As I sit here and awake from my winter’s hibernation, I search for and do only the essentials. Gold chain, check. I also tell myself that the transition from Fantasy Soccer to Fantasy Baseball will be as easy as riding a bike. But you forget, I’m a bear. Nonetheless, here we are fantasy folks and four female folkers. Baseball 2018 is already in high gear with posts from the usual gaggle, and as always my contribution is at the back-end of ball games. Namely saves, holds, and relief pitchers that have intrinsic mixed league value and individual league value heading into the draft stages of this new and bright year. So keeping it simple, I formed a chart that will be included it in every week’s post that will have the bullpen pictures of all MLB teams, updating it with every sleeper or bullpen post… because I am a giver. That and who knows what will happen in the forthcoming weeks that may skew the dynamics of the bullpens around the fantasy world? Once Grey starts doing his pitcher rankings, I will then drop my own rankings in proper fashion. Til then, sit back relax, ask questions about almost anything relating to bullpens or closers, as I will gladly be here as always for my ninth season here at Razzball. So it is with pleasure that I can bring you the first bullpen related post of the year. Individual closer and reliever posts are on the way. Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
Who doesn’t love them some BOGO sales? Girls love them, hell even flamboyant fake baseball players like it. I prefer the pun value in them better than buying two pairs of shoes, only of which I need one. Which leads us to Javier Baez. I equate him to that sushi roll that you aren’t sure that you like and don’t exactly know what’s in it. Like a Ahi Tuna special, but in a baseball hat. Entering play (as of me writing this) he had 21 Homers and 9 steals. Not fantastic by any stretch of the SAGNOF variety, but I wanna see if there is more juice to squeeze out of the North Side orange. We are fully entrenched in the here and now of fantasy, but always need to be looking to next year. So with his uptick in speed over the past eight games (3 steals), making everyone aware of their surroundings in the SAGNOF world seemed like a good spot to write about Javy for the first time this year. Batting average is not what you want him to be a stalwart on your team, but the 21 taters with 12-15 stolen base potential with SS, 2B and 3B eligibility heading into next year, he is someone with name value that you may want to ask to your fantasy prom. Enough with the debate about Baez for now and later, let’s get to the Stealers and Savers for the week… Good luck down the stretch lads!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The inter-webs may something different, but I am here to learn you that it is going to be a committee instead of what the searched answer may be. It’s not looking fantastic for Trevor Rosenthal as he was pulled from the game on Wednesday with an injury and then sent home for further testing. So that leaves a “collage” of relievers chirping to get a shot and maybe a re-emergence of Seung-Hwan Oh. My guess is that it becomes a complete match-up based issue for their skipper Mike Matheny. (Name that I wanna hone in on here is Tyler Lyons though.) This, after all, is the bullpen report and he does, like the aforementioned names, pitch from the bullpen. Lyons, over his last 14 appearances, which coincidentally is after the last earned run he allowed, has pitched to the tune of a 0.00 ERA, 18 K’s (good for a 14 K/9), and only has allowed 2 hits and 3 BB’s, good for 5 baserunners against 44 batters faced. If you don’t have a calculator watch handy, that is a .032 batting average against. So in laymen’s terms, he has been awesome. It is the holds post for the week, so he had 5 of those to boot. Hot teams, breed hot bullpens. It is a fact. Chasing holds, find a team that is over .600 in win percentage over the last 15 games and roster any guy that is in the pen that sees leverage situations. Returns will come. Advice and morale of the story given, now onto some other factoids of deliciousness for the week in bullpen/holds news. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Saturday night, Bryce Harper lunged for first base, slipped and his leg went the wrong direction. Like two white guys meeting, one goes for the handshake and one goes for the hug and it just goes awkwardly wrong in every way. Atticus Finch had much more success stepping on his white base. Owning Harper on multiple teams, I looked at the latest news Saturday night, and I saw:
Oh my God it already says Bryce Harper Was OF. PAST TENSE! pic.twitter.com/bQ3sKPNQjF
— Razzball (@Razzball) August 13, 2017
Devastated. Crushed. C’mon, thesaurus, give me another one. Thankfully, it was revealed as the best possible outcome for him, a bone bruise. Still, not a great outcome for us with him on our fantasy teams, since he will be out for the better part of the rest of the season. Don’t worry, I have Jose Pirela! *sticks head in oven, puts on The Bell Jar book on tape* Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Phils’ manager, Pete Macktheknife, said, “Everybody wants to see (Rhy Hoskins‘) bat but Tommy Joseph has done well enough where there’s enough games left for him to show even more improvement. It’s hard. You don’t want to put Tommy Joseph on the bench so maybe (having Hoskins play outfield) is a way to do it.” Hey, quick question, anyone got a participation trophy for Joseph? Sounds like he could really use one! “I accept this participation trophy on behalf of all the players who are at positions where the club has a better prospect in the minors, but is too cheap to promote them. Especially to my runner-up, Shin-Soo, way to keep down Willie Calhoun!” A bunch of prospblockers, the lot of you! Don’t even get me started on the absolute craziness that you risk putting your top prospect in left field just to keep playing Tommy Joseph. Hoskins should be okay out there, but there’s a ton more risk with injuries in left field than standing on 1st. I grabbed Hoskins in all leagues. He was top 30 for Prospector Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, and might be the last big name to come up that can make a difference. For this year, I’d say Hoskins = Mark Reynolds with way fewer Ks. Long term, well, I won’t say Votto, but his OBP is insane for a kid. Scouts call players kids, did I sound like a scout? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Rafael Devers was called up by the Red Sox. Meh, if he’s anything like Danvers, Mass., I’m good. Somewhere, Prospector Ralph just Hulk-smashed his computer. Say something bad about Rafael Devers and Prospector Ralph goes full Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue. “You want a real man to play third base with your wife?” Devers’ minor league numbers (20 HRs, near-.310 across two levels this year in 85 games) look like yet another Benintendi, but with more power. The Sons of Sam Horn will go legit Sophie’s Choice if you try to get them to choose between Benintendi and Devers. “I’d prefer to eat at a Wahlburgers every day for the rest of my life than choose between those two. Oh, and Yankees suck!” After owning Benintendi for the past four months, I think I might prefer Devers next year, if he’s all that he’s cracked up to be. Not to get too crazy, but can anyone say a lefty Miggy? If you can’t say it, you might need to see a speech therapist. Devers is absolutely a grab in all leagues to see how looks. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Shades of Freddie Freeman… Pedro Strop might want to hire security for his home in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic because bitter Nationals fans are going to be hurling lots of huevos from Trea Turner‘s broken wrist. Nationals fans are an interesting lot to begin with. Many of the people who attend Nationals home games are transplanted fans of other teams who are only in DC temporarily for business or pleasure. I went to a Nationals game once where a woman was reading and knitting the entire time. I don’t think she witnessed a single out. Back on track! Trea! Of course his amazing stats are only told to you AFTER he is set to miss about two months. In June he had 22 stolen bases. 22. By himself. And yes, I did list Trea as a bust in the 2017 Razzball Writers Predictions. But here’s what I wrote to Jay as justification: “Turner has skills—no doubt. But he has less than 1,000 at bats since he entered professional baseball in 2014. He is going to be this year’s Carlos Correa—drafted in Round 1 or 2 and not earning back that cost.” Steals will be there. Runs too. Everything else? Ehhhhhh. Stash or Trash: Stash. Please. Fill In: So there is no replacing 22 stolen bases in a month. But you know that, right? Hell, over the last 30 days there are only 4 players with over 10 stolen bases. So I’m going to recommend one of them: Cameron Maybin (61.9%.) This is more of a shallow league add, but he’s one of the few players that can even give you part of Trea’s stats. Maybin is always a risk to find himself in an issue of Ambulance Chasers, but right now his 24 SB and 49 runs aren’t bad.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yankees called up their 3B prospect, Miguel Andujar (3-for-4, 4 RBIs, and a steal), to fill-in for DL’d Matt Holliday. That reminds me of Joaquin Andujar, and now I’m sad. Gone too soon. RIP, Joaquin. “I always thought you’d kill someone before life killed you.” That’s my eulogy to him. Any hoo! I watched some game film on Andujar (while chewing on an unlit cigar, because that’s how scouts do it, right?), and he reminds me of so many Dominican players that take the Roberto Clemente/Vlad Guerrero approach. Old adage goes: You can’t walk your way off the island. We should have a glossary term for these type of hitters. Please suggest in the comments. Any hoo, Part 2: Still Hoo’ing, Andujar is raw, swings at a lot and makes contact, sometimes to his detriment. He could DH or see time at 3B, but will need to hit to stick. Could be a deep league power bat if he hits and Headley is benched indefinitely or Holliday stays out a while. Maybe Andujar will be so lucky that Girardi gets one more wish filled this year and looks at Andujar, saying, “Now, you be the Judge.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a full-on Willy Loman-type starring role, Andrew Miller now takes over the most responsible role in the Tribe’s bullpen. I beg to differ that he is taking over the most important role, and can argue that he has seen more high-leverage situations and save situations than his sort of disposed closer, Cody Allen… The only thing leading him to not be the most important factor in that pen was the stat of the save. Listen, Tito beats to the sound of his own drum and Arnold, nor Willis are going to tell him how to handle his bullpen. It is a luxury to have two top-10 overall relievers at his disposal and to use them how he sees fit. Miller, is by definition, the closer to save his arm for the future. But what we don’t realize is that if a save happens sooner than the 9th inning, Miller is going to be called on just like his original role. Confused? Yeah, it is kinda like saying: “Go look for the save in the corner of a circular room.” For ownership, this changes zero. Miller is and was owned as he should be in every league imaginable. Cody Allen is also owned and shouldn’t be dropped as he becomes the closer cuff in waiting, and is far superior to any RP on the waiver wire. So hold on tight! A month from now, when Miller has 5 saves and Allen has 3, not much stat wise will be lost, but by the end of the year when Allen has 32 and Miller 12, that is when we can look back on this and laugh and say “I shaved my eyebrows for this?” Stay tuned kids, more closer and bullpen-y type goodness are on the way…Please, blog, may I have some more?