Aceves, McCutchen, Laffey: SP/RP Qualified Relievers

I have profiled several SP/RP qualified relievers so far this season (here and here and here) with David Hernandez currently being the best out of the bunch. Today I am going to dig a little deeper and look at some SP/RP relievers on the fringe of being owned.

Alfredo Aceves (0.6% owned ESPN) – On the surface, Aceves looks to have pitched OK as a reliever this season with 7 Holds, 2.64 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. These stats are all smoke and mirrors. The rate stats are being driven by a low BABIP of 0.188. His FIP (4.72) and xFIP (4.60) are much higher.

The one item he has been able to improve has a reliever is his walks. As a starter his walk rate is 5.57 BB/9, but as a reliever it is down to 2.64 BB/9.

I would not count on him padding your rate stats. I could see him being a decent source of counting stats like Holds (Boston should have plenty of leads) or Wins.

Daniel McCutchen (0.1% owned ESPN) – Like Aceves, McCutchen has some nice stats as a reliever, a 3-1 record, 8 Holds, a 1.20 WHIP and a 2.19 ERA. His low ERA is being driven down by a low BABIP (0.265) and HR/FB (6.3%). McCutchen has not been much of a strikeout pitcher in his time in the majors (4.9 K/9) and has walked a few too many batters (3.1 BB/9). All these stats lead to a FIP (3.87), xFIP (4.34) and SIERA (4.13) that are each about twice his ERA.

The only reason I see to own him is if an owner is in desperate need of Holds.

Aaron Laffey (0.0% owned ESPN) – Another player with a nice and pretty ERA (2.39). His ERA is not being suppessed by a super low BABIP (0.280) or HR/FB (13.9%). Instead, he has some how stranded 91.3% of the base runners allowed this season. Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but his FIP (4.61), xFIP (4.00) and SIERA (3.83) are all a bit higher than his ERA. With a K/BB of 1.75, he doesn’t provide much promise.

Also, he is generally not even used as a setup man, so his chances of generating Holds is at a minimum.

Final thoughts

All 3 of these pitchers have an ERA that is not sustainable and provide little in the way of Ks. If you are looking for some SP/RP qualified pitchers, I would look for one mention in one of my previous articles.

Print This Post

Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

picked up McCutchen a couple of days ago. Really need the holds lol