All the fantasy world was hoping that Jonathan Papelbon would be traded to a team without a reliable closer.  Instead, he goes to a team and kicks in the door swinging with the “I make more money than you” swagger that only comes with wearing Jordache jeans. And then he takes Drew Storen‘s job.  From a relief pitcher standpoint, Papelbon jumps from the worst save-driven team to top 10 overall.  The Phillies generated only 26 save opportunities to the date of his trade.  The Nationals were a far better team, and their record says so with 43 save opportunities.  The Nationals have also had a lead 32 more times than the Phillies, so Storen isn’t a completely wasted roster spot. If you got skunked by this, you need to keep him rostered.  He will still get the off-day save chances, and should pitch in a ton of high-leverage situations based on the bullpen shape of the Nationals, which isn’t a blue ribbon. Papelbon immediately jumps to elite status for me because of his history, and the whole contending team thing. He will easily double his saves total (in less games) to date, which stands at 17.  On the flip side of this trade, it opens up the gates to wunderkid Ken Giles to close in the land of steaks covered in cheese.  Giles immediate value is that of a closer, but with the Phil’s, he’s going to basically have a worse representation of what Papelbon had, but he still has moderate save appeal.  I can see him getting 10 saves the rest of the way.  This is posting a day before the deadline, so things could be in flux. And make sure to check out Ralph and myself over on Razzball Soccer, as the FPL is in full go.

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So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half.  It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains.  So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season.  So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues).  The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats.  So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS.  Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck.  Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect.  Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent.  So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…

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I am equating this one solely on one thing for the Cubbies… and that term is?  Pseudo-intellectual.  Joe Maddon does everything different and it’s gotta be the glasses.  He makes everyone want, need or have to be involved in his bullpen.  Basically, he is the united colors of Benetton of managers.  His hydra approach at the bullpen is not only bothersome or troubling for the roster-bater in all of us, it’s damn near impossible to roster and guess which guy it will be today.  The trio of Jason Motte, Hector Rondon, and Pedro Strop all seem to play the part of a closer, but get shuffled around like Joe is playing little game in his head.  I get that some situations warrant certain match-ups, but sometimes it doesn’t make any sense to me.  So for those of you that still care about the Cubs and their six save chances combined between all relievers in the last 14 days, I would roster Motte and Rondon equally, and if I had the space, I would roster Rafael Soriano and hold on tight.  Soriano is going to come in like the new city slicker, with a shiny pair of aldo shoes and end up being the cat’s pajamas for about a minute in Maddon’s mind.  Personally, rostering three guys to garner one stat is a crazy, crazy thing to get wrapped up into and is a waste.  If you are rostering one non-closer reliever to help with ratios, where are you making this roster space up from?  Nowhere is the answer, my friends.  So stick to the straight and narrow for saves for now, don’t chase unless a clear situation opens it’s doors and gives out the good candy on Halloween.  Stick around for some tidbits about the world of relief-dom…

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I need to redirect some of my anger. Strasburg has ruined a lot of that sun that’s shining in the smoggy sky. Not owning Harper has hung over me like a wet blanket that has a mixture of Rougned Odor and Marcus Semien’s last names. There’s dandelions to be picked and goofy rhymes to chant while jumping rope with a bunch of little black girls if I can just pull myself out of this fantasy funk. You know what I need? A rookie pitcher! Those have never gone wrong before, minus Velasquez, Foltynewicz, Erasmo, Taijuan, Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez, that one game where Syndergaard gave up like a zillion runs in less than five innings and Eduardo Rodriguez’s last game. Other than that, nothing wrong with a rookie pitcher! With that said (reversal time!), sounds like Matthew Wisler is being called up by the Braves. Here’s what Prospect Mike has said about him, “Safe and boring, but useful in fantasy. Wisler’s arsenal includes a plus fastball and a plus changeup with good control of both. The lower strikeout numbers and mid-rotation ceiling limit his overall upside, but the low risk and proximity balance it all out. Sorta of like how I balance writing for Razzball with hating Grey.” Aw, c’mon! PM nailed Wisler there. He doesn’t have huge upside or downside, due to solid control. In shallower leagues, I’d wait and see, but in deeper leagues he’s the kind of guy I’d grab immediately. Now, excuse me, I’m going to jump rope. I can read, I can dance, I have a hole in the seat of my pants! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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There was some speculation that the Mets were considering moving Noah Syndergaard (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks) to the bullpen and bringing up Steven Matz. The NY Post seemed to believe the Mets were talking about it, at least. It could be that a NY Post reporter, hiding in their usual spot inside a Mets equipment broom closet with a Solo cup pressed to the door, overheard, “Hey, should we move Noah to the bullpen and bring up Matz?” “Maybe, but I’m the front office intern and you’re the ticket taker from Gate 3C so I’m not sure our opinion matters.” “Or is that Matzers?” Then they laughed, and the NY Post reporter shot off an article detailing the discussion, but left off the sources. More respected Mets journalists thought Syndergaard wouldn’t go to the bullpen, and Dillon Gee would be designated for assignment. Gee, guess who was right. Right now, Matz has a 2.30 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in Triple-A in 78 1/3 IP. Those numbers are great, fabulous, adjective, but they get better. He’s pitching in the PCL, which is like hitting in an anti-gravity chamber with an aluminum bat. What makes Matz so damn desirable is he can strikeout out hitters and has good control. That’s the one-two punch of “Let me put hearts on my Trapper Keeper.” The Mets are saying Matz will come up around July 1st, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s called up for this weekend, so I’d stash him right now. Or if you have a DeLorean, stash him yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Here we are again to talk about you, because who really wants to talk about fantasy baseball players all the time? Wouldn’t you rather talk about fantasy baseball playa’s? Tehol talks about dragons, bad actors, and himself every week and we all read that. When I thought about what to make from ten, I thought of Razzballs Missing Link, the Pacfic Northwest Skysquatch. Drunkest yeti ever! I assume because he is from the rainy part of the country that he must own Ten. I was never really a big fan of Pearl Jam but I have to assume Ten is owned like Frampton Comes Alive. Funny Pearl Jam story, back in like 98-99ish, my buddy Chuck got two tickets to a Pearl Jam concert at the Forum with a special guest. I wanted no part of it, but he needed a ride so I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to go so she could drive. Long story short, the special guest was “X” and for those that follow my music could understand the pain that caused me when I found out what I missed. Cool follow up though, I ended up seeing them at Street Scene in San Diego years later the same night I saw James Brown before he passed. Even funnier James Brown story, this one time … I had no James Brown story. What? A whole intro with no link, Jay can’t have that kind of satisfaction. Pearl JamX….James Brown!

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For a few days it’s been all quiet on the closer front.  Usually in the lede, I talk about a change in regime and the pluses/minuses and my opinion on it.  There hasn’t been one for two whole weeks…  It’s crazy.  MLB is putting me outta business in the jibing about fantasy closers market.  Where does the unemployment line start?  I am only half kidding, and I’m also half crazy too. So that makes me half-something.  So believe it or not, the season is officially 3/8 of the way over.  That is just crazy in itself to even fathom.  I think I have rambled on about nothing long enough… let’s talk about someone, anyone, shall we?  I like the rebound to form that Mark Melancon has shown, due to a K/9 of 4.68.  I haven’t seen a true one-outcome reliever before, but if you own him, I would sell for a better product.  You can probably get by on two things in your favor.  One, his name uses letters that can be read in a left-to-right format, which, from what I am understanding, is standard for reading purposes.  Two, he has 6 saves in the last two weeks and when people look to see how he has been doing, they will see that he is tied for the lead during that time frame in saves.  Listen, if you need saves and you own Melancon, I am not saying go out and sell him cause I said so.  I am saying swap him and a extra player and see if you can get an improvement on the K category.  The other owner will be so smitten that he got a closer and another player for just a closer, he won’t realize that he was jobbed.  Side note, make sure he doesn’t read this blurb first or the jig is up.  Stick around more snippets of informative justice are on the way…

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Big changes since last week kibitzed away and lot’s of rankings went up and down.  The regions in the south seem to be upping the border patrol in regards to the save situation, as both Texas and Arizona are forming committees.  For this week, I would rather focus on the desert instead of the burbs of Arlington.  So with the demotion of Addison Reed and a full on committee type approach, I am throwing my sombrero on Enrique Burgos to stay, maintain, and hold the job.  I have touted him on two previous occasions as the “next gunslinger to be” down there, and well, guess what?  He’s here… sorta.  Until Chip Hale realizes that he has a 60’s sitcom name and gets his head out of the Archie comics, we may be stuck withe the veteran preference type thing.  We shouldn’t be, but most likely will be.  We have seen what Zig-Zag has done and Reed?  Well, he’s cooked in my eyes.  Enrique is the goods.  He is the typical high 90’s fastball having nonsense closer that you want.  His minor league numbers suggest a high K rate, an occasional propensity to give up a walk, but he is young and sealing his oats.  Be semi-patient, he has 18 total innings above A-ball.   So far in the majors, he has 20 k’s in 11 plus innings.  That is pretty nasty.

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I think we need to sit down and have a talk about Cody Allen.  He does his chores by striking people out on the regular, but other than that, what exactly is he doing to make us feel all cuddly as a RP-2?  I will tell you, because that’s sorta my job here at Le Razzball.  That, and I think I am the designated golf cart driver at the bi-millennial golf outing.  So I have basically looked at every facet of Allen’s year to date and even compared them to last year’s goodness that he dropped on us.  The velocity is still there, and has risen slightly over the last week, but has just one counting stat in the last 18 days.  That, my friends, is not very good at all for someone you drafted expecting a good 30 plus saves from.

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Imagine a world without Greg Holland.  Okay, got it… because it’s here… sorta.  There would be no tulip or windmill jokes and Wade Davis would basically be the freaking mac.  I was interested to see what his numbers really were, since he basically became a full time reliever towards the end of the 2013 season, and up to this date thus far in the season. So over the 89 innings of relief work, he has allowed 42 hits, 9 ER, and K/BB rate of 124/28.  I don’t curse very often, but holy sh*t.  The best thing about him is that he doesn’t have to be all-pressured to be the closer if he doesn’t want to.  Kinda like the cool kids in school, they sometime bring books to class or they just punch a juke box and say words that word normally sound like a euphemism for IBS.  I am by no means wishing Greg an injury-riddled year because, irregardless, Wade is going to do what he do.  He is far and away the most important reliever in baseball, argue that if you want… you will lose, but it’s fun to argue.  Enjoy the week’s closer updates and rankings…

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