The album Electric Ladyland by the Jimi Hendrix Experience gave us two of the all-time great guitar riffs. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was decades ahead of its time in 1968. All Along The Watchtower may be a Bob Dylan cover but Jimi owns that song now. It’s opening lyrics are fitting for this column, “There must be some kind of way outta here, said the joker to the thief. There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.” Are you rostering a joker or a thief with your spec add? It’s certainly confusing and there’s little relief in sight. Nevertheless, we press on.

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Much like an actual brasier, that’s used to store live coals, relievers get hot at certain times of the season. Perhaps we’re about to embark on just such a hot streak for some guys. Maybe one is actually named Brasier. Let’s take a look at the bullpen news of the week:

  • A fresh Ryan Brasier looked sharp earning a save in his return from the bereavement list. Could this be a sign of things to come? The Red Sox would love it if he could do the job they ticketed him for this season.
  • The Reds desire to use Rasiel Iglesias in other innings has popped back up. David Bell called on Iglesias in the eighth two straight days, giving Michael Lorenzon back to back saves. You haven’t been thrilled with the production from Iglesias this season so here’s some poop icing on your crap cake.
  • Ken Giles doesn’t expect to miss more than the minimum ten days on the IL. It is elbow soreness, however. More often than not that doesn’t just go away and is indicative of worse things to come. I’d hold the backups in Daniel Hudson or Joe Biagini if your spent FAAB on them. For a week or so, just in case.
  • Craig Kimbrel is making rehab appearances in Iowa. He’ll be in Chicago sooner than later it seems should all go smoothly.
  • Wade Davis has had an eventful return from the IL. He blew a save early in the week and had a bumpy conversion Wednesday night with a solo homer and base runner stranded on second. We’ve been through this with him before. Part of owning Davis is taking some midseason lumps. I’m holding Scott Oberg in the event another IL stint is needed.
  • Roberto Osuna blew a save Wednesday, as well. He’s not unaccustomed to the occasional hiccup. This isn’t a thing unless more blow-ups happen close together.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s June, in case you don’t own a calendar or Mayan solar stone. Fantasy owners can no longer afford to hold their breath in any given category. Now is the time to take your shots on middle relievers and hope they earn you a save or two. It’s nice if they can give you strikeouts or stellar ratios in the meantime. Check your wire for the names below.

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It finally happened. A team decided to sign Craig Kimbrell! The MLB draft happened this week so the draft pick penalty has been lifted for signing a few marquee names like Kimbrell and Dallas Keuchel. The Chicago Cubs offered the most, since their payroll is jacked anyway. With the premiere of Dark Phoenix this weekend I’ve got a ranking of X-Men for the tiers.

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It’s a pretty fruitful week for plucking some speedsters from the wire. Injuries continue to open avenues for blocked players and languishing prospects. An analyst could get excited just thinking about it.

  • If you want a speed specialist Myles Straw is your man. He did one thing well in the minors: swipe bags. If he hangs around in Houston and manages to get on base he’s an instant category boost. He isn’t likely to play every day. Though that could change if he performs or injuries linger.
  • Keon Broxton is getting yet another fresh start. I actually loved him as a late stash in a Mets outfield that had very low hurdles to playing time. The Mets gonna Mets and they chose Carlos Gomez over Broxton. It will be interesting to see if a move to Baltimore can untap some speed like it has for Jonathan Villar.
  • Mallex Smith gave us a Billy-Hamilton-Homer last week. He walked and proceed to steal second, third, and home. Smith added a fourth steal in that game as well to give you six in one week from him. There are certainly regrets over dropping him previously.
  • With Seattle hosting the Astros for four games buckle up. Bob Cheerios is bottom ten in catchers to run on. Almost every Mariner runs at least a bit.
  • The Cubs are hosting the Rockies and Yu Darvish projects to start Wednesday. Could the stars align and give us the recently recalled Garrett Hampson in the starting lineup to face him? A Hampson truther can only hope. Plenty of other Rockies can give you a stolen base that day.
  • With Jose Alvarado on family leave, there could be a chance for Emilio Pagan to snag a save or two. Tampa has been a difficult bullpen to pin down, though.

Let’s pivot to pitcher’s being run on this week. Of course a couple Mets are near the top. Darvish has shown he gives zero Fukudome’s about holding runners. It’s also surprising to see a couple of relievers on the list.

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I don’t know if there’s a more frustrating pursuit than finding enough pitching in fantasy baseball. Usable middle relievers used to grow on trees. Now the good ones are picked and what’s left probably tastes sour. Nevertheless, we forge ahead trying to find a bandaid for our fantasy staffs where we can. In deeper leagues those won’t be brand name, rather bargain brand bandages. At least we’re far enough into the season that some early injuries have healed.

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The damn is breaking on many bullpens, with holes springing in a good amount of others. If you landed a top tier arm consider yourself immensely lucky. The rest of us schmoes will be in the bullpen garbage heaps looking for a few cans to trade for a nickel. The tiers are GIF themed this week, so no one has to think too hard.

  • Sean Newcomb has transitioned to the bullpen well. He’s ditched his changeup in favor of his wipeout curveball. If he limits the walks he will get opportunities to close. Especially with groundball pitcher Luke Jackson finally running into so bad luck on balls getting through the infield. Managers usually feel like extreme groundballers are better eighth-inning options.
  • The Rockies will have to promote someone with Wade Davis hitting the IL. Scott Ohberg has been pretty good since last season and figures to be the fill in. Remember that logic doesn’t always apply when guessing at manager decisions, though. Bryan Shaw and Carlos Estevez have both closed before. They could be worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.
  • All signs were pointing to Jose Leclerc returning to his closing role. Shawn Kelley came off the IL and spit in the face of those hoping for a Leclerc save, closing out two straight. For what it’s worth Leclerc was warming up a few nights ago when Chris Martin got in trouble. Still, if Kelley is getting it done they may see where he takes them.
  • The Nationals bullpen has turned into a plague ship ever since signing Trevor Rosenthal. Coincidence?
  • Boston is ready to throw in the towel on Ryan Brasier as closer. They can’t seem to find any to replace him. This is obviously because Matt Barnes insulted Alex Cora’s mother. Someone named Marcus Walden blew a save Wednesday. Brandon Workman notched a save Monday but was then used in the middle innings the rest of the week. I added a couple of Workman shares since his 13.3 K/9 is stellar and the BB/9 has been better in May.
  • Steve Cishek has done a bang-up job since Pedro Strop hit the IL. Between that and Strop’s history as a setup man, Cishek may be the guy for the foreseeable future. Sorry, what’s that? They still have Brandon Morrow? I can’t hear you over my own roaring laughter.
    Please, blog, may I have some more?