Another week, another post by me mentioning the Mets. Does it seem like I pick on the Mets too much? I am a Phillies fan, so it’s entirely possible. Maybe the Mets could teach their pitchers how to hold runners and get to home plate faster like the rest of baseball. This is the same organization that lets it’s pitchers decide for themselves whether or not to get an MRI on their sore arms so I’m not expecting much. Sorry, Mets rant over. Here are the week’s speed notes.

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The parade of prospects getting call ups early this season has been eventful, to say the least. Some are already back down. Don’t let that discourage you from hunting for the next FAAB target a week early. Speed can be an easier skill to translate at the big-league level if you can find ways to get on base. I’m not a prospect expert, check out Mike’s work for that. Still, it’s never a bad time to gamble on a young guy with potential.

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Injuries in baseball are mounting faster than casualties at Winterfell. When you have a lineup hole to plug it can be a dangerous game to attempt duplicating your expected production from the hurt player in every category. Most of the time you’ll just hurt those categories. A more focussed approach is often preferable. Depending on position it can be an opportunity to pad your steals.

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How any more FAAB periods do we have to go? Is it the All-Star Break yet? There’s plenty of baseball left, as the Masters just concluded in a Tiger Woods win. Speed is as scarce as ever. There are very few dependable sources for steals. Smart owners are constantly on the lookout for a good opportunity to gamble on a guy in a plus situation to swipe a bag. You need a runner able to pull the trigger when they actually manage to get on just like Tiger in the hunt for a win, or an opp at a Perkins.

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It’s Masters Week! Let’s enjoy some Augusta themed tiers (hold the bigotry). First some (mostly bad) closer news.

  • Jose Leclerc blew a save and couldn’t get more than one out with a four-run lead. He’s earned some leash, but we’ve seen ineffective periods from him before. Expensive salads don’t melt down. He’s downgraded for a spell.
  • The Mariners can’t seem to get their bullpen sorted. Anthony Swarzak is their best arm but that means coming in when it’s the seventh or eighth. He should still see more saves than any other reliever for them.
  • Hate to say I told you so on Trevor May, but also I told you so on Trevor May. When in doubt back greed. His deployment is very characteristic of a team looking to save in arbitration. Not that he won’t see any save opps, they’ll just be too unpredictable for most of our leagues. Blake Parker gets most of the looks with Taylor Rogers matching up with lefties on occasion.
  • Raisel Iglesias got through a clean ninth inning for a save finally. That’s encouraging but between his struggles and being used in other innings I’m dropping him all the way to the bottom rung until we can feel comfortable in his stuff and role.
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Do you own Trea Turner, he of a broken finger? Welcome to the chase for speed with the rest of us schlubs. So much changes in just a week this early on. Keep that in mind as the season unfolds. Too often owners look to trade a strength that can become a deficit with a single poorly gripped bunt attempt. Dig for steals and saves at every turn. It’s SAGNOF time!

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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.

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Do you own Trea Turner, he of three steals in one game? No? Then you’re chasing speed with the rest of us. It’s pretty early to go dropping players you drafted for a rabbit with a chance at a steal. However, if you have a free spot put it to use. Like Kanye craving a fair-haired lady lover, we’ll do anything for a save or steal come September. It’s never too early to pad those columns.

Please, blog, may I have some more?