What’s poppin, Razzpimples? Bullpen update time!
Don’t forget, the Razzball Bullpen Chart is manned by yours truly and updated like every single second (not really, but I stay on top of thangs for the most part). And directly below are your Top 10 most valuable RP over the last week, courtesy of our super cool and filterable Last 7 Days pitching stats page you should be using all the time, as well as a current look at the Top 15 RP via our Player Rater.
Here’s what stood out to me this week (Note: Monday’s games do not factor in):
Player Rater Top 15
Top 10 Last 7 Days
Another week, another round of sensational, mindboggling greatness from Edwin Diaz. Sitting well atop the RP ranks on the Player Rater while putting in the #2 week among RPs. And really it’s the #1 week in my mind cuz Burke’s $ total was spiked by a pair of random wins. Diaz is still on pace to strike out over half of batters faced while basically walking no one at all. It’s remarkable.
Liam Hendriks had 3 SV this week and basically clocked in as the #2 RP this week, cuz the guy ahead of him, Devenski, was also spiked by a pair of wins. Hendriks may not be dominating like many thought, but he’s still easily in the realm of the elites. Player Rater says he’s the #12 RP, but I say he’ll be pushing Top 5 come end of September. Can’t complain much about 36.6 K5, 5.9 BB%, and 18.3 SwStr%. Positive regression is in his future.
Tanner Houck bagged a pair of saves, tossing 2.2 perfect innings. Very lackluster swing-and-miss stuff this week, however, but I guess that’s not the end of the world. Garrett Whitlock earned a loss recently, by the way. Might see Houck favored a bit more? We’ll see.
Ian Kennedy had 2 SV and also a loss this week. The D-Backs have moved away from Mark Melancon as their full-time closer, though he did get the last save they’ve had. Technically it’s a committee approach between those two and Joe Mantiply for now. You know what’s kinda crazy to me? Those three have 23 SV combined, and that’d be good for #7 in all of baseball if they were all one person. Wouldn’t have expected that many saves at this point from Zona.
My boi Ryan Helsley had 1 W and 2 SV this week, and if you’ve forgotten how awesome he is just go peek at the Player Rater and see the one name ahead of him. Helsley added five more strikeouts to his impressive 2022 totals: 67 K in 45.2 IP. He’s the only player with 10+ SV whose ERA and WHIP are under 1.00.
Well, I’ll admit I’m not as impressed with Craig Kimbrel as I thought I’d be right about now. He did pick up 2 SV and 4 K this week, but he continues to allow baserunners and runs. If you look at just his ERA and WHIP, you’ll think it’s probably Mark Melancon or something. Good news is both FIP and SIERA say he’s a better pitcher than a 4.15 ERA. His K% is still good at least. Control isn’t exactly air-tight these days. Owners can take comfort in the fact that it’ll take some really bad stuff for him to lose his gig.
Emmanuel Clase had two more saves this week, keeping his 2022 badassery well intact. The dude is so close to being upper-echelon elite but the strikeouts just aren’t quite there. No one can score off him and no one gets a free pass, and it’s not like his K stuff is bad by any means, it’s just not Diaz or Hader or Hendriks levels.
Also another pair of saves for Jordan Romano, who kinda quietly sits at #6 on the Player Rater for relievers. Romano is definitely a notch or below the likes of Clase in reality, but the fantasy returns have been pretty similar overall.
Jonathan Hernandez had 2 SV. Seems like he’s gaining ground as the Rangers closer, but it’s not safe to say the job is his. It’s just maybe mostly his, ya dig?
So the Mariners are being annoying again. Paul Sewald isn’t the only guy getting saves right now. Gotta think he’s still the #1-ish guy of course, but both Andres Munoz and Erik Swanson picked up a save this week. The M’s bullpen has been absolutely disgustingly good this year, so I guess it makes sense to use guys all over the place. They can all, apparently do whatever is needed. Munoz had 0 ER and 7 K this week, Sewald had 0 ER and 4 K, and then Swanson had 0 ER and 6 K.
Wil Crowe had 1 W and 1 SV, with 4 K and no runs allowed in 2.1 IP. He’s the man while Bednar is out.
Each of A.J. Puk and Zach Jackson record 1 SV and 1 HD this week, though there were hits and homers and walks allowed along the way. Dany Jimenez is back and pitching very well, so look for him to mix back in. Avoid this mess on this bad team if you can.
The Hold Daddy of the week was Alex Vesia, who picked up 4 HD and added 6 K across four scoreless. The 20.4 SwStr% was mighty impressive, too. The dude is capable of elite fantasy status when he’s clicking, and right now he’s most definitely clicking. Pegged him as a SVHD stud in preseason, and it only took a few months and a few injuries to make it happen! Commence the victory lap!
Three guys had 3 HD: Jhoan Duran, Kendall Graveman, and Andrew Chafin. All three are holds pimps. All three had scoreless weeks. All three pitch in the AL Central. All three…have surnames that end in “N.” All three………that’s all I got.
Trifecta alert! Alexis Diaz had 1 W, 1 SV, and 2 HD this week, striking out seven and allowing just one run 4 IP. The two Diaz brothers are ridonkulously good at throwing a baseball.
Duran wasn’t the only Twins guy picking up holds: Griffin Jax, Michael Fulmer, Caleb Thielbar, and Emilio Pagan had varying amounts of holds. Duran and Fulmer are at the top of the totem pole, but Jax and Thielbar aren’t bad deep league sources or AL-only sources if you happen to be in the market.
Jordan Hicks had 1 W and 2 HD. Allowed just one run and struck out seven in 4.2 IP. Like those Minnesota guys above, he’s a deeper source.
David Bednar hit the IL with a nagging lower back problem. Oof.
As mentioned above, Mark Melancon is no longer the sole closer in Arizona. He’s still got 15 SV on the year, but his owners have to be very frustrated by this midseason turn of events.
Robert Suarez was activated after a lengthy IL stint. Might work back into the holds mix for the Padres before long. Might just middle-reliever it up, though.
Matt Barnes is back for Boston. I’m about 0.00001% interested in his fantasy stock, like, ever again. But I said that about Mark Melancon when San Diego had him…
I do some fantasy baseball as well as some fantasy hockey here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.