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?

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?

Sneaky free K’s are all the rage for a streaming option when a starter just won’t do.  The numbers they put up are more of a collection-basis rather than a hunt, play and punt.  Relievers, not just closers, are the container that transports the glue.  Can you imagine glue not coming in a container and just being had at the local sundry store by the handful?  Messy proposition my friends.  Non-closers are what every complete fantasy team need.  They are like the egg in a good recipe – you can often substitute one reliever for another.  That’s what makes them so handy… they don’t usually carry a huge draft day burden.  They are basically free waiver-wire adds.  For those in holds leagues, that doesn’t always ring true, and when I start getting into the preseason hold rankings, some of the names will be similar.  That’s because the names you want just don’t give you holds, they give you multiple stats.  They are the five-tool performers in the industry of relief pitchers.  So here is a little preseason primer for guys who don’t really adorn too much draft day attention, but should be snagged in situations that require their services when you are short on K potential and maximizing the K/9 of your fantasy roster…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (30) | 2012 (18) | 2011 (15) | 2010 (26) | 2009 (25)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [78-84] AL West
AAA: [78-66] Pacific Coast League – Salt Lake
AA: [73-66] Texas League — Arkansas
A+: [69-71] California League – Inland Empire
A: [56-78] Midwest League – Burlington

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
R.J. Alvarez (RHP); Cam Bedrosian (RHP); Mike Morin (RHP); Michael Roth (LHP); Jett Bandy (C); Taylor Lindsey (2B); Zach Borenstein (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Kole Calhoun (OF); J.B. Shuck (OF); Grant Green (2B); Andrew Romine (3B); Dane De La Rosa (RHP); Michael Kohn (RHP)

The Run Down
The postseason is barely underway, but let’s get on with some 2014 baseball chatter because I just can’t wait.  As always, we’ll be easing you into these MiLB previews, starting with the poorest systems, and working our way toward the best as Opening Day approaches next spring.  So here we are at the bottom; The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Hoo boy, this is a thin, low-impact group.  Making matters worse, the Halos forfeited their first round picks in each of the past two seasons when they signed free agents Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols.  LA fans probably don’t want to hear this right now, but the Cardinals used their 2012 first round pick to draft Michal Wacha.  Ouch.  Take solace in the fact that you guys still produced Mike Trout, whose career WAR at age 22 is 21.1.  That’s insane homegrown output over the past two seasons, so I can’t feel too bad for you jerks just yet.

Please, blog, may I have some more?