin Gregg actually moved up the ranks.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To discuss Francisco Liriano at Razzball HQ, I gathered the Random Italicized Voice, MR. AL CAPS and Larry King.  After eating me out of house and home — “The selection was pretty meager.  Freezer pops, really?” “NOT A THING TO DRINK,” “Anyone see where I put down my teeth?” —  we talked about Liriano.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?