For my last two articles, I highlighted two guys who made pretty big impacts in 2019. For this article, I’m going to be looking at a more under the radar guy who only pitched 8.2 innings in the majors in 2019, but has the potential to provide great late round value in 2020. Bryan Abreu isn’t an unknown prospect; as he was widely regarded as one of the Astros top five prospects after his breakout 2018, where he struck out 90 batters in only 54 IP. His 41.9 K% in 2018 was the highest of any non-reliever with at least 50 IP in the entire minor leagues, so people were intrigued to see how Abreu would build on his success in 2019. At the beginning of the year it looked like more of the same for Abreu, as he sported a 42.4 K% through his first three starts at A+. Following this third start, the Astros decided to get aggressive and promote him to AA, despite him having less than 50 IP at full season ball. In hindsight, I think this move was a bit questionable, as Abreu still has some command issues that I think he could use more time working out at the lower minors, but this move also made it clear to me that the Astros had more interest in Abreu as a reliever. 

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Roto-Wan is back monkey chuckers, and on less sleep than ever! I actually threw up last night out of sheer exhaustion after feeding the little-wan. I did not know that was possible. Thank to B_Don for being an adequate at best fill in for me. Yesterday was the trade deadline and bullpens were heavily reworked for many contenders. Tiers are of course baby themed. Time for some notes!

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It’s June, in case you don’t own a calendar or Mayan solar stone. Fantasy owners can no longer afford to hold their breath in any given category. Now is the time to take your shots on middle relievers and hope they earn you a save or two. It’s nice if they can give you strikeouts or stellar ratios in the meantime. Check your wire for the names below.

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I don’t know if there’s a more frustrating pursuit than finding enough pitching in fantasy baseball. Usable middle relievers used to grow on trees. Now the good ones are picked and what’s left probably tastes sour. Nevertheless, we forge ahead trying to find a bandaid for our fantasy staffs where we can. In deeper leagues those won’t be brand name, rather bargain brand bandages. At least we’re far enough into the season that some early injuries have healed.

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It’s getting ugly in the reliever market. Injuries, ineffectiveness, and promotions have wrung much of the top talent out of the scene.  Much like the bazaar in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle there’s stuff everywhere, but it’s hard to find what you need. Also, there’s a basket with a cobra in it. You just have to hope the Rock shows up and start throwing people through walls. I don’t actually know what the fantasy baseball equivalent of that is. I’ve gotten off track here thinking about the Rock’s ridiculous biceps, as per uzhe. I’ll wrap up this lede in ramble with a comparison Jumanji’s theme: the only way to win the game of relievers is to play and win.

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A strain is a tear and a tear is a strain. The arms that are hurting have torn stuff somewhere in there. Don’t let doctors dress thing up with fancy words. Discomfort, swelling, strain all mean something is not in its original state. If one of your pitcher’s arms is hurting you have trouble. Buy some insurance with a well-placed bullpen add.

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Raise your hand if the juiced ball isn’t affecting your high priced pitcher yet. Not so fast Blake Snell owners, he’s on the IL with a broken toe via clumsy furniture moving. You’re going to be in the mean streets of relief appearances with the rest of us now. You can throw on some REM and cry in the shower or work at filling some gaps. A well-aimed non-closer can certainly pay dividends. There’s something below for whatever ails you. I don’t include anyone getting regular saves in the ranks.

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The hot stove has been bubbling this winter, mostly thanks to Jerry Dipoto. Bullpen arms tend not to rank all that high in offseason coverage, so I cobbled together the notable moves for your reading pleasure. I know, I know, you’re thinking seriously ‘Wan, I’m not anywhere near the state of mind you need to think about the saves chase. There’s no rest for the closing wicked when it comes to the bullpen landscape, I’m afraid.

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This post won’t be much about bullpens this week, unfortunately.  So for those of you that are greedy for fantasy bullpen goodness, this life is not up your alley. This post is more about a goodbye. That goodbye is from me to all the avid Razzball readers and followers. This is my final post across all formats on this site as I retire from writing. It has been nine years and close to 900 posts since Grey picked me up from my last day at the “College of Fantasy Baseball”, which he jokes is in Charleston, South Carolina. Funny part of that whole story line is I actually went to COC.  Funny part of irony is the irony itself!  So thank you Grey for giving me a chance to wax poetic in a style of my own for as long as I have, cheers. To the friends I have made here along the way… you know who you are and you have my number.  And a special thanks to the most important of all fantasy people, you, the readers. Especially the Razzball readers, because you are all cut from a different cloth. Sharpest, smartest bunch of nerds I have ever had the company of being in an imaginary room with. So I leave you with the finality of the bullpen reports, something I myself took pride in bringing you.  Thanks for everything Razz-verse!  I’ll be around and about on Twitter if you need me @FPL_MMOP so feel free to say hi or send me nudes.  So here it is folks, the haves and the holds from me for the last time.  The pleasure has been all mine. Cheers!

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Just for reference, as I was out and about, the “cult” classic by Lisa Lisa was on.  Now you can admit it or you can lie about it, but if you hear this song on in the privacy of your own aloneness, and you turn the radio up.  I’m sorry but it’s true.  If not, it is completely just me and I have some severe music intangible listening ability that is slightly off.  Where was I?  Bullpens you say, bullpens I say.  The first real bullpen post after the trade deadline is always a tough tell.  The good contending teams basically stack up the depth of their pens and make the most unique and usable reliever an after thought, or a “questionable” own in holds leagues.  I hate that this happens, because you roll along all season with a set it and forget it holds option and poof, they go to a contender and now are fourth fiddle.  And nobody remembers the fourth fiddler in the Charlie Daniels’ band.  If you do, climb out the basement and stare at the sun awhile, you two have missed each other’s company.  So if you are sitting on names that changed to a contender that are now tertiary in line for a hold, move on.  Grab a first-chair guy maybe on a lesser team, or even from that guys old team.  This time of the year, if trying to capitalize on the utmost hold capabilities, there can be no allegiances.  No saluting your past accumulation and move on.  I am adding in a chart this week that shows holds and chances for the last 30 days to lessen the load on your research ability.  After all it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job, why not stay and hang out with Smokey?

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