With every first list or preseason edition of anything, there comes question marks. Lots of ifs and buts, with no real sound determination until we actual see the product. I am pretty sure Jane Austen’s first attempt at Pride and Prejudice was an abomination because who knew if Elizabeth Bennett was up to the task of being wifey material? It turns out that I can win a bet and correlate anything into the bullpen situations of the current MLB teams. Until injuries, demotion or a better option arises, we have to go by two main instincts: former ability and common sense. So the list is based off of the news to date that we have gotten on all the potential closers to date and for gigg’s I have ranked them accordingly. I have been doing bullpens for a long time and have been wrong on a few occasions, but I am not the manager or GM for the team pulling the strings, I am merely a fantasy writer. So here is the Spring training edition of the Closer rankings, their set-up men, and the cuffs we covet for fantasy in 2016.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You’d think with a lineup featuring Prince Fielder, the Alfredo would go down fast and leave a mess for someone to clean up. I mean, I know Fielder is a vegetarian so maybe there were too many meatballs? How else can you explain it? It wasn’t Sunday so ‘Any Given Sunday’ need not apply and Any Given Thursday just opens the door for all the days of the week to claim coincidence as its catch phrase. We can’t have these things, there must be a reason! Yeah, there are no reasons. To the antithesis of all baseball nerd reasoning, Alfredo Simon pitched a complete game yesterday against a reasonably good Texas Rangers offense, only giving up one hit and two walks in the process while K’ing five in the shut out. Alfredo was giving up 1.45 HR/9 to go with a .383 wOBA to lefties on the year going into last night and faced a team that had five reasonably good lefty bats in their lineup. Let’s just stuff this one away in Gray’s Sports Almanac and move on with our lives without giving it a second thought, shall we? Yes, let’s. So without further ado, the guy who isn’t Grey will lead you through the rest of what he saw from yesterday for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…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?
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?
With Byron Buxton and Francisco Lindor now called up that basically leaves Jose Peraza as the most intriguing speedster prospect as of now. His path to playing time is muddled even though they have recently moved him to center field because Cameron Maybin has played extremely well there. It is my (unfortunate) opinion that due to his situation Peraza doesn’t matter for 10 or 12 team leagues yet. Onto the recently called up speedster prospects let’s consider their current fantasy value. Mike has done numerous writeups of these players in various places and he most recently wrote that he considers Buxton to be “Leonys Martin with upside”. Steamer/Razzball projects Buxton for 31-6-30-15 .241 in 78 games. Realistically his AVG will likely fall anywhere from .235 to .270 depending mostly on K rate and BABIP. In the minors he was hitting a very mediocre .283 with a 19.0 K% and .332 BABIP. Sure I think he has plenty of upside but don’t expect too much out of Buxton. I would rather hold on to a red hot and perhaps genuinely improved Cameron Maybin than pick up Buxton. Anyway, depending on your league format Buxton has likely been picked up already. I’d say he’s worth a 15% FAAB bid depending on what else you have for SBs and outfielders.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Razzball Exclusive! The Twins were seen on Saturday at the Factory Outlet Mall in St. Paul, shopping for an outfielder. Unhappy with the selection — everything was odd-sized or someone they had called up and sent down numerous times — they headed back to the car, deciding to go on to the Duluth Shop ‘n Zoo, a place, contrary to the name, that doesn’t sell animals. When they got back to the car, they realized they forgot their change purse in the mall. They raced back, but it was too late; it was gone. Frustrated and angry, they asked to use Spencer Gifts’ phone because they didn’t want to incur long distance charges on their own. Fed up and at their breaking point, they called up Byron Buxton, while also spotting a gag gift, fake vomit, that they shoplifted, figuring they can use it to play shortstop. Here’s what Prospect Mike said this offseason, “Buxton is ranked numero uno on my Top 50 fantasy prospects list, and it’s thanks to his ability to fill all five roto categories. He might be the closest thing we have in the minors right now to a first round fantasy talent with the power to hit 20 homers, the speed to swipe 30+ bags, and the ability to hit for a high average. Injuries limited him to 137 plate appearances in 2014, but that shouldn’t stop the 21-year-old from seeing the majors later this season. The ceiling is a perennial All-Star outfielder and a top ten fantasy player overall. In short, he’s wonderful and Grey’s terrible.” Oh, man, c’mon! In Double-A this year, Buxton had six homers, 20 steals (in only 59 games!) and was hitting .283. At points during this season, Mike has compared him to Carlos Gomez. That sounds like an apt comparison, which isn’t the same as roomier with two bathrooms. That’s an Apt. comparison. You should grab him in every league. Yes, even that 10 team league, where it’s you playing against nine of your email aliases. By the way, I can’t believe you’re losing to [email protected] Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Aramis Ramirez roared with three doubles Friday night and five RBI. Dana na na naaa, da na na na naaa, da na naa, na naaa, na naaaaaaaaa! Welcome to Miller Park! One thing playing fantasy for the past 45 million years has taught me is that you always buy Aramis Ramirez in the second half, and never own him in the first. How about that headline by the way? That was my lame attempt to throw in Jurassic World reference. Anyway, I admit Aramis’ .223/.263/.406 triple slash is scarier than a charging Tyrannosaurus, and his hard hit percentage is way below his career norm. Not to mention at 36-years old he’s a bit of a dinosaur himself. However, that .230 BABIP is crazy unlucky so we can assume he’s not going to bat .223 all year. And if history has taught me anything, it’s that as the weather heats up, so does A-Ram. If his three doubles last night were any indication, he’s still got plenty of pop left in his bat, and while he may not win your heart like Chris Pratt, he could certainly be a useful commodity going forward, especially in deeper formats. He’s owned in less than 25% of leagues and I might buy Aramis Ramirez if I was looking for some pop at the corner infield position. I think this dinosaur has got a bit more roar left in him before he goes extinct, you don’t need to be a Coelurosaurus to see that.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was in my IROC at a red light when a Camaro Z28 pulled alongside, revving the engine. I knew he wanted to race, so I pushed the button for my rear spoiler to emerge that reads, “Spoiler Alert: You Suck!” and spun my wheels until smoke enveloped both cars, then…I burned away from him! Turned out, the light was still red, I narrowly avoided hitting a few pedestrians and the Camaro Z28 was actually a cop. While the police officer was writing me a ticket, I got to thinking about how I’m always out in front of things. Whether it’s telling you to avoid Cano or draft Bryce, Donaldson or Arenado, it’s like I see the future. Sure, my Magic 8 Ball has a few blind spots, like the cop, red light, pedestrians diving out of the way and Gyorko, but I still beat him through the light. With this said, you need to get through the red light and get to Jon Lester first. Save conjecture and anecdotal evidence for the tales you tell your grandkiddies one day about your fantasy team, assuming you’re still talking about the imaginary team that got away in forty years. I know I will about Ryan Klesko’s 1-for-4 on the final day of the 2001 season that cost me everything. Everything! I mean, I already sent my bedroom wall measurements to ESPN for the championship pennant! So, what we know is Jon Lester used to pitch for the Red Sox, where Epstein was the GM. They are Peaches and Herb, and reunited does feel so good. Would Epstein go out and get damaged goods that he knew so well? Seems unlikely. Lester’s velocity is essentially the same this year as last, his K/9 is .2 different, which is nothing. His walk rate is up, and June has been his worst month for control (2.9 BB/9). From year to year, his walk rate went from an even 2 to (stutterer!) 2.3. Not a huge difference, but it’s there. Well, last year his May walk rate was 3.6 and ERA was 3.90, so he even had bad months last year, and his ERA last year was 2.46. It now sits at 4.25, and his BABIP is .344, which is unlucky. Yadda squared, what do all of these numbers mean?! It means Lester could have four months of a 2.50 ERA from here until September and it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’d absolutely go out and buy him. Now, if you’ll excuse me *rear spoiler emerges, tires spin, car darts out into traffic* Spoiler Alert: You Suck! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?