This is the Saves Ain’t Got No Face “eff the team managers” edition which will give me a chance to both vent and try to deflect blame for bad calls I’ve made.  I’m starting with the Cubs where Joe Maddon decided to go a different route on his closer situation by removing Hector Rondon from the role.  For like three days.  And I make the call that Pedro Strop had a good chance to take over as closer.  Eff Joe Maddon.  Then in Tampa (Joe Maddon’s old team.. coincidence??) the following sequence happened:  1. Brad Boxberger gets dinged, Kevin Jepsen becomes the interim closer, (arguably) leapfrogging Jake McGee in the process.  2. Boxberger came back, blew a save.  3. Jake McGee (seemingly) takes over as closer.  4. Kevin Jepsen notches a (random) save.  5. Brad Boxberger (seemingly) regains closer role.  As of Sunday, the last 15/30 days for Rays Saves is 2/4 for Jepsen, 3/3 for McGee, 3/6 for Boxberger.  Last week I claimed Jake McGee was the new closer.  He gets zero save attempts this week.  Keep reading folks because this is really just the beginning of the latest twist and turns which will leave you wanting to pull out your hair.  (Plus recommendations to follow…)

I was first tipped off waaaayyy back on April 27th about Trevor Rosenthal by a reader going by the handle Crapshoot Kershaw, who commented “…when mysteriously rosie was called “tired” after having only pitched once in last 3 days”.  His comment was related to Jordan Walden’s value, a player I actually liked a lot relative to other next in line players.  In next week’s “next in line relievers to own” rankings Jordan Walden was bumped up and came in at 6th although several of the players he was behind were either already 100% owned or closing on a temporary basis.   As far as players not near 100% owned he ranked only behind A.J. Ramos.  Walden’s been injured for a while now and I’ve had a slight lapse in not talking about who might be the next in line, particularly because injury speculation became really real (as opposed to just speculatively real?) about a week ago (unfortunately the injury news came down right after my last SAGNOF Special hit, that’s just one reason you have to check out Smokey’s work as well).  Well it turns out the next in line is Kevin Siegrist, who I assume is owned everywhere right now.  He should be, but don’t expect 20 Saves because it looks like Rosenthal’s injury might be managed and played through.  Oh and there’s also the fact that if things go as expected (although when it comes to pitcher injuries they often don’t) Jordan Walden could be back in as early as two weeks.

Last week my belief was that Brett Cecil was a candidate to regress because he had outperformed his peripherals and talent.  Well, he had a terrible week so now it’s my belief that he will regress to the mean in a good way, however, that doesn’t really matter because he’s probably already lost the closer role.  In fact last week I speculated that the Blue Jays would bring in a closer by the trade deadline to replace him.  Now that speculation has been legitimized because there are reports that the Blue Jays have shown interest in various closers.  Various closers being Francisco Rodriguez (primarily) and also Jonathan Papelbon, Tyler Clippard and Aroldis Chapman.  The next in line players to these 4 gentleman are all worth owning right now.  They (probably) are: Will Smith, Ken Giles, Evan Scribner, and J.J. Hoover.  Of course this also means we should speculate on which Toronto reliever is next in line for Cecil.  Unfortunately speculation is about all I can give you.  It looks like Roberto Osuna, Steve Delabar and Aaron Loup could all be in the running for saves chances and that’s the order I’d own them in.  Long term, I’d rather own one of the next in lines to the closers which have a chance to be traded than anyone in the Blue Jays bullpen.  For short term saves Osuna may be the way to go, just until the situation gets sorted out.

Koji Uehara and Joakim Soria are two closers that have put up good overall numbers and been relatively reliable but have ban bad recently.  Soria has given up runs in his last three outings and Uehara has in two of his last three.  The next in line for Uehara is probably Junichi Tazawa.  For Detroit it’s probably Joba Chamberlain (ick) or Al Alburqerque (ick again).  I wouldn’t touch the Detroit next in line players until a move appears imminent and that’s not something I actually believe will happen.  And don’t worry because I’m (eventually, in this post) going to attempt to rank all of these next in line players.

Before going on to this week’s recommendations I want to give some general advice.  Managers are going to eff with you.  Sometimes you may be given bad advice (from me or others).  I think the place where I haven’t been wrong is in my general philosophy.  I attempt to identify the bullpens with the best chance for change and identify the player who will be the beneficiary of that change.  Usually that means looking at closers that lack in skill or are injury risks and finding the next in line players that have skill to spare.  If you’ve followed SAGNOF Special from early on you’ll know that the bullpens in Detroit (Nathan -> Soria), Seattle (Rodney -> Smith),  Colorado (Hawkins -> Ottavino -> Axford) and LA Anaheim (Street -> Street) were the ones to watch and stash next in line players from.  Now there’s been a change in all of those except LA Anaheim where Street is still the closer (plus I checked way back then and he may actually be more durable than his perception, that was true for me and my perception).  For Seattle I originally identified the wrong guy (Farquhar, although he was in fact the next in line until he wasn’t).  More recently I thought that Strop was likely to take over for Rondon.  So sometimes the details will be wrong.  But the general philosophy of holding on to next in line players behind shaky current closers has worked.  And even for the situations I didn’t immediately identify to be highly volatile (Feliz -> Tolleson in Texas and Cishek -> Ramos in Miami) I still made recommendations on the next in line players that were virtually unowned at the time that are now closers.  The point is sometimes you just need to stay patient and stick to the philosophy of trying to predict what will happen and who will have value long term rather than going with the flavor of the day.  That way hopefully you can keep from pulling out your hair.

This week’s recommendations for Saves Ain’t Got No Face, roughly in the order I would own them and their RCL (Razzball Commenter Leauge) ownership: Roberto Osuna (55% owned, for short term saves only as I do think they eventually make a trade), Kevin Siegrist (80%, with Walden coming back soon could also be short term only), Will Smith (9%), J.J. Hoover (32%), and Evan Scribner (22%).  To clarify on short term versus long term, I think the short term guys have a better chance than the other guys to get maybe 2-4 saves in the next few weeks, but some of the other players provide more value ROS (rest of season), it’s just a matter of which ones. Ken Giles, Brandon Boxberger and Jake McGee are already owned in most leagues and should stay that way.  I’m fairly sure that all or most of the other names I mentioned are for deeper leagues only but this is how I would order them: Steve Delabar, then Junichi Tazawa.  I don’t want a part of Chamberlain or Alburquerque even in deeper leagues.

 

Now for some quick Steals Ain’t Got No Face notes and recommendations.  If Byron Buxton was dropped in your league, put in a claim.  His slow start has done little to deter the Twins desire to use him and he could put up 7-ish home runs and 16-ish stolen bases in what’s left of the season and that’s quite good.

SAGNOF Speed recommendations for stolen bases:  I’ve beat the drum for a long time on various players.  The three I’ve been most consistent on liking are Kevin Pillar (97% owned means his 2015 stat line must be looking pretty good right, so I hope you acquired him sooner rather than later), Ender Inciarte (67%) and Rajai Davis (79%).  Will Venable (43%) is worth owning if none of these are available and if you want a more balanced stat line he’s probably better than Inciarte, if not also the other two.

 

  1. Scott says:
    (link)

    Managers seem to be tied to a certain closer and only bench them temporarily when they eff up.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Scott: The weird thing with Maddon and Rondon is Rondon had good stats with ok peripherals and he was still benched temporarily. That’s part of what threw me off.

  2. Jaymz says:
    (link)

    Wow, best SAGNOF for saves yet, good job man.

    So, I am taking you are no longer high on Strop, drop him for Hoover? Thanks!

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Jaymz: Well, I’m not _as_ high on Strop, but that’s a close call. I think it’s possible Strop might still be part of a time share, it’s just hard to tell because the Cubs haven’t had many save opportunities since this went down.

      Chapman is on the paternity list so Hoover might be a better temporary add if you want to chase Saves for a few days.

      Thanks for reading, I’m really pleased you enjoyed it so much.

  3. Andrew says:
    (link)

    I’ve got Cecil and Familia and just picked up Osuna. Waiting on news for those situations, but would you hold there or pick up Parnell or Siegrist in place of Osuna?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Andrew: I was kinda assuming Cecil is toast but that could be wrong. I’d wait until you hear word on that before making a move. If he’s done as closer, for a Familia owner I guess Parnell comes before Siegrist but it’s close.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: rosie two clean innings in a row with save today, i’d say siegrist moves down these lists.

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
          (link)

          @Crapshoot Kershaw: Yeah but like you’ve been saying, this has perhaps been an issue since early on in the year. I think we both agree though that Walden could be a threat (to Siegrist should something happen to Rosenthal).

          Also I probably should have put Scribner higher than Hoover. How would you rank them?

  4. Clyde Prompto says:
    (link)

    This was well done, and captured the madness of the saves chase perfectly. Thoughts on the D’backs maybe dealing Ziegler and giving Daniel Hudson a go? I realize this is the Diamondbacks, but it seems like a logical move for them.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Clyde Prompto: I don’t like Ziegler very much so I think that would be a good move by the Diamondbacks but they also have Burgos to contend with Daniel Hudson.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Clyde Prompto: And oh yeah, thanks for the kind words.

  5. Mike says:
    (link)

    Im in a 10 team 6×6 with holds. Osuna, Stomp, or Jj Hoover, or that kid in Mia with the wierd delilvery….Carter Capps???

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Mike: Stomp? Probably Carter Capps, his peripherals are unreal 30:4 K:BB in 16.1 innings, my goodness. I think the benefit he gives to ERA WHIP and K outweighs the fact that he might not be as good as some of the other choices in Holds/Saves.

  6. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    In case it wasn’t clear enough, I think the point of my “general advice” paragraph was partly to say if you had been following my advice from the start you wouldn’t want to pull out your hair, but also if you don’t like my advice as long as you have your own plan that’s fine as well. In one RCL I’m in I only have 2 closers because I don’t follow my own advice, for instance, I owned Shawn Tolleson but only for a few days, dropped him before he became closer.

    And oh yeah, Ender Inciarte is injured. I saw that last week then forgot. My last column should probably have said that Venable makes a good Inciarte replacement.

  7. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    Ok, so Osuna is on in the 8th with a 3 run lead, probably going to be Delabar in the 9th…? We may be about to learn something.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @RotoLance: Hooray, Osuna on for the 9th, after pitching the 8th. That doesn’t mean the Jays closer situation is a done deal, but obviously Osuna is the best guy to own now.

  8. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
    (link)

    Save situation for Cubs went Strop in the 7th, Rondon 8th, Motte 9th. With as much flip flopping as they’ve done I’m thinking Rafael Soriano might be the guy to own in that ‘pen.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @RotoLance: Which is not really a surprise. On the one hand, why bring him in if not to make him the closer, on the other hand I saw it as weird that they did bring him in considering the solid (but not great) arms in that bullpen I feel he’s no better than.

      • I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor, and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: he hasn’t been better than any of those 3 the last time we saw him last year, but if he goes back to being better he’ll likely close, but only CUBS get to see if that’s actually happening currently.

  9. Alex says:
    (link)

    Soria clearly has some regression coming, already started, would you trade him for any of these in dynasty?

    K Rod
    Clippard
    C Allen
    Carson Smith

    Doubt I could get Britton or Allen

    Thanks

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Alex: Well, Soria is an interesting case. If he continues with such a low K rate he is surely going to get hit a lot but his K rate should regress in a good way. It’s only 6.51/9, career rate is 9.57/9. His 2014 peripherals were better than his 2014 stats (for instance 2.09 FIP vs 3.25 ERA) while this year it’s the opposite (5.38 FIP, 2.93 ERA). I’m not really sure the reason for the low K rate, if you know of a reason and think it’s likely to stay low then definitely trade him.

      Otherwise, I happen to think he’s a pretty good pitcher.

      Even if his K rate is expected to come back I could see K-Rod being a pitcher to target, this is the 3rd year in a row he’s been solid after a shaky 2012. He’s got a long leash, hard to see him demoted to an 8th inning role except maybe 3-4 years down the line. I’d say him or Carson Smith. The risk with Smith is he closes for a worse team but I’m fine with that because it’s dynasty.

      • Alex says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: Appreciate the feedback

  10. Steve says:
    (link)

    Do you think Cishek gets his job back by the ASB?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Steve: No. I think even if AJ Ramos loses the job it won’t necessarily be Cishek if it happens that soon. Maybe in August, unlikely though.

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
      (link)

      @Steve: i would think cishek would have to be fairly dominant first, for an extended period of time (you know like he was the last 2 years up till this one), which he hasn’t done yet. He’s been getting slowly better though.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
        (link)

        @Crapshoot Kershaw: right as i typed that cishek had his first runnerless inning.

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
          (link)

          @Crapshoot Kershaw: I was actually surprised when I looked back at Cishek’s year by year numbers that he actually wasn’t that great by modern closer standards. Really, only just good enough. His walk rate is a bit high for someone without a dominant K/9. He’s solid, that’s about it. There are so many relievers in 2015 that are just as good as the 2011-2014 Cishek. Although looking once more he did get his K rate high last year, 11.57 per 9.

          I appreciate you reading this thing every time.

          • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
            (link)

            @RotoLance: i read everything pretty much every time, but no problem, good work.

  11. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
    (link)

    sure hope walden’s back that soon, and effective. got that guy in like 8 or more holds leagues.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Crapshoot Kershaw: I dont’ know if you play any ESPN leagues, if you do you probably know this already cuz it was from Rotowire but their news said “could be back before All Star Break” well, how soon before? So I figured 2 weeks at the very earliest.

      I think that’s somewhat unlikely, probably after the All Star Break instead.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: i read same general info somewhere, original projection was 8-10 weeks. I’d rather have them be careful though (rather than like when matheny played him 11 out of first 15 games and got him hurt in the first place)

  12. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
    (link)

    osuna’s easily been as good as any of hoover/scribner/giles/smith this year, but if you meant he’s less likely to close due to his age that could be true. not only that he’s more able to do 2 innings than any of these guys, most recently being a starter.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Crapshoot Kershaw: I just meant that I think he may not necessarily be considered their answer.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: yeah, maybe not, he’s super useful as utility belt guy in any late inning.

  13. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
    (link)

    feliz went into season shaky, he had quotes saying things like “i’m not worried about my lack of velo” and “i’m not concerned that my K rate has fallen (off a cliff) in last 2 years”. i added the “off a cliff part”, other than that, there was very good evidence that feliz was in trouble as far back as camp. I drafted him nowhere. now anybody that claimed they knew april 5th who would end up closing later is lying though, or guessing and got lucky. (tolleson didn’t prove himself as TEX’s best RP this year till weeks later)

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @Crapshoot Kershaw: Yeah, FYI, that’s not what I’m claiming (I know you aren’t saying I’m claiming that either). I had named like everybody but Tolleson at first. I first put him on my next in line rankings in April 27th I think then on May 4th had him as high recommendation, which like I said was before he was owned in most RCLs.

      I actually owned Feliz and Cishek in one league. It was an auction though and Feliz only cost $1. Plus I hadn’t started to research any closers or next in line players yet, I don’t even know if I had been informed by then (by Razzball / Jay) that I would be writing about relievers. It took me a while to be convinced that Cishek wouldnt’ be fine too. So I was really wrong on them.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
        (link)

        @RotoLance: none of us had any reason to think going into season cishek would have any problems. in most leagues my first drafted closer was one of perkins/allen/cishek so i early season felt some crap too. In some leagues i had 2 of those.

  14. goodfold2 says:
    (link)

    oh, here’s good news for bullpen hounds, melancon, over last 3 or so appearances has dramatically increased his K’s, so stop selling him, esp in dyansties. i had been trying to but wasn’t getting any kind of decent value, now i’m happy about it.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
      (link)

      @goodfold2: That is good news. I’m a bit wary though unless I hear something positive about what might be the cause of the K increase. Thanks for pointing this out.

Comments are closed.