Aroldis Chapman — A-rold! — defected yesterday. I defect every morning after I eat my bran cereal. No, random italicized voice, defected. As in, he gave the Cuban national team the old switcheroo. He snuck out of a Rotterdam hotel where the team was staying this week. The coach said he checked on him and saw him sleeping. What he actually saw was a mannequin shifting in bed from a wire attached to the bedroom door that was strung over a closet door with a trophy attached. For his escape, Aroldis wishes to thank Ferris Bueller. So why do you care? He’s the best lefty in the world and he can throw 100 MPH. Keepers, clean your ears, cause there’s a new Strasburg in town. Though no one’s sure what town that is. Deep keepers should keep an eye out for when he’s added. Probably a year away, but it depends on the team that signs him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Alexei Ramirez – Sticking with the Cuban theme, good news for Alexei as his finger’s X-rays revealed no fracture. He should return soon. Not soon enough in a league where I’m rocking Everth Cabrera. Steal, son. You’re fast. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Stop the press. Who is that? Vicki Vale? Nope. Ricky Romero, Ricky Romero. Yesterday, Romero went 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 Ks with 8 baserunners. Let’s go in the Wayback Machine… Cue dream sequence music, activate wavy screen… Here we are back on April 20th, “(Romero’s) walks are very low (for him), and he’s left a lot of guys on base, so he will see a correction in his future (SMACK!), but his FIP is only 3.86 (now at 4.20). …Might want to try a little R & R. Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s fitting that both the Nats and Pirates traded for a player with ‘Last’ in his name. Lastings Milledge was sent to the Pirates along with Joel Hanrahananan for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett. Milledge and McCutchen can now share The Dread Pirate nickname. How much of a slap in the face is it when you’re banished for being a problem child when Elijah Dukes is your teammate? Is this a sign that the Nationals are no longer going to be the Home to Wayward 5-Tools Outfielders? Please, blog, may I have some more?
In this month’s closer look, let’s discuss trading for closers. Now before people think my battleship has sunk, I’m not saying to pay top dollar for closers. But with us heading into July, it should be pretty clear how badly you need saves. Luckily, saves are one of the categories (steals are another) where you can make up ground quickfast. If you’re ten or more saves behind a pack of people and can gain three or more points with an additional closer or two, then you should be thinking about trading for a couple. I’d look to trade one player from your strengths for two closers. Think Shields for two donkey-corns. Or a donkey-corn and a brain freeze. It really depends on your strengths and weaknesses. And since saves do come in bunches, if you’re finding yourself picking up plenty of ground in saves, then in August, you can trade away a closer or two for a different piece. Anyway, here’s all of the closers for your fantasy baseball team, as of right now:
You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Please, blog, may I have some more?
In his last four games, J.J. Hardy has gone 8-for-17 with two homers. You waited and waited. Went for a dip in the ocean. Washed ashore in Finland. Smoked a bowl with some guy who wore only a potato sack. Fell asleep on a raft. Woke up in your kiddie pool wearing your water wings. And finally Hardy got hot. In July last year, Hardy hit .339 with 9 homers. Followed that up with a .294 August and 5 homers. I know Hardy’s sucked the life out of you with his April through June, but if he’s indeed hot now, and it seems that way, he’ll bat 2nd, he’ll hit some homers and a decent average for a month or so. He’s currently batting .232. That’ll come up. He has 8 homers, he should finish with 25. Will he always be as delightful as your Finnish friend wearing a potato sack? No, probably not, but he’s better than he’s been. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Raul Ibanez – Won’t be returning this Friday when eligible. No set backs; Phils are just taking precautions. For those wanting to say something derogatory about him, I’d wait until he doesn’t have so much free time. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Where do the starters exit the stadium when the game’s over because I’m a groupie for strikeout heavy pitchers, i.e., Grey’s high on a high K/9, i.e., ergo, henceforth, vis-a-vis, I’d own these starters. Why the hearts on the notebook, Grey? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Was talking to some friends the other day and one of them thought Ichiro Suzuki was the best all around player he had ever seen. No, he wasn’t Asian or wearing a Buhner jersey. He made his case — defense, cannon arm, can hit any pitch to any field, speed, etc. I countered Rickey Henderson was better. Then somehow it dissolved into how did Bud Selig let steroids ruin baseball. But when he said Ichiro, it wasn’t a slam dunk, “We’re only on our second pitcher of Molson. How are you already drunk?” It was a point to consider. I guess in fantasy baseball sometimes we forget about how great players were or are and only concern ourselves with the numbers. Ah… Nostalgia, I remember you! Well, the numbers say Ichiro is currently ranked 56th for Runs for all outfielders. Behind some stalwarts as Fukudome, Teahen and Skip Schumaker. He’s currently ranked 100th in RBIs just behind Joe Thurston. Hey, he’s got speed though, right? He has 12 steals. The same as Vernon Wells. Ichiro is terrific for average, but that’s only getting you so far. He’s extremely valuable for average. If you need a boost there, then by all means trade for him. But if you’re fine on average or hurting elsewhere, I’d look to trade away Ichiro. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Chad Gaudin – NL West starter? Oh, Grey must own him. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes you just can’t trade a guy in your fantasy baseball league. For whatever reason, the rest of the teams don’t believe in your guy. Whether it’s someone who has been doing well who people aren’t sure if they’re for real (Ben Zobrist) or someone who has been struggling (Liriano), no one in your league will trade for them. You’ve tried to sell lower than even their value warrants, but no bites. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Lindstrom hits the DL with a sore elbow and should be out at least 6 weeks. He’s fine to drop if you don’t have DL room, since he may not be the closer when/if he returns. Rudy and I were talking over IM when the news of Matt Lindstrom hitting the DL broke. We looked at the options. Dan Meyer or Leo Nunez? Meyer is a lefty that has been handling righties well this year. Nunez has posted ERAs of 3.18, 3.77, 6.43 in the first three months of the season and he just hurt his ankle on Tuesday. We went with Meyer on all of our teams. At worst, we have a guy who has pitched well. A few hours later, Nunez said his ankle was fine. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve went with Nunez because he’s probably first in line for saves. SAGNOF, after all. I’m holding Meyer for now just to see how this plays out. So far, it’s played out with Meyer getting the first save. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Edinson Volquez – Almost a month after heading to the DL, Edinson has elbow inflammation. This is obviously terrible news for his owners. An arm setback after almost of a month hiatus usually means he’s not coming back for a while. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brandon Webb may miss the rest of the season. Nothing good comes from drafting a top pitcher. Nothing, I tell you. I own Peavy in two leagues, so I’m right there with youse. Remind next year to revert back to not drafting starters in the first five rounds. Actually, next year you probably will be able to get Webb and Peavy after the fifth round. Hmm, that’s a pickle. Guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Webb was diagnosed with an “Ain’t Getting Better” problem. Captain Obvious says, “When a guy misses three months, then goes for an MRI, it’s not a good sign.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shutdown for the year. But you’ve held him this long, what’s another day or two to hear the full prognosis? BTW, prognosis is doctor-talk for the 411. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Coco Crisp – Out for the season when his shoulder went snap, crackle, pop. Please, blog, may I have some more?