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?
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 saw an article the other day titled, “Brewers: Buyers or Sellers?” Admittedly, I only read the title. I figured I’d save myself some time because the Brewers are in last place, 19 games behind the Cardinals. Maybe the article was talking about the art of selling home brewed beer and had nothing to do with baseball. Buying or selling could be a conundrum for the home brewmaster along with, “What do you tell your wife about why she can’t go into the garage?” “Can you name your beer ‘HeineKEN’ if your name is Ken and other copyright laws?” And my favorite home brewer conundrum, “Skunked or urinated on by the family dog, how can I tell?” Yeah, I’m guessing the Milwaukee Brewers are sellers, which means Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra and others are headed somewhere. This will open everyday playing time for Khris Davis. It’s Khrismas in July! *ringing bell* Come Khristian boys and girls and Jewish boys and girls that want to pretend, it’s that special time of year! Why do we care about Davis? Because he has 30-homer power something baseball lost just after they started testing for those pesky PEDs. Right now, Davis is owned in less than 10% of leagues, but I could see that shooting up to 75% owned in the next month if he hits for power and gets everyday playing time as I imagine he will. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, I guess that makes all the sense in the world, because those darn Flock of Seagulls got all in your head in the 80’s. Then they had the nerve to be in GTA and get you all singing about running. I don’t even run when chased anymore. It’s a big game of “ooohhh ya got me”. So north of the border, they do it all in groups now apparently. That group started out as a singular to start the year, then a separate individual took over only to fail himself, then they went back to the original guy who had it out of spring. Now they are on to a group format because I am guessing “strength in numbers” is the thing. I think “paint by numbers” should be their next move. So if you are scoring at home, to summarize, that is Cecil, Castro, Cecil, et. all. Yeah, I mean if I had the offensive potential that the Blue Jays have, and they are being all fiddle and benz with the end game, I would make a move to a more permanent solution. Don’t be cheap, I think the exchange rate is in your favor or close. So the committee we are looking at now is a group that consists of Roberto Osuna, Steve Delabar, possibly another occasional save chance for Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Optimus Prime and any prime number. From a rostering standpoint, I would own Osuna, Delabar, then Cecil. If you missed out on all three, just be thankful, because it’s a mess. But saves bring all the craziness out of people, so that’s why it’s bullpen week and we are getting down to the goods of the HOLD. Enjoy the rankings, tidbits and the casual barbs at my peers. Cheers!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?
This week I’ve got two really ugly recommendations for those of you in need of stolen bases. The first player has been slumping badly, the second is Public Enemy No. 1 as far as some Rusney Castillo fans are concerned… Adam Eaton or considering how he’s (not) hitting lately, Adam “I haven’t Eaton in days”. Ok, he’s not exactly old yet and his 59/5/37/14/.264 ROS (Rest Of Season) Steamer projection (R/HR/RBI/SB/AVG) is actually quite good and is in fact better than the projections of some of the younger players I’ve recommended previously. Secondly, we have Shane Victorino aka Rusney Castillo’s wet blanket (well to be fair, Castillo’s inability to stay healthy has been his own wet blanket, but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story) who is back from injury. He might not be worth owning if he’s only going to start 4 times a week but if he’s starting 5-6 times a week, well, he’s better than a lot of other players out there. Before dismissing Eaton and Victorino keep in mind veterans Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan have fared pretty well this year. And let’s face it, I’m basically making recommendations here for your last roster spot. These are all players that are fairly expendable, that’s why they are out there in so many leagues.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?
Rajai Davis is, once again, a SAGNOF-ian legend. Again, again, again, was exactly what he did on Saturday when the 34-year-old outfielder stole 3 bases. This year he might just be the best fantasy player of all those playing only part time (the other player fighting for this honor, in my opinion, is Alex Guerrero). He has 6 stolen bases despite starting in only 9 of 18 games through Saturday for the Tigers. Digging up some career stats I see that he’s never needed much playing time to rack up the SBs. Since he broke out with 41 stolen bases in 2009 he’s averaged 42 steals per season while at the same time averaging only 124.5 games played. And many of those games weren’t starts.Please, blog, may I have some more?