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“On Bzdek” Bullpen Briefing: Week 8

Memorial Day weekend is here at last. For fantasy baseball, this time of year means we can no longer defend poor performance with the veil of small sample sizes. Luckily, or maybe not so luckily, relief pitchers who struggle don’t get the same leash as a typical starting pitcher or batter. Have a bad three-game span and you might lose your job. This week, we have a couple of relievers feeling that pain, but we also have one working his way back to the 9th inning from an earlier demotion. Let’s get into it.

Seattle Mariners

Edwin Diaz pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th inning of a tie ballgame last Friday as the Mariners attempt to get Diaz back on track. Diaz allowed two singles in the 8th, but pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning. He struck out one batter in each inning. Tony Zych followed Diaz in the 10th and allowed an RBI double to Melky Cabrera before taking the loss on the night. Diaz’ next appearance came on Wednesday night when he went one inning with one strikeout and no runs allowed, though he did walk two. He followed it up by converting a save chance Thursday afternoon, yielding 1 hit over 1 inning. The Mariners stated their plan to return Diaz to closing after a couple of appearances in middle relief, and the plan has been executed to a T. Diaz may be back in the Mariners’ good graces, but with 6 base runners in 4 innings, I’m still having my own doubts. Nonetheless, it is safe to say he is the team’s closer again. Kudos to those of you who held onto Diaz over the last week.

San Diego Padres

Brandon Maurer pitched the 8th inning and recorded a hold on Wednesday night. Brad Hand worked the 9th for his first save, though he was far from perfect. He allowed two hits and a walk in his one inning of work. Hand followed up with another save in as many days on Thursday, this time yielding one run but holding on for a 4-3 win over the Mets. Rumors continue to be floated about the Padres entertaining trade offers for Hand. Perhaps they are looking to boost his value before a trade, or perhaps they elected to give Brandon Maurer a break from closing after he allowed 10 runs over a 3.2 inning stretch from May 11th to May 20th. Right now, Maurer and his 6.88 ERA are droppable. San Diego may ride Hand until he is traded, but a trade would likely make Ryan Buchter next in line to close. Buchter is the smart long-term play if you’re chasing saves here.

Washington Nationals

Koda Glover recorded a 4 out save on Sunday, striking out Nick Markakis for the final out of the 8th inning, after a 2 RBI double made it a 3-2 game. Glover allowed 1 hit in the 9th to nail down his 3rd save of the year. Glover also pitched the 9th inning of Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Mariners, though it was a non-save situation. Glover earned 9th inning duty in Washington, but Glover owners should still be wary. I still think the Nationals bring in a closer from outside the organization before the trade deadline.

New York Metropolitans

The Mets sent reliever Hansel Robles down to their triple A affiliate in Las Vegas after three horrid outings in which Robles allowed 12 earned runs in 2.2 innings. Prior to these implosions, Robles was a reliable middle reliever for the Mets who was primed to take on 8th inning responsibilities after Jeurys Familia got injured. His demotion leaves the Mets with Fernando Salas, Josh Edgin, John Smoker, and Paul Seward as middle relief options, with Jerry Blevins the teams LOOGY. None of these options are very attractive at the moment.

Toronto Blue Jays

Nothing major to report on the closing situation in Toronto, as Roberto Osuna recorded two saves this week and has allowed just one run in 10 May appearances. However, Ryan Tepera is impressing in the middle relief role. In the last month Tepera has struck out 21 in 18.2 innings while posting an ERA of 1.45 and a WHIP of 0.75. He has two holds during that time frame, one of which came this Tuesday. He could see more holds in the future if he continues pitching this way.

New York Yankees

Dellin Betances recorded three saves in his last three chances, going a total of 2.1 innings with 7 strikeouts. He allowed one hit and no walks over that span. The elite setup man is proving he can be an elite closer if given the opportunity. Aroldis Chapman remains out for another 2-3 weeks and will certainly return to closing upon his return. Betances will rack up saves for the Yankees in the mean time.

Los Angeles Angels

Bud Norris notched his 9th save of the season Monday night, striking out 3 in a 4 out save. He now owns a 2.66 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP on the season. He’s been doing a fantastic job filling in as closer for Cam Bedrosian. Bedrosian threw a bullpen session Monday night as he works his way back from the DL. He’s still a week or two away, but with the way Norris is going I find it hard to believe he will resume closing immediately upon return. We’ll stay tuned for an update as Bedrosian gets closer to action.

San Francisco Giants

Mark Melancon recorded a save after returning from the DL. There appear to be no lingering affects from his DL stint.

 

Three Stars of the Week

Andrew Miller, Cle – Miller makes his second apperance as one of the stars of the week. This week he threw 5 innings, struck out 6. recorded 3 holds and 1 win. He allowed zero runs and just two hits. He is the games most versatile and all around best relief pitcher.

Arodys Vizcaino, Atl – Vizcaino also recorded 3 holds and 1 win, while striking out 5 batters, walking 1, and allowing zero hits over 4 innings.

Shane Greene, Det – Green pitched 5 innings: striking out 8, walking 1, and allowing 1 hit. He recorded one win and one hold.

 

That’s it for this weeks article. Enjoy the holiday weekend and see you next Friday for the Week 9’s Bullpen Briefing.

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Our guest this week is Lenny Melnick. Lenny is fantasy baseball pioneer, current FSWA Hall of Famer, and the host of his daily podcasts on lennymelnickfantasysports.com Mon-Fri at 9am EST. He also co-hosts a show every Sunday morning from 7-10am EST with Craig Mish on the fantasy sports station on Sirius.

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Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday May 21st, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #88 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guest this week is Kevin Bzdek. Kevin is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com. His articles focus on bullpens and publish every Friday.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

I've been playing fantasy baseball for 14 years. I am also an auditor and CPA, where I analyze information on a daily basis. Combined, my passion for fantasy baseball and analytical background create a unique perspective for analyzing and writing about fantasy baseball.

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