When looking at the standings, it is usually a great indicator of how well a team is doing by looking at the Hold leaders. It doesn’t tell you all or is the end all be all of indicators, but when you have three guys in the top-4, it speaks volumes. It shows the team is ahead, but not by so much that they are blowing people out, have a great set of flow through the bullpen with set jobs, and they are successfully in-sync. Not that “in-sync”, but yeah, sorta because something that included J.T. can’t really be all that bad. So what is making the Chicago White Sox so good at what they are doing right now? First, it starts from the last inning back. David Robertson has the goods of what you want from a closer, he has the K-rate and decent control to limit base runners. What I am noticing is he is keeping the ball away from the upper part of the zone, which was his buga-boo from the past; that he gives up too many homers. In front of him, he has a trio of relievers with different mindsets. Nate Jones is basically a closer in front of the real closer, but with a better approach of pitching to contract then K’ing everyone. Zach Duke is by far the sexiest LOOGY in the business right now and Matt Albers is an all effort pitcher with tons of movement on his pitches. Add in the fact that they have Putnam and Petricka as sub pieces that can fit into anyone’s role, and they have what looks like in the early stages of the season the best bullpen in baseball. That is not to say that it will last but the investment level from a fantasy level, especially from a holds league, but it is very stout. So check out the other tidbits and bits tids that I have for you after the bump. (Plus a chart that monitors usage and runs given up by relievers that usually lead to them losing or gaining spots in the pen.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
As much as I love publishing and giving you the “haps” on the closer ranks, I love the depth that a bullpen can give you and how it can affect your roster. It is way to early to look into my Grafix crystal ball and say this guy and that one will be the crowned prince of the hold this year… to some degree. Early usage and situations prove a lot. Yes, injuries happen, and ineffective spells happen, and sometimes trades happen, but if you were good enough to make the team out of Spring, then usually you are good enough to make yourself an established piece of the bullpen. The top names are still the top names. The cream either rises to the top or it rules everything around me, both perspectives are interesting because how can you not believe the Wu or old school rhetoric. So with the first bullpen piece of the year, we will cover all the same things you are accustomed to from last year as I get more in-depth than anyone else when it comes to holds. Some don’t care or are on the fence, as if it’s a completely comical or made up stat. It is no more made up then saves, because that is exactly what it is, just before the save… so it is basically a pre-save. Either way, I care and will give you some early trends to look at and some names to go with it. Trends rule everything around bullpens or TREAB, dolla dolla bill y’all.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know, picking your fantasy baseball pitchers is surprisingly a lot like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. At the beginning, you want the old reliable guys – you know – the ones that can barely walk. Looking at you R.A. Dickey. You’ve got all this potential for an Oscar-winner/fantasy title. But as the movie and baseball season progresses, you want younger and younger guys with the upside of their ML debuts and big K potential against hitters who have never seen them before. Then after a longgggg middle half (and the dog days of summer in the baseball season), you’re in the final act and you’re ready to throw out there any 20-something-year-old just for the hell of it (just ask Kathy Griffin about that). Or you’ve walked out of the movie because you’re just not into it.
As you well know, Pitcher Profiles usually select a pitcher from Sunday, but with overwhelming questions and requests for a profiling of Danny Salazar, I felt overwhelmed to buck the trend.Please, blog, may I have some more?
When Jose Fernandez walks into the 18-and-over strip club, where only the drinks are virgins, that’s called “Rookie Nookie,” he flips his rookie cards like they’re dollar bills, yelling, “Jose make it rain! Jose make it rain! Get it? Hoe say, ‘Make it rain.'” He explains his puns, but he doesn’t need to explain his stuff. It’s filthy with a side of Dirt Nasty. Last night, his line was 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (2 hits) and 10 Ks. Sure, it was against the Padres, but Nolasco just got his asco handed to him by the same team. Fernandez is in the upper echelon of K-rates (9+) for all pitchers with a more than manageable walk rate (hair above 3). Oh, and he’s 20 years old. He can’t buy alcohol! He can’t legally marry an illegal alien in the state of Mississippi without parental consent! He’s so young Jose Tabata’s wife could’ve gave birth to him! He skipped right from High-A to the majors, so this is basically his Double-A season. I just got goose pimples on my butt thinking about how good he can be next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You wanted to sell R.A. Dickey, but no one was buying. Seeing last year as a fluke. Said he couldn’t do it again. Said you had too much fruit in your tapioca for even drafting him. They told you go fly a kite with Dickey, but not around children or it would be weird. Then Dickey throws a two-hit shutout yesterday with 6 Ks and you showed them that the only good thing that ever came out of being a naysayer is horse whispering. Or did you? Do you know anything more about Dickey than you did two days ago? He says he’s been dealing with cold weather and a sore back and he’s blaming the WBC. Excuses are like Alcides Escobar, everyone has one and they all smell. Did Dickey’s back suddenly clear up? Because he gave up six earned in his last start. Was the weather in his last start cold and Dickey shrunk up? This shutout was against the Rays, who are now 10 for their last 99 against him. They see Dickey and immediately go limp. Finally, your Dickey looks to be pointing in the right direction, but I wouldn’t start writing his name on your underpants just yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I told you to pick up Joaquin Benoit yesterday, I was 85% sure he would close games until the Tigers traded for Papelbon, who will be known in Detroit as a Papelbonneville. Then, because Leyland reads Razzball between smokes, he named Benoit closer by not naming him the closer. He said, “I’m not naming anybody closer. I’m just saying if Benoit was available right now, I would try to close with him.” Thanks for clarifying! Managers deciding on a closer is like debating euthanasia. Valverde’s done, pull the plug! The Yelp reviews for Benoit are through the roof, but there’s a lot of five star reviews from fantasy baseballers with only one other closer. I’d grab Benoit in all leagues and hope he can hold the job and make the thought of trading for Papelbonneville absurd. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So while helping Scott with his prospect and two-start pitcher questions over the weekend, I got a lot of questions for the best spot starter on Sunday. I told everyone Hector Santiago followed closely by the debut of Jose Alvarez. Score one for me! I decided to write my pitcher profile on one of those guys, and since Alvarez only came up for one start (he’s already back in AAA), I went with Santiago. Quick tangent – how unfair is that Tigers rotation? Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello (who everyone needs to pick up – Ks are for real, looks like it’s all together now and he’s only 24), then Drew Smyly who should become a starter one day soon, and now Alvarez. Yikes.
Anyway, Santiago has been yo-yoed in and out of the rotation, and after Jake Peavy fell to injury yet again, Santiago should remain in the starting staff for at least the next month if not longer. He’s been better as a starter than out of the bullpen this year, and has over a K per 9 this season. There’s a lot of things to like with Santiago, so I broke down his start yesterday afternoon against the Athletics to monitor his repertoire and what to expect while he’s in the White Sox rotation.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Moore had the line of 5 IP, 8 ER, 13 baserunners, 6 Ks. But he only allowed one walk! What? Like putting frosting on a doodie cupcake? Like eating only cupcakes for three weeks, then pooping into a cupcake pan? Do you eat the cupcake ingredients separate, then let them mix in your stomach? Does it matter? Either way, Moore was crap. If you thought he was a sub-2 ERA pitcher, you were lying to yourself. Remember, it’s okay to lie to others, dangerous when you lie to yourself. Moore’s xFIP is egregious, which meant he had some regressing to do. His walks are out of control — literally. His walks right now are Jonathan Sanchez bad. Yes, that made me shudder too. If you build a pitching staff house with a bunch of Jonathan Sanchezes, it’ll be shuttered. Hopefully, Moore’s next game vs. the Royals will stall further regression and he can cut his walks (and not just when he gets rocked). If Moore can’t get it together vs. the Royals, he’ll have a tough Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers stretch to get through that might need a lengthy benching, i.e. less Moore is more or less Moore. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?