Last season, I tried a new strategy in my 10 team auction-keeper-roto league.  I picked up a couple of solid middle relievers, namely Sean Marshall and David Robertson.  I went on to win the league, thanks to a strategy designed to maximize pitching totals in an innings-max league.  Between Marshall and Robertson I accumulated 142.3 IP, 10-6, 6 SV, 179K, 1.89 ERA, and a 1.11 WHIP.  They allowed 27 runs between them ALL SEASON!  That line right there would make for a first or second round starter right there.  Here is a look at some of the better middle relievers that might be available in your league (less than 10% owned in Y! leagues) :

1. David Hernandez, Ari - Every single one of this 26 year old's stats are trending in the right direction over the last three seasons.  He should be the go to guy should Putz falter or get injured.  Look for 10 or so saves, a 3.00 ERA, and more than a K per inning. 9% owned.

2. Antonio Bastardo, Phi - As with Hernandez, this guy has improved each year in the bullpen over the past three seasons.  1.15 K/IP is nice, and the opportunity to close, should Papelbon go down might  net a sub 3 ERA and 1.00 WHIP and a handful of saves.

3. Fautino De Los Santos, Oak - This guy had lots of buzz this pre-season, but has been told he will not close immediately.  Should fragile Fuentes' arm fall off and Balfour, who is unproven in the 9th hits a snag in the road, De Los Santos is your man.  He averaged 1.29K/IP last season.  (Watch the last 30 seconds of the following video).

4. Koji Uehara, Tex - With Mike Adams and Joe Nathan aboard, the overlooked Ranger could be the lone Ranger in the bullpen to post a sub 2.00 ERA, sub 1.00 WHIP, and 100 K this year.  I like.

5. Joel Peralta, TB - I like Peralta more than Farnsworth in the Rays bullpen.  He could have the closer job by the end of the year.  With a 2.93 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP last year with a K/IP, he should continue to still be extremely serviceable.

BONUS: Al Albuequerque, Det - I liked this guy last year before an arm injury cost him some time last season and into July this year.  A nice stash on the DL, Al-Al should have some buzz come late June/July if Valverde gets injured and/or Benoit falters.  Hitters swung and missed on 25% of his sliders last year.
 


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