Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Bullpen Report: Second-half reliever watch

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Over the last three months, the Bullpen Report has looked at every possible angle on relievers -- ranking current closers, predicting new closers, getting intimately acquainted with holds and inventing SPARPs. Through it all, some analysis slips through the cracks. For instance, I'm a big fan of Rex Brothers eventually taking over as the closer for the Rockies, but there's no way to really shoehorn it in when going over who I think is the eighth-best closer in baseball.

Enter the All-Star break

With little to write about for next week's shortened slate of games, I decided to throw some potpourri out there for this All-Star break column. I give you ... random thoughts on five relievers I'm targeting in leagues for the second half.

Huston Street, Padres

I get a good amount of questions about why I have Street ranked so high, usually something along the lines of, "Hey [deleted], why the [deleted] do you have Huston [deleted] Street as your 11th closer? [deleted] you. --Aizer."

Most Added Relievers (as of 7/13)
Player % change
1. Hector Santiago, RP, White Sox 7
2. Chad Gaudin, RP, Giants 7
3. Steve Cishek, RP, Marlins 4
4. Steve Delabar, RP, Blue Jays 4
5. Greg Holland, RP, Royals 3
6. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Brewers 3
7. Carlos Martinez, RP, Cardinals 3
8. Brad Ziegler, RP, Diamondbacks 3
9. Fernando Rodney, RP, Rays 2
10. Ernesto Frieri, RP, Angels 2

I'll admit, I have some worry that Street could just go south and make the lofty ranking look stupid. He's currently sitting on a 4.30 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, with just 16 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. He's given up three home runs in his last six appearances, and he now has an ERA above 3.00 in five of his last six seasons.

But I see hope for Street. He has 15 saves this season, despite throwing just 29 1/3 innings. Street had to endure three seasons pitching in Colorado. His career K/9 is 9.00, so that ugly rate this year is due for a correction. And the Padres have Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso close to returning, meaning the offense will once again be running on all cylinders -- a situation that had them 16th in the majors in runs scored in May and 11th overall in June. More runs should lead to more wins, which will give Street more chances at saves.

There's no guarantee that Street won't get hurt again, which is a legitimate gripe for those shying away from him. But if there wasn't a concern with Street, he wouldn't be available at a discount price. And that's what makes this game fun. It's a gamble, but it's a gamble that will come at a very low cost to an owner looking to add saves. Street is intriguing because he could go either way, but I'm willing to take the chance that he improves in the second half and finishes the season closer to 40 saves than 25.

Kenley Jansen, Dodgers

I'm not sure Kenley Jansen can be had cheap right now. And this may be one of the circumstances in which I don't care. Once he took the job from Brandon League, I moved Jansen all the way up to No. 5 in my rankings. He continues to sport a low ERA (2.38), minuscule WHIP (0.97) and very high strikeout rate (12.5 K/9).

Additionally, the Dodgers should be a much better team in the second half than the disaster that they were in the first, leading to more save opportunities for Jansen. After a bumpy stretch in mid-May, when Jansen gave up five runs in a five-game span (including two consecutive appearances with four total runs allowed), Jansen has been a stud, collecting seven saves in 21 games, with a 1.17 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, while striking out 32 batters in 23 innings. Since recording his last hold, on June 10, Jansen has rattled off seven saves, allowing just three runs in 12 appearances.

In short, Jansen has nudged his way into the "is he one of the best in baseball?" conversation. And outside of minor concerns over his health, along with the lack of a really solid track record, my feeling is that he has to be included in that discussion. Because of that, I wouldn't hesitate to offer something of substance (Billy Butler? Asdrubal Cabrera?) in a deal for the 25-year-old over the All-Star break.

Mariano Rivera, Yankees

Here's a fun fact -- in typical stoic Mariano Rivera fashion, the retiring Yankees closer is on pace to have the best season of his career. His 1.89 ERA is the ninth-lowest of his career (over 19 seasons), but his 29 saves have him on pace to topple his career-best 53. Sure, his WHIP is the highest it's ever been and he may be a handful of strikeouts off his normal pace, but Rivera is going on a farewell tour in the second half of the season and will likely be super-focused on making the most out of his last 30 or so appearances.

Granted, this "super-focused" theory is mainly guesswork and logic, but if you knew you were retiring in three months from a very public job, where peopel get emotionally attached to everything you do while wearing your last name on their backs, wouldn't you want to expend all your energy on doing the absolute best you could for that span, then just sail off into the sunset and relax after?

Like Jansen (health issues, lack of real track record), Rivera has some flaws (he's old, he was hurt last year), but with some key Yankee bats coming back, Rivera is going to have the exciting combination of more save opportunities and a sense of urgency in his final season. If a Fantasy team is looking for a closer upgrade, Rivera is worth a trade offer, with some very real upside in the second half.

Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals

This has nothing to do with Edward Mujica. In fact, if Mujica finishes the season with 52 saves and never yields an opportunity to another reliever, Rosenthal will still have value as a low-ratio, high-strikeout reliever. Consider this: Rosenthal, who has 20 holds, has pitched 43 innings this season and already has 64 strikeouts. Those Ks are more than Jhoulys Chacin, Jerermy Guthrie, or Dylan Axelrod.

Owned in 25 percent of leagues, Rosenthal isn't exactly an unknown to Fantasy players. He has a ton of value in holds formats, serves as Mujica insurance for save speculators, and can help fill the scoresheet with his strikeouts. Because he doesn't get a lot of wins in middle relief (to be fair, those are nearly impossible to predict), Rosenthal has limited value in Points formats -- outside of deeper leagues, where teams regularly roster speculative closers. But in Roto leagues, owners looking to slowly chip away at ERA and WHIP may want to consider rostering Rosenthal.

Rex Brothers, Rockies

Where Rosenthal's value has merit outside of Mujica, Brothers' is almost wholly tied to Rafael Betancourt. When Betancourt hit the DL last month, we saw Brothers step in while the team didn't miss a beat at the end of the bullpen. The popular qualifier with Brothers is that the Rockies need to drop in the standings in order for the team to trade Betancourt (38 years old and in the last year of his contract), but I'm not so sure that's the case. Colorado -- currently 7 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot -- could send Betancourt off in a deal while still in the playoff hunt. The Rockies will get something for a pitcher they would likely just lose in the offseason (the sides have a mutual option) while not really seeing a drop-off at the closer position.

Like Rosenthal, Brothers is owned in 25 percent of leagues, but I'd rather have Brothers on my roster. Look at it this way: Mujica would have to get injured in order for Rosenthal to work his way into the saves mix. But Betancourt can either get injured or get traded. And getting traded is an increasingly likely scenario for him. So while Rosenthal may be the better bet to just plug in and play no matter what happens with his situation, Brothers is the pitcher you want if you're looking to get any kind of saves on your roster in the second half

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Astros' Jose Altuve gets three hits, steals two bases
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:47 am ET) Astros infielder Jose Altuve collected three hits in Wednesday evening's 6-5 win over the Royals. 

Altuve hit three singles and also reached base by getting hit by a pitch. Altuve's hitting streak extended to 10 consecutive games. Altuve also stole two bases, giving him 23 for the season.

Altuve now has a slash line of .298/.342/.421 this season. 


Diamondbacks OF David Peralta blasts HR in loss
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:42 am ET) Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta crushed his seventh home run of the season in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. 

Peralta finished the game 1 for 3 and now holds a slash line of .266/.339/.454.


Diamondbacks SS Aaron Hill goes yard in loss to Dodgers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:38 am ET) Diamondbacks shortstop Aaron Hill blasted his fourth home run of the season in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. 

Hill finished the game 1 for 3 with his homer a solo shot off of Brett Anderson. Hill recorded another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the game, giving him two for the game and 20 for the year. Hill now holds a slash line of .224/.284/.333.


Dodgers OF Enrique Hernandez goes 3 for 5 in win
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez collected three hits in Wednesday night's 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks. 

Hernandez was a home run away from the cycle as he went 3 for 5 with a single, double and triple. The triple was his second of the year and the double was his seventh. Henderson now has a slash line of .269/.310/.484. 


Cardinals SP John Lackey strikes out six in seven innings of work
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:27 am ET) Cardinals starting pitcher John Lackey was solid during his start on Wednesday against the White Sox.

Lackey tossed seven innings, allowed seven hits and just two earned runs before being pulled from the game. He struck out six batters and allowed just two walks on 106 pitches. Despite the strong effort, Lackey picked up his fifth loss of the season in the 7-1 loss.

Lackey (6-5) has a 3.30 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 26 walks in 103 2/3 innings this season.


D-Backs P Robbie Ray yields 4 runs in loss
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:24 am ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray surrendered four earned runs in Wednesday night's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. 

Ray now falls to 2-4 this year with this being his third loss in a row. Ray went six innings, gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out six. Ray has now struck out 18 batters in his past three outings. 

Ray is posting a 2.55 ERA this year in seven starts despite his record. 


White Sox SP Jose Quintana strikes out eight in six innings
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:24 am ET) White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana was impressive on Wednesday against the Cardinals.

Quintana struck out eight batters and allowed just one earned run in six innings of work. He picked up his fourth win of the season with the dominant, 94-pitch performance.

Quintana (4-7) has a 3.81 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 27 walks and 99 1/3 innings this season.


Dodgers P Kenley Jansen allows homer, still gets save
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:19 am ET) Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen earned his 13th save of the season in Wednesday night's 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks. 

Jansen pitched the ninth inning and gave up a run on a David Peralta bomb. He was able to hold on for the save by getting out of the inning with two strikeouts. Jansen now has an ERA of 1.53. 


Dodgers P Brett Anderson strikes out 7 in fifth win of season
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:17 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson struck out seven batters in Wednesday night's 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks. 

Anderson only allowed one run and improved to 5-4 for the season. Anderson has been on a roll of late, allowing just two runs or less in seven of his past eight starts. Anderson now has a 3.00 ERA this season. 


Brewers LF Khris Davis goes hitless in Class A rehab outing
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:04 am ET) Brewers left fielder Khris Davis went 0 for 3 during a rehab start for Class A Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Davis has been sidelined since late May because of knee surgery.


 
 
 
Rankings