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2013 Fantasy Baseball, Week 13 NL-Only Deep League Pitching Options

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With so much attention focused on the “masses” in fantasy baseball who play in shallow 10 and 12 team mixed leagues, owners in deep leagues (18 and 20 team mixed) and the “Only” leagues are usually scrounging for information. This week we are focusing our efforts on NL-Only. Let’s take a look at playing time that could become available and guys to trade for if they are owned.

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Adam Ottavino: Long Relief Pitcher: Colorado Rockies: Once again, another perfect example of a failed starting pitching prospect turned into a successful and dominant long relief pitcher. The list is incredibly long in just the last year and a half; Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar, Tommy Hunter, Brett Cecil, Alex Torres and more. Ottavino is a twenty-seven-year-old righty with a chronic platoon split. For his career, Ottavino has a .369 wOBA (weighted on base average) against lefties and a .297 wOBA against righties. His peripherals paint an even better picture.

Split K/9 BB/9 K% BB% AVG BABIP xFIP
Vs. L 6.95 5.01 16.2% 11.7% .308 .360 4.25
Vs. R 9.58 2.89 25.7% 7.7% .230 .283 3.31

 

Ottavino has been incredible this season, sitting with a 1.94 ERA and excellent peripherals. He has a .208 wOBA against righties and .360 against lefties, and unprecedentedly high difference. One would argue that given his huge split, Ottavino is in line for a lot of ERA regression. Obviously he’s going to be in line for some regression, but he can definitely end up with a 2.50 ERA and in long relief for a terrible Rockies pitching staff, he’s definitely in line for plenty of vulture wins. He’s currently on pace to throw 100 innings, which is extremely valuable on any team, especially in NL-Only Rotisserie formats. If he’s owned, go get him, if not, get him on waivers.

Alfredo Simon: Long Relief Pitcher: Cincinnati Reds: Once again, another perfect example of a failed starting pitching prospect turned into a dominant long reliver. Simon is strangely enough having the best season of his career (well if you believe in wins). Simon has five vulture wins already, which hilariously ties his career high for a single season (in one league) when in 2007 he went 5-10 in 22 starts over 119 innings for the Rangers in Triple-A. Simon is in the midst of his second straight season with an ERA under 3.30. Simon’s peripherals have been excellent over the past year and a half, finally showing an ability to keep his home run per fly ball rate under 7 percent over that span. Let’s look at Simon’s peripherals the past two seasons.

Year Innings Pitched K% BB% HR/9 HR/FB%
2012 61.0 19.3% 8.2% 0.30 4.3%
2013 41.0 20.8% 6.9% 0.66 6.3%
Career 286.1 17.5% 8.0% 1.23 12.4%

 

Simon also has a career O-Swing% of 27.6 percent and his 2013 number comes in at 34.3 percent. His swinging strike rate is also at a career high. Simon is a great target in NL-Only, as he’s on pace for 82 innings and 10 wins.

Tom Gorzelanny: Soon to be Starting Pitcher: Milwaukee Brewers: Let’s face it, if you’re in an NL-Only league, any starting pitcher with a pulse has value. Well, except for recently recalled Brewers pitcher Johnny Hellweg (who starts Friday in place of the recently injured Alfredo Figaro). Hellweg is one of the worst possible starting pitcher options the Brewers have, and that’s saying a lot. Hellweg did such an amazing job in Double-A for the Angels in 2012, and the Brewers in 2012 (he was part of the Greinke trade) that he was called up to Triple-A by the Brewers this year.

He’s been excellent with an ERA of 3.38 in 119.2 innings for the Angels Double-A squad, posting a 2.70 ERA in 20.0 innings with the Brewers Double-A squad in 2012, and then posting a 2.82 ERA in 76.2 innings for the Brewers Triple-A team this year.

Well, except for the whole idea that pitchers are supposed to rack up strikeouts while minimizing walks. Here’s the numbers this “ERA wonderboy” has put up.

Year Innings K/9 BB/9 K% BB% ERA
2012 (Double-A LAA) 119.2 6.62 4.51 17.3% 11.8% 3.38
2012 (Double-A MIL) 20.0 7.65 6.75 19.3% 17.1% 2.70
2013 (Triple-A MIL) 76.2 5.87 5.17 15.5% 13.6% 2.82

 

Let’s just say a Hellweg blowup is as inevitable as the calendar turning to July after June 30th.

While Gorzelanny isn’t a sexy option, he has posted a 2.41 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 33.2 innings in the bullpen. Let’s not forget, he used to be a starter, and his 31:17 K:BB is at least not as horrendous as Hellweg’s.

More options:

Vin Mazzaro: Relief Pitcher: Pittsburgh Pirates: Once again, another failed starting pitcher prospect succeeding as a long relief pitcher. In 34.1 innings, Mazzaro has a 2.88 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Sure, the ERA is coming up, but he has four vulture wins, and that holds value in deep NL-Only.

Paco Rodriguez: Relief Pitcher: Los Angeles Dodgers: The left hander recorded his first save on June 25th this month. He seems the next in line to get the job should Kenley Jansen get injured. Rodriguez also has a 2.93 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 27.2 innings this season.

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