Updates on the ninth-inning situations for the White Sox, A's, Cubs, and Astros.
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.
A look at fantasy impact of every significant transaction consummated on Tuesday.
After one of the craziest transaction days in recent memory, the fantasy team (literally, it took nearly the entire team given the short notice) went through all 10 transactions with fantasy implications to see who gained and lost value in the last 24 hours. A longer introduction than that is not necessary—let’s get straight to what you came here to read.
As a few incubment closers prepare to hit free agency, Craig breaks down the pitchers who could supplant them.
In his September 12 Bullpen Report, Mike Gianella broke down the contract situations of all the closers in baseball, giving us an idea of where there might be change and throwing out some names so we could capitalize early. I loved this idea and wanted to take it a step further in the cases of the five teams that will be losing a closer to free agency. With that in mind, let’s get to it:
Oakland's successful bullpen comprises good stories and impressive performances. So if some movie producer wants to option R.J.'s screenplay...
I write from the year 2012, 10 years ahead of your time. Much has changed about the world, as expected, but one thing should remain familiar to you: the Oakland Athletics are a good ballclub. They seem destined to make the postseason, and their bullpen leads the American League in ERA. If you think that’s incredible, just wait until you see who they’re winning with. I’ll let you find out for yourself, but let’s just say Billy Beane still has it. Now, about the purpose of this message: Only you can save our beloved planet. The first thing I need from you is…
Jerry Blevins benefited from a rarely used allowance in baseball's rule book.
On Friday night, Ryan Cook entered the game for the A's in the eighth. He allowed two inherited runners to score and one of his own, blew the lead, and got the final out of the inning. The A's then took the lead back in the ninth. Jerry Blevins replaced him and protected the lead. As you know, Ryan Cook would be credited with the victory. But
Janssen, Fuentes, and Thayer are discussed in this week's Value Picks
The debate between the old and new schools as to the usefulness of defined bullpen roles is as strong as ever, and with such a high turnover rate in the early going of this season, both sides have had plenty of fodder to build their arguments. For those of us who partake in fantasy leagues, however, such philosophical pedantry is a mere luxury. Chasing saves, after all, is a dirty game, so let’s have a look at some relievers of interest.
Disappointments about in all three instances, but is there any good news to be found?
Obvious Good Move: You want a good move from a team that is giving Mike Hampton a last chance? It used to be that this sort of desperate effort to hang on was the butt of jokes in venues as obvious as Tank McNamara, when it made light of Steve Carlton's unwillingness to give up 25 years ago. OK, let's see... how about cutting Bobby Crosby? I figure a few A's fans might get a contact high from that.
Placed RHP Juan Gutierrez on the 15-day DL (shoulder inflamation); activated OF-LRyan Church. [8/3]
Optioned INF-S Tony Abreu to Reno (Triple-A); recalled RHP Rafael Rodriguez from Reno. [8/4]
Activated RHP Juan Gutierrez from the 15-day DL; optioned RHP Rafael Rodriguez to Reno. [8/18]
Activated 2B/OF-S Eric Young Jr. from the 15-day DL, and optioned him to Colorado Springs (Triple-A). [8/2]
Activated 1B-LTodd Helton from the 15-day DL; optioned MI-S Jonathan Herrera to Colorado Springs; claimed 3B-RWes Hodges off waivers from the Indians, and optioned him to Colorado Springs. [8/3]
Placed RHP Aaron Cook on the 15-day DL (sprained big toe), retroactive to 8/4; recalled INF-RChris Nelson from Colorado Springs. [8/5]
Optioned INF-R Chris Nelson to Colorado Springs; recalled RHP Esmil Rogers from Colorado Springs. [8/8]
Placed LHP Jeff Francis on the 15-day DL (shoulder ), retroactive to 8/12; recalled 2B/OF-S Eric Young Jr. from Colorado Springs. [8/14]
Placed RHP Taylor Buchholz on the 15-day DL (lower back), retroactive to 8/14; recalled RHP Jhoulys Chacin from Colorado Springs. [8/17]
Released 1B/RF-LBrad Hawpe; purchased the contract of LHP Matt Reynolds from Colorado Springs. [8/19]