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11/8/1987 (29 y, 3 m, 13 d)
2008 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 27, Overall: 73, Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
$4.6M / 1 Years (2017)
Shaw and the Indians avoided arbitration on Friday with a one-year, $4.6 million deal, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. (1/13/2017)
The Unlikely Kyle Schwarber Defense
August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs)
Cubs-Indians: Game Three Notes
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
Wright? Wrong. Shaw? Positive.
The Birchwood Brothers (RotoGraphs)
Evaluating the Prospects: Cleveland Indians
Kiley McDaniel (FanGraphs)
How Settled is the Indians Bullpen?
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Shaw ended up in Cleveland this winter as a part of the three-team deal between the Diamondbacks, Reds and Indians that included the likes of Shin Soo-Choo, Drew Stubbs and Trevor Bauer. Despite some fine numbers from the middle reliever last season (3.71 FIP, 6.22 strikeouts per nine), there doesn’t appear to be any immediate fantasy relevant openings at the back end of the Indians’ pen. However, should one of Chris Perez or Vinnie Pestano slip in twenty-thirteen, Shaw could find himself relevant for those in leagues that award holds.
Bryan Shaw's fantasy value is a victim of circumstance. He is a solid reliever who has posted solid-but-not-great strikeout numbers, with very good ERAs and (at least in 2013) a solid WHIP. But in three major league seasons, he has earned only three saves and 31 holds (one and 12 last year). He did manage to grab seven wins in 2013, but you don't buy relievers for wins and for good reason -- reliever wins are not sustainable. The problem for Shaw is that he may not find himself in line for many saves or holds in 2014 either. The Cleveland ninth was up for grabs, but John Axford has been signed to fill that role. Cody Allen figures to be next in line, and first for the eighth inning. And Shaw may have to contend with a resurgent Vinnie Pestano (if there is a resurgent Vinnie Pestano), as well. In the middle of the off-season, Shaw figures to be either third or fourth in line to close games. Considering Axford and Pestano's performance issues and Allen's youth, there is some potential he moves up, but it's not enough for fantasy owners to pay him much mind. (
The Quick Opinion:
Bryan Shaw's biggest fantasy contribution last year was wins, and there is no reason to think he'll provide that value again. If he moves up the Cleveland pecking order and ends up with more holds or saves, he's worth watching.
No pitcher made more relief appearances than Bryan Shaw (80) in 2014, as manager Terry Francona set an American League record with 573 total relief appearances. Shaw's 150-inning workload over the past two seasons is a positive, on one hand. Shaw wouldn't be so trusted if he hadn't been reliable. While he's not been a dominant force, his 2.91 ERA and 3.25 FIP are both much better than league average and make him a solid second option in a bullpen. On the other hand, the workload can be worrisome, given how volatile relievers even with normal workloads are. For what it's worth, Shaw's velocity only increased as the 2014 season went on, which seems to hint that if he was experiencing any fatigue, it wasn't showing up in his production. If Shaw can stay healthy, he's a lock for 20 holds and perhaps a save or two. Though his results are encouraging, he likely doesn't have staying power as a closer due to his somewhat extreme platoon splits. He relies heavily on cutters and sliders that break away from righties, and he's held them to a .256 weighted on base average throughout his career. Lefties, however, have tagged him for a .326 wOBA. (
The Quick Opinion:
Shaw has been a steady seventh and eighth inning option since coming to Cleveland in 2013. Terry Francona has a ton of trust in Shaw, which results in a ton of opportunities. Shaw is unlikely to make an eventual transition to closer, due to his pronounced platoon splits, but as long as his heavy workload doesn't catch up to him, he's a lock for 20 holds.
Shaw is a bit hard to get a read on. On the one hand, he was the Indians go-to eighth inning guy in 2014 and 2015, piling up 47 holds and four saves over the last couple years, giving him value in holds leagues and least and making him the clear handcuff to Cody Allen. On the other hand, no major league pitcher has appeared in more games the last three years (224) than Shaw, and the workload seemed to take a toll. His fastball velocity, which sat at 93.1 and 92.6 in '13 and '14, dropped to 91.9 in '15 and did not pick up late in the year, as it did in the previous two. His batting average on balls in play and home run rate jumped, and while his ERA stayed down, his FIP was over 4.00 for the first time in his career. That said, he gave up fewer fly balls and less hard contact (though more line drives and less soft contact, as well). He stayed in the zone more without giving up anything off his swinging strike rate. His strikeout rate stayed up, his walk rate stayed down. So is Shaw run down and due for a major step back, with his ERA jumping and his effectiveness dropping? Or is he a great source of holds and a potential ninth inning handcuff? Probably both. The ERA will likely rise, but I'd bet on mid-3's rather than low 4's, and I would guess he holds his role, as well. (Chad Young)
The Quick Opinion:
Shaw seemed to wear down in the second half last year, totally understandable since he has more appearances the last three years of any pitcher in baseball. I'd expect continued decline in skills, but he is still a useful late inning reliever, and a good source of low strikeout holds.
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Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 11:40 AM ET
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