We’ve reached the All Star break. That’s a little more than halfway through the fantasy baseball year. Since there was no real baseball yet this week, we’re going with a Closer Report/SAGNOF mash up. Bullets are freestyle and rankings are below. Tiers are HR Derby themed with some of my favorite moments in Derby history…

  • The All-Star break also serves as a time for teams to take stock of where they stand and consider whether the should be trade deadline buyers or sellers. The interest in Will Smith is heating up. That means there’s a stash opportunity. Pick your favorite between Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, or Reyes Moronta. There’s something in my gut telling me Moronta might be the guy long term.
  • Greg Holland and Craig Kimbrel both gave their owners a bit of solace going into the break with a save each just prior. Holland is the shakier own with the Diamondbacks minimally invested in him. Let’s see what a few days off do for two aging arms.
  • Grey told you to roster Liam Hendricks. I told you not to drop him. Hope you listened because, surprise, rushing Treinen back was probably a mistake and it’s showing. Treinen may never be a guy cut out for the solo closer mantle. He’s likely an elite fireman with multi-inning capability.
  • The top of the stolen base leaderboard isn’t particularly surprising with Adalberto Mondesi and Mallex Smith at the top. It gets interesting from there. Christian Yelich is third, Elvis Andrus is fourth, and Jose Ramirez is fifth. They’re likely matchup based with pockets of steals coming in the first half. It’s an interesting top 5 nonetheless.
  • Right behind them in sixth is Kevin Kiermaier. If you’re after steals, check the wire for him. He’s been a popular add but could be there. KK gives you some of everything.
  • Joey Wendle, another Ray, is right behind him. Wendle’s had about the worst injury luck you can have. He’s back now and sporting a solid .257/.341/.371 with 3 steals in the last two weeks. His playing time has some risk with Brandon Lowe’s return. Wendle can play all over the diamond, though.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re unfamiliar with the New Orleans tradition of King Cake I’ll fill you in. It’s made in January to commemorate the arrival of the Three Wisemen, sports the official colors of Mardi Gras, and often has a plastic baby on it. It doesn’t always seem like the most appetizing dessert. Looks can be deceiving, though! It’s actually quite good. Just like second-year super utility stud Scott Kingery…

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The album Electric Ladyland by the Jimi Hendrix Experience gave us two of the all-time great guitar riffs. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was decades ahead of its time in 1968. All Along The Watchtower may be a Bob Dylan cover but Jimi owns that song now. It’s opening lyrics are fitting for this column, “There must be some kind of way outta here, said the joker to the thief. There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.” Are you rostering a joker or a thief with your spec add? It’s certainly confusing and there’s little relief in sight. Nevertheless, we press on.

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It finally happened. A team decided to sign Craig Kimbrell! The MLB draft happened this week so the draft pick penalty has been lifted for signing a few marquee names like Kimbrell and Dallas Keuchel. The Chicago Cubs offered the most, since their payroll is jacked anyway. With the premiere of Dark Phoenix this weekend I’ve got a ranking of X-Men for the tiers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s a pretty fruitful week for plucking some speedsters from the wire. Injuries continue to open avenues for blocked players and languishing prospects. An analyst could get excited just thinking about it.

  • If you want a speed specialist Myles Straw is your man. He did one thing well in the minors: swipe bags. If he hangs around in Houston and manages to get on base he’s an instant category boost. He isn’t likely to play every day. Though that could change if he performs or injuries linger.
  • Keon Broxton is getting yet another fresh start. I actually loved him as a late stash in a Mets outfield that had very low hurdles to playing time. The Mets gonna Mets and they chose Carlos Gomez over Broxton. It will be interesting to see if a move to Baltimore can untap some speed like it has for Jonathan Villar.
  • Mallex Smith gave us a Billy-Hamilton-Homer last week. He walked and proceed to steal second, third, and home. Smith added a fourth steal in that game as well to give you six in one week from him. There are certainly regrets over dropping him previously.
  • With Seattle hosting the Astros for four games buckle up. Bob Cheerios is bottom ten in catchers to run on. Almost every Mariner runs at least a bit.
  • The Cubs are hosting the Rockies and Yu Darvish projects to start Wednesday. Could the stars align and give us the recently recalled Garrett Hampson in the starting lineup to face him? A Hampson truther can only hope. Plenty of other Rockies can give you a stolen base that day.
  • With Jose Alvarado on family leave, there could be a chance for Emilio Pagan to snag a save or two. Tampa has been a difficult bullpen to pin down, though.

Let’s pivot to pitcher’s being run on this week. Of course a couple Mets are near the top. Darvish has shown he gives zero Fukudome’s about holding runners. It’s also surprising to see a couple of relievers on the list.

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The damn is breaking on many bullpens, with holes springing in a good amount of others. If you landed a top tier arm consider yourself immensely lucky. The rest of us schmoes will be in the bullpen garbage heaps looking for a few cans to trade for a nickel. The tiers are GIF themed this week, so no one has to think too hard.

  • Sean Newcomb has transitioned to the bullpen well. He’s ditched his changeup in favor of his wipeout curveball. If he limits the walks he will get opportunities to close. Especially with groundball pitcher Luke Jackson finally running into so bad luck on balls getting through the infield. Managers usually feel like extreme groundballers are better eighth-inning options.
  • The Rockies will have to promote someone with Wade Davis hitting the IL. Scott Ohberg has been pretty good since last season and figures to be the fill in. Remember that logic doesn’t always apply when guessing at manager decisions, though. Bryan Shaw and Carlos Estevez have both closed before. They could be worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.
  • All signs were pointing to Jose Leclerc returning to his closing role. Shawn Kelley came off the IL and spit in the face of those hoping for a Leclerc save, closing out two straight. For what it’s worth Leclerc was warming up a few nights ago when Chris Martin got in trouble. Still, if Kelley is getting it done they may see where he takes them.
  • The Nationals bullpen has turned into a plague ship ever since signing Trevor Rosenthal. Coincidence?
  • Boston is ready to throw in the towel on Ryan Brasier as closer. They can’t seem to find any to replace him. This is obviously because Matt Barnes insulted Alex Cora’s mother. Someone named Marcus Walden blew a save Wednesday. Brandon Workman notched a save Monday but was then used in the middle innings the rest of the week. I added a couple of Workman shares since his 13.3 K/9 is stellar and the BB/9 has been better in May.
  • Steve Cishek has done a bang-up job since Pedro Strop hit the IL. Between that and Strop’s history as a setup man, Cishek may be the guy for the foreseeable future. Sorry, what’s that? They still have Brandon Morrow? I can’t hear you over my own roaring laughter.
    Please, blog, may I have some more?