We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.

Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.

Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.

Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.

Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.

Candy stash: Let’s face it, the first part of your hoard to go will be the good stuff. Whatever your sweetest vice is that you’ve stashed is going down in round one. For me, it’s a box of Hershey’s bars that I may or may not have already eaten a few of.

Canned soup: I’m consistently amazed by the canning process. We can seal something in metal, heat it, and store it indefinitely. Science! That it holds up over time and is rather tasty given its shelf life is an added bonus.

Bottled water: Nothing fancy, just an essential in any doomsday scenario.

Rehydrated food: Whether we’re talking MREs, instant potatoes or some other pile of blandness these will be the last to go. If you’re considering eating them you know the poop has hit the fan.

 
  1. Jolt In Flow says:
    (link)

    Roto, love the report and what you provide. It might be the toughest piece to write about closers – relievers.

    Question; based on what I’ve ready in trusted places, too much emphasis should not be placed on spring training stats. Mainly focusing on who nails down a position at the end of spring training. However, should relievers / closers be looked at under a different light? Do their stats actually equate to regular season stuff?

    Thanks Roto. Keep the articles coming.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
      (link)

      Thanks for reading! I don’t think relievers spring performances reveal more than starters. Maybe only that poor performance can eliminate someone from a job a little faster.

  2. ozone ranger says:
    (link)

    The Rehydrated Food group is just one disaster after another.

    The thing about the Braves (one of the actual good teams in that list) is they have Melancon, Will Smith, Shane Greene, Luke Jackson, Darren O’Day… all have closer experience. And Chris Martin has the stuff to close games out. A bounty of riches in real life, but a giant fargin headache in preseason fantasyland. Once real games are played, we’ll know who the closer is for them. Snitker is a man of traditional roles, and likes to have “one guy” as his closer. Once Luke Jackson got the role last year, and gained Snitker’s confidence, he held on to it until the Braves traded for Greene, Martin and Melancon.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
      (link)

      Yeah, it’s a wide open race if/when Melancon fails.

      • ozone ranger says:
        (link)

        Thank you, Roto-Wan. Oh yeah, forgot to write, good article, like reading your writings.

        It’s a mess. I’m in the Melancon will fail camp. Who will it be? Smith is the probable obvious choice, but then I could see Snitker using him in the 6th-8th inning leverage “he’s a lefty” situations. I have a like of Shane Greene. He was dominant as the Le Tigre closer. I also have this strange inkling towards Chris Martin. Just his background, and pitch makeup. But WTF do I know? If I could accurately predict this, I could be the bow tie wearing midget (or dwarf? not sure) interviewing MLB players on big FOX network games.

  3. What's a Drexl? says:
    (link)

    ah the smokey days, fuck/marry/kill days. hadn’t thought of him for a while now.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
      (link)

      I tracked and shot Smokey and now he’s stuffed in my den.

  4. Harley Earl says:
    (link)

    Wan,

    Call me crazy but I think Boxberger might be a nice speculative play in Miami. He’s been great so far in spring training. They’re also not really trying to win, so why not roll him out there and see if he can save what few games they might have a chance to win? Worst thing that can happen is they lose and solidify more high draft picks. Next to worst thing is they win, he gets the saves, and then they flip him for a prospect at the trade deadline.

    Make sense to you? Makes sense to me. But maybe I’m over-thinking things. What’s your take?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
      (link)

      Generating tradeable commodities is definitely on their to do list.

  5. Question
    I’m in a 16 team league
    I have 1st pick in draft
    Our league has a good emphasis on pitching
    Top 2 scorers in fantasy last year were pitchers.
    I think trout with Protection in lineup could have monster year.
    But at 32 pick ..I’m sure every Stud pitcher is gone.
    Any advice to help tilt my decision

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
      (link)

      You aren’t wrong. Pitching will be gone and going. It depends how you want to build your team, though. Numbers say Cole or deGrom but i wouldn’t fault you for going Trout.

Comments are closed.