Last week I recommended Shawn Tolleson, a player that seemed on the cusp of closerdom.  The closer’s role is now his and even though they have a player in Keone Kela that is being groomed for the role (thanks for the tip, Smokey!), it is my belief that Tolleson will stay the closer until he loses the job by blowing saves, but that could be said of just about any closer.  This week it’s time to turn our attention to the happenings in Seattle, where Fernando Rodney has an ERA of 6.23 so far this year.  I’ve previously recommended Danny Farquhar but he’s been almost as bad as Rodney. Both of them sport BABIPs of about .350 so it’s been some bad luck in addition to bad pitching.  Your answer:  Carson Smith.  Some of you have caught on already because his RCL ownership is up to 39% but it should probably be near 100%.  His ERA is 0.90 but his FIP and xFIP are 2.40 and 2.36 because his BABIP (.182) and LOB% (95.6%) are unsustainable.  So now you know where all of Rodney and Farquhar’s luck went.  The sustainable part is the solid 23:5 K:BB in 20 innings.  That’s closer material.  He could, in theory, be named the closer any day now, but unfortunately Rodney has been given a long leash so it’s not likely to happen until after the next blown save or two.

It has also become paramount that the next in line in Houston is identified because Luke Gregerson has hit a rough patch.  His last 7 days stat line: 2.2 IP, 4:2 K:BB, 10.13 ERA, 2.25 WHIP.  For the season his ERA is 4.12 and his WHIP is 1.12.  The WHIP tells me the ERA should regress to something lower but his FIP of 4.72 might suggest otherwise.  In the preseason Chad Qualls (88% owned in RCLs) and Gregerson battled it out for the closer role while Pat Neshek (43%) was basically left out of the competition.  Qualls has to be considered the favorite for the closer role should they make a change because it looks like they prefer to keep Neshek’s role more flexible.  Perhaps it’s because the sabermetric savvy Astros know that the best role for their best reliever (aka Neshek) is a flexible one, for use in high leverage situations.  If you choose to show interest in Qualls it helps to be aware that his ERA last year was only 3.33 and his ERA projections are 3.46 (Steamer) and 3.99 (ZiPS) for ROS (Rest of Season).

Last week the situation in Arizona was cloudy but the skies have cleared in time for Memorial Day BBQs.  Brad Ziegler (98% owned) has the upper hand over Enrique Burgos (88% owned) after Burgos allowed a 3-run home run to Anthony Rizzo on Saturday in the top of the 9th of a tie game at home — which means he was pitching in the closer’s normal spot.  It is my guess that Brad Ziegler will now have closing duties to himself.  He’s been too good this year not to.  In the past, however, he’s been more like “just good enough”.  His K rate is very low by closer standards and so far this year his K:BB sits at 14:6 in 21 innings.  His Steamer projection for ERA is 3.32.  Enrique Burgos has a massive K rate so far with a K/9 of 16.46, which should regress to around 12 K/9 Innings but he walks too many hitters.   His projected ERA is 3.50.  I hate to tell you this, but these pitchers are (arguably) no better than Addison Reed.

SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got No Face) recommendations for this week:  Carson Smith, Chad QuallsPat Neshek is worthy for deeper leagues or in holds leagues, but I think he’s already owned in the latter.

 

Now it’s time for some Steals Ain’t Got No Face coverage.  My two new recommendations are Cameron Maybin and Brandon Guyer.  Maybin has been starting everyday for Atlanta and the last time he was a full time starter (in 2012 for the Padres) he stole 26 bases and hit 8 home runs.  Guyer is set to receive a boost in playing time due to a wrist injury to Steven Souza.  It’s an injury for which we do not know the extent of at the time of this writing.  Maybin or Guyer could be your replacement for a struggling Jake Marisnick.  I think Marisnick can still be solid, but if he’s not in the lineup everyday he is probably not worth owning and he’s been losing playing time to Preston Tucker.  Before looking to Guyer, however, I would look first to previous SAGNOF Special recommendations like Ender Inciarte (91%).  Or just pick up Rajai Davis (78%) so you can play him whenever he’s in the lineup.  He has 11 stolen bases, which is tied for 7th in MLB and he’s only needed part time playing to get there.

This week’s SAGNOF stolen bases recommendations: Cameron Maybin, Brandon Guyer.  Previous recommendations, still available in some 12 team leagues: Ender Inciarte, Rajai Davis, Kevin Pillar (struggling so he’s been dropped a lot), Jose Iglesias (when he gets healthy), Odubel Herrera, or even Jose Ramirez.  Some of these names I don’t like very much, but if you can own Danny Santana you can (or maybe should) own Jose Ramirez instead.  As far as truly elite speed goes, Billy Burns may have been the last every day player with elite speed that was once readily available, that is until we get some help in the form of top prospects.

  1. Mikey says:
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    Do you like shoemaker vs San Diego tomorrow $22 on SON

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Mikey: Shoemaker’s been victimized by long balls. I do like him somewhat but I’d say I’m not quite as bullish as Stream O Nator. When in doubt I would trust SoN.

  2. John says:
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    Would you drop Burgos for Carson?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @John: As far as who gets more Saves the rest of the year it’s a toss up. I’m assuming Burgos is out of the closer role for now, but I haven’t actually read anything on that to be sure. It’s possible Rodney could start pitching better / having better luck and Carson doesn’t get a sniff. When in doubt, however, I like to bet on talent and I think Carson has the advantage there. He’s certainly better for the non-Save stats, and like I said Saves could go either way.

      So yes, I actually think I would do that. I had “I would rather own Carson than Burgos right now” as part of the post at one point but I decided that might be a bit strong of a proclamation because it’s so close.

  3. Adam says:
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    Lease rank texiera, belt, Pedro Alvarez ROS??
    Thx

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Adam: Alvarez, Teixeira, Belt. You can only have one of them?

  4. Helldiver says:
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    10 team AL Only Keeper league. We get 6 years of contracts to use per year. So could be one player for 6 years, or 6 players for 1 year, etc.

    I have Reyes and Correa. I need to trade one for a power RBI bat pref in the outfield. Which one would you move? Taking into account I already have Edwin, Donaldson, and Salazar as sure keepers for next year, with A. Garcia an outside shot. If I keep Correa I would keep him for two, if I kept Reyes it would only be for one year. My other OF are Calhoun, Rusney, A. Garcia(whom I got a feeling is about to hit the DL), with Tucker and Deshields on bench.

    Which do you think gets me more value? If Correa, should I do it before he gets the call to make a move or after?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Helldiver: Different owner’s will always value players differently but in this case I think it’s even more extreme because of those particular keeper rules. In theory Correa should be worth more than Reyes because I don’t think Reyes can put up the overall value to compete with a potential 20-30 HR-SB type guy and Correa might be that type of guy right now. And as he gets a little older he might morph into a 30-20 guy, trading that speed for power because he is tall and could become quite a big man as he puts on more muscle.

      I think you have more to gain if you wait until he is called up. If you consider that he might be up in 2-3 weeks, and then assume you will get a better player if you wait, the extra 2-3 weeks of a player doesn’t mean more than the chance to get a slightly better player.

      On the other hand, how much in the way of HR and RBI do you gain by holding onto Correa? It depends not only on Correa but who he will be replacing in your lineup. You might be extremely familiar with Correa’s MiLB stats already but here’s how he’s progressed power-wise:
      2013: 519 PA 9 HR = 1 HR / 56ish PA
      2014: 293 PA 6 HR = 1 HR / 49ish PA
      2015: 193 PA 9 HR = 1 HR / 21ish PA

      The real question is how much of 2015 is luck and how much is it just Correa getting more strong and mature? Realistically we should probably only expect a 15 HR full season pace for him once he is called up.

      Anyway, I would hope it would be possible to float trade ideas out there to gauge the market or is that either not do-able or considered bad etiquette in your league?

      • Helldiver says:
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        @RotoLance: Thanks. With the limited keeper years we have to use every year it usually prevents you from keeping a player more than one or two years. Unless, you just don’t have a good roster to start with. For example the first year I took over this team 4 years ago I kept Miggy for three and three scrubs for one years, cause I didn’t have much else and was building for the future. It paid off as in his final year( last year) I won the league when I started out with 6 final year keepers that were all top 100 in AL. I also traded some good players I drafted, that could be kept, for rental players to put me over the top. I was able to swap Castellanos for Dozier at beginning of year cause it met a need for both owners. Then when Dozier went off, and one of the last place teams became a seller, I was able to swap Tanaka, Choo, Dozier, Singleton for Cano,Holland, Bautista(all final year keepers) by the end of May! That was the epitome of sell high buy low. lol

        But I digress, this question was about this year. (sorry had to relive the glory from last year one last time)

        As for trade etiquette, most of the guys only really talk through the Yahoo trade offers, but I hate leaving those out there. And even then some only just reject and never give any feedback. Getting trades in this league can be a real pain, as they all like to move very slowly. I feel most of the time I have to overpay (except for that golden trade from last year) to get anything done. I do make it a point to try and trade from strengths to weakness when building an offer. But sometimes they just say I don’t need that, and I look at standings and say, umm yes you do. Plus I like to strike deals early as to get the most out of them. I hate waiting until close to the deadline.

        I also have a happy trigger finger when it comes to trades, I like to change things up or I get bored. lol So far this year I traded Kipnis, Bauer, Marisnick for Edwin, Forsythe, Hughes. I needed power and a 1b badly. I then did a Richards,Bogearts for Reyes, McAllister to get some speed back. I feel good about first trade, but second one is leaning towards a loss so far. (by the way I targeted McAllister in that trade, because of a Sagnof article earlier on)

        I have two targets in mind: Cruz(a final year keeper on a bottom tier team) or Bautista(who could be kept and is on the first place team, but has surplus of OF and could use a SS with speed
        )
        Cruz won’t keep up that average but I feel good he will provide Hr and RBIS.
        Bautista of course gets an edge cause he could be kept, but that shoulder injury reminds me of his 2012/13 years of >30hr and >.250avg

        In my dream world I trade Reyes for Bautista and keep Correa. Correa gets called up after Super two and tears it up for the next two years, and Bautista heals and goes back to his top 20 numbers. I have made up my mind however, that I’m not going to make a move until Correa does get called up. That might also give Reyes some time to heat up a little and raise his value.

        Out of those two and with those circumstances who you like more for either Reyes or Correa?

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
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          @Helldiver: I like either one but definitely would take a chance on Reyes for Bautista. I have my doubts the other team will accept. I have my doubts you would be able to get Cruz very easily either, the “bottom tier team” doesn’t sound like it has a forward thinking manager. Well, good luck.

          I don’t remember telling anyone to target Zach McAllister in a SAGNOF article, by the way. You sure it was me? Or perhaps that’s not what you meant (that it was me). I’m sure I’ve given plenty of bad advice though… whoops.

  5. Adam says:
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    Yes can only have one
    I was leaning Alvarez
    Thx

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Adam: Honestly the answer is so close that it depends on how I want to interpret Rest of Season. For instance, am I answering which player is better as if you are stuck with him the entire season? Then you have to minimize risk. I think Alvarez actually has less risk than Teixeira. However, I think Teixeira actually has a chance to be better on a per game started basis, but it’s very close. But he does have a fairly extensive injury history, so I’m not saying he’s going to get injured, it just makes me feel that Alvarez has the best chance to put up the better stat line ROS.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Adam: Because my last reply didn’t make it clear enough, I basically think Teixeira + replacement (if needed) is greater than Alvarez.

  6. Big W says:
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    In Arizona… maybe strategic add could be david hernandez… he should be returning from DL any day now… Do you think he has a chance to get saves?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Big W: Not in the near future, down the line, sure it’s possible. He’s not an add yet in 12 team league. Maybe he’ll be at the point where he can be added in about a month, I don’t really see it happening earlier than that.

  7. Zaclo24 says:
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    Would you drop Sabathia for Carson in a 20 team keep all dynasty league?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Zaclo24: It’s certainly not out of the question. It depends on how deep the starting pitching goes. I have to think that even in a league that deep Sabathia isn’t much better than a player you could get off of FA/waivers?

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
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        @RotoLance: I meant better than another _SP_ you could get off of FA/waivers.

        • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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          @RotoLance: i’m in numerous 20 teamers and yep, the Sab is a streamer there, even with high innings mins per week (h2h)

          • RotoLance

            RotoLance says:
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            @Mantis Toboggan MD: Bless you for being in numerous 20 teamers :)

            Thanks for reading again.

  8. Laser Show says:
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    Drop Clippard or Allen for Carson (or another RP on the verge like Shaw or McAllister)?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Laser Show: I see Cody Allen hasn’t been all that bad when I look at his stats for “Last 30”: 13 IP 18K:6BB 2.77 ERA 1.15 WHIP. Yes I know what’s been going on there the last few days, as far as his usage, two non-Save situations for his last 2 outings. It’s troubling but I’m not overly concerned.

      Clippard for Carson I think is actually a higher risk/reward than just sticking with Clippard because Clippard is a closer _right now_ and we don’t yet know if Sean Doolittle will be himself upon his return. But if you have grown tired of him I have no problem with you making that move.

      • Laser Show says:
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        @RotoLance: Thanks!

  9. Hector says:
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    Drop Boxberger for Qualls?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Hector: No. Boxberger’s recent struggles don’t scare me at all. You may not have been following my writing from the beginning, here’s something from my first post on next in line players. It was about how I owned Doolittle from the start of the year in one league last year based mostly on the fact that his projections were good:

      “Now here’s a stat line for you: 11.2 IP, 8 ER, 14 H, 0 BB, 6.17 ERA, 13 K, 1 SV

      Those are Sean Doolittle’s April 2014 numbers. He was terrible (but in the best possible way). The primary reason that line looks so bad is because on April 26th he gave up 4 hits and 4 earned runs without recording an out.”

      His final 2014 stat line: 2.73 ERA, 22 SV, 89 K, 0.73 WHIP

      Now if word were to come out of a reason for Boxberger’s struggles (hiding a minor injury?) that changes everything. But as is you are basically talking about swapping at worst (assuming he doesn’t still hold part of the closer role) a very good next in line player in Boxberger for a mediocre one in Qualls.

      So I gotta say no. Thanks for reading.

      • Hector says:
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        @RotoLance: Thank you!

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