Fantasy's top relief pitcher for August was a 28-year-old right-hander with little career distinction who began the month with eight saves. He ended the month with 16 saves and while a Tampa Bay Rays afterthought -- well, in fantasy, not to the Rays -- Emilio Pagan remains available in more than half of ESPN's standard leagues, his emergence is a reminder that saves can still be readily found in odd places, including that ol' stand-by, the free-agent list.
Pagan fanned 21 hitters with nary a walk in August, and while the home run ball continues to mess with his ERA, it has not messed with his WHIP or his role, which is frankly more important. Relief pitchers all across the land continue to permit home runs at a record rate, and it is not the least bit surprising. Pagan is one of 37 relief pitchers to have allowed double-digit home runs already, with four weeks left, and he is not alone among closers on the list. Josh Hader and Raisel Iglesias are there. Last season, 30 pitchers allowed 10 or more home runs in relief.