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8/8/1980 (36 y, 6 m, 14 d)
2002 June Amateur Draft - Round: 26, Pick: 210, Overall: 769, Team: Milwaukee Brewers
$0.2M / 1 Years (2017)
Breslow signed a minor league deal with the Twins on Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. (2/8/2017)
Sunday Notes: Perkins & Varvaro, Travis in Toronto»
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
Red Sox Bullpen: No Such Thing as a Free... Pass
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
MASH Report (5/9/13)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
Red Sox Bullpen: Depth Chart Discussions
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
FanGraphs Audio: The Very Articulate Craig Breslow
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
After drifting through four organizations from 2005-2009, Breslow has settled in as a passable middle reliever without a platoon split. That’s the lefty’s ceiling, though, as he doesn’t have the power stuff or control to merit late-inning work. (David Golebiewski)
Craig Breslow garnered quite a bit of attention towards the end of 2013. The key factor may have been Andrew Miller's season-ending foot injury which pushed Breslow into Boston's prime lefty reliever role down the stretch and into the postseason. He finished the year with a sparkling 1.81 ERA, possibly leading some fantasy owners to think "hey, here's a nice guy for holds leagues!" Not so fast. The Yale product may have a clean ERA, but his 4.31 SIERA and 4.37 xFIP point toward a guy who should project to a more average performance. Even if you argue his career 6.4% home run per fly ball rate makes his home run suppression a viable skill, his FIP only sits at 3.60. Breslow struggles in the whiffs department, only posting 13.9% strikeout rate. Even given the fact that he's tough on lefties, his K% split is only about 3%, meaning he's not blowing either handedness away. He has a walk rate in the single-digits but his ground ball rate is below 45%, meaning he's relying on a lot of weak (or not weak) contact in the air to turn into outs. Breslow will return to the Red Sox in 2014 and once again be a key cog in their bullpen. However, he'll likely fall behind Andrew Miller when it comes to high-leverage situations, possibly crimping his holds upside. Combine that with little help in strikeouts and you have a guy who may have real-life value, but is of little use in your fantasy league. (
The Quick Opinion:
Breslow may have perked some ears with a 1.81 ERA and a couple shutdown outings in the postseason, but his 4.30+ ERA estimators are bad news. Andrew Miller's 2014 return should push him out of the late innings. He's worth little in fantasy, even holds leagues.
Craig Breslow was awful in 2014. He attributed that to being tired after the long 2013 season. It was an argument he made as the 2014 season drew to a conclusion, and one the Red Sox apparently bought into, as they re-signed him for 2015. It doesn't need to be an argument that you buy into, however, as there are plenty of signs that Breslow just isn't that good. The first is the most obvious -- his work against left-handed batters. As a left-handed reliever who is not a closer, his primary function is to retire left-handed hitters. During the past three seasons, his 3.72 FIP against left-handed batters is pretty pedestrian. And obviously, his 4.30 FIP against righties in that same timespan is even more so. Breslow also has seen a sharp drop in his strikeouts. With his velocity dropping, he tried to work in more changeups last season to keep hitters off balance. It didn't work. He has never possessed a good changeup, and using it more frequently was a poor idea. He also stopped throwing first pitches for strikes, registering a 51.9% mark that was roughly seven percent lower than previous seasons, and was his lowest since his rookie season. In short, Breslow was pretty terrible across the board. He has rarely been trusted in situations where he would accrue holds, and isn't going to be a closer any time soon, so this is all a moot point anyway -- unless there's a wave of typhoid fever in the Red Sox bullpen that he is somehow immune to, you won't want Breslow anywhere near your fantasy team in 2015. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
Perhaps Craig Breslow was just tired last season. Whether he was or not, he's not someone you want to target on your fantasy team heading into the 2015 season.
It's somewhat amazing that the 35-year-old Breslow has been able to keep a job over the past three seasons. He doesn’t strike out many batters (5.8 per nine) and walks quite a few (3.5 per nine) which has led to a 3.92 ERA. His 6.1% strikeout minus walk rate is the second lowest among relievers with 150 innings to Jared Hughes’s 6.0%. In 2013, he did have a nice shiny 1.81 ERA, but it ended when his ground ball rate dropped from around 45% to 35%. When the GB% dropped, his home run rate (which had been under one homer per nine innings) jumped to 1.3 HR/9 in 2014 and 1.6 HR/9 in 2015. To top off all the negatives, Breslow doesn’t currently have a home for the 2016 season. I don’t see him getting any more than a minor league deal with his recent level of performance. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Craig Breslow has no job and if he did, he would have no fantasy value since he has no talent.
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Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:35 AM ET
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