Nick Goody turned in an excellent season for Cleveland in 2017, but he's an extreme flyball pitcher (48.4 percent flyball rate last season) without a clear path to regular save opportunities. Of course, the lack of save chances doesn't disqualify him from consideration, even in standard fantasy leagues, but Goody does not have the track record of other skilled middle relievers. He struggled in a major way while with the Yankees in 2016, with the aforementioned flyball propensity leading to an unsightly 2.17 HR/9. The right-hander gets opposing hitters to come up empty a lot of the time thanks to his slider -- he had a 16.1 percent swinging-strike rate and a mid-30s O-Swing percentage -- but any regression with the walks (3.3 BB/9 last year, 3.7 in 2016) or homers could lead to more pedestrian ratios. He should at least pick up more holds this season while working more in high-leverage duty.
Goody struck out two of the three batters he face Wednesday against Detroit en route to his fifth hold of the season. The right-hander managed just three holds over his first 48 appearances of 2017 before locking one up in each of his last two games. Goody has been a pleasant surprise in his first season with Cleveland, pitching in 50 contests (he played just 34 games over the last two seasons with the Yankees) while managing a career-best 2.66 ERA and 1.09 WHIP to go along with 69 strikeouts in 50.2 innings.
Goody struck out all three batters he faced in the matinee of Thursday's doubleheader against the Twins. Entering Thursday, Goody hadn't pitched in a week -- his longest layoff between appearances this season -- since taking the loss in an implosion (three runs over one inning) Aug. 10 in Tampa. For the year, the reliever still owns an admirable 2.76 ERA with 58 strikeouts through 42.1 innings, but his low-leverage usage makes Goody a poor fantasy option.
After entering July with a sterling 1.17 ERA, Goody has allowed four runs on six hits and three walks over 4.2 innings (7.71 ERA and 1.93 WHIP) this month. Goody's been one of the league's better middle relievers this season, posting a strong 41:15 K:BB through 35.1 innings. However, he's too far down the bullpen's depth chart to make any sort of fantasy impact.
Goody has allowed four runs in 28.2 innings with a 29:11 K:BB. Goody's brightest attribute this season has been his ability to avoid the big inning. All four of the runs he's given up have come off of home runs, and he's only allowed two or more hits in three appearances. Overall, his WHIP is sitting at an impressive 0.98, which has been a big reason why Terry Francona has started to trust the reliever with work in later innings.
Goody has not given up a run so far this season in 19.1 innings pitched. After spending his first two years with the Yankees, Goody has sparkled this season with the Indians. He's struck out 19 while only walking five, holding hitters to a .141 batting average. The strikeouts haven't been surprising this year after he struck out 34 in 29 innings last season in New York, but the improvement in preventing the long ball has been noteworthy. He gave up seven last year, plus four in 23.1 innings at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but has yet to give up a home run this season. In a crowded bullpen, it will be tough for Goody to move up the food chain, but it's difficult to imagine his role declining anytime soon if he continues to prevent runs like he has.