Is your pitching staff a disaster? Don’t worry, they all are. If you need a fill-in while transitioning a role consider some of these folks. Each tier is ranked, roughly speaking. The amount of variance in middle relief is greater than with closers so you can follow these less rigidly. I’ve pulled the names that are getting serious saves consideration, as they’re likely claimed.

  • Baltimore’s backend is a mess. Brandon Hyde seems to be pulling names out of a hat for relief appearances. That’s as good as the analysis is going to get at this point.
  • The Reds seem positioned to undergo major changes in their pen. Rasiel Iglesias got a few days off after an ineffective outing as a fireman. He then came into the ninth in a tie game against the Brewers on Monday and took the loss. David Hernandez and Jared Hughes are about to get promotions of some sort.
  • David Robertson’s tenure in Philadelphia is also off to a rocky start with an earned running coming in all three of his appearances. We’re going to Kapler meddling advisory level orange.
  • The Cardinals have had a mixed bag of bullpen results. We finally got a decent Andrew Miller Appearance but his stock is circling the drain.
  •  The sky continues to fall in Wrigleyville. The Cubs can’t stop walking people. Joe Maddon is wearing out everyone’s patience. The Ricketts are crying broke. I’m starting to untangle myself from that team at the edges of rosters and have an eye on going further.

Closers In Waiting

The next men up for saves. One break just needs to go their way.

  1. Jeurys Familia
  2. Trevor May
  3. Craig Stammen
  4. Kelvin Herrera
  5. Joe Jimenez
  6. A.J. Minter
  7. Mark Melancon

K It Up

Get a category enhancer from these high K/9 strikeout artists.

  1. Diego Castillo
  2. Dellin Betances *IL, should be activated soon.
  3. Hector Neris
  4. Ty Buttrey
  5. Chaz Roe
  6. Tayron Guerrero
  7. Justin Miller

Ratio Darlings

These guys may not earn saves, but they can help smooth your ratios.
  1. Ryan Pressly
  2. Adam Ottavino
  3. Nate Jones
  4. Scott Oberg
  5. Zach Britton
  6. Tony Watson
  7. Scott Alexander

Long Men

Hard up for starters? An effective long man can bridge a gap until you find someone.
  1. Chad Green
  2. Ryne Stanek
  3. Seth Lugo
  4. Chris Devenski
  5. Danny Salazar
  6. Mike Montgomery
  7. Robert Gsellman
  1. Pine Tar Incident says:
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    One reliever strategy I’ve been deploying is to identify the “bulk” guys coming after the starters (generally Yacobonis on the O’s, Chirinos and Yarbrough on the Rays) for “spot starts.” I think it is effective for the following reasons:

    (1) if you’re in a starts-cap league you get basically a start without it counting against the cap!
    (2) unlike other RP “spot starts” you can be nearly guaranteed that you’re going to get some innings.
    (3) these guys, definitionaly, miss the top of the order in the first inning and get weaker batters.
    (4) less likely to go 3-times through the order and hit the dreaded penalty.
    (5) free k’s, general help with ratios
    (6) often in line to win, and, in weird situations, a save.

    The only issue is identifying these guys. I’ve started a twitter account @Opener_News https://twitter.com/Opener_News to track these guys.

    Anyway, for your consideration.

  2. Joann Kline says:
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    This is a great article – thanks! And also good comment from Pine Tar.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Thanks!

  3. toolshed says:
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    Thoughts on Josh James and his role going forward?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I considered him as a long man. I think they want to move him into the rotation sooner than later though.

  4. stayinhot says:
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    My team would be a lot better if Joe Kelly could get people out

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Haha. Yeah, I dropped him from K it up. At least he’s owning it.

  5. trevorcorey says:
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    1). Is listing Familia and Stammen and one break away from closing just matter of fact or bad juju ur putting on sir edwin and yates
    2). how much money are you putting (or not putting) on Buttrey butting cody allen from the closing role in the first half

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I don’t the fantasy gods would frown on knowing who the next man up is in the event of an issue. I’m not rooting for it or anything. As a team with playoff aspiration (stifles giggle) they’ll try to make Allen work. Buttrey is possibly more valuable in a flex role.

  6. HH says:
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    Wish May was the closer right now! Would you do Acuna, Jon Gray and Colome for Treinen, Correa and Bumgarner?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Not even with B_Don’s roster.

    • Harley Earl says:
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      No way!

      Keep Acuna forever dude. The youngster is a superstar.

  7. Harley Earl says:
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    Just wondering why you don’t consider Taylor Rogers a ratio darling?

    After his 20-inning scoreless streak 2.63 ERA, and 0.95 WHIP last year. He’s off to a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP with a save already this year. Seems like a nice little reliever to me, even if he is a southpaw!

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      He’s a co-closer for the time being. I left out guys with shots at saves.

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