Fantasy: Show some love for middle, setup men
Middle relievers and setup men don't get much love in most fantasy leagues unless you play in an only format or one that counts holds. Often times, the non-closers can contribute to your teams depending on the setup of your league, especially if K/9 is a category or if you're in a daily league with reserve spots. They could also get some saves for a resting closer or could wind up with the job if the closer gets injured. Here are some to consider who could be available.
Luke Gregerson (Padres): Gregerson was someone I drafted in a few leagues because Heath Bell was a trade candidate if the Padres struggled. That hasn't happened, but Gregerson has put up sick numbers. In 321/3 innings, he has allowed just 12 hits, two walks - one intentional - five earned runs and struck out 39. Three of the runs came in his first appearance. Gregerson, who has a 1.39 ERA and 0.43 WHIP, has baffled hitters with his slider.
Daniel Bard (Red Sox): Bard has two saves, including one this past week with Jonathan Papelbon on the bereavement list. Bard has pitched 322/3 innings and allowed 19 hits, walked 12 and struck out 35. He has a 2.48 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.
Mike Adams (Padres): Adams is part of a terrific San Diego bullpen. Adams has allowed 16 hits and has a 32/9 K/BB ratio in 281/3 innings. He has a 2.54 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.
Evan Meek (Pirates): He could be the closer by the end of the season if Octavio Dotel is dealt. Meek displayed good skills last season except that he walked too many, but he has improved there. He's allowed 21 hits, walked eight and struck out 33 in 352/3 innings for a 0.76 ERA and 0.81 WHIP.
Sean Marshall (Cubs): The bullpen has been a major issue for the Cubs, although Marshall has been one of the few bright spots. The lefthander is 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He has allowed 21 hits, nine walks and struck out 38 in 301/3 innings.
Clay Hensley (Marlins): Hensley has a 2.32 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and has allowed 21 hits, walked 14 and struck out 39 in 31 innings.
Joel Zumaya (Tigers): Zumaya, who has a 1.72 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP, is healthy for the first time in a while and is averaging 99 mph on his fastball. In 311/3 innings, he has allowed 25 hits, walked seven and struck out 31 and has yet to allow a homer.
Hong-Chih Kuo (Dodgers): Kuo has shown good skills, but has struggled with health. He began the season on the disabled list and in 17 innings, he has allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out 21.
Jason Motte (Cardinals): Motte had a streak in which he retired 32 in a row. Motte has allowed 18 hits, walked seven and struck out 26 in 241/3 innings. He has a 2.59 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
All statistics through Thursday.
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