It’s been a messy couple of weeks for relievers. Shoulders, elbows, backs, oh my. We’re getting daily news bombs that feel like a gut punch. Welcome to baseball season! My tiers are aptly themed friends of March Madness this week. A good portion of the third and fourth tier are close to moving up, I just need more concrete confirmation on their roles once the real bullets start flying…
- My interest in Will Smith is growing. Mark Melancon hasn’t had a great spring. The Giants have to compete, at least out of the gate. If Melancon can’t show reliability in a setup role he won’t touch the ninth.
- The Brewers are burning through closer options at a fast rate even for them. Jeremy Jeffress is feeling weakness in his shoulder and will start on the IL. Corey Knebel has an elbow issue and Craig Counsel just said, “There’s cause for concern.” Cause for concern? In manager speak that means he stuck his arm in a garbage disposal down to the elbow. Oh, and they’re talking to Craig Kimbrel.
- Matt Barnes finally threw a quality inning. Spring training numbers don’t mean all that much as long as a pitcher can get better towards the end of March. Barnes should be grabbing the Boston job to start the year.
- Yet another bullpen that’s getting real interesting in St. Louis. Alex Reyes has been assigned to the pen and there’s talk Carlos Martinez may return there as well. So add their names to Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller as solid pitchers who can pitch multiple innings but not ideal closers. Great.
- Blake Parker is pitching well this spring. That’s more than enough reason for the team to give him the job and save money on Trevor May next time he hits arbitration.
- It’s been a wild spring for Mychal Givens. He can’t seem to get anyone out or get out of an inning. There weren’t many save opportunities on the Orioles to begin with. If a committee becomes necessary just give that bullpen a mental strikethrough.
The Friend Willing To Run A Bracket Pool
Running a pool of any kind is a thankless job. Someone is always unhappy about something. “Can’t we get more entries?” “Why aren’t we doing a Calcutta pool this year?” “Can I make a change even though it’s 4:00 PM on Thursday?” These friends are heroes. You can depend on them.
- Edwin Diaz (Jeurys Familia)
- Blake Treinen (Fernando Rodney, Lou Trivino)
- Kenley Jansen (Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez)
- Roberto Osuna (Ryan Pressly, Hector Rondon)
- Brad Hand (Danny Salazar)
- Felipe Vazquez (Keone Kela, Richard Rodriguez)
- Jose Leclerc (Jesse Chavez)
Your Buddy Who Actually Watches NCAA Basketball
You may not know Saint Mary’s from Saint Martha’s but they do. They can tell you about conferences, strength of schedule, bad injury luck, and much more. The problem is getting on the same wavelength and harnessing that ability to help you make a damn pick.
- Aroldis Chapman (Adam Ottavino / Zach Britton)
- Kirby Yates (Craig Stammen, Jose Castillo)
- Josh Hader (Corey Knebel, Jeremy Jeffress) *Kimbrel’s looming
- Sean Doolittle (Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal)
- Wade Davis (Seung-Hwan Oh, Scott Oberg)
- Archie Bradley (Greg Holland, Yoshihisa Hirano)
- Cody Allen (Ty Buttrey)
- Ken Giles (Ryan Tepera)
- Will Smith (Mark Melancon, Tony Watson)
- Raisel Iglesias (Jared Hughes, David Hernandez)
That Dude From College Who Thinks He Knows
We all like to be good at knowing sports. Sometimes you fake it a little. Then there’s the guy that’s more transparent than Teddy KGB flopping a made straight. He uses terms in all the wrong ways. You suspect he’s bought into a pool well above any buy-in he should ever consider. He’s not a bad guy at his core, he just doesn’t have it.
- Jose Alvarado (Chaz Roe / Diego Castillo)
- Matt Barnes / Ryan Brasier (Heath Hembree)
- Arodys Vizcaino (A.J. Minter)
- Hunter Strickland (Anthony Swarzak)
- Alex Colome / Kelvin Herrera (Nate Jones)
- Shane Greene (Joe Jimenez)
- Seranthony Dominguez / David Robertson
- Jordan Hicks / Andrew Miller (Carlos Martinez / Alex Reyes)
The Guy Who Thinks He’s A “Bracketologist”
- Blake Parker (Trevor May, Taylor Rogers)
- Mychal Givens (Paul Fry, Richard Bleier)
- Brad Boxberger / Wily Peralta
- Drew Steckenrider / Sergio Romo
- Steve Cishek / Carl Edwards, Jr. (IL: Brandon Morrow, Pedro Strop )