Articles by Clay Link

A listing of all the articles written by Clay Link for the RotoWire Blog.

King of the Dish: 14-team Auction Review

Draft season is flying by.

On Wednesday, I took part in my seventh draft/auction of the season. Only two more to go.

Wednesday’s auction was perhaps the most interesting one I’ve taken part in so far this spring. Put on by the kind folks at SportsVault, King of the Dish is a 14-team, 5×5 mixed rotisserie league that uses OBP instead of average and saves-plus-holds instead of saves. Each roster consists of 23 active players (14 hitters, nine pitchers), including two catchers, and three bench spots. Each owners had $300 to spend in the auction to fill those 26 spots.

Nine Pitchers Who Could Reach 20 Holds

Hold the phone.

You’re telling me more people are incorporating holds into their fantasy leagues? It sure seems that way, whether it’s as a standalone category or as saves-plus-holds, rather than just saves. I’ve come around to the stat myself.

Counting holds adds another wrinkle and element of strategy to fantasy baseball. Holds make monitoring back-end bullpen battles a lot of fun, and in saves-plus-holds leagues especially, auctions and drafts play out much differently. Owners are typically hesitant to spend much on closers in that format, and rightfully so, meaning there is more being spent elsewhere. While closers generally rack up more saves than the top setup guys, holds are far more plentiful around the league and rather easy to find on the waiver wire. That said, pinpointing the premiere holds contributors can separate you from the pack.

The Thom Brennaman Blues

“Boy oh boy, Cowboy…”

So says Thom Brennaman to “Cowboy” Jeff Brantley when things just aren’t going right for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are my team, but I can’t help but laugh in many of these instances, simply at Brennaman’s sheer disgust with what’s going on on the field. As many know, Thom wears his heart on his sleeve, to say the least. I remember fondly a particular David Holmberg start last year against the Braves — it was August 21.

Holmberg looked generally awful, giving up a home run to Andrelton Simmons in the first and then issuing three walks — including one with the bases loaded — in a five-run second inning. As each run for Atlanta crossed the plate, Thom grew increasingly repulsed and eventually apathetic to what was going on. Before long, he was (almost) completely ignoring the action and droning on about other things, solemnly tossing it to Jim Day in the stands when he felt like it and randomly offering up lunches with his dad for charity. “Who wants to eat lunch with a Hall of Famer?”

Punt Saves In Only Leagues

The save may be the the scarcest statistic in fantasy baseball, but the closer position is also the most volatile in the game.

So, what’s the point of spending big on that scarcity if it’s largely negated by the turnover at the position?

In “only” leagues — NL-only or AL-only — that scarcity is magnified, leading to great inflation in auctions and drafts. I got to see this again first-hand Wednesday night, as I was invited to rep RotoWire in the Triple Crown NL league, put on by the kind folks at eXpertLeagues.com. It is a 12-team, 5×5 rotisserie league with each active roster consisting of 14 hitters (including two catchers) and nine pitchers. Each owner had $264 to spend in the auction to fill the 23 active spots as well as four bench spots.

Kris Bryant Stays Hot And Other Notes From Saturday

With two more home runs Saturday, Kris Bryant now has six long balls in 20 spring at-bats.

No player hit more than six homers last spring. The four players that hit six last year; Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, Luis Valbuena and Chris Heisey. Bryant came into Saturday’s game nursing some shoulder fatigue and didn’t even start, which makes his feat all the more impressive. The 23-year-old expects to be able to return to the hot corner Sunday, after coming off the bench and serving as the designated hitter in Saturday’s exhibition.