Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Fantasy Baseball Reliever Report: Week 14

As we approach the MLB All-Star Game, Cam takes a look at three relievers who could have made the list, and have certainly produced for their MLB and fantasy baseball teams this season.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 11: David Bednar #51 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the ninth inning during the game against the New York Mets at PNC Park on June 11, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

We are now coming up to the end of the last full week of MLB games before the All-Star Game and the traditional halfway mark of the season. Hopefully your fantasy baseball team has been strong so far.

The game will be played on Tuesday, showing off the game’s best players … for the most part. Every year there is the annual debate about who got snubbed. In the AL, I’d say a leading candidate is Rafael Devers, although he may very well replace the injured Aaron Judge or Mike Trout on the team. On the NL side, Christian Yelich feels like he’s having a nice comeback season with 10 HRs and 20 SBs, to go along with a .286 AVG and 62 runs scored.

There are always pitching snubs as well, and what makes it even more difficult is baseball’s ridiculous rule that every team must be represented. And frankly, if you’re going to have that rule, how can Esteury Ruiz be staying home while Brent Rooker gets the nod for the Oakland A’s? Ruiz is on pace to steal over 80 bases and could hit 100 … he should be on the AL team.

Although All-Star teams are bloated with too many players, there are always those who should be there. Managers have the hardest time with the pitchers because, realistically, starters could each pitch an inning and the game could run without closers, but some relievers deserve to be there. And if a manager wants to emulate a real game as much as possible, he wants a ninth-inning guy pitching in the ninth inning.

This year, the two teams have very deserving relievers as participants. The AL will have Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano of the Orioles, Emmanuel Clase of the Guardians and Kenley Jansen of the Red Sox. The NL will field Alexis Díaz of the Reds, Camilo Doval of the Giants, Devin Williams of the Brewers and Josh Hader of the Padres.

These are all fantastic pitchers…with a special shout out to Cano for making the team while not being a closer. His numbers are astounding, though; in 36 appearances, he is 1-1 with four saves, with a 0.89 WHIP and a 1.51 ERA. Usually, pitchers like this are the ones who get snubbed, but he forced his way in.

However, this year there are three more closers who should be playing in this game but who will be staying home:

David Bednar, Pittsburgh Pirates

For the better part of this season, Bednar was the glue holding this Pirates team together and keeping them afloat. His numbers are remarkable and he’s having a tremendous year. He’s 3-0 with 16 saves and 39 Ks in 33 innings. His WHIP is south of 1.00, at 0.91, and he has a 1.36 ERA.

Carlos Estévez, Los Angeles Angels

If the Angles finally break through and make it to the playoffs, it will be in large part to the huge frame and strong right arm of Estévez. The team started to right the ship when he became their dedicated closer. He’s 2-1 with 21 saves. He’s striking out 11.11/9 IP to go along with a 1.26 WHIP and a 1.85 ERA.

Jordan Romano, Toronto Blue Jays

Romano may be suffering from the sins of the team. The Blue Jays are underachieving, and if the season were to end today, they would be one game out of the playoffs. They have way too much talent to be on the outside looking in. With that said, they’d be in much worse shape if it weren’t for Romano. Although he does have four losses on the year, he has three wins to go along with 25 saves. He’s striking out 11.57/9 IP. His ERA is slightly elevated at 3.03, but he has a very respectable 1.15 WHIP.

Each of these three relievers is more than deserving of an All-Star slot. Realistically a handful of players will bow out with a nagging injury (real or phantom), and one or all of these pitchers will find their way to Seattle on Tuesday, but they’ve pitched well enough to have earned an original slot.