• Manny Machado: Bad Luck or Something Deeper?
    by Randy Holt - 7/19 -  3
    A quick comparison between the tailspin of the Baltimore Orioles and the stat sheet of Manny Machado would seem to indicate that the third baseman is heavily responsible for the woes of the O's over these last few months.
  • Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Bullpen Report: July 23, 2017

With the trade deadline fast approaching, there was plenty of relevant bullpen activity on a busy Sunday afternoon…

Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless ninth with the Nationals up by four against the Diamondbacks. He now has two saves and the completion of a four-run win under his belt with his new team, and Ryan Madson has yet to see a save opportunity in Washington. It bears repeating, however, that Dusty Baker has indicated that he may mix and match with those two in the ninth, and that he will be cautious with Doolittle given his history of arm issues. Even if Doolittle is the main closer in Washington, which appears to be the case for now, Madson is probably still worth stashing in holds leagues, and to those desperate for saves, in case Doolittle falters or sustains another injury.

Zach Britton struck out two and walked one en route to his first save since April 14. Orioles ownership has reportedly given management the green light to trade Britton, so his status is worth monitoring closely in the coming days. His successful save conversion on Sunday was a good start, but Britton has missed a lot of time with a forearm injury this season and teams might not be willing to give up what the Orioles would want in return for their ace reliever. If Britton remains with the Orioles, he will likely reclaim the closer’s role in full capacity assuming he can remain healthy. If he’s traded, however, it’s possible that he could be used in an Andrew Miller-type role on a new team.

On Saturday, Hector Neris allowed a run on three hits in what had been a tie game in the ninth, and was saddled with the loss. On Sunday, with a three-run ninth-inning lead, the Phillies went to Luis Garcia for the save chance. He struck out one in a perfect frame. It was his first save of the season and just the third of his career. Despite the rare save opportunity, Garcia’s peripherals don’t suggest he’s a closer in the making, so the grid remains unchanged for now. Neris’ grip on the ninth, however, remains relatively shaky.

Jose Leclerc was brought into a left-heavy section of the Rays’ lineup in the ninth with the Rangers up by one. He struck out two and walked two to secure the save. Leclerc has an exceptional 35.5 percent strikeout rate this season, but he’s also walked 16.1 percent of batters. Along Alex Claudio and Keone Kela, Leclerc is in the Rangers’ ninth-inning mix. Despite picking up the majority of saves for the Rangers recently, Jeff Banister wouldn’t commit to Alex Claudio as his closer, and Sunday’s converted save chance by Leclerc seemed to back that up. Matt Bush, who held the closer’s role for the Rangers earlier this season, pitched a scoreless seventh with the Rangers trailing by a run on Sunday.

Kenley Jansen blew a three-run ninth-inning lead against the Braves. Jansen allowed the first two batters to reach but settled down and got two outs before finally allowing a three-run homer to Matt Adams that tied the game. It was Jansen’s first blown save of the season.

Staying in the National League West, Brad Hand picked up a save against the Giants on Sunday. Brandon Maurer is San Diego’s usual closer, and he blew a save on Friday when he surrendered two two-out baserunners and a game-tying, three-run blast to Conor Gillaspie. If Hand wasn’t likely to be traded, it might be a bigger deal that he got the save chance over Maurer on Sunday. As it is, Maurer will remain in the closer’s spot on the grid for now, and Hand’s future is completely unknown at this time. If he isn’t traded, he could conceivably take over the closer’s role in San Diego. If he is traded, there’s no telling what his role will be. He’s probably worth owning in all holds leagues, as he’s quietly one of the best relievers in baseball.

With the Yankees leading by two runs in Seatlle, Dellin Betances pitched the seventh and David Robertson pitched the eighth. Betances has struggled mightily with command this season to the tune of a 17.8 percent walk rate, and it appears that Robertson may snag the eighth inning role and be next in line for saves behind closer Aroldis Chapman. For now, Betances will remain in his usual spot behind Chapman on the grid, but that could change if he continues to see the seventh and Robertson continues to see the eighth.

There were a few fresh faces in the eighth inning on Sunday: Blake Parker of the Angels, Bruce Rondon of the Tigers, and Jason Grilli of the Rangers all pitched in close eighth innings despite occupying lesser roles recently. Parker and Grilli pitched spotless frames, and Rondon allowed two runs on three hits before giving way to Justin Wilson for a four-out save opportunity. Wilson allowed a home run and a walk in the ninth but struck out three in the outing to secure his 12th save.

Other closer activity: Raisel Iglesias notched a two-inning save against the Marlins. Santiago Casilla allowed a hit but notched his 16th save against the Mets. Kelvin Herrera struck out two in a perfect ninth in a tie game at home. Bud Norris secured a one-run save against the Red Sox. Tyler Clippard was brought into a two-on, no out situation in a tie game in the ninth inning on the road, and he allowed a game-ending single to the first batter he faced, Brandon MossBrandon Kintzler entered in the top of the ninth with the Twins trailing by a run, and he allowed three runs on two hits and two walks. Jim Johnson entered in the bottom of the 10th in a tie game against the Dodgers, and allowed the winning run to score. Aroldis Chapman allowed two hits but struck out one and notched his 11th save of the season against the Mariners.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Fernando Rodney Archie Bradley JJ Hoover
ATL Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez
BAL Zach Britton Brad Brach Mychal Givens
BOS Craig Kimbrel Joe Kelly Matt Barnes Carson Smith
CHC Wade Davis Koji Uehara Carl Edwards Jr.
CWS Tyler Clippard Anthony Swarzak Dan Jennings Nate Jones
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Drew Storen
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
COL Greg Holland Adam Ottavino Jake McGee
DET Justin Wilson Alex Wilson Shane Greene
HOU Ken Giles Will Harris Michael Feliz
KC Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Mike Minor
LAA Bud Norris Cam Bedrosian David Hernandez Huston Street
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Luis Avilan
MIA A.J. Ramos Kyle Barraclough Junichi Tazawa
MIL Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes Carlos Torres
MIN Brandon Kintzler Taylor Rogers Matt Belisle Glen Perkins
NYM Addison Reed Paul Sewald Jerry Blevins Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances David Robertson
OAK Santiago Casilla Blake Treinen Liam Hendriks
PHI Hector Neris Pat Neshek Luis Garcia
PIT Felipe Rivero Juan Nicasio Daniel Hudson
STL Trevor Rosenthal Brett Cecil Seung Hwan Oh
SD Brandon Maurer Brad Hand Ryan Buchter Carter Capps
SF Sam Dyson Hunter Strickland George Kontos Mark Melancon
SEA Edwin Diaz Nick Vincent Tony Zych
TB Alex Colome Tommy Hunter Brad Boxberger
TEX Alex Claudio Jose Leclerc Keone Kela
TOR Roberto Osuna Ryan Tepera Danny Barnes
WSH Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson Matt Albers Koda Glover

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

Roto Riteup: July 23, 2017

J.T. Realmuto has been an unheralded star at the thinnest fantasy position this year:

The 26-year old catcher has a .305 AVG, 10 HR, and 5 SB in 332 PA so far. He needed 545 PA to notch 11 HR last year. He’s also legitimately fast, not just catcher-fast.

On the Agenda:

  • Salazar Strong Off the DL
  • Grichuk Loves Coming Back
  • Gurriel Quietly Beasting
  • Other News
  • Whiff Watch

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 480 – Salazar Returns


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Leading Off: Question of the Day

  • Why do managers ignore the TTOP?

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Roto Riteup: July 22, 2017

The D’Backs are the new kids on the block when it comes to contending, but they quickly showed Max Scherzer that they mean business:

David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, and Jake Lamb go back-to-back-to-back to open what would be a 6-5 walkoff win on Friday.

On the Agenda:

  • Conforto Cruising Since DL Return
  • Cards Drop Nine in the Eighth
  • Fiers Burning the Competition
  • Happy Birthday, CC!
  • Wood Waxed; Garcia’s Grand Slam
  • Other News
  • Whiff Watch
  • WTWT

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Bullpen Report: July 21, 2017

In the aftermath of Wednesday’s trade that saw the White Sox send Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees, it was widely presumed that Anthony Swarzak would inherit the closer’s role on the South Side of Chicago. Then came the announcement later on Wednesday that Rick Renteria would be turning to Tyler Clippard, who came over in the deal from the Yankees, instead.

The fantasy community let out a collective groan. Clippard’s second tenure with the Yankees ended with a thud, as he allowed 16 runs over his final 13 1/3 innings with 10 walks and five home runs allowed. His White Sox debut against the Royals did not go much better. He entered in the bottom of the 10th inning with the game knotted at 6-6. Clippard began by allowing back-to-back singles to Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon and then loaded the bases with a walk to Jorge Bonifacio. The fourth batter Clippard faced, Whit Merrifield, walked off with a sacrifice fly.
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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – July 21, 2017

Paul Sporer: Let’s talk some baseball!!

Blah: Arrieta 6Ks so far all swinging. Second half push coming from him?

Paul Sporer: Eh, maybe.

Sam: McCullers or Conforto in a dynasty points league, keep forever

Paul Sporer: Conforto. I loooove McCullers, but betting on him long-term is scary. I’m going year-to-year with him

Gary: Hey Paul!  I’ve been trying to pry away Rizzo in a Roto OBP to take advantage of his 2B elig, when he gets it.  Would trading away Rendon/Upton for Rizzo/Salazar be worth the 2B power upgrade (I have Odor currently).  Thanks!

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The Best Part About Tommy Pham

The second-best part about Tommy Pham is I can basically recycle this post I wrote about Domingo Santana three and a half weeks ago. Like, I could replace Santana’s name with Pham’s throughout it and you wouldn’t blink. Pham, through his first 628 plate appearances, has hit a home run on more than 28% of his fly balls (28% HR/FB); if sustained for another 72 PA, it would be the third-best mark through a player’s first 700 PA in the last 15 years (among more than 600 qualified hitters).

The best part about Tommy Pham, though, is something Santana doesn’t have, and it’s something more than skin deep. Depending on whom you ask, Pham has swung at pitches outside the zone only 19.8% (BIS), 22.2% (Pitch Info) or 22.9% (PITCHf/x) of the time. Those rank, in order, 6th, 11th and 18th among 205 hitters with at least 250 PA — in other words, the 95th percentile (for the former two) or at least the 90th (for the lattermost). In short, he forces pitchers to pitch to him. Few in the game have been more selective, and few in the game have shown this much power this early in a career. (“Early,” by number of games, obviously, because Pham, at 29, is hella old for a guy who barely has a full season’s worth of PA.) The coincidence of his selectivity and his power is nice, to say the least.

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Two Intriguing Flamethrowing Righties – Castillo and Kuhl

A couple of National League Central starting pitchers have caught my eye. Both are owned in a lower percentage of fantasy leagues than they should be, and both are flame throwers. One of the two has already received not just one endorsement from Paul Sporer earlier this month, but also a second after pitching decent in Colorado and brilliantly in Arizona. The other hurler hasn’t received the same level of praise, but Jeff Zimmerman noted a new breaking ball this righty’s added to his mix, and his results of late are intriguing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Grind: Day of Aces

All I want from life is to trade Jon Lester for a halfway decent closer. Like Ken Giles. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.


  1. Another Interruption of Service
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Field of Streams: Episode 281 – I Felt That One Was A Little Forced

Episode 281 – I Felt That One Was A Little Forced

The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live!

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Matt surviving an Adam Conley pick, trying to trust Trevor Cahill on the road, believing in CC Sabathia again for a moment, the Yoan Moncada Twinkie story, Collin McHugh’s return, the first Billy Burns reference in a while, Dylan’s new place and the neighbor dog, Dylan’s overt plans to title the episode, Derek Holland’s wheels falling off, Dinelon Lamet’s big splits, and Matt explaining VaporTrap.

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