It feels like the Tigers have been searching for a closer since Todd Jones retired — Percival, Valverde, Nathan, Soria. They prey on dead meat so much, they’re more like the Vultures than Tigers. Papelbon recently was heard saying, “I am going to close forever. Wait, are those Tigers’ front office people circling above me? Crap!” It’s too bad none of the Syrian refugees don’t have closing experience. So, hopefully, the Tigers’ wait to find a closer is finally over. Unless Bruce Rondon is reading this, then the wait has just begun. Assuming Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t get off the plane in Detroit, see an Alburquerque jersey, think he’s in New Mexico, then beat the crap out of an American Airlines pilot for flying him to the wrong city, and get arrested by federal authorities for beating up an employee of a company with the word “American” in the name and get sent to Gitmo. Sure, this sounds unlikely, not impossible though. With K-rod sent to the Tigers, I’ll give him the projections of 4-2/2.69/1.02/66, 42 saves in 61 IP. As for the Brewers, their closer now is Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith or Corey Knebel, i.e., the offseason is still young and they could trade for someone. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s telling over a period of time, taken into account the teams success rate naturally, how well their bullpen is performing. Take a look at the Texas Rangers over the last 30 days. They are a 19-10 and steaming toward playoff relevance… maybe. During that time they had 17 save/hold situations. Those of you that can’t count well, that is a lot. Leading the charge for them has been bullpen recall and future closer dubbed by me Keone Kela, who over that same 30 day period is contributing a hold basically every third game with 8. As a team, they have 28 team holds which is more than the White Sox, Orioles, Phillies, Athletics and Mets… combined. So basically they are the Costco of holds for those who like to buy in bulk. Kela isn’t alone in his fantasy hold-em, Sam Dyson has kicked in 7, Jake Diekman 6 and Sam Freeman with 4. The best part of this whole thing is that the latter three guys were not on the roster to start the year. I love that kind of stuff, that’s like wearing matching t-shirts with your friends whether it be on purpose or not. Awesomely awkward. Stick it here for some more bullpen tidbits and a fancy chart with gadgets and numbers that show an order. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
When your team is battling for a playoff spot, what’s the most important thing? Winning. Winning out of the bullpen is a thing that is not predictable, I get it, but when your team goes 7-0 from the bullpen in the last 14 games, that is just a damn near beautiful thing if you love bullpens as much as I… I mean, you may not, but that’s cool (maybe). You have your love interests… invested in beanie babies or all your Gregg Jefferies’ rookie cards that your whole childhood fortune is invested in… Just saying, you should probably move out of your mom’s basement or branch out from the family business for a bit. As a whole, the Pirates are a top-3 club for bullpen ERA, and are led by the king of Holds currently: Tony Watson. Him and his merry men of “set-uphood” have completely just wrecked shop out of the pen lately, their ERA is 1.21 and they have allowed just a measly 34 hits in 52 innings. Take it from me, that is getting the job done. The addition of Joakim Soria has lengthened their bullpen to the point where Jared Hughes, Joe Blanton, and Arquimedes Caminero are in prime win plucking spots. Yeah, I just used Joe Blanton in a fantasy write-up, and no it’s not 2000-never. So stick around as I wax symbolic about other bullpen situations arising as we stream towards the fantasy baseball playoffs.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?
Some of the trade rumors I’ve seen are just plain funny. Craig Kimbrel to the Yankees? Wait, what!? Really? I’m not denying it as a possibility but I am thinking it might be a little overboard to acquire a premier closer when you probably only need a solid bullpen guy because you already have TWO premier closers. The list of closers and strong middle relievers available is so long this year. One thing’s for sure, there are going to be some strong bullpens vying for postseason play. Here’s the lowdown on closers and some other relievers who could be dealt in the upcoming weeks, starting with some of the players most likely to be traded and ending in with those much less likely to be.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?
I hate it when the vagueness of an arm injury slams your roster and places the top closer on the DL. Andrew Miller hit it yesterday with a forearm strain. How could it be strained if there are fore of them? I mean aren’t the other three there, to be like, back-up dancers? The only good thing for you and the Yankees is that there is another top-5 relief pitcher in the mix. Dellin Betances will take over as the lead sled dog in the saves in the Bronx. After that, on the off chance you need a third option, there is Adam Warren, which is a deep shot in the dark. Crazy as that sounds, and I dig that he is still starting, but if this drags out for Miller, he could return to what was excellent form from out of the pen last year. If by all intents and purposes you are reaching this far down for saves or speculating that the Yankees are in trouble… then stick around for some extra tidbits, there are a quite few this week. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Any god fearing Jersey-ian grew up with the song of this week’s title track. It was bred into our systems much like the IOU sweatshirt craze during the same time frame. It’s catchy, is easy to sing, sounds like some sorta bubbles being blown somewhere, and there’s some booty shaking. Bubbles and booty, what could be better? Another “B” obviously. Bullpens! I am turning this week’s eye to not only Glen Perkins, but the entire Twins’ bullpen. POerkins has rebounded fantastically from last years injury blip which lead to him being ineffective. He is the “watching paint dry”, 9 k/9 closer that is doing it well. His effectiveness, he is 17/17 in save opps. That is basically like going all Curt Henning on the save department. This time next week he will be climbing the corporate ladder of the save chart, book it. The thing that I love is the set-up chaps that are running-a-muck, in a good way, to completely be crushing the hold department, namely Blaine Boyer and Aaron Thompson. They have both successfully made their way into the top-15 in holds on the year. A good bullpen will always, always go a long way to propel a successful team. It’s just fact, the two don’t usually meet at more then a passing glance from normal fantasy players, because they have their starters, and they have their closers. The middle is always sketchy, it’s like where certain food comes from… who cares really? Just as long as it is prepared the way you like it before you eat it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week I went into what in the heck was wrong with Cody Allen. That Situation is still a little foggy, like everyone’s memory of your buddy’s bachelor party. This week, it’s time to look at the side-flinging Steve Cishek. Because when it gets down to it, closers are more interesting and they are basically that key piece in Jenga. It starts with them and everything trickles downhill. He has looked god awful and the Marlins are in full BBC, no not that BBC, the one that is bullpen-by-committee. Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos, and Bryan Morris are all the names being bantered around as in the mix. None of those guys, minus Ramos, has the repertoire to be a closer. I am just calling it like I see it. If you want my honest opinion, I think they should just let them all do a round-robin thumb wrestling tournament. But seriously, who are they going to trust? Mike Dunn has 4 career saves, Morris is a re-tread reclamation project, and Ramos has been touted as the next guy for two years and hasn’t even gotten serious late-inning high pressure looks. So stay right there and hit that little red bar thingy for more holds and closers and bullpens… oh my.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Step right up folks, only $5 waiver wire bucks gets you the admission of a lifetime! It brings you wonderment beyond compare, unfulfilled roster spots with the snap of a finger, and most of all, it gives you zero return on your initial investment sometimes. Yes, that’s right gents (and gals too!), it’s the ever growing laundry pile that sits in the corner, but without the physical stench its the bullpen keystone capers. Key the music! The Blue Jays started the year thinking the man with the poor eye sight would be nice a cozy in the head bullpen chair. Unbeknownst to them, he sucked and failed at his job and was demoted to a set-up role. Fast forward two and half whole weeks, and he is somehow back to being the man again. Did he develop a new pitch, started throwing with his feet? Nope, he is still the same ole Brett Cecil. He isn’t throwing any harder and didn’t change his wind-up. He is just the next man up after Miguel Castro went all bay of pigs, making us all buy into him, and then poof went the dynamite. I personally didn’t think it would be a forever type scenario, and as far as I’m concerned, Cecil isn’t the man either as he sits right now. That just opens the door for possiblities… a trade (Papelbon perhaps), a free agent signee off the street (Rafael Soriano), or eventually going back to Castro or letting Roberto Osuna get a shot at the title. My answer is yes to all the above. I think it takes another failure by Cecil for the contending Blue Jays to realize that they need to shore that thing up. So in a month we could see a whole new bullpen there, and no, I am not kidding. So now that the team beyond the wall is taken care of this week, let’s peruse what else is happening around the league in bullpen situations.Please, blog, may I have some more?