Why is Brandon League ahead of Kenley Jansen for saves?
Fantasy owners remain quite perplexed, but his 2.30 ERA in 28 appearances following his shift to LA, which included a 6-for-6 record on save chances, convinced Ned Colletti that the right-hander deserved to return. After League initially struggled following the uni change, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bullpen overseer Ken Howell found that League's back side and front elbow weren't working in unison during his delivery. Recalibrating those elements gave more punch to his fastball and boosted his performance.
Greinke goes Hollywood
League's 8.89 K/9 in his time as a Dodger only boosted his seasonal figure to 6.75. Maybe his new approach will get him back up to the 9.16 he posted as a setup man in 2009, but for the most part, he's been a grounder-heavy, strikeout-tepid arm. He still walks too many for that approach, too.
Jansen makes this a prime handcuff situation ... sound familiar? His continued problems with arrhythmia ousted him from action late last summer, but he's expected to make a full recovery with proper treatment and rehab.
When both are healthy, Jansen, who holds the record for the highest K/9 posted in a single season (16.10, 2011), easily holds the better closer profile, even with League's newfound effectiveness. However, at least heading into the season, Don Mattingly seems to favor using Jansen's overpowering ability in pre-ninth spots to make things easier on League. That sad reality is what many fantasy drafters of Jansen will face.
But how long will that last? All things equal, Jansen remains one of the top fantasy RPs, merely for his punch-outs. Holds leaguers shouldn't devalue his role, but the standard formatters will have to bide time with his K's while waiting for him to contribute closures. Money means League will start out in the role, but those who place his value higher than a third mixed fireman - and don't pair him with his much better understudy - invite themselves to get burned.
How will Hollywood treat the newer pieces of this rotation?
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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