Please see our player page for Ty Buttrey 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.

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?

Last week I drafted against Scott White of CBS and like ten other Razzball guys. Pretty soon this league’s draft will be Scott White smashing a bottle of champagne on the front of the Razzball ship, then twelve Razzball guys will battle for the ‘ship with Donkey Teeth screaming, “You’ve sunk my battleship,” and me saying, “I’m standing next to you, stop screaming.” So, it was B_Don, The Prospect Itch, Donkey Teeth, me, Scott White and some other ‘perts. Maybe those other Razzball guys will give you a recap of their drafts (if you ask nicely), but we’re here for my ishkabibble and I came away with a team more imbalanced than your aunt after two cocktails. This league is deep so hold onto ye olde hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues. Or closet buddies, if you’re reading fast and/or experimenting.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team AL-Only team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We close out the American League bullpens with the AL West. It feels like all of these teams have something to offer either in closer speculation or high wattage non-closers. Remember the golden rule of the saves chase: don’t overpay for closers. Opportunities come if you’re active on the wire.

I didn’t realize how upset I was about the sign-stealing scandal until I started writing this. If you’re an Astros fan and I’ve offended your delicate sensibilities below, you can go and discard them along with your stolen championships.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sun is setting on the final days of fantasy baseball in 2019. If you’re fending off the wolves here are some relievers with a shot at a sneaky save over the next few days. Cut the fat and for that matter, any player not likely to get you a stat in a category of need no matter how big the name. Adding these names is the fantasy equivalent of Bran’s time travel/warging of Hodor. They probably stem the tide but may ruin something (like a ratio).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A strain is a tear and a tear is a strain. The arms that are hurting have torn stuff somewhere in there. Don’t let doctors dress thing up with fancy words. Discomfort, swelling, strain all mean something is not in its original state. If one of your pitcher’s arms is hurting you have trouble. Buy some insurance with a well-placed bullpen add.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Royals swept the Rays yesterday in a doubleheader, taking down Blake Snell (3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 4.31).  Snell can’t handle the Royals, they can Snell what he’s cooking.  As Razzball commenter, tigersharkz said, “Yep, Snell’s fine. Recovering from a broken toe in 10 days happens all the time in real life.” From Young MC’s Bust A Move, “Blake is getting shot down because he’s over-Snellous. …so hey, Reigning Cy, don’t bust a toe.”  No foolsies, but pitchers need their toes to push off, and anything can get them out of whack.  I’m officially concerned.  Of course, the Royals were led by Adalberto Mondesi (3-for-7, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (4) and double legs (9, 10) on opposite sides of a doubleheader, hitting .295).  Adalberto is my daddy — excuse me, Addadytogrey Mondesi. He’s now on pace for 20/50/.290. Yeah, terrible 2nd round pick. Also, chipping in for the Royals was Kelvin Gutierrez (2-for-7, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer). How big is this guy? Have you seen him? He’s like $54 T-bone vending machine steak. (Gonna keep using this until it catches on.) Is he related to The Big FraGu (throwback)?  KelGu, take me away.  He looks like he should be able to hit 20 homers and steal 10+ bags, but I don’t know if he’ll have the playing time, so best for deeper leagues for now. Terrance Gore keeps hitting (1-for-4, 1 run, hitting .400).  I’d like to see Terrance Gore on the Big floor piano. It would be like Jerry Lee Lewis on coke. …Whole Lotta Stealin’ Going On!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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*blows dust off cover to the book, “Raimel Tapia, Fantasy Sleeper”* Just found this book on a shelf in this Colorado-area bookstore.  “I think this is yours.”  The bookstore owner holds up a copy of, “Josh Rutledge’s Fantasy Sleeper.”  Haha, no, that’s not mine.  “It says “Property of Grey Albright.”  Can I just read from one of your other books in peace without paying for it?  No wonder bookstores are all going out of business, you don’t leave your customers alone!  Any hoo, as I was saying about Raimel Tapia, he was a 2015 Pick-to-Click, a 2016 Gotz-to-Getz-Him, a 2017 This-is-the-Year and a 2018 Absolute-Must-Own for a reason.  He has 15-homer power and 25-steal speed who shouldn’t hurt you in average (think .270).  The problem for so long has been the Rockies’ inability to kowtow to fantasy owners and play the sexy guys.  Not unrelated, Garrett Hampson is due for everyday playing time in 2023.  However, something interesting has happened recently — interesting is subjective but if you’re reading this I assume it applies — Ian Desmond has been getting benched regularly.  Finally!  If Tapia gets 5+ starts a week, he is a Pick-to-Click-Gotz-to-Getz-Him-This-is-the-Year-Absolute-Must-Own in all leagues.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The bullpen upheaval has begun in earnest. If you need saves you’re about to get your chance to bid for some. The NFL draft also starts tonight, so I went with NFL movie themed tiers.

  • Mike Scioscia’s spirit must be haunting the hallways of Angel stadium. Brad Ausmus tried to get twelve outs from Ty Buttrey but he only had 11 in him and gave up a run and the lead to New York. Hansel Robles, who hadn’t pitched the day before, was called on for the last out of the loss. I’m more confused about the LA situation than ever.
  • Mychal Givens notched an honest to goodness save Wednesday. A six-outer, to boot! Maybe that means manager Brandon Hyde is starting to realize that Givens his only real fit for the ninth.
  • Ryan Brasier has grabbed the upside to the Boston closer Schwartz. He’s viewed as the more straight-line ninth inning guy, while Matt Barnes has more value as a fireman.
  • Baseball is weird. Shane Greene has eleven saves and two earned runs. He’s the second best closer in baseball on one of it’s worst teams.
  • With David Robertson on the IL the Phillies have been turning to Hector Neris mainly. That’s shocking for Gabe Kapler. When Neris has his split-piece working it’s nasty, though. We can back the Kapler meddling threat level to yellow for now.
  • Both Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo needed some well-deserved rest this week. Kevin Cash turned to Emilio Pagan for back to back saves. Pagan was cast off by Oakland after they traded for him and didn’t get the reliable reliever they expected. Their loss could be Tampa’s gain.
  • 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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Cougs’ brother bought a place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; I mentioned to Cougs at one point in the last five years of marriage I skied once twenty years ago, and that’s the story of how I drafted a fantasy team falling graciously down the side of a mountain.  That’s right, ya boy went skiing this past weekend, and was drafting from a ski lift!  Thankfully, Geronimo Berroa is no longer in the league, because I might’ve ended up with him on my team because I kept screaming out his name during each round.  So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an AL Only league that was hosted by Scott White of CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than your aunt after two cocktails.  This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  Or closet buddies, if you’re reading fast and/or experimenting.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team AL-Only team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?