Mike explains why elite middle relievers haven't climbed his tiers, before revealing the latest edition of those tiers and the updated dollar values.
Welcome to another installment of The Bullpen Report. As a reminder, closers are rated in five tiers from best to worst. The tiers are a combination of my opinion of a pitcher’s ability, the likelihood that he will pick up saves, and his security in the job. For example, a pitcher in the third tier might have better skills than a pitcher in the second tier, but if the third tier pitcher is new to the job or has blown a couple of saves in the last week this factors into the ranking as well.
Last week, one of my readers wanted to know why I didn’t have a middle reliever in the top tier. Although middle relievers are integral in some leagues, I have not been ranking them due to the fact that their value is vastly different depending upon each league’s rules. In leagues that use holds as a separate category, non-closers carry a great deal of value. In standard mixed leagues with no start limits, you might not feel the need to carry a middle reliever on your staff at all. My goal is to take a cursory look at a handful of valuable middle relief arms in a non-holds, deeper-league, standard Roto format.
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The debut edition begins up in Boston, where a spate of injuries has thrust an unexpected candidate into the ninth-inning role, before traveling around the league.
Welcome to the first installment of the Baseball Prospectus’ Reliever Report: Fantasy Edition. This is a fairly standard article in the fantasy community, so a long, drawn-out introduction is unnecessary. The focus every week will be on:
Glen Perkins and Greg Holland make their VP bid this week.
I had such high hopes for Pirates swing man Brad Lincoln (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 2%, CBS 9%), but his past three outings have been starts, and the results have been ugly: 11 2/3 innings, 13 earned runs, 10 strikeouts, 23 hits (!), and four walks. It’s time for the Bucs to mercy-kill this experiment and return Lincoln to his rightful place as their long reliever. He’ll serve the team—and fantasy owners—far better in that role.
Which available starting pitchers may be able to provide a spark to your fantasy baseball team?
Added to the List
Brandon Morrow: Morrow can hit 100 MPH with his fastball. As you may expect, he racks up plenty of strikeouts -- 54 of them in 41 innings, a league-leading rate of nearly 12 per nine innings. "Great, where do I sign up?" you ask. As I am not a used car salesman, I must warn you about his control problems. He is averaging nearly six walks per nine innings this year, a problem he has had throughout his professional baseball career.
Which starting pitchers can help you jump ahead in your fantasy baseball league?
Added to the list
Craig Stammen: Stammen displayed great control in his brief time in the Majors with the Washington Nationals. In 142 and two-thirds innings, Stammen walked 32 batters, a rate of just over two walks per nine innings. However, he possesses below-average strikeout stuff. Stammen should help your ERA and WHIP stabilize, but you should look elsewhere if you are looking for punch-outs. If your league uses strikeout-to-walk ratio, he becomes an even better value as he should fall somewhere in the 2.5 area. Additionally, he does not have a platoon split, so he is someone you can feel confident starting him against anyone (except the Phillies, to whom he has allowed 11 runs in six and one-third innings this year).
With Opening Day a little more than a week away, here is a look at the projected rosters for each of the 16 National League clubs following conversations with club executives and media members. Keep in mind these are projected rosters and subject to change. American League lineups are here. You can also look at the fantasy depth charts at any time to see our latest updated projections.