2012 Positional Review – Relief Pitchers: Misses
Now that the 2012 season is over, it’s time to review how my predictions went for each position in fantasy baseball. To that end, I will review my top-10 at each position and give a brief rundown on how each of the ten performed. I’ll also list which player was a “Hit” (someone who lived up to expectations) as well as a “Miss” (the player who simply failed to impress).
Note: All of these rankings are taken from the 2012 BASEBALLGUYS DRAFT GUIDE
For more on the Draft Guide you can click on the link.
For an update on what you missed in the Draft Guide, click on the link.
Things will work a little differently for the pitchers. Instead of a review of the top-10 I’ll detail a series of “Hits” and “Misses” for starters and relievers
RELIEF PITCHER: MISSES
Do I really have to do this? I'm going to look like a buffoon listing all the misses. At least misery has some company here as pretty much every other preseason rankings list you will look at will be filled with just as many, more if I may be fair, misses as injuries an ineffectiveness killed the position this year. Never seen anything like it actually.
Players who were injured:
(#4) Mariano Rivera (#7) Brian Wilson (#9) Andrew Bailey (#10) Sergio Santos (#13) Drew Storen (#25) Kyle Farnsworth
This group of arms threw a total of 88 innings in 2012. Last year that six-some saved a total of 202 games, an average of 34 per man. This year they totaled 18 saves.
Just plain misses:
Heath Bell (#8): I should have listened to myself when I was ranking relievers. Here is a direct quote from my Player Profile for Heath Bell writing on December 19, 2011. “Did the Marlins solidify the 9th inning or did they add a slightly overweight, skill deteriorating righty who might be a mighty expensive setup man by the end of the contract?... there are enough cracks in the armor here that you should be wary of Bell having yet another stupendous season... but his days as an elite closer are likely much closer to the end of the story than the introduction.” Shame on me for not trusting, well, myself.
Brandon League (#14): He lost his closing job with the Mariners and was eventually dealt to the Dodgers as he fell from 37 saves to a mere 15. His walk rate exploded causing his K/BB ratio to fall from 4.50 in '11 to 1.64 in '12, and that was a huge reason his effort tanked, not to mention that his GB/FB ratio, while damn impressive at 2.19, was well below his 2.80 career rate. Looks like the Dodgers are planning on him being their closer after giving him more than $22 million for three years. Sorry Kenley Jansen, who apparently has lost the gig despite being the second most dominating pitcher in baseball the past two years (Craig Kimbrel).
Jordan Walden (#19): The Angels always have a strong closer, so it was fair to think Walden would fill that role given that he saved 32 games in 34 chances in 2011. Walden finished 2012 with one save as he never rebounded from a slow start an injury. His 11.08 K/9 mark was impressive and he actually upped his K/BB ratio from 2.58 to 2.67 despite his failings in 2012. By the by, Ernesto Frieri was the dominating Angels' arm as he had 23 saves, a 2.32 ERA, 0.98 WHIP an a 13.36 K/9 mark over 66 innings (11.2 of those innings were with the Padres).
Jim Johnson (#32): The major league leader with 51 saves, only the thirteenth 50-save season in baseball history. I can rest comfortably knowing no other expert worth a salt had Johnson ranked much higher than I did. Johnson actually had three year lows in K/9 (5.37) and K/BB (2.73), but thanks to some luck and a massive 2.93 GB/FB ratio he just got batters out. Don't expect a repeat in 2013.
Mark Melancon (#40): Ghastly. Putrid. Pathetic. Choose your adjective. Melancon was hideous in April allowing five homers and 11 runs in his first four outings (49.50 ERA, 6.00 WHIP). He actually pitched better later in the year posting 28 Ks an a 1.18 WHIP over his last 29.2 innings, but the damage was already done. At least I was right about Alfredo Aceves (see his multiple blow ups, 10 loses and eight blown saves).
Rafael Soriano (#59): I was the conductor of the David Robertson train this year, and he performed very well (2.67 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 12.02 K/9). After Rivera was hurt Robertson was installed as the Yankees' closer. Unfortunately, an injury then also struck Robertson opening up the door for Soriano. Rafael not only stayed healthy throwing 67.2 innings, he also performed as if he was channeling Rivera with a 2.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 42 saves in 46 chances. If only Robertson hadn't gotten hurt...
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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