This week I’ll tackle the National League (Sorry, football season never really ends for me). I know it doesn’t get better than this — let’s party till the ‘rents come home. I don’t know what intrigues me more: relief pitching or if someone is eating ice cream and I don’t know what flavor it is. I digress, but, nonetheless, relief pitching changes from day to day. Who pitches better at night, on the road, on Sunday, on an odd numbered day? More importantly, the NL has managers that are always the leaders in holds for a team. For this reason, make sure to pay attention to the Dodgers, Padres and Cards. This week’s smattering of ‘pens brings up a pretty decent group of hurlers, and now I bring you — without further hubbub — the twenty guys that I see as being the “most bestest” in the land of no DH. The middle relievers for 2010 fantasy baseball:
Nick Massett – Guy has the goods: everything you look for in RP. To name a few: decent control, great K’s, low BA against. My breakout guy for holds.
Todd Coffey – Not a huge K threat, decent peripherals, but when it comes down to it, what’s better than a barrel chested dude sprinting in from the pen?
LaTroy Hawkins – Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this guy. Two capital letters in your first name is just dumb: it’s like cake with no icing. Will be decent for sleeper ‘pen in the “land of hops and ales.”
Sergio Romo - Flame thrower, awesome K/9. Great deep league help for peripheral help. Has future closer potential. Will pitch behind Wilson and in front of…
Jeremy Affeldt – Dual winner of the Arthur Rhodes Trophy last year — minuscule numbers. Should be top 5 in holds again this year.
Pete Moylan - Another year removed from TJ surgery. Pitched great in a reduced role last year. Expect his walk rate to fall.
Takashi Saito – Pitched great in AL last year. Should repeat nicely in front of Wags. Great K, ERA, and WHIP potential.
Pedro Feliciano – Sounds like a singer and pitches like a lefty. Great ratios and a ton of appearances. Great “one and done” guy for the oft-injured Mets. Good source of snipe wins.
Ryoti Igarashi – Great numbers in Japan. Will fool guys with early delivery. Reminds me a lot of Saito. Owns his own “The Igarashi Driving Academy.”
Jason Motte – Blew his chance to close last year. Great stuff — definitely the closer moving forward. The Lou is always top 5 for holds as an organization. Go bet it — $2 bucks on Kryptonite.
Trevor Miller – Guy is a hundred and 12 years old, and gets a 2 yr deal. I want to come back as a lefty reliever. Tiny numbers. Another “LaRussa” go-to guy.
Mike Adams – Great guy for almost all formats. Tiny numbers add up to big help in ERA and WHIP. Awesome across the board — another ‘pen you can rely on.
Luke Gregerson – Snuck up on everyone last year. Great K potential again (93k’s in 75 inn). Yeah, I had to look that up to. Bud’s go-to righty in front of “The Heath Bar.”
George Sherrill – Torre rides success out of the bullpen — he lives by it. Not a lot of K’s, and tends to get sketchy with men on. Great sleeper in deeper formats for 20 holds/ 10 save season.
Hong-Chih Kuo – Awesome down the stretch, great K’s and low ERA. It’s why we all drafted him in the beginning of the year only to drop him and then watch someone else pick him up. Graduate of “Igarashi Driving Academy.”
Ramon Troncoso – Wore down by mid-year, which is what Torre does to young RP. Needs to work on the walks. Win “sniper” if I ever have seen one — think Aceves 2009.
Brian Bruney – Always gets the hype wherever he goes. Has the goods, but needs to keep his wits when pitching. Great stuff — everything required to be a success in the setup for the Senators, uh, Nationals.
Manny Corpas – Another guy that can’t find his role. Closes out games horribly, but sets up great. Needs to stay healthy and the Rocks will benefit.
Juan Gutierrez – Will be closing by A.S break — bank on it. Great K potential. Should be another hold/save contributor. My sleeper pick late in drafts for cheap saves.
Arthur Rhodes – You can’t have a MR discussion without the Godfather. He blows up like Apollonia in the playoffs, but Cincy isn’t invited to those.
Others to consider: John Grabow, Aaron Heilman, Dan Meyer, Brandon Lyon and Matt Lindstrom, Ryan Madson and Danys Baez.