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Holds Ain’t Got No Face! 

These poor schlubs. No one’s favorite player is a middle reliever. The middle reliever never gets the girl. The signed middle reliever rookie card never fetches more than a buck-fifty on eBay. 

Yet these working-class heroes continue to go out every day and grind away to bridge the gap between the billion-dollar, sexy starting pitchers and the dark, mysterious closers. 

So here’s to you Graeme Lloyd! Here’s to you Mark Eichhorn! Here’s to you Matt Thornton! And MY personal favorite player of all time — here’s to you Jeff Nelson! 

 

From a fantasy perspective, the middle reliever has been a non-factor since the beginning of roto baseball. In your standard 5×5 leagues there’s just no room for a player who barely contributes in any of the 5 pitching categories. However, after years and years of heart attacks from being forced to draft Fernando Rodney because they missed the closer runs — cardiologists have created a new fantasy category to prevent such cardiac conditions: saves + holds 

Below I’ve ranked the top-40 non-closers for saves + holds leagues. In true Kerry-fashion, I’ve manufactured my own ranking system. I’ve ranked these guys out into three categories: sv/hlds, limiting runs, and K/9 — the three categories that middle relievers can consistently help you in. Limiting runs is a combination of ERA and WHIP — basically, in one inning, a reliever needs to keep guys off the bases — and if there are already guys on the bases — keeping them from scoring runs. You know — like the job of every pitcher! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is what they call in the biz a GAP — a General Appreciation Post. It has not been a general appreciation type year, but Juan Soto (1-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (12) and double legs (4, 5), hitting .345) aka Sexy Dr. Pepper makes me wake up at quarter to 6 every morning, jump out of bed like Dicky Fox and scream, “I love Juan Soto!” Then Cougs rolls over and mutters, “865,” which is the number of times she’s said to stop screaming that first thing in the morning. Listen, it’s been a trying year, and I appreciate all of you sticking with us through what was the craziest year on memory, and I’m not gonna get choked up, because I’m way more appreciative of Juan Soto. HE’S BETTER THAN TROUT. Sorry, but Mr. Al Caps is right. Sexy Dr. Pepper is 12 years old and he’s doing things not seen since 2002 when a headless ghost Ted Williams was teaching a bone-sober and dead Babe Ruth why he was striking out so much. It’s an absolute joy to watch. I think I like Treat Urner (3-for-6, 1 run and his 11th and 12th steals) partially because he plays with Juan Soto. In 2021, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to have Juan Soto in the top two, three, four or five, but this is only the beginning of that discussion which will go until 2030, when we’re all finally stepping out of quarantine like a bunch of vampires. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Lance McCullers‘s middle name is Inconsistent. It’s Irish. It was O’Inconsistent, but assimilation through Doc Ellis Island softened the edges. There’s some pitchers I love. That’s it. Just love them. Trevor Bauer, you seem like a total douche, but welcome to my teams! There’s a few pitchers I hate. Good luck getting on any of my teams aging pitcher who doesn’t throw strikeouts. Yo, have fun, Jon Lester, but not here, homey. Finally, there’s pitchers I go back and forth on. Do I love, hate or something else…indifference? This year was indifference for Lance McCullers (6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.24), due to coming off Tommy John surgery. For 2021, it’s going to be hard to figure out what to expect from him. Will I love, hate or…indifference? McCullers-Cullers-Cullers’s velocity returned, but his Ks have been kinda flat. He’s not getting a ton of guys to chase outside the zone, and hitters are making contact. The zone numbers are pretty average, but he’s also battled back from major surgery, and may not yet be at 100%. Do you really hold against a guy a goofy six weeks of stats with his stuff? Maybe, but if you’re holding anything against a guy to love to hate, then that sounds more just like love and you don’t know how to show it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?