Major League Baseball's oldest player goes home for the winter one last time.
On a mid-March Sunday, 50 spectators or so have gathered on a grass berm beside a baseball field. Most of the crowd are writers or team personnel, here to watch Eddie Butler and Peter O’Brien. Mark Trumbo and a few other household names are playing but the early morning scrimmage has a minor league flavor. Infielders botch routine grounders. Butler misses his spots. O’Brien overthrows the pitcher.
The fantasy crew runs down the relievers it expects to beat their PECOTA projections in saves.
One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and provide the top overall production in one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall outside of the top 10 and one longer-shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’re taking a look at pitching this week, following our run on offense a week ago. To read the earlier editions in this series, click below:
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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.
Well that was quick. Barely a week after he was given the closer’s role in Anaheim, Scott Downs appears to be DL-bound after injuring his leg Sunday while avoiding a comebacker, leaving fantasy players scrambling to find his replacement. Who that replacement will be, however, is currently up in the air. Of course, that won’t stop us from speculating. Today, I’ll try my hand at handicapping the situation.
The Yahoo! Friends & Family experts league is always an interesting barometer for this sort of thing. It’s a daily transaction league, and any time a ninth-inning changing of the guard may be taking place, owners race to the waiver wire to pick up anyone with a chance for saves. By yesterday evening, five Angel relievers had been picked up (if they weren’t already owned) in Yahoo! F&F: Downs, Jordan Walden, LaTroy Hawkins, Ernesto Frieri, and Jason Isringhausen. Let’s take a look at the chance each has of saving games for the foreseeable future.
Tying up the loose ends from Dallas, as the Brewers bring in Alex Gonzalez to replace Yuniesky Betancourt, the Angels sign LaTroy Hawkins, the Orioles trade for Dana Eveland, and the Rockies and Cubs swap flawed former prospects.
LaTroy Hawkins has blown two saves this year and has a reputation of cracking in high-leverage situations. But is there any evidence in his performance to suggest he can't be a closer? James Click takes a look.
LaTroy Hawkins has no stomach. At least that's how
things sound in Chicago right now as Cubs fans and media lament the
failure of Hawkins to succeed when donned with the "closer" label.
Taking things at face value, it sounds like Hawkins' esophagus runs
directly to his small intestine, a genetic trick leaving him without
ability to finish games he enters when his team is up by three or fewer
runs, when the tying run is on deck, or if those three innings happen
be the last three innings of the game. Otherwise, he's great.