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

Bullpen Report: Finding a little relief

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

I've moved enough in the past decade to know that it stinks. The packing, lifting, unpacking -- there's no real fun element to it. But there is one thing I look forward to every time: opening up the box of "Miscellany." For me, it's usually things like playing cards, some old CDs, stickers featuring DC superheroes, maybe some type of Star Wars thing I won on ebay, and a bunch of other random fun stuff that I don't really need to own, but enjoy.

So in the spirit of the Miscellany box, I give you this week's Bullpen Report. Just a bunch of stuff thrown into a box that doean't fall into any specific category.

Rex Brothers is a must-add

With Rafael Betancourt likely done for the season, Rex Brothers will re-assume closing duties in Colorado. The 25-year-old lefty has a 1.51 ERA and 1.16 WHIP on the season, with 11 saves and a 9.4 K/9. Brothers won't have the kind of "run him up the rankings!" ascent that Kenley Jansen got when he was named closer, but the upside is very real -- Brothers can keep his ERA and WHIP low while racking up saves and getting about a strikeout per inning.

Tommy Hunter is closing in on relevance

We've seen this before -- an incumbent closer trips up a little bit, rights himself in the 7th and 8th innings, then returns and is dominant for the rest of the season. The best example I can think of is Brandon League in 2011. Currently, we're looking at something similar from Jim Johnson, just much later in the season (League would always run into trouble in May, for some reason).

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!

Enter Tommy Hunter, a converted starter who is enjoying a 2.63 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his first full season as a reliever. The "throw-in" in the Chris Davis trade with the Rangers, Hunter got the save for the Orioles on Wednesday, ahead of deadline acquisition Francisco Rodriguez.

If Johnson stays out of the saves mix for any amount of time, Hunter -- who saw his average fastball velocity rise from 91.6 mph last season to 95.8 this year -- will likely be the next in line. He comes with some risk (most notably, Johnson reclaiming his job), but is worth a gamble in AL-only formats and Roto leagues where a team is badly in need of saves.

Joel Peralta has taken the lead in holds

With Mark Melancon now closing games for the Pirates, his lead in the holds category was bound to disappear; Melancon is now tied for third in the majors with 26 holds. Your new leader is Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta, with 31. David Robertson is in second with 30.

Peralta and Robertson's hold totals actually have some significance -- the single-season leader in holds is Luke Gregerson, with 40. Peralta and Robertson both play for teams that are winning, meaning that, with a very good month, they could challenge the record. It's not likely -- for as good as the Yankees have been lately, Robertson has just six holds so far this month, and only two pitchers have double-digit holds in any month this season (Jesse Crain and Peralta, both in May) -- but it might be a fun category to keep an eye on as the season winds down.

Your hold leaders for August are...

Tyler Clippard, Nationals, 7 holds
Yoervis Medina, Mariners, 7
Joe Smith, Indians, 7
Ronald Belisario, Dodgers, 6
Matt Belisle, Rockies, 6
J.J. Hoover, Reds, 6
David Robertson, Yankees, 6
Jared Burton, Twins, 5
David Carpenter, Braves, 5
Tim Collins, Royals, 5
Charlie Furbush, Mariners, 5

Strikeout Kings

While the list of August leaders in K/9 boasts many familiar names, there are a few that may catch the attention of Roto owners looking to lower WHIP and ERA while keeping Ks up. Or even for the owner in a Categories league where K/9 is a category.

August leaders, K/9 (min. 5 IP)

Francisco Rodriguez, Orioles, 16.43 K/9
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers, 15.43
Danny Farquhar, Mariners, 14.46
Aroldis Chapman, Reds 14.40
Rich Hill, Indians 14.40
Charlie Leesman, White Sox, 14.40
Grant Balfour, Athletics 13.50
Mike Gonzalez, Brewers, 13.50
David Carpenter, Braves, 13.50
Craig Kimbrel, Braves, 13.09

Top of the SPARP heap

For those of you new to Bullpen Report, SPARP is an acronym for "Starting Pitcher As a Relief Pitcher" -- one of those Kris Medlen types who can be plugged into the RP slot in standard H2H formats to take advantage of the points windfall from starters. Over the last 21 days, there have been some interesting SPARP performers in the Fantasy game. The top SPARPs in that span:

Alex Wood, Braves, 79.5 Points in the last 21 days
Andrew Albers, Twins, 73.5
Kris Medlen, Braves, 69.5
Bruce Chen, Royals, 65.6
Tyson Ross, Padres, 63.5
Joe Kelly, Cardinals, 62.5
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners, 60.5
Andre Rienzo, White Sox, 52.5
Tony Cingrani, Reds, 52
Andrew Cashner, Padres, 46.5

I know it's the easy way out, but Iwakuma is probably the most attractive of this group, followed by Wood, who still has plenty of innings left on his arm this season. Medlen is 3 1/3 innings away from equaling his total from last year (which was also a career-high) and hasn't started a game since Aug. 13. He also averaged seven hits per game over his last eight starts. Cingrani has only thrown 129 innings so far this season, which is still below last year's total of 146.

Rienzo is probably the most intriguing of the group. While he doesn't have these blow-you-away minor league numbers, he had been good the last four seasons, and carried a 9.7 K/9 over 543 2/3 minor league innings. Before his call-up, he went on a nice run of games, lowering his WHIP and ERA. And through his first five major league starts, Rienzo has a 3.56 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. It shouldn't cause anyone to run out and add him, but Rienzo could be a shrewd add in a deeper league for his two-start week.

One last thing ...

With Steve Delabar on the DL, I went ahead and grabbed Brett Cecil in a couple AL-only leagues where I could use saves. Cecil, like Tommy Hunter, has found a new life in relief, and after a rocky July has come back around to his early-season self in August, with a 2.57 ERA and 10 strikeouts in seven innings.

Couple this with Casey Janssen's 7.94 ERA in August (and 5.40 ERA dating back to the start of July), and you have a very speculative play on late-season saves, should Janssen need to be rested and Delabar stays on the DL.

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
Jordy Mercer out again for Pirates
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has been given the red light for the second straight game Wednesday against Boston. He has been dealing with a back issue.

Mercer was on a 14-for-36 run before being sidelined.


Juan Lagares to sit for a while with elbow injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:26 pm ET) Terry Collins has confirmed that Mets center fielder Juan Lagares will miss at least a few games with a sprained elbow, per ESPN.

Lagares left the Tuesday game with the injury. His hitless performance in two at-bats ended a four-game hitting streak.


Slumping Dioner Navarro out of Wednesday lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:21 pm ET) Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro will not be crouching behind the plate to start the Wednesday night game against Baltimore. Eric Thames is starting instread.

Navarro is in a 1-for-15 slide, but still has 68 RBI and .410 slugging percentage on the year.


Adeiny Hechavarria ready to return
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(4:12 pm ET) Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria returned to the starting lineup Wednesday.

Hechavarria was dealing with an arm injury. He missed one game due to the injury. Hechavarria is hitting .281/.312/.366 over 495 at-bats. 


Nick Markakis grabbing some pine Wednesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:51 pm ET) Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis has been given the night off Wednesday with Toronto in town.

Markakis is in a 6-for-40 slide that has weakened his stat line to .272/.336/.375. His average is at its lowest point since April 16.


Spate of Reds benched for battle at Wrigley Field
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:44 pm ET) The Reds have issued a lineup for Wednesday against the host Cubs that one might have expected had they just clinched a playoff spot. Among those set to sit are third baseman Todd Frazier, second baseman Brandon Phillips, shortstop Zack Cozart, center fielder Billy Hamilton, right fielder Jay Bruce and catcher Devin Mesoraco.

None are listed as injured.


Eric Hosmer benched Wednesday against Chris Sale
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:26 pm ET) Royals first baeman Eric Hosmer is sitting Wednesday against White Sox ace left-hander Chris Sale as Billy Butler is taking his place.

Hosmer is 6 for 28 against Sale in his career and has just eight homers in 462 at-bats on the season.


Josh Willingham back in action Wednesday for Royals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:23 pm ET) Royals designated hitter Josh Willingham is set to start Wednesday against the White Sox after being benched for six starts with a groin injury. He has had just one at-bat since Sept. 11.

Willingham returns with 14 home runs and 40 RBI in 287 at-bats this season. But he has 96 strikeouts.


Arismendy Alcantara absent from Wednesday lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:15 pm ET) A wrist ailment has Cubs outfelder Arismendy Alcantara out again Wednesday against visiting Cincinnati.

Alcantara, who missed the Tuesday game as well, has just eight hits in his last 45 at-bats, but is 5 for 16 in his last four games.


Evan Gattis again a no-go Wednesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:08 pm ET) Braves catcher Evan Gattis remains sidelined Wednesday against Washington with strep throat. He has been out since Sept. 7.

Gattis, who has only played in 102 games this season, owns a stat line of .270/.325/.507.


 
 
 
Rankings