Teams with playoff aspirations are setting their bullpen roles for October. Guys like Johnny Venters have gained a ton of value in holds leagues. Who can you trust for high leverage roles? Let’s jump in and see.
- With the veteran arms Oakland brought in struggling, Lou Trivino has reemerged as a daily threat to get a hold. The A’s gained faith in him through the first half. He’s back in the circle of trust with nice Ks and ratios. It helps that he pitches for a competitive team.
- A rogue save went to Ryan Pressly when Roberto Osuna and Hector Rondon were unavailable. That illustrates the faith A.J. Hinch has in him. Pressly has as many holds (7) as anyone the last 30.
- As a 28-year-old journeyman reliever, there were not many expectations for Richard Rodriguez coming into the season. He didn’t make the big league roster. Ray Searage saw something and turned Rodriguez into his latest reclamation project. To quote Searage on Rodriguez even demeanor, “Maybe because he’s been punched in the face so many times that he says, ‘What the hell, what do I have to lose?’” He certainly hasn’t lost the strike zone with a double-digit K/9 this season, 18 K/9 the last 14 days. When in doubt, bet on a Searage project.
- Brad Ziegler has thrown his name into the HAGNOF circle. With the Diamondbacks having ninth-inning issues, he could be a SAGNOF candidate soon, too.
- Apparently, the Braves also acquired a time machine in addition to Johnny Venters. He’s slotted right back into his old role in the Atlanta pen and chalking up holds at a stellar rate. You won’t get many Ks from him these days, but the ratios don’t hurt.
- Your weekly update on the Cleveland closer see-saw is that Allen got a couple saves this week. I still think he’s more likely to see a hold than save, but it’s a coin flip.
Below you’ll find notable SVH performers…