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March
4th
2006
Your Daily Fantasy Rx
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AL Relievers: Day Six
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

American League Relief Pitchers without Positive Draft Value

Quick Key to the tables:
W = Wins.  S = Saves.  ERA = Earned Run Average (ER*9/IP).
WHIP = (Walks + Hits)/IP aka Ratio.  K = Strikeouts.  BB = Bases on Balls aka Walks.
H = Hits.  IP = Innings Pitched.  P = Pitches.  B = Bats.
Age = Player's Age as of October 2, 2005.
4x4 = BA, HR, RBI, and SB in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters in 2005.
5x5 = BA, HR, RBI, SB, and R in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters in 2005.
RAR = Runs Above Replacement in 2005; Adjusted RAR = RAR modified to
consider whether a pitcher qualified as a starter in Scoresheet fantasy baseball .

We ranked players in order from the highest draft value in a 4x4 league to the lowest. As the majority of fantasy leagues allow you to keep anyone traded to the other league, we listed each player in the league where he started the season.


65.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Damaso Marte343.771.7254334545.1
CH White Sox4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 30P:L    B:L014.54.5

I can't fathom why Dave Littlefield wanted Marte back so badly that he moved supersub Rob Mackowiak to the White Sox for the veteran reliever, especially since Marte will break camp as the worst of the six southpaws expected on the final roster. His formerly solid command largely vanished last summer, leading to public squabbles with Ozzie Guillen that almost cost him a post-season berth. Returning to Pittsburgh appears unlikely to prompt his latent dominance to reemerge, rendering Marte effectively useless in fantasy leagues.


66.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
George Sherrill405.211.052471319
SEA Mariners4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 28P:L    B:L00-1.5-1.5

Matt Thornton's lack of options cost Sherrill a roster spot last spring, forcing him to the minors for almost all of the season's first four months until the Ron Villone trade cleared a bullpen slot. Sherrill continued the impressive minor league work that resulted in a 2.38 ERA on a 36:6 K:BB in 22.2 IP with 18 H and 0 HR over 21 G for AAA Tacoma(PCL). Yes, his ERA stunk, but all his peripherals depict a player prepared to emerge as one of the game's more reliable lefty relievers. Rank Sherrill high on your list of Dollar Days options capable of clearing a few bucks of profit with very little risk.


67.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Joel Peralta103.891.2130142834.2
LA Angels4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 29P:R    B:R002.92.9

Lost on waivers to Kansas City immediately following the conclusion of the regular season, Peralta finally received the chance he deserved after several solid minor league seasons. He compiled a 4-1 record, 10 Saves, and a 2.70 ERA on an 18:6 K:BB in 20 IP with 11 H, 0 HR, and a .56 G-F over 19 G for AAA Salt Lake(PCL), then nicely echoed those skills over multiple stints with Los Angeles. Now he seems set to emerge as a key middle reliever for a Royals' relief corps desperate for pitchers with his upside. Exercise some caution here due to his unimpressive repertoire, but if Peralta starts strongly, he could pleasantly surprise gambling owners.


68.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
J.C. Romero403.471.5648395057
MIN Twins4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 29P:L    B:S007.87.8

A December trade to the Angels for minor league infielder Alexi Casilla makes Romero the first established southpaw in Anaheim since swingman Scott Schoeneweis departed after 2003. Since Romero seems to offer his best performances in even-numbered years, the Angels wisely gambled that he'll improve his control once free from an apparently uncomfortable situation in Minnesota. Romero remains a reasonably dominant reliever capable of adding a needed complement to KRod, Shields, and Donnelly, providing the balance needed for the Angels' bullpen to remain among baseball's best.


69.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Juan Dominguez404.221.4645257870.1
TEX Rangers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25P:R    B:R003.111.3

Dominguez spent time with three different affiliates for the third straight year as Texas again failed to find the proper slot for the promising youngster. He registered a 2.63 ERA on a 31:9 K:BB in 37.2 IP with 30 H, 4 HR, and a .90 G-F over 2 GS(15G) for AA Frisco) and also compiled a 4.25 ERA on a 24:10 K:BB in 36 IP with 38 H, 6 HR, and a 1.65 G-F over 7 GS for AAA Oklahoma(PCL). Of course, his big league numbers provide an even better indicator of his correct role as he stumbled to a 4.91 ERA on an 11:10 K:BB in 15.2 relief innings while managing a 4.12 ERA on a 34:15 K:BB in 54.2 IP over 10 GS. Although an unimpressive 1.19 G-F resulted in a high homer rate, Dominguez's command as a starter should secure him a rotation slot this year. He possesses as much chance of making the leap from unproven suspect to established starter than anyone in camp, so spending a reserve round pick in the hope of garnering double-digit wins and acceptable qualitative stats makes a lot of sense.


70.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Franklyn German413.661.6438346359
DET Tigers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 25P:R    B:R006.76.7

German's failure to beat out Fernando Rodney to close in Detroit last summer may lead to his departure from the franchise. Already stuck in middle relief, the addition of Todd Jones and the apparent plan to keep both Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya in the majors squeezes German from both sides of the depth chart. With a career 93:92 KBB in 125 IP, German also hasn't displayed the upside to warrant much more faith from the Tigers. I see no reason to roster him anywhere at this time.


71.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Chris Bootcheck013.381.23841918.2
LA Angels4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 26P:R    B:R0-12.85

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Los Angeles(A) for my comments on Bootcheck.


72.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Aaron Rakers103.291.021131113.2
BAL Orioles4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 28P:R    B:R0-12.22.2

Please refer to our Post-2005 Prospect Review: Baltimore for my comments on Rakers.


73.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Vic Darensbourg102.821.39972422.1
DET Tigers4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 34P:L    B:L0-14.84.8

Compiling a 0.28 ERA on a 32:11 K:BB in 32 IP with 18 H and 0 HR over 45 G for AAA Toledo(IL) certainly earned Darensbourg another look in the majors. Although he dominated few hitters, his overall effectiveness should have earned him more than an NRI with Baltimore. Perhaps he can follow Tim Byrdak's rebirth into a bullpen spot on the Orioles, but barring an unexpected role shift, Darensbourg appears incapable of contributing much positive fantasy value.


74.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Terry Mulholland004.271.3218176159
MIN Twins4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 42P:L    B:R0-12.29.2

Mulholland accidentally signed with Arizona on his way to Sun City, thereby insuring the soon-to-be 43-year-old remains the game's oldest pitcher for the second straight season. He actually looks like a decent fit for the Diamondbacks given their rebuilt infield defense. However, while Mulholland should help Arizona in a limited capacity, his declining command and extremely minimal upside give him zero fantasy value.


75.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Lance Carter114.891.3322156157
TB Devil Rays4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 30P:R    B:R0-1-2.2-2.2

The former All-Star closer pitched his way back to AAA Durham(IL) in July, where he compiled a 5.14 ERA on a 30:12 K:BB in 35 IP with 40 H and 8 HR over 7 GS(8G). Apparently he impressed someone upon his September return since the Dodgers also acquired Carter when dealing for Danys Baez. While he certainly shouldn't see any save opportunities behind Eric Gagne, Baez, and Yhency Brazoban, pitching in Dodger Stadium will mitigate the effects of his sharply sliding strikeout rate and poor ground-fly ratio. I anticipate a slight move into positive value for Carter by year's end.


76.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Lenny DiNardo001.841.231551314.2
BOS Red Sox4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 26P:L    B:L0-156.7

Following a lost 2004 as an injured Rule 5 pick, DiNardo reemerged as a respectable pitcher, compiling a 3.01 Era on a 97:36 K:BB in 110.2 IP with 110 H, 7 HR, and a 3.27 G-F over 22 GS(23G) for AAA Pawtucket(IL). His continued success during a few brief stints with the Red Sox at least places him at the front of the Pawtucket-Boston shuttle if not securing him a permanent bullpen slot. While a positive fantasy value in 2006 looks uncertain, DiNardo appears perfectly capable of developing into a very solid relief option over the next couple of years.


77.WSERAWHIPKBBHIP
Jeff Nelson113.931.4734223236.2
SEA Mariners4x45x5RARAdj. RAR
Age: 38P:R    B:R0-133

Returning to Seattle unsurprisingly proved fortuitous for the veteran right-hander as he kept his ERA under 4.00 despite unimpressive skills by facing few left-handers. Nelson simply no longer looks like a particularly good pitcher. Perhaps his minor league deal with the Cardinals will extended his career, but at the very least he certainly merits little more than the briefest attention from fantasy franchises.


American League Reliever Reviews continue tomorrow.


Today's Fantasy Rx: Juan Dominguez stands out from this group of middle relievers as the only pitcher with significant fantasy potential. While pitching for Texas obviously limits his immediate upside, his overall skill set hints at a very solid future. Of course, look to Sherrill, Romero, DiNardo, and possibly Carter for safer 2006 options.


Click here to read the previous article.

Please e-mail your comments to tim@rotohelp.com.
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