Since the hot topic seems to be bullpen meltdowns, we’re going to start there. Clearly this was the year to make sure you built your bullpen before the end-game, *cough* http://www.baseballsharks.com/publish/Finishing_it_Off_The_Late_Rounds.htm *coughcough*. Week 1 explains why. Now it’s too late to go back and redo the draft, but there are some things you can do try to remedy the problem if you are one of the poor souls that are sitting on less than three closers.
First, do not use roster spots speculating on lousy potential closers. Those roster spots should be used to store players at other positions. If Henry Rodriguez or Hector Santiago are sitting out there then by all means add them. They’ve been pitching well and there are reasons to believe it will continue, so even if they don’t net saves in the long term they will help with your team ratios and strikeout numbers. However, if guys like Fernando Rodney and Franklin Morales are out there, leave them. Neither of them are any good and are more likely to do what Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon did to their owners. Instead, you want to dial up players at other positions because you want to accumulate depth for trading purposes later in the season. Below are some potential targets (available in more than half of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues)
1B – John Mayberry
2B – Jose Altuve
SS – Zack Cozart, Alcides Escobar
3B – Chone Figgins, Ian Stewart, Pedro Alvarez
OF – Lorenzo Cain, JD Martinez, Alex Presley
SP – Matt Harrison, Juan Nicasio, Jonathan Niese, Erik Bedard, Henderson Alvarez, Tom Milone, Jeff Samradzjia
Injuries and ineffectiveness will beset owners along the way. If you have a surplus at a position you become a potential trade partner. If you’re lucky enough that this owner also has an abundance of closers, you have the makings of a deal that solves your closer problems without sacrificing valuable roster space now on guys like Rodney, Morales, Aceves and Melancon.
You might not be in the best situation right now regarding saves and you may not be come the end of the month either, but just keep your head above water and use your roster space wisely. Dividends will pay off, eventually. The baseball season, unlike football, truly is a marathon. You can still win even if you’re hanging in the middle of the pack two miles in. Just be patient.