June 13, 2012
Relievers for 6/13/12
With relatively few bullpen shakeups, closer speculation remains somewhat slow for another week, though things will be heating up with the trade market soon taking shape. For now, let’s unearth those little-known gems.
To vouch for Carlos Marmol (Yahoo! 34%, ESPN 22%, CBS 28%) is to risk your reputation, is it not? So much for him being straightened out after his DL stint/sabbatical. His recent one-inning, three-run disaster couldn’t have done him any good if he was hoping to return to closing. That being said, he sometimes strung together hot stretches during his bad 2011, so there’s a chance that could happen now.
It seems cruelly ironic that so few closers are now on the hot seat after so many were in the season’s early weeks. Alas, we continue to look at non-closer relievers in an effort to unearth some value in one of fantasy’s great white spaces. Rockies right-hander Matt Belisle (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) is one such hurler. He was always something of a ‘tweener pitcher, probably too useful for the bullpen but perhaps not good/healthy enough to cut it as a full-time starter. He’s settled into a nice groove as a reliever for the Rox over the past couple years, though, posting above-average strikeout and walk rates. He’s on pace for roughly 87 innings pitched this year, which would have been good for fifth or sixth among relievers in 2011. That has plenty of value in deeper leagues.
Ace setup man Jonny Venters (Yahoo! 37%, ESPN 11%, CBS 20%) of the Braves seems to have rediscovered his magic since his debut in this space two weeks ago. He’d tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings en route to three holds entering Tuesday’s action. He’s again a must-own (and start) in holds leagues, and if he’s floating around your standard league’s wire, he’s probably worth an add there too; Venters is only a Craig Kimbrel injury away from being an in-demand closer.
With a clunker of a spot start last week, Pirates long man Brad Lincoln (Yahoo! 9%, ESPN 1%, CBS 17%) didn’t provide fantasy owners much value. The Bucs are sticking with him in the rotation at least through Tuesday’s start, though, and while I think he can be a serviceable starter, his stuff plays up as near-dominant out of the bullpen.
It was a curiously inactive week for Nats long man Craig Stammen (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 1%, CBS 5%), another ex-starter whose calling card is supposed to be multiple-inning outings. Instead, the righty made one appearance, facing only a single batter. Here’s to a more rigorous (and bountiful, if you own him) upcoming week.