Please see our player page for Sergio Romo 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.

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Every day Prospect Santa brings up fantasy prospects for all the nice boys and five girls. The naughty boys and five girls can try to figure out what they did to be deemed naughty, but we won’t be explaining designations to anyone, so that’s tough sledding if you got a naughty tag. Just know you prolly did something like wanted to drop Adalberto Mondesi or were happy Acuña got hurt because you didn’t own him. One day Prospect Santa boots an unpaid elf out of the way to reveal Cristian Pache. “The elf’s getting valuable experience, better than any paycheck or healthcare!” Wow, Prospect Santa is a bit of a jerk. Another day Prospect Santa brings up Casey Mize and leers at Mrs. Claus with lust and anger. Yo, is Prospect Santa okay in the head? So, who is next for Prospect Santa, could it be, Gavin Lux? Yes, that’s why we’re here. I’ll admit to cheating a little for who to lead with in the, uh, lede. Prospect Itch (no relation to Santa, as far as I know) recently came out with his Fantasy Baseball Prospect Stash List and I scrolled all the way down to the 2nd name. Also on that list: Pache, Mize, Skubal, K*bert– Okay, Itch is psychic; it is confirmed. Gavin Lux got a bit of a raw deal coming out of Summer Camp, being sent to the alternate training site, where they practice the ancient art of hopping on one leg and other alternate training. Lux can come up and be an immediate pickup in the shallowest of leagues. He could be a top five guy at his position in the final month-plus with a .300+ average and power, and maybe a few steals. When do we see him? I think soon, but that’s up to Prospect Santa. “Ho! Ho! Ho! You ain’t ever getting Wander Franco!” I kinda hate Prospect Santa. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jairo Diaz was told the Rockies will no longer have a designated closer. Bud Black is crazy, right? I mean, he is legit nuts or no? I know the Woke Police say you shouldn’t call people crazy, but if we don’t, then they might not get help and Bud Black needs help. I thought maybe Black was just slow on the uptake as witnessed by Garrett Hampson’s playing time. It’s not normal to go from not playing to suddenly being an everyday leadoff man, like Black just discovered Hampson this year. Garrett was good last year, you absolute loon! But this is about Jairo Diaz. He didn’t have the best of games (2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, ERA at 3.12), but Carlos Estevez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.38), who saved the game, took a comeback off his hand, and was in severe pain, heading for x-rays. So, one guy’s been decent (Diaz), one guy is obviously injured, and the third guy, Daniel Bard (1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.09) has been okay, but serious emphasis on “okay” and nothing more. That’s when you announce the guy with zero blown saves is no longer the closer? Bud Black is twenty-six screws short of an Ikea dresser. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

I kicked off the bullpen parade last week with the AL East. It’s a safe place for us reliever analysts with mostly secure jobs and quality arms. The tradeoff for that comfort is following it up with the AL Central. The odds are far better that all five of these projected closers will be changed out than none of them being replaced. There isn’t a ton of depth either. I suppose that’s what happens when you refuse to spend money. Let’s push through this muck like a swamp on dagobah and hope a little green man imparts us some wisdom in rearranged syntax. Did no one else take a hit of acid for this? Just me? Ok. Fire up the Rage Against the Machine and on to the pens.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, Marcus Stroman.  You poor, poor soul. Can we take bets on how hard the Mets tried to include Mickey Callaway in the deal? It is so Mets to suddenly think of themselves as contenders. Blue Jays to Pirates, “Thank you for making the Mets believe again.”  We’ll see how much Stroman enjoys throwing ground ball pitches with that defense behind him. Amed Rosario plays balls two feet to his left into a diving try. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if this move leads to the Mets trading away Wheeler and Syndergaard, as they change their rotation vs. thinking Stroman is some catalyst. He has a 7.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 3.52 FIP, so he’s not bad. A bit yawnstipating, but in the NL out of the AL East makes me a buyer of Stroman vs. ignoring him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At this point in the season, nearly all of the highly dependable closers are off the waiver wire. However, given the significant turnover at the closer position, there are still arms that pop up that can be a viable source of saves. The window to pounce on them can be small, so it is imperative to stay on top of who has been getting the save chances and react accordingly. Below I have 3 closers all less than 25% owned on ESPN. For those in deeper leagues these guys may be gone already, but they are all available in 75% or more of ESPN leagues. I have listed them in order of their value in my eyes.

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I wonder what Keith Law aka [email protected] thinks about Yordan Alvarez. *searches through transcripts of Klaw chats, which he calls a Koffee Klawtch* Hmm, that’s weird. He didn’t rank Yordan in his preseason top 100. Prospect Mike had him at 27 overall in the top 50 for fantasy baseball prospects.  “Hello, Mr. Skywriter?  Yes, can I pay you to fly above [email protected]’s home with the message, ‘Oops.’ Where does he live? Hmm, I’ve been training my dog to sniff out bad takes, so I just need a few hours and a box of Milkbones.”  On our Prospectonator, Yordan is ranked in the top 5. Again, with some stank, [email protected] didn’t even rank him in the top 100.  I get it; he’s doing real baseball vs. fantasy. The problem is real baseball has become fantasy. Do people even care about defense anymore?  The Orioles top pick overall is a catcher who is already in talks about moving off that position.  Just one more time — he didn’t rank Yordan Alvarez in his preseason top 100!  Are we even comprehending how crumby with cracker crumbs this is?  Any hoo!  Heir Yordan had 23 homers and a .343 average in 56 games of Triple-A.  I will now laugh myself into coughing fit.  Yo, Yordan, you Babe Ruth?  I know what you’re thinking, how long has he been in Triple-A, is he old?  He’s 21 years old.  No idea of the Astros’ plans for him, and, if by some stroke of the malocchio, he doesn’t hit, I guess he could get sent down. However, I think Tyler White’s done and Yuli Guli sounds like an anime character who can’t hit, so even when George Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa — damn, you wrestling gators in hopes of passing the Yanks for most injured players? — return, I think Yordan is here to stay, and, yesterday, his 1-for-3 with his 1st homer is just the start.  Get him accordingly.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jordan Lyles was exceptional Friday night capturing his second win of the year going six strong innings allowing just four hits, a walk and striking out six. He now leads the league with a 0.53 ERA. Mazel tov, Jordan, and happy Pesach! Well, someone clearly did not observe the High Sabbath last night. He had better things to do, busy mowing down the San Francisco hitters. So is the Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage is a miracle worker or a Three Eyed Raven or some kind of warg magic man?? The Pirates pitching staff now boasts a league best 2.54 ERA. But back to Jordan. Lyles has now struck out 16 over his past two starts and holds some real pretty ratios like that league leading 0.53 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP with an 19/5 K/BB. Yes, more please. Put that on your seder plate. After the all star break last year, Lyles started relying more on a combination of his curve ball and 4-seam fastball and benefited from this greatly posting a 3.00 ERA with hitters batting just .213 against him. His curve ball, in particular, can be pretty nasty when its on and when he’s mixing in the 4-seamer effectively Jordan has looked like a dominant pitcher. Seems like he’s brought this strategy with him to Pittsburgh and things with Searage have clicked. He had his outing shortened Friday after taking a line drive off the hand but the injury does not appear to be serious and he is expected to make his next start Wednesday versus Arizona. Lyles is available in over 75% of fantasy leagues and worth your streaming consideration at the very least. He’s starting to look like a steal for Pittsburgh, and he seems like a real mensch you may not want to Pass over!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, Rudy says to me, “You should get into a Best-Ball league?”  And I replied, “Is that a fantasy league where everyone drafts in blue Polos like you work at Best Buy?”  Then I saw those three little dots like he was typing something, then they disappeared.  Then I saw the three dots again, and, alas, they disappeared again. Finally, he responded, “You don’t think that do you?”  After googling what Best-Ball was, I replied, “No, jokes, man, jokes!”  So, I got myself in my first Best-Ball league.  Everyone likely knows what it is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are the best players, and you get those stats.  It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Drafting with me in my league was Elon Musk, Issac Asimov–Okay, I keed.  Anyway, here’s my NFBC Best-Ball, Points League, 10 team draft recap:

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NL WestNL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!  Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.

Please, blog, may I have some more?