Not a whole lot of change this week on The Hold Up, as the injury bug took it easy on many bullpens across the league for once. We did lose Ryan Dull to a knee strain, but it’s not exactly like he was setting the world on fire to begin with. The biggest beneficiary could be Frankie Montas, who should begin to be trusted late in games more. It’s not like the A’s have anything to lose trusting a young prospect like Montas in that role to gain valuable experience.
TIER 1: Good Vibrations
- Per usual, Andrew Miller was one of, if not the best non-closer reliever this past week. He is as steady as they come when looking at RP’s.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
6. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
9. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
10. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles))
- While Tony Watson has allowed 7 runs in 9 May appearances, Felipe Rivero has allowed just 5 baserunners. Rivero has electric stuff and is getting groundballs over 60% of the time so it should only be a matter of time before the Pirates hand him the 9th inning.
- Arodys Vizcaino is coming off a terrific week, allowing just 1 hit over 4 innings, walking none and striking out 5 while picking up 3 holds and a win. He hasn’t allowed a run in over a month, while Jim Johnson has blown 3 saves. There’s a chance he earns some saves this year as well.
TIER 3: Torn
22. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
23. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
29. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers)
- Almost by default as the majority of the Rangers bullpen continues to struggle, Keone Kela has worked himself into a prime set-up role in about a months time. He has the tools to stay in the role and be a dominate lock down 8th inning bridge to closer Matt Bush. The problem with him has always been consistency and ability to stay healthy, but if he can put it all together, a rise into tier 2 could be in short order.
- While Matt Strahm was the lefty out of the Royals pen everyone was excited for heading into the season, it’s been the transformation of former starter turned reliever Mike Minor that has been the story of the their bullpen so far. He only has 4 holds on the year, and should begin to see more chance soon. Either way, his ERA, WHIP and strikeout per inning numbers should be useful for fantasy owners.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
38. Shane Green (Detroit Tigers)
39. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves)
- Alex Wilson may be the next guy in line behind Justin Wilson in the Tigers bullpen pecking order, but Shane Green should not be forgotten either. He holds an ERA and WHIP under 1.3 right now, and has struck out 26 in 21 innings.
- Both Brett Cecil and Kevin Siegrist are not this bad, or at least that’s what their respective track records say. Cecil is still missing bats at a good rate, and has been getting a lot of groundballs as well. The big problem with him had been allowing free passes, which he then tends to compound his mistake by allowing a big hit or HR to follow. Eventually he should figure things out, but owners in deep leagues have to hope that comes soon. The same can be said about Siegrist, although his struggles are a little more alarming, as he misses bats at a much lower clip and has a higher flyball tendency.
TIER 5: There She Goes
51. JJ Hoover (Arizona Diamondbacks)
56. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)
58. Jose Alvarez (Los Angeles Angels)
64. Luis Avilan (Los Angeles Dodgers)
70. Wandy Peralta (Cincinnati Reds)
- Joe Kelly still hasn’t worked himself into a setup role quite yet, but he has been very good as of late. He has always had the stuff to be an elite back-end of the bullpen weapon, he’s just lacked any type of consistency to be trusted in the role. I’m not counting on Tyler Thornburg or Carson Smith returning anytime in the near future, and Kelly is the Sox best bullpen option outside of Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel right now.
- I’m glad I can finally place Frankie Montas on this list. After struggling in the first month of the season, he has put together 5 straight scoreless outings. Add that to the fact he has a nice 27/9 K/BB rate over 23 innings, he should start to working himself into high leverage late inning situation more often going forward.
Arolids Chapman (New York Yankees)
Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)
Sammy Solis (Washington Nationals)
Houston Street (Los Angeles Angels)
Jose LeClerc (Texas Rangers)
Glenn Perkins (Minnesota Twins)
Xavier Cedeno (Tampa Bay Rays)