Scheming For Relief: Scribner, Rosscup and Martin

Welcome back to “Scheming for Relief.” Again this week we’re looking to for a handful of players that you could slot into your relief pitcher slots in holds or solds (saves + holds) leagues, but this week we’re going to dig a little deeper. Knowing that most standard leagues may not value holds or solds (holds + saves), I looked for players owned in one percent or less in both the Yahoo! and ESPN games.

To qualify for the chart relievers needed at least five appearances, at least one hold, a K%-BB% greater or equal to 10%, an ERA under 4.00 and a WHIP under 1.50.

As always, I’ll list ownership in both Yahoo! and ESPN, simply because those are the outlets I frequent the most.

Here’s three of the names that search uncovered that we have yet to speak about and could be available in your leagues:

Evan Scribner | Athletics | 1% Y!, .1% E

RIght-handed reliever Evan Scribner is 0-0 with a 1.38 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP in ten trips to the bump. He’s notched two holds and also boasts an impressive 28.3% K%-BB% in 13 frames. The Athletics have used the 29-year-old in a variety of situations thus far in ‘15 — Scribner has taken the ball for a minimum of two-thirds of an inning to a maximum of three-and-two-thirds innings between the fourth and ninth-innings — but, most frequently we’ve seen him in the eighth-inning of close games. Although there’s just two holds under his belt so far, the usage bodes fairly well for those hoping for holds going forward.

Scribner’s velocity on each of his offerings does appear to be down a tick from last season’s readings, but overall, they seem to be pretty in-line with his career velocity. He’s still missing more bats than he has in his career (15% SwStr%) — if you’re willing to look beyond the small sample — providing hope that the spike in strikeouts is for real. Also, when looking further into his current plate discipline numbers, we see that Scribner is nailing the first pitch strike (80.4% F-Strike%) and causing batters to chase at pitches outside the zone (40% O-Swing%) better than he ever has in a single season and a chunk better than his career rates.

Zac Rosscup | Cubs | 1% Y!, .2% E

The 26-year-old southpaw is 1-0 with two holds, a 1.04 ERA and a 0.46 WHIP in eight appearances for the Cubbies. Of the three names in this column, Rosscup owns the highest K%-BB% which comes in at an impressive 32.3%. He’s missing more bats (15.2% SwStr%) than he ever has, which could be due to the spike in his slider’s velocity and the increase in frequency in which he’s using it. His fourseamer has actually induced more raw whiffs (12) than the slide-piece (11), but he’s also using that pitch significantly more resulting in the difference in whiff rates for each offering. All that aside, I do like Rosscup at least for a short-term addition/stream in deeper leagues that reward holds. Take advantage of the strikeouts, ratios and the scab wins when they come along.

Chris Martin | Yankees | 1% Y!, .1% E

Martin’s 2.45 ERA missed the ideal mark for our chart here, but his 1.65 FIP indicates that number could come down close to a full point between now and the end of the season. The right-hander does have a save to his name along with two holds, but he’s been used seven times with the Yankees trailing, so we can’t be sure that he’ll continue to pad that holds category. However, he’s kept fine ratios, including a 0.82 WHIP, and does boast a 24.4% K%-BB% which could definitely help your team out in a deeper holds or solds (saves + holds) format.

Here’s the chart I used for my research. And here’s a direct link if you’d like to download it.

In addition to contributing to the RotoGraphs blog, you can find Alan at his own site, and follow his nonsense on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

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7 years ago

i guess chris hatcher didn’t qualify bec he doesn’t have any holds yet? i think he’s in line for some, and his K rate (39.5%) and swinging strike rate (18.5%) are sick. what do you make of him?

7 years ago
Reply to  dudley

oh, i guess the 7.56 ERA might have something to do with that as well. 🙂 but his FIP and xFIP are both under 2.10, which matters a lot more. maybe the criteria aren’t the greatest for small sample sizes?

7 years ago
Reply to  Alan Harrison

thanks for the reply! i had no idea he was that widely owned already.

7 years ago
Reply to  Alan Harrison

I am a big fan of Hatcher after watching him pitch. I’ve combined him with Yimi in my holds league for devastating K effect.