When looking at the standings, it is usually a great indicator of how well a team is doing by looking at the Hold leaders.  It doesn’t tell you all or is the end all be all of indicators, but when you have three guys in the top-4, it speaks volumes.  It shows the team is ahead, but not by so much that they are blowing people out, have a great set of flow through the bullpen with set jobs, and they are successfully in-sync.  Not that “in-sync”, but yeah, sorta because something that included J.T. can’t really be all that bad.  So what is making the Chicago White Sox so good at what they are doing right now?  First, it starts from the last inning back.  David Robertson has the goods of what you want from a closer, he has the K-rate and decent control to limit base runners.  What I am noticing is he is keeping the ball away from the upper part of the zone, which was his buga-boo from the past; that he gives up too many homers.  In front of him, he has a trio of relievers with different mindsets.  Nate Jones is basically a closer in front of the real closer, but with a better approach of pitching to contract then K’ing everyone.  Zach Duke is by far the sexiest LOOGY in the business right now and Matt Albers is an all effort pitcher with tons of movement on his pitches.  Add in the fact that they have Putnam and Petricka as sub pieces that can fit into anyone’s role, and they have what looks like in the early stages of the season the best bullpen in baseball. That is not to say that it will last but the investment level from a fantasy level, especially from a holds league, but it is very stout.  So check out the other tidbits and bits tids that I have for you after the bump.  (Plus a chart that monitors usage and runs given up by relievers that usually lead to them losing or gaining spots in the pen.)

  • The clock has to be ticking on the Trevor May closer watch.  Regardless of what Perkins does, it is clear that youth needs to be served, but with a K-rate over 14 attached with a walk rate over five is probably a bad sign and may be holding him back.
  • Koji gonna do what Koji do.  It will be interesting once Carson comes back how many 7-8th inning appearances he gets.  I am betting he gets knocked down a peg, but not completely.
  • For those of you rostering the Braves save combo of Grilli and Arodys, take a look at why it is a bad idea to why rostering Grilli.  His walk rate is 9 and he has more walks than K’s on the year.  That is not a good use of a roster spot. Viz is no better with a walk rate over six.
  • Strangest line from a reliever I have seen so far is from Liam Hendriks. 24 hits in 11 innings, 14 K’s and zero walks…
  • More messed up reliever by not being a closer: Drew Storen or Ken Giles?  Some guys like the spotlight.
  • Love that the Angels are starting to trust Greg Mahle in high leverage spots.  He has responded with three Holds in his last eight appearances.  Keep an eye on teammate Mike Morin as well who matched it with his own three in his last seven appearances.  I am waiting for something more concrete on usage with Salas and Alvarez getting early love and still in the mix.
  • Joel Peralta has taken over the 8th inning job and seems to be rebounding from two lost seasons.
  • I think I would own Hudson and Chafin before I would wanna roster Clippard in the desert.
  • The Giants have infused some of their youth into the pen with the addition of Derek Law to corps.  The guy I am more interested in is Josh Osich.  10 inherited runners, zero runs allowed.  Caveat is he likes to give up potatoes, but with Strickland lumbering in the weeds and Romo, meh, he could carve out a nice vulture save here and there based on match-up.

 

Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Koji Uehara 7/1 9 0/0
Nate Jones 7/1 10 4/1
Zach Duke 6/0 9 2/0
Junichi Tazawa 6/0 7 3/0
Matt Albers 6/0 8 5/0
Justin Wilson 6/0 9 3/0
David Hernandez 6/0 7 2/1
Neftali Feliz 6/1 9 7/1
Sam Dyson 6/1 8 8/0
Drew Storen 6/0 7 0/0
Mark Lowe 5/0 7 5/0
Kelvin Herrera 5/1 9 4/2
Jose Alvarez 5/1 6 9/3
Pedro Baez 5/1 6 6/4
Addison Reed 5/1 9 7/1
Dellin Betances 5/0 6 2/0
Hector Neris 5/0 6 6/3
Tony Watson 5/1 7 4/1
Jake Diekman 5/0 8 6/1
Brett Cecil 5/3 9 9/6
 
  1. PHIL says:
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    Who has a better chance to be closing DYSON OR MAY ?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @PHIL: Both pretty even, will give the edge to May

  2. Smokey!

    I’m in a league with categories for both saves and holds. My current RPs are:
    Casilla
    Andrew Miller
    May
    Phelps
    Joe Smith
    Giles.

    ( I need to keep at least one of Phelps or May since they have SP eligibility and that allows me to start 6 relievers most days with only 5 P or RP slots)

    Cotham, Soria, Zach Duke, David Hernandez, Diekman, Cingrani, Mark Lowe, and Pedro Baez are all free agents.

    I need both saves and holds, wouldn’t mind a guy who might inherit a closer role, and would love to not do random damage to my Ks and ratios. In that context, would you switch out Giles (or someone else) for one of the free agents?

    Thanks!

  3. Dropping Dingleberries says:
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    Smokey – great stuff as always. I’m in a league that counts saves and holds (3RP slots, 3P slots). Frustrated with Arodys and Siegrist. My current squad is:

    AJ Ramos
    Madson
    Vizcaino
    Cishek
    Dyson
    Siegrist
    Colome (in SP slot)

    Would you drop Siegriest or Vizcaino (or even Dyson) for any of the following?

    Trevor May, Seung Oh, Fernando Rodney (hate him), Zach Duke, Matt Albers, Tazawa, Pedro Baez, Addison Reed?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Dropping Dingleberries: Nothing wrong with Siegrist, has 3 vulture wins and opps are not being given to him by starters, I would hold for now your corp is sold

  4. JimmyJackJames says:
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    I just dropped May for Joe Smith. As a Perkins owner, do you agree or should I be looking to snag May back?

    Limited options to drop…thanks Smoke.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @JimmyJackJames: Yea its a good move. Street will be out for 10 games minimum

  5. Funny Name says:
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    What do you think of Adam Warren? I’m in a 7×7 with loses and QS as the extra catigories and K/9 instead of K’s. Only get 2 RP spots and 2 P spots so being SP eligible is nice to have. Will he help enough in ERA, whip and K/9 or is he not worth adding?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Funny Name: depending on league size he is definitely a guy worth adding, depends on who you are dropping. the inni 7th inning convo eventually not all the time but will get some good looks. As he is no as a multi inning guy that is an asset

  6. Clive says:
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    Currently have: McGee, Tolleson, Rodney and Jepsen. Would you stash May or Giles and drop any of the others? Thanks!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clive: I would stash May, but not at the expense of a closer actively getting save opportunities

  7. Brett says:
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    12 team daily league with a category for save and a category for holds. Would you trade Nola and Jepsen for Gregorson? I would probably grab someone like Glasnow with the open spot

    My staff: J Fer, Salazar, Matz, Rodon, Ventura, Jason Hammel, Nola and McCullers. Relievers are McGee, Street, Colome, Jepsen, Tolleson

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Brett: so at the end of the day it will be nola and Jepsen for Gregerson and Glasnow basically. I would take that

  8. PancakeMaker says:
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    Is Barraclough gonna be stealing the closer spot from Ramos this year at some point?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @PancakeMaker: He has the goods to be a closer and I have a few shares of him

  9. Pouss-Pouss says:
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    Thanks, Smokey. I love the holds columns, as I’m in a holds league. Do you see any under-the-radar guys who could be stud holds and K/9 guys this season? I’ve got Strop as my man right now, but am under-enthused.

    The last couple of years I’ve prided myself on scooping up no-name (at the time) gems in 2013 Trevor Rosenthal, 2014 Wade Davis, and 2015 Carter Capps as my high K/9-holds guys, and I’ve been very, very pleased. I’ve got my eye on Seung Hwan Oh this season (sick line so far, with 15 K/9), but he doesn’t have the sexy fastball that the other guys did. His nickname is “Stone Buddha,” though, so that’s pretty cool.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Pouss-Pouss: Oh is a good one, he hass 10 bad translated nicknames, Final Boss is another one. Mychal Givens and Hector Neris are two for those categories

  10. Pouss-Pouss says:
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    One more question for you:

    In a traditional 5×5, would you prefer Doolittle, Trevor May, Grilli, or any of the Cincinnati guys for saves?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Pouss-Pouss: based just on saves May, I think he gets the spot eventually where as Doolittle has sorta already lost it Grilli is a walkapotamus and the Reds have too many guys to roster and are all bad

  11. I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor, and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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    holds league drop siegrist or hudson (or both) for watson/n.jones, both recently dropped. i also have rondon/colome for saves. 20 team league.

  12. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    sweet god hatcher is getting blown up about every time. 20 teamer where we have 7 RP each, so damn thin out there. keep hatcher or drop for any of cervenka/barnette/romero. relief appearances, relief wins, k/9 here too.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Hatcher will get more chances than those other guys, but his efficiency is crap right now. I like Barnette, but all three of those are similar in bullpen hierarchy for their teams

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Smokey: yeah, all around 4th.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: other options here are petricka (bad numbers so far though, and at least as low down the pole as others mentioned), what about hembree? (team is quite crowded though)

  13. Xavier says:
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    Smokey, Thornburg has been pitching ahead of Blazek as the bridge to Jeffress those rare times the Brewers are leading late in a close ball game. I believe he has done so the last three times. Thornburg’s K rates have been improving every year and I think I read he has even added a couple MPH to his fastball…what do you think, closer material?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Xavier: Always liked thorny, he isd mix and matched in the Brewer pen, def a name to keep on the radar for deeper leagues. Problem is Jeffress probably doesn’t have much trade value if and when that happens. Thorny could be nailed on a set-up guy and a good mix with the Fresh Prince

  14. NickfromtheRoc says:
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    Smokey,

    Thanks for the great info. Having a rough time with my RP corp this year. Originally drafted Kimbrel, Giles and Jumbo Diaz. Dropped Diaz for Jeanmar, and have been cycling through RP hoping to SAGNOF after Giles’ disastrous start to the season. At this point, I’m thinking I’d rather get someone who is going to help my ratios and provide a decent amount of K’s. Who would you suggest out of these names on the wire (listed by ownership on ESPN):

    Giles, Storen (not really interested in these two, just the two highest owned for some reason), Herrera, Watson, Siegrist, Nate Jones, Oh, Strickland and Dyson. There are a handful of others, but I figured I’d go mostly with the names you’ve mentioned in previous posts.

    Standard 5×5, 12 team H2H, just so you know. Thanks as always for the help everyone provides….

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @NickfromtheRoc: Jones, Thanks for the kind words and sorry for tardy response

  15. luvdarooks says:
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    standard 5X5 EXCEPT where HLDS + Saves are the 5th category (HAVE Allen Watson McGee) usually start two /week … considering other categories who to drop and who to pick up from these FA’s?
    I think McGee should go for sure… WHATCHTHINK?
    Anyone stick out as a high S+H with K’s and a low whip?????

    Neris -J Smith – Baez (la)-Dyson- Strop- Giles -Soria N Jones- hatcher- May-Shaw-D Hernandez- Barraclough-Kelley

    • luvdarooks says:
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      D Hudson is also available

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @luvdarooks: sorry for late response, you have agood options and a lower saves guy loses in my book to a better holds guy cycle the hot hand. Hudson away from home. Neris now though

  16. Skeezix says:
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    Hey Smokey, not sure if you’re checking this tonight – how big an upgrade over Rodney is Madson? We start 3 closers, and I’m rolling with Osuna, McGee, Rodney (Giles on bench). I’m in first but I feel my RPs are weak, and there are no starting closers on waivers. Should I jump at the chance to deal Odubel Herrera and Rodney for Madson? I might be able to convince him to do Ozuna or Soler and Rodney instead. I’m a bit concerned about job security, but he has been money so far.

    I may insted be able to get Ziegler or Tolleson straight up for Odubel, but not sure that helps other than for depth (which isn’t a bad thing either).

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Skeezix: Nah I am here for ya my man. I would probably go for the depth move before dealing a closer for a closer plus an OF. You can’t ever have enough relievers and if you are still in first and saves are an excess for you later you can trade accordingly and ecrue more value then Odubel possibly. and Madson is an upgrade over Rodney by a bit. I am not sure Fernando is there all year with SD. So either option is a good thing for you is why I am telling ya both ideas. Final answer do the Odubel and Rodney deal!

      • Skeezix says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks Smokey , though let me throw some scenarios at you to see which you think would be the best deal for me. He may not be interested in the last few depth moves, since he would be short a closer – but he may.

        1) Ozuna (or Soler) and Rodney for Madson
        2) Odubel for Ziegler
        3) Odubel for Tolleson

        And you’re not worried about Madson relinquishing his gig at some point? I guess less worried about him than Rodney.

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Skeezix: I would 2 or 3 first unless someone greater then Madson presents itself

          • Skeezix says:
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            @Smokey: Thanks! We agreed on Ziegler for Odubel, so good to go!

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