As they say in a Jewelery District of any major city, Johnny Cueto pitched a gem. Well, any major city except Detroit. There they call a gem, “Slowly remove it from your finger, and no funny business!” Against the Pirates yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks. Pretty much across the board for Cueto’s career, I haven’t been a fan. His xFIP has always been much worse than his ERA, and his K-rate has never been close to an elite starter. Well, a weird thing happened on the way to his fifth start of the year, he looks like an ace. His xFIP is down to 2.55, his K-rate is 10.50 and his walk rate is 2.40. Those are fantasy ace numbers. Last year through April, he had a 2.80 xFIP, 9.35 K-rate and 3.12 walk rate. Those numbers aren’t that different. Hey, random italicized letters are my shtick. Not right now, Random Italicized Voice. Whoa, snippy! There is one fairly significant difference between Cueto this year and last. About a mile per hour on his fastball. In some instances, his fastball is averaging two extra miles per hour from last April, and he’s cut out his, uh, cutter, and his ground balls have remained. He’s pitching slightly different, slightly better, and, for the first time I can remember, I’m really liking what Cueto is showing. Ain’t that a kick in Jason LaRue’s head? His ERA won’t stay at 1.50, but I also wouldn’t be looking to sell him high. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On today’s podcast, Nick recounts the ups and downs of his journey across ‘Murica. If Nick was doing this journey to collect a Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, we’d all say he was crazy, Alexander Payne would film it and Bruce Dern would play Nick to great critical acclaim. In reality, Nick’s doing it for a podcast. This isn’t crazier?! Get Payne on the hotline, we got ourselves a sequel to Nebraska! “So, the year is 2014, and flying cars haven’t yet been invented. Instead, our lead, everyman, Nick, is in a van and driving from Canada to Arizona to do a podcast over the phone to save on international calling.” “You know, I was having lunch with James Toback the other day and he was looking for a project. Can we get Neve Campbell to play Nick in drag?” “It’s a new direction, but I like it!” Besides the cross-country shenanigans of Nick and his K-Mart mannequin he dressed up and named Blake, we talk about some players who are off to hot starts — hello, Dee Gordon! — and some players who are currently screwing la pooch — I hate you, Edwin Encarnacion! Also, mentioned are Adam Eaton, Grady Sizemore, Scott Kazmir, and many, many, many more guys (maybe three more). Anyway, here’s the Razzball Podcast (now with tales from the road):Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Houston Astros who crawled through a river of shizz and came out clean on the other side. The entire organization looks up in the air, rain beating down. Hey, Bus Driver, take the Astros to Zanwhattwonahwho, they finally called up George Springer! No, I don’t know how to spell it! With a Z? For an organization that hasn’t had anything promising since Billy Hatcher homered off a left-field foul pole, it’s about time there’s something to look forward to. They were downright depressing there for about seven years. Here’s what I said this offseason, “In Triple-A, Springer had 18 homers after hitting 19 homers in Double-A. That’s not one year in Double-A and one year in Triple-A even though my syntax might lead you to believe that. He hit 37 homers last year in the minors. Hello, sexy, what’s your name? Do you like your creme de menthe on the rocks? Can I call you grasshopper? 37 homers is pretttttay, pretttttay good. I wonder if he can do anything else. *moves finger along his minor league line* Hmm, too bad he only stole 45 bases last year. Oh. Wait, come again? I mean, I just came again. 40-steal speed from a guy that nearly hit 40 homers? Yummo on that Thirty Minute Meal. Give me some Restaurant: Stakeout, my waitress is sexting her boyfriend during business hours! So, I guess his average is atrocious. Oh, he hit .311 in Triple-A? Yeah, I just had a fangasm; I have to change my undershorts. Is it all peaches and cream on this big slice of pound cake? No, there’s a K-rate that could portend him actually hitting .245 in the big leagues and I wish he were a year younger, but nothing is spelling D-O-O-M.” And that’s me quoting me! I lurve me some Springer and he’s ownable in every league. My preseason projections for him were 52/19/71/.254/22, but that was with a full season at-bats. Now that he’s missed about two weeks, I’d cut off a few counting stats, but not much. He could be a 20/20 player. Go get him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
He’s just lucky his name isn’t Kicked-In Nuts Bailey. If you turned a paper into your English prof and named the homer-prone pitcher, Homer Bailey, your prof would say it’s too expository. But the prof might’ve been more forgiving if you hadn’t named the mayor, Billy Gladhand; the police chief, Officer Corruptski and the fro-yo cashier, Barry Tart. It’s almost too ridiculous to be believable what Homer Bailey did yesterday. He gave up two back-to-back homers in two different innings, while also striking out the side. Who are you, Danny Salazar? No, you are not Danny Salazar! You’re supposed to be more reliable! (Oh, and the game was suspended, but you still get all of Bailey’s glorious stats. Lucky you. Or Yu, if Darvish is reading.) If you play in a Benjamin Netanyahu league were xFIP is a category, you’re doing well. Everyone else would like to kill someone. Potentially me since I advocated drafting Bailey. It takes alligator blood to check raise the bettor, but, after he struck out nine in only five innings yesterday (and gave up a shizz load of homers), I’d say now is the time to buy low on Bailey. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Zimmerman should just join a kickball league. His upper stuff doesn’t work right. He’s got a bad case of waist-up-is-not-up-to-snuff-is. He should tent his entire body, because he’s got an infestation of the bad health termites. They lay dormant, living off of bacteria that is produced naturally by your secretions. Then one day you wake up and you dive into the 2nd base bag and break your thumb. The preceding was taken directly from WebMD, I can’t vouch for its accuracy. It’s a thumbpocalypse! So, Zimmerman’s gonna be out for six weeks with a broken thumb. I’d point out that I told you on Friday to sell him, but that’s in poor taste. As would simply pointing and laughing at you. Mostly due to the fact, I don’t know where you are, you don’t return my phone calls! So, put Zimmerman on your DL, and let’s pray his shoulder gets miraculously better in the mean’s while. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This has less to do with Jedd Gyorko than it has to do with panicking. You drafted Gyorko this year because of what he’s done in the past. Yes, you’re hoping for better in the future, but you’re going on what he’s done already. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. You want him primarily for his power. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. You knew he was on a lousy team. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. You knew he hit .249 last year. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. Last year, he hit zero homers in 93 ABs in April. It’s simply a fact! Of course you want better this year, but he hasn’t done anything less than he did last year thus far, and you still drafted him. If he does exactly the same as last year, but doesn’t get injured and miss a month, he will hit around 27 homers and have 75-ish runs and RBIs. You’re getting that from another 2nd baseman? Which one, cause I’d like to get in on that. Can we double date? Wanna hear something completely crazy? I’m typing this with my toes. Wanna hear something completely crazy related to fantasy baseball? Gyorko could have a better year than Tulowitzki. Tulo’s already hurt and said last year he’s no longer stealing bases. So, Gyorko hits 27 homers and .250, Tulo hits 27 homers and .295. A few weird bounces in BABIP and they hit the same. So why are you dropping Gyorko? Better yet, why are you not trading for him? Don’t drop guys that just happen to have a bad one or two weeks to start the season. In general, anyone that you drafted in the first ten rounds, should be untouchable in April. You need to let your Clydesdales carry your beer. There’s a fine line between reacting and panicking. Walk the line, Johnny. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hello, Total Fiasco, it’s nice of you to join us. Can I just call you Total? You prefer your full name? Can I get you anything, Total Fiasco? Bullpens scrambling? Real baseball managers pulling their hair out? Fantasy managers wishing they had hair to pull out? How about I just give Jim Johnson the ball and step out of the way? That should be to your liking. While you’re waiting for a meltdown, here’s a hot towel for your face. So, the A’s announced they would move to a closer committee. The only thing ever done better by committee? Spice in jerk seasoning. The A’s have the luxury of a few options: Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle, which makes things harder for fantasy. Much easier if there’s one great handcuff and then junk behind him. I’d pick up the A’s relievers in the order I listed them. Saves could very well be divvied up with a little Gregerson, a little Cook and a little Doo. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I know, you’re mostly thinking every minute of the day that my number one contribution to the world is my mustache. Number two is my fantasy baseball ‘pertness. Number three though, you don’t know, but I reveal it on today’s podcast. It’s both uncanny and very, very uncanny. Two very’s. Nick’s mind is blown, but will yours? (Yes, it will.) Also, we go over Mark Trumbo and how he will probably hit 178 homers this year; we touch on Tyler Skaggs in the non-sexual way; I explain to the world why I want the Mariners to win the World Series and drop some drool on Taijuan Walker‘s punim. Oh, and Nick can’t believe marijuana is legal in Colorado. Hopefully, he can now pass the Razzball urine test. It’s not your standard urine test, if you test negative, you get fired. You must test positive for some kind of drugs. Anyway, here’s the Razzball Podcast (now with me even more renaissance):Please, blog, may I have some more?