SAGNOF: You Bednar Believe It

What’s poppin, Razzpimples?

As always, I’ve got reliever soup for the soul to nourish your weary little hearts.

Don’t forget, the Razzball Bullpen Chart is manned by yours truly and updated like every single second (not really, but I stay on top of thangs for the most part).

Here’s what stood out to me this week (note: Monday’s games do not factor in):

David Bednar is quickly ascending the ranks as a borderline top-tier fantasy relief ace. Not even pitching for the Pirates can derail this guy’s dominance, as he now has 7 SV and 4 HD to his name, accompanied by elite ratios and 25 K in just 18 IP. Of all folks with 5+ SV, only Edwin Diaz has a better SwStr%, and that dude is having an astronomically sexy start to his 2022 season. Dude’s only 27 years and is hitting his stride in his prime years. I made every single active Pirates fan on Twitter (all, like, four of them) very mad with the tweet you see below, but their paltry attempts to ratio me fell almost as flat as Bucs bats have all season long. Remember that time a few days back when they got no-hit but still won 1-0 and Bednar picked up a save? Good times. Bednar’s since rose to #7 on the Player Rater among all RP (5×5 standard). That’s incredibly impressive given he’s not elite in saves and doesn’t even have a win to his name, so he’s being docked -$4.7 for that. The extra good news is he seems to have finally taken over sole possession of closing duties. Chris Stratton can be dropped in all formats. Even SVHD, ngl. Dude sucks.

Rowan Wick is tied with Bednar for the lead in saves in the last seven days (3). It’s only cuz David Robertson is out with the COVID, though, but if Wick still happens to be there in your league then just grab him and hope for more saves in the meantime. Wick looked pretty bad to start the year but has really turned a corner, so if D-Rob starts to slip or finds himself injured, Wick should be on your radar as the next man up for the Fubs, I mean Cubs.

Joe Barlow has kept on keepin on, tacking on two more saves this past week. He wasn’t lights out, but he kept his scoreless streak going and is tied with — guess who! — Bednar for the most saves over the last 14 days (5). Man ain’t the sexiest closing option out there but he’s still way too widely available. Friendly reminder: he does not share the role with anyone else; it’s his.

Danny Jimenez added a couple more saves this week, and another friendly reminder about this guy: he doesn’t share the job either. You can get all the way rid of Lou Trivino, who has plummeted to uselessness even in SVHD formats. Jimenez had a lovely 33.3 K% and 38.6 CSW% this past week, but he also walked his fair share (16.7 BB%). Overall, the 28-year-old has had an impressive 2022 campaign, especially in the Whiff% department (94th percentile). He’s not elite anywhere else but is above average in most other categories.

Another fine week of work for Taylor Rogers: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, and 2 SV. Tied with Josh Hader for the MLB lead with 13 SV. Hader hasn’t allowed a run yet but Rogers has three less walks in almost three more innings of work. The better of the Rogers brothers is well on his way to repeating last year’s insanely sexy K:BB ratio of 59:8 in 40.1 IP. And you might recall 2019’s mark of 90:11 in 69 IP (nice). Statcast doesn’t tell the full picture, folks; go peek at Rogers’s and you might be surprised. What you will see is dark red in K%, BB%, and Whiff%. No cap, those are the three categories I care most about.

Mentioned Edwin Diaz earlier, and guess what? He kicked more ass this week. Had 60 K% and 0 BB% while inducing 16.1% whiffs. Added two more saves, giving him 8 SV for the year (and 27 K in just 15 IP).

Scott Barlow picked up 2 SV this week (and 1 HD) while not allowing a hit or walk or run. His strikeout numbers aren’t blowing anyone’s socks off this year, though he’s no slouch either. He’s a lot better than Josh Staumont seems to be right now, so I’d look for Barlow to continue to be the primary option in the 9th for manager Mike Matheny. I would feel quite comfortable dropping Staumont in most formats, frankly.

Emilio Pagan annoyingly snagged a save for the Twins. While his 2022 season ERA looks good, his WHIP almost matches it. I just get the hardest of “meh” feelings about this dude. I wanna see Jhoan Duran closing out every game, dammit. Alas, Pagan is still an option for saves if you’re on the lookout for some.

So this Jason Adam guy? Tampa Bay is notorious for rotating relievers like it’s a square dance or something, and while Andrew Kittredge remains at the top of the pecking order, you might consider Adam as an option after this week: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB , 4 K, 1 SV. That’s 40 K%, 0 BB%, and 22 SwStr%. Not bad, not bad. The question is how many ops he’ll get moving forward.

And also, this John Schreiber guy? Boston’s bullpen is woeful. Hansel Robles remains the best of the bunch, and boy that ain’t saying much. Ryan Brasier was ahead of Schreiber but has earned two losses this past week, while Schreiber is the last Red Sox reliever to earn a save. And he’s yet to allow a run this season. Jake Diekman walks everyone and Matt Barnes is straight trash (apologies for my preseason content in which I pretended like he could regain form if given the chance). One thing Schreiber does not have going for him is strikeouts, but find me a manager who scoffs at a late-inning reliever who doesn’t allow runs. Can’t comfortably say Schreiber will be a mainstay in the 9th right now, but he’s certainly a dude you should be watching very closely.

In the right league, Paul Sewald was a bad mothertrucker this past week. He put up the trifecta: 1 W, 1 SV, 1 HD. Aside from a solo homer, dude was perfect and had 4 K in 3.2 IP. His overall SVHD totals for the year are less than ideal, but I’m still treating him as the best fantasy arm in that pen as long as Ken Giles is on the shelf. And in SHVD leagues, he should remain a better-than-average asset.

last year’s save king, Mark Melancon, is having a difficult time in the desert. Sure, yeah, Melon Sun had a couple saves this week, but it came at the cost of a 23.63 ERA and 3.38 WHIP. Also picked up two Ls. My lord that’s a shit ass week. Didn’t even give you a single strikeout lol. He’s 1st percentile in K% and 2nd percentile in xBA lmaooooooooo. Trash ass dude. You can’t drop him yet cuz he’s still the closer, but I might just go ahead and add Ian Kennedy as a backup option. Oh snap I just went and took my own advice in a Razzball league. And yeah, I realize I just said Statcast doesn’t paint the whole picture and then I go and cite bad Statcast numbers to strengthen my “Melon Sun sucks” argument, but dude really only excels in Barrel%, and I’m not giving Melancon too much credit for that. Not when everything else is as bad as it is.

Dylan Floro has…not looked good since returning from a shoulder injury. Might just be that shoulder ain’t ready. This week’s line left a lot to be desired: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. Woof. Barely a speck of swing-and-miss stuff and obviously a big fat goose egg in the K department. The Marlins pen is quite suddenly very bad. Of all people, Anthony Bass is the most consistent arm back there these days. And to Tanner Scott’s credit, he is sporting a 15.5 K/9 to this point.

Not the sexiest quality from Andrew Kittredge this week, but he did manage 1 W and 1 SV and is a Top 10 RP via the Player Rater.

Daniel Bard has been awesome, but this week he crashed and burned: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Wooooooooof. And breaking my own rule, I’ll point out that last night’s outing (which is excluded from the line I just gave) was both good and bad. Solo HR, bad. Three strikeouts, good.

Jordan Romano was also not good: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 K. He’s on a bit of a downward trajectory over the last couple weeks, but I’m not worried yet.

Liam Hendriks blew two saves this week but at least got his owners a win. The stuff is there, the Ks are there, but he keeps getting hit hard and giving up ding dongs. All signs point to him giving you better results sooner rather than later, but it’s very hard to ignore the amount of hits/runs/homers he’s allowed to this point in the season.

Let’s shift gears and look at your holds daddies for the week. Joey Krehbiel and Ryan Tepera led the way with 3 HD apiece. Wouldn’t go break my legs running to grab Krehbiel, but he may end up being a solid holds source ROS. Tepera is obviously the type of guy who should be owned in all formats that count holds.

Several folks recorded 2 HD this week, but I won’t talk about all of them. I will, however, shout-out Joe Smith for his 37.5 K% and 0 BB%, Zach Jackson for his 6 K in 4.2 IP, and Andrew Chafin for his -0.65 FIP and 5 K in just 2.2 IP.

Also JP Feyereisen and Clay Holmes, who each scored 1 W and 1 HD this week. Fun fact: Holmes currently ranks as the #3 RP on the 5×5 Player Rater, and JPF ranks #5. Can’t really bank on dubs from relievers, but it does go to show that they are trusted in later innings.

I do some fantasy baseball as well as some fantasy hockey here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.

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