The job in Tampa isn’t as pretty as it used to be, as the team is super underachieving, and not in a superhero-footed pajamas kinda way. Joe Maddon looks like he needs an executive parachute, even though he is a hoot to listen to during an interview. I think he is waiting for someone to jump and run with the job. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta or even the artist formally known as Leo Nunez may be the most obvious and experienced options, but I have another one for ya: Kirby Yates. I didn’t make that up. He reminds me of what Jim Henderson did two years ago with the Brewers. Career journeyman, decent, but nothing stands out about his minor league numbers… then boom. K -ates in the minors are above 12 for the last 3 seasons, and he has over 50 saves during that same time. Tampa is the place to rehab relievers, and Korean War shrapnel wounds, so crazier things have happened. Kyle Farnsworth, Fernando Rodney, Troy Percival, Danys Baez, Lance Carter, Al Reyes…. you get the point. The rule with closers is: It’s better to be first then not at all. So if time and space are in alignment and Rod Serling is already taken, pounce. Stick around, it’s a good week to speculate on saves and save-nots.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There is something to be said about doing your job, and then saying “good job but the regular guy is back, and he’s taking your job back.” Mark Melancon filled in swimmingly for the injured Jason Grilli and his line is better than most closers in the F-tier of my rankings. To his dismay, Grilli is back, and is being eased back into his role. Is it fair? Probably. Does it suck for Melancon stat vultures? Most definitely. Going back exactly one year, when Melancon became a fantasy stalwart on our rosters, he has an ERA under 2, 25 Saves and 17 Holds. That’s all after Grilli went down last year. Besides the K factor, which is in Grilli’s favor, Melancon is basically being grounded for getting only an A- in English class… but but but it’s still and A!, I’m sure he’s muttering. But, I’m rooting for Grilli, dat journeyman done good, saved all those kids from dat thang. Whatever that thing was. You know the story. No? Well make one up, tell your friends it happened, and let’s start a rumor. So good luck Jason Grilli, just make sure to look both ways when you cross the street. Oh, we totally forgot about your 3 BS in April. Cause you’re back here forever. Subliminal message: Hold onto Melancon.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This whole opening will be devoted to Trevor Rosenthal. Why? Because you are being put on notice, a notice to cease and desist your sucktitude. Watching you makes me wanna renew my prescription card to the herbal remedy place. The stats are yuck, take your K’s and jump around as he huffs and puffs and blows your WHIP house down. I wanna take a moment and send this note just for Trevor.
Trevor… Hey what’s up man. I don’t know you, don’t know if you read Razzball, but you should, because we are like the Danity Kane of Fantasy Baseball. Take a look over your shoulder my friend, you see that beard having flame thrower getting prepped in the minors? Yeah, that’s basically Wally Pipp coming back, but in this case he will be called Jason Motte. Now, Jason is a level-headed bloke, he stabbed someone in 3rd grade for stealing his apple sauce at snack time, and though all charges were dropped and wall-ball was played after… he is coming. Like the Balrog that Gandalf had to beat up… You have been warned homie. Oh, and say hello to your mother for me.
So if you are reading this and have a DL spot,or a wasted spot you wanna spec on for a week or two, now is the time. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, he comes back and shats the bed on your bench, but who cares? That’s like doing it on someone else’s bed, and they have a maid. Stick around for some tid-bits or bits of tid for the guy who wears a helmet and reads this column.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, everyone can give a complete exhale that two save-category standard bearers were not shut down with shoulder problems. Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara both threw bullpens yesterday, and are all systems go for the rest of the week. Not like any of you have them, because we don’t and shouldn’t overpay for saves on draft day. So if either of these guys fell to ya, good on ya and relax, and stop checking the waiver wire for half a tick. Kimbrel is the tits, regardless of setbacks, his numbers say so, and you should walk around telling people the such as well. Kenley is nice, has all the check marks: winning team, K’s, and the large drink to boot. I just can’t, with good faith, de-commit from Kimbrel unless he actually hits the DL. So with the sighs of relief I hear, let’s touch on some more of this weeks hap’s and slaps. Shall we?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Holy hell, what just happened? This week was supposed to be about all the pomp and circumstance of opening day. Then a closenado happened, a whirlwind of job loss and fake unemployment questions. I mean, before two games ended, two closers were replaced. That’s just silly stupid, like buying a pack of crayons without the built in sharpener. Useless. Roenicke and Ventura, I am putting a sfortuna and a pox on both your households. Moves like this usually lead to managerial unemployment, so maybe we aren’t so bad off, as both look well fixated on the Kohl’s managerial program. To make things worse, Bobby P fell down and ‘Papa Grande’ came tumbling after.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It was all fine and dandy and then Roldy Chapman had to go and jump in front of a speeding bullet. It caused the first waiver wire riot of the year. Trick is, who to add? Everybody jumped on the J.J. Hoover train and I don’t blame them. He seems like the only real healthy choice, but have you seen him in ST? He looks god awful, like he is throwing with the losing end of a wishbone. This situation is one to get all waiver wire giddy about, but it’s not going to be fluid. Broxton and Marshall start the year on the boo-boo list and then what’s left? I’ll tell ya, be patient, stop yelling…. Manny Parra. I have read others speculating this, but I’m going to jump on it also. It’s only a temporary situation anyways, and if you lost out on Hoover, why not get a good ‘what the hell’ add? Could do worse, he has a K/9 over 10 in 2 full seasons as a set up guy and a ST K/BB rate of 11/1. I mean if we are going on merit, which never happens, he deserves a look and may get a few early saves.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Closer news, closer news… We need a musical about fantasy baseball, sorta like Newsies, but with a little Book of Mormon thrown in. Perhaps a musical adventure of sonnets and mignonettes by Stephen Sondheim. Come on, everybody loves a musical… he, no. Okay, it’s just me then. So drafting season is here, it’s the first and last time you will see over 20% of the guys drafting in your league until… well, never. Ahh, the internet and its anonymity. So with the games in the land of koala bears and oil cans happening this weekend, baseball is here. Officially. I have confirmed with multiple sources and gave them credit for groundbreaking stuff via twitter. So the week before the fake regular season I have 4 questions that we still need answers to, or was just wondering in my own stoned malaise.
The name says it all, it’s what everyone keeps asking for, NSVH. It sounds like a spin-off of CSI, or Law and Order. Except with really geeky dudes who shouldn’t really have an actual head-shot of themselves for use as their avatar. We know who they are, and pointing fingers isn’t polite unless it’s the one that I normally get from people at the retirement home I frequent for volunteer duties. Much love Shady Acres. So this week we delve into the numbers game, the ones that mimic me and steal my Nutella sandwich. These projections are highly irregular and tougher than most other stats in the pretend game. The fluctuation of personnel by teams is mind boggling and makes me look goofy. So in the chart below I am giving you the top-60 NSVH chaps with some pertinent stats that help all. During the year, I’ll get into more of the sustaining stats, but since we aren’t there yet, I can’t just make them up. Those tendency stats that I am referring to (Inherited Runners, Inherited Runners Scored, and Appearances with Lead) are my way of determining both closer and set-up guy efficiency. How they are used and when they are used. So those that are looking forward to that, hooray for you. So without further adieu, here are some projections for the top NSVH guys for this year.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The closer news is kind of like that pond back in the woods by Me’ma’s house. You know the one where you and your first “girlfriend” from Canada used to meet up and read scripture. Stagnant is the term for all you wordsmith’s out there. Spring training games just literally got started this week and the battles that are going on for unnamed closer spots; Rangers, White Sox and Astros, are still a hmmm situation. So until someone actually gets hurt, assassinated, or decides that baseball is no longer fun for him… we are at a stand still. Updates are always good though, and fun. It’s like Sudoku or the aggravation of doodling little numbers next to each box, stupid little numbers. They make it look all messy like a 4-year-old is doing it and you get all self conscious and hide it form the guy sitting next to you on the plane. It’s okay, admitting it is the hard part. Just say it to yourself and give yourself a wink in the mirror. So here is the slightly adjusted list of closers, the addition of Fernando Rodney not only adds legitimacy and tilte to the lefty’s swagger. So have at the list for this week and hopefully we will have some more news or will make up some stuff that’s more interesting in the upcoming weeks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
To answer your first question, no, I am not dead. Secondly, sorry to disappoint you. As we count down the days to draft and when pitchers/catchers report, it’s a virtual ‘pins and needles’ fest for some of the closer battles that could be looming. Some of these battles are going to be very interesting, ’cause battles are awesome and make fools of everyone. Let’s dive into some of those battles, shall we? The Cubs and their smoke-show of a bullpen is first and foremost. Jose Veras looks to be the guy, until Pedro Strop‘s me-mah gets all free paella for every manager named Sveum. The Orioles still really don’t have a closer, and until free agency is kaput, Tommy Hunter is the guy. And the other one to keep an eye on is Colorado… I mean my name is Smokey… so I am firmly entrenched in the bumper crop going on there. LaTroy Hawkins has been called the “closer” for now. I have a feeling that the Rockies, at some point, get all nepotistic and gives it to Rex Brothers. The last situation I would monitor is the effectiveness and trust level that Pittsburgh has with Grilli, who is getting back into the saddle. Mark Melancon is arguably the first non-definite closer for me that is draft worthy over some guys who are low on this list that have the job. So stay tuned conclusionary fans, it’s early and things are always a changin’. Like last year, I will be doing an off-week Holds post to keep all things relievers up to date.Please, blog, may I have some more?