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.

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With every first list or preseason edition of anything, there comes question marks. Lots of ifs and buts, with no real sound determination until we actual see the product. I am pretty sure Jane Austen’s first attempt at Pride and Prejudice was an abomination because who knew if Elizabeth Bennett was up to the task of being wifey material? It turns out that I can win a bet and correlate anything into the bullpen situations of the current MLB teams. Until injuries, demotion or a better option arises, we have to go by two main instincts: former ability and common sense. So the list is based off of the news to date that we have gotten on all the potential closers to date and for gigg’s I have ranked them accordingly. I have been doing bullpens for a long time and have been wrong on a few occasions, but I am not the manager or GM for the team pulling the strings, I am merely a fantasy writer. So here is the Spring training edition of the Closer rankings, their set-up men, and the cuffs we covet for fantasy in 2016.

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Each new season brings change.  And this one is no different.  The leaves have changed color, and they will turn back again.  The reliever corps are no different, in-season or off of it.  The reliever flux train has already started, and it’s just January.  For some teams, it is a needed boost to a back-end unit that was piss pour last season.  For most though, it is a change for the piece they were missing.  While others, (cough, cough, the Yankees) just want to be greedy and make a super-unit of the three-headed variety.  So today, as it being my first post in the new season, I will look at the guys who changed clubs and will most likely open the season as that teams new closer.  It isn’t very dissimilar to real life, you know that ‘ole tale… for it’s as old as the sea.  Some young up-and-comer arrives and thinks they can do your job better, faster and for longer, but veterans that have been an established piece for years get the respect they deserve.  That’s what makes a 12 dollar salad a 12 dollar salad.  So without all the soliloquy and gesturing, let’s just get to the closers who have changed clubs for the better…

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The Reds are like the slowest team ever to rebuild.  They sell off a piece every few months or so.  “We’re getting rid of Cueto as we look to the future.”  Dot dot dot.  A month later, “Someone make us an offer for Leake.  We’re rebuilding…kinda.”  Dot dot dot.  A few months later, “Okay, who wants Aroldis?  For what it’s worth, he has a gun permit.”  Dot dot dot.  “Todd Frazier anyone?  Everything must go…eventually!”  Dot dot dot.  “Hey, what do y’all think of Brandon Phillips?”  The teamsters on three hours of sleep broke down the Titanic set quicker than the Reds.  By August of 2016, Votto may be hitting between Kyle Waldrop and Cozart, and, knowing Votto, he will still hit .320.  Any hoo!  Moving to the White Sox doesn’t hurt Frazier, in theory.  I say that because I feel like everything the White Sox touch turns to the wall of a Porta-Potty. Maybe it’s the Curse of Bill Veeck.  Or just the Curse of the “Ill, Eek.”  Capital I’s with an L next to it are weird, right?  Okay, back to baseball!  Frazier had 35 HRs last year and a 15.1% HR/FB, which is nothing.  That’s around his career norm.  He achieved this by hitting everything in the air.  If he keeps that up — literally — in Chi-town, good things can continue to happen.  Of course, every action has an equal opposite reaction, and more fly balls could hurt his average, which would hurt his runs and RBIs.  Brucely, I’d take that trade off.  Then throw in his 15-ish steals and you have a guy that should be near the top 25 overall for fantasy.  For 2016, I’ll give him 86/30/98/.250/14.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:

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Javier Baez takes another shoveling of dirt as he gets buried further.  “Is this a staged Off Broadway adaption of The Revenant?”  Javier asks as he spits dirt out of his mouth.  “You have a toothpick?  I have dirt stuck between my teeth.  Hello?”  Baez doesn’t know why this shadowy figure won’t stop shoveling dirt on top of his body; he’s obviously not dead.  Or is he?  Just then, the camera swings around, and, in a crazy twist that only M. Night Shamalamadingdong could’ve came up with, the person that is doing the shoveling is Arismendy Alcantara.  “If I can’t have fantasy value, then never can you!”  Arismendy yells as he cackles maniacally.   Then, “You still want that toothpick?”  And…scene!  So, Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs and moves Arismendy and Baez even further down the depth charts.  At this point, they are closer to playing on the Padres after a trade than they are at playing in Chicago.  Heyward had sneaky value last year, as in it seemed like he disappointed, but since steals are scarce (only seven players last year stole 30 bags), and since Heyward provided some value in all categories, he wasn’t that bad.  His numbers last year seemed like a poor man’s Lorenzo Cain.  I will call him Crack Cocaine.  Moving to the stacked Cubs lineup and into Wrigley could provide Heyward’s best season to date.  I’ll give him the projections of 87/22/77/.274/15, which has him hitting leadoff for about 80 games and shuffling between 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the other games.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:

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I’m going to take you all the way back to February of 2015. Rachel Dolezal was still black, Bruce Jenner was still a man, Donald Trump was still a floppy-haired airbag — a hairbag, if you will, Coach Taylor wasn’t yet a killer, Jon Snow was still a keeper of the wall, “on fleek” was still gibberish, gas cost only “eating a lentil salad with a side order of milkshake,” the White Sox lineup was “stacked,” Christian Yelich was still asking people to take him to see an R-rated film, the North Korean government just released their one movie a year, the 1985 classic, Just One Of The Guys, the Cardinals were looking at emails Jeff Luhnow sent to the CEO of Home Depot about getting custom-order ladder shoes for Altuve and Anthony Rendon was still a first round draft pick. We didn’t seem naive then, but apparently we were. Or were we?! Nice reversal, Grey! Rendon’s value right now is nowhere near where it could be in a month’s time. Right now, he’s interchangeable with Omar Infante, aka Hispanic Baby Omar aka HBO. There’s nothing at all exciting about Rendon. Prior to his injury, he looked like the new Cano (not the new old Cano, which is awful). Rendon looked capable of 25 HRs, 15 steals and a great batting average. The injuries in March took some of the luster away, but he’s also not suddenly garbage, which is about what you could trade to get him right now, which is exactly what I would do. Trade for him before he comes out of his wigwam like Jenner, Dolezal, Trump — Well, Trump’s wigwam is still on his head, but you get the picture. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Adrian Beltre was diagnosed with a dislocated left thumb. The doctor said it could be anywhere, his glove compartment, upstairs by the hamper, in the basement by the weights we bought you in high school that you never used. Beltre will miss two to three weeks. So… the Rangers called up Joey Gallo! *searching Gallo on Google, coming across Orson Welles commercial outtakes* Damn, that Orson guy was a genius. Orson Bean too. You cannot go wrong with the name Orson! Could Gallo be Orson-like? I think he can, but, like the dentist tells you, there’s some caveats. Here’s what I said this offseason, “I get the sneaking suspicion that Gallo is going to be The Return of the Sucky Average Lagoon Monster, who was played briefly last year in an off-Broadway revival by Chris Carter. In Double-A last year, Gallo had a 39.5% strikeout rate. That’s absurd. That’s the same rate historians have said Babe Ruth had after an all-night bender with Fatty Arbuckle when Ruth showed up and accidentally went up to bat still wearing his sleep mask. Fun fact! Sleep masks for the wealthy used to be made from raw hamburger patties. So, with Gallo wearing a raw hamburger on his eyes, is there any chance here of him hitting above .200? Not if he can’t tame his strikeouts. Right now, he’d probably hit .150 in the majors. Jot noking, Spooner. Luckily, for the sake of all that is holy, I don’t think he’s going to break camp with the club and will have time to fix his swing tendencies. His power is completely for real, and I think he could hit 30 homers in the major leagues right now. Like the bowling alley that doesn’t cater to dwarfs, no small feat there. He’s only going to be 21 years old, so 30 homers from a guy that young is crazy.” And that’s me quoting me! So, did Gallo fix his swing tendencies this year in the minors? No, not really. His strikeout rate in the minors so far is 33.6%, which is awful for Double-A, and the Rangers have specified that Gallo is merely a two to three week call-up while Beltre gets right. I’d grab Gallo for power in any league, but not at the expense of anyone that worthwhile. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What an eventful SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) week it was.  Shawn Tolleson, who was originally a high priority SAGNOF Special recommendation two weeks ago, now looks to be in a position to steal some saves from Neftali Feliz or possibly take the job outright.  Feliz is in serious trouble and it will probably be either Shawn Tolleson or Keone Kela that takes over if Feliz is in fact removed.  Right now the word is that Rangers manager Jeff Bannister is going to use whoever he fancies on any particular day to close out games and that leaves the door open for just about anyone, including Feliz.  I find it hard to believe that anyone other than Tolleson is capable of running away with the closer role so he’s my heavy favorite.  If I’m wrong, call me bad names, but try to make it funny at least.

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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.

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Maybe I shamed the Marlins into caring about their bullpen. Maybe I’m just like my mother, she’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at Steve Cishek? This is what it sounds like, when fantasy baseballers cry! Damn, I’ll never get sick of Prince. Well, except when I have to rely on him to hit homers from my 1st base slot. As they removed Cishek from the closer role, the Marlins said, “Shrek has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games.” They call Cishek Shrek? Is that so the 12-year-old Yelich isn’t scared to room with him? Holy cow, have you seen Cishek?! He looks like he could be Yelich’s younger brother! Do the Marlins pay their prospects in Girl Scout cookies? Does the team bus have to wait an extra five minutes every day so they can finish their paper route? Are Yelich and Cishek extras from the off-Broadway adaption of Drake & Josh? I have questions, y’all! So, Cishek is not only out, but looks like a flaming Pu-Pu Platter. I’d grab A.J. Ramos immediately, stash Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and would even look at Rafael Soriano, since the Marlins said they might sign him. Oh, and once Henderson Alvarez returns, there’s speculation Tom Koehler could close. A Koehlser?! In other words, this shituation is a closerousel, so hold on for your life. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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