What an eventful SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) fantasy baseball week it was. Shawn Tolleson, who was originally a high priority SAGNOF Special recommendation two weeks ago, now looks to be in a position to steal some saves from Neftali Feliz or possibly take the job outright. Feliz is in serious trouble and it will probably be either Shawn Tolleson or Keone Kela that takes over if Feliz is in fact removed. Right now the word is that Rangers manager Jeff Bannister is going to use whoever he fancies on any particular day to close out games and that leaves the door open for just about anyone, including Feliz. I find it hard to believe that anyone other than Tolleson is capable of running away with the closer role so he’s my heavy favorite. If I’m wrong, call me bad names, but try to make it funny at least.
Who else is on shaky ground? Well, Steve Cishek was, right up until he lost his job to A.J. Ramos last Monday. But give Ramos some credit. It was originally declared to be a closer by committee situation but Ramos appears to have run away with the job and all is right in the world. That’s my way of saying Ramos was the most deserving, even though last week I recommended both he and Mike Dunn. Look, I sort of have to go with what’s being reported along with the usage patterns of the players and both of those, as well as the manager’s remarks upon removing Cishek, indicated that Mike Dunn had a chance. But technically, I preferred Ramos from the start. It’s my belief that John Axford will not hold the closer role all year. Somehow Axford has only pitched 7 (seven) innings so far this year and he’s sporting a 7:4 K:BB ratio and 10.0% K-BB%. That’s not going to fly in Colorado. Well, something is going to eventually fly, and that something is going to fly several rows deep. Rafael Betancourt, on the other hand, has been pretty much the opposite: 14 innings, 17:2 K:BB and a wonderful 26.8 K-BB%. Right now, at least statistics wise, he’s looking a lot like his 2012 self when he had a 57:12 K:BB ratio.
A lot of goings on in the “injured closer returns to claim job” category. Kenley Jansen has returned and is already reinstated as the closer for the Dodgers. Yimi Garcia, also of the Dodgers, has had a rough time recently and has been dropped in some leagues. I just put in a waiver claim for him in one league, so that’s how I feel about him. He’s amassed 29(!!!) strikeouts in 17.1 innings while walking just 4 batters. To quote Bill Belichick (because it’s always football season) “I mean, damn.” Jake McGee has returned and looks to be, at the very least, in a time share with Brad Boxberger. However, Boxberger is a player that should be owned whether or not he is currently getting any save opportunities because his skills are that good. Sean Doolittle is out rehabbing and will likely be back within two weeks. With Tyler Clippard there I expect it might be some sort of time share but in any case now would probably be the time to grab Doolittle where he’s available, even if you have no DL slot open.
This week’s SAGNOF middle reliever recommendations for future Saves: Shawn Tolleson where still available, otherwise consider Rafael Betancourt at least until LaTroy Hawkins comes back and further muddles up the situation.
How about a recommendation for Stolen Bases? Okay.
Freddy Galvis. That’s a sentence I just wrote and I want to write it again. Freddy Galvis. Why? He has 4 stolen bases this year. Ok, so he doesn’t really project as much of a base stealer and he hasn’t done it at all in the majors until this year. However, the last two times he had 500+ PAs across various levels of the minors he managed 15 steals in 2010 and 23 in 2011. I don’t think there’s any way you want to pick up Galvis in a 12-team or shallower league, but he does deserve consideration for deeper leagues (and mostly I try to throw out at least one new name every week and it’s slim pickings!). He’ll probably only steal 10 or so more bases while hitting about .250. He’s the poor man’s Jose Iglesias. Speaking of Iglesias, I’m surprised he is only owned in 47% of RCLs, he’s a decent add as well but just like Galvis, don’t expect more than 10 SBs ROS (rest of season).
Last week I wrote some things about Delino DeShields Jr. that were proven to be way off. Leonys Martin returned and DeShields has stayed in the lineup. That doesn’t mean he will be there for the whole season but because we are generally talking about your last roster spot, we are only concerned with what’s happening now. So yeah, go ahead and start him whenever he’s in the lineup. He has elite speed. However, he doesn’t really profile as a great prospect, he’s just a guy with a lot of speed and a pretty mediocre hit tool. He only hit .236 in 507 plate appearances for the Astros AA team last year (though he hit .317 in A+ in 2013) and a truly good hitting prospect at that age ought to be able to destroy AA to the tune of .320 or better. So on the one hand, sure he’s highly ownable for now, on the other hand he comes at a significant risk to AVG and the risk of losing playing time.
Steven Souza is slumping. Well, that’s what some might say. I don’t really like to refer to it as a slump when there are reasons to suspect it won’t get better. Souza’s problem is he’s striking out way too much. Looking at ZiPS and Steamer projections for him, I actually believe the ZiPS 31.6 K% ROS projection more than the Steamer 26.6% one. Look for him to hit in the .215 to .240 range going forward unless he starts getting really lucky with BABIP. Or to look at it another way, his current .223 AVG is about right. The reason I mention this is because I think if he can put together a good couple of days I would consider him a good sell high candidate, in part because he’s not going to hit for a high average, but mostly because of what it means for Souza if he doesn’t hit for a high average: The risk of demotion or reduced playing time. He was one of my highest recommendations this preseason so I really do want him to succeed but right now I feel the risk has actually gone up from the level it was at in the preseason.
This weeks SAGNOF (Steals Ain’t Got No Face edition) recommendations: Jose Iglesias, Delino DeShields, and (for deeper leagues) Freddy Galvis. Recommendations from previous weeks: Billy Burns, Kevin Pillar, Ender Inciarte, Shane Victorino, Adam Eaton, and Odubel Herrera. And it’s time to stash Carlos Correa.