I mean, who doesn’t like a good old Kenny Rogers reference?  I appreciate it, but was more keen on Islands in the Stream, which in reality still works for this post.  This week, I wanna focus y’alls attention on when to keep relievers of hold value or when to fold them and grab someone new.  I wanted to bring this up because the near-leader in holds currently is Juan Nicasio.  (Who for all intents and purposes is a fantastic Holds pitcher when you just take into account the hold total of 12.  Which trails only Archie.)  The hold total is great for holds leagues says captain obvious.  The peripheral stuff is absolutely poop though. Commander Poop, for the full nautical theme.  He checks none of the boxes from the non-hold league boxes, his  K-rate is just a tick above 9, HR/9 at 2.0, a BAA over .300 and an ERA over 6…  Those are not the four checks that I was referring too.  So for mixed leagues, the guys you want to own are all over these standards: The K-rate has to be at or above 11 K/9, which includes over 60 relievers in baseball. HR/9 has to be tiny, think under 0.50, BAA against has to be anything at or below league average of .243.  And lastly, the ERA has to be respectful, but not the end-all-be-all of determinations, because unluckiness does happen with relievers.  So when doing your homework for reliever adds, make a checklist of those three stats and let the ERA be the tie-breaker in determining your add.  In holds leagues, quantity does matter, but if you are only going to eat one banana why buy the whole bunch and let them ruin all the other categories?

  • I missed writing about the Blue Jays closer situation and I have it Clippard/Tepera and then Oh and Axford in a far third.  First appearance saw Tepera get the 7th inning save/hold/win with Clippard getting the save, so let’s see if that pattern continues.
  • The Rays may have only 15 wins but have holds quality in Chaz Roe and Jose Alvarado.  Both lads sit at 9 for the year and seem to have the 7th and 8th in some order to their own.
  • If Carl Edwards Jr. isn’t owned in your league, no need for the checklist thing above.
  • At some point the Orioles are going to start trading assets… I mean, they kinda have to, especially with O’day and Britton on DL and losing value daily.  Brad Brach has to be a tradeable asset sooner rather than later.  So go grab Mychal Givens and sit on him for a few weeks.  He is a mini-Edwards in every form of the stat world.
  • Richard Rodriguez is blossoming into the artist formerly known as Felipe.  High leverage usage rate over the last 14 games and he is a K monster.
  • I love me some Kirby Yates.  Two wins, three holds and better than 11 K-rate over the last seven apps.
  • Sleeper reliever of the week? Seth Lugo because that SP/RP thing and the Mets futility right now (namely Hansel, who Mugatu still thinks is hot) is why I am setting sights on a non-entity.


Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Archie Bradley 13/0 16 9/2
Juan Nicasio 12/2 16 3/0
Jose Alvarado 9/1 13 16/4
Chaz Roe 9/0 9 10/1
Matt Barnes 8/1 13 6/0
Carl Edwards Jr. 8/0 9 4/3
Yoshihisa Hirano  8/1 12 4/0
Brandon Kintzler 8/1 11 1/1
Jake McGee 8/1 13 4/0
Adam Ottavino 8/1 12 3/0
Chris Devenski 7/0 11 9/0
Zach Duke 7/1 8 4/1
Tyler Lyons 7/1 9 14/3
Craig Stammen 7/1 9 10/3
Ryan Tepera 7/3 12 4/0
Nick Vincent 7/0 9 11/5
Tony Watson 7/0 9 3/0
Shane Carle 6/1 10 10/3
Michael Feliz 6/2 12 2/2
Ryan Madson 6/2 12 7/2



  1. GrassyKnollRedding says:

    Hey Smoke,

    1) Currently holding Tepera with itchy fingers. How long should it take before we know which Toronto RP will run away w/closer role?

    2) Currently have Seranthony Dominguez on my RCL. I’m liking what I see so far. Thinking of adding Richard Rodriguez. Do you think either of these guys will work their way up to getting saves at some point? Barring that, might they settle into the same type of role/stats of an Archie Bradley/Josh Hader type?

    Thanks a lot for your time!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @GrassyKnollRedding: I think Tepera still will have mixedleague value. Not a top 10 non closer type stuff but would rather hold him for occasional save than miss them

      I can see Dominguez more than RR getting a look at saves with Vazquez there. I like Seranthony a ton.

  2. RoPo says:

    Yo Smokey, not so much a question as criticism of Aaron Boone re: Dellin Betances… What is he doing repeatedly leaving Betances in for more than one inning!?! That’s a few times in the last few weeks of him almost blowing, or blowing the game, and keeping Betances’ #s and confidence mediocre. I wish he’d throw him as he should – 1 inn at a time!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @RoPo: yea it’s puzzling he seems to get burned by that 4th out. Bullpen had worked a little over the last 5 games so I guess pushing the Betances envelope worked but failed all at the same time.

  3. Brett says:


    I have hader and need another closer. Can you rank Wade Davis hand and knebel.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Brett: Davis Hand Knebel

  4. coacher says:

    5×5 roto (5th category is “Saves+Holds”)
    I grabbed Clippard off the FA list. I have MIddleton coming off DL. I also have Hirano.

    Available high K/9 guys are: R.Rodriguez, A.Busenitz, T.Guerrero, T.Williams, L.Farrell, T.Cingrani, Z.Duke, and L.Sims.

    Anyone worth dropping a guy to grab?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @coacher: I can see you flipping around off Hirano to one R-Rod or Duke on the day after Yoski pitches

  5. mthom42 says:

    Any thoughts on Winkler for points league? Checks all the boxes and currently top 25 RP in league

  6. Brett says:


    What’s your take on Giles is this the time to buy? Would you rather him or Iglesias?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Brett: if you can buy low sure but I’m
      Not overpaying for a closer that needs to be cuffed on own team with Devenski.

  7. gc tacos says:

    What’s your take on Joe Kelly? Four holds and two wins in the last seven appearances. Could he become the bridge to the closer?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @gc tacos: love Kelly good team lots of chances. I be had him as the first guy there most of the year and preseason. Definitely a grab if he’s available.

  8. hal_incandenza says:

    12 team 6×6 w/Holds and OPS

    Drop Jordan Hicks or Juan Nicasio? I need to make room for a bat add with DL and stash situations on the roster. My RP are:

    Raisel Iglesias, Cin RP
    Kelvin Herrera, KC RP
    Hunter Strickland, SF RP

    Kirby Yates, SD RP
    Juan Nicasio, Sea RP
    Chaz Roe, TB RP
    Tommy Hunter, Phi RP
    James Pazos, Sea RP
    Jordan Hicks, StL SP, RP

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