Here are the July Rankings. Players are ranked for the remainder of the season based on how I believe they’ll perform in 5x5 leagues. Players are also listed at the positions where they’re most valuable, so if you don’t see that third baseman you’re looking for, he’s probably listed at second or short.
Relief pitcher Rankings
|8||Koji Uehara||Red Sox||5||10||8|
|21||Casey Janssen||Blue Jays||25||22||20|
|23||Jenrry Mejia||Mets||105 SP||108 SP||21|
|32||Neil Ramirez||Cubs||285 SP||NR||57|
|34||Zach Putnam||White Sox||NR||NR||NR|
|41||Jake Petricka||White Sox||180||NR||59|
|44||Javy Guerra||White Sox||271||NR||NR|
|53||Junichi Tazawa||Red Sox||41||47||48|
|60||Juan Carlos Oviedo||Rays||170||NR||66|
|65||Andrew Miller||Red Sox||89||NR||71|
|67||Nate Jones||White Sox||23||74||69|
|73||Daniel Webb||White Sox||40||36||33|
|78||Ronald Belisario||White Sox||181||NR||34|
|79||Justin De Fratus||Phillies||113||NR||NR|
|81||Edward Mujica||Red Sox||49||77||81|
|82||Aaron Loup||Blue Jays||60||76||72|
Dropping off: Nick Vincent (58th), Brett Cecil (68th), Aaron Barrett (74th), David Carpenter (75th), Brandon Kintzler (77th), Jordan Walden (80th), Shawn Kelley (82nd)
- Giving up a game-tying homer to Brandon Phillips on Saturday cost Romo his job, even though he’s seventh in the majors with 22 saves. His velocity is unchanged from the last couple of years, but he just hasn’t been locating his slider like he usually does. I think that’s a problem he can recover from, but given his lefty-righty splits, he’s always made more sense as a setup man than as a closer anyway. The Giants might be better off with Casilla in the ninth for the rest of the year. Right now, they’re saying he’ll share chances with Affeldt, but I don’t expect that to last. Romo remains in the top 30 based on the likelihood that he’ll get another chance regardless of how Casilla performs.
- In last week’s column, I suggested a Frieri-for-Street trade between the Angels and Padres. Which was kind of close, right? Instead, Frieri went to Pittsburgh for Grilli, which I think did more for Grilli’s value than Frieri’s. I don’t know that Grilli will outpitch Joe Smith over the rest of the year, but if I’m Mike Scioscia, I’d rather have Smith coming into favorable situations in the eighth than being saved for the ninth, regardless of how many lefties are due up. As for Frieri vs. Melancon, it would make sense for the Pirates financially to plug Frieri into the ninth and try to keep Melancon’s arbitration value down. But I don’t think they’ll go that route unless Melancon gives them reason to do so, and Melancon hasn’t shown any sign of faltering.
- I ordered the White Sox relievers Putnam, Petricka and Guerra, with the rehabbing Nate Jones a distant fourth. Ideally, Jones would come back and secure the closer gig in August, but that’s probably something of a long shot. When it comes to talent, I still think Petricka and Webb are the best of the healthy relievers. Still, there’s no denying how effective Putnam had been in his eighth-inning role, making him the favorite for saves at the moment. And I still suspect that Guerra could factor in, even though he has the weakest stuff of the group. If it were my call, I’d try Guerra in the ninth with the lead and let Petricka and Putnam continue to do the heavy lifting working in setup roles and tie games.