It’s trendy to be trendy and follow your nose like Toucan Sam.  Unfortunately, there are no Fruit Loops here, only Holds.  Holds with a silver lining of saves that helps everyone.  For now though, it’s all about the holds.  It’s only a dozen games into the season and it’s never too early to turn a side eye to what’s going on with the key bullpen pieces around the league.  These guys are mostly for holds only leagues, but the elite of the elite are the rosterable guys that should be universally owned.   So, for those that are new to the Bullpen Report, it goes a little like this…  I focus on relievers that are pitching in high leverage situations, games with the lead, inherited runners and the inherited runners they allow to score.   Those more or less correlate to the stat we are chasing, and no it’s not that white dragon.  It’s the hold.  Team situations, team success, and the players ability in those situations all dictate that stat.  It’s no coincidence that teams with better teams usually have more save chances, it just happens.  So have a gander at some trendy type stats that have happened in the games so far.  Be aware that stats this early are misleading like a Polish GPS, so be aware and don’t go for the first car you see when your hitchhiking your way through the holds life.

  • Minus the cult following, and the team is super over-achieving… take a look at re-tread of a re-tread Jim Johnson.  Guy gets signed as a veteran-type signing in Atlanta and is straight killing it right now.  Do I think it will last?  Prolly not.  But I ask you this: what has a better chance of happening?  Jason Grilli stays healthy for a whole year or you completely download the entire Ray Parker Jr. music collection… including his collabo’s?  There isn’t a chance in hell that Grilli stays on the bump as a closer for 60-plus innings.  If you’re in the market for save speculation and hold garnering, Jimmy is a good place to be.
  • The Mariners bullpen is turning into Padres North.  They are churning out useful arm after useful arm.  Their bullpen is just deep like the mind of Minolta deep.  Go peep their depth chart.  Show me one non-useful guy out of this group in Holds leagues: Yoervis Medina, Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar, or Carson Smith. For todays’ exercise, let’s focus on the lesser know of the four, Carson Smith.  Remember a couple weeks ago when I spoke about straight relievers that have never started a game and are being B-lined to the majors?  Well here he is.  Already has seen three games with team in the lead, with five inherited runners.  For those not in the know, that means the manager is trusting him with his daughter to prom… already.  Oh, and by the way, he has a K rate over 12 in the early going, so maybe invest in Carson on the Daily.
  • If you are holding out hope for some Minnesota reliever giving you something, do me a favor, log into your team right now, find him, and then drop him.   That concludes my discussion of the Twins bullpen right now. No payers referenced, no should I drop/add this guy… just drop.  Just for further reference, just in case my words don’t get through your helmet you wear for safety, the Colorado Rockies have 18 save opportunities…
  • Let’s stay in the land of Rocky Mountain Oysters, shall we?  The Rockies are pacing the league in Holds (12), Save opps (18) and relief appearances ahead (23).  All this with a closer change and a whole lotta guys that sorta blah based on preseason rankings.  Adam Ottavino is the new closer for now, so let’s eliminate him from the discussion.  They are being paced by their effective pair of Boone Logan and Christian Friedrich.  Having a dual pair of lefties is always a great thing to have when they aren’t shoes.  I really like what I am seeing out of Friedrich more so than from Logan right now.  He is seeing the tougher situations and is coming out fairly decent considering he was a starter before this year.  Look for him to be the co-A guy for lefties in the upcoming weeks.

 

Player Holds/BS Appearances with Lead In. Runners/IR Scored
Jim Johnson 3/0 4 2/0
Boone Logan 3/0 4 0/0
Carlos Torres 3/0 4 2/0
Luis Avilan 3/0 3 4/0
Jerry Blevins 3/0 3 3/0
Jared Hughes 3/0 3 3/1
Keone Kela 2/0 4 0/0
Junichi Tazawa 2/0 4 0/0
Al Alburquerque 2/0 3 2/0
Pedro Baez 2/0 3 1/0
Brett Cecil 2/1 3 3/3
Christian Friedrich 2/0 3 3/2
Kevin Jepsen 2/0 3 0/0
Carson Smith 2/1 3 5/1
Zach Duke 2/0 2 0/0
Danny Farquhar 2/0 2 2/0
Seth Maness 2/0 2 1/0
Darren O’Day 2/0 2 1/1
Roberto Osuna 2/0 2 4/0
Sergio Romo 2/0 2 3/3
Pat Neshek 2/0 2 0/0
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Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season
Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season
7 years ago

saves and holds. with koji back gotta drop somebody. who’s the drop
barrett/koji/j.peralta/jepsen/castro/a.miller/mcgee (DL)?

goodfold2
goodfold2
7 years ago

ok, with all the depth charts across the land giving scheppers 8th back i’ll still hold tolleson, since he’s been really really good and will still get holds. but this certainly does hurt kela. holds and k/9 here in all of them.
drop kela for any of delgado/scheppers/w.harris/friedrich/affeldt (GD his K rate sucks)/putnam/diekman (who’s been awful, albeit with good k rate)

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
7 years ago

@goodfold2: dropped kela for delgado, but now scheppers so awful he needs kela to come in and get him out of his mess.

Jay
Jay
7 years ago

I inherited a team in an 18 team (28 roster spots) keeper league (ESPN). Saves, Holds, WHIP, ERA, OBA, K’s, W

Wondering if I should be looking at acquiring anyone. I know its early still. FA pickups are pretty tough in this league.

My current RP’s:

T. Clippard
S.Doolittle
C.Qualls
J.Smith
M.Dunn
R.Betancourt
J.Hughes

Available in FA as of today.

N.Martinez
A.Barrett
M.Thornton
B.Brown
Z.Duke
C.Friedrich
T.Hunter
C.Furbush

Thanks,

Jay

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  Jay
7 years ago

@Jay: assuming you have doolittle DL’ed and not in active slot grab barrett first. If Duke was gonna stick in the 8th with Petricka back (not likely) i’d say him over Hughes. Watch that though, as it’s still possible Duke does remain over Petricka. That’s a decent bullpen for an orphan team in an 18 teamer (i’m in 20’s myself, and just joined another one recently).

Brett
Brett
7 years ago

Smokey

Just traded k rod so have 2 questions

1 How likely is it that boxberger can keep the job and McGee becomes a late inning lefty specialist?

2. Who is the best speculative guy for saves but could get holds as well between medina, marshall in Arizona, Ramos in Miami and shaw in Cleveland

The Harrow
The Harrow
Reply to  Brett
7 years ago

@Brett: mcgee has been more than LOOGY for years now, he’s been in fact a top 5 type non-closer holds late inning guy so at worst that’ll be what happens to him when healthy.

The Harrow
The Harrow
Reply to  The Harrow
7 years ago

@The Harrow: shaw is probably least likely to get saves out of those, but could get most holds out of those. he’s also started year off worst of those though.

goodfold2
goodfold2
7 years ago

i’m really hoping this scheppers is “moving right back into set up duty” news is irresponsible since he’s simply not good enough to own anywhere before proving it (over other useful guys) but should i drop tolleson or kela the first clean 8th inning hold Scheppers gets or wait longer? I have at least one of them in many holds leagues with deep amount of RP slots.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
7 years ago

@goodfold2: i’m guessing scheppers ain’t locked up anything. tolleson came in with two on, got a groundout and 2 K’s. Scheppers got no K’s, 2 hits, a double, 3 other fly ball outs, mostly to center. sound about right. if these weren’t dynasties i was dealing with i’d just grab him as this could hurt Kela for a while.

slimbo
slimbo
7 years ago

What’s up smokey

Joe smith or Carson smith droppable in a keeper saves and holds league for kela, Logan, baez,caminero or Hughes?

Mr. Tibbs
Mr. Tibbs
7 years ago

Hey Smoke,

Do you like Barrett more than Farq or Tazawa in a holds league ROS? Thanks in advance.

Ulysses
Ulysses
7 years ago

I’m in a holds, saves, hold+save league. I have 4 closers but no MRs. Since the bench is really small a lot of the holds guys are still on the wire.

If you had to pick 5 top holds guys, who would you target not including Jim Johnson or Benoit.

EL BURRO
7 years ago

Smokey –

Always a great informative read. Thanks for what you do on a weekly basis.

14 team, 6×6 (ops, holds), redraft, H2H. Deep 33 man rosters. Big stakes, so everyone knows their stuff. We start 11 Pitchers: up to 6 RP weekly. Given the league settings, I like to start about 5-6 RP.

Here’s my RP crew (and my intended use).
A. Ottavino – closer
AJ Ramos – holds (with eye towards closer role if Cishek falters. I read what you said on Dunn…)
E. O’ Flaherty – holds
K. Siegrist – holds (velocity is back to 92-93mph. could see his role expanding)
E. Marshall – holds (with eye towards closer role if Reed falters)

Bench:
K. Gausman – not dropping (in case O’s put him into SP role)
S. Doolittle (DL)

Long winded question: Once Doolittle comes off DL in mid-May, he should slot back into a high leverage, later inning role (hopefully, Closer) and that will give me 2 Closers+ 4 Holds guys. Ideally, would like to have 3 closers. Based on his usage the first 2 weeks (small sample size notwithstanding), do you like what you see out of E. Marshall to hold him with confidence in the ARZ pen?… Delgado, Hudson have also seemed to take the ball late. Although, Marshall was called upon last night late inning after another Reed falter vs. SF and fared pretty well, pitching himself outta trouble (2 k’s) despite allowing 1 inherited runner scored.

Available FA:: Y. Medina, S. Tolleson, K. Kela, J. Diekman, A. Albuquerque, C. Friedrich, RJ Alvarez

Would you move on any of these guys?

Thanks,

EL Burro
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey:

Thanks, Smokey. Tend to agree. Just staring at my roster too much.

Have a good weekend.

OldMilwaukeePounders
OldMilwaukeePounders
7 years ago

Smokey, awesome piece on the holds, bro. I’ve got a quick question for you. In my roto 5×6 holds league my current pen is: Allen, Cishek, Storen, Wade Davis, Miller, Osuna, Castro. I am falling a bit behind in the holds race, I am wondering what your thoughts are on my using Osuna as the “swing spot” that you suggested in your holds streaming strategy. What do you think?

My only concern comes from the seemingly wide open bullpen situation in TOR. When they are winning close games having both Osuna and Castro can mean both the H and the SV. I just don’t want to fall too far behind in holds messing with an uncertain closer committee.

Thanks!

LT Murray IV
7 years ago

Are you or are you not The Lord of Light?

Cafuné
Maxi
7 years ago

hey smokey, could you get back to me on fantasy soccer? wrote a comment on the forward rankings, appreciate it ;)

also, who do you like more for potential holds/saves, marshall or yimi yahn garcia?

Harry Hardenberg
Harry Hardenberg
7 years ago

hey smokey

‘member when i said you could safe ignore juan jaime last week, and you ignored me?

cust kayin’

Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: s.simmons likely long term (like real long, 5 months and up)?

Harry Hardenberg
Harry Hardenberg
Reply to  Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
7 years ago

@Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: shae simmons had tommy john, so way longer than that

unfortunately old world atlanta probably wont go away from grilli/johnson for awhile

i like cunniff a lot though

Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Reply to  Harry Hardenberg
7 years ago

@Harry Hardenberg: i must’ve misread when he had that. yep, way off, add like 8-10 months more.

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
7 years ago

have been rotating this roster spot in roto league with K/BB/ OBPA/K per 9 and net saves and holds/along with holds and saves as separate cats as well. best of these (or just keep streaming vulture guys and batty calls). tolleson/shaw/yoervis/tazawa/kela? Kela ain’t doing bad, and is getting innings, but really low K rate so far. I though it could be the opposite, great K rate but wild or something like that. redraft here, so it almost can’t be Kela i suppose.

LadyScorpio
LadyScorpio
7 years ago

VERY good article! Very informative, which is what I like and need. Only female competing in a 10 team 6×6 roto league and Holds is 1 of our categories. 2 of the guys I grabbed for Holds, Ottavino and Peralta are ironically now closers. As I write this, Reed & Casilla have decimated my team’s ERA & WHIP. Thankfully, I have Kimbrel and Kenley will be returning soon. Still, I was NEVER sold on Reed but kept him anyway. Should I hold him or drop him for a SP or RP?

My team….
SPs – Iwakuma, Shields, Bauer, Greene, Lynn, & Martinez
RPs- Kimbrel, Ottavino, Johnson, Peralta, Reed, Casilla & Kenley (DL)

Please advise. Thanks!

Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
Aubrey Plaza's Pillow
7 years ago

right after you say this fien gets 2 str holds in 2 days. and today when they for some reason tried to put duensing deeper into the game than fien, and duensing got blown up, which is nice cause i don’t need any reason for them to keep doing that.

los locos
los locos
7 years ago

My closers if you can rank them..

A Miller
B Boxberger
S Cishek
Ottovino

I gotta dump two of them??? Make room for starters..

Steve
Steve
7 years ago

Dunn lit up tonight. Damn.

SteveNZ
SteveNZ
7 years ago

Gotta drop either R Delgado or Cingrani to throw Scheppers into an SP slot. Has to be Delgado, right?

JFK
JFK
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: What are your thoughts on Scheppers’ role when he gets back? Does he move ahead of Tolleson to take the 8th?
Thanks!

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  JFK
7 years ago

@JFK: spine is crawling hoping this is NOT the case. i have kela/tolleson or both in a few deep leagues and dropped scheppers a few days ago. i could get him back later, but dude has such an awful K rate.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: that’s good, rotoworld and others make it sound like they’ll just give him set up duties before that happens. i don’t mind owning him over tolleson (it’s not like people are stashing scheppers hardly anywhere) if he’s producing.

Jon
Jon
7 years ago

Can you recommend some NL holds guys who might have SP eligibility? Randall Delgado is one I can think of. Looking for more like him.

I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: CIN late bullpen so awful it won’t take much for anybody to actually grab the 8th. look for cingrani if/when he starts having good innings. he had a shot a few days ago and wasn’t good.

Yadier Damn Mind
Yadier Damn Mind
7 years ago

Rank these 3 as if Kenley was healthy please.

Koi Uehara
Huston Street
Kenley Jansen

Thanks in advance

JFK
JFK
7 years ago

Great notes!
With (3) SP, (3) RP & (3) P slots in a 12-team 7×7 H2H league with saves and holds as two cats, I’ve got the following:
Cishek / Gregerson / Ottavino / O’Day / Jim Johnson / Mujica

With Uehara back in the 9th and Tazawa in the 8th, would you drop Mujica for Dunn, Logan, Shaw or Fien for holds? Which two do you like best for holds + spec saves?
Thanks!

JFK
JFK
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: Thanks!
Rough outing for Dunn today, but assuming it’s just a hiccup.

Do you see Hochevar and/or Cory Rasmus providing solid help w/ratios from the SP-eligible slot upon their return, or better to look at Delgado, Cingrani, or Friedrich?

JFK
JFK
Reply to  JFK
7 years ago

@JFK: Another interesting name: Daniel Hudson, who’s pitching in relief after two TJ’s – he came on for the hold in the 8th inning tonight against the Giants. Looks like Delgado may have been unavailable after pitching back-to-back nights, but with their rotation in flux is there a chance that Delgado becomes a starter again and Hudson gets the 8th in light of Marshall’s recent struggles?

JFK
JFK
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: Thanks for the follow-ups!
I ended up dropping Mujica for Scheppers – velocity was good, but pitch selection and location were a bit meh. Coming off the DL, I’m guessing he was just testing the arm against major league bats (after K-ing his way through the minors in rehab), so not too concerned and thinking he settles into the 8th for the foreseeable future.

Picked up Siegrist in the hopes he re-gains his 2013 form – looks good so far, and picked up a random save tonight. Took him for holds, though, so what are your thoughts on how the St. Louis ‘pen shakes out? I expect Rosenthal to capably hold the 9th, and Walden looks solid in the 8th; will Siegrist get enough action to move in front of Maness/Choate/Belisle, who have all been pitching extremely well? Or do you still prefer Dunn?

duder
duder
7 years ago

Currently running Cingrani, Montero, Delgado, and Treinen. Drop any of them for Freidrich? Don’t have holds as a category but it’s a deep league and we start a ton of relievers.

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
7 years ago

Ajax or Revere? Obp

I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
Reply to  Nightpandas
7 years ago

@Nightpandas: wait for the other ajax (also at SEA) he’ll make you forget about those dysentery deaths (something that actually haunts my nightmares, since, see above), but of course by that time you’ll be quite zombiefied.

dem ribbies
dem ribbies
7 years ago

Drop Cishek for Ottovino?

dem ribbies
dem ribbies
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: Holland and Grilli

dem ribbies
dem ribbies
Reply to  dem ribbies
7 years ago

@dem ribbies: Could drop Dan Norris and roster 4 RP (only 3 can start) until the dust settles in Mia

Pager24
Pager24
7 years ago

hey smokey got a closer question for ya.

I’ve been fortunate than a couple of my handcuffs have been named closer and have grabbed several off waivers. I feel I have a couple too many relievers right now- wondering what to do

My team currently: Allen, Boxberger, Clippard, Otto, Soria, Farq
(I just traded Miller and Iwakuma for Lester)

Available: Cecil, Dunn, Watson

I was wondering if you though any of the available guys were better than what i have ROS or do I just drop say Farq and stream? My pitching is pretty sold but I do love me some SON! HA

Thanks!

Pager24
Pager24
Reply to  Pager24
7 years ago

@Pager24: oh i forgot to mention tough trade environment right now. My league mates are looking for more sure things rather than speculation in most trades- so I don’t think i’ll get much value for those guys in a trade unless they have lasting success

Thanks

Steve Stevenson
Steve Stevenson
7 years ago

10-tm 11×7 (Hld and NetSV are RP cats) H2H, 19 moves left this year, my pen has some warts. I’ve done well carrying 3-4 closers and 2-3 MR.

Current RP:
Cishek
Boxberger
Cecil
J. Smith
Soria
McGee (DL)

Available:
Ottavino
Doolittle
Castro
Osuna
Walden
Farquhar
Any other non-obvious names on your list above.

So any move I make has to be long-term. It’s 1 win/cat. Make a move, or hang tight for a couple weeks? My guess is by the end of this week Ottavino’s taken but the rest are still available.

WalleyWorld
WalleyWorld
7 years ago

In a very deep dynasty league uses holds and saves. Current relievers are Jeurys Familia, Dom Leone, Keone Kela, Brandon Maurer, Tony Cingrani, and Tanner Scheppers. Was really counting on holds from Maurer and Leone. Do you see them getting to pitch in higher leverage situations down the road or any time soon? Best to just sit tight and hold onto them for now? Thanks for any advise and great article. Keep em coming.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

Grey seems to thing Dunn is the leading cuff in Miami. You lean him or Ramos?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve: Im on the fence as well, Ramos seems like the logical choice but if memory serves me well Dunn is about equal vs. lefties and righties

Double P
Double P
7 years ago

If Joe Nathan returns from the DL, which one of these relievers do I drop, or do I drop Nathan?

Bryan Shaw
Pedro Baez
Joaquin Benoit
Pedro Strop
Brad Ziegler

Thanks.

I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
Reply to  Double P
7 years ago

@Double P: depends on league settings and needs maybe. nathan might go back to closing, so if you would take saves over holds i’d keep him. one of ziegler or baez is likely drop here. LAD situation is hard as hell to even read. Ziegler is no longer late inning guy though and has awful K rates. drop ziegler when that happens.

Double P
Double P

@I don’t want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome: It is a SVHDS league that also tracks K, ERA, and WHIP. So good SU that get a bunch of work, and do not get lit up on regular occasion have good value.

Racehorse
Racehorse
7 years ago

Smokey

16 team dynasty league with SV and Holds….

Do I drop Aaron Barrett for Carson Smith?
(By the way, I already have Farquhar – and Miguel Castro)

The rest of my bully is solid: Holland, Box, Jansen-DL

Thanks!

CL
CL
Reply to  Racehorse
7 years ago

@Racehorse: I picked up Castro last week and Carson today. 12 team Dynasty Saves / Holds league as well. Especially with 16 teams. No brainer.

Racehorse
Racehorse
Reply to  CL
7 years ago

@CL: the only thing I’m pondering is missing the chance of having a piece of the Nats bullpen on what supposed to be a good Nats team.

And while the Nats starters are awesome and should go deep into games, Barrett is now 2nd on some depth charts — I don’t expect Barrett to end up as closer if Storen fails… I can see them making a mid season deal for a closer — but I am thinking Barrett should pitch important innings from here on out…

Anyway, I’m probably over thinking all this.

CL
CL
Reply to  Racehorse
7 years ago

@Racehorse: as Smokey says, fog in DC. I can’t control any closer situation, but I can control dudes on my team with high K rates and nice ratios. Especially in dynasty.

Racehorse
Racehorse
Reply to  Smokey
7 years ago

@Smokey: see above….

But hey, no prob, thanks for the reinforcement ~

Is it just me when I say that I luv talking bullpens and holds ?!?!

Pundeck
Pundeck
7 years ago

I need to drop one of this guys. Please advise.

Evan Marshall
Ken Giles
Jordan Walden

Thanks!

Zeus
Zeus
7 years ago

I don’t play in holds leagues though I wish I did. If you’re speculating on the Seattle Pittsburgh and possibly Cleveland bullpens who would you pick up in a 15 team mixed. Desperately need saves and can probably pick up two this weekend when waivers run.

Geoff
7 years ago

Did you ever find Bugs Bunny Attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?

Scott
Scott
Reply to  Geoff
7 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: I always find Bugs Bunny attractive.

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Scott
7 years ago

@Scott: Seriously Scottie Too Hottie

I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
I don't want to brag, but i have irritable bowel syndrome
Reply to  Geoff
7 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: finally figured out where that came from, (without google), Wayne’s World! excellent! watched that movie so many times when it came out it’s embarrassing.

dizzystpizzy
dizzystpizzy
7 years ago

Thanks for the warning re: Polish GPS.

Who do you like as heir if Cishek continues struggling in Miami? Dunn?

And for save speculations who do like best: Dunn (or other MIA dude?), Danny Farq, Watson?

Steve
Steve
7 years ago

I have Peralta with his stained neck and Hatcher breathing down his neck. Would you replace him with Logan or Dunn…Osuna?

Outside chance Cecil becomes available as well but not likely.

CL
CL
7 years ago

Added Yimi Garcia and Mike Dunn in the past 48 hours. Slim pickings. You like Friedrich over either of them?

CL
CL
Reply to  CL
7 years ago

@CL: Or Carson Smith. This is just a saves league.

Scott
Scott
7 years ago

Ooh, Carson Smith sounds tasty!

JVanSlyke
JVanSlyke
7 years ago

This is a really useful article as always. Should I own Carson Daly Smith over Ken Giles or any of the others below?

Current bullpen
Aroldis
Allen
Osuna
Castro
Watson
Giles

Lost Benoit and box ether in the kimbrel trade so hoping one of the above holds guys eventually closes.

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

who is your guy in pittsburgh? caminero, watson, hughes? others?

This was really good