PT TODAY: Pirates, Rockies name closers

Team-by-team playing time allocation charts can be found in our Teamview pages.

National League | American League
 
Pirates | Keone Kela to be closer
Pittsburgh Pirates RP Keone Kela will open the season as the team's closer, according to manager Derek Shelton.   Source: MLB.com - Adam Berry
 
BHQ take: USA Today previously predicted a 60-102 record for PIT, so how many save opportunities will he get? We've upped our percentage of saves with news, but keep in mind he's been injured in three of the past four seasons, and while that 2.12 ERA from 2019 looks real nice, he had a 4.14 xERA. Should Kela open 2020 with a flourish, look for PIT to move him.   —Rick Green
 
Impact: Med
Kela, Keone        
 

 
Cardinals | St. Louis signs Brad Miller
Free-agent INF Brad Miller signed with the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Feb. 12. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.   Source: MLB.com
 
BHQ take: Miller’s main value over the past few years has been his versatility. In 2019, for example, he saw time at five different positions. His defense has never been his calling card, so the chances he will get regular playing time are not great. That said, he has had PX scores of 121 or higher in three of the last four years. Thus, his versatility and pop (13 homers in 154 2019 at bats) make him rosterable in deep fantasy leagues.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Low
Miller, Bradley        
 

 
Pirates | Pittsburgh signs Jarrod Dyson
Free-agent OF Jarrod Dyson signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday, Feb. 12, worth $2 million.   Source: MLB Network - Jon Heyman
 
BHQ take: Make no mistake, the Pirates are getting Dyson for his defense in center and not the .230 BA, 7 HR and 27 RBI he put up in 400 AB in 2019. He did swipe 30 bases in 2019, but fantasy owners need to gauge whether chasing steals is worth the low BA (career .247 BA/.255 xBA).   —Rick Green
 
Impact: Med
Dyson, Jarrod        
 

 
Braves | Cole Hamels will miss opener
Atlanta Braves LHP Cole Hamels (shoulder) suffered a strained left shoulder, and he will not be ready for the start of the season, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The injury isn't expected to be serious, but he'll miss at least three weeks and won't have time to get ready for the season.   Source: The Athletic - David O'Brien
 
BHQ take: Any time there’s news of a pitcher missing time with a shoulder injury it has to be a concern for fantasy owners. That’s even more true when the pitcher is 36 and had shoulder issues in 2019. As we noted in December when Hamels signed with the Braves, Hamels has experienced ups and downs over the past few years. He seemed to have been on track for one of his best seasons before shoulder fatigue ruined his 2019 second half. So while it may be the case that Hamels will be ready sometime in April, fantasy owners should only roster Hamels if they are prepared to take the risk that he will either miss considerable time or will be ineffective. If Hamels does miss extensive time, the Braves have a number of young arms who may be MLB ready, including Ian Anderson, Bryse Wilson, and Kyle Wright. Note, however, none of these options have had success at the MLB level. The Braves have also invited Felix Hernandez to camp, but King Felix hasn’t been an asset since the middle of the last decade.  —Phil Hertz
 
Impact: Med
Hamels, Cole M        
 

 
Rockies | Wade Davis named closer
Colorado Rockies RP Wade Davis was named as the team's closer Tuesday, Feb. 11. Manager Bud Black also stated RP Scott Oberg will serve as the team's primary setup man.  Source: The Athletic - Nick Groke
 
BHQ take: Something of a early announcement surprise given Davis' complete 2019 collapse (8.65 ERA over 43 IP), though perhaps not so much given his $17m contract through this year. Barring a Davis reversal, Oberg, Jairo Diaz and Jake McGee are names also likely to get ninth inning consideration for the Rockies.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Davis, Wade        
Oberg, Scott        
 

 
Dodgers | Brusdar Graterol expected to have big role
The Los Angeles Dodgers feel RP Brusdar Graterol, acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the three-way deal with the Boston Red Sox, will be a big part of their major league bullpen.  Source: USA TODAY Sports - Bob Nightengale
 
BHQ take: Graterol is now a Dodger as part of the re-worked Mookie Betts package. And if he can stay healthy, Graterol has a plus arm and as much if not more upside than anyone in what has been a shaky LA bullpen. The Dodgers may hope that the 21-year-old Graterol can eventually again become a rotation option, but it's not likely to happen in 2020. LA's depth suggests that Graterol's IP will be managed and that he may not be extended early on in his MLB career.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Graterol, Brusdar        
 

 
Padres | San Diego lands Emilio Pagan
The San Diego Padres have agreed to acquire RP Emilio Pagan from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for OF Manuel Margot and C Logan Driscoll Saturday, Feb. 8, according to a source.  Source: The Athletic - Josh Tolentino
 
BHQ take: The addition of Pagan adds to what was already shaping up as a formidable bullpen that now looks lights-out on paper. The Rays' primary closer in 2H 2019, (16 saves), Pagan put together a ridiculous 56/4 K/BB (19% SwK) after June, the only blemish being a big FB tilt. But now with the Padres, his ninth inning chances look limited by the presence of Kirby Yates, who could in turn lose a few opportunities to Pagan. Margot's departure leaves CF wide-open in SD, with all of Wil Myers, Trent Grisham and Franchy Cordero having logged time there in 2019 -- and all of whom have significant questions. More pre-Opening Day moves by the Padres that could change both the OF and bullpen PT% outlook would not be a surprise.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Grisham, Trent        
Cordero, Franchy        
Pagan, Emilio        
Yates, Kirby        
Myers, Wil        
 

 
 
 
American League | National League
 
Rays | Tampa Bay acquires Manuel Margot
The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to acquire OF Manuel Margot and C Logan Driscoll from the San Diego Padres in exchange for RP Emilio Pagan Saturday, Feb. 8, according to a source.  Source: The Athletic - Josh Tolentino
 
BHQ take: The departure of Pagan scrambles the back end of the Tampa bullpen, which as noted earlier this offseason does not lack for arms capable of getting the job done. The most likely outcome is that Nick Anderson or Diego Castillo should move closer to the 25-save upside highlighted in the Baseball Forecaster, with Anderson perhaps holding a slight edge due to his slightly stronger overall skill set. However, one cannot necessarily count on the Rays going the conventional route and save their best pitcher for the ninth inning. In a piece on the trade, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times noted no less than seven potential save candidates, with seemingly the next most serious being left-handers Colin Poche and Jose Alvarado, who has some closing experience but whose health is still a bit of a question mark. But Topkin also mentions Chaz Roe and Oliver Drake, along with Peter Fairbanks, acquired in the trade that sent Nick Solak to Texas. Meanwhile, Margot will enter the season as the Rays' fourth outfielder and could platoon with Kevin Kiermaier. While Kiermaier flipped his splits last season, he still has a .668 OPS vL on his career, more than 100 points lower than Margot's .775. As one also tries to game out who might round out the Rays' bench if they open the season with 13 pitchers, Margot's arrival may put a premium on an ability to fill in at shortstop for Tampa's 26th man. That might be good news for either Daniel Robertson or Joey Wendle, less good news for Michael Brosseau, and probably another strike against Nate Lowe's Opening Day chances as well.   —Kris Olson
 
Impact: High
Drake, Oliver  
Roe, Chaz  
Anderson, Nick  
Poche, Colin  
Castillo, Diego  
Margot, Manuel  
 

 
Rays | Tyler Glasnow on track for spring training
Tampa Bay Rays SP Tyler Glasnow (wrist) has been throwing without issue and is considered to on schedule for the beginning of spring training, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times Friday, Feb. 7.  Source: Tampa Bay Times - Marc Topkin
 
BHQ take: The good news about Glasnow's recovery from a median nerve decompression procedure warrants a slight bump his starts projection, if only as a means to highlight the fact that there have not been any unexpected bumps in the road. But the Rays will no doubt want to continue to proceed cautiously with their prized young arm, given the way the forearm injury derailed his season in 2019. Glasnow is also reportedly working on adding a splitter to his arsenal to pair with his impressive fastball and curveball. The effectiveness of the new offering, along with his health, will be something to monitor during spring training.  —Kris Olson
 
Impact: Low
Glasnow, Tyler       
 

 
Mariners | Taijuan Walker to join Seattle
Free-agent RHP Taijuan Walker agreed to a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, Feb. 12, worth $2 million, according to sources. He can earn an additional $1 million in incentives.   Source: ESPN - Jeff Passan
 
BHQ take: The once and future Mariner is expected to eventually slot into the back end of the SEA rotation. That said, he essentially has missed two full seasons due to elbow and shoulder injuries, throwing just 20 IP over those two, with 1 IP in September as his only appearance of 2019. Before his arm woes, Walker was a solid mid-rotation hurler, not missing enough bats to be dominant, but generally keeping the ball on the ground and maintaining a solid Cmd ratio. Just 27, Walker is clearly young enough to rebound from his injuries, but 1) he'll be shaking off considerable rust, and 2) given his long layoff, SEA is certain to keep his IP count in check. Keep an eye on Walker as a darkhorse rebound candidate, but certainly don't count on him to be effective in 2020.   —Rod Truesdell
 
Impact: Med
Walker, Taijuan        
 

 
Angels | Shohei Ohtani could pitch in May
Los Angeles Angels DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani (elbow) will open the season as the designated hitter, but general manager Billy Eppler stated Tuesday, Feb. 11, that the Angels are targeting a mid-May return for Ohtani on the mound.  Source: The Athletic - Fabian Ardaya
 
BHQ take: We noted in a recent Playing Time Tomorrow piece that Ohtani may not pitch for LAA again until late April, and now it looks like his 2020 mound debut could come even later. This looks like a fluid situation that will need some monitoring -- mirroring the LAA rotation in general.  —Jock Thompson
 
Impact: High
Ohtani, Shohei        

 

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Playing Time Key

The playing time percentage changes at the bottom of most news items correspond to BaseballHQ.com's Teamview pages. The percentages approximate changes in AB, IP and Saves in the following manner:

  • For batters, each 5% of PT% ~ 31 AB (100% total for each position = 618 AB)
  • For pitchers, each 3% of PT% ~ 44 IP (100% total for a team's entire pitching staff)
  • For relievers, each 5% of Svs ~ 2 saves (100% of a team's total = about40 saves)

A complete explanation of BaseballHQ.com's playing time allocations can be found in the article "How the Projections are Created."


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.