All this talk about the Blue Jays offense is completely detracting from the fact that their bullpen to date has been mediocre-to-awful for most of the year. The additions they have made, namely Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins, are a future holds market band-aid. The one true positive addition for the back-end of the pen is Aaron Sanchez. He comes in with filthy stuff, isn’t afraid to pitch inside, and gives them a hard throwing right-hander, which they’ve been lacking. The Blue Jays, to date, have the fewest saves (19) namely because they do one of two things that both involving blowing. (It’s either a blow-out or a blown save.) It’s a miracle that they are where they are record-wise with the amount of blown saves they have (it’s 17 and counting). But the team is setup to win, and they are going to score a ton of runs, so from a fantasy holds perspective, anyone outside of Sanchez is a fool’s chance at holds gold. With 13 games remaining against front-running New York, the schedule isn’t on their side as the slugging they do takes away from the bullpen allure.
- Until his run given up on Tuesday, Hunter Strickland has been money. He was a disaster in last year’s playoff, allowing 7 earned in 8 innings. But he only has allowed 6 runs on the year in 29 innings. Between him and the infusion of young bullpen arms coming up for the Giants, they are going to be good for years at the back end.
- Looking for a team to ride for holds for a bit? Look at the Cubs. Three guys with 3 or more holds in last 14 days, and the most as a team over that same span. I would look at either Grimm or Strop for the K’s and hope for the holds.
- The Cardinals in a few days are going to be lethal after their starters. Jordan Walden returns to an already stacked pen. If he hasn’t been picked up you may want to stream him for a bit.
- The one reliever I can see possibly being moved on a waiver trade is Joaquin Benoit. he seems to be trying to pitch his way away from all the sailors or the creepy guys who live in So-Cal to the north. In the last 14 games, he has 7 appearances and 7 holds. Basically, if he pitches, they are winning. Coming soon to a contender…
- Sleeper reliever of the week? I’ll give you two, because you’re all so nice: Ryan O’Rourke (because everyone loves a LOOGY Irish lad) and George Kontos, who may be the least heralded reliever in SanFran and sports in general.
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