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What’s poppin’, Razzpimples?

Remember to bookmark that Razzball Bullpen Chart, y’all! I update it obsessively.

Also, if you’re a sub (you should be a sub…it’s great value), you get access to RP Projections and the super badass Relievonator Game Log tool, in addition to all the other awesome tools we have to offer. Hittertron and Streamonator, etc.

Let’s do it to it.

Note: All stats and Player Rater values are accurate through Sunday’s games.


Player Rater Top 15 (5×5 Standard)

# Name Team Pos $ $/G PS PA/IP $W $SV $ERA $WHIP $K R%
1 Daniel Hudson LAD RP 25.9 6.3 14.8 3 11.6 5.5 3.3 3.2 1.3 75
2 Shelby Miller DET RP 19.4 10.3 10.9 3 11.6 -1.7 3.3 6.4 -1.1 5
3 Nick Sandlin CLE RP 17.8 9.1 10 2 11.6 -1.7 2 3.6 1.3 0
4 Evan Phillips LAD RP 17.4 2.4 9.8 2 -3.2 12.6 2.4 4.5 0.1 100
5 Tyler Holton DET RP 17 8.5 9.5 2 11.6 -1.7 2.4 1.2 2.6 0
6 Griffin Jax MIN RP 15.9 7.8 8.8 2 11.6 5.5 2 -3 -1.1 97
7 Mitch White TOR RP 13.7 22.7 7.6 3 11.6 -1.7 3.3 3.2 -3.6 0
8 Nabil Crismatt LAD RP 13.3 22.3 7.3 2 11.6 -1.7 2 0.3 0.1 0
9 Elvis Peguero MIL RP 12.8 21.6 7 2 11.6 -1.7 2 3.6 -3.6 0
10 Jason Foley DET RP 11.9 5 6.5 1 -3.2 12.6 1 1.6 -1.1 0
11 Yuki Matsui SD RP 10.8 -3.2 5.8 4 11.6 -1.7 4.6 -3.6 -1.1 66
12 Ryder Ryan PIT RP 10.7 18.9 5.8 2 11.6 -1.7 1.5 -0.5 -1.1 0
13 Luke Weaver NYY RP 9.8 17.6 5.2 1 11.6 -1.7 1 1.6 -3.6 0
14 Nick Burdi NYY RP 9 2.9 4.7 1 11.6 -1.7 1 -1.7 -1.1 0
15 Joel Payamps MIL RP 9 3 4.7 2 -3.2 5.5 2 3.6 0.1 95

Player Rater Top 15 (6×6 w/ Holds)

# Name Team Pos $ $/G PS PA/IP $W $SV $ERA $WHIP $K $HLD R%
1 Daniel Hudson LAD RP 25 10 18.4 3 11.1 5.6 2.2 3.2 1.4 0.5 75
2 Evan Phillips LAD RP 18.2 7.4 13 2 -1.2 14.8 1.5 4.1 0.4 -2.5 100
3 Shelby Miller DET RP 16.2 11.8 11.4 3 11.1 -3.6 2.2 5.5 -0.5 0.5 5
4 Clay Holmes NYY RP 15 5.8 10.4 3 -1.2 24 2.2 -6.2 -2.4 -2.5 100
5 Griffin Jax MIN RP 14.6 11.7 10.1 2 11.1 5.6 1.2 -1.3 -0.5 -2.5 97
6 Jason Foley DET RP 14.1 11.4 9.7 1 -1.2 14.8 0.4 2 -0.5 -2.5 0
7 Nick Sandlin CLE RP 12.1 9.8 8.1 2 11.1 -3.6 1.2 3.5 1.4 -2.5 0
8 Tyler Holton DET RP 11.6 9.4 7.7 2 11.1 -3.6 1.5 1.7 2.3 -2.5 0
9 Joel Payamps MIL RP 11 8 7.2 2 -1.2 5.6 1.2 3.5 0.4 0.5 95
10 Yuki Matsui SD RP 10 0.4 6.4 4 11.1 -3.6 3.2 -1.7 -0.5 0.5 66
11 Abner Uribe MIL RP 9.8 8.2 6.2 2 -1.2 14.8 -3 1.1 -0.5 -2.5 78
12 Robert Suarez SD RP 9.3 7.9 5.9 2 -1.2 14.8 -2.6 -0.7 0.4 -2.5 100
13 Mitch White TOR RP 9 21.3 5.7 3 11.1 -3.6 2.2 3.2 -2.4 -2.5 0
14 Nabil Crismatt LAD RP 8.7 21.2 5.4 2 11.1 -3.6 1.2 1.1 0.4 -2.5 0
15 Elvis Peguero MIL RP 8.3 20.4 5.1 2 11.1 -3.6 1.2 3.5 -2.4 -2.5 0

 

Well that was quite the opening to the season for relievers, wasn’t it? Sure made me look like a fool! Guys I told you to draft were either terrible or passed over entirely! It is still very early and these are all terribly small samples, clearly. Red flags are red flags, but there’s plenty of time for things to normalize. I’m gonna keep telling myself that, anyway.

Abner Uribe got the first two saves of the season for the Brewers, making it pretty clear he’s in the lead there. He was always their closer of the future, I (and others) just thought he’d have to earn the lion’s share rather than being given the ninth straight away. Joel Payamps has started the year strong: 2 IP, 2 SVHD, a bunch of zeroes, and 3 K, with a 50 CSW% and 27.3 SwStr%. The third head among this three-headed dragon, Trevor Megill, was solid, allowing 2 H and a walk in 2 IP, striking out three and collecting 1 HLD. I foresee good SVHD value from all three until Devin Williams returns this summer, but it’s looking like Uribe is the SV-only guy you want. If you listened to me, you probably grabbed Megill, and for that I apologize profusely. Who knows, maybe Uribe’s characteristic wildness comes back to bite him in the ass at some point. While he hasn’t walked a batter yet, he does have a pedestrian 6.9 SwStr% thus far.

Jason Foley is another surprise ninth-inning favorite. I saw no indication whatsoever that Alex Lange wouldn’t be closer, let alone be used just once in a low-leverage outing. Foley was good: 1.1 perfect IP with 2 K and 2 SV. Lange was not: 0.1 IP, 3 BB, 1 K. Lange’s control has always been his bugaboo and he started ’24 in the worst possible way. A.J. Hinch was quoted as being a fan of all the different guys he could close out games with, but he also said he ultimately likes to lean on one guy. That one guy seems to be Foley. Your Lange shares are sadly wasted for the time being, so I recommend just dropping him in most formats. On the holds side for Detroit, Shelby Miller, Andrew Chafin, and Tyler Holton are all in the mix. Miller hasn’t allowed any hits/runs/walks and has 1 W and 1 HLD. Chafin had a great season debut while collecting a hold, but he then earned a BS in his next outing thanks to a solo homer. Holton was downright electric: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 18.9 SwStr%, and 37.8 CSW%. Strikeouts aren’t his forte (control and soft contact are), so this is just added bonus.

Clay Holmes has claimed the early lead for saves, notching 3 SV without a run or walk in the 4-game sweep of Houston. That’s the good news. The bad news is he allowed 5 H in 3 IP, didn’t strike anyone out, had just a 2.8 SwStr%, and had a lowly 16.7 CSW%. Ian Hamilton is working his way into must-own territory for holds. He did almost nothing wrong in his first three innings of work in 2024, collecting 2 HLD and punching out three while allowing just one hit and no walks. Very strong 23.5 SwStr% and 44.1 CSW% as well. Like I said earlier, it’s very early and a very small sample, but he’s the best-looking arm in that pen right now. Caleb Ferguson was okay, Holmes has been bland but effective, and Jonathan Loaisiga coughed up 7 H in just 3 IP but was able to keep runs off the board at least. Tommy Kahnle is being treated very carefully, so his timeline is a little murky and probably not any time overly soon. Wouldn’t bother holding onto him if you had that notion.

Evan Phillips has 2 SV so far on the year, pitching 2.1 perfect innings and striking out three. No reason not to expect elite returns from this guy. At least I haven’t whiffed on him (yet)! While Brusdar Graterol is sidelined and Joe Kelly is struggling, the Daniel Hudson redemption tour is in full effect. Dude already has 1 W, 1 SV, and 1 HLD, with 4 K to just one baserunner allowed in 3 IP. My boy Alex Vesia has not been very good, with an even 4:4 K:BB in just 2.1 IP. I thought this would be his year, but I honestly just plumb didn’t expect Hudson to storm into the season like this. Kelly imploded in his last outing (0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K), so we may see Hudson as the preferred setup option until Graterol’s back, though that may be a good little while from now. Scheduled to throw off a mound today.

Robert Suarez also, as expected, has been as advertised. Also has 2 SV on the year, striking out three in 2.1 innings. Only real blemish has been a solo homer. Yuki Matsui looks right at home in the MLB, earning 1 W and 1 HLD across four scoreless. Has allowed 3 H and 1 BB, though, while only collecting a pair of strikeouts after flashing brilliant strikeout stuff this spring.

With the Duran injury, we knew it’d be Griffin Jax and Brock Stewart leading the way for the Twins pen. So far so good in that regard. Jax has a dub and 1 SV to his name, tossing two innings without a hit/run, however he does have a 2:2 K:BB. Meanwhile, Stewart has thrown a pair of innings as well, allowing two hits but no runs/walks and has struck out three. Really no one else in this pen is worth a flip for now.

We didn’t get to see too much of Andres Munoz, though he dazzled when called upon: 1.1 IP, 1 SV, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 20 SwStr%, 40 CSW%. Pretty much what we expected. I should have ranked him higher, to be honest…worth the price of admission after all (so far!). While Santos and Brash recover, it’s Ryne Stanek and Gabe Speier handling the setup duties. Both have been solid thus far, collecting a hold each. Not lights out, but good enough. Matt Brash is still just doing bullpen sessions but has progressed to the point of throwing sliders. Gregory Santos is only playing catch, so his timeline is further out.

So, in a completely logical turn of events, it seems Justin Lawrence is likely the favorite for saves for the Rockies, seeing as Tyler Kinley, who had the better spring during an open competition for the job, has been called upon twice in the 8th inning so far. Lawrence doesn’t have a save yet, but his lone 9th-ining appearance was a lot more efficient than Kinley’s two outings. I don’t even know anymore. I do wanna shout out Nick Mears, though. He’s pitched two innings and been outstanding: 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 20.8 SwStr%, 50 CSW%, and 1 HLD. It’s of course a teensy tiny sample, but you really can’t do much better at all than that type of stuff. Just, like, keep him in the periphery of the back of your mind.

Ryan Helsley left a lot to be desired in his lone save chance. He blew it but lucked into a win at least. And even though the line was ugly, the 18.5 SwStr% and 37 CSW% ain’t too shabby. Giovanny Gallegos and Andrew Kittredge are starting off well. Gallegos has already racked up 6 K in just 2.2 IP (25.5 SwStr%, 42.6 CSW%). Kittredge has earned 2 HLD in 1.2 scoreless.

David Bednar also blew a save and got bailed out for a win. His 3:0 K:BB in 2 IP is encouraging, as is the 26.9 SwStr%. Aroldis Chapman has been fantastic, as has Ryan Borucki, who has 2 HLD and 5 K in three scoreless/walkless innings.

Jose Leclerc did not fare well at all. Dude has already allowed 5 ER and 5 BB in just 1.2 IP. Wooooooof. Josh Sborz had some nice stuff going, tallying 3 K and no walks/runs en route to 1 HLD. David Robertson wasn’t as sexy but still managed 1 HLD and 1 W (1:2 K:BB). Kirby Yates also collected a hold and has pitched two scoreless. Leclerc could quickly get left in the dust with those three pitching well.

Tanner Scott is another should-be stud doing absolutely horribly. While the strikeout stuff has been very good, he’s all over the place with walks again. Last year, he was able to keep that in check. So far this year, he’s back to his old self. I’m officially worried. Andrew Nardi has also struggled. Two guys I ranked pretty highly for respective saves and holds, yay. Still, it’s very early. Hard to get too bent out of shape just yet. Right?

Jose Alvarado completely pissed his pants in his ’24 debut, taking the L but then bouncing back for the save in his next outing. Nice to see he still got the ninth after that 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB fiasco. Jeff Hoffman remains great yet has no decisions, while the other guys in this pen aren’t exactly blowing my socks off. Gregory Soto and Seranthony Dominguez have the only two holds so far. It must be noted that Soto has looked better. Sir Anthony has already allowed 5 H and 3 ER on the year, but at least the 4:0 K:BB looks nice. Matt Strahm earned a win in his first outing but then a BS in his second. To his credit, his 13.50 ERA is starkly contrasted by a -0.86 FIP and 1.67 SIERA.

Josh Hader may have taken a loss, but the dude is also already rockin a 7:1 K:BB in just 3 IP. Looking just fine. Bryan Abreu has some ugly numbers early on, gotta admit, though I ain’t a lick worried about that guy.

Same for Alexis Diaz. Terrible start, but he should be fine. Lucas Sims earned a win and also a blown save. Fernando Cruz had 1 HLD and 5 K in 2.1 IP along with some sexy lil metrics: 32.1 SwStr% and 46.4 CSW%. Noice.

Adbert Alzolay also sucked. Blew his first save chance but did rebound nicely in his second outing. Hector Neris is looking pretty good and has a dub to his name. Julian Merryweather has pitched a couple times, but they were in the 5th and 6th innings, respectively. I thought Neris might get the edge over him, and so far it’s playing out that way.

The two Royals guys most people care about didn’t impress. Will Smith took an L and allowed 2 H, 4 ER, and 2 BB with 0 K. And then James McArthur earned a BS after allowing 2 H and 1 ER. Bright side for JMA was a yummy 25 SwStr% and 43.8 CSW%. Meanwhile, it was John Schreiber with the sole positive decision in KC thus far: a hold after a scoreless 7th inning with 1 K.

Kenley Jansen looked great en route to his first save of 2024, and then he scared everyone with that recurring back issue, making him unavailable for a little bit. Good news is he was deemed available if needed yesterday, so it sounds like all systems go. Chris Martin has 1 HLD and 3 K to his name, pitching two scoreless/walkless.

I’ll end with an update on Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson. The former is set for a bullpen session today, and the team hopes for a minimum IL stay. We’ll see. I’ll believe it when I see it. And if we do see it, I still feel like a setback is much more likely than not. The latter is in the same situation and actually is a day or two ahead since he threw off a mound Saturday and then had another bullpen session yesterday. No setbacks to report, so a minimum IL stint is likely. In the interim, no Toronto reliever worth a damn has had any kind of decision. Chad Green pitched a boring inning in which he allowed a walk and a solo homer. Yimi Garcia has only thrown 0.2 IP. Tim Mayza pitched two innings and struck out three, walking one and allowing two hits and a run.

 

That’s all for this week! Thanks for reading. Leave me a comment below so I feel all warm and fuzzy.


I specialize in bullpens, and I also do some fantasy hockey as well here at Razzball. Find me on Elon’s Disaster: @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 of day. 

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toolshed
10 days ago

Abreu had a rough spring and isn’t off to a great start. He wouldn’t be the first guy that Dusty overworked. Any concerns?

In a s+holds league, would you prefer to own uribe or payamps? I have both btw. I won’t be able to justify having an extra reliever when I get some guys back. Uribe and the walk issue is still somewhat of a question for me but he looks like the closer. Thanks

Stumanji!
Stumanji!
10 days ago

Who are your top 5 Holds guys who are healthy right now? Seems like so many top options are hurt…

Stumanji!
Stumanji!
Reply to  JKJ
10 days ago

SVHD League with 3 RP slots. IP and Total Ks are H2H categories so looking for guys that will get VOLUME. Abreu and Cano are owned. Would you roster any of the other 3 guys over closers Alvarado, Suarez, or Estevez? I also have J. Duran waiting on the IL.

Mike Honcho
Mike Honcho
10 days ago

What’s your eval so far on Kopech?
Are you rostering D.Hudson over SP’s out of the Top 60 or so in 12-teamers?
D. Hudson over Gallegos, Hoffman, or Abreu?

Baller McCheese
Baller McCheese
Reply to  JKJ
10 days ago

If you’re in a league with separate SP and RP slots, Kopech has potential to be very valuable because he’s an RP you can stack in an SP spot.

Trishul Jotangia
Trishul Jotangia
10 days ago

Awesome write up!

In a saves + Holds league who would you prioritize between the following: Tend to need 4-5 rps to win the cat but also want to manage ratios. I currently have: Evan Phillips, Kimbrel, Alvarado and Jason Adam but also have an open roster spot for 1 more between:

1) Abner
2) Daniel Hudson
3) Foley
4) Matsui
5) Bryan Abreu
6) Estevez

Thanks!!

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
10 days ago

The Brewer situation still feels fluid. Uribe gave up a bunch of hard contact that found leather. Plus a bomb to Alonso. Arguably has been shakiest of the three. I do own him though so hope he keeps getting shots.

Not happy that Scott came in to the 8th in a tie game. On the surface looks like they were lining up Bender as the closer.