Welcome to my first regular season post of the year 2016. I’m moving in a different direction this season, as I wanted a new challenge and got burnt out doing the same thing every year. You gots to diversify! This will be my first season where I get to talk about pitching, but not just any pitching, bullpens! I love the pen, always have. As a kid, the Goose was one of my favorite players and seeing a game get closed out was the best feeling as a fan. Even as a kid I wanted the ball at the end of games. From age nine ’til 16, I was a solid back end option [Jay’s Note: I like your mom’s solid back end option] to take the mound and finish a game. On the unfortunate flip-side, I couldn’t start a game to save my life. I don’t even want to try and remember what the ERA difference was, but it was somewhere in the fourish range. You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with SAGNOF? Only to show you how much passion I have for the bullpen. This year I’ll be doing my best week in and week out to bring you the top speed and saves plays. For those that remember my Sunday content for the past two seasons, Creeper of the Week, this will be similar to that, with the focus going solely to SAGNOF. Unless of course I can’t resist a batty call plug that hasn’t been mentioned on the site. Hey, I’m working through creeper withdraw. I wonder if they make an alternative to help me get my fix… Mendozadone!
With your drafts in the book, you should already own some early season SAGNOF. Under-owned names like the King of SAGNOF Rajai Davis, sneaky dark-horser Jonathan Villar, and my personal favorite, Cesar Hernandez, should be employed if you go the SAGNOF route. By the way, what is the SAGNOF route? In reality, its a life philosophy that trickles into fantasy. You see, when you are not in a committed relationship and instead choose to go hunting/fishing every night, then you are living the SAGNOF life. Don’t worry, I think married guys have it too. If you happen to be in a committed relationship and you have to mix up the boredom with purchases, then the “S” stands for sales/stuff. Do you look forward to the Sunday Best Buy ad, or in my case, the Big 5 ad? Then you are a married SAGNOFer. Aneeeeedahoo, let’s get to some profiles for week one ownership…
Sam Dyson, P TEX
All offseason it was looking like Shawn Tolleson was going to get moved. I heard more rumors about the Texas closer than Kanye feuding with (insert name). He doesn’t have the normal flash of your elite game stoppers, instead using control and a good mix to go along with that deceptive delivery. I only call it deceptive because it looks like the ball jumps out of his hand and appears faster than it is. Dyson, who is the next in line, sorry Kela fans, averages 95 on the gun and has a sinker that gets comped to some of the best in the game. When you look beyond the stat line, you see an arm with a high SwStr%, low contact rate, and an amazing 68.8% GB rate. He even limits hard contact to just 17.8% and with two plus pitches and its easy to see why. If for any reason Tolleson falters, which many believe he will, then Dyson is the own. So why not own him now if you have the space? Stay ahead of the game instead of scrambling when Tolleson blows his first save. If you are worried about losing your 7th starter, then you aren’t playing with Rudy’s tools. Those little toys of his make it feel like you have a co-owner with you every day. Seriously, buy them, so worth it.
Dalier Hinojosa, P PHI
This should feel redundant at this point, but in case you have been living under a rock or stuck at home watching the Rock, (the movie not the wrestler turned actor), then this is for you. In ESPN leagues, he is owned in just 2.4% where in our RCL’s the ownership is much higher. He had an up and down spring, but was talked about a lot to get a chance to close and that is good enough for me. If you are in camp, David Hernandez, then it might be good to know that in 40 career save opportunities, he has converted only 21 of them. He barely passes at 50% and you want to hand him the ball? This sh*t-uation is so in the toilet, that the winner of this “title” reminds me of presidential elections when our choices are likened to deciding between Dominoes or Papa John’s. They both give you gas and never deliver on the promise that their pizza politics are good. As of now, no closer has been named and like many of these situations go, the first one to keep recording saves or at the very least pitching well when handed the ball will ultimately hold the job. I believe the Andrew Bailey factor is for real but since he got sent down we will have to wait for his return. Hold Hinojosa for now, but not too tight. If you are good in saves and want to grab a hot hand, then do it, but if you are starving and will take the saves crumbs, then give Dalier a look.
Carl Crawford, OF LAD
I’m digging with this call because he’s only 2% owned in ESPN leagues. This is where opportunity meets match-ups and can make you look like a crazy genius to your leaguemates. According to Rudy’s weekly hit planner, Crawford is set to face five right-handers and it wouldn’t matter if it was three. Knowing he will get the starts and most likely bat lead-off is good enough for SAGNOF. In an injury plagued 2015 Crawford was still able to swipe 10-in-12 attempts all while only having 193 plate appearances. I think Van Slyke is on the other side of the platoon, only being deployed to face lefties, but keep an eye out for Austin Barnes as they like his bat and have talked about giving him outfield reps to try and find ways to keep him around even after Grandal returns. I have a feeling that the Dodgers scrap it together through injury approach will lead to lots of batty calls for the first few months.
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