As the season draws nigh, and it comes to the point in the season when we here at Razzball use words like nigh, verisimilitude, or even rancorous.  Don’t ask me what the meaning is, because I could barely spell them without my handy speak and spell.  The whole gist of this discussion is to basically look at our roster and think diversification.  Look at the bullpen pieces that currently occupy one or several of  your pitcher spots.  I say this because we all want counting stats at all times, and in a manner… this is why come the end of the year, it is very sexy to have guys who have multiple pitching eligibility for the off chance your don’t have a starter going in a spot or on an innings limit.  These fellas help out in K’s, rates, vulture wins, and since we are here for the holds, they do them too.  Listen, this isn’t a new thing or a crazy theory that I concocted in my basement after painting too man model airplanes.  Though, the thought process after that is kinda cloudy and sorta fun? So here is a rundown of the guys with some dual eligibility late in the fame to aide in your fantasy quest. Cheers!

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The holds leaderboard has been basically demolished as guys have switched roles. Three out of the top-10 holds guys (Bettances, Herrera, and Watson) currently are holding down the closer roles for their respective teams.  Add in two more from the top-20 (Andrew Miller and Ken Giles) and you can see that 20% of the entire holds leaders are double dipping in stats.  Not always a bad thing, but when you are counting on one stat from a guy and then it switches to another, it detracts from the previous.  Have no fear, because the bullpen aficionado is here to steer you through the muck and mire that is the bullpen shuffle.  So for this week, we are going to look at guys who aren’t in a closing role.  I have taken current closers out of the equation for the chart, because this is a holds piece and we don’t want “their kind” infiltrating the holds stuff.  So be active on the waiver wire as we come down to the end of the season, there should be no commitment in the relief game.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jake McGee hit the DL with a sprained MCL.  Damn, 1150 was a very bad year for him.  Wait, a new closer that no one owns is up for grabs!  When this news broke, I was sitting in a French cafe, wearing a beret to the side, flicking a Virginia Slim 120 like a French baller.  I immediately looked for Carlos Estevez, but he was gone.  Then I looked for Jason Motte — gone!  Then I looked for Boone Logan — there!  So, I grabbed him, then I wept quietly.  Was I really picking up the guy third down the SAGNOF totem for the Rockies?  I’m such a pitiful save vulture.  Get some dignity, man, you’re better than this, you’re rocking a beret and a Virginia Slim 120!  After Saturday’s game, Walt Weiss announced Estevez would be the closer, so now, even more pitifully, I will be dropping Boone Logan, who got me a cheap vulture save on Sunday due to Estevez being used too many days in a row.  That’s like the fantasy baseball walk of shame.  Everyone who sees you drop the guy that doesn’t get the closer job knows full well that you desperately tried to make the wrong guy work.  Now I have to pick up and drop twelve other guys to bury my move.  The fantasy baseball shame cycle!  As for Estevez, his outings will be like brother Emilio — short.  His performances may be like brother Charlie’s relationships — rocky.  Unlike his father, Martin, he will not be starring in an awful Netflix series canoodling with the DA from Law & Order.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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“Ree,” opens the front door, walks down the driveway, says hello to my Polish neighbor, Stash, walks to the DQ, gets a Blizzard, eats said Blizzard, walks home, opens the door, says “Dick,” hits the head, not like that, comes back feeling a Blizzard lighter, does some Netflix and chill, shuts it off, says, “You,” brushes teeth, gets into bed, moves arm over Cougs, hears about her splitting headache, rolls over and says, “Lus.”  That’s right, in honor of Mookie Betts, I just did the most ridiculous ridiculous call ever.  You earned that shizz, you madman!  I’d count the ways I love this man, but like a savant Blackjack dealer I can only count up to 21.  After his three-homer game yesterday, Betts (3-for-5, 5 RBIs, 10th, 11th, 12th homers) now has those twelve homers to go with eight steals, a .283 average and is on pace for 115 runs and 85 RBIs.  Don’t make me do another ridiculous ridiculous call, cause if you want me to, I will.  Oh, and with what he’s doing, it’s not even inconceivable that he keeps up this pace.  His BABIP (.290) is actually below his career average (he’s getting unlucky!), his fly ball percentage is down (he could be hitting more homers!) and he hasn’t been caught stealing once (so steal more!).  You are witnessing the emergence of a perennial first rounder.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As George Bush Jr. once said, “Fool me once, shame on you, you can’t fool me again because we won’t get fooled again,” then he was joined by Pete Townshend in a duet that made sense at the time, but now seems inconceivable.  GB was right on, and that’s how I initially felt about Matt Moore.  How many times could we be fooled by this guy?  What’s that?  Twelve?  I was asking that rhetorically, I didn’t want a number.  Why did you just say thirteen?  I don’t want a number!  Whether it is twelve, thirteen or one time fooled, it doesn’t *pinkie to mouth* Matt-er.  Yesterday, Moore went 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners with 10 Ks.  He now has a 10.3 K/9 and a 1.5 BB/9.  That walk rate, I mean muah.  That with a 8 K/9 would have me interested.  With a 10+ K/9?  Yes, please and thank you, to get politely excited.  On a related note, not sure how this happened, but I have an abundance of AL East pitchers in different leagues.  Great, terrific, adjective, except when they face New York, Boston and Toronto, which is basically every game.  FMFBBL!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend 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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*takes a long inhale*  “You smell that, Roberta?  You, with the yellow-stained armpits and sweatpants, I’m calling you Roberta.  That’s baseball you smell.  In its infinite complexity and finite simplicity.  The foul lines whiter than any Lohan mirror.  The grass?  Manicured better than any Vietnamese lady could.  The object of the game?  Accumulate the most stats so I win my fantasy league.  Simple, yet complex.  Like trying to understand Jeff Foxworthy’s appeal.  From today forward, this is our Independence Day (from all that other shizz in our life).”  The preceding was Bill Pullman visiting the set of Field of Dreams.  To that end, Roberta and your long-flowing sideburns, if the idea is to win saves, that difficulty intensifies when you draft Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson becomes the closer.  That’s funny, because the Astros beat writer the other day said GILES IS THE CLOSER.  Caps his, not mine.  I know how to shut off my caps lock.  So, now that GILES IS THE SETUP MAN, I would GRAB Gregerson in EVERY league, though, if it’s competitive, he’s likely GONE by NOW.  No idea why Giles is NOT the CLOSER.  My GUESS is the Astros went OUT and GOT Giles withOUT their manager, A.J. Hinch, agreeing, so Hinch IS now BEING petulANT.  I’d prefer if he were petulANT with A closER I DO NOT OWN.  Hey, it looks like I’m typing this on a busted Smith-Corona.  Fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s Opening Day, so what better time to start an “I Told You So.”  Sure, any time is a good time for an “I Told You So,” and that doesn’t just hold true for So Taguchi.  Though, that “I Told You So” rings true, as well.  That’s if you did indeed tell So something, and he doesn’t heed your prescience.  Oh, and don’t be scared, Carl Everett, prescience isn’t science from before science.  So (Taguchi), A.J. Pollock has a fractured elbow.  I told you not to draft him.  Of course, I didn’t say he’d fracture his elbow; my Magic Eight Ball isn’t that precise, but I did say to avoid him in drafts.  If you would’ve just followed that, we’d all be okay.  You didn’t listen because you know better, and I’m not talking about that Armenian dishwasher you befriended at the bus stop, Better Vardanyian.  You might know that Better, but you didn’t know better than to draft Pollock.  For you drafters of Pollock, I’ll pour some of my “I Told You So” juice out that I’m marketing with So Taguchi.  By the way, So Taguchi — retired for seven years, but a major part of the Opening Day roundup.  Good for So Taguchi.  And great for us, we got baseball!  And not great for Pollock, he’ll be out for the better part of the year, if not the whole shebang, to quote Ricky Martin.  I grabbed Socrates Brito in one league because he’ll be facing the majority of pitchers (righties).  He was in my top 80 outfielders.  I’m a big fan, though not as a houseguest.  Wearing nothing but a toga on a couch is a little gross.  He has solid speed and some power, think 10 HRs and 22 SBs.  A poor man’s Pollock, I will call him Warsaw Ghetto.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:

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The National League Least has the Marlins, Braves and Phillies to thank for the Least moniker, as none of those teams were able to win 72 games last year. The Braves and Phillies are in rebuild mode. What’s your excuse Marlins? At least, they have an awesome sculpture in the outfield. Why? Thank goodness, for the fanatical few on the East Coast that actually read this, least means smallest and not bereft of everything. The Metropolitans and Nationals are juggernauts and represent the division well. Speaking of representing… RIP Phife Dawg. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Chicks dig the long-ball, so it’s a good thing that some of the preeminent boppers reside in this division. Pitching wins championships, though, and some of the most exciting and young arms are on display. With that said, there are plenty of spots open for the taking. I will discuss the major ones below for each team.

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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?