This league has been going on so long I’m not sure if I’m a friend or family at this point. Think I started as a friend, became a frenemy, briefly became family through a cousin’s marriage to Dalton Del Don’s uncle, Don Del Don, then, after a messy divorce and some ugly text messages, I was called a friend again, but it was like when you say you are friends with the one person from your high school class who is now a millionaire, but they don’t really know you, i.e., we’re Facebook friends, but they’ve muted me and I don’t know it. For those unfamiliar, this is a standard 5×5, 16-team league, and, since it’s Yahoo, it’s 4 outfielders and two UTIL. As always, I used Rudy’s War Room, which is available with a subscription to our Razzball Tools. (I’m not peeing in your water and calling it Corona, we’re still drafting up in this mug, because the season will happen; it’s on my vision board!) Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family draft recap:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Archie Bradley to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.
We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.
- Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
- Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
- Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
- Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
- Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Much like the classic Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) PC game, The Oregon Trail, we finish our bullpen parade out west. Apologies if the research in this post is light, I stayed up all night playing TOT on the Wayback Machine. Suck it deer, I shot so many of you I can’t even carry all the meat. Much like the game, your journey to saves accumulation is a series of decisions fraught with peril. Do your best not to die of dysentery. In this example, Wade Davis is dysentery.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After breaking down my beloved Rockies last week, we’re going to keep things rolling here with another NL West team in the Diamondbacks. While the Los Angeles Dodgers are obviously the cream of the crop in this division, Arizona is a fascinating team. Almost as fascinating as their mascot, Baxter the Bobcat. Why the hell is a snake not the mascot? I mean, they’re the Diamondbacks, not the Arizona Bobcats. In any case, this is one of the most interesting teams this season (including their mysterious mascot), so, let’s get into it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The title refers to Lisztomania by Phoenix, which led me down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia that I have to share with you. Lisztomania was a frenzy over composer Franz Liszt, the original Justin Bieber. This is especially hilarious from Wikipedia, “Lisztomania was considered by some a genuine contagious medical condition and critics recommended measures to immunize the public,” and not considered the same as Beatlemania, which was used to mean a craze; Lisztomania caused actual craziness. Will Luzardo-Manaea cause women to rip their brooches from their bosoms and throw them at passing horse-drawn carriages in Oakland? Well, let’s let Tupac tell you about Oaktown, “Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’, soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ brooches screamin’.” Screamin’ instead of whizzin’ by for the rhyme, obviously. Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo should be back with the team within ten days and now’s the time to stash them. For thousands of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones. One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be elated,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, they make fun of you.” Manaea, the one skinny Samoan in the world, doesn’t have this problem. He has control, not just appetite control. He could have an under-2 BB/9, which should limit damage, just like his home park. I’m stashing him everywhere. Luzardo is a bit more of an upside gamble. He also has pinpoint control, and can strike out a ton of guys. There’s little to not like about Luzardo, except how he might be deployed in September and does he get enough starts to matter. Plus, roofies, those darn things. I’m stashing Luzardo too, but I’m not throwing brooches at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A bunch of bullpens have undergone reseeding after a flurry of deadline moves. It’s not a bad time to grab a speculative arm in an uncertain situation. As the ultimate standing climber, Petr Baelish, once said, “Chaos is a ladder.” Just be careful who you trust your ratio’s with…Please, blog, may I have some more?
A Duvall hasn’t looked this good since Popeye starring Robin Williams. You thought I was going Robert Duvall and I steered it into Crazytown with Shelley Duvall. By the way, don’t look at current pictures of Shelley Duvall. She’s a Shelley of her former self. I have a theory. She had to do everything just so for Kubrick in The Shining, to the point where she couldn’t even think for herself, then she started working with Robert Altman, who was like, “Do whatever you like, improv,” and going from one extreme to the other drove her crazy. I’d put money on it that this is the biggest update on Shelley Duvall you will ever get on a fantasy baseball website. Any hoo! The pros and consigliere for Adam Duvall. All he does is hit home runs, so a great supporting player that just melts into any role you need him in. Wait, that’s not Adam. Well, not entirely. The homers part was. And the Mac Sledge part. No, that’s the other Duvall again. You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotter hitter right now than Duvall and he can help The Family go legit. Again, wrong Duvall! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Had our 1st mega trade. Or as far as Trevor Bauer is concerned, might be our first MAGA trade too. Take it easy, it’s a joke. An everyday occurrence and tempers flaring might be hard to distinguish for Trevor Bauer since he will now see red all the time. Interestingly, Bauer wasn’t throwing his last pitch for the Indians the other day, he was throwing his 1st pitch towards Cincy. The Indians should be embarrassed of themselves for selling off their big frontline pitcher as they hold their Wild Card chances in their hands. Notice I didn’t say the Indians should be red-faced. Hey, they’re the ones still with the name. Bauer has been down a tad this year compared to last. Not just obviously in ERA, but his Ks are down, walks are up, homers are way up, which won’t play well in Cincy, but I will say he was way over his head last year with a 2.21 ERA, so he’s likely still a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher with great Ks in Cincy and the NL. He should be able to chuck balls over Great American’s fence with greater ease too. So win-win. Going the other way and the rest of the news, well…Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Snap, snap, claw, claw, save. That’s The Save Vulture Dance. Sing it like it’s The Electric Slide. The save vulture is a scavenger bird. They see weakness in others’ misfortune. A closer goes down or struggles or gets traded and the save vulture swoops in and gnaws on the closer’s handcuff. Snap, snap, Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, claw, claw, save. Save vultures have trouble reproducing because they’re usually overweight guys who would prefer to listen to sports news than what the girl they’re dating is talking about. Snap, snap, Freddy Peralta, claw, claw, save. The save vulture’s claws are orange from Cheetos dust. Snap, snap, Joe Jimenez, claw, claw, save. Teams are trying to flip their closers for prospects at the trading deadline. Snap, snap, Yoan Lopez, Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley, claw, claw, save. If you can stash setup men right now, it’s advisable because over the next week closers are going to change rapidly. Snap, snap, Daniel Hudson, claw, claw, save. You may not be able to get to waivers to grab the closer replacement, so I’d forget bench bats until the trading deadline and hold some setup men in case your closers are traded. Snap, snap, Aaron Bummer, claw, claw, save. It’s especially important to make sure you have new closers coming in if you’re about to lose closers who will become setup men on contenders. Snap, snap, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Kyle Crick, Nick Anderson, Nick Wittgren, Craig Stammen, Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc, claw, claw, save. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s set our baseline for the closer hierarchy as spring evolves. There hasn’t been that much in the way of news and Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned. He’s therefore unranked. If he signs he goes in the top tier. I shoveled snow this morning, so you’re getting winter weather themed tiers.
- One guy I’m coming back around on is Archie Bradley. He dealt with a fingernail issue last season that sapped some bite from his curveball. He recently said, “I’m throwing some hammers this year. I’m going to have one of the best curveballs in the big leagues.”
- I’m coming around on Matt Barnes. He should have the inside track to that job as the veteran.
- People are paying too much for Pedro Strop in my eyes. There’s almost no chance he has that job to himself all year.
- I’d be cautious on Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller. With Carlos Martinez nursing an arm issue he might be moving into the pen.
- Some of the best pens to speculate on for early saves are going to be the Twins, Rays, and Mariners. All three team will be competitive. If someone takes the job and runs with it they’re a league winner. Please, blog, may I have some more?