What’s good, Razzfools?
Yes, that’s me starting a second consecutive SAGNOF report with the same pun. If it ain’t broken, amirite?
Here’s the best and worst of the past week (note: yesterday’s games do not factor in):
Josh Hader had himself a week: 4 SV, 4 IP, 1 H, buncha zeroes, then 5 K. No one had more saves, and now no one has more saves in all of 2022 (he’s caught Jordan Romano for the MLB lead with 8). Hader did Hader thangs and he’s simply about as good a fantasy reliever as you’ll ever see.
Aroldis Chapman got back on track with 3 SV this past week. Good news is he didn’t walk anyone and only allowed a couple hits; bad-ish news is he only managed 7.1 SwStr%. Some more good news is he had 40.5 CSW%. If you don’t know what that is, then trust me when I say 30% and up is pretty darn good. You’re really freakin cookin when you’re over 40%.
Jorge Lopez is looking like a league-winning type RP early on, notching three more saves this week while striking out seven in just 3.2 IP. But remember…last year the O’s also had an early league-winning-looker-type in Cesar Valdez, who crashed and burned in a big way. Lopez is a lot better than Valdez, though; he’s actually got legit strikeout stuff, as evidenced by his 35.1 K% this season. Baltimore isn’t very good, and they lost their ace ROS, but full-time closers always have a place on fantasy rosters. Plus this one’s got SP/RP eligibility on most platforms (if not all).
Emilio Pagan is the Twins reliever to own in SV-only formats…for now. He bagged 2 SV this week, but it was kinda ugly: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 K. He doesn’t get many whiffs, so he’s a lesser-tier reliever even if he gets those walks under control. I don’t fully trust him long-term, but for now he’s gotta be rostered if you need saves.
Dany Jimenez is the headline daddy this week, and in my humble opinion he should just keep the A’s closer gig after Lou Trivino returns from the COVID list. Jimenez isn’t perfect, and there are signs that bad things could be on the horizon (namely the amount of barrels and hard hits he’s allowed), but he’s a damn sight better than Lou “Boring” Trivino. Though to give Trivino some credit, he does excel at forcing weak contact, whereas Jimenez is already one of the league’s worst in that regard.
Giovanny Gallegos was a draft fade of mine since Oli Marmol said it’d basically be a case-by-case situation. Yet here we are, with all four STL saves so far going to Gallegos. I’m not entirely sold he’s the only guy who will ever get looks back there, but he’s clearly favored and is very good at what he does. Picked up 2 SV this week and managed a nice 17.4 SwStr%.
Alex Colome picked up 2 SV and 1 HD this week, but it came at the cost of a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. The man ain’t very good, and he’s only getting opps cuz Daniel Bard has been dealing with a minor back issue. I’m looking at him as a last resort option in SVHD leagues and I’m still completely ignoring him in SV-only formats unless I’m desperate as hell. And right now I’m not desperate as hell in any league. Bard’s simply better and safer, and that’s saying a lot.
Chris Stratton converted two save chances and also scored a hold. That’s big work from a Bucs reliever. Much to my chagrin, Stratton shares closing duties with Bednar despite being the off-brand Robin to a sex-icon Batman.
Speaking of David Bednar, he had 1 SV and 2 HD this week, rocking a negative FIP in the process. He had a ridonk 57.1 K% and 38 SwStr%, too. Muhfuh is real good at the baseball. If I were the Bucs, I’d be pumping this dude’s save totals as much as I could and then selling him this summer. But Bucs gonna Bucs, so he’s in a timeshare instead.
Jordan Romano has allowed runs in two of his last three and a total of four hits in that span. Maybe being overworked is the driving factor here. Short spring and all. Maybe, just maybe, the Romano owner in your league is already worried he’s about to fall apart. A quick peek at the SwStr% and CSW% he still compiled despite a “rough” week tells me otherwise. Ain’t worried a single bit by a somewhat down week from him.
Anthony Bender has been pitching poorly and also has been dealing with a back injury, so Tanner Scott looked like he might be the next guy up until he went and got Austin Riley’d. Even still, Scott managed 42.9 K%, 0 BB%, 22.8 SwStr%, and 35.1 K% this past week. I’m gonna trust those numbers instead of a random long ball when that hasn’t been an issue for him in the past.
Ryan Thompson officially became a member of the Tampa Bay Rays Closer Carousel by earning a save. He’s not very exciting at all, so just ignore him unless you’re in AL-only or a very, very deep league. Andrew Kittredge is rosterable for his volume and quality numbers; Thompson is a depth piece who will get a handful of saves ROS at best. He’s an okay SVHD guy I guess.
Raisel Iglesias apparently needed a day off the other day so Archie Bradley scored a save. Don’t expect that to be a thing very often at all. I ranked Iglesias as the #3 fantasy closer for a reason.
Oh hey, that Lucas Sims guy is back and already closing for the Reds. He was pretty poopy in his season debut (1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 HBP in a mid-relief outing) but bounced back the next day with a perfect inning for his first save of 2022. And as bad as his first appearance was, he still clocked 15 strikes out of 21 pitches.
Josh Staumont had 7 K in 4 IP but had mixed bag as far as counting stats go: 1 SV, 1 HD, and 1 BS. Big fan of his SVHD league value, though we all know he’s splitting closer duties with Scott Barlow, which is more than I expected to be able to say of him at this point.
Matt Barnes seems to be back in the closer mix for Boston, snagging a save a few days back. He’s only got 5 IP under his belt this year but there are already some warning signs. When you’ve got a 9.00 H/9, 12.5 K%, and 9.4 SwStr%, that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
Zach Jackson is emerging as a pretty solid setup guy in Oakland. He scored a 3 SVHD (1 SV, 2 HD) this past week with 5 K and no walks in 3.1 IP. Trivino is due back any day now, though.
I don’t know that there’s a lot of actual fantasy value to be had here, but I can’t not be on the Wil Crowe train right now. Dude bagged a dub and a hold this week, striking out 6 in 3.2 IP. He’s up to 16 K in 13.1 IP. If he starts to see consistent high-leverage duties, then his SVHD stock will rise. Don’t think he’ll vie for any save chances unless Bednar and/or Stratton happen to get traded.
Welp, Hector Neris botched his first save chance with Ryan Pressly still on the IL. Speaking of…they sure made it sound like Pressly was ready to come back, like, days ago. Regardless, he shouldn’t be far away, and whoever happens to snag a save or two in the interim is only a short-term play for fantasy. Pressly should finish as one of the best RPs around, barring further injury.
Matt Bush collected two saves this week, it’s just that one of them was of the blown variety. The Rangers are a mess and this bullpen is a mess. I’m just here for the Jose Leclerc galaxy brain waiver add when he’s ready to return to action. Nary a soul in that pen right now makes me wanna smash that add button.
Steven Wilson is cranking out the holds and the Ks right now. Three holds this week gives him four on the year to go along with 2 W and 12 K in 7.1 IP. The 22.9 SwStr% speaks to his dominance, and with just 2 H and 2 BB allowed, I’m feeling pretty friggin good about this kid. Should Taylor Rogers falter, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wilson become Plan B for saves in San Diego.
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.