The Bullpen Call: Reliever Add Options

  • Hi Fantasy Baseball reliever rats, it’s time for another edition of the Bullpen Call. This week, we’ll review new saves adds hot on many waiver wires, hold adds, and WHIP/ERA targets. We’ve seen the impact of matchup-based usage lead to less linear bullpens, so we’re here to help you sort out the priority adds. Let’s call into the bullpen and see what’s in store:

    Saves Adds to Consider

    Scott McGough (ARI, RP)

    McGoutch has ripped off an 11-inning scoreless streak and he was rewarded with a save opportunity that he locked down on Sunday. McGough seemed the primary right-handed option for the Diamondbacks early in the season, but he lost the role after some meltdowns. Andrew Chafin and Miguel Castro haven’t seized the role, and Mcgough finds himself back in the mix. Given the D-Backs are good, McGough could have volume for saves if he gains trust consistently in the 9th. McGough has been a Ks asset out of the bullpen in 2023 with 39ks, a 2.97 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.

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    Kendall Graveman (CWS, RP)

    Liam Hendriks hit the IL with elbow inflammation and Kendall Graveman promptly blew the save in his first opportunity after Liam went down. Graveman still figures to get the majority of looks for the White Sox while Liam is down. Graveman has had some great ERA and WHIP years in the past and has 6 saves with a 2.86 ERA and 0.95 WHIP so far in 2023. He could be a strong saves stream, and who knows how long Liam will be out.

    Justin Lawrence (COL, RP)

    Bud Black mentioned Pierce Johnson is out as closer after Pierce saw his ERA balloon yet again. He mentioned Lawrence and Drew Smith as potential options and Lawrence interestingly got the higher leverage situation in the 9th the following game, earning the win after setting down the order in a tie game. Lawrence already had notched a pair of recent saves before Black announced Johnson out, so we’ll put Lawrence atop the pecking order. Rockies closers can be volatile, but Lawrence is looking like he’ll get a shot at the role. I’d keep Daniel Bard watchlisted. Lawrence has a solid 3.22 ERA, 38ks and a 1.10 WHIP so far in 2023.

    Trevor May/Sam Long (OAK, RPs)

    Someone has to get saves in Oakland, and it looks like Trevor May and Sam Long are the men up on the carousel for now. May and Long each have two saves in the last week. May’s ratios haven’t been good in 2023, evidenced by his 7+ ERA. May showcased success in 2019 while throwing 79 relief innings for the Twins with a 2.94 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Long has faired better so far in 2023 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

    Adbert Alzolay (CHC, RP)

    Mark Leiter Jr. has been perceived as atop the Cubs’ pecking order by many, but this situation hasn’t had enough clarity to be settled. Alzolay went the 9th in his most recent game, but Leiter Jr. faced the tougher part of the order. Alzolay has 3 saves on the year and has great ratios. His ERA sits at 2.10 and his WHIP sits at 0.83. Adbert has value already in standard cat leagues based on his ratios, and he stands to split saves at the minimum it’s looking like. If I need ratios and ancillary saves, Alzolay looks like a solid bet.

    Hunter Harvey (WAS, RP)

    Hunter Harvey has pushed himself into the Nationals closer mix and has been splitting saves with Kyle Finnegan of late. Harvey got the 9th on Sunday with Finnegan getting the 8th in a 4-run game. If Finnegan is going to be the fireman, Harvey figures to get the 9th when Finnegan goes earlier. I’m still speculating that Harvey may gain the Nats closer or fireman role outright, as he seems safer than Finnegan. Harvey has 33ks with a 3.21 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 3 saves so far in 2023.

    Ratio Reducers to Consider (WHIP/ERA Support)

    Chris Devenski, Bryan Abreu, Phil Maton, Dauri Moreta, Erik Swanson, Nick Anderson, Brent Suter, Steven Okert, Tom Cosgrove, Jason Foley

    Holds Options to Consider

    Peter Strzelecki, Jesse Chavez, Carl Edwards Jr., Brooks Raley, Chris Martin, Colin Holderman, Tyler Rogers, Danny Coloumbe, Hector Neris, Justin Topa

    Good luck with the bullpen adds! Let’s win the pen.


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