2017 Fantasy Baseball Bullpen Report: Tough Times
Justin Vreeland looks at another rough week for bullpens and also which bullpens are offering fantasy baseball owners the best in saves and holds.
It was another tough week for closers and for fantasy owners. Similar to last week, we see two closers working their way towards losing their jobs, and just one pitcher doing enough to warrant a “who’s hot” spot. The struggles were league wide, with over half of the closers giving up at least one run this week (the highest mark this season).
Closers in flux
Brandon Maurer has been a mess all season, and it does not appear to be changing any time soon. Already making his fifth appearance here, he continues to hold onto the Padres closing gig, despite an ERA of 6.32, two blown saves, and a 0-4 record. Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter both would make for a better choice for save chances, and could start getting those chances soon. Maurer has shown no signs of a turn around, so it is a bit surprising to see Manager Andy Green not pulling the plug yet. A guy with no positive track record and who struggled as the teams closer in 2016, Maurer shouldn’t have the job much longer. Soon returning Carter Capps could also work his way into the saves mix upon returning.
Cam Bedrosian had a chance to take back the closer gig with Bud Norris currently on the DL, but he has done nothing of the sort. He failed to convert on his only save chance this week, and gave up runs in two of his last three appearances. With Norris on track to return from the DL this coming weekend it is likely Bedrosian will move back to a setup role with Norris reclaiming the closing job.
*Note: I track blown saves that happened by guys who were brought into finish the game. Such as guys in the closer role, or other pitchers who were brought in late in the game. A guy who picks up a “blown save,” for example, in the 6th inning is very irrelevant in my opinion, when tracking fantasy assets.
|Player||BS YTD||Player||BS last 7 days|
|Tony Watson||5||Seung-Hwan Oh||1|
|Jim Johnson||5||Matt Bush||1|
|Francisco Rodriguez||4||Jason Grilli||1|
|Mark Melancon||4||Alex Colome||1|
|Alex Colome||4||Dellin Betances||1|
|Santiago Casilla||3||Edwin Diaz||1|
|Seung-Hwan Oh||3||Cam Bedrosian||1|
|6 more tied with||3|
A.J. Ramos (82% owned) continued to turn his season around, with another strong week. He pitched three times this week and converted all three of his save chances. He had two strikeouts across 3.1 shutout innings. Ramos has a 1.64 June ERA to go along with a 0.91 June WHIP after a rough first two months of the season for the veteran closer. The biggest thing hurting Ramos’ value currently is pitching for the Marlins, but with multiple teams targeting him in trade, that could soon change. For now he ranks in the lower-half of the closing ranks. YTD stats: 28.1 innings, 13 saves, 37 K, 3.49 ERA.
Seung-Hwan Oh (95% owned) is in a rut, and it only continued this week. Oh pitched three times and failed to convert on his lone save chance, his third blown save on the season. In total, Oh had two earned runs against and zero strikeouts across three innings of work. He has been far from the dominant reliever he was in 2016 and his ratios are worse across the board. The positive thing for Oh is the struggles of fellow reliever Trevor Rosenthal; this has kept Oh with his job. His grip on the closing gig is loosening after giving up runs in five of his last eight outings. He continues to slowly work his way down the closing ranks. YTD stats: 36 innings, 16 saves, 32 K, 3.75 ERA.
Alex Colome (92% owned) had a terrible week both for the Rays and for fantasy owners. He pitched just two times, and failed on his only save chance (his fourth blown save). He gave up five earned runs in two innings, and had just one strikeout. He allowed EIGHT runners to reach base against him. Colome has seen his ERA rise from 1.95 to 3.57 over the last 10 days with seven earned runs in his last three innings. He should get back on track soon, and remains a middle-tier closer. YTD stats: 35.1 innings, 20 saves, 32 K, 3.57 ERA.
Who’s hot, Who’s Cold season Leader board
This table shows who has made the most appearances in these sections.
|Hot Total||Cold Total|
|Greg Holland||4||Mark Melancon||3|
|Craig Kimbrel||4||Francisco Rodriguez||2|
|Raisel Iglesias||3||Roberto Osuna||2|
|Kenley Jansen||3||Kelvin Herrera||2|
|Roberto Osuna||2||A.J. Ramos||2|
|Brandon Kintzler||2||Brandon Kintzler||2|
|A.J. Ramos||2||Addison Reed||2|
|13 tied with||1||Seung-Hwan Oh||2|
|9 tied with||1|
Middle Relievers of note
Pat Neshek (26% owned) is having the best season of his long career to this point in the year. Opposing hitters have managed to do very little damage against him, as he is carrying a 0.59 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, and .192 BAA. Neshek has walked just four batters and allowed just one homerun thus far. He has operated in a setup role so far, but with the shakiness of Phillies closer Hector Neris, he could soon find himself getting some save chances. There is a strong chance Neshek could be traded, which would almost certainly help his value. Between his ratios and his upside for saves, Neshek is worth owning in all formats right now. YTD stats: 30.2 innings, 9 holds, 29 K, 0.59 ERA.
Jarlin Garcia (1% owned) has looked impressive this season and is just a rookie. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s which he pairs with a slider and a changeup, both of which generate a high number of swing and misses. Garcia has been extremely effective over the last 30 days with a 0.87 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 6 holds across 10.1 innings. With the Marlins likely to be sellers at the deadline, Garcia could move into higher leverage situations. For now, he is just someone to keep an eye on. YTD stats: 25.1 innings, 9 holds, 24 K, 3.20 ERA.
Danny Barnes (1% owned) has quietly strung together a nice season for the Blue Jays. His ratios across the board are rock solid with a 2.14 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 10.43 K/9. Opposing hitters have managed just a .174 BAA against him so far, which is .101 points lower than last season for Barnes. He is working his way into higher leverage game situations with four of his five holds coming within the last 30 days. He isn’t going to challenge Roberto Osuna for the closing gig, but is worth monitoring for the time being. YTD stats: 33.2 innings, 5 holds, 39 K, 2.14 ERA.
The full 2016 breakdown for these 3 guys can be found in the chart below.
|Player||HLD YTD||Player||HLD last 7 days|
|Adam Ottavino||18||Jose Ramirez||3|
|Andrew Miller||17||David Phelps||3|
|Taylor Rogers||17||Will Harris||3|
|Will Harris||17||C.J. Edwards||2|
|Arodys Vizcaino||15||Jose Leclerc||2|
|Jacob Barnes||14||Brad Hand||2|
|David Phelps||14||Jarlin Garcia||2|
|Felipe Rivero||14||Pat Neshek||2|
|7 tied with||13||Ryan Madson||2|
|11 more tied with||2|
*Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo