Lots of people tried to explain to me why you don’t slide into first base. I still don’t get it, so apparently I’m dense. Is 1st base lifted higher than other bases? Are there Lilliputians standing by first base with mini hammers? Is there a mini MC Hammer there singing U Can’t Touch This which is just so bizarre it screws you up and you hurt yourself? I get that it slows you down, so there’s no point to doing it. I understand that sprinters don’t slide into the finish line. I’ve heard that from countless announcers. I do kinda wish in the next Summer Olympics a sprinter would slide into the finish line just so announcers would stop saying it. I still don’t understand why people invariably get hurt doing it. Josh Hamilton for one. He’s out for 6-8 weeks with thumb surgery. He should’ve just had Ryan Braun look at it, he can cure thumbs just by brining them in vinegar. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
J.B. Shuck – Two tears in a bucket, the Angels called up J.B. “You Wanna Eat Corn?” Shuck it. Not forced at all! Fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell a replacement for Hamilton’s thumb. Slightly less forced! I love Shuck — hit .293 last year, has 20 steal speed — and think he could be all mixed team viable quickly, but right now he’s probably in a platoon. I’ll be grabbing him in deep leagues immediately and will be watching him like a cyclops with a monocle for other leagues.
Avisail Garcia – Out with a jammed left shoulder, might be headed to the DL. Damn, just when the Miggy comparisons weren’t simply because he looks exactly like him.
Charlie Blackmon – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI. You can’t keep a good Blackmon down!
Cody Asche – Didn’t start yesterday due to a tweaked hamstring. He’s day-to-day, which is better than minute-to-minute and week-to-week. Weird!
Roberto Hernandez – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks. Wow, lot of Ks for a guy that only averages around six per nine. Fausto Carmona would’ve loved to see that.
Josh Collmenter – 4 IP, 0 ER. Diamondbacks are moving him to the rotation at the expense of Delgado or Cahill. That sounds downright Texas Rangery! Collmenter is around a mid-7 K-rate, 3-ish BB/9 guy that will have value in NL-Only leagues, but be nothing but a streamer in mixed leagues. Stream-o-Nator, “Says me!”
Paul Goldschmidt – 1-for-3, 4 RBIs and a home run. Au Shizz! A commenter said now that we don’t own Au Shizz due to him being drafted higher, it should be Au Shucks! I agree. I miss you, Godly.
Tim Lincecum – 4 IP, 7 ER. Older Brother, “I remember when Lincecum was the best pitcher in the league.” Younger Brother, “You smokin’ the same shizz as Lincecum.”
Mike Morse – 1-for-3 and his 2nd homer as he hits .385. Yesterday, I told you he was a hot schmotato. Today, I say see what I said yesterday.
Angel Pagan – 3-for-5 and a steal, hitting .462. The angel on my shoulder is saying, “I’m glad you picked up Angel.” The devil on my shoulder is saying, “I’m glad you picked up Pagan.”
Albert Pujols – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in as many games. As if you needed me to tell you.
Garrett Richards – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners (1 Hit), 6 Ks. Doesn’t have a whole lot of control, but he does have stuff, as grizzled scouts say while chewing tobacco. No, he’s not a sub-1 ERA pitcher as he is right now, but he does throw 95+ MPH and could be a sneaky number three (think a 7+ K-rate, 3.80 ERA, 1.35 WHIP). In shallower mixed leagues, he’s still a matchups guy, but he’s worth owning in deeper ones.
Taijuan Walker – Struck out ten in five innings in his latest rehab start. Damn, I’ve built him up so much now I can’t be anything but disappointed, unless he Ks 10 in his first start, which he will do.
Josh Beckett – 4 IP, 4 ER. Damn, he’s making it hard for the script supervisors at attendance in Dodger Stadium trying to tell continuity between his dreadful last three years.
Dee Gordon – 3-for-5 and his 4th steal. Even more remarkable is he was caught stealing once by V-Mart even if it was a pitch out. Gotta be impressed that Brad Ausmus went with the bat-first catcher. A decision The Sciosciapath has problems with fifteen years into his managing career.
Joe Nathan – 1 IP, 3 ER and 2nd blown save in three chances. Nathan is saying he’s going through a dead arm period. Yesterday, may have been the burial. I went to pick up Al Alburquerque in all my leagues, saw he had a 5.40 ERA and 1.80 WHIP and decided I’d let someone else take the risk, but he would be the one I’d go for before Joba Chamberlain. Keep in mind, the Tigers will probably do everything in their power to keep Nathan the closer.
Jim Johnson – 1/3 IP, 2 ER. It was a bizarre move in the offseason when Billy Beane went out and seemed to do the exact opposite of what the A’s credo has always been. SAGNOF essentially. Find cheap closers, then like the guy’s shirt reads in the bar with the sawdust on the floor, you ride them hard and put them away wet, then trade them to other teams for needed parts. But he zigged left and went out and paid for Jim Johnson. Who pays for closers? Teams that don’t know what they’re doing, fantasy and otherwise. Did the Orioles out-Beane Beane? Yes, yes they did. Meanwhile, Jim Johnson looks as awful in the ERA department as he’s looked in the K department for years. I really don’t think the A’s make a permanent change, unless Johnson is hurt, but they probably will let someone else close a game or two. I’d look at Luke Gregerson and Ryan Cook, in that order.
Jesse Chavez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks. He made the Twins look like his b*tch. Jesse’s got himself a girl. And I want to make him mine! You know I wish that all my pitchers were facing Jesse’s girl! I wish they were all facing Jesse’s girl! Where can I find them, a pitcher like that? The Stream-o-Nator perhaps. Chavez gets the Angels next and it’ll be his final test before being added to all my mixed league teams. I.e., I’ll play along with this charade! As of now, I would own him in deeper mixed leagues. Yesterday’s start wasn’t a product of luck, and he can put up a 8+ K-rate without killing you in walks. I.e., I wanna tell him that I love him but the point is probably moot!
Alberto Callaspo – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .462. Clock hasn’t struck midnight yet on this hot schmotato and Callaspo hasn’t turned to Callaspoo.
Oswaldo Arcia – Headed to the DL. That’s where Oswaldo is.
Josh Willingham – Hasn’t swung a bat since taking a pitch off his wrist on Sunday. I hope he’s not considering only hitting with his wrist now.
Phil Hughes – 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks. Released by the Twins and catches on with the Oaxacan Spear Fishermen to throw batting practice and sell Chiclets at home games. That’s from an episode of Phil of the Future.
Jason Kubel – 4-for-5, 2 runs and a home run, hitting .462. The Kubelixir!
Mat Latos – Said yesterday there’s been some improvement of his elbow irritation but will take a few days off from throwing. Maybe he’ll watch some Netflix in his spare time. I suggest Spiral. Might be as good as The Wire. I don’t say that lightly. Yes, you have to read, since it’s subtitled. Totally worth it!
Mike Leake – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks. Currently has a 2.45 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Also, he’s getting so lucky currently that line drives are getting caught in the mouth of a severed head that is moving along the outfield on the back of a turtle. I wouldn’t go anywhere near Leake for the fear that at any moment his off-speed stuff will break bad.
Billy Hamilton – 3-for-4, 2 runs and 2 steals. Hits like Mays and runs likes Hayes! He scored one of the runs on a sac fly that was nearly caught by the 2nd baseman it was so shallow. He’s kinda like that Nicki Minaj song. “Boy, you got my heartbeat runnin’ away–” and it’s pumping and you’re looking for a dance floor and Hamilton is getting on base and stealing bases, then “Can’t you hear that boom, badoom, boom, boom, badoom, boom, bass?” and you realize it’s Minaj and she’s so annoying just like Hamilton going 0-for-5 with four Ks more times than you’ll care to remember.
Devin Mesoraco – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a home run. Fine! I’ll be your huckleberry. Goodbye, Yan Gomes; hello, Devin Mesoraco. May your tenure on my team be long and fruitful and may I never want to drop you for A.J. Pierzynski.
Shelby Miller – 6 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA sitting at 6.35. I told everyone to avoid him in the preseason, so if you have him, it’s your own doing. Or maybe that’s your undoing.
Jason Kipnis – 1-for-8, 2 RBIs and a home run in the first game, hitting .194 on the year. This is one way to make his 2nd half look better.
Everth Cabrera – 3-for-8, 2 runs and his 1st steal as EverCab finally got the Heartspark Stealsign.
Desmond Jennings – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st home run. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Jennings finally make good on all his promise and be a top ten outfielder this year. Always dangerous to bet against a guy with 20-homer power and 40-steal speed. See either CarGo.
Jake Odorizzi – 5 IP, 7 ER. Waiter, this isn’t Odorizzi, it’s scrambled.
Jeremy Guthrie – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks. Vargas, Guthrie and Chen have all pitched admirably for the Royals, but they’re the Moe, Larry, Curly of fantasy threesomes. Only with Vargas do I want to see Moe.
Bryce Harper – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and a homer as he batted 7th in the order. All I can say is thank God for Jose Lobaton. Who? The one hitter Matt Williams thinks is worthy of batting below Harper in the order.
Jayson Werth – 1-for-5, 5 RBIs with a grand slam. Matt Williams had to be happy (after someone explained to him the simple fundamentals of baseball). “So you want more runs?” That’s Matt Williams doing a University of Phoenix class called Intro to Managing.
Jacob Turner – To the DL with a shoulder strain. This moves Brad Hand of the King into the rotation and moves onto the roster, Arquimedes Caminero of Lannisport, King of the WHIP, Walker of the Hitters.
Derek Dietrich – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a home run. Hey, it’s the guy that should’ve been the starter all year rather than signing wannabe Zombino, Rafael Furcal, or Dietrich’s platoon-mate, Jeff Baker.
Brandon Morrow – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks. Hmm… I’m scratching my head. I do like Morrow if he’s going well, and 9 Ks in six innings is nice. Okay, looking at his next start. Vs. the Indians? Meh, I don’t want to get burned by Morrow. The preceding contemplation was brought to you by Mennen Speed Stick.
Melky Cabrera – 2-for-5, 1 run and a steal. Melky hitting homers makes sense, Melky stealing bases means he’s trying to prove something. I like when players are trying to prove something.
Brett Lawrie – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his first homer. Also trying to prove something, that he’s not a total bust.
Jason Hammel – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks. All three hits allowed were homers as Hammel got a case of FIPlash. He’s now looked good in two straight starts and he was mixed league viable on the Orioles in 2012. I’d definitely start to look at Hammel in deeper mixed leagues.
Anthony Rizzo – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI, hitting .375. Now if Rizzo can only wake up the other guy I was crazy high on in the preseason — Hey, Jerko!
Mike Olt – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 2nd home run. He must’ve been inspired by Lawrie. Watch it, buddy, I’m more post-hype than you!
Masahiro Tanaka – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks. Still a lot of unknown with this guy, Grey said obviously, but I’m surprised to see that many Ks. I think this will be more the exception than the rule.
Kelly Johnson – 2-for-4 and his 2nd home run in as many games. I smell a hot schmotato.
Carlos Beltran – 3-for-3, 2 runs and a home run. After being asleep for five years, Comatose Yankee Fan is gonna love seeing Beltran, Jeter and Soriano in that lineup, but is totally confused by Ellsbury. “Are they playing a split squad game with the Red Sox?”
Shawn Kelley – 1 IP, 2 ER. Whew, glad I spelled his name wrong in the waiver wire fill-in box. I will probably regret picking up Adam Warren, but I did. I almost picked up Matt Thornton too. There’s no loyalty to Kelley, wouldn’t be surprised to see someone else get the next save.
David Lough – Will avoid the DL after passing a serious of concussion tests — What’s your name? How many fingers am I holding up? How often does Buck Showalter say it should have been him going into the Hall of Fame and not Torre?
Jonathan Schoop – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 1st home run. If the O’s move Schoop into a platoon role or back to the minors when Machado returns rather than make Schoop the 2nd baseman, I will do something highly unlikely that I haven’t thought of yet. Believe it!
Ervin Santana – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks vs. the Mets. He’ll prolly give up a run at some point this year, but I did like the move to the NL East as I said in my rankings, and wish I owned Ervin on more teams. Just too bad he can’t face the Braves to up his Ks.
Jason Heyward – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd home run. As said last week, I really like the way Heyward is swinging this year. Sure, he’s hitting .188, but that’s the best .188 I’ve seen. Damn, everything I say sounds sarcastic.
Robbie Ross – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners (6 BBs), 4 Ks. More like Robbie gross, man.
Jake Peavy – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks. Spoiler Alert! He won’t stay healthy all year.
Jackie Bradley Jr. – 0-for-0, 2 runs, 3 walks. On his third walk, he dropped the bat and watched the ball go into the catcher’s mitt like he was in The Natural. Bradley could remain with the club after Victorino returns, which would just be a clusterfudge of playing time making Victorino owners salt water daffy.