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Bullpen Report: April 22, 2019

By now, we have all become aware of the home run explosion that’s occurred in the early weeks and the appearance of a juiced ball. High-leverage relievers have not been immune to the deluge of dingers. Josh Hader, Matt Barnes and Kenley Jansen all allowed home runs on Sunday that led to a loss or a blown save. The three normally-reliable relievers have teamed up to allow seven home runs over their last 8.1 innings combined. Hader has allowed homers in each of his last three appearances, Barnes has allowed one in each of his last two outings, and Jansen has given up two homers over his last three appearances.

Despite the rash of long balls, it’s far too soon to be concerned about any of the three. Hader is still missing bats at a stratospheric rate, sporting a 22.8 percent SwStr%. However, his flyball rate of 72.2 percent is even more otherworldly. It’s nearly double the major league average of 36.7 percent. Not only is Hader letting the ball get lofted, but hitters are making a lot of hard contact on those airborne balls, averaging 97.4 mph in exit velocity (per Baseball Savant). As he accumulates more innings, this could become a real problem barring some serious regression, even with his healthy whiff rate.
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The Daily Grind: New Week, Same Grind

We’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again. Let’s grind. Stop snickering. It’s not dirty to grind.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. When is a Cervelli not a Cervelli

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Early 2019 Pitching Trends

On Thursday, I shared and discussed some of the early 2019 hitting trends. Today, let’s flip over to the pitching side. In an effort not to double up on the metrics already discussed last week, I’ll focus mostly on pitch mix and velocities.

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Roto Riteup: April 22, 2019

The juiced ball is for real:

 

On the Agenda:
1. Blue Jay Blues
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitching Options

 

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Sunday Evening FAAB & Waiver Wire Chat

7:57
Griffey: Who’s better ROS:  F. Reyes or J.D. Davis

7:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Reyes

7:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Here are the two mixed league FAAB results from Tout Wars

7:58
Jeff Zimmerman: RElias: 89
CTucker: 67
APujols: 62
MPerez: 58
HBailey: 39
JMurphy: 36
DSantana: 33
TLaStella: 32
CAnderson: 26
SGaviglio: 24
ESwanson: 22
MTauchman: 20
DBote: 16
RTapia: 14
HKendrick: 12
CBuchholz: 11
JDDavis: 9
RStephenson: 9
MChavis: 7
JrgLopez: 6
MAdams: 6
ESogard: 6
DFowler: 4
NBurdi: 3
ZGallen: 2
CVazquez: 2
INova: 2
COwings: 2
PBaez: 1
GParra: 1
SRomo: 0

8:00
Jeff Zimmerman: CTucker: 185
DSmithJr: 177
JEickhoff: 123
RRuiz: 57
MCanha: 54
MSoroka: 52
MTauchman: 38
MWacha: 23
EThames: 23
ESwanson: 23
SKelley: 22
RQuinn: 20
TThornton: 18
JReddick: 17
TFrazier: 15
AlexReyes: 14
ZDavies: 13
CBuchholz: 10
HBailey: 8
MChavis: 8
COwings: 5
TDArnaud: 5
BMcCann: 3
ESogard: 2
DSantana: 2
TomMurphy: 0
HVelazquez: 0

8:00
Edgar: Cole Tucker wasn’t in your FAAB prediction. What are your thoughts?

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Bullpen Report: April 21, 2019

Apologies on a belated and brief Bullpen Report but let’s get to the main takeaways from yesterday and a tad from today…

• It wasn’t so long ago that it felt like Blake Parker was making Minnesota a non-committee but last night Taylor Rogers threw a two-inning save in the first leg of  a doubleheader and then recorded his 3rd save of the year in today’s outing. Rogers struck out five yesterday but struggle a tad in today’s save, allowing three baserunners and a run. The Trevors May and Hildenberger set up today’s game in the 7th and 8th respectively and Blake Parker wasn’t used in any of the games. Yesterday we were told he was under the weather so that could explain his absence but Rogers and Hildenberger have also been more effective than him this year. This is still a committee with Parker at the top but his margin for error is certainly small.

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Week Five FAAB Projections (4/20/19)

I believe there are some diamonds in the rough available this week. It’s tough to know who exactly. Will Michael Chavis grab Bostons second base job? Is Scott Kingery going to play full time? Will one of Robert Stephenson, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly or Diego Castilla get Saves? Maybe one or two.

As usual, I use ownership rates from CBS since some of their leagues are quickdraw leagues where players can be picked up at any time. The FAAB estimates are based off 15-team mixed NFBC leagues with $1000 FAAB. First, Here are the pitchers who were owned in fewer than 50% of leagues and have seen the highest jumps in ownership.

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Ottoneu Most Wanted: April 20, 2019

Ottoneu Most Wanted 7 Days
PLAYER NAME OWNED % ADD % CHANGE (7 DAYS)
Daniel Vogelbach 84.72% 42.36%
Jason Heyward 78.82% 38.54%
Richard Lovelady 38.19% 37.50%
Nick Anderson 59.03% 37.15%
Freddy Galvis 59.38% 34.72%
Alex Gordon 47.22% 30.21%
J.D. Davis 68.4% 28.47%
J.B. Wendelken 46.53% 27.43%
Nick Margevicius 36.11% 23.26%
Brandon Brennan 25.35% 21.53%
Top 10 players added in Ottoneu leagues over the past seven days.

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AL Lineup Analysis (4/20/19)

Angels


Bullpen Report: April 20, 2019

In a game replete with bullpen implications, the Mariners rallied for a win over the Angels on the road. Cody Allen allowed at least a run in his third straight outing serving up back-to-back home runs to Tim Beckham and Omar Narvaez, then walking Ryon Healy before being lifted without recording an out. Allen moves to red alert in fantasy with FAAB bids looming. Many will suggest stashing Ty Buttrey. However, over his last four appearances, Buttrey’s worked in the fifth inning twice, the sixth and the seventh.

It could be a bumpy ride, but Hansel Robles represents the arm with the most likely chance to pitch the ninth if Allen needs a day or two off from the role. Robles worked around a walk last night and owns a 22.5 strikeouts minus walks percentage. But, his 4.66 xFIP could work against him. Taking the long view does not sit well with fantasy owners seeking immediate return on investment. Given Allen’s 4.91 ERA, 6.24 xFIP, 1.36 WHIP added to his 65 percent fly ball rate and 45 hard hit percentage against, he should be benched until further notice. Robles, who pitched the eighth inning in his last three outings, could be in the mix. But, stashing Buttrey, if he’s on the waiver wire, seems like the most savvy move going forward.

Even with the Angels meltdown, Seattle also provided some intrigue. Anthony Swarzak received the night off after working the two previous days. He threw 29 pitches on Thursday and 14 on Wednesday, so Roenis Elias recorded his fourth save in a scoreless ninth yielding a pinch hit single to Kevan Smith. It’s not a situation where Swarzak’s job could be in jeopardy, but Elias remains relevant due to his ability to work more efficiently and well in high leverage to start the year. Keep in mind, Elias pitched the last two days, so he could get Saturday off with Swarzak back in the saddle if a save chance presents itself.

Another fluid bullpen exists in Boston. Matt Barnes notched his third hold striking out two in the eighth inning in Tampa Bay. He faced the heart of the order retiring the third, fourth and fifth batters in the lineup. Again, Barnes represents the highest leverage pitcher in the Red Sox bullpen, which translates to him not working exclusively in the ninth inning. Ryan Brasier did hit a batter and struck out one for his fourth save. Both arms will provide fantasy returns, but predicting which one gets the save depends on how the game evolves. Plan accordingly.

Saves stashers turned their eyes upon Nick Anderson in recent days. And, yes, he could eventually take over the ninth in Miami. Anderson did strike out the side in the seventh inning en route to his first hold of 2019. He also allowed a home run to Brian Dozier in the process. Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider shared the eighth inning with each garnering a hold bridging to Sergio Romo in the ninth. Romo notched his second save with a clean ninth and a strikeout. Due to the limited save volume, it’s tough to roster Marlins relievers in shallow formats. Use the blueprint above when assigning value and view Anderson as a stash, not an immediate add for save upside.

A rare blowup by Josh Hader led to a Dodgers win on the road. Hader retired Cody Bellinger on a strikeout to end the seventh inning of a tied game. Returning to the mound in the eighth, Hader walked A.J. Pollock to start the inning, never a good thing, then struck out Max Muncy. David Freese entered as a pitch hitter and also drew a walk. Hader bounced back striking out Austin Barnes before coughing up a three-run home run to Enrique Hernandez. Making Hader throw more pitches than he’s accustomed to benefited Los Angeles. Kenley Jansen fired a clean ninth with a strikeout for his seventh save.

Another extra-inning affair could be taking a toll on the Phillies bullpen. Hector Neris did toss a clean ninth in a tied game striking out the side on 13 pitches. Adam Morgan pitched the seventh working around a walk with a strikeout and Pat Neshek threw a clean eighth inning, perhaps a preview to future to high leverage innings for an unpredictable bullpen? Wade Davis allowed a base hit to Rhys Hoskins, but preserved the tie in the top of the ninth. Chad Bettis, grabbed the win in relief despite giving up an earned run on two hits when Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run walk-off home run against Juan Nicasio.

Quick Hits: Save number two for Pedro Strop. He recorded one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning cleaning up a mess created by Brad BrachFelipe Vazquez notched his sixth save striking out the side against San Francisco. Richard Rodriguez needed to bail out Nick Burdi who yielded a hit and a walk resulting in an earned run…Acclimating to the bullpen, Joe Ross pitched two scoreless innings giving up a hit with a strikeout…In a non-save outing, Alex Colome ceded his first run since April 10th on three hits, including a solo home run by Niko Goodrum…Rebound outing for Joe Jimenez pitching in the ninth. Jimenez struck out two in his first clean appearance since April second…Save seven for Edwin Diaz. He navigated around a hit and a walk with a strikeout…Ken Giles closed out a Blue Jays win with two strikeouts in the ninth, but with a four run lead…Another encouraging outing by Raisel Iglesias. He struck out the side preserving a tied game in San Diego. Jared Hughes gets the win in relief and Michael Lorenzen his first save striking out Wil Myers to end the game…Kirby Yates also pitched in the ninth of a tied game at home giving up a hit with a strikeout. Craig Stammen gets the loss allowing a hit and two runs, one earned, on a home run by Derek Dietrich…Reports of Mark Melancon getting save chances in the future makes him another stash candidate. Perhaps the Giants can read the tea leaves and will move Will Smith sooner, rather than later to yield a better haul of prospects. Stay tuned…

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 4/20/2019