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Articles Tagged Josh Fields 

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April 29, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Five

5

Mauricio Rubio

Catching you up on all of the ninth-inning developments around the league.

Compared to the earlier weeks, this one was kind of boring in reliever-land. Let’s check in on what’s gone down.

A Tale Of Two Cities

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April 22, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Four

9

Mauricio Rubio

Updates on all of the notable ninth-inning situations around the league.

New York Mets
We’re all guilty of trying to hold on for too long at some point in our lives. Maybe it was a relationship that should have ended but instead lingered—even though we knew the process and personnel would yield obvious and painful results.

Enter the Mets and Jose Valverde, who finally lost his job after a particularly bad series of meltdowns that led Terry Collins to go in a different direction. I picked up Valverde in a few leagues, so I know the pain some of you are feeling. If we’re being honest, however, we all knew this was coming.


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April 15, 2014 6:00 am

Closer to Me: Week Three

7

Mauricio Rubio

Updates on the ninth-inning situations for the White Sox, A's, Cubs, and Astros.

White Sox
I’ve written about the White Sox a lot for two reasons: 1) I have access, and 2) their closer situation is tumultuous. Matt Lindstrom gave up another lead on Sunday. It wasn’t all Lindstrom’s fault—Jose Abreu made an error that started the rally—but Lindstrom’s profile doesn’t allow for many defensive mistakes behind him. Lindstrom’s stuff is contact-oriented for a reliever.

This all comes with the caveat that it’s early but Lindstrom has thrown a total of 91 pitches this year and has generated five swings-and-misses. For contrast, Daniel Webb has thrown 112 pitches and has generated a swing-and-miss 13 times. That doesn’t seem like a big difference in the raw, but essentially, Webb is doubling Lindstrom’s whiff rate. It fits both players’ profiles as well; Webb is a player who has swing-and-miss stuff, as he utilizes a mid-90s fastball and power slider to induce those empty swings that a high-leverage reliever needs when his defense makes an error behind him.


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March 27, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Murky Closer Situations

6

Mauricio Rubio

A rundown of the ninth-inning candidates in Houston, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

Closers are the most fungible commodity in fantasy baseball. Predicting saves is a quixotic quest that frequently ends in heartbreak and confusion.

You don’t need to search long to find examples of how volatile the saves market can be. Kevin Gregg was a discarded reliever when the Cubs reached out for his services in the ultimate act of desperation. Carlos Marmol had imploded and their in house options were either hurt or ineffective. Gregg, who was unable to survive spring training with the Dodgers, ended up accruing 33 saves before being released in a much-publicized spat with management.

So if you have Chapman on the DL or you were just caught off guard ahead of a massive closer run and are in need of saves don’t fret. I’m here for you, friends.

Let’s take a look at three situations in which a closer could emerge from the shadows

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September 19, 2013 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 25

2

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

A look at four hitters and four pitchers who could be available to bolster your fantasy team, depending on the format in which you play.

12-TEAM MIXED

Jon Jay, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
In -only leagues, you have to take whatever measly at-bats you can get. If playing time opens up and you have a dead spot, it is a knee-jerk response to grab a player and worry about performance later. Mixed leagues offer more choices, and owners have the luxury of zeroing in on certain categories at the end of the season. A case in point is Jon Jay. Jay’s .272 batting average is barely worth considering, but over the last 15 days he has been putting up crooked numbers in runs and stolen bases for a recently red-hot Cardinals offense (admittedly, Coors has helped somewhat). If you need power, leave Jay in the free agent pool. On the other hand, if you are set in home runs and RBI but need a boost in runs or stolen bases, Jay might be your guy. Elliot Johnson has stolen five bases in the last 15 days, but the Cardinals are jockeying for playoff position while the Cardinals are not. Jay is likely to play regularly over the last 11 days of the regular season or until the Cards clinch a division title/avoid that dreaded wild card play-in game. —Mike Gianella


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August 8, 2013 6:27 am

Bullpen Report: Meeting the Criteria

9

Mike Gianella

Along with this week's tiers and the updated dollar values, Mike reveals the skills he looks for when evaluating closers.

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.

Tier 1 – Money in the Bank

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August 8, 2013 6:25 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 19

6

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

A look at eight widely available players who could help your fantasy team down the stretch, depending on the format of the league in which you play.

Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees
I couldn’t resist. In ESPN, A-Rod is only owned in 21.3 percent of all leagues. While there are certainly questions about how long A-Rod can play before the inevitable arbitration hearing takes place and the possible suspension goes down, A-Rod is a must start even in mixed formats. He has 20 HR potential at third base and if completely healthy could exceed that. Moral qualms are fine in real life, but in fantasy baseball you have to take the opportunities where they might come. —Mike Gianella

Comparable Player: Josh Donaldson


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Thoughts on 'Three Rule 5 Draft Picks Most Likely To Succeed' in the majors.

While the Rule 5 draft can be a bit over-hyped, it is exciting in the sense that there is at least a small chance that your team drafts the next Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana, or Joakim Soria. What? You've never heard of those guys? OK, I'll fill you in.

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December 6, 2012 12:40 pm

Youth Movement: Rule 5 Recap and Scouting Notes

12

Mark Anderson

What you need to know about today's Rule 5 picks, with scouting info on each player selected.

Every year teams protect their own players from the Rule 5 Draft and search for a diamond in the rough among the unprotected players in other organizations. While there are historical Rule 5 success stories like George Bell, Johan Santana, and Dan Uggla, those occurrences are few and far between. Many players selected in the annual draft have intriguing tools or the overall potential to contribute at the major-league level, most fade into obscurity and are rarely heard from again. This year’s draft, which took place this morning in Nashville and in which 15 players were picked, will likely be no different in that respect, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting storylines to watch as the 2013 season approaches.

Favorite Pick: Josh Fields (RHP, Houston Astros) – Many in the industry were surprised when Fields was not protected by the Red Sox. The 27-year-old right-hander finished the season strong by not allowing a run in 10 appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket and then continued to show well in the Arizona Fall League. His fastball-curveball combination is big-league ready and his command has improved to the point that he can hang with the big boys. He has a setup reliever ceiling and could pitch in that role by the end of the season.

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