August 15, 2012
Relievers for 8/15/12
Scott Downs (Yahoo! 18%, ESPN 10%, CBS 16%) undoubtedly burned some owners’ trust with an ugly stretch prior to hitting the disabled list in late July, but remember that he also converted three saves that month. For all of Ernesto’s Frieri’s dominance, his value has been tempered somewhat by Downs’ presence; they’ve split saves, 13 to 7, in favor of Frieri. I’m expecting a similar distribution of save chances upon Downs’ return this week, so add him if you can. If you’re leery of the injury/ineffectiveness lingering, you can always stash him on the bench for his first couple outings.
The Brewers’ bullpen has been in upheaval seemingly all season, and the carousel keeps spinning. One of the latest to get a chance is 29-year-old career minor leaguer Jim Henderson (Yahoo! 12%, ESPN 17%, CBS 28%). Saves are saves, however, and from what little I can deduce about him based on his minor league and (limited) major league stats, he looks to be a competent enough pitcher. Henderson has allowed runs in three of his past five outings, which can’t bode well for his grip on a job that he was fortunate to stumble upon in the first place. (Kameron Loe received the last save chance, so Henderson’s 15 seconds may have already come and gone.) This is a situation, however, where the best bet is to play Whac-A-Mole with whichever closer pops up, because the relief corps is in such a state that you won’t be able to single one guy out as the likely next-up. So add Henderson (or Loe) and hope for the best.
Jeremy Affeldt (Yahoo! 20%, ESPN 15%, CBS 10%) saw the Giants’ first (and only, entering Tuesday’s action) save chance after manager Bruce Bochy announced he’d be using a closer-by-committee. While we can’t necessarily infer that Affeldt will be the only or even primary option, the gesture nonetheless looks good for his chances to see a handful more save opportunities down the stretch. Add him and hope that things break in his favor with respect to the platoon.
While fantasy owners are getting hip to Twins co-closer Glen Perkins (Yahoo! 20%, ESPN 30%, CBS 23%), they’re a bit less smitten with Jared Burton (Yahoo! 13%, ESPN 16%, CBS 11%). Perhaps that’s because of Perkins’ stronger strikeout rate, but remember that they had evenly split each of Minnesota’s past four save chances entering Tuesday’s action. This one is pretty even.