Did you know that 11 percent of CBSSports.com leagues use “holds” as a statistic? Adding relievers with SP eligibility is a sneaky good way to pick up additional holds. So often, the RP-eligible starting pitcher is praised and coveted, especially in points leagues, but don’t over look the opposite who can be a significant contributor to your Fantasy Baseball roster.
Folks, it doesn’t stop at holds though, these pitchers can also collect wins, vulture a save and — as long as you’ve got the right ones — they’ll help in strikeouts and stabilizing your ratios. Last season, Brett Myers was the closer in Houston with starting pitching eligibility. When was the last time you got 19 saves out of a starting pitching roster spot? Thus far, in 2013, there aren’t any examples of closers with SP eligibility, but there could be at some point this season, so keep an eye on that, too.
The real significance of being able to slide relievers into SP roster slots is that you’re able to maximize your roster spaces. In a league that has a “holds” category, owners are forever trying to find the perfect balance of roster spots to designate to holds candidates and saves candidates. Having a few relievers who can be slotted into an SP roster slot increases your roster’s flexibility and ultimately gives you an advantage in accumulating holds and other statistics.
2013 Relievers with SP Eligibility
Here are three relievers with SP eligibility that are off to solid starts in 2013:
Drew Smyly, Detroit: The Tigers lefty already has two holds, got the win last night and picked up a save earlier on in the season. He has 17 strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA, to go along with a 1.00 WHIP. He could return to the rotation at some point, but right now, he is contributing out of the bullpen just fine.
Brett Cecil, Toronto: He has yet to give up an earned run on the season and his WHIP is a beautiful 0.86. He just recently clicked in the win column, but doesn’t have a save yet. His 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched go along nicely with his 2 holds.
Brian Matusz, Baltimore: Annually teasing with his potential, the Orange Bird has become a mainstay in the bullpen now and through 7.2 innings he has 8 strikeouts, a win and 3 holds. His 1.17 ERA and 0.52 WHIP are solid ratio stabilizers as well.
Joe Kelly, St. Louis: After being beat out of the rotation by flashy rookie Shelby Miller, Kelly recently notched his first hold on the season. With the Cardinals bullpen searching for answers there is potential for Kelly to carve out a role and improve his weak ratios and add to his strikeout total.
Because starting pitchers only pitch once every five days, you’re always going to have open roster spaces that are getting zeros. When you have relievers with SP eligibility, those roster spots aren’t left idle, but contributing.
I’m a Loyal Leafs, Cubs, and Cowboys fan for decades. I wear the C for The Fake Hockey, in addition to contributing to The Fake Baseball and The Fake Football in more of a Timmy Try Hard role. You can also find my weekly fantasy baseball preview here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.