The changing parabola that is the saves game is taking over the first “S” in this weeks post. Steaks are boring, throw rocks at them. The “saver stitch” has changed in several different destinations, and the funny thing is, I just wrote about closing situations two-and-half-days ago. Strange days indeed, my friends. The closer in the Desert, the Beantown, and now, the City of Angels, is possibly up for grabs. Check the bottom for the first two, as I would like to concentrate on Huston Street. He pulled up lame on Sunday and with the All-Star break here, we will anxiously await his massive 5.7 K/9 rate. The rumor mill was already circling for Street to be a trade candidate in a few weeks, now the possible injury puts a dent in the already dented can. The adds for the Angels are a yuck Joe Smith, who if possible, has been equally as bad as Street. My speculative pick if Street is more injured than it appears is Deolis Guerra for a bit, before seeing what Cam Bedrosian has. Baby Bedrock was a tout of mine a few months back and stumbled. Guess what? He is back, but no one cares because the Angels are bad and not anything or anyone watches except the cast of Angels in the Outfield. So those looking for a speculative add for the boring non-three days of fantasy, check the stacks of Angels and be ahead of the curve, instead of having trouble with it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After swinging a deal for Aaron Hill on Wednesday, the Red Sox have beefed up their bullpen trading for Brad Ziegler. Ziegler was rocking a 2.82 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 18 saves with Arizona but he will likely be relegated to set up duty in Bean town. This is not to say his value is completely shot…yet. With Craig Kimbrel crying about his sore knee, Boston may be in need of an interim closer. Koji Uehara is the obvious first choice but his 4.96 ERA and 8 homers allowed in 32.2 IP make it seem like the choice ain’t so obvious. Still Koji’s 46/9 K/BB ratio makes me happy, and he notched the save Friday night (after surrendering a home run), so he’s the best bet for saves if Kimbrel misses any time. As for your new closer in the land of the rising sun? Tyler Clippard is the most likely candidate if you need saves or a buzz cut. He’s got a 3.06 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 32.1 IP, and saved 19 games for the Mets and A’s last year, but his career 57% save conversion rate certainly doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. Daniel Hudson is the ideal saves candidate in Zona but has struggled mightily over the past month (12.96 ERA, 2.40 WHIP in 8.1 innings). Regardless, if you need a save and a haircut, I’d grab Clippard and Hudson in that order. And if you’re a Boston Red Sox team that desperately needs starting pitching, I’d recommend trading for a infielder and a relief pitcher.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night 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?
There’s embarrassment and then there’s having to cover in detail a fantasy baseball league you’re nearly dead last in. So begins our first monthly update on the in house dynasty league “The RazzNasty”. For those of you that are new here, “The RazzNasty” is a Razzball founded dynasty league made up of Razzball writers, readers, commenters, and Methodists! It’s a 16 team roto with semi-weekly adds/drops via blind auction. We have 30 man MLB rosters and 10 man minor league rosters. Since we last updated you in early March there’s been a flurry of activity including trades, wire adds, a second commissioner switch, and a banana or two in the tailpipe. So yes it’s more or less high stakes Mario Kart.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?
No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page. Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom. I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy. It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that. Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either. Add in the fact that I remember my first beer… So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks. The NSVH question… I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it. Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever? That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance. The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know. I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss. So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.Please, blog, may I have some more?
What if I told you that the top-four teams last year in Holds didn’t make the playoffs? I know the obvious answer would be: it’s a made-up stat that does nothing but clog a fantasy roster with fodder and otherwise un-rosterable relievers. Well, if you said that out loud, then I am mad at you and you can not come to the Razzball Winter Dance Carnival. No, but seriously, I get offended when people make such determinations. Listen, you are either in a league that uses Holds or you aren’t. Not all of these guys is basically like having a second doorstop (when one doorstop will do). Many of these guys are usable in most formats as ratio gaps in K/9, looking for cheap wins or for a slow day of waiver wire madness. My theory on any league is to roster any two relievers that are non-closers at all times. At worst, they decimate your rates for one day. At best they give you an inning or two and give you great rates and a few K’s. Now, for Holds leagues, I am a hoarder. I live by this simple motto. Two pairs and a wild, just like five-card poker. It stands for two closers, two stud holds guys, and a streamer. In moves leagues, it’s a little more difficult to do, but in non-move limited league, it’s a fun way to just basically win your Holds category by August, save yourself the innings/starts and then stream the holy hell out of the last seven weeks. So since you have searched around the web and found zero other info on the topic (yeah, I looked, so take that), here are the holds tiers and sleepers for the 2016 year.
“A Hold is credited any time a relief pitcher enters a game in a Save Situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. Note: a pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a Hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save.” ~ The edited out part of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post… Brendan O’Toole, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Boston Red Sox!Please, blog, may I have some more?