To discuss Francisco Liriano at Razzball HQ, I gathered the Random Italicized Voice, MR. AL CAPS and Larry King. After eating me out of house and home — “The selection was pretty meager. Freezer pops, really?” “NOT A THING TO DRINK,” “Anyone see where I put down my teeth?” — we talked about Liriano. He started off in the preseason in my top 10 starters for 2011. “That call looks as pretty as Rocky Dennis.” “YOU SHOULD’VE FOLLOWED THAT CALL WITH SAYING TYLER COLVIN WOULD HIT 40 HOME RUNS.” “I wonder if my teeth are in the bathroom.” April saw Liriano’s ERA balloon to 9.13 and a lot of talk about how the Twins asked him to throw to contact. Yeah, why strike out guys when you can have hitters hit balls into holes? “I’d like to hit some of my random italicized balls into holes.” “NICE ONE, RIV!” “Hey, what do you know? I clipped the potato bag closed with my teeth.” In May, Liriano had an ERA of 2.52 and a no hitter, but he still didn’t look completely right. In June, he’s given up one earned run in 13 innings. More importantly, he has more Ks than innings pitched. After his June 7th start, I said that was the best he’s looked all year, including the no-hitter. On Sunday, he looked better — 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks and 9 Ks vs. the Rangers. He’s not at 100% owned in ESPN, I’d go ahead and fix that. Also, if you can get a Liriano owner to think he’s selling high, I’d see if I could still buy low. Remember some of these owners are still dealing with early season scars when he looked like hot garbage. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Joe Mauer – Supposed to return on Thursday. I’ll give him an over/under of 7 home runs on the year. I’ll give him and Morneau combined an over/under of 14 homers. Or two less than The Drubal has right now. “Why do I own Morneau in multiple leagues?” That’s me standing on the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge with tears streaming down my cheeks.
Mike Napoli – Headed to the DL with a strained oblique. The bad news is he’ll probably miss three to four weeks. The good news is it’s three to four weeks without questioning why Napoli isn’t playing. If humans use 10% of their brains and 7% of that is used with Napoli questions, suddenly you’re all gonna be like Travolta in Phenomenon. Forget picking up a free agent catcher, pick up a tractor trailer with a wiggle of your finger.
Miguel Olivo – Hit two more home runs on Sunday. All he does is hit home runs! (For a week or two then goes crazy cold.)
Justin Smoak – Hit his 2nd home run in the last three days, now has 12 on the year. I think next year he’s going to be terrific, but this year he might just be a tad better than Mitch Moreland. BTW, who names their kid, Mitch? That’s one of the few times the long form of a name — Mitchell — is far preferable. Hmm, looking again at the Google Map of this post, it looks like I could’ve avoided the Mitch detour.
Bartolo Colon – To the 15 day DL. When Colon heard he had a strained hammy, he asked if it was glazed.
Jorge Posada – 2-for-3 and is now only six points away in average from Russell Martin (.226 vs. .232). That’s not a positive for Posada, but a negative for Russell Martin, who I told people to sell back in April.
Derek Jeter – 7 from 3,000. Tony Gwynn said the last ten hits are the hardest to 3,000. Gwynn, “Until you get those last 10 hits, you won’t even enjoy the activity you enjoy most. For you, that’s probably banging Minka Kelly. For me, it was eating Big Macs.”
Aaron Harang – Headed to the DL with a foot injury, which for the Harangatuan could be his hands, not sure. Since Dustin Moseley is also ailing, Wade LeBlanc could fill in the rotation. In deeper mixed and NL-Only leagues, he’s a decent Hodgepadre flyer.
Anthony Rizzo – Homered on Saturday. It’s Rizzo, jerky!
John Axford – Recorded his 18th save to go along with his 2.97 ERA. Member when you dropped him the first week of the season? Yeah, I’d suggest Ritalin for the Attention Deficit Drops.
Dustin Pedroia – Since the knee scare, he’s actually been great. Yesterday, he hit a home run, before that two three-hit days. Maybe I was irrationally worried about his knee, or maybe I just couldn’t put my finger on his can’t-put-your-finger-on-it-ness.
David Ortiz – 2-for-6, 4 RBIs and his 17th home run while sporting a .325 average. His collapse next year is gonna catch some fantasy owners off guard, but think about the poor schmuck who’s gonna give him a 3-year, $45 million contract. Ed Wade’s Toupee, “If we had a DH, I’d consider it. We don’t have a DH, right?”
Kyle Drabek – 4 IP, 8 ER. Will have a nice career at some point, but right now he looks like five kinds of wrong with a side of meh. Speaking of meh, Super 8, though it ended up being just disappointing because of expectations. How does J.J. Abrams go wrong with Close Encounters meets E.T. meets Stand By Me? Only thing that could have been more disappointing is if David Simon was somehow involved, but he’s busy disappointing me with Treme. I will say I would like to see an updated Goonies built around the pyromaniac kid with braces. Finally we have a new Mouth. If that kid isn’t mainlining heroin within 5 years because of all the money he’s about to make, he should fire his parents.
Hunter Pence – Sat out Sunday with a sore back. I have a sore “lacking a 2nd outfielder” on my fantasy teams, so hopefully it’s not a major issue.
Rubby de la Rosa – 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. Left the game early rubbing his index finger. He was either injured or playing charades with his name.
Andre Ethier – 0-for-4, hitting .321 with 5 homers and no steals on the year. He is such an empty average and, when that falls to .300, you’re gonna be left with even less.
Scott Elbert – Got the Dodgers first save in 3 weeks. This was just a situational save; I wouldn’t run out and add Elbert. I would add Elbert before Roeper though. He was worse for their show than Ebert’s cancer.
Carlos Gonzalez – 3-for-5 with only his 2nd slam and legs this year, as his owners hunger for more. He now has 9 homers and 10 steals. He’s just about on pace for where I thought he’d be.
J.P. Howell – Ye of the 10+ ERA got the save yesterday even though Farnsworth wasn’t overworked on Saturday. I think it was just a one time thing for Thurston and Lovey’s kid, but it’s worth monitoring. Or not. Your choice.
Mark Reynolds – On Saturday, he hit 2 home runs. On Sunday, he left the game with a left arm contusion, according to ESPN. Is it me or are teams using the word contusion a lot recently? Was contusion just the Word of the Day at Dictionary.com? Did Selig send around a memorandum that teams should start using contusion? It’s a bruise, people.
Adam Jones – 2-for-4 with his 9th homer. He’s been better than Heyward. Cust kayin’.
Dan Uggla – 2-for-3 with his 8th home run and first since May 15th. Or the first home run for Uggla since we lost the rapper of Teach Me How To Dougie. Good to see Uggla’s finally putting that behind him.
Tommy Hanson – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 14 Ks. First name: Hommy. Last name: Tanson. Middle Name: Butter.
Craig Kimbrel – Venters recorded his 3rd save on Sunday but the word on the streets of Atlanta is Kimbrel is still the closer, he just needed to rest. Here’s a revolutionary idea, rest him during non-save situations.
Sergio Santos – Got the save yesterday but he’s now given up 8 earned runs in his last three outings. I could see grabbing Thornton on spec, but I’d leave him on my bench for now.
Adam Dunn – Hit his 2nd home run in the last 4 days. An Uggla and Dunn homer on the same day. It’s a total eclipse of a bad start.
Scott Sizemore – 1-for-3 with his first home run. He went 3-for-4 on Friday and has been playing every day. If you’re hurting at middle or corner infidel, it’s worth looking at him.
Tyler Chatwood – 3 2/3 IP, 5 ER as he got Mazzacred.
Jordan Zimmermann – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks. I love him, enough’s been written on that. But, let’s be clear, against the Padres in Petco isn’t exactly facing the 1927 Yankees in Coors.
Elvis Andrus – Was pulled from the game for a lack of energy going to first. Ron Washington, “Was setting an example, but I know about wanting to savor it when you go down a line…”
Alcides Escobar – 2-for-3 with his 8th steal. Yeah, yeah, fail with a hashtag for Alcides, but he’s 10 for his last 17 with 2 steals.
Mike Moustakas – Homered on Saturday. The Royals should hand out bottles of tahini and have their fans squirt each other in the face after a home run. It’s Greek love!