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.
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.
- Kirby Yates (Andres Munoz)
- Josh Hader (Corey Knebel)
- Roberto Osuna (Ryan Pressly)
- Liam Hendriks (Joakim Soria)
- Aroldis Chapman (Zach Britton)
- Hector Neris (Seranthony Dominguez)
- Kenley Jansen (Blake Treinen)
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.
- Edwin Diaz (Dellin Betances)
- Taylor Rogers/Sergio Romo
- Nick Anderson/Jose Alvarado
- Raisel Iglesias (Michael Lorenzen)
- Brad Hand (James Karinchak)
- Ken Giles (Anthony Bass)
- Hansel Robles (Ty Buttrey)
- Sean Doolittle/Daniel Hudson
Bottled water: Nothing fancy, just an essential in any doomsday scenario.
- Alex Colome (Steve Cishek)
- Archie Bradley (Kevin Ginkel)
- Giovanny Gallegos (Ryan Helsley)
- Jose Leclerc (Rafael Montero)
- Craig Kimbrel (Rowan Wick)
- Joe Jimenez (Buck Farmer)
- Ian Kennedy (Tim Hill)
- Brandon Workman (Matt Barnes)
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.
- Keone Kela (Kyle Crick)
- Mark Melancon (Will Smith)
- Matt Magill (Yoshihisa Hirano)
- Wade Davis (Scott Oberg)
- Brandon Kintzler (Ryne Stanek)
- Tony Watson/Shaun Anderson
- Mychal Givens (Hunter Harvey)