I have done this before. The trick is to identify which starting pitcher to trade. Just don't trade Cole Hamels for any set up man. If you do, he will hunt down the set up man and kill him, rendering your recently acquired set up man worthless.
It's a not uncommon strategy to use relievers to help control ratios. If you count holds, that makes your setup men even more valuable, as well as if you count things like K/BB and K/9. However, even in standard 5x5, often it is better to carry elite relievers over some of the WW garbage starters who are out there.
bigh0rt wrote:It's a not uncommon strategy to use relievers to help control ratios. If you count holds, that makes your setup men even more valuable, as well as if you count things like K/BB and K/9. However, even in standard 5x5, often it is better to carry elite relievers over some of the WW garbage starters who are out there.
Right on it as usual h0rt. Also, some of those guys might convert into closers or even starters. Rodney, for example, is worth having for vulture wins as well as his potential to step into the closer's role. Liriano, obviously, would have been a good reliever to have due to his potential as a starter.
The best example of a guy who fits the mold of this topic over the past few seasons has been Shields. Great for vulture wins, occasional save ops, extra K's and good rate numbers. Rodney, Cassidy, and Saito are all in the same boat this year, but Rafael Soriano might be the best guy to target right now. Only one win and one save, but he's been amazing in all other categories. He's bound to get a few more vulture wins this year, and possibly some save ops if Putz or Guardado lose their jobs.
Is there anything fluffier than a cloud? If there is, I don't want to know about it.
My team counts holds so Middle relief is just as important as closers... If anything, that makes the "sure thing" middle relievers more of value than closers because there are so fewer of them. It's just a harder role to predict results for because guys come and go in that role a lot. That's why I grabbed Scott Shields very fast because I knew (unless injured) he'd either be a top holds guy, or if K-Rod went down, he'd close... I tend to pick MR guys for good teams, because there's more chance at holds and vulture wins. I also look for high K per inning stats, and I especially like a specialty lefty, who's brought in to just get a few lefties out and leave... It's the middle relief guys who throw 2 or 3 inning who are more likely to get shelled.
In the end though, SPs are going to throw the majority of the innings in a season, so they're the biggest determinant in ERA and WHIP. If your SPs suck and have bad ERA and whips, a good relief staff isn't going to pitch enough innings to make up much ground.
I do this quite often in roto leagues with a max ip. If there's not a SP that I'm comfortable using I'll pick up a guy from the following list:
Shields, Wainwright, Betancourt, Soriano, Linebrink, Rincon.
I've looked carefully at all 6 of those guys and their ratios (all at least close to a 3-1 k/bb ratio if not better with k/9 at least in the ballpark of 8 if not better with at least a decent hr/9) and am comfortable sending them out there in any league I need the quality ip.