Another fairly quiet week as far as injuries go around the leagues bullpens, but Adam Ottavino’s shoulder injury is sure to impact owners in save+hold’s leagues. Ottavino has a troubling injury background, and there is no exact timetable for his return at the moment. After getting off to a super hot start in April, he did hit quite the rough patch over the past month, featuring a very unappealing 9/10 K/BB ratio. For those looking for future closer stashes, the list starts with Felipe Rivero, with Trevor Rosenthal and Arodys Vizcaino right behind.
TIER 1: Good Vibrations
- Business as usual for Andrew Miller again this week. Miller turned 2.1 innings into 5 K’s and 2 holds, while allowing just 1 baserunner. He’s been the #2 ranked RP in SV+HD leagues this season (#1 over the past month), and should be a lock to finish the season in the top 5. I was tempted to move Felipe Rivero up into this tier, but I don’t feel like that would be fair to Miller.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
6. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
9. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)
12. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
13. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
- The only thing that was holding back Tommy Kahnle from shooting up these rankings were lack of holds (no pun intended). Well he was dominant in 3 chances this past week, while striking out 6. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Nate Jones returns, as I don’t know if it’s possible for the White Sox to sustain 2 top 20 hold’s options.
- Heading in to the season, I was really high on Pedro Baez as a hold’s option, and liked him as a steady tier 2 option. A set back early on in a trip to the DL pushed him further down the list upon his return, but he is finally starting to put up the numbers we’ve come to expect from him the past few years. The holds finally may be on their way as he racked up 3 of them this past week. His SwStr% is even way up this season, sitting at 17.2%.
- With as lukewarm as Santiago Casilla has been all season, it’s certainly fair to wonder why the A’s haven’t even given Ryan Madson a chance to take that job. Instead, Madson has just been great in an 8th inning role, keeping his ERA under 2 and WHIP under 1 while striking out a batter an inning.
TIER 3: Torn
18. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
23. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers)
26. Shane Green (Detroit Tigers)
- Perhaps the only other bright spot in the Rangers bullpen outside of Matt Bush, Keone Kela has become a huge asset for them. He should be the team’s primary set up man going forward with the rest of the bullpen struggling.
- Jake McGee should take over as the Rockies primary set-up man with Adam Ottavino on the DL. He has been quietly great this season, just lacking in the hold’s category. One note of concern with McGee however would be his under 10 SwStr% (9.7% is the 2nd lowest number of his career, with 8.6% last year being his lowest mark) and his high tendency for flyballs. The ERA is probably due to take a hit somewhat soon.
- David Phelps has really turned it around after a very slow start, and at this point seems to be the Marlins best bullpen option. Hold’s may not always come, but he does tend to eat a lot of innings and can help with ratios and K’s. He hasn’t allowed an earned run over the past month and should be a solid option as long as he remains in the bullpen, especially given his SP eligibility in a lot of leagues.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
37. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves)
41. Joaquin Benoit (Philadelphia Phillies)
- I had such high hopes for Kyle Barraclough heading into the year, and he has been probably the most disappointing non-closer reliever to me up until this point. His 3.63 ERA doesn’t show how bad he really has been as his 4.69 FIP and 5.37 xFIP help prove. A ton of walks were always expected, but so weren’t a ton of K’s. While his K-BB% was a cool 22.6% last season, this year it’s sitting at a dismal 3.7%. His SwStr% has also dipped a full 4%. The Marlins may be better off sending him down to AAA to try to fix his control issues once and for all, and maybe give Drew Steckenrider a look, because you know, they need at least one RP with an awesome last name.
- Paul Sewald continues to rise as the Mets bullpen starts to figure things out. Theres a good amount of upside here if he can lock up a steady set-up role, given his ability to induce swings and misses while limiting walks.
- James Pazos was kind of the Mariners closer for about 2 weeks, but failed to accumulate any saves. He still isn’t someone to forget about in hold’s leagues, given his ability to miss bats, while keeping the majority of balls put in play against him on the ground. He’s an intriguing option in deep leagues.
TIER 5: There She Goes
54. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)
61. JJ Hoover (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Ross Stripling can’t be recommended to count on for holds, but he is SP eligible and can be a solid extra pitcher to carry to help with other categories, and pitch in a hold or 2 here and there perhaps.
- Daniel Hudson and Sergio Romo, both of whom were ranked highly before the season started, are back on the radar as both have pitched well lately. They still have a ways to go to be on the radar outside of the deepest of leagues.
Arolids Chapman (New York Yankees)
Luis Avilan (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Sammy Solis (Washington Nationals)
Houston Street (Los Angeles Angels)
Jose LeClerc (Texas Rangers)
Glenn Perkins (Minnesota Twins)
Xavier Cedeno (Tampa Bay Rays)