August 1, 2012
Relievers for 8/1/12
So, with Johnson something of an enigma right now, setup man Pedro Strop (Yahoo! 20%, ESPN 4.5%, CBS 13%) becomes a nice add for saves speculators in this post-trade deadline world. Strop, a strong-armed reclamation project who has panned out so far in Baltimore, has already gained traction in holds leagues (17 holds) thanks to his very tidy ratios (1.34 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). The 3.40 FIP suggests there’s been some favorable luck at play for Strop, so keep that in mind, but otherwise he’s a savvy play if you think something’s up with Johnson.
Predicting a Giants bullpen shakeup could very well be something of an exercise in futility at this point. Closer Santiago Casilla has been in a slump for a while now, posting a 6.89 ERA and converting just two-thirds (10-of-15) of his save chances since June 1. Frail-armed setup man Sergio Romo has usage restrictions and has been torched in his past two outings, so Jeremy Affeldt (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) is a sneaky add for those desperate for saves. This is a long shot, but with Casilla mired in mediocrity and even Romo looking mortal lately, maybe the Giants will give Affeldt a shot.
Astros manager Brad Mills confirmed before Tuesday night’s game that right-hander Wilton Lopez (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 4%, CBS 9%) will be in the mix for saves, though he will continue to be used strategically in other situations as well. The less-than-firm plan dampens Lopez’s long-term outlook somewhat, especially since he’s dealing with arm issues, but if you need saves, Lopez is a guy who is perfectly capable of getting the job done when healthy. I’d advise Francisco Cordero owners to cut bait just for the sake of their sanity, but they might want to hold on just a while longer to make sure Lopez is okay.
I get it: No one really wants to own a piece (or both pieces) of a last place team’s closer platoon. This, of course, may account for Glen Perkins’ (Yahoo! 17%, ESPN 18%, CBS 16%) and Jared Burton’s (Yahoo! 12%, ESPN 11%, CBS 11%) low ownership rates. But if you’re still in contention in a yearly league, every save can make a difference—for you and your opponents. The Twins don’t seem to be seeing many save chances lately, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. Last place teams still generate plenty of saves opportunities.