Relief pitchers who have starting pitcher qualifications are a valuable resource in leagues who have both starting pitcher (SP) and relief pitcher (RP) slots and daily moves. If a team can’t use all their starting pitcher slots on a particular day, a good SP qualified reliever can be used to help with rate stats and maybe holds. These type of pitchers have become so useful, they were effectively outlawed in Ottoneu because of a rules change (only pitchers starting can get stats for SP slots and non-starters can only get stats on the RP slots). Today I am going to look at few useful candidates to use with this strategy.
Truthfully, the list of ideal candidates are slim this year. I far as I could tell, no SP qualified pitcher is currently a full time closer or set up man. A few fall into the category of middle relief, but most are long relievers. Here is a quick look at some of the better option in 2013.
Brian Matusz – Not an ideal candidate to run out every night, but none of the candidates are this year. In 2012, he excelled as a reliever with a 6.3 K/BB and 1.35 ERA compared to a 5.42 ERA and 1.6 K/9.
Tommy Hunter – Tommy really struggled as a starter, but came into his own as a reliever last season. He went from a 2.7 K/BB and 5.71 ERA as a starter to a 4.0 K/BB and 3.71 ERA as closer. His velocity has jumped from the 90 mph range to the 95 mph range. His major issue so far this season has be the long ball. In 17 innings as a closer last season he gave up 2 home runs. In 3.2 IP this season, three balls have left the yard.
Hector Santiago – He is not a horrible option if you can absorb his high number of walks (career 4.8 BB/9). His nearly 10 K/9 will be a nice source of strikeouts.
Hector Rondon – He may be the one option to eventually get Saves. With the Cubs bullpen being in flux and if he continues to pitch decent, he may continue to move up in the pecking order.
Brett Cecil – As long as Cecil can stay in the bullpen, he may be a decent option. Over his career he has a 2.71 FIP as a reliever, but it jumps to 4.78 as a starter. He just got his first Hold of the season on the Wednesday.
Luke Hochevar – Luke looks to be a middle innings bridge gap or pitch during a blow out. He hasn’t exactly embraced the reliver role yet. I don’t see him getting any Hold options with a stacked bullpen in front of him.
Brian Duensing – He is not a good starting or relief pitcher, but sadly he is one of the better options available. His K/BB has only been 1.7 in his career as a reliever.
Anthony Bass – An unimpressive K/BB of 1.8 as a reliever. If there is room on the bench, he may be a decent option to only roster at home.
Joe Kelly – Like Bass, he is not impressive at all. A sub-2 K/BB should be expected and he has been HR prone in 2013 having given up just as many HRs (2) as strikeouts.
Derek Lowe – A person can take their chances here on 40-year-old Texas reliever.
Chris Volstad – A Rockie middle reliever. This is not a place to have to have the luxury to platoon players.
Garrett Richards – Garrett was a good option until he was forced into the Angels rotation with an injury to Jered Weaver. His ERA was almost 2 and his K/BB stood at 5. Look to see if he can maybe find his way back into the bullpen later in the season.
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