We’re back, Dr. Easy and I, for another week of Razzball Player Rater deep-diving, looking for the unexpected gems at the bottom of the ocean (a.k.a., the waiver wire) and trying to separate them out from the cubic zirconia and the fish poop. All that glisters is not gold; the owls are not what they seem; etc. etc. Last week, we probed — so to speak — rookie hitters. This time around, we’ll look at relievers and rookie pitchers. So, which players are all bling bling? Which are the real thing?
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While looking at rookies last week, during our explanations, we noted that no rookie pitcher was drafted in the Razzball Commenter Leagues (RCLs) — if we consider “not drafted” to mean anyone whose ADP was more than 250. Then we took a look at rookie pitchers who weren’t drafted in the pre-season, but who have a positive $ on the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR). As a reminder, here’s the list of who we came up with (with $ values updated since last week):
- Jacob Faria: $ value of 1.3.
- Parker Bridwell: $ value of 1.8.
- Dinelson Lamet: $ value of 2.6.
- Antonio Senzatela: $ value of 3.7.
- Kyle Freeland: $ value of 4.
- German Marquez: $ value of 5.8.
- Jordan Montgomery: $ value of 5.
Now let’s turn our attention to rookie pitchers who also weren’t drafted pre-season and haven’t pitched for the full season, or at least not long enough to accumulate a positive $ value. For this reason, we rank them by $/G (as a reminder, it’s best to use $/G to ascertain the value of players who haven’t played the full season).
Alex Meyer: His $ value is -2.8, but his $/G is 2.8. Out of all SPs, when ranked by $/G, Meyer is 70th and 1% owned. That’s 9 spots above 93%-owned Jon Lester; 15 above 95% Masahiro Tanaka. His WHIP and ERA aren’t as shiny as 61st-place Luis Castillo’s (see below), but he gets you more Ks. He pitches for a better team (the Angels; so, potentially, more wins); at the very least, make sure to play at home (at home, he has a 1.36 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) and in other favorable ballparks.
Luis Castillo: Castillo has a $ value of -3.4 but a $/G of 5.2. Out of all SPs, when ranked by $/G, 66%-owned Castillo sits 61st. That puts him 2 spots above Jose Quintana (100% owned) and 14 above Danny Salazar (99% owned). With a 3.45 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and a K/9 over 9, he should be owned everywhere. Pitching for Cincinnati, he won’t give you many wins, but at the very least, consider him for away games (he has a 2.68 ERA away).
Moving on, we wanted to look at relievers who provide value without closing, and relievers who don’t provide value even though they’re closing. In the former category, we’re thinking of relievers with a heavy workload and with good ratios. In the latter category, they should be SAGNOF-ers in the “Brain Freeze” category.
For this exercise, we wanted to eliminate the freaky, pesky aspect of vulture wins, so we’re going to look at our newly made up statistic, sure to revolutionize Sabermetrics, which is $ minus $W. Remember: we’ve removed the wins at this point, but not the saves. We also looked just at RP in the STD PR.
Chad Green: Green is ranked 25th by $-$W and is 34% owned. In terms of perception versus reality, he’s doing better than you think he is: he’s 2 and 4 spots, respectively, above Trevor Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh (a closing tandem). He’s being used a fair bit as a long reliever — 52 innings pitched — but is not part of the Yankees’ closer hierarchy. He’s a pure ratio play, baby. That makes him better than Chris Devenski (80% owned) and Archie Bradley (78% owned). And that’s despite being horrible in the last week — 6 runs earned in 6 games played, at time of writing. But he still racks up the Ks: 75 of them in his 52 innings.
Adam Warren: When we remove even $SV from our equation — i.e., we focus only on ratios — Chad Green moves up to 7th and Adam Warren suddenly pops up, ranked 16th. He’s interesting for his $WHIP 2.8 (ranking him 7th by $WHIP) and $ERA 1.5 (ranking him 14th by $ERA). He is a mere 3% owned. Both Green and Warren are Yankees: the team’s had these guys all along and yet still traded for David Robertson and Kahnle. Greedy! Note that Green and Warren have better $-$W-$SV than Kahnle, who is 34% owned. Interestingly, Robertson, ranked only 1 above Adam Warren in $-$W-$SV, is 97% owned — he isn’t closing at the moment, but don’t dump him yet, as the closing picture in New York is so murky.
Alex Claudio: The current closer for Texas is ranked 37th by $-$W. He’s 88% owned. He’s negative in wins, so he benefits from $-$W. Interestingly, he’s pitched the 3rd highest number of innings (66 IPs). His lack of Ks is concerning ($K -2.1); it erases anything he gives you in $ERA and $WHIP. His $SV is negative right now ($SV -0.5), but should increase the longer he closes; really, his only value is the saves he can potentially get you down the line. Don’t dump him, because SAGNOF!, but if you’re way ahead in that category and you’re chasing ratios, you may want to look elsewhere.
Blake Parker: Second in line in the LAA closer hierarchy, behind Cam Bedrosian and Bud Norris, Parker is actually the better of the 3 in terms of ratios: he’s ranked 13th in $-$W-$SV. Bedrosian is 68th; Norris is 71st. He’s 22% owned in RCLs, so if you’re chasing ratios, check him out.
Aroldis Chapman: Dr. Easy and I have to wonder if Joe Girardi finally looked at Player Rater, did the same exercise we did, and was shocked to see Chapman ranked 42nd in $-$W. That’s worse than Anthony Swarzak and Pat Neshek. He’s STILL 100% owned. He hurts you despite the saves he got you — and now that he’s not closing, he’s not even getting those. So dump his sorry arse, people.
Kelvin Herrera: By the by, did you know that in $K, Herrera is -2.3? He’s not positive in a single category other than saves. So laugh at Fernando Rodney all you want, but Herrera is not much better. Rodney is ranked 75th in $-$W-$G; Herrera is 73rd. Note that Herrera left Tuesday’s game with forearm tightness, so keep an eye on that.
Dishonorable mention: The 20% of RCL-ers who STILL OWN FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ, who hasn’t pitched since June 22nd. Pshaw!