SAGNOF just keeps finding ways to stay absurd. Tom Wilhelmsen, Jean Machi, John Axford = good. Carson Smith, Junichi Tazawa…. even Greg Holland = bad. If all you care about are saves there’s been a wealth of (ever changing) options available. Realistically, I think chasing saves with bad closers can be a losing proposition. What do the first three (the so called “good”) have in common aside from taking over as the closer? How about WHIPs greater than 1.40. These players need to come with a warning label. “Implosion likely to occur.” I mean, it only took Edward Mujica about a week to implode and he was arguably better than any of these three. Axford and Wilhelmsen look like brothers from different mothers with their K:BB ratios at 1.75 and 1.91 respectively. Anything below 2.50 is really bad for a closer. Unless you’re Brad Ziegler. Then it’s okay. (I need a “no sarcasm” alert for that one). Here’s the lowdown on the closer situations that will make you want to scream.
Wade Davis may have just become Kansas City’s closer. Because I only write about struggling closers or next in line players I’ve said next to nothing on Greg Holland. Well it turns out he’s a struggling closer, and I missed it. His below average ERA of 3.55 has an even seedier underbelly: a 1.42 WHIP for the season that’s been even worse recently. That’s how you lose your job. I haven’t heard any official word yet.. but the Royals need to get their closer situation sorted out before the playoffs, in my opinion, so they’ll go with Davis.
Sean Doolittle‘s already back from the disabled list and he’ll probably take over the closer role soon, if not immediately. It’s a shame in a way, I’d like to see Drew Pomeranz get more chances (yes, I know he blew a save recently) just to see what he does with it.
Kevin Jepsen is good SAGNOF right now because Glen Perkins is ailing. Perkins pitched on Sunday but I’m not confident he’ll stay healthy. However, Perkins’ health woes are about a week old so I think Jepsen is owned by now owned in most 12 team leagues. Jepsen might be worth owning before any of the ugly closers I’ve mentioned here, so if he’s dropped because Perkins came back consider him.
Tom Wilhelmsen seems to have taken over for Carson Smith. What’s wrong with Smith? His stats for the season still look very good. Over the last 30 days, that’s a different story: 10 walks in 11.2 innings is not going to get the job done. It’s not like Tom Wilhelmsen has been much better. The good is he hasn’t been hit much. The bad is his WHIP for the season is 1.52. I read that Carson Smith is getting a “mental break”. I wouldn’t not be surprised if he doesn’t see a save chance again this year. I’m not saying he’s injured, but something is wrong with Carson Smith.
Hey, look who’s closing again. John Axford. He of the 1.65 WHIP. He walks 5.3 batters per 9 innings and pitches in “mile high” air half the time. This is not a good mix.
Hey, look who might really be closing this time. Jean Machi. Hey, did those K:BB ratios from Axford and Wilhelmsen seem bad? How about 1.61 from Machi. But Junichi Tazawa has been terrible almost to the point where, like Carson Smith, I’m wondering “what’s wrong”? To my knowledge no move has been announced but Tazawa just gave up four earned runs on Sunday.
Save Ain’t Got No Face recommendations: John Axford, Tom Wilhelmsen, Kevin Jepsen, Jean Machi. I guess, that’s the order I’d own them in. Wade Davis should already be owned almost everywhere. If he’s not, blow most of your remaining FAAB (get the latest news update first).
Steals Ain’t Got No Face notes:
I’ve seen Jean Segura dropped and he’s a worthwhile pickup if you need middle infield SAGNOF. Ben Revere has slowed down since joining the Blue Jays but he’s still producing in AVG and runs scored. I doubt the lack of steals is a coincidence, it’s possibly because of the change in teams. If you pick him up, don’t think of him as a SAGNOF savior because I doubt he will steal at his usual pace.
Last week I mentioned you should keep your eye on Josh Harrison and Byron Buxton. They are up sooner than expected. Harrison is one of those guys that’s not exactly SAGNOF, per se. But he can steal a few bases while hitting for average. Playing time is his biggest concern. Byron Buxton has not performed well, yet again. I’m not bothered very much by the poor performance in a small sample size (SSS). He’s a potential 1st round fantasy baseball pick in 2017. Sorry if you own the injured Aaron Hicks. It’s looking like he’ll be back soon although I think we’d all prefer that he not be Backson.
Regression alerts (it’s finally happened edition): Delino DeShields.. it took long enough but a player that was not supposed to be very good from the start is finally looking to be not very good. Similar story for Jace Peterson. Technically Billy Burns‘ regression came a while back. I think we have good reason to suspect Billy Burns is about a .260s hitter, which is okay. Sure would be nice if he walked more. After slumping badly Burns has put up 12 runs, 0 home runs, 9 RBIs and 4 stolen bases while batting .250 over his last 30 days. That’s not very good, but that’s about who he is. Hopefully the steals come up over the last month plus.
Bonus (non-SAGNOF, it hasn’t happened yet edition) regression alert: Miguel Sano is pacing like a .280 40 home run hitter but profiling like a .230 27 home run hitter. Realistically he could hit anywhere from .200 to .270 the rest of the way depending on BABIP and K%. To put it another way, if his BABIP and HR/FB were normal right now (as in good, but not obscenely good) he’d have been a .235 hitter so far. Trust me. I did the math.
September call ups update: Sadly, I haven’t had the time to put in the research to figure out who is likely to be called up in September and which of those players will actually get enough playing time to matter. Were still far enough away from September that I haven’t seen a lot of buzz. Next week’s SAGNOF Special will be on the eve of the roster expansions and I’ll likely have something for you then.
SAGNOF recommendations for steals: Byron Buxton should be owned in 12 team leagues, possibly even in 10 team leagues. Jean Segura might actually be the most interesting player I’ve seen in the free agents pool. His stolen bases are down this year but otherwise he seems to be roughly the same player. Josh Harrison should provide more overall value than Segura if he gets enough playing time. Reminder that we have a tool to help you stream SAGNOF stolen base options.