Now that we are at the All Star Break, it’s the time of year when we need to deeply take stock of our teams & explore the intriguing bullpen options beginning to not only emerge, but solidify (no longer small sample size). If we are being honest with ourselves & our chances, many of us in fantasy baseball should realize it’s time to start planning for the future. As the Trade Deadline approaches Closers shuffle teams & lose save opportunities being relegated to setup roles, and sometimes we’re stuck with a losing hand at the Closer’s Poker table. Let’s peer into the crystal ball & take a gander at some speculative late inning anchors. All Ownership will be from ESPN.
Ugh, Gabe Kapler, need I say more? His nonsensical approach to the bullpen in 2018 is, well, frustrating as hell to put it simply for fantasy owners. Let’s break down the plethora of interesting options in that bullpen.
- Hector Neris: Hahaha, nope, not gonna touch it. 13% of people still own him for some reason.
- Pat Neshek: Back from injury he is now in the mix. Although a long shot for Saves, he’s been an elite ratio guy the last few years with some Saves & a boatload of holds. Plus at 1% Owned in ESPN, he’s a dirt cheap reliable arm.
- Seranthony Dominguez: He’s the Key Arm, used most often in high leverage situations. At 49% ownership it seems the boat may have sailed, but if he’s somehow still available you better scoop him up ASAP.
- Edubray Ramos: Young & so far reliable, he’s the yin to Dominguez’s yang, as the right hander could lock down the closer position himself if Dominguez falters. 1% ownership means he & his 1K per inning K/9 is available.
- Victor Arano: Over the last 2 Weeks he’s been the go to “Closer,” if you wanna call him that, with Dominguez either unavailable or already used in higher leverage situations. His 8% ownership means he’s on waivers.
- Lou Trivino: I praised him in our recent FAAB FRIDAY | July 13th 2018 article, at ~20% owned he’s in the same category as McHugh, a Must Own guy in 2018 with multi-category upside. Snakes Wins (7-1 record), he’s the go to fill in for Saves when Treinen is unavailable, & the 24 yr old Rookie has been lights out with his 10.2 K/9. *IF* the A’s should choose to move Treinen (dumb move) in an attempt to rebuild, Trivino is next in line.
- Reyes Moronta: Less than 1% owned, he’s a diamond in the rough, hidden amongst the flaming dumpster that is Sam Dyson & Mark Melancon. The kid is a flamethrower with 48K in 40IP (nearly 11 K/9), plus he’s currently being used in positions to snake Wins. He’s the future Closer for the Giants (in my opinion anyway).
- Diego Castillo: 2% Ownership, be on the look out for this kid as he should take over the Closer role in Tampa soon (Trade Deadline with Roe done for the year & Romo likely to be dealt) & hold it down for the near future. At AAA in 2017-2018 he’s held a consistent 11.5 K/9 over ~70IP, with an impressive 25.5% K-BB%. In 20IP at the ML level in 2018 he’s been able to hold things down at just under his AAA marks.
- Colin McHugh: How is this guy *only* owned in ~16% of leagues? His nearly 12 K/9, 59K in 45IP, is impressive. Striking out 35% of batters he faces while only walking 6%, his opponents have an ugly .206 wOBA. If you’re needing help in ratios & Ks, he is a Must Own.
- Hector Rondon: He’s the go to guy in HOU for Saves with Giles out of the picture down in AAA, yet only 38% owned.
- Jared Hughes: Owned in under 5% of leagues, he’s going to become a potential Must Own once Raisel Iglesias is dealt, which is highly likely this year as the Reds will be looking to cash in & jumpstart their rebuild. Teams have been calling on Iglesias, potentially as a future starter again. Hughes has the least impressive K/9 of all these RP arms at a pedestrian 7.16 K/9, but his high strand rate (90%) & GB% (65%) will keep him effective.
- Amir Garrett: At 5% ownership he is the other guy who will become a hot commodity in the event Iglesias is dealt. Also a guy who could/should be a starter, has taken to the high leverage role and should be in the conversation to take over the Closer role if given the chance. His 18 holds so far and his uptick in K/9 to nearly 11 have pushed him into a different category.
- Kyle Crick: less than 1% owned, he’s collected 7 holds in his ~35IP, holding a 9.1 K/9. Felipe Vasquez has a hold on the Closer role, but Crick would have to be in the conversation to step up (along with Rich Rodriguez) to lock down games for the Pirates should they move Vasquez.
- Drew Steckenrider: Barraclough is the man at this point, but teams are sniffing around & making calls, meaning there’s a really solid chance he’s dealt opening the door for Steckenrider to take hold of the Closer’s reins. 2% Owned.
- Tayron Guerrero: To say that the 6’8” fireballer has some “control issues” would be an understatement, as seen in 2016-2017 across 2 Organizations & 4 levels where he averaged 6.77 BB/9… Ouch… His 9.8 K/9 over that same stretch isn’t much to write home about, but at the majors this season in 40IP his 12.15 K/9 & 5.4 BB/9 are showing improvements. His 4.28 ERA is rough, but his FIP & xFIP (3.35 & 3.57) show a better outlook on his season with upside. He’s a stash pick, so let the bench stats accrue and not hurt your counting stats. Less than 1% owned.
- A.J. Cole: The rich seemingly get richer, stealing Cole off the scrap heap of used up Starters from Washington. They’ve changed his pitch mix, wound him up, & let him go. He’s been lights out since then in the Bronx, but not likely to get many Holds & near impossible to get Saves, yet I’m mentioning him as a Win snaking ratio & K machine for down the stretch in a middle relief role. Less than 1% Owned.