Happy Labor Day! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume on Tuesday, September 2.
June 20, 2012
Relievers for 6/20/12
On a brighter note, we bid adieu to newly anointed A’s closer Ryan Cook (Yahoo! 45%, ESPN 50%, CBS 40%), who graduates by virtue of his skyrocketing ownership rates. I expressed my concerns about Cook in last week’s piece, and while I’m not changing my tune on that, it’s hard to argue with his performance this season. Perhaps consider him a trade chip if you’re comfortable in saves. If not, hope that the correction never arrives.
Though it pains me to do it, Braves lefty Jonny Venters (Yahoo! 34%, ESPN 10%, CBS 18%) leaves me no choice but to kick him to the curb. There’s no shame in serving up a grand slam to Alex Rodriguez… unless you’ve been touted as a good buy-low target for fantasy purposes. I still think Venters’ best is yet to come in 2012, and he shook off the four-run debacle versus the Yanks with a couple scoreless outings, but he’s not worth a handcuff in standard leagues while these flare-ups continue to occur.
If I’m Royals GM Dayton Moore, I’m on the phone with other teams yesterday in hopes of selling off Jonathan Broxton. Brox has been better than anyone could have hoped for after missing the better part of two seasons due to injury, but there’s a pretty substantial disconnect between his 1.69 ERA and 3.19 FIP. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that a correction is in the cards, but is that a risk the Royals want to take on a pitcher with an injury history who’s signed to a one-year deal? Greg Holland (Yahoo! 11%, ESPN 1%, CBS 10%) was Brox’s primary competition to close once Joakim Soria went down in Spring Training, and after some early-season struggles and a DL stint, he’s rounded back into form. Holland piles up strikeouts (12.3 K/9), and his 2.02 FIP ain’t shabby either. He’s a good add if you have the roster space and patience.
I noted last week that Nats righty Craig Stammen (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 1%, CBS 6%) was curiously inactive during the preceding week, but sure enough, he turned in five innings of shutout ball (with five strikeouts) since then heading into Tuesday night’s game. That’s exactly the kind of performance you’re looking for out of the rare roster-worthy long man in fantasy. Thanks for not making me look like a complete boob, Craig.
Not to be outdone, Rockies long man Matt Belisle (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) turned in 4 1/3 shutout innings (four whiffs) at the start of Tuesday’s action. If you’re in a league with roomy enough rosters and had paired together Stammen and Belisle, you’d have enjoyed 9 1/3 shutout frames and nine strikeouts over the past week. Leagues like that are the exception, for sure, but they’re out there.