Howdy, folks.

Another doozy of a week. I don’t know what it is about this year, but hamstrings and shoulders are DOOMED. Feels like 90% of the injuries I keep getting updates about are “hamstring tightness” or “pulled up lame” or “sore shoulder” or “shoulder inflammation.” Ugh.

If by some stroke of insane luck you’ve managed to avoid injury to this point, no doubt this week the fantasy baseball gods deemed you unworthy after all. I told you in the title that I had bad news. Well, let’s get to it:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

Happy almost September!  Most MLB teams are past the halfway point of this insane little 60 game season, but if your leagues are anything like mine, there’s still all kinds of standings volatility happening.  A couple of bad starts can be devastating, while one day of big offensive production can help by leaps and bounds.  I’m not sure how many of my leagues will go down to the wire, but I’m trying to grab every extra counting stat when I can, while I can.  And speaking of trying to improve one’s team, time for our weekly look at some names that may be of interest to those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues, keeping our list to players who are around 20% owned or less in CBS leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?