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Reliever Stats, Holds, and So Forth: A Proposal

August 3, 2017

TL;DR? Skip to “the proposed solution” section.

A couple days ago I got a long letter from someone re: Mendoza’s rule changes. Frustratingly it was stamped “Not For Publication” and sadly I reconfirmed that. So I can’t print it here.

What I can do is try to respond in general terms and offer an answer to try to give most people 80% of what they want. So here goes:

I get why some people like Holds (I don’t actually).

I totally understand the frustration re: Mendoza wanting to further devalue 8th-inning guys. I actually agree with this part. Making 8th-inning guys unrosterable via Net Saves is a bad idea, because the 8th-inning guy who suddenly becomes the 9th-inning guy is picked up by the first person who sees it on his phone. That’s not Fantasy Baseball.


Mendoza’s target, he says, isn’t the 8th-inning guys: they are collateral damage. His target is the ‘bad closers’. That’s fair enough. Junk closers should not be rewarded.

This issue is made worse by Yahoo not having good reliever stats. That likely won’t change.

The Proposed Solution

1. Category Changes:

–Replace Saves with Net Saves

–Replace Quality Starts with Holds

–Replace K/BB with K

2. Drop the Innings Minimum to 30 from 40

3. Drop the number of active pitching slots from 8 to 5. Add 3 Bench slots.

OK, what would this do?

  1. The move from Saves to Net Saves accomplishes Mendoza’s goal.
  2. Bringing back Holds pleases about half the league.
  3. Switching K/BB to K gives Starting Pitching back most of what it lost by eliminating Quality Starts. Starters get more K than relievers do simply by pitching more innings.
  4. Dropping the number of active pitching slots stops people from hoarding and running mostly relievers.
  5. Elite closers are worth more than other relievers as they should get more K and blow fewer saves.
  6. Dropping the number of pitching slots makes daily decisions more interesting. Just as running “iffy” starters is something to think about, relievers who don’t actually pitch that day hurt more by being ‘blanks’.
  7. To keep people from getting into too much trouble and not being able to make innings, the Minimum comes down. The new minimum asks for basically five starts and three full-time relievers. Streamers and people with good rotations can play for more, but with only five active slots, whatever the heaviest streamers win in K and W is quickly coughed up in Hld and NSV because they didn’t run relievers.

One More Thing

Do write in. Do trust me to edit your note if you don’t want it printed word-for-word. I mean, c’mon. In the Age of Scaramucci, speak your mind.



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