It is that time of the year my good fellows, that allegiances and brand loyalty are thrown out the window. As stalwarts start to grow warts, and the season long compilers gather some moss. Allegiances and growing to fond of your roster for Holds is what sets apart first place and the rest of the standings. Who you roster on your team is your own business, but I am here to learn you something as the season long leaderboard for holds is kinda stale. The overall season leader, Taylor Rogers, has 2 in the past two weeks. It doesn’t get any prettier as you go down the top 5 either. Nick Vincent has 1, Jacob Barnes has 1, Jose Ramirez has 2, and Pedro Baez has 2. Not completely awe-inspiring returns for the top of the top for holds. On the contrary, the leaders in the past 14 days: Kyle Barraclough, David Hernandez, and Tommy Hunter all have 5. Far more significant returns for a reliever, and it brings me to my key point… Grab a hold and ditch, period. The names that are garnering late game situations is growing rapidly and will increase even more once rosters expand. This is the “what have you done for me lately” approach to hold accumulation down the stretch. Yes, the guys you roster may be great at K/9 and BB/9 and have stellar WHIP totals etc, but when chasing the one key cog stat for set-up men, that being the hold, no allegiances should remain.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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It is that time of the year when usual bullpen scenarios start to rear their ugly heads. The terms “falling back to earth” and “gassed” take hold of even the veteran of bullpens. That seems to be the case in the rock pile in Colorado with Greg Holland. Cruising along and then bam, that reliever wall hits. Especially for someone of his ilk that is coming off a few lost seasons with arm woes. I usually say 50 innings is about when we start seeing it, but that number varies by innings in previous years, pressure situations, and the leverage that those situations come with. The unfortunate thing is that with Greg the last two are very prominent. He is fourth in the league amongst relievers in pressure situations, fifth in pitching with the lead, and the last four games are an indicator that he may be spinning his wheels a bit. Three blown saves in his last five appearances and only 2 saves since August started. Not encouraging news for a team that is honing in or trying to hone in on a playoff spot. The good thing for Holland owners is that he looks to be given some leash here, but with proven relievers with semi-reliable numbers behind him, like Jake McGee and Pat Neshek, the need for a cuff here is paramount as the fantasy playoffs and season winds down. Every save counts when you start losing them from a reliable source. That is the worst predicament when projecting out the rest of the year to see if you have enough horses to get you to the finish line. McGee and then Neshek are the adds for a just in case situation as Holland could be given a breather for a day or three. Let’s see what else is going down in the land after starters…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The inter-webs may something different, but I am here to learn you that it is going to be a committee instead of what the searched answer may be. It’s not looking fantastic for Trevor Rosenthal as he was pulled from the game on Wednesday with an injury and then sent home for further testing. So that leaves a “collage” of relievers chirping to get a shot and maybe a re-emergence of Seung-Hwan Oh. My guess is that it becomes a complete match-up based issue for their skipper Mike Matheny. (Name that I wanna hone in on here is Tyler Lyons though.) This, after all, is the bullpen report and he does, like the aforementioned names, pitch from the bullpen. Lyons, over his last 14 appearances, which coincidentally is after the last earned run he allowed, has pitched to the tune of a 0.00 ERA, 18 K’s (good for a 14 K/9), and only has allowed 2 hits and 3 BB’s, good for 5 baserunners against 44 batters faced. If you don’t have a calculator watch handy, that is a .032 batting average against. So in laymen’s terms, he has been awesome. It is the holds post for the week, so he had 5 of those to boot. Hot teams, breed hot bullpens. It is a fact. Chasing holds, find a team that is over .600 in win percentage over the last 15 games and roster any guy that is in the pen that sees leverage situations. Returns will come. Advice and morale of the story given, now onto some other factoids of deliciousness for the week in bullpen/holds news. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I write titles like this, often times I say to myself: Do I need to extrapolate on the actuality of the point that I am trying to convey? Fortunately for you I am going to be all basic with knowledge this week because it is pretty cut and dry. Are you winning saves? How much are you winning saves by? If yes for the first question and over 20 for the second, be like Billy Ray and sell. Do not liquidate all your assets, just slim down your roster to a smattering of usefulness instead of a hoard. Find a culprit who maybe chasing second, third or even fourth. My reasoning for this and why you should do it now is that before people realize that there is no hope in dope or chasing saves when you can’t make them up… they will lose interest and they will have zero trade value. Don’t get stuck holding a struggling middle/upper closer when you can reinvest that in a bat that can make up a stat other than just one. Today’s moral is: sell saves, be aware that your return may not be as great as expected, but it’s better then dumping them to the waiver wire for nothing.
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The trade deadline usually makes a real hash out of bullpens, and this year was no different. Closers become just ordinary relievers. Ordinary relievers become closers on teams punting. Even further down, the holds through the obtuse guys now become a usable commodity. Fantasy baseball with hold leagues, catch the spirit! So like I was just saying, we have seen 5-6 teams rip apart their pecking order for hold-dom, and in some cases muddle up the closer order by trade, attrition, or subtraction. This is a good thing, makes decisions easier. Aim for guys on teams that are still getting you save opportunities. If you can’t find the stat, always fall back on the standings to guide your waiver wire hand. Or even more finite, look at that teams W/L record over the last 10 games. It is no coincidence that the top three teams in save opportunities since the All-Star break have winning records (Dodgers, Mariners, and Blue Jays). Also, if you haven’t been streaming Holds yet this year, there is no better time than the present. The list of holds leaders over the last 15 games is littered with names that weren’t even in print by me for the whole year. So don’t be afraid to roster the unknown rather than a commodity because with the season basically over in six weeks (three if you have playoffs), every one counts and every H2H win counts. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The deadline is right around the corner, I know this because it said it would be right back and asked me to watch it’s dog while it shuffled up all the bullpen stuff that I just took the time to write out. The trade deadline is a mischievous beast, he will lure you with rumors and a weird one-windowed van and leave you out of the loop when it comes to bullpens. Contenders don’t care, they will have 2-3 closers or former closers on the roster… greedy is what I say. But I am still looking at situations in flux because I have no life. Scouring the goodies of bullpens left behind, and it takes me to Oakland. The traded recipient, that being Blake Treinen is in the prime ready-five chair as he watches Santiago Casilla implode for 4 blown saves in his last 16 appearances… and of course he blows the first chance he gets. No matter, I think that he still is a better bet going forward than Casilla. The bullpen cupboard is bare, there’s no Doolittle, there’s no Madson, there’s no more Axford. It is Treinen and Ryan Dull as the lone men standing, and Dull just got back from the DL. It is a matter of when, not if Blake gets the go of things and makes all the Bay City girls swoon with his saves. If the A’s go full on punt and trade the rotation to nothing, his potential for saves could be minimal, but chase away oh friends of the ‘NOF.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We break from the usual 12 dollar salads, donkeys, and hypothermia to breakdown, in basic fashion, the relief rankings for the final 70-plus games. Why is this helpful you may ask? Because for trade target reasons or chasing saves for points, you may want guy A over guy B. With the relief ranks it is as fluid as a clogged sewer drain, because on any given week, the middling type closer can hit bumps in the road and be removed from contention. So if you are using this as a trade commodity in your quest to add saves, my advice is this add the elite only. Nothing lower than the top-12. These guys are all nailed on and in an impressive state, barring an injury obviously. Now with that, we also have to realize that trades will happen… and take one reliever from a good situation to a better one, then on the reflexive of that, it can turn one with a job into a set-up situation. Regardless, here is my stab at the top relief pitchers for the second half of the Fantasy Baseball season. Cheers!
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It’s the last post before the all-star break and nothing seems more fitting than a Neal Diamond reference. If you don’t like or appreciate Neal, then we have problems and I challenge you to a duel or whatever the young kids are doing now a days to show dominance. (Because I know it’s not anything like what transpired in West Side Story.) Moving on swiftly to the pressing closer news as I get lost in my ole timey spirit… So the Cardinals have moved away from the Oh and more to the Rosenthal. Trevor Rosenthal has sorta looked like he did three years ago, which seems like forever ago but really isn’t. The bad thing is that he and the rest of the save chasers that are in the Cardinals bullpen are pitching blah-squared. The best pitcher over the last 20 games is Matt Bowman… again. I said that same statement about a month into the season when Oh originally looked about as shaky as an 11-year-old with his first attempt at using a blow torch. Over the past 30 games the saves have gone Oh for 3, Rosenthal 1, Bowman 1 and Tyler Lyons with 1 (was a multiple innings save). Over the past 30 games for a usual dominant bullpen fixture, in terms of fantasy, to post 5 saves (I am not counting Lyons effort) is more condemning than the way they are pitching. If you are a Seung-Hwan Oh owner, you kinda have to hold the ship until it becomes more of an official thing. If Rosey is on your wire (55% owned in ESPN leagues) then nab him up. If you want to roster a RP with appeal, then Bowman is your guy (1.8% owned). As I can see it, Oh is still the guy but with some daylight for others. Just be leery that the past 30 days of track record for savedom have not been all that rosey for the Cards. Don’t frown, we got more goodies and sunshine after the bump. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just when the ship couldn’t sink any lower, the Giants lost their closer for the second time this year. When it happens once, sure… twice? I have my doubts. Mark Melancon hit the DL with more arm ailments and received a PRP injection in his arm. No, a PRP injection isn’t something that you search for on your go-to-p0rn site of choice. It is never a good thing, especially for a scuffling team like the Giants. They have already had attempts at the closer with Derek law, Hunter Strickland/ and now re-tread candidate Sam Dyson is thrown into the fray. I mean, I am no Nostradamus here, but it doesn’t look good. It’s almost like that 2:00 AM special when you stare across the bar and try to decide if it’s better then going home alone and revisiting that PRP search on that website of choice. We saw earlier this year that Dyson is not to be trusted, granted that saves are saves are saves, but at what cost? An inflated ERA and 1-2 save chances a week… maybe. Hunter Strickland got the first save, but only because Dyson was plucked from the bullpen in 4-of-the-last-5. For a team that struggles to score runs, can’t keep the ball in the yard from a starting pitcher standpoint, and a bullpen with tons of failed attempts at a closer, the benefit just isn’t there. So if you must, the order as of right now is: Dyson, Strickland, then Kontos. But for a team with only 16 saves to show on the season, the chase is more exciting than the ownership. Enough about the city of Rice-A-Roni, and onto the week in Holds and such!Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a full-on Willy Loman-type starring role, Andrew Miller now takes over the most responsible role in the Tribe’s bullpen. I beg to differ that he is taking over the most important role, and can argue that he has seen more high-leverage situations and save situations than his sort of disposed closer, Cody Allen… The only thing leading him to not be the most important factor in that pen was the stat of the save. Listen, Tito beats to the sound of his own drum and Arnold, nor Willis are going to tell him how to handle his bullpen. It is a luxury to have two top-10 overall relievers at his disposal and to use them how he sees fit. Miller, is by definition, the closer to save his arm for the future. But what we don’t realize is that if a save happens sooner than the 9th inning, Miller is going to be called on just like his original role. Confused? Yeah, it is kinda like saying: “Go look for the save in the corner of a circular room.” For ownership, this changes zero. Miller is and was owned as he should be in every league imaginable. Cody Allen is also owned and shouldn’t be dropped as he becomes the closer cuff in waiting, and is far superior to any RP on the waiver wire. So hold on tight! A month from now, when Miller has 5 saves and Allen has 3, not much stat wise will be lost, but by the end of the year when Allen has 32 and Miller 12, that is when we can look back on this and laugh and say “I shaved my eyebrows for this?” Stay tuned kids, more closer and bullpen-y type goodness are on the way…Please, blog, may I have some more?