29-Year-Old Pitcher – Oakland Athletics
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
A torn UCL ended O'Flaherty's season in May, leaving the Braves without their top two lefty relievers (the other, of course, being Jonny Venters). Luis Ayala took over as the No. 1 lefty out of the bu...
Eric O'Flaherty Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the A's in January of 2014.
O'Flaherty (elbow) has thrown 10 bullpen sessions to date during his recovery from Tommy John surgery performed in May of 2013, Joe Stiglich of CSN California reports.
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Eric O'Flaherty Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Oakland Athletics Roster
MajorsAbad, Fernando (P)
AAAlcantara, Raul (P)
A+Granier, Drew (P)
ACovey, Dylan (P)
Career Pitcher vs. Batter Stats (View All Matchup Data)
Worst Matchups for Eric O'Flaherty (by OPS against, min 4 AB)
Best Matchups for Eric O'Flaherty (by OPS against, min 4 AB)
Eric O'Flaherty: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
If your fantasy league uses holds as a statistic, O'Flaherty will be one of the best in the league in that category as he is second in that category in all of MLB over the last two seasons. After a fairly mediocre rookie year with the Mariners in 2007, the Braves plucked O'Flaherty off of waivers a year later and he found immediate success in the Atlanta bullpen. In his four years with the team he has a 1.95 ERA in over 230 innings pitched. He has decent strikeout numbers utilizing a fantastic slider, and is excellent at limiting walks. O'Flaherty remains devastating against lefties (.305 OPS against left-handed hitters), but took a step back against right-handed batters last season (.759 OPS against right-handed batters) - which could limit his upside. However, he'll be a key part of the bridge to closer Craig Kimbrel again in 2013.
O'Flaherty showed he could become more than a lefty specialist last season as he became a key setup man in the dominant back end of Atlanta's bullpen. O'Flaherty posted an amazing 0.98 ERA, giving up just three earned runs in 46.1 innings after June 7. While O'Flaherty has always been devastating against lefties (.512 OPS allowed last year and .576 OPS allowed career), he improved significantly against right-handed hitters (.599 OPS allowed with a 42:19 K:BB ratio). His improvement against righties moved him into a full set-up role and he pitched 20 more innings than any previous season. If he can continue to get right-handed batters out, he could be a useful setup man for fantasy purposes even though he'll be behind Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters for save chances.
O'Flaherty was having another strong season as a lefty specialist for the Braves when he came down with mononucleosis in July and only threw 12.2 innings after the All-Star break. Before getting sick, he saw his velocity increase on fastballs (to an average of 92 mph) and he also improved against right-handed hitters (.690 OPS allowed last season compared to a previous .803 OPS career average). Meanwhile, he continued to dominate lefties (.588 OPS allowed). He'll likely be limited to middle relief as a lefty specialist, but his growth last year suggests he could see more high-leverage situations or a move into a setup role. However, he needs to reduce his walks to right-handed batters (17:13 K:BB ratio last season).
O'Flaherty emerged as a effective lefty specialist last season in the Atlanta bullpen and will continue that role in 2010. He held lefties to a .559 OPS with a 24:6 K:BB ratio, but wasn't used in many high-leverage situations with lefty Mike Gonzalez ahead of him in the bullpen. He's also been much worse in his career against righties (.803 OPS allowed), which may limit his role beyond a lefty specialist.
O'Flaherty's career took a swift turn for the worse last season. Named the lefty set-up man out of spring training, O'Flaherty was quickly demoted after getting knocked around the first two weeks of the season. He then made only 15 appearances between Double-A West Tennessee and Triple-A Tacoma before a back injury ended his season. The Braves claimed him off waivers in November after the Mariners decided they'd rather have his 40-man spot free. He'll go to spring training vying for a job in the Atlanta bullpen.
O'Flaherty developed into a dependable long-man for the Mariners last season - in the first half at least. In his first 30.1 innings, O'Flaherty posted a .208 ERA, 0.956 WHIP and .194 BAA in addition to vulturing six wins. Things changed in the second half, though, as Flaherty allowed 19 earned runs in 22 innings (7.77 ERA), his WHIP nearly doubling and his BAA rising to .279. Overall, he still stranded 77 percent of his inherited runners (43 of 56), and he did a great job of keeping the ball in the park - just one home run allowed in 52.1 innings, the third-best rate in the American League. His fantasy value is limited, though, because his wins are fluky and holds are infrequent (six last year).
O'Flaherty made a name for himself last season after an obscure start. In 71.1 minor league innings, he struck out 73 and walked 22, hitting every level from high-A to a late-season call-up. A sixth-round pick in 2003, he throws a sinking fastball in the 89-93 mph range, but it was a much-improved slider to that helped him advance. The left-handed O'Flaherty will contend for a bullpen spot in spring training.