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TGIF: How Do You Spell Relief?

In a fantasy league with a larger than life format (like the SoB’s 12×12 league), you have to take a second look at relief pitchers. Sure, in a standard 5×5 league where closers get the valuable saves, the 9th inning man is a key asset. However, if you have more than the standard five pitching categories, then maybe closers will not be your thing. In fact, you will most likely just do away with relievers all together.

If you are like me (as you should be since more people like me are needed in the world), then having closers is considered a waste in a 12×12 format. However, due to recent problems with certain starting pitchers, I have decided to take a popular route in the fantasy world which is to pick up a couple of very good middle relief pitchers to lower my ERA and boost my K totals. In reality, two elite non-closing relievers can be just as good as a starting pitcher that you take in the middle rounds of your draft.

Here are some worthy relievers to search for in your free agent pool. These are their numbers coming into Thursday’s games.

  • Kiko Calero, Florida Marlins: 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 27 K
  • Andrew Bailey, Oakland A’s: 25.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 31 K (gave up 2 ER Thursday night, but still good)
  • Hideki Okajima, Boston Red Sox: 19.0 IP, 2.84 ERA, 22 K (hasn’t given up a run since 4/25)
  • J.P Howell, Tampa Bay Rays: 20.1 IP, 2.21 ERA. 22 K
  • Alfredo Aceves, New York Yankees: 10.1 IP, 1.74 ERA, 11 K (3.1 IP, 0 ER Thursday night)
  • David Aardsma, Seattle Mariners: 19.2 IP, 1.37 ERA, 20 K (5/5 in save opportunities)
  • Mark DiFelice, Milwaukee Brewers: 19.0 IP, 1.42 ERA, 18 K

I personally do not condone closers in a large format league, but I am definitely on board with packing my RP slots with quality middle relievers. Any combination of those three pitchers above are outperforming over-hyped guys like A.J. Burnett, Ted Lilly, and Brett Myers. Just think, you could have saved valuable draft usage by skipping overrated starters like that and just found greener pastures in the free agent pool. Oh well, lesson learned.

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4 comments for “TGIF: How Do You Spell Relief?”

  1. TGIF: How Do You Spell Relief?: In a fantasy league with a larger than life format (like the SoB’s 12&#215..

    Posted by Sports of Boston | May 22, 2009, 5:41 am
  2. MY KIKO!!!

    Posted by Dan | May 22, 2009, 1:49 pm
  3. Are any of these next-in-line for the closer’s role in case the closer of their respective team goes down?

    Posted by Lokesh | June 3, 2009, 4:53 am
  4. It is hard to say.

    Andrew Bailey has 3 saves, but Brad Ziegler is still the “official” closer and he only has 5 himself. It seems to be a committee situation in Oakland.

    Kiko Calero has a good ERA and for some reason Matt Lindstrom and his 5.82 ERA are still the 9th inning man. If Lindstrom keeps failing, then he may be removed from the role and either Kiko or Dan Meyer could step in.

    J.P Howell and teammate Lance Cormier have the best ERA’s in the Rays’ bullpen by far. However, Randy Choate has gotten the last 2 save opportunities since Troy Percival went to the DL.

    …and finally, David Aardsma is now the official closer in Seattle after Brandon Morrow proved he couldn’t handle it.

    Posted by Pete | June 5, 2009, 1:04 am

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