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.

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.

 

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.

 

The Guy Who Thinks He’s A “Bracketologist”

The most insufferable of March creatures to emerge from hibernation. They will tell you all about the “rules” of building a bracket and feed you awesome tips you didn’t actually ask for. This is also the person making a scene when all four twelve-seeds lose and their can’t miss thirteen-seed upset gets blown out of the building.
  1. Daniel Moran says:
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    Forgot we had that two week interlude and drafted right before the Japan games, now I’ve got half a dozen half-closers waiting for shoes to drop ????

    I just dropped Steckenrider and Cishek, I’ll wait for the mayhem to settle and hopefully pounce in a week or two

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Right there with you. I have a good amount of Knebel and just have to wait to see how long he’s such down for before I can drop him.

  2. Kelly Denzik says:
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    does Romo seem to have the edge as of now

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I’ve seen comments to the effect that both will be used but Romo has a slight edge if effective. Neither is worth much unless the other bows out.

  3. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    i just dropped Knebel

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I’m in some deeper leagues where you can’t give away a possible closer in the event they say he’ll pitch through the elbow issue.

  4. brett says:
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    you think reyes gets holds in st louis?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I have about as good a read on that bullpen as I do figuring out what my wife wants when she says, “You pick dinner.” If Reyes is consistent he could easily slot into the ninth.

  5. Nick says:
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    Freshly drafted :

    RPs :
    Hader
    Iglesias
    W.SMith
    A.Reyes
    Pressly

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I’m down with all of those.

  6. IMAPNess says:
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    Not like the Marlins matter but I noticed you did not include Conley. Does Romo really have that much over Conley???

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I’ve heard the Conley talk. Anything is possible on a bad team. Are you really that interested in a lefty with a 2018 4.09 ERA and 8.9 K/9 though?

      • luvdarooks says:
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        He had the HIGHEST increase in VELocity last year in the ML

  7. Dave says:
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    Strop is healthy, not on IR

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      He hasn’t been pitching. If he appears in a real game this week I’ll update him. It wouldn’t be the first time a team lied to us.

  8. Kilgore Trout says:
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    White Sox have said Colome is the guy. Herrera is set up.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Good luck trusting an MLB team on their bullpen.

      • Kilgore Trout says:
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        What are you basing your prediction of bullpen roles on, pitcher’s astrological signs?

        • Roto-Wan

          Roto-Wan says:
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          Mostly casting chicken bones I got from a shaman. My point isn’t that Colome won’t earn saves, he will. Just that there’s trust issues with what the team did in free agency.

          • Kilgore Trout says:
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            Gotcha, thanks.

  9. Ozzie Smith says:
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    Dominguez over Robertson is not what I want to hear!
    Do you think they will both be used on matchups or Dominguez will get the majority of chances. I know Kapler is a maniac, so it’s just a guess right now.
    Thanks for the work!

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Honestly, with what Kapler did last year I think there should be two or three more names as co-closers. Those two see the bulk of the work though. If Dominguez is on point he has an edge in my eyes.

  10. Hebrew Hammer says:
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    Great article.

    Question about starters.

    I need another SP bc of injuries. 16 team h2h League.

    Caleb Smith, Pablo Lopez, or Michael Pineda?

    Thanks

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      Caleb for me, has looked good so far and has the highest upside of the 3..

      • Hebrew Hammer says:
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        Also I haveDanny Duffy on my roster. (don’t ask, lol he’s on final year of contract, got two years ago).

        I would need to drop him to make room for Caleb Smith.

        Not sure if i cut Duffy or cherry-pick with starts?

        Thankyou

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I’m a Caleb Smith-Stan myself. Lopez is gaining some hype and he’s found some mystical velocity jump, I’m just not sure that’s projectable long term. And Pineda is Pineda.

      • Hebrew Hammer says:
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        With my Knebel out, it’s slim pickings in 16 team league.

        Seth Hugo is eligible for RP/SP spot.

        What do you think about him?

        • Roto-Wan

          Roto-Wan says:
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          Lugo’s a nice spec add. He’s the next man up in that rotation and just one Thor/Matz/Wheeler injury away. So he should be starting by mid April.

          • Hebrew Hammer says:
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            Thankyou.

          • Hebrew Hammer says:
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            Roto-Wan your thoughts about dropping Duffy for Caleb Smith?

            • Roto-Wan

              Roto-Wan says:
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              I’d make that move. Smith is ahead of schedule and a steal if he’s anything close to the pitcher he was last summer.

  11. MLBeastMode says:
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    Minter or Parker a better add? Thanks!

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      Neither’s a bad spec, but Parker would be the more immediate help.

  12. Crushin eeeeeem says:
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    May is the closer in Minne brah

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      May-be? I didn’t realize you were tight with Rocco Baldeli.

  13. Perfect Game says:
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    I own Barnes, Gile and LeClerc as my closers. Only one I’m comfortable with is LeClerlc. Uneasy with Giles, because…well he hasn’t performed great the last 2-3 years and Barnes may share the closer role with Brasier.

    What do you think Giles and Barnes will do in the ratio categories? And do you think Barnes gets the full-time gig or will Cora go the way of many other managers nowadays and go committee?

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