Much like the famous Doors song that shares it’s name, bullpens are drawing near. (Minus the Oedipus complex that the song explores.) I mean, it may… but that is gross and I don’t wanna associate my bullpen goodies to that. Moving on, shall we? This year has been the SAGNOF-fest that we always come to expect. Closers up, closers down. Trades and attrition. It happens every single year and it is the reason why the waiver wire is what it is: So we can get the new third closer for the Twins. The chase for saves never ends, well, I mean it ends for season-long leagues, but for dynasty and keeper leagues, the times never change. Saves are a category. A deeply hated and often cursed at category that will always be debated about. Whether or not to invest earlier picks then normal to get a stud, or just fill in with hope-so’s and also rans. There unfortunately is no right or wrong answer because both strategies work as long as you are a waiver goblin. So with the final post of the year, much like the other years that I have done this, we look to next year… This year’s counting stats and information don’t matter, we want to know what lies on the horizon. So let’s find out!Please, blog, may I have some more?
It is that time of the year my good fellows, that allegiances and brand loyalty are thrown out the window. As stalwarts start to grow warts, and the season long compilers gather some moss. Allegiances and growing to fond of your roster for Holds is what sets apart first place and the rest of the standings. Who you roster on your team is your own business, but I am here to learn you something as the season long leaderboard for holds is kinda stale. The overall season leader, Taylor Rogers, has 2 in the past two weeks. It doesn’t get any prettier as you go down the top 5 either. Nick Vincent has 1, Jacob Barnes has 1, Jose Ramirez has 2, and Pedro Baez has 2. Not completely awe-inspiring returns for the top of the top for holds. On the contrary, the leaders in the past 14 days: Kyle Barraclough, David Hernandez, and Tommy Hunter all have 5. Far more significant returns for a reliever, and it brings me to my key point… Grab a hold and ditch, period. The names that are garnering late game situations is growing rapidly and will increase even more once rosters expand. This is the “what have you done for me lately” approach to hold accumulation down the stretch. Yes, the guys you roster may be great at K/9 and BB/9 and have stellar WHIP totals etc, but when chasing the one key cog stat for set-up men, that being the hold, no allegiances should remain.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Baseball’s parity is better than any other sport. You can go into the season like, say, the Rockies. No chance at all of the playoffs with no closer, no pitching, an injured offseason acquisition and be a favorite for the playoffs in July, without that offseason acquisition doing anything, not getting anything from your returning superstar shortstop and defying gravity with a pitching staff keeping a team above water even at one mile high. Then, on July 31st, parity goes out the window and all teams doing well get much better and teams struggling sell off everything. Speaking of “I’m rich bitch,” the Dodgers traded for Yu Darvish. The deadline was mostly, “Well, there goes a middle reliever,” and, “Another middle reliever? Snooze,” then, at the last moment, the Dodgers swooped in and grabbed Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani, two more middle relievers. Just like LA to want two Tonys, like Oscars aren’t enough. Oh well, nothing big this year. When, thirty-five minutes after the trading deadline, the Dodgers announced, “Psyche, fake-out, we got Darvish too.” Los Angeles is about the best landing spot a fantasy owner could hope for Darvish. He has a 9.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 3.81 xFIP, but was pitching in the 5th best offensive park. Hello, NL West, Dodger Stadium and facing the Giants and Padres. Now you see LA brewin? Yu sexy, get me some Trojans. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Eric Thames went 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and hit two more homers (9, 10). *does exaggerated yawn* Justice Eric Ruth Thames is like, “Yeah, I had a harder time in Korea, ya’ll suck.” Jer-Ru the Damaja is like, “The Sun Also Rises in the East, and sets in Milwaukee when I’m done hitting homers, goodnight.” At this point, I’m surprised Justice didn’t hit, like, 80 homers a season in Korea. Who got this guy out? An NL team should sign that guy. Or watch the Korean broadcasts of the games to see how they got him out, if for no other reason than the weird game show-like moments in-between innings when they’d have contestants try to find which part of the stadium is made of chocolate. (I know this is Japanese, but it’s funny, so stop with your judging. Leave that to the Justice!)
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The change in Texas has reverbed into the Holds ranks as well. Tolley was the guy, now Frank Perdue’s arch-nemesis Sam Dyson is all comfy in the save bird seat. The best part of this whole deal is that Jake Diekman is reaping all the benefits from a fantasy hold perspective. This is a coup for the people who listened to me early and figured him to be the lefty-version of the lock-down pen arm in Arlington. All Jake has done on the year is garner 13 holds with 11 plus K/9 and a HR/9 just a smidge over one. We in the fantasy community rely on such precise words as smidge, scoonch, pinch… and I’m throwing prolly in there because some people like it and it doesn’t get more accurate than that. So the main question is, can Diekman be the man and continue to be the man? Absolutely. He is thriving in a role that he started when he was with Philly. The Rangers, also if anyone is paying attention, aren’t a half bad team and are fairly solid with or without Tolleson closing at the end. So let’s take a look at what else has happened in the fortnight of games since the last bullpen lowdown, or ho-down. Depending on how strong your hold pimp hand is.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well we weren’t talking about deep fried empanadas. We were talking about the retro-chich lads from that Navy town of San Diego… Yes, those Padres of the last place origin. The ones with 16 whole wins in their favor on the year. Sneaky Hold situations make my world go round. Which, in turn, makes me spurn to you on the recycled tip of the serving platter from a fantasy analyst. Over the last 14 games, the Padres have endured some good fortune in the reliever ranks, namely Brandon Maurer. Maurer has netted himself 7 Holds over that time, or in fantasy bullpen coverage terms here at the Razz-nation, a hold the fort(night). Maurer is the 8th inning guy and if you are in a holds league, then he is probably taken. Him of the 14-plus K-rate over the last 10 games and because they strung a few victories in a row, boom! Stats. But we all know how many holds he has in the last umpteen days… because we can all read stat lines and understand that one plus the previous amount equals today’s total. Math catch-up lesson over. The Father’s depth in the pen doesn’t just end with Brandon. Take a look deeper and we will come across not the candelstick maker, nor the baker, but the Butcher. As in Ryan Butcher. While Maurer seems to get all the decent looks in the 8th for the beloved hold, Butcher seems to latch onto him like a paramecium in heat looking for a Padres win. Averaging over a K per inning, and duly entrenched as the bridge to the bridge to Fernando Rodney (which probably really isn’t much of a bridge of at all, but just a rope with board entwined with hope aspiration and tears), so with this brief biopic on the San Diegans bullpen fellas, lets look at what else is bouncing around in the world of set-up, set-up to get beat down. I get nothing but a hold.Please, blog, may I have some more?
When looking at the standings, it is usually a great indicator of how well a team is doing by looking at the Hold leaders. It doesn’t tell you all or is the end all be all of indicators, but when you have three guys in the top-4, it speaks volumes. It shows the team is ahead, but not by so much that they are blowing people out, have a great set of flow through the bullpen with set jobs, and they are successfully in-sync. Not that “in-sync”, but yeah, sorta because something that included J.T. can’t really be all that bad. So what is making the Chicago White Sox so good at what they are doing right now? First, it starts from the last inning back. David Robertson has the goods of what you want from a closer, he has the K-rate and decent control to limit base runners. What I am noticing is he is keeping the ball away from the upper part of the zone, which was his buga-boo from the past; that he gives up too many homers. In front of him, he has a trio of relievers with different mindsets. Nate Jones is basically a closer in front of the real closer, but with a better approach of pitching to contract then K’ing everyone. Zach Duke is by far the sexiest LOOGY in the business right now and Matt Albers is an all effort pitcher with tons of movement on his pitches. Add in the fact that they have Putnam and Petricka as sub pieces that can fit into anyone’s role, and they have what looks like in the early stages of the season the best bullpen in baseball. That is not to say that it will last but the investment level from a fantasy level, especially from a holds league, but it is very stout. So check out the other tidbits and bits tids that I have for you after the bump. (Plus a chart that monitors usage and runs given up by relievers that usually lead to them losing or gaining spots in the pen.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
As much as I love publishing and giving you the “haps” on the closer ranks, I love the depth that a bullpen can give you and how it can affect your roster. It is way to early to look into my Grafix crystal ball and say this guy and that one will be the crowned prince of the hold this year… to some degree. Early usage and situations prove a lot. Yes, injuries happen, and ineffective spells happen, and sometimes trades happen, but if you were good enough to make the team out of Spring, then usually you are good enough to make yourself an established piece of the bullpen. The top names are still the top names. The cream either rises to the top or it rules everything around me, both perspectives are interesting because how can you not believe the Wu or old school rhetoric. So with the first bullpen piece of the year, we will cover all the same things you are accustomed to from last year as I get more in-depth than anyone else when it comes to holds. Some don’t care or are on the fence, as if it’s a completely comical or made up stat. It is no more made up then saves, because that is exactly what it is, just before the save… so it is basically a pre-save. Either way, I care and will give you some early trends to look at and some names to go with it. Trends rule everything around bullpens or TREAB, dolla dolla bill y’all.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to my first regular season post of the year 2016. I’m moving in a different direction this season, as I wanted a new challenge and got burnt out doing the same thing every year. You gots to diversify! This will be my first season where I get to talk about pitching, but not just any pitching, bullpens! I love the pen, always have. As a kid, the Goose was one of my favorite players and seeing a game get closed out was the best feeling as a fan. Even as a kid I wanted the ball at the end of games. From age nine ’til 16, I was a solid back end option [Jay’s Note: I like your mom’s solid back end option] to take the mound and finish a game. On the unfortunate flip-side, I couldn’t start a game to save my life. I don’t even want to try and remember what the ERA difference was, but it was somewhere in the fourish range. You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with SAGNOF? Only to show you how much passion I have for the bullpen. This year I’ll be doing my best week in and week out to bring you the top speed and saves plays. For those that remember my Sunday content for the past two seasons, Creeper of the Week, this will be similar to that, with the focus going solely to SAGNOF. Unless of course I can’t resist a batty call plug that hasn’t been mentioned on the site. Hey, I’m working through creeper withdraw. I wonder if they make an alternative to help me get my fix… Mendozadone!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The National League Least has the Marlins, Braves and Phillies to thank for the Least moniker, as none of those teams were able to win 72 games last year. The Braves and Phillies are in rebuild mode. What’s your excuse Marlins? At least, they have an awesome sculpture in the outfield. Why? Thank goodness, for the fanatical few on the East Coast that actually read this, least means smallest and not bereft of everything. The Metropolitans and Nationals are juggernauts and represent the division well. Speaking of representing… RIP Phife Dawg. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Chicks dig the long-ball, so it’s a good thing that some of the preeminent boppers reside in this division. Pitching wins championships, though, and some of the most exciting and young arms are on display. With that said, there are plenty of spots open for the taking. I will discuss the major ones below for each team.Please, blog, may I have some more?