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: Post-deadline newsmakers

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

This week's Bullpen Report is all about the Miscellany. Closers racking up strikeouts, the dilemma of a lots of saves versus high ERA, and a backup who still may see some opportunities as the waiver trade deadline nears. Oh, and a case for Chris Perez!

Let's get started with ...

1. Kenley Jansen is awesome

Not sure how many crazy ways there are to measure a closer, but Jansen has been a stud since taking over the role from Brandon League. And he's at that point where a team in need of saves wouldn't look like an idiot for offering some high-profile players for him. For instance, in a Roto league where I can (hypothetically) make up about six points by getting 13 more saves, I'd think about offering Manny Machado for Jansen. Or Ben Zobrist. Or maybe even Matt Holliday. Point is, I view Jansen as a top five closer at this point, who can help a team in saves, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

What makes Jansen scary is that for as good a season as he had last year, nearly all of this season's peripherals are even better. While his strikeout rate is slightly down, his walk rate has been halved, his ground ball rate is up, and his fastball velocity has increased. It may not be long before the rest of the Fantasy world realizes that Jansen may have already entered elite level. Before they do, it may be worth it to float a few offers for him.

2. Greg Holland is just slightly less awesome

With the Royals winning now, Holland's seeing more save chances -- he leads MLB with six saves over the last 14 days -- while sporting a 1.76 ERA on the season and striking out 65 batters over 41 innings. After a rough start to the season, Holland is rewarding the owners who stayed loyal to him with a dominant 2013, and he seems to be doing it under the radar, as he doesn't have the same buzz as the Joe Nathans and Sergio Romos, whose class he is currently in.

Like Jansen, Holland has slashed his walk rates, but he has also managed to improve his strikeout rate. Holland's WHIP has dropped, his BAA is down to .188, and his velocity is pretty much where it was last season (96 mph). Even though the numbers say they're close, I still see Jansen as just slightly more dominant as Holland. Still, with the numbers there, if someone sees Holland as markedly worse than Jansen, you may have a nice chance to acquire Holland at a decent price before the Fantasy trade deadline.

3. Kevin Gregg is impossible to figure out

Gregg was pretty much a lock to get traded before the July 31 deadline -- he's a free agent at the end of this year, he has a solid track record as a closer (20 saves in six of the last seven years), and the Cubs have a ready replacement in Pedro Strop. But the deadline came and went without Gregg being dealt, and while he can still be traded before Aug. 31, his non-trade complicated an already enigmatic situation.

-- July was Gregg's worst month, by far, with a 5.79 ERA and 2.14 WHIP.
-- However, strictly from a saves standpoint, Gregg had his best month of the year, with nine saves.
-- If a Fantasy owner thinks Gregg isn't going to get traded, they have to balance the high ERA against the large number of saves. Gregg's nine saves were the second-most in the majors for July.
-- It remains a worry, though, that an owner trading for Gregg may have nothing to show for it, especially if he's sent to a team that will use him in middle relief.

So it's very layered, with trades, ERA, and saves all mixed inside a big bowl and left for us to guess what it tastes like. My guess is a little sour. Any team claiming Gregg on waivers (assuming the Cubs send him through) is probably willing to either send something back to the Cubs, or will get tripped up when the Cubs just let him go (the fun "he's yours" clause of the entire process). Just from the information we have, it seems like the Cubs will find a way to get something back for Gregg, leaving him useful in only holds leagues for the rest of the season.

4. Chia-Jen Lo is a fun darkhorse gamble

The 27-year-old Astros reliever is in a bullpen without a closer. While the assumption was that Jose Cisnero would get the saves following Jose Veras' trade, manager Bo Porter said the team would go with a committee approach. And that committee will likely include Lo, who has a 2.11 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 128 minor league innings, along with a 10.8 K/9. The only real negative attached to Lo is his injury history -- he's been in the Astros' system since he was 23, and only has 128 IP over those five seasons, thanks mostly to arm trouble and a Tommy John surgery.

Still, Lo has the talent to close games for the Astros, and the team is probably anxious to see what he can do in save situations. They could trade off "committee" saves early on, but I could see Lo getting two in a row, then three, then just holding the job the rest of the way, maybe ending up with 7-10 saves by the end of the season.

5. Chris Perez is better than you think

Perez is quietly having a career year as the closer for the Indians, sporting a 2.41 ERA (his low is 1.71 in 2010) and 1.16 WHIP (he's actually finished three seasons with a better number). Since his return from the DL on June 28, Perez has been a stud -- allowing just one run in 17 innings, giving him a 0.53 ERA over 16 games. Of his 15 saves this season, Perez had eight in July, along with two of his four wins.

In addition to his recent successes, the Indians have won eight of their last 10 games. Getting hot just at the right time, the Indians should continue their winning ways (although not to this recent extent) and keep providing Perez with save opportunities. This makes him a top 12 closer.

And this is a case where I'm letting the bigger picture cloud the peripherals. Perez has seen a decrease in strikeouts this season, and a jump in walks (although his walk rate is still better than his career average). He also has a higher-than average strand rate, meaning he may be due to allow a few more runs in as the season winds down. However, with Cleveland winning and Vinnie Pestano in the minors, Perez can afford to have a couple shaky outings and still keep his job. And get saves. Gregg finished July with a ballooned ERA and still got nine saves. And that was with the Cubs

Perez is a very good closer, and I would consider him a "buy" candidate for the rest of the season

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS .

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
Royals DH Kendrys Morales hits 2 RBI in win
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:44 pm ET) Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales went 2 for 4 in Monday night's 7-1 win over the Twins. 

Morales scored two runs and recorded two RBI. Morales now holds a slash line of .358/.424/.566. Morales has notched a hit in 12 of the 13 games he's appeared in this season. His hitting streak is now at five in a row. 

This is the sixth multi-hit game for Morales thus far. 


Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe gets two hits in loss to Royals
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:38 pm ET) Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe went 2 for 4 in Monday night's 7-1 loss to the Royals. 

Ploufe was the only member of the Twins to record more than one hit. He hit two singles and struck out once. He now holds a slash line of .233/.298/.442. 


Closer David Robertson benefits with win on ChiSox's four-run 9th inning
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(11:35 pm ET) Not having pitched since April 14, White Sox closer David Robertson (1-0) was brought in to pitch the top of the ninth inning on Monday trailing by three and was subsequently the beneficiary of a four-run White Sox rally in the bottom half to record the win.

Robertson notched two strikeouts in a 3-up, 3-down top of ninth.

Twins P Caleb Thielbar credited with three earned runs in loss
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:34 pm ET) Twins pitcher Caleb Thielbar had a rough eighth inning during Monday night's 7-1 loss to the Royals. 

Thielbar entered the game in the eighth and allowed three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning's worth of work. After giving up a double from Mike Moustakas, Thielbar allowed an RBI single to Kendrys Morales. 

Thielbar allowed a single from Salvador Perez and recorded an out before being taken out for Tim Stauffer. Stauffer then promptly gave up a triple to Paulo Orlando, which scored Morales and Perez. Those two runs were considered earned for Thielbar. 

This was Thielbar's third appearance for the Twins this season. Thielbar now holds an ERA of 16.20.


Indians closer Cody Allen blows three-run lead in ninth inning
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(11:26 pm ET) Indians closer Cody Allen (0-2) could not hold a three-run lead in the ninth inning on Monday, giving up four runs on six hits to the Indians to blow the save.

Indians starter Trevor Bauer threw seven scoreless innings and was in line to improve to 3-0 before Allen gave it up.

The White Sox used a two-run RBI double from Alexei Ramirez, and RBI singles from Gordon Beckham and Melky Cabrera to beat Allen and the Indians in the ninth.

The rough inning caused Allen's ERA to jump from 9.82 to 18.00.

Twins P Kyle Gibson loses to Royals for first time in career
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:21 pm ET) Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson went five innings and gave up four runs — three earned — in Monday's 7-1 loss to the Royals. 

This was the first time in his career that Gibson lost to the Royals. He entered this game having won each of the four games he's played against Kansas City. This time, though, the Royals were able to get the best of him with a three-run sixth inning. 

Yet to record an out, Gibson gave up a two-run double to Kendrys Morales before being pulled. 

Gibson gave up four hits and walked four batters. He did not record a strikeout. 

Gibson's next scheduled start is projected for Sunday against the Mariners. 


White Sox late rally gets John Danks off the hook, takes no decision
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(11:16 pm ET) White Sox starter John Danks gave up three runs, two via solo homers, on Monday and left after six innings trailing the Indians before his team rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to win the game and turn Danks' loss in a no decision.

Indians' Ryan Raburn and Brett Hayes homered off of Danks.

Danks allowed six hits, overall, striking out four and walking two.

Danks' next start is set for Sunday against the Royals.

Royals P Edinson Volquez strikes out 5 in win over Twins
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:09 pm ET) Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez gave up only one earned run in Monday's 7-1 win over the Twins. 

Volquez went seven innings and struck out five batters. He allowed five hits and walked just one hitter. Volquez threw 98 pitches and faced 27 batters during his time in the game. 

Volquez's ERA is 1.99 for the season. His record improves to 2-1. 

Volquez is projected to start again on Saturday against the White Sox. 


Indians' Trevor Bauer goes seven scoreless, has win blown by bullpen
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(11:08 pm ET) Indians starter Trevor Bauer threw seven scoreless innings on Monday against the White Sox and was in line to get the win but the bullpen surrendered four runs in the ninth to blow the game, leaving Bauer with a no decision.

Bauer scattered four hits and struck out seven and missed out on being 3-0.

He has allowed just two runs in 19 innings this season and lowered his ERA to 0.95.

Bauer's next start is scheduled for Saturday in Detroit.

Angels SP Tyler Skaggs may push back recovery date
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:05 pm ET) As Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs tries to recover from Tommy John surgery last August, he said he's considering moving back his goal of pitching in a minor-league game from the summer to the fall, reports MLB.com.

"I'm going to talk to the [doctor] and the medical staff about it," Skaggs said. "When I come back, I want to be as strong as I possibly can."

He added that he's been able to throw from 130 feet and everything is going well.


 
 
 
Rankings