While not totally unpredictable, it is still surprising to see the sharp demise of Greg Holland throughout the month of August. Given his frequent usage in the first half of the season, it’s reasonable that the veteran reliever has just ran out of gas here down the stretch after not pitching for an entire year. It’s a bit of shame too, as he was looking like a surefire favorite for comeback player of the year, but this month has seen his ERA on the season skyrocket to 4.00 this past weekend after allowing 14 earned runs over his past 7.1 innings. By default, as the Rockies have now logical alternatives, Holland could hold on to his job, but it’s worth noting that Jake McGee bailed him out Saturday night and could end up mixing in with Holland for save situations moving forward.
TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U
- Craig Kimbrel had his first blemish in a while, allowing a 2 run HR to Justin Smoak on Monday night to make things interesting before finally shutting the door an earning his 30th save. Oh yea, and it’s probably a bit overdue for Corey Knebel to wind up in this tier. He has basically been Kimbrel minus the great walk rate.
TIER 2: Save Tonight
- Alex Colome has put together a solid 2 weeks as the Rays cling to their playoff lives. He has 5 saves over those 14 days, while striking out 9 and allowing just 4 baserunners. He should continue to be a solid source of saves down the stretch and one of the more dependable options.
- As I finally move Fernando Rodney up into tier 2, I’d just like to put out this disclaimer that if/when Rodney implodes this week, I shall not be responsible. He has been solid, if unspectacular over the past month, and the random prowess to walk everyone he faces will still loom always, but he is probably still a top 15 option for the fantasy playoffs.
TIER 3: Bound for the Floor
- Zach Britton has just been really not very good at any point this season. None of his peripherals match up with his past two-year performances and he is almost assuredly dealing with that knee injury more than we know. He will be very tough to trust the rest of the year, and since he brings almost nothing to the table outside of a potential save here and there, I’d consider dropping him. There’s got to be a real chance they just shut him down for the month of September, making Mychal Givens or Brad Brach interesting stashes in deeper leagues.
- As expected, it doesn’t sound like A.J Ramos will be relinquishing the closer gig to Jeurys Familia anytime soon. The Mets are in no need to rush him back into high leverage situations, but at some point, what is the point of continuing to run him out there still if you won’t use him in the role he will be all but guaranteed to have in 2018 (also applies to Sam Dyson). If owners are banking on Ramos getting them saves at this point, they should definitely stash Familia as well if possible (same goes for the Dyson/Mark Melancon situation).
TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)
- It may appear that Blake Parker is running away with the Angels 9th inning job, but knowing Mike Scioscia, it is probably far from a certainty. Still, he is worth a shot for owners desperate for saves.
- Seung Hwan Oh’s hugely disappointing season continues, and maybe it just comes down to the fact that he is probably just an average talent at best. Tyler Lyons should see save chances soon, but this ultimately feels like an inevitable committee situation for the rest of the year.
Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)