I’m going to keep this one short today, but while doing my rankings for next year I came across one of the most intriguing players of 2018. We have seen guys like Archie Bradley, Andrew Miller and Zach Britton go from “failed” starters to elite bullpen arms, and I think Joe Musgrove could be the next one of these “failed” starters to become a known commodity out of the bullpen. There is no doubt that he has had a rough season as a he owns a 6.12 ERA and a 4.37 FIP as a starter. His struggles as a starter has a lot to do with opposing batters hitting .300 and averaging 1.8 home runs per nine innings. Now, you may be asking yourself why I am covering someone with such terrible stats. Well it’s because he may have failed as a starter, but he looks great as a reliever. When he faces opposing batters the first time through the lineup he owns a 3.12 ERA and a 3.07 FIP, and that is due to his 9.0 K/9, 0.9 HR/9, and very impressive 1.6 BB/9. Now compare that to his 5.97 ERA and 5.52 FIP the second and third time through the lineup, and we see that there is no question that Musgrove have a lot more success out of the bullpen than as a starter.
So what does this mean in terms of fantasy value? Well it looks like Ken Giles will hold onto the closer position going into 2018, but Musgrove could steal it away from him if he goes down with an injury or struggles to start the 2018 season. Until then keep an eye out for the Astros right-hander to see if his success out of the pen continues and is worth adding in 2018.