This week I’ll tackle the National League (Sorry, football season never really ends for me). I know it doesn’t get better than this — let’s party till the ‘rents come home.  I don’t know what intrigues me more: relief pitching or if someone is eating ice cream and I don’t know what flavor it is.  I digress, but, nonetheless, relief pitching changes from day to day. Who pitches better at night, on the road, on Sunday, on an odd numbered day?  More importantly, the NL has managers that are always the leaders in holds for a team. For this reason, make sure to pay attention to the Dodgers, Padres and Cards. This week’s smattering of ‘pens brings up a pretty decent group of hurlers, and now I bring you — without further hubbub — the twenty guys that I see as being the “most bestest” in the land of no DH.  The middle relievers for 2010 fantasy baseball:

Nick Massett – Guy has the goods: everything you look for in RP. To name a few: decent control, great K’s, low BA against. My breakout guy for holds.

Todd Coffey – Not a huge K threat, decent peripherals, but when it comes down to it, what’s better than a barrel chested dude sprinting in from the pen?

LaTroy Hawkins – Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this guy. Two capital letters in your first name is just dumb: it’s like cake with no icing. Will be decent for sleeper ‘pen in the “land of hops and ales.”

Sergio Romo –  Flame thrower, awesome K/9.  Great deep league help for peripheral help. Has future closer potential. Will pitch behind Wilson and in front of…

Jeremy Affeldt – Dual winner of the Arthur Rhodes Trophy last year — minuscule numbers. Should be top 5 in holds again this year.

Pete Moylan –  Another year removed from TJ surgery. Pitched great in a reduced role last year. Expect his walk rate to fall.

Takashi Saito – Pitched great in AL last year. Should repeat nicely in front of Wags.  Great K, ERA, and WHIP potential.

Pedro Feliciano – Sounds like a singer and pitches like a lefty.  Great ratios and a ton of appearances.  Great “one and done” guy for the oft-injured Mets.  Good source of snipe wins.

Ryoti Igarashi – Great numbers in Japan. Will fool guys with early delivery. Reminds me a lot of Saito.  Owns his own “The Igarashi Driving Academy.”

Jason Motte – Blew his chance to close last year. Great stuff — definitely the closer moving forward. The Lou is always top 5 for holds as an organization.   Go bet it — $2 bucks on Kryptonite.

Trevor Miller – Guy is a hundred and 12 years old, and gets a 2 yr deal.  I want to come back as a lefty reliever. Tiny numbers. Another “LaRussa” go-to guy.

Mike Adams – Great guy for almost all formats.  Tiny numbers add up to big help in ERA and WHIP. Awesome across the board — another ‘pen you can rely on.

Luke Gregerson – Snuck up on everyone last year. Great K potential again (93k’s in 75 inn). Yeah, I had to look that up to. Bud’s go-to righty in front of “The Heath Bar.”

George Sherrill – Torre rides success out of the bullpen — he lives by it. Not a lot of K’s, and tends to get sketchy with men on.  Great sleeper in deeper formats for 20 holds/ 10 save season.

Hong-Chih Kuo – Awesome down the stretch, great K’s and low ERA. It’s why we all drafted him in the beginning of the year only to drop him and then watch someone else pick him up. Graduate of “Igarashi Driving Academy.”

Ramon Troncoso – Wore down by mid-year, which is what Torre does to young RP.  Needs to work on the walks.  Win “sniper” if I ever have seen one — think Aceves 2009.

Brian Bruney – Always gets the hype wherever he goes.  Has the goods, but needs to keep his wits when pitching. Great stuff — everything required to be a success in the setup for the Senators, uh, Nationals.

Manny Corpas – Another guy that can’t find his role. Closes out games horribly, but sets up great.  Needs to stay healthy and the Rocks will benefit.

Juan Gutierrez – Will be closing by A.S break — bank on it. Great K potential. Should be another hold/save contributor.  My sleeper pick late in drafts for cheap saves.

Arthur Rhodes – You can’t have a MR discussion without the Godfather. He blows up like Apollonia in the playoffs, but Cincy isn’t invited to those.

Others to consider: John Grabow, Aaron Heilman, Dan Meyer, Brandon Lyon and Matt Lindstrom, Ryan Madson and Danys Baez.

  1. peter says:

    I’ve been employing the BRAN strategy in some 10-team mocks, from the 9th spot. A problem I’m having is that I’m always ending up with Curtis Granderson as my #1 OF. Kemp/Braun rarely fall to 9th in the first round, which means I invariably end up with some combination of Teixiera/Longoria or Cabrera/Wright in the first two rounds. Holliday/Sizemore/etc are almost always gone by the time my pick comes back around.

    Should I be at peace w/ Granderson as my #1 OF? I’m thinking I should forgo a 1B in the first 2 rounds and pick up a Votto/Morneau/Morales in round 4.

  2. DonSlaught'sOnslaught says:

    John Grabow used to fill my category needs of a) holds, b)cheap K’s and c)owning a Pirate to ease my Western PA guilt and give me a player to watch for on FSN telecasts.

  3. Smokey

    smokey says:

    Grabow has a great wrestling name, cubs bullpen is hell on wheels. marmol may have to pitch 300 innings.

  4. Smokey

    smokey says:

    @peter: Thats always an idea, the drop off in 1b is far less than Of, IMO.. lind or crawford others to think about

  5. @peter: I think Granderson as a first OF is fine. I like him for this year in NY. The short porch, better lineup around him, should hit more like .260 or .270. A combined 200 runs/rbi with 20 steals, 30 homeruns is not bad.

  6. pharmdriz says:

    I’d worry about Moylan because he entered 87 games last year. Yes, the first year off of TJ surgery.

    Saito was never used in high leverage situations for the BoSox last year, so I’m not entirely sold that he’s going to be anything close to the guy he was for the Dodgers a few years back. He is the heir apparent to close if Wags gets hurt, but Bobby Cox is a huge proponent of overworking his bullpen. If the Braves have a lead going into the 7th and the SP is around 100 pitches, expect to see Moylan, Saito, then Wags 95% of the time. Use that information however you will, but that scares me a little bit.

  7. Actually Romo is not a flamethrower. His fastball tops out around 88-89 mph, but he gets a majority of his K’s from a crazy-good slider

  8. tooms says:

    Thoughts on Franklin Morales??

  9. mapwheel says:

    @Maitland: I still think people are being too conservative with Granderson’s value; I would not hesitate to take him late in the third round at all. I think his stat line for 2010 will look VERY much like Jayson Werth’s line for 2009.

  10. FredayCouples says:

    @Peter, I hear your pain. I’m in a 12 team H2H league with 4 keepers and I’m not keeping an OF. So, I have to hope Granderson or someone great falls to me in the middle of the 5th round. My thinking is that while I will miss out on a top OF I can go for 2 number 2 OFs and get another outfielder in the 110-125 pick range.

  11. Jif & The Choosy Mothers says:

    I have one spot left in a 20-team dynasty H2H points league drafting Sunday, March 28 – 9:30 pm EDT. Been working carefully to find the right owners. Actually been “interviewing” guys with a couple of quick e-mails. Looking for owners who will work on building their franchise and stick with it year-over-year – no matter how it stands in the standings.

    If you have that never give up mentality – and you want a deep-drafting league like this with active, competitive and good-natured owners, let me know. I won’t post here again.

    [email protected]


  12. Adam says:

    I just got offered another big trade (10 teams, 30 man rosters, 5×5 roto)…

    Give: Prince and Bell
    Get: Lincecum, Markakis and Rauch

    I also have Teix to play 1B, but if I pull the trigger, I’ll have only Robot Jones to cover my CI…
    My current OF starters are Ellsbury, Grandy, Werth and CarGo with Reimold/Jones as my top options at Util…
    My SP is pretty top heavy with Greinke, Hamels and Wandy, then a drop-off down to Slowey/Wolf/Hughes and there isn’t much on the waiver wire pitching-wise
    Also, I have Guerrier and Mijares, so I would be locking down the Minny closing job (barring trade)

    Thoughts, Grey-t One?

  13. Adam says:

    @Adam: Also, it’s a 5 player keeper league if that matters

  14. mrbaseball says:

    Reyes to rest two to eight weeks – hasn’t he been resting for a year now –

  15. John says:

    Does anyone know when Chapman is scheduled to pitch again? I have a dynasty draft Monday and I’m looking to get another look before making a decision.

  16. @mapwheel: Yeah, I don’t really know what it is with undervaluing Granderson. Awful against lefties last year, sure, but, I think he had improved against them the year before, so, I don’t think it is completely hopeless. I don’t know if people are just worried about him because they might platoon him if he struggles against lefties, or what. But, that seemed like mainly Yankee fan puffery that expect them to have the best of everything.

  17. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @tooms: I like morales. He needs to cut the walks, will be the guy if Corpas flames out.

  18. mrbaseball says:

    this is a tough one mr grey – a 20 man league – live H2H draft

    Roster Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, Util, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL, DL

    Batters Stat Categories: Runs (R), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), Batting Average (AVG)

    Pitchers Stat Categories: Wins (W), Saves (SV), Strikeouts (K), Earned Run Average (ERA), (Walks + Hits)/ Innings Pitched (WHIP)

    I CAN’T MAKE THE DRAFT – any advise how you would pre-set this thing

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @mrbaseball: Sucks to not make a draft, especially in a league that big. I’d make sure no catchers were in my first 200 slots, then I’d put pitchers later than they would normally go. Make sure you have a great offense then you can figure out pitching afterwards. Take a few pitchers you know will go later that you like and move them up. For instance, if you like Hamels, like I do, then put him in the 50s knowing that it will be before anyone else takes him. But mostly go for hitting in the first 150. Then load 150-250 with pitchers that you like. Unfortunately, no matter what you do your team’s going to be a little wonky because you won’t be there.

  20. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @mrbaseball: pay someone to draft it. I hate missing drafts.

  21. GopherDay says:

    @mrbaseball: I’m in the same predicament…I have a 12 team draft where you can keep the players next year for 2 rounds more than what they were drafted this year. I’ve tried a few mocks with my pre-rankings, but all the drafts have been wonky, specifically towards the end of the draft.

    Just throwing this out there, does anyone want to draft my team for me? Its Sunday at 7:00 CDT…better than a mock I guess, cuz you know everyone will be there.

  22. Achilles says:

    Chapman will pitch 2 innings out of the pen Friday against the Dodgers. Game time 3:05 EST.

  23. mrbaseball says:

    what I did is move Kevin Youkilis before Zimmerman because the Youk can play two positions – so if its close I pre-drafted the muti position players over the fix posiiton players

    the worst thing is that there is CF LF RF instead of OF OF OF

    and I will use psychic connected energy

  24. John says:

    @Achilles: Awesome. Thank you.

  25. Jobu's Rum says:

    @Smokey: Smokey, give me your top two guys from your list (like how you preferred Bard and Wuertz in the AL list). BTW, thanks for writing this; I’m a total Mr B

  26. Dave37 says:

    @mrbaseball, GopherDay: You two should draft each other’s teams. Beats autodraft plus your both disciples of Razzball.

  27. GopherDay says:

    @Dave37: Thats a great idea!! I’d be up for it if I could make Mr. Baseball’s draft, and vice versa.

    The set ups are almost the same, except your league has 8 more teams and mine has 2 extra stats(Hitters: Ks; Pitchers: HLDS).

    C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, IF, LF, CF, RF, OF, Util, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL, DL, DL

    I have the 1st overall pick.

    @mrbaseball: If your up to it, I am!

  28. GopherDay says:

    @mrbaseball: Do you play on Yahoo?

  29. mrbaseball says:

    # 29 GopherDay Says: you can have a co-manager in yahoo where I play all my leagues – BUT the co-manager can not draft

    If I could have had a co-manager draft – I would have asked Grey – that way I can get off to 100-0 with the teams he drafts

    mrbaseball stat of the day – it was a slow day

    John Lackey pitched three scoreless innings
    but it was against the Mets

  30. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Jobu’s Rum: strictly for holds go Affeldt and Masset, for deep leagues where u want to snipe saves Gutierrez and Motte

  31. Steve says:

    Was Moylan considered to have a reduced roll last year because he only pitched the 7th inning or because he set a franchise record with appearances?

  32. Smokey

    smokey says:

    @Steve: by reduced role i meant his role in the bullpen def not by appearances.

  33. Joeboo says:

    What happened to the post for AL holds guys?

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