From a straight love em’ and leave ’em perspective, the middle relief guys (the ones that are only there for stream-ability) are the daily glue that keeps a lineup together. Unlike hitters who get the spot start and we know pregame that they are in the lineup, inserting the correct reliever to help with K’s and ratios becomes a guessing game. So we are still in draft mode and we can always go into the season with some idea of the guys in the middle relief core that don’t get the save love, but still are vital contributors to the fantasy community. Their spotty appearances allow you to add innings with substantial K/9 value, and at a fraction of the innings price that streaming a starter would. Because if there was a starter on the waiver wire that had a 12-plus K/9 rate, he would not be on the waiver wire. So adding to the sum total one inning at a time is a nice way to get a good chunk of strikeout and ratio help. Granted that they don’t suck when they are in your lineup. My theory on in-season middle relief for leagues that don’t use Holds is this: Find two. Fall in love with one (but don’t move in together) and promise the other you will call her all the while you are totally looking for that next best one the very second that the other pitcher pitches. I call it the “steady girl and grass is greener” theory. With the innings limit, and minimums upcoming for the Fantrax Razzball leagues, it is important to find middle relief that gives you some middle relief. Roster one all the time, and always find a new fling on the horizon. Here are some K/9 relievers that are late draft day boons to your fantasy roster from the jump. We are talking about the guys after Chad Green, Carl Edwards Jr., Chris Devenski and Dellin Betances are long off the board.
Here’s a little chart showing the top non-closers (under 3 saves and at least 30 innings pitched) in the second half of last year. I prefer to look at the surgers rather than the compilers for the year. Here are the stats and numbers that I am looking at to determine my MR for rostering on draft day…
|Carl Edwards Jr.||12.77||.137||.242||15.6|
Mychal Givens – Not really in the closer talk with Brach and O’Day. Three straight years over the 10 plus K/9 rate that makes relievers tolerable. What I am interested in is second half of last year. BAA was under .200, K/9 rate spiked to almost 13. Showalter is a man of pattern with relievers and Givens is his guy a lot of times regardless of versus LH or RH.
Emilio Pagan – Got 50 innings last year for the Mariners and was traded in the Ryon Healy trade. 10+ K-rate in second half and a SwStr% of 13.3 in second half is something to hang your hat on. He is young and the walk rate is always something to watch, but not here. The 8 walks in 159 batters faced is pretty phenomenal for someone who throws hard. If there’s a sleeper this year for me it is definitely him.
Yusmeiro Petit – Amassed 86 innings in relief last year and was basically Scoiscia’s horse. Which I don’t think Mike actually knows what a horse is, but anyways. 101 K’s on the year and was far stronger in the second half last year. 9.25 K/9 first half, 10.8 second. Moves to a better ballpark for saving runs and limits bats to a .204 BAA last year. I am all over him on draft day.
A.J. Minter – Swoon. 15 K/9 rate is to dies and the youth and talent is in his favor. Future closer that is sitting behind Vizcaino and Jose Ramirez on the priority chart which makes him fair game for free. A reliever that misses bats, doesn’t walk many and K’s a ton. Sign me up. Has been my last round pick in three drafts to date.
Craig Stammen – What is it recycling day? This guy just seemed to come out of nowhere and gives the Father’s 80 quality innings. A veteran around youth is always a good thing for stream-ability, because more times than not he is going to get the call in a tough situation. Shy away from using him on days that have LH heavy teams as they hit him 60 points higher than RH. A .254 wOBA is nice, but he is that second girl that use up and throw away on multiple occasions this year.
Pat Neshek – Dude is just funky enough to be effective. Plus is an awesome dude in real life. Was already having a really fantastic year at Philly pre-trade to Colorado. After trade did everything better. K rate was up, BAA down and wOBA down All good check marks for rostering a reliever. Is the second chair closer for Phil’s but that doesn’t get too much love on draft day as his ADP is currently 5 bills in NFBC.
Anthony Swarzak – Best part of him is that he has two closers lying in front of him. So save speculation will be on A.J. Familia. Between him and Blevins they should be a great bridge to the end game for the Mets. Split last year with the White Sox and Brewers, after trade had a 11 k/9 rate in 26 appearances. Limited the opponents to a .208 BAA and a .253 wOBA. If I could start the year with Peit and Swarzak as my two i would be completely happy.
Adam Morgan – I am starting to fall in love with some of the high quality arms that are in the Phillies pen. Embraced the role of semi-long reliever last year and once he established himself as better than that he had a 12+ K/9 rate, SwStr% 16.8, which puts him in the top 12 relievers. Between him and Hoby Milner they are going to be a tough LH combo that mixes in with the Neris, Ramos, Garcia, Neshek mix.