Mixed Feelings

I came across a story today regarding Houston Astros’ pitcher Ryan Pressly sticking up for Roberto Osuna. You can read the story here.
For those who are unaware Osuna was suspended this season under the leagues domestic violence policy.

During Monday’s ALDS game 3 a Cleveland Indians fan was heckling Osuna in regards to his suspension and teammate Pressly came to his defense. Now, on one hand I am all about a teammate sticking up for another teammate, but on the other hand sticking up for someone who is believed to hit women is not something I am for.

As I read through the story I started off feeling like Pressly did the right thing, but as I kept going those feelings changed. I am still at this moment very torn. In the end I am landing on Pressly doing the wrong thing. Why you may ask? Because sticking up for a teammate is one thing, but insulting the fan who clearly wasn’t pleased with Osuna’s off the field behavior is another. Using profanity towards the fan is unacceptable to me and if Osuna can’t take the heckling he should have kept his hands to himself.

Would love to hear your opinion on the matter, comment below.

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Say Goodbye to Brad Ziegler

Today Brad Ziegler announced his retirement from baseball. Ziegler played 11 season in the big leagues for multiples teams, but today I am asking myself will anyone remember him five years from now?

This is not a knock on Brad Ziegler, it is more of a statement on relievers and their placeziegler in history. Now some may remember Ziegler as that guy who had a weird delivery or because of his unique last name, but other than that will he have a lasting place in your mind?

Relievers in general are not memorable. They serve a purpose eating up innings in the mid to late innings of a game, but most of them are in the bullpen because they are not all that special. Most relievers will not be remembered five years after retirement, not just Brad Ziegler.

In addition to pointing out how irrelevant relievers are this should also show us how truly special guys like Mariano Rivera, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman or Troy Percival are. Each of which were special players who are going to remembered long after they say good bye to the game.

So, good bye Brad Ziegler and good luck in whatever your future holds. Sorry I won’t remember you in five years, but that’s the life of a reliever.

Need an SP, Look to Andrew Triggs

andrew triggsIt is almost crunch time for fantasy baseball leagues around the world. Many playoffs have started or will start soon and roto leagues are preparing for the home stretch. Now more than every you have to scour the waiver wire to find that diamond in the rough to keep your team in contention. If you are one of those unfortunate teams that recently lost a starting pitcher you’re probably looking at the available options thinking there has to be something better than these guys. Good news, there is.

One of the statistics that I pay close attention to in evaluating a starting pitcher is his FIP. For those of you who may not know FIP is Fielding Independent Pitching. Basically it is a measure of a pitcher’s effectiveness that doesn’t penalize or promote a pitcher based on the defense behind him. When evaluating a pitcher, I look at his FIP in relation to his ERA. If the FIP is significantly lower than his ERA, 1.0 or more, and his FIP is at a level that would be a better than usable ERA then you may have found an under-performer. Currently there are 68 starting pitchers who have a FIP that is at least 1.0 lower than their ERA. Many of these pitchers are still worthless as their FIP is in the 4.0+ range and well above league average or they are already owned in too many leagues to be available to add. There is one however that has a sub-4.0 FIP and is only owned in 4% of leagues. That pitcher is Oakland righty Andrew Triggs.

Triggs is 27 years old and made his MLB debut in April of this year, so if you never heard of him your probably not alone. If you just look at his basic stat line you likely won’t be impressed, 4.38 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a 0-1 record for 2016. However, if you dig deeper there are some promising signs that could make him an intriguing add in deeper mixed leagues.

As a minor leaguer Triggs had a career 2.09 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 over five seasons. He has a low walk rate at 2.1 walks per nine, including his MLB innings, and a 0.2 HR/9. Currently in the majors he sports a 3.31 FIP which tells me he has been pitching well, but the Oakland defense has let him down on occasion. That assumption is backed up by his 8.4 K/9, 0.7 HR/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in his 49.1 innings with the big league club.
Being that the bulk of his time with the A’s this season have been in a relief role the stat line doesn’t tell the whole story. As a starter Triggs has only five earned runs in 19.2 innings. Most recently he pitched six, three hit, shutout innings against Cleveland. Over his past 12 games, which includes all five of his starts and a total of 31.1 innings he has a 2.30 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 28 strikeouts to 8 walks. Even better in his last three appearances, all since he became a regular part of the rotation, he has a 2.30 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 12 Ks to 1 BB.

Is Triggs and ace? No. He is, however, a great late season add to help you maintain your lead or gain ground on your competition if you are in need of a starting pitcher because you lost John Lackey, Steven Matz or Stephen Strasburg.