Eno Sarris

Saves and Steals

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Is the end near for Perez?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tier 5: Rollercoaster rides (5) (AKA: The "Just hot enough to make jumping in the pool appealing" Tier.)

1st Chair: Neftali Feliz, 2nd Chair: Mike Adams, Texas Rangers
1st Chair: Frank Francisco, 2nd Chair: Casey Janssen, Toronto Blue Jays
1st Chair: Chris Perez, 2nd Chair: Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland Indians
1st Chair: Bobby Parnell, 2nd Chair: Jason Isringhausen, New York Mets
1st Chair: Rafael Betancourt, 2nd Chair: Rex Brothers, Colorado Rockies
1st Chair: Jeremy Affeldt, 2nd Chair: Santiago Casilla, San Francisco Giants

  • Frank Francisco is back and healthy after his mini-rehab of pretzel twist, an It's Always Sunny marathon, and a few dips in the pool, so he's good until Jon Rauch returns, and possibly after. Neftali Feliz continues to make it work despite two better relievers breathing down his neck. These guys are relatively safe in a tier full of land mines.

  • Chris Perez, though? Be nervous. Be very nervous. He blew a save on Monday by allowing an unearned run to score, and then for his encore he walked a guy, allowed the tying run to score on a hit, and blew another save on Tuesday. At least he won Tuesday, when his team picked it up against Brandon League. He now has five walks against six strikeouts in his last ten outings, and that's not a good ratio. Vinnie Pestano? He has 15 strikeouts against six walks in the same time frame.

  • Bobby Parnell still doesn't have a save, and yet we list him first. That's because no-one has a save in New York recently. They key for Parnell is his command, and in his last ten outings he has 12 strikeouts against four walks, and that'll work. Hopefully the team will give him a chance to show his stuff in the ninth some time.

  • Rex Brothers got the first save of his career Tuesday night. After a tough start to the month, he's settled down with six straight scoreless innings and a couple holds. He gets tons of swinging strikes, but the key to his success as a future closer is his control. He's been struggling with it his whole career, and he's still walking about five batters per nine. That probably won't work in the majors, so look for improvement before you make a significant investment in Brothers.

  • Watching Jeremy Affeldt pitch to righties makes you want Brian Wilson back real fast. Or at least Sergio Romo, who is due back shortly. Romo should take over the closing duties immediately, as Affeldt has six walks his last six and has looked very shaky on the mound, good ERA or no. Ramon Ramirez blew the game Tuesday night and needs to move further away from the ninth inning. Romo is the mid-term play here.

  • * * * * * * * * * *


    Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers (elbow)
    Jon Rauch, Toronto Blue Jays (appendicitis)
    Huston Street, Colorado Rockies (strained lat)
    Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants (elbow)

  • No news out of Los Angeles or Toronto. Huston Street, though, threw a perfect inning of rehab in Colorado Springs Tuesday night. He reported no pain and should be back by the end of the week. Brian Wilson hasn't yet started throwing, even if his manager thinks he'll be back sooner rather than later.

  • The Deposed:
    Fernando Rodney, Los Angeles
    Ryan Franklin, St. Louis
    Brandon Lyon, Houston
    Matt Thornton, Chicago A.L.
    Vicente Padilla, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee
    David Aardsma, Seattle

  • Can we put Jason Isringhausen on this list already?

  • * * * * * * * * * *

    The Steals Department

  • At this point in the season, it's important to go for it if a category is within reach. Players like Tony Gwynn Jr., and Eric Young Jr. are perfect even for your mixed league team. Ignore the ownership percentages next to their names, and the fact that both players have no power whatsoever. If you can make some hay in the stolen base category, get one of these legacy dudes on your roster. In a perfect world, you'd put them on your bench and play them against bad defensive catchers or in good pitcher matchups. All hands on deck. Fight for the categories that make sense.

  • Take a look at Jordan Schafer and you might not see much to like. He walks at an average rate, strikes out at an average rate, and is showing average batted ball luck… and his batting average is .235. Part of that is a complete lack of power -- which won't go away. But another part of it is the fact that he should be showing better than average luck on batted balls, given his plus speed. In fact, given his mix of line drives, ground balls, fly balls, infield hits, and home runs per fly ball, as many as 5% more of his balls in play should be landing for hits. If his current strikeout rate holds, and his batted ball luck improves, he could hit as well as .260 the rest of the way. We know he has plus-plus wheels, and those play in deep leagues at that batting average. They don't play at .230. In the deepest of leagues, you'll have to take that chance now that he's the everyday center fielder for the Astros.

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    Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
    Email :Eno Sarris

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