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Bullpen Report: September 26, 2013

Jim Johnson surrendered a hit and fanned one in a clean inning of work to notch his 48th save of the season. The thirty-year-old has now saved nine in-a-row, making him 48-of-57 on the season. The Orioles will face the Red Sox in a three-game series to conclude the twenty-thirteen season, giving Johnson a few more opportunities to eclipse the 50 save mark for the second straight season. Aside from the lack of production in the strikeout category, Johnson paid handsome dividends for his fantasy baseball owners that were willing to reach for him at his average draft position of 123.

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Bullpen Report: September 19, 2013

Earlier in the week Rafael Soriano eclipsed the 40-save mark for the third time in his career with his third different team. In 2010 Soriano notched 45 saves with the Rays, in 2012 he successfully closed out 42 games for the Yankees and so far this season the 33-year-old has 42 saves under his belt. Pretty impressive if you ask me. Tonight’s save was the 42nd for Soriano in 48 opportunities on the year. It wasn’t a clean effort by any stretch — Soriano surrendered two walks — but he overcame the free passes with a ground out then fanned young Christian Yelich to end the game. To go with his 42 saves, Soriano owns a 3.20 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
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Bullpen Report: September 12, 2013

Ernesto Frieri locked down his 33rd save of the year as the Angels clipped the Blue Jays 4-3 tonight in Toronto. He yielded a hit and a free pass, but fanned two Jays in a 35-pitch effort to seal the deal. Frieri is now 33-of-37 in save chances on the year with a 3.79 ERA (3.44 FIP) and a 1.26 WHIP. Considering the fact it took the right-hander 35 tosses to finish off the Blue Birds — just one night after throwing 17 pitches — fantasy baseballers may want to t take a chance on Dane de la Rosa as a streaming reliever on Friday in case Frieri needs the rest. De la Rosa is 2-of-5 in save chances this year with 16 holds and sports a whiff rate just barely north of 20%. But at this point in the year, a save is a save is a save.
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Bullpen Report: September 11, 2013

One of the closers that clearly exceeded expectations this season is Greg Holland. The Royals closer tallied his 42nd save of the season tonight while lowering his ERA to 1.35 (1.30 FIP). He needed just 15 pitchers to fan each of the three Indians he faced to increase his career-high whiff rate to 40.9%. Holland’s ability to hit the first-strike and keep barrels off the ball both in and out of the zone seem to be some of the factors leading to his improvement this year. Fantasy baseballers likely didn’t invest a whole lot into Holland this season — he was the 14th relief pitcher selected at an average draft position of ~145, according to FantasyPros — but that will surely change for next season. Holland is primed to start the 2014 year as a top ten reliever.
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Bullpen Report: September 5, 2013

-Earlier today I threw together a list of arms who have both starting and relief pitcher eligibility that you can see here. After a comment in the article and a few mentions on Twitter, I decided I should have included the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman and the Tigers’ Drew Smyly. So here is a quick addendum to said article:

Kevin Gausman | Orioles | 2%
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Scheming For Relief: Looking For Hurlers With Dual Eligibility

Many fantasy baseball championships are won on draft day. Others, with shrewd moves throughout the season. And (probably) a smaller portion of owners are able to hoist a flag by smoothly navigating their league’s settings to identify certain loopholes they can use to their advantage.

In some league variations, owners are have a fixed number of starting and relief roster spots to fill each-and-every day, so identifying lesser-owned hurlers with dual eligibility could be more valuable than most imagine. With that said, here is a short list of arms that said owners could slot into either their starting or relief roster spots in an attempt to gain an advantage in whatever categories they need to do so as we make the turn for the homestretch.
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Bullpen Report: August 22, 2013

Rafael Betancourt entered tonight’s game in the bottom of the ninth frame with a 4-3 Rockies lead over the Phillies. The crafty veteran retired the first two batters he faced, but then allowed a two-out double to Jimmy Rollins followed by an RBI single off the bat of Michael Young. Immediately following Young’s at-bat, Betancourt signaled for the trainer and was pulled from the game with an apparent elbow injury. The trainer’s evaluation “suggested” a possible tear of the infamous ulnar collateral ligament, which could end his season if Tommy John surgery is indeed needed to repair the ligament. It appears as if Rex Brothers will land back in the closer’s role should in fact Betancourt’s season be over. Brothers is 11-of-12 in save opportunities this season with a 1.51 ERA (3.31 FIP), a 1.16 WHIP and a 25.9% K%. The southpaw is owned in just 44% of Yahoo! leagues as of this writing, but that number needs to increase exponentially by the time the sun rises tomorrow.
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Scheming For Relief: Medina, Jones and Siegrist

The home stretch is here. For some owners looking to gain some ground in their roto leagues, it may be time to take on some risk for the potential reward. In head-to-head leagues the case may not be the same, unless of course, your primary holds guys have been lost in a bullpen shuffle somewhere.

At any rate, here are a few arms to consider adding if they’re available in your leagues.
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Bullpen Report: August 17, 2013

Sergio Romo needed just 11 pitches in the home half of the final frame to notch his 30th save of the twenty-thirteen campaign. Romo fanned one — giving the right-hander only three strikeouts in his last seven outings — and induced a couple of pop ups to finish off the Marlins, 6-4. The Giants’ closer continues to rack up saves while limiting free passes (4.4% BB%), but fantasy owners were likely hoping for a few more strikeouts from the 30-year-old this season. His whiff rate (26.2% K%) is down for the second consecutive year — Romo rocked a 40% K% in 48 frames in 2011 followed by a 29.3% K% in just over 55 innings in 2012 — partially because he’s missing fewer bats (13.3% SwStr%) over that same time frame and also the fact that opponents are making better contact on his offerings. Strikeouts or not, Romo continues to get those all important saves for his fantasy owners as we head down the home stretch.
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Bullpen Report: August 15, 2013

The Cuban Missile, Aroldis Chapman, surrendered one hit and whiffed two enroute to a 2-1 Reds victory over the Brewers on Thursday evening. Chapman is now 30-of-34 on the season with a 2.74 ERA (1.03 WHIP) and a 43% K%. He “somewhat” set the bar pretty high for himself back in 2012, so when I want to discuss how his K% is “down” to 43% from just over 44% last season or his BB% is up to 10.7% from 8.3% in ‘12 I feel like I’m just nitpicking. But the aforementioned is true and so is the fact that the velo on his slider is down a tick and his LD% is up to 25%. Ya whatever, he’s still recorded 30 saves for the second consecutive season and will likely eclipse the 100 strikeout mark again as well. He’s been a stud and will continue to be a stud for the foreseeable future, I’m 99% sure you didn’t need me to tell you that.
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