Value of relief

Updated: May 23, 2012, 3:34 PM ET
By Todd Zola | Mastersball.com

So here you are, Sean Marshall owners. Last week at this time, you were probably pretty happy that, despite his pedestrian WHIP and ERA, Marshall was one of the lucky one, a reliever that had benefited from this crazy closer carousel of a season, rather than be undone by it.

Under The Microscope

Today? Today you feel like you're left with a whole bunch of nothing. The pitching equivalent of the right-handed side of a No. 2 catcher platoon. A middle reliever. Last one to drop him's a rotten egg!

Not so fast, my friend. Marshall likely won't see another save chance for quite some time, but being banished to middle relief doesn't have to be the end of his fantasy value. Sometimes, being stuck in the middle can be good, especially when you've got the ability to strike out hitters in bunches. So today, we are going to put the middle reliever under the microscope.

The middle reliever is a very unique position in fantasy baseball. Many middle relievers often go undrafted not necessarily because of a lack of skills, but because they do not pitch enough to render their skills fantasy worthy. However, if properly deployed, middle relievers can be an extremely effective means of getting the most out of your pitching staff, regardless of your league's size or format.

ALSO SEE