Please see our player page for Ryan Tepera to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Raise your hand if the juiced ball isn’t affecting your high priced pitcher yet. Not so fast Blake Snell owners, he’s on the IL with a broken toe via clumsy furniture moving. You’re going to be in the mean streets of relief appearances with the rest of us now. You can throw on some REM and cry in the shower or work at filling some gaps. A well-aimed non-closer can certainly pay dividends. There’s something below for whatever ails you. I don’t include anyone getting regular saves in the ranks.

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The trading deadline is days away and the roles they are a changing.  In comes one out goes the other.  Closers losing value left and right while the waiver wire warriors of the world are circling like buzzards for the SAGNOF scrap heaps. The latest in the foray of closers to go is Joakim Soria, now a Brewer.  The White Sox closer role is likely to go to Jace Fry or Juan Minaya.  Not an awesome situation or a good predicament to be in, but a closer is a closer.  The SAGNOF model should be: “Leave no good save behind”.   Similarly, the Orioles traded Zach Britton to the Evil Empire, Brad Brach assumes the role there for the time being or until he gets traded for assets that the Orioles can ruin.  The trade winds and finalized deals don’t help the set-up man either, as key components to the back-end game have been replaced by acquired talent.  This is life for the ever building bullpen foundation of playoff contending teams.  Build from the back, because the girth of talent that exists in the starters just isn’t there. So if you are currently zonked from losing a closer that no longer has a professional job of closing, it is time to speculate where speculating looks speculative.  Look at guys on the secondary for teams that are rumored to be wheelin’ and dealin’.  The Rangers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Tigers, and to a lesser degree maybe the Cardinals… Be ahead of the curve instead of being caught looking at Uncle Charlie.  Closer news is fluid this time of year, and by the time this gets posted there could be 2-3 more trades that make me look even dumber than I already do.  More after the jump, with success stories and diminishing returns.  Cheers!

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Donkey Teeth has returned from his vision quest to find his inner ass (his spirit animal) to bring B_Don deep insights regarding human nature, the universe, mustaches and fantasy baseball. Listen in as the guys discuss the great pitching duel between The Rosses (Tyson & Stripling) as well as their respective fantasy outlooks for the future. In the pickups segment some promising names are thrown around, including but not limited to Kolby Allard, Corbin Burnes and Max Kepler. Come find us on Twitter @ditkasausagepod & @donkeyteeth87 or hit us up in the comments!

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Ryan Tepera (RP, Elbow Inflammation), the league leader in blown saves finds himself on the DL after blowing the save in his last two appearances. All ribbing aside, since Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was placed on administrative leave after allegations of assaulting a woman, Tepera has been pretty reliable with 7 ERs allowed over 22.2 IP and those two recent blown saves were the only two he’s suffered. Stash or Trash: Tepera wasn’t a top flight closing option and he doesn’t really have a timetable so you can trash him. Replacement: Diego Castillo (1.0%.) I know you’re expecting Tyler Clippard or Seung-hwan Oh, but the Blue Jays closing gig seems to be snake-bit this year and I’m sure as soon as Tepera went down people gobbled up Tyler Clippard in your league. So, Diego Castillo: he’s made 12 appearances for the Rays this season and has only allowed 3 ERs with 19 Ks. In AAA this year he also made 19 appearances and also only allowed 3 ERs. Castillo has a stereotypical lights out closer pitch selection of a high-90s fastball and a slider. He has multiple varieties of slider that he can mix in different situations. The Rays current closer, Sergio Romo, has had mixed results since Alex Colome was traded to the Mariners. In his first three appearances after the trade he let up 5 ERs in 3 IP. After that he has settled down a bit allowing only 3 ERs in 14 IP. However with Romo being 35 years old and clearly not part of the Rays long term future — they could turn to Castillo to see if he can live up to the title of closer-of-the-future.

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This weekend, I was kneeling in a garden, tending to my Monkey Face Orchid, when I heard some commotion outside my greenhouse.  It was my much, much older wife, Cougs, screaming, “Grey!  They’ve come for you.”  It was the Rockies, and they were trying to send me to the minors.  They trampled over my azaleas with their jackboots, dragging me through the soil, ruining my suspenders.  I tried to tell them, “You have the wrong man!”  Finally, they heard my pleas and checked my state ID card.  Before they left, I asked, “Who are you looking to send to the minors?”  They replied, “Jon Gray,” and I began to scream again, “Please!  Take me instead!”  So, Jon Gray was optioned to the minors.  Can’t say I fully blame the Rockies, but, of course, I can try.  Have the Rockies heard of underlying peripherals?  Sure, the results have been miserable, but it’s Coors and everything says Gray should be much better.  You really have a better replacement pitcher who is worth ruining your best pitcher’s confidence?  He has the 6th best xFIP in the league with an 11.6 K/9.  I honestly can’t even with the Rockies.  They are the worst.  Then, they brought up Raimel Tapia to fill the roster spot, so, of course, Tapia will sit on the bench.  WHAT THE HOLY EFF ARE THE ROCKIES DOING?!  Caps for emphasis and the hyperopic.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I was combing through pictures on the subreddit r/WaffleHouseHotcakesShapedLikePresidents, marveling at a hotcake shaped like Harry S. Truman — did you know the S stood for Syrup?  Then I clicked on the Reddit user who posted that pic, Ididyourmomssomanytimes, to see what other things besides Truman hotcakes they were interested in, and I saw they were also on r/fantasybaseball, only this was fantasy as in D&D and Cecil Cooper was a wizard and the father of the little black kid in Stranger Things.  Any hoo!  If I were on the real fantasy baseball subreddit, I’d find a lot of talk about Kyle Tucker, this you can be sure of, said like Gordon Ramsay.  Tucker is already stashed by Prospector Ralph in my RCL — that *ucker!  Why the hype?  Pardon me as I sprinkle chia seeds on your brain.  He’s hitting .315 in Triple-A with 12 HRs, 13 SBs and he’s only 21 years old.  Kinda unfair that the Astros have this waiting in the wings, but, since they do, you know they will not wait very long to come him up, since (two since’s one sentence, grammar!) they are playing to win it all.  So, what are you waiting for to grab Tucker?  Cecil Cooper’s put a spell on your arms?  Aw, shucks.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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The closer cavalcade of debauchery is well in season.  Rewind four months ago and look at your team…  If you drafted Jeurys Familia, Alex Colome and Bobby Osuna, you probably came out of the draft smiling like a freshly picked peach.  Now you look at your team today for the first time in a month, because you most likely let the ship sail on the season because of injury, attrition or trades to your bullpen.  The last two names have been done ad nauseum by me and other bullpen savants around the web…  So now we look at Jeurys Familia.  Or a tale of losing a job do to injury, returning, and basically sucking all the trust out of even owning him.  From the beginning of the season until June 7th when he went on the DL, he posted good numbers by Donkeycorn standards; 14 saves with K/9 rate above 10 and ERA of 2.48 and a BAA of .245.  All within the strain of imagination as a set it and forget it closer.  Now we sit here on June 29th, and in six appearances since, he still sits at the same save total of 14, K/9 of 6.35, ERA of 9.53 and BAA of .357.  Now, I am no math whiz, hell I am barely even knowledgeable about what actually is cheese whiz, but those numbers are awful and garbage.  Add in the fact that the Mets as a team are in the toilet, have fired their GM, and have a worse record than the punting from day one Marlins….  Trade-value wise, he has zero in fantasy and almost in real life, because teams aren’t going to trade for a guy who can’t get outs. As an impending free agent, he should and will be traded, maybe to a team that has an opening in middle relief, but I don’t see him gaining closer status for the near future with the Mets or another team.  So if you are a Familia owner and holding out hope for some sort of revert to the former here, I am unfortunately going to tell you that he gets less than 5 saves the rest of the year it looks like. More closer news and views, read on or don’t.  I will continue to sit by the pool regardless!

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To paraphrase DJ Khaled, “We got a Minor key alert!  Another one.”  To paraphrase the cops that arrested Principal Rooney, “This is because of the Minors.”  *Donald Trump looking at the Rangers’ rotation*  “Glad to see Cole/Minor’s jobs are secure.”  Over Mike Minor‘s last four starts, he has a 2.06 ERA, 18 Ks, 5 BBs and 15 hits in 26 innings, after his sparkling one last night when he threw 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 5 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.64.  I know what you’re thinking, it was vs. the Padres.  Right, one of those starts was, the other ones were the Astros, Twins and Rockies.  So, it’s not all smoke and Minors.  Minor’s peripherals are nothing to write home about (unless his family lives in the Appalachian Trail, then they might like to hear from a Minor) — 7.4 K/9, 2 BB/9, 4.50 xFIP.  So, it’s been a good run (not Niko), but I can’t say I trust him in the big picture, unless it’s about Cole/Minor’s daughter, Loretta Lynn, played with spunk by Sissy Spacek (Spunky Spacek?  Sissy Spunkit?  Spunky Spunkit?).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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All gravy as us Italians-Americans say. New York Yankees rookie flamethrower slash phenom slash spot starter Jonathan Loaisiga made his major league debut Friday night pitching five strong shutout innings, giving up just three hits, four walks and striking out six for his first MLB vicky in ever. Called up from Double-A Trenton Johnny was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 58/4 K/BB ratio through 45 innings. If that K/BB just made your eyes pop like mine did, it’s because the four walks he issued last night in his debut are the same number he’s walked all season in AA. Perhaps some of the struggles he had with his control Friday night were more nerves or jitters and less indicators of what’s to come from Loaisiga. Despite the four free passes, he was excellent out of the gate, Johnny Lasagna layered on the cheese, striking out four in the first two innings with his real pretty mid-90s fastball mixed in with his slider (17 swings and misses induced) and was helped out by a couple double plays. He hit some trouble in the fourth, but managed to pitch his way out of a sticky bases-loaded two-out situation by striking out Christian Arroyo. Yankee fans are calling him “Johnny Lasagna” because he’s a-spicy meatballs-a! Mama mia!  Rays manager Kevin Cash called him Little Riviera. That seems a bit over-the-top as well. Either way, I am calling him a player to watch after that performance. Lil’ Jon is telling you to Get Loaisiga, but Jon always jumps the gun on these rookie pitchers. Loaisiga’s first major league stint might be a short one, but I could see him sticking around for another start or two while Masahiro Tanaka is still on the DL and much like this whole Yankees team, his future is very bright. He lines up for another home start next week versus the red-hot Mariners, and I could see streaming him there and for the short term. Add him or no, Johnny Lasagna is not just Garfield’s new favorite player, he’s a name fantasy baseballers are going to hear a lot going forward. He was a BUY and he’s worth a grab for the upside alone, the layers of cheese and pasta are all just bonus.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Tis that season!  Whether you are a football fan or not, and not that football fan…  Though the crew over on that football site do an amazing fantasy job.  So for the few of you that aren’t totally dizzy by my words of soccer, then let’s roll baseball into soccer and let the fantasy good times roll.  So for the next month the world, not ‘Mericas, will be casting its gaze on the beautiful game.  So while half the population is watching futbol, you can expand your bullpen horizons and deepen your reliever core.  The trade winds for relievers are already blowing and with just over a month to go before the trade deadline, grabbing the relievers that are secondary or even tertiary now (ones that won’t kill your rates) are all the rage with millennials AND baby boomers.  Situations to monitor and use to your advantage?  The Padres, Royals, and Tigers.  We all own the closer likes of Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, and Shane Greene.  But what are the ownership rights to Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Kevin McCarthy, and Joe Jimenez?  Way slimmer.  And combined like Voltron, their ownership for all four of those secondary relievers is less than one closer.  So basically free.  The key to mid-season closer acquisitions is being first.  Save that beloved FAAB kitty and be early rather than later.  So if you are looking at your roster, it was rhetorical… I know you are, get rid of that sixth SP or that bench bat that does nothing and play the reliever wait game.  Save now to help later.  Cheers!

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