There were a lot of underrated relievers in the first half, but Austin Adams stuck out to me as one that really gets forgotten in the non-closer reliever discussion. Sure the walk rate isn’t ideal, but anyone throwing a slider closer to 90% of the time is going to walk their fair share of batters. The fact that his walk rate is only 13.7% is fine, especially when you are missing bats at the rate he does (36.2% Whiff) and is arguably the best
reliever pitcher in baseball when it comes to limiting hard contact (1.7% Barrell, 24.1% HardHit, 84.4 Avg. Exit Velo, .211 xSLG). He only has seven holds over the past three months (28.2 IP), but that comes with elite ratios (.31 ERA, .87 WHIP), and elite bat missing ability (36.1% K rate, 33.6% CSW). Hopefully more holds are in store for the second half, which if that were the case, he’d be a tier higher and a top 20 reliever.
- The Giants led the league in save opportunities at the All-Star break with a whopping 50. For reference, the 12th highest team only had 35 save chances and in 2019, five teams finished the entire season with 50 or fewer save opps. The Giants were one of the biggest surprises in the first half of the season, but it’s fair to wonder if they will be able to keep this pace as they are dealing with some injuries and saw some career performances from unlikely sources. The point being, temper your expectations for Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers in the second half.
- As we get closer to the deadline, the closer trade tier continues to fall as there remains uncertainty as to where they will land and what their new role may be. I dropped Yimi García a bit more though because he may lose his job even before a potential trade gets him out of Miami.
- Michael Lorenzen is set to make his season debut this weekend and it looks like he will pitch out of the bullpen for the Reds for the remainder of the year. Lorenzen thrived in his bullpen role back in 2019, and with Art Warren joining Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims on the IL, Lorenzen could be forced into high leverage work right away.
- After a couple of rough years in Colorado, Bryan Shaw has rejuvenated his career back where he originally made a name for himself in Cleveland. The 16.9% walk rate leaves a lot to be desired and limits his overall upside, but Shaw has been able to work around the walks for the most part and has done a great job limiting hard contact with his cutter.
- The Royals bullpen is quite the mess at the moment, but the talent is certainly there for them to figure it all out and put together a strong second half. Kyle Zimmer has had a particularly rough July, and while I had originally thought there might be another gear here, he’s shaping up to be more like a reliever version of a Toby.
- Daniel Bard and Yusmeiro Petit each had two SV+HLD’s last weekend. Petit continues to rack up holds and that is about the only thing he can help fantasy managers with at this point. There is some value in that though, as holds are hard to come by these days and he’ll certainly give you those without blowing up your ratios.
|PITCHER||TIER||INJURY (EST. RETURN)|
|Nick Anderson||2/3||Elbow (August)|
|Tejay Antone||3/4||Forearm (July/August)|
|Lucas Sims||3/4||Elbow (July/August)|
|Julian Merryweather||4||Oblique (July/August)|
|Michael Fulmer||5||Neck (July/August)|
|Corey Knebel||5||Triceps (late August)|
|Art Warren||6||Oblique (August)|
|Tanner Rainey||6||Leg (July/August)|
|Pedro Baez||6||Shoulder (Early August)|
|Ryan Thompson||6||Shoulder (July/August)|
|Sam Coonrod||6||Forearm (July/August)|
|Oliver Drake||6||Elbow (August)|
Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)