|Five Relievers to Watch for 2013||Tweet|
|Written by Anatoliy Metter|
|Thursday, 04 October 2012 00:52|
1.) Jason Grilli (Pittsburgh Pirates – RP) – Grilli's last two years of service with the Pittsburgh Pirates should not go unnoticed, and fantasy owners should keep the reliever in mind for their 2013 drafts.
While Grilli's 1-6 record and seven home runs allowed might not have been the most attractive statistics for a fantasy manager to take into consideration, the pitcher finished the 2012 MLB season with more than 30 holds and an almost 4.5:1 K:BB ratio. Grilli's ERA might have risen from his 2011 total, but he also pitched in the most amount of innings that he has seen since the 2008 season.
Grilli's 2012 workload might be a cause for concern, but the reliever looked very comfortable for the past two seasons with the Pirates. Since the reliever was only brought back on a one year contract last year, there will likely be a favorable market for Grilli once free agency begins. Even though the reliever might change uniforms during the offseason, fantasy managers should keep the pitcher on their radar for the 2013 season as he can be a valuable commodity in the late innings.
2.) David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks – RP) – It might be safe to say that a bullpen stint has worked out well for the Arizona Diamondbacks and David Hernandez. Hernandez managed to lower his ERA to below 3.00 this season and eclipsed his previous year's total of 23 holds. Additionally, Hernandez has established himself as one of Arizona's most reliable relievers and could be in line for ninth inning duties if the D-backs decide to buy out J.J Putz.
Hernandez has drawn praise from Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and it wouldn't be all that unlikely to see the reliever take over the closer's role for the 2013 MLB season. Much like Jason Grilli, Hernandez can certainly whiff his fair share of batters as he posted a K/9 that was greater than 12.5.
Fantasy managers should expect Hernandez to continue his dominant pace in whatever role the Diamondbacks have pegged for him in 2013, but shouldn't be surprised to see the young reliever pitch in some meaningful innings for the Diamondbacks in the next couple of years.
3.) Junichi Tazawa (Boston Red Sox – RP) – Baseball fans might not have been familiar with Junichi Tazawa before the 2012 MLB season, but the pitcher has given everyone a reason to remember his name for the upcoming baseball season. Tazawa was one of the few bright spots for the 2012 Boston Red Sox and was extremely effective out of Boston's bullpen.
The reliever's 9:1 K:BB ratio was only one of a few stat lines that raised eyebrows in fantasy circles as Tazawa also recorded an ERA below 1.50 and an WHIP below 1.00. Tazawa's five holds in more than 40 innings pitched might not be all that impressive, but one should consider that all five of the reliever's holds came in the span of one month (September – October).
Not only has Tazawa been extremely stingy when it comes to giving up runs, he has also limited the damage done against him by only allowing one home run this season.
Fantasy managers should expect Tazawa to play a big role in 2013 as he has drawn quite some attention to himself as one of the most consistent relief pitchers in the A.L East.
4.) Ernesto Frieri (Los Angeles Angels – RP) – Ernesto Frieri might not have been a household names for fantasy managers at the beginning of the 2012 season, but he sure will be when the 2013 MLB season rolls around.
Frieri came over to the Angels during an early season trade with the San Diego Padres and hasn't failed to impress since coming to Los Angeles. Even though the reliever finished the season with a saves total in the low 20s, there is little reason to believe that Frieri will regress in 2013.
Frieri illustrated that he has what it takes to close out games for the Angels and could make the team even more dangerous with the help of other relievers such as Jordan Walden and Scott Downs. Fantasy managers should keep a watchful eye on Frieri during their 2013 drafts as the reliever will certainly be a trending reliever, especially in A.L-only formats.
5.) Tom Wilhelmsen (Seattle Mariners – RP) – Tom Wilhelmsen put in a very formidable effort for the Seattle Mariners during the 2012 MLB season. The reliever managed to compile at least 29 saves for the Mariners and was one of Seattle's most reliable options out of the bullpen.
The reliever also appeared in 73 games this year and adjusted quite well to the increased workload in only his second season in the majors. Wilhelmsen is currently under a one-year contract with the Mariners and should see an increase in pay for the 2013 MLB season.
Regardless of the team that Wilhelmsen winds up signing with, fantasy managers should certainly keep the reliever in mind for future drafts, even if he might not be as well known an option as others on this list.
|Last Updated on Friday, 05 October 2012 00:14|