While injuries continue to ravage starting pitching around the league in the first month of the season, we are lucky to at least have some continuity with relievers. Sure Zach Britton is on the DL and Cam Bedrosian went down last week, leaving a mess in that Angels bullpen, but the RP community hasn’t been hit too hard overall. The Nationals really need Koda Glover to be ready to go once his 10-day DL stint is up, as their bullpen is in shambles outside of (maybe) Shawn Kelley right now. Mike Dunn was the only other relevant name to make it to the DL this week. Some combination of Carlos Esteves and Jake McGee figure to fill in as that 7th inning set up guy in Colorado for now.
TIER 1: Good Vibration
- While the holds haven’t quite been there for Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances yet, these are still the 2 guys I trust the most going forward to bring value to 4 categories. I think the Yankees need to start exploring the idea of using Betances more, as his measly 6 innings so far isn’t really helping anyone.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
7. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
10. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
- I really wonder who ends up with the most value in the Astros bullpen this season. Luke Gregerson has been nails since his 6 run blow up April 8th. Chris Devenski has been electric piece of their bullpen, filling multiple roles, depending on the situation. He is turning out to be one of the better waiver adds, especially in roto leagues, but can win you a week in H2H matchup’s as well. But just as easily could be a dud for you in a week he doesn’t pitch much. Will Harris continues to be solid around the board, and may be their most consistent reliever. They should all be owned in SV+HD leagues, along with Ken Giles.
- Hector Rondon seems to be Joe Maddon’s goto setup man now, after using Pedro Strop in the 8th earlier in the year. There’s a lot of upside here if he stays in the role going forward.
- Some managers don’t like to use a lefty in the closers role, but it’s fair to wonder if Brad Ausmus may be forced to put Justin Wilson in the role soon.
- Felipe Rivero has been a really consistent holds reliever to being the year. I still think he is the Pirates best late inning option, and could work himself in to save chances down the line.
- Trevor Rosenthal has shown the upside that made him such an appealing closer option in past season, racking up 11 K’s in 5.1 innings. Seung Hwan Oh will have a long leash, but Rosenthal makes for an interesting stash in standard leagues and a great option for holds leagues.
TIER 3: Torn
19. Cory Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)
20. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
21. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)
22. Derek Law (San Francisco Giants)
26. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
36. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)
- Jacob Barnes has been awesome to start the season, and is clearly the Brewers preferred secondary setup man. Corey Knebel has pitched well too, and Neftali Feliz has been solid outside of one bad outing against the Cubs. The Brewers bullpen is shaping up to be one of the most surprisingly dominant ones in baseball.
- Blake Treinen finds himself next in line for saves all of a sudden after losing the job last week. He should see the bulk of the 8th inning work with Koda Glover going to the DL and might even earn a save or two if Shawn Kelley needs a day off. Ultimately however, it seems inevitable that the Nats trade for a closer some point this season.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
- Matt Bowman has been on a nice little holds run over the past 2 weeks and has solid supporting stats to back him up. He let up his first 2 runs the other day, but he should still be a quality late inning option for Mike Matheny.
- Until Archie Bradley is placed in the starting rotation, he is still the RP I like the most in Arizona for the time being. I think they need to start using him the same way the Astros use Chris Devenski, which obviously would also give him a nice fantasy boost.
- Jake McGee should pick up Mike Dunn’s innings, making him an interesting deep holds add. He’s shown glimpses of dominance in the past, so as long as he can limit the walks, he has nice upside.
TIER 5: There She Goes
54. Sam LeClerc (Texas Rangers)
55. Carlos Esteves (Colorado Rockies)
63. Luis Avilan (Los Angeles Dodgers)
64. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves)
68. JJ Hoover (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Blake Parker should be the primary setup option and may even vulture some saves from Bud Norris until Cam Bedrosian and Andrew Bailey return. He’s pitched well this year and could provide nice value if he starts to earn saves/holds.
- Donnie Hart has been picking up holds left and right since Zach Britton was placed on the DL. It’s possible that continues even when Britton returns, given that he is the teams second best left-handed bullpen option.
Sammy Solis (Washington Nationals)
Houston Street (Los Angeles Angels)
Glenn Perkins (Minnesota Twins)
Xavier Cedeno (Tampa Bay Rays)
JP Howell (Toronto Blue Jays)