Sam Dyson was already in that “own, don’t watch” bucket of sketchy closers.
And soon enough, he might be in a completely different bucket. The Giants are close enough to contention that they can’t live with this mess in the ninth inning. It could be the Last Days of Dyson.
Dyson posted his third blowup in five appearances Thursday, giving a game to the Rockies. Chris Iannetta started the rally with a single — the second time Dyson couldn’t get Iannetta out this week — and D.J. LeMahieu finished things with a mammoth no-doubt home run to left field. Goodbye, baseball. Goodbye, ballgame.
Even the one Dyson save in this recent skid was a rocky one — a white-knuckle conversion Tuesday. Dyson allowed a bloop double and a walk to Iannetta — this is the best week of Iannetta’s season, apparently — and was ultimately saved by a sharply-hit LeMahieu ball that turned into a snappy double play. Everyone exhale.
The Giants have options, even with Hunter Strickland (busted hand) on the shelf. Tony Watson (1.73/0.96) is capable as a closer, and there are other lefties in the bullpen if he’s pulled from the rover role. Reyes Moronta (2.02/1.07) could use better control (19 walks in 35.2 innings), but he’s piling up 10.6 K/9. Mark Melancon has to pitch to contact, but he has the contract of a closer. He’s been skating by (2.61 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) since his return, 11 games ago.
Bruce Bochy is a veteran manager and generally a calm one. He’s not a man to sound alarms and push panic buttons. But Bochy isn’t going to wait forever, either. He knows the season is in the balance. Look for someone else to get a chance to run with this gig. Dyson’s chuck-and-duck style isn’t helping heart rates in San Francisco.
Watson trades at 21 percent. He’s the safest ratio pick. Moronta is just two-percent owned, and that strikeout rate sings to you. Back class has Melancon at 49 percent. He reminds me of Dyson, actually, someone who often needs to get lucky on regular contact.
Blood for saves is real. But that’s so much blood.
— Jesse Unglaub (@jesseunglaub) June 29, 2018
I like that, Jesse. Well played, player.
Place your bets. It’s post time.
Saturday Update, 1:16 AM EST: Lefty Will Smith, having a dynamite comeback season after Tommy John surgery last spring, is also in the mix. He was selected as Friday’s closer at Arizona and posted a rocking-chair inning (10 pitches, two whiffs, 1-2-3). He has to fight the lefty closing bias, but the way he’s pitching this year (mowing down everyone, 1.13/0.71), maybe that doesn’t matter. Smith is four-percent owned in Yahoo.
• Looking at the Royals lineup is like staring at the sun, but maybe Jorge Bonifacio can make things a little better. Bonifacio has been reinstated to the club, having served an 80-game PED suspension. He was ripping the ball (.392/.466/.529) during a 13-game Triple-A tuneup.
Bonifacio was an ordinary stick in his MLB debut last year — .752 OPS, 17 homers in 113 games. That type of pop would get you noticed in some seasons, but not in the Home Run Derby of 2017. Nonetheless, he’s still just 25, and the Royals don’t have anyone slugging over .467. They can use any pop they can get.
If you need to try Bonifacio, he’s available in 99 percent of Yahoo leagues. He waits for your call.
• I’m also curious if Adalberto Mondesi can get anything going with Kansas City. Kid Mondesi has ugly MLB numbers through 81 career games, but there’s a pedigree here — and he’s done some things this week. He homered in the Freddy Peralta game Tuesday — not off Peralta, though he did double off him — and has three steals in his last seven games.
Mondesi had five homers and 10 steals in just 29 Triple-A games, along with a .250/.295/.492 slash. The latter is underwhelming, but we’re always looking for category juice. Like Bonifacio, Mondesi trades at one-percent. It’s a longshot play, a dollar and a dream.
• Although I don’t expect the Athletics to trade the dazzling Blake Treinen — he’s three years from free agency — we should take note of understudy Lou Trivino, who’s doing some lawn mowing of his own. Trivino has a 1.59 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, with 39 whiffs (13 walks) over 34 innings. When Treinen needed a day off in the Detroit series, Trivino recorded a rogue save.
Trivino succeeds like so many effective relievers — straight gas, homey. His fastball sits at 97 mph. Although he doesn’t throw his change and curve much, all of his offerings are plus pitches this year. He’s not a bad pick for ratio smoothing — Oakland’s such a roomy park — and heck, maybe Oakland would move Treinen if the right words were whispered. If Carlos Pena could get moved in Moneyball, anything’s possible.
If you want to heat up with Trivino, the 26-year-old righty is available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues.
— Yahoo Fantasy Sports (@YahooFantasy) June 29, 2018
Ketel Marte (30 percent) isn’t running as much as expected, but he’s at .281 the last month, with five homers and 20 runs scored . . . Derek Dietrich can’t cover you at shortstop, but he plays the other three infield positions, plus outfield. He’s at .294 with 11 homers, not bad, and still kicking about in very shallow formats . . . Enrique Hernandez is a power source and another position-grabber, and he earned the Andy Behrens check mark this week . . . Charlie Culberson is one of Atlanta’s dirt dogs, with three homers, three steals, and a .303 average over the past month . . . Jose Iglesias offers little power, but he’ll hit for a solid average and steal about a base per week.