Coming into the 2013 fantasy baseball season, there are less than 15 pitchers, in my estimation, that have a firm grip on their closer job. That is it, 15. 15 closers to go around among the 10 or 12 teams in your league. Beyond those 15, it’s time to get creative and speculative. Despite pitching for one of the worst teams in MLB, Jose Veras is quietly one of the best relief pitching values coming into the season.
Despite easily being the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros yielded 50 save opportunities for their relief pitchers in 2012. The Astros were able to convert on just 31 of those chances, with Brett Myers leading the way with 19 saves. While I don’t expect Houston to be significantly better in 2013, I do expect some improvement, and I expect a few more save chances for their new closer, Veras. Even though the Astros will not win many games, you cannot afford to overlook the save opportunities they bring, even if they are minimal.
Jose Veras throws extremely hard and strikes a lot of guys out. Would I call him an elite level talent? Absolutely not, but does he have a job right now, yes. I don’t think that Veras is immune to losing his job, but I do think that the Astros are fairly confident in him, and that he is going to get the majority of the save chances in 2013.
While Jose Veras and the Houston Astros are nothing special, it is a mistake to overlook them in 2013. Fantasy baseball isn’t about looking pretty; it’s about getting the stats. Veras will turn in 30 saves this year, it can be for you or someone else who stumbles upon him on the waiver wire. Your choice.
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