Rafael Montero currently has a 15.26 ERA and 2.48 WHIP in the month of May, which is obviously concerning as Montero was supposed to be a top holds option entering the season and is now someone we just can’t trust to roster at this point. It looks like some of the concerns from last season’s fantastic (but a bit fluky) season are rearing their head, while there’s also been a bit of bad luck. I don’t think he should be removed from the list entirely yet, as this is probably the highest his ERA and WHIP will be all season, but as I mentioned a while back, this Astros bullpen has plenty of options to choose from in high leverage spots, so I wouldn’t expect Montero to pick up and holds anytime soon.
- Brusdar Graterol continues to factor into the late-inning mix and even continues to vulture saves from Evan Phillips. There isn’t a ton of upside here as we know he doesn’t get Whiffs (8.2% SwStr rate), but his floor is incredibly high and he should continue to be a solid source of SV+HLDs while not inflating your ratios much.
- Miguel Castro continues to overachieve for the Diamondbacks, and while I’m concerned about some things in the profile (13.5% K-BB rate) at least he is now one of the top two relief options in this bullpen. While the stuff may not get the types of swings and misses we like to see, he has done a great job of limiting hard contact so far, so as long as that continues, he should be just fine.
- Matt Moore may not be able to miss bats anymore, but he’s found a way to get outs and is currently one of the safer, more consistent holds options out there. Will it last? Probably not as there are a LOT of concerning metrics here, 26.9% CSW rate and 4.90 xFIP to name a few, but for the time being we can trust Moore to be a steady relief option in holds leagues on a week-to-week basis.
- It’s almost June now and this trio of relievers haven’t exactly turned things around as we had hoped. That trio would be Griffin Jax, A.J. Minter and Seranthony Domínguez. The three have been a burden on your ratios so far this season, but there’s still hope for them to turn things around as the stuff still remains intact. But at this point, I do understand losing patience and opting to go with someone like Matt Moore.
- Brooks Raley picked up a save this past week and could remain in the mix with David Robertson and Adam Ottavino moving forward. It’s worth noting, Ottavino hasn’t closed out a game since May 5th, and in fact, has allowed 5 earned runs over his past 3 outings. I still think all three relievers should be owned in SV+HLD leagues (and maybe Drew Smith too), as this Mets team is surely better than how they’ve been playing, right?
- Justin Topa came back down to earth this past week, allowing 4 ER on 5 hits over 2.1 innings. The groundball rate is nice, but he just doesn’t produce enough swings and misses to be a must-roster reliever right now. The difference between him and Graterol is Graterols pure stuff is just better and he also has a lower walk rate.
- I talked about Joel Payamps last week and he continues to rise in the ranks, but someone who hasn’t been getting a ton of love recently is Joe Kelly who is having a phenomenal year under the radar. Kelly currently ranks third amongst all relievers in K-BB rate (34.6%) and xFIP (1.96) and second in CSW (40.4%). His player page is a whole lot of red right now, and while he’s only thrown 14 innings so far this season, things are certainly trending up for him and he should be Liam Hendriks’s top setup option once Hendriks returns.
- Jeremiah Estrada is back with the Cubs again and finally might be a factor in late-inning, high-leverage spots as he picked up his first hold of the season this past week. From a pure stuff standpoint, he has the most upside of anyone in this bullpen, and for all the mixing and matching and just trying to find a consistent closer here, I wonder if they finally turn to Estrada sooner rather than later. The 15.6% walk rate is a concern, but the pure stuff is so good as his 5.63 PLV is the second highest right now, and his 138 Stuff+ is top 8 amongst relievers as well.
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Why isn’t Matt Brash dropping on this list? He only has 1 hold in May and continues to allow a ton of base runners. Do the k’s outweigh all the negatives?