Another week, another post by me mentioning the Mets. Does it seem like I pick on the Mets too much? I am a Phillies fan, so it’s entirely possible. Maybe the Mets could teach their pitchers how to hold runners and get to home plate faster like the rest of baseball. This is the same organization that lets it’s pitchers decide for themselves whether or not to get an MRI on their sore arms so I’m not expecting much. Sorry, Mets rant over. Here are the week’s speed notes.

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It’s getting ugly in the reliever market. Injuries, ineffectiveness, and promotions have wrung much of the top talent out of the scene.  Much like the bazaar in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle there’s stuff everywhere, but it’s hard to find what you need. Also, there’s a basket with a cobra in it. You just have to hope the Rock shows up and start throwing people through walls. I don’t actually know what the fantasy baseball equivalent of that is. I’ve gotten off track here thinking about the Rock’s ridiculous biceps, as per uzhe. I’ll wrap up this lede in ramble with a comparison Jumanji’s theme: the only way to win the game of relievers is to play and win.

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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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How any more FAAB periods do we have to go? Is it the All-Star Break yet? There’s plenty of baseball left, as the Masters just concluded in a Tiger Woods win. Speed is as scarce as ever. There are very few dependable sources for steals. Smart owners are constantly on the lookout for a good opportunity to gamble on a guy in a plus situation to swipe a bag. You need a runner able to pull the trigger when they actually manage to get on just like Tiger in the hunt for a win, or an opp at a Perkins.

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It’s Masters Week! Let’s enjoy some Augusta themed tiers (hold the bigotry). First some (mostly bad) closer news.

  • Jose Leclerc blew a save and couldn’t get more than one out with a four-run lead. He’s earned some leash, but we’ve seen ineffective periods from him before. Expensive salads don’t melt down. He’s downgraded for a spell.
  • The Mariners can’t seem to get their bullpen sorted. Anthony Swarzak is their best arm but that means coming in when it’s the seventh or eighth. He should still see more saves than any other reliever for them.
  • Hate to say I told you so on Trevor May, but also I told you so on Trevor May. When in doubt back greed. His deployment is very characteristic of a team looking to save in arbitration. Not that he won’t see any save opps, they’ll just be too unpredictable for most of our leagues. Blake Parker gets most of the looks with Taylor Rogers matching up with lefties on occasion.
  • Raisel Iglesias got through a clean ninth inning for a save finally. That’s encouraging but between his struggles and being used in other innings I’m dropping him all the way to the bottom rung until we can feel comfortable in his stuff and role.
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Do you own Trea Turner, he of a broken finger? Welcome to the chase for speed with the rest of us schlubs. So much changes in just a week this early on. Keep that in mind as the season unfolds. Too often owners look to trade a strength that can become a deficit with a single poorly gripped bunt attempt. Dig for steals and saves at every turn. It’s SAGNOF time!

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Do you own Trea Turner, he of three steals in one game? No? Then you’re chasing speed with the rest of us. It’s pretty early to go dropping players you drafted for a rabbit with a chance at a steal. However, if you have a free spot put it to use. Like Kanye craving a fair-haired lady lover, we’ll do anything for a save or steal come September. It’s never too early to pad those columns.

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Let’s dust off Grey’s tiers for this first closer report of the season. We’re one day in and the sky is already falling all over the closer landscape.

  • We have our first dumpster fire of the season in Arizona. Pudding-brained Toery Lovullo will use the guy with experience in Greg Holland, albeit awful recent experience.
  • Bruce Bochy did the right thing and confirmed Will Smith will be the closer. A manager making a sensible decision, be still my heart.
  • Taylor Rodgers earned the opening day save in Minnesota. The matchups dictated a LHP so don’t go overboard changing that hierarchy. We need to be aware Rocco Baldeli will mix and match, however.
  • An old fashioned 6-out save was on the menu for Josh Hader. He needed Lorenzo Cain to bring a homer back over the wall, but the stuff was nasty as ever with plenty of whiffs.
  • Pedro Strop hammy wasn’t a big deal and he’s ready to go. Bump him up a tier with another leap pending his hold on the role of.
  • The Reds and Royals bullpens got off on the wrong foot. Both spots need to be monitored to see if roles are changing.
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