A trio of well-known relievers came off the disabled list this past week, all three of which having significant fantasy value in save+hold leagues. I’ll talk about the two proven set-up men in a little bit, but for now I am interested in figuring out whether or not Jeurys Familia will be useful for fantasy owners in September. After a rough first outing, he settled down Tuesday and looked like his typical self, more or less. The bigger news however, is the fact that he won’t be used as the teams closer right off the bat. This gives AJ Ramos a small boost for the next few weeks while ultimately leaving Familia in limbo. My best guess here would be that the team will slowly begin working him into higher leverage situations before handing him some save chances later in the month. This could still mean some fantasy value will be there soon in hold leagues, although those expecting saves before the end of the fantasy playoffs will likely be disappointed.
TIER 1: Good Vibrations
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
- Will Harris pitched well in his first game back from the DL after basically missing the past two months with shoulder inflammation. It’s definitely good to see from the Astro’s perspective since their bullpen was starting to deteriorate. Joe Musgrove has been effective since moving to the bullpen full time, but they would ideally like Harris to take back his set up job. I wouldn’t expect it to take more than a week for him to regain that role, as long as he continues to stay healthy.
- As I am writing this, David Phelps is leaving the game with a trainer, with what is probably a re-aggravation of his elbow injury that caused him to miss more than half the month of August. Another DL stint seems probable at the moment unfortunately. In case it was just precautionary though, I’d imagine Phelps would be in a situation similar to Harris and would likely reclaim his setup role in short order. Unfortunately, it may be all for not.
TIER 3: Torn
16. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Tyler Lyons continues to sparingly see hold opportunities, despite not allowing a run since July 6th (18 straight appearances). Now if everyone in that bullpen were healthy and/or pitching up to expectations, it could make some sense that Lyons would only have 9 SV+HD’s over the past 60 games. But the fact that no one else in that bullpen can be counted on to get outs makes it a bit mind-boggling as to why Mike Matheny hasn’t given him a save chance yet. It has to happen soon, right?
- Jake McGee was tasked with bailing Greg Holland on Saturday and earned a save in the process. While it seems like Holland is running on fumes these days and may have nothing left at this point in the season, no official change has been made so McGee is still just a spec add for saves and a mid-high end option for those looking for holds.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
37. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)
43. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves)
- So Blake Parker seems to be the Angels closer de jour lately, meaning Cam Bedrosian is back to either pitching in mop up situations or in the 8th inning of a one run game. As we get closer to the start of the NFL season, this situation eerily reminds me of how fantasy football owners typically feel about Bill Belichick and how he features a different RB every week (which will be the case this season, again). Anyway, Bedrosian is still probably worth hanging onto for those in hold leagues as he still can have value if being used late in games.
- Who would have thought a month ago that by the end of August, Joe Musgrove would be the Astros best and most consistent reliever heading into September. He has been, which isn’t saying a whole lot, but his success as a reliever has begun to earn him some hold chances. It may be short-lived however, with Will Harris returning and Chris Devenski not totally imploding yet. He could still see the occasional hold, but come fantasy playoff time, he will probably give way to set-up duties to the two mentioned above.
TIER 5: There She Goes
54. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)
59. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
66. Emilio Pagan (Seattle Mariners)
Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues
4. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)
9. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)
21. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
29. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)
38. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)