I kicked off the bullpen parade last week with the AL East. It’s a safe place for us reliever analysts with mostly secure jobs and quality arms. The tradeoff for that comfort is following it up with the AL Central. The odds are far better that all five of these projected closers will be changed out than none of them being replaced. There isn’t a ton of depth either. I suppose that’s what happens when you refuse to spend money. Let’s push through this muck like a swamp on dagobah and hope a little green man imparts us some wisdom in rearranged syntax. Did no one else take a hit of acid for this? Just me? Ok. Fire up the Rage Against the Machine and on to the pens.

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Oh, hello random blog reader. I didn’t see you there. Don’t mind me, I’m just doing early offseason fantasy baseball research while listening to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” on a loop. It gets me in the proper mindset to tackle bullpens. I generally find few fantasy positions that elicit more angst than relievers. Nevertheless, I’ve hit the double-digit mark on BoP and am feeling all kinds of weird. It’s the perfect place to dip a toe into choppy reliever waters. I’ve broken down the roles while unveiling my new “Razzers” rating system (base 1-5). Is this a ploy to trick search engine’s into redirecting users searching for Brazzers? Yes. Yes, it is.

Ok, now that you’ve returned to this tab from your incognito browsing session, the Pens!

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The sun is setting on the final days of fantasy baseball in 2019. If you’re fending off the wolves here are some relievers with a shot at a sneaky save over the next few days. Cut the fat and for that matter, any player not likely to get you a stat in a category of need no matter how big the name. Adding these names is the fantasy equivalent of Bran’s time travel/warging of Hodor. They probably stem the tide but may ruin something (like a ratio).

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Is it still baseball season? I thought that ended two weeks ago. Oh, that’s just the volume of the NFL drowning out all other sports. We have seven days left, counting today (which has almost no games). To get you where you need to be in the stolen base department here are my favorite streaming options to gamble on for a steal. It’s like fictional golfer Gary Potter says, “You gotta harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. Feel the flow. Feel it. It’s circular. It’s like a carousel. Up and down, and AROUND. It’s circular. Circle, with the music, the flow. All good things.”

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The end of the 2019 fantasy baseball will be no easier than the rest of it. Pitching is imploding all around us. Do what you can to stem the tide of disaster and consider an effective middle reliever over a volatile starter.

  • The Brad Hand saga continues. More positivity from the team (shocker!) as they say Hand “looked like himself” in a bullpen session. I guess that’s better than looking like Willie McGee? We’re still locked in the downward spiral of news, shaky outing, rest, repeat. The bullpen usage in Cleveland hasn’t sent any clear message about saves in Hand’s stead. Oliver Perez earned a save of the one out variety while Nick Wittgren is getting used in leverage spots but not getting the final out. Call ups James Karinchak and James Hoyt are also in the mix with Nick Goody and Adam Cimber as other possibilities. Fun times.
  • Turns out Felipe Vasquez is an asshole and a pedophile. Can’t say it was nice knowing you. Enjoy federal pound me in the ass prison. As for the shipwreck that is the Pirates Keona Kela is the lead candidate to close given his stuff and closing experience. Richard Rodriguez could see the ninth if Kela is shaky or gets hurt, as he tends to do.
  • Kenley Jansen blew his eighth save, just after a stretch of solid outings. The Dodgers seem to be committed to him as their closer and want him to get right for the postseason. When you thrive with only an elite cutter the end comes fast when the pitch loses some bite. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jansen retire this offseason when you consider his 2018 heart issue.
  • Matt McGill returned to the head of the closer committee in Seattle notching his fifth save Wednesday. He’s the favorite to finish as their primary closer if he remains healthy.
  • We all roasted the Brewers for acquiring Drew Pomeranz. Who’s laughing now? He’s been an excellent reliever and just picked up his second save. Only having to face batters once clearly suits him with 36 Ks in 21.1 IP.
  • Hunter Harvey is being shut down for the rest of the season with bicep soreness. File his name away as a late dart in the 2020 saves chase.
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The 2019 fantasy season is almost in the books. Your body of work is recorded for better or worse. Here’s hoping you’re in the hunt or protecting a lead. With so little time remaining don’t be afraid to drop a bigger name who doesn’t help where you need it. Especially if they are nursing an injury like Justin Turner or Anthony Rizzo. Playing the waiting game on bum ankles is a killer right now. Good luck, and may the sports be with you.

Roto-Wan’s wild summer continued last week when his appendix decides to swell and cause the weirdest pain I’ve ever felt. It only took until 5AM to get a cat scan and determine an appendectomy was necessary. The American medical system is a well-oiled machine! More of a Pat Burrell machine, but potato/patato. In honor of my impromptu vacation tier’s are summer vacay ranks.

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There haven’t been any big callups and there may not be again this year. The cards are mostly on the table. Best of luck in your final push for fantasy greatness. Hopefully you’re flush with Yelich’s and Lindor’s but a Moore or Rojas may do in a pinch. Like Billy Idol said, and I think it was in reference to September steals in fantasy baseball, we need “More, more, more. More, more, more.”

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Yours truly caved in and purchased a minivan last week with the arrival of child number two. If you decline to take any further of my baseball advice I will understand. Let me tell you something, though. I love it. It’s roomy. There’s a TV in it. The sound of rain on the giant flat roof is hypnotically melodic. Just like a fantasy season, life goes in stages. Don’t get stuck holding on to something from yesterday that will ruin your tomorrow. You could end up like Matt Foley, thrice divorced, eating a steady diet of government cheese, and living in a van, down by the river. Tiers are of course van themed.

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