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?
The ESPYS are coming soon, so I decided it might be time to nominate some relief pitchers for mid-season hardware and steal a little bit of ESPN’s ESPYS thunder (that’s just wrong on more than one level) in the process. Anyway, I’ll soon be handing an award to one of the relief pitchers with a chance to regress in a bad way and I’m calling these awards the Jurrjy’s because Jair Jurrjens was a pitcher that was as up and down as I can recall a pitcher being. He was (is, I could say, after all he still exists, somewhere) a BABIP dependent* pitcher because of a low strikeout rate. For instance, here are his 2011 1st half/2nd half ERA splits: 1.87 in 110.2 1st half innings vs 5.88 in a small sample of 41.1 second half innings. While it might have been better to pick a reliever to name this after, I can’t think of anyone that fits the description better than Jair Jurrjens. The only problem is, I’m not sure if the “winner” is the one whose ERA regresses the most or the one who maintains the mirage. I guess that’s up to the Academy to decide. So without further ado, your 2015 Jurrjy nominees in the “rising ERA” category are: Steve Delabar, middle reliever, Toronto Blue Jays (1.42 ERA /4.05 FIP). Bryan Shaw, middle reliever, Cleveland Indians (2.10 ERA /4.62 FIP). Joakim Soria, closer, Detroit Tigers (2.73 ERA /5.09 FIP). Brad Ziegler, closer, Arizona Diamondbacks (1.45 ERA /3.78 FIP), Darren O’Day, middle reliever, Baltimore Orioles (1.21 ERA /3.17 FIP), and JJ Hoover, middle reliever, Cincinnati Reds (1.31 ERA / 3.10 FIP). (*This article basically claims that pitcher BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is 75% luck, 13% defense, and 12% pitcher’s skill).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?
Thank you, Jesus Guzman! Or Jesus Alou or Jesus Colome or David DeJesus or whatever baseball Jesus you pray to! Anthony Rendon was activated! “Hello, God, it’s me Grey. I have no more requests…Well, maybe one more. Could you allow Rendon to hit? Okay, you being such a literal God will prolly take that to mean, he’ll get at-bats and ground out. I mean, can you allow him to hit for a high average, some power, some speed and just be better than Logan Forsythe? I’ll take my answer off the air.” Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from Rendon. Some players — Josh Hamilton comes to mind — get countless injury updates from the media no matter how small the news. I feel like with Rendon it’s been radio silence since he was DL’d. Every few weeks there would be a ‘playing in rehab games’ update, but very little else. So, the realistic side of me wants to think he’s going to struggle like it’s spring training for him. The fanboy side of me thinks he’s gonna hit a zillion homers and steal a trillion bases and make everything right. Likely, he’ll be about as good as Yunel, but, due to his name recognition, will soothe my middle infidel nerves for a few weeks. Yesterday, he went 2-for-4 and, well, he’s back, and that’s all that matters. Thank you, Jesus Montero! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: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?
It’s trendy to be trendy and follow your nose like Toucan Sam. Unfortunately, there are no Fruit Loops here, only Holds. Holds with a silver lining of saves that helps everyone. For now though, it’s all about the holds. It’s only a dozen games into the season and it’s never too early to turn a side eye to what’s going on with the key bullpen pieces around the league. These guys are mostly for holds only leagues, but the elite of the elite are the rosterable guys that should be universally owned. So, for those that are new to the Bullpen Report, it goes a little like this… I focus on relievers that are pitching in high leverage situations, games with the lead, inherited runners and the inherited runners they allow to score. Those more or less correlate to the stat we are chasing, and no it’s not that white dragon. It’s the hold. Team situations, team success, and the players ability in those situations all dictate that stat. It’s no coincidence that teams with better teams usually have more save chances, it just happens. So have a gander at some trendy type stats that have happened in the games so far. Be aware that stats this early are misleading like a Polish GPS, so be aware and don’t go for the first car you see when your hitchhiking your way through the holds life.Please, blog, may I have some more?