It was right in front of our faces and we ignored it.  No one said the obvious.  The elephant in the room.  We all should have known that we were getting fooled by the A’s because we trusted a Melvin.  A Melvin!  After years of hoodwinking by Upton, we now get the reflexive of this, and are getting bobbed.  Predictably, the A’s manager has made a real hash of the bullpen situation already, and we only sit four games into the season.  I get his mentality in some states, because you want your best pitcher pitching to the best players in the opposing lineups and yadda, yadda, yadda.  But this is fantasy baseball sir.  We don’t have the time or social skills warranted to be able to deal with this type stuff.  So for those of you living on a house boat with no wifi, the A’s bullpen usage is a flummoxed up mess with no one to trust.  It’s like November 23rd, 1963 in Dallas, Texas type of questioning everything.  Ryan Madson was the presumed closer and he has been treated as the go to guy for getting the tough outs.  Twice against the middle of the order which included a Trout named outfielder.  Then the first day went to Santiago Casilla, then the next day to Ryan Dull.  But the things that boggles the mind is set orders here.  I get that it is early and mixing and matching is cool like millennials do with socks now, but we need some kind of pecking order for rostering-type priorities.  I can’t deal with this madness, I am going to alphabetize my canned goods.  In the mean time, check out the closer menu, now with a deal on salads.

  • The similarities between 2015, 2016, and 2017 for the Texas Rangers’ closers are eerily similar.  And at the current rate, there will be a new Saver, Texas Ranger in the saddle by May showers.  The appearances by Tolleson and Dyson in consecutive years are creepy close and the Pipp’n, and could come soon as Dyson has allowed 8 ER in two appearances.  Bush, then Jeffress, but I would own both until we find out something definitive.
  • The Mets closer drops to near the bottom until the suspension is lifted for Jeurys.
  • Same goes for Osuna and the Blue Jays.  Only there by happenstance, not sucktitude.
  • Jeanmar gonna Jeanmar until Jeanmar can’t Jeanmar no more.
  • Want a sleeper to keep an eye on?  Jose Ramirez with Atlanta.
  • Love me some retreads and wanna not retire to an art community in the dessert to perfect your art.  J.J. Hoover has been used in nice situations so far, and if anyone wants to remember Archie Bradley… he is now in the long man/setup role there.  The way that the D-Backs roll through relievers, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some Bradley chatter soon.


$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Kenley Jansen – (Sergio RomoGrant Dayton)

2. Aroldis Chapman – (Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard)

3. Zach Britton – (Darren O’DayBrad Brach)

4. Edwin Diaz – (Nick Vincent, Dan Altavilla)

5. Craig Kimbrel – (Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree)



Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.

6. Ken Giles – (Will Harris, Luke Gregerson)

7. Mark Melancon – (Hunter Strickland, Derek Law)

8. Seung-Hwan Oh – (Kevin Siegrist, Brett Cecil)

9. Wade Davis(Koji Uehara, Pedro Strop)

10. Cody Allen – (Andrew MillerBryan Shaw)

11. Kelvin Herrera – (Joakim Soria, Matt Strahm)

12. Alex Colome – (Xavier Cedeno, Erasmo Ramirez)

13. Cam Bedrosian – (Andrew Bailey, Jose Alvarez)

14. A.J. Ramos– (Brad ZieglerKyle Barraclough)

15. David Robertson(Nate Jones, Dan Jennings)

16. Francisco Rodriguez – (Bruce Rondon. Joe Jimenez)

17. Tony Watson – (Daniel HudsonFelipe Rivero)

18. Greg Holland – (Adam Ottavino, Mike DunnJake McGee)

19. Blake Treinen – (Shawn Kelley, Koda Glover)



These guys are the men that make the save market go round. They punch in, punch out. Have the job, no real threat to speak of, and are basically just there to collect great benny’s so they can take care of their crippled brother. Who is only really crippled because he is scared of the sun.

20. Jim Johnson –  (Arodys Vizcaino, Jose Ramirez)

21. Brandon Kintzler – (Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers)

22. Neftali Feliz – (Corey Knebel, Carlos Torres)

23. Jeanmar Gomez   (Hector NerisJoaquin Benoit)

24. Fernando Rodney– (J.J Hoover, Archie Bradley)

25. Sam Dyson– (Matt Bush, Jeremy Jeffress)


Brain Freezes

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Carlos Marmol– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Castro in the head with a pick-off throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

26. Brandon Maurer (Carter Capps – DL, Ryan Buchter)

27. Addison Reed –  (Fernando Salas, Hansel Robles, Jeurys Familia – DL)

28. Jason Grilli / Joe Biagini – (Roberto Osuna- DL,  Danny Barnes)

29. Ryan Madson /  Santiago Casilla / Ryan Dull

30. Raisel IglesiasDrew Storen  / Michael Lorenzen

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Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
5 years ago

i’m posting this here and in your most recent baseball.

1. deep 20 team h2h dynasty with relief appearances/holds/k per 9, relief wins
start 7 RP. my worst currently being hembree/pressly (K rate up so far, just dropped duffey for him)/jc ramirez (about to start for some reason). hold those or go any of
-parker LAA
-moylan (K rate up, now moved ahead of strahm, and it’s not like soria is reliable)
-fields (he might be back or even better than he’s ever been, deep on depth charts and baez back soon, but could move)
-hunter (doing well, TB is goofy with using like all of their guys, for some reason listed as 2nd to colome at depthcharts)
– wandy peralta CIN (not like storen is that hard to overtake)
-rogers (in case you like him better than pressly)

2. also, which of my guys is the drop to attempt to waiver hoover?

3. 16 teamer with net saves/K%/net saves and holds. redraft
have koji/allen/neris/gregerson/rivero/grilli
guess it’s too early to drop anybody for barnette here? if i were to drop anybody barnes/rosenthal/mcgee/kelley would be replacements in case barnette doesn’t get job.

5 years ago

Holds… keep Seigrist, or move on to Strop (ChC) or Estevez (Col)?

5 years ago

Great Article.

Would like your input:

I have Kyle Barraclough in a 12 team fantasy league; using him for holds/possible closer promotion.

However, I am a huge Archie Bradley fan and I see he is doing extremely well as a setup.

League settings: 5pts for Saves
1pt for holds
IP 3 pts
Ks 1.25 pt

For the rest of the season, who would you roll with?

5 years ago

1. Is Bradley going to be the eighth inning guy in arizona?

2. You think Harris becomes the 8th inning guy in houston after Gregorson blew up?

3. What role does edwards have in chicago? Thoughts on him for holds?

5 years ago

Drop Casilla or Madson?

5 years ago

Oh, Smokey, you are in for a lonnnng season. And I’ll be right here with you thanks to Dusty.

I know you’re not interested in touching the Reds situation, but Drew Storen getting a save raised half of one of my eyebrows the other day. Although Church is holding it down pretty well. (This is how bad my saves sitch is).

Talk to ya next time!

5 years ago

Hi Smokey! Great to have the closer/MR in-season posts back!

Doing OK so far with Melancon (newest Donkeycorn!), Colome, and Bedrosian for saves and Bush, Seigrist, and Shaw for holds.

I know we can’t see inside the brain of the Sciosciapath, but how do you see things working out if/when Street is well enough to pitch again? I can’t believe I’m stashing him when Cam seems like he can do the business. Is it going to be a mess (or more of a mess) when he’s activated? Thanks.

5 years ago

Great write up as usual
Kimbrel owner in a holds league. Would you prefer Kelly or Archie Bradley as an SP eligible reliever? Thanks!!

Wacha Wacha
Wacha Wacha
5 years ago

First time playing in a league that uses S+H as a category. Other than that it is a standard espn 5×5 h2h. I have only 3 RP slots and I have Btances, Matt Bush and Will Harris currently but there are so many options on the waiver wire too…

Who would you want?

Holland, Maurer, Madson, Rodney, J Gomez, Kintzler, Casilla, Neris, Gregerson, Glover, Rivero, Dunn, Shaw, Hand, Soria


Bye Felica
Bye Felica
5 years ago

Rasiel or Nerris

5 years ago

good stuff Smoke. definitely taking a close look at Ramirez now.

normally I try and grab like a top 7 closer, and then pair with a top 15-20 + a spec guy or a rodney type, and be quick on the wire. towards the end of the drafting season I started saying fk it and grabbing 2 guys in the top ten (Chapman/Giles or Kimbrel/Allen for example) and then a solid 3rd, and I have to say I’m way more at ease with my pitching now (and some better sleeper bats). granted these are 12evers. but it makes it so I’m not necessarily dropping a bench/sleeper bat to spec on 8th inning guys.

we’ll see how it turns out.

in other news I’m thankful for what Lovullo has done with the Sox but I am very close to writting a strongly worded letter to get Sherfy in the bigs. control be damned!

5 years ago

Who closes in Cubland if Davis goes down?

Is H Rondon a waste of roster space?

Rank Siegrist, Shawn Kelley, Strop and PBaez for save chasing?


Reply to  ferris
5 years ago

@ferris: Box score watching the past couple games, it looks like they’re working Rondon back into the 8th inning picture, so definitely not a waste of a roster space.

5 years ago

Smokey, I use this more than any other article so thanks. Is Jose Ramirez gonna leap frog to the closer when Johnson is gone? I wanna know who I should be plotting to get today for tomorrow, do I trade for Robertson assuming hes gonna be a Nat anyday now or wait? I feel like Bedrosian is a great closer where they aren’t winning enough and they break all the closers balls for no reason. Anyway thanks again. PS. Can you tell Tehol I spoke to Grey and he has his full support on writing a gambling article on who to bet on in baseball. Go Phils!

Reply to  LT
5 years ago

Don’t take gambling advice from Tehol!