As we always do about this time! *beat drops, Grey does the worm, Grey’s iPhone alarm goes off, time to put more money in the meter* Damn, how long was I worming for? September 1st hits and teams expand their rosters to the Four-Oh. Now pour some extra bullpen guys out for all the dead moments between pitcher changes. So, what does this mean for all of us, fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!)? It means call-ups and rookie nookie is aplenty. Aplenty, I tell ya! By the by, for big boned people, rather than an X-Large t-shirt, they should call them aplen-Tees. Yeah, I just made the English language better. High-five yourself for even knowing to read me. *Grey worms, alarm goes off* Damn, I need to get more coins. At this point in the year, you need guys that are getting everyday playing time, so I’m pumped up the jam on Javier Baez (0-for-4) being called up — Javier Na Gila! — but if he’s not playing every day, he’s not helping me in redraft leagues. I’m intrigued by Brandon Drury (0-for-4), but I’m also hesitant if he doesn’t play every day. Hector Olivera (0-for-4) was called up, and I’ve already gave you my Hector Olivera fantasy and I do think he plays every day. It’s a most exciting time to be alive and be fantasy balling, but don’t lose sight of the real goal here. To get quality at-bats from guys that are playing, not to pick up a guy that will be great in 2016. (Unless you’re in a keeper league; then, by all means, knock yourself out! Not literally! Ouch.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cubs traded a player to be named later for Austin Jackson. Assuming the player to be named later isn’t anyone on their current roster, this was a solid trade for them from a real baseball perspective. Real baseball has more spitting than fantasy baseball, but about the same amount of scratching. The areas that are scratched are similar too. Like just below the FUPA. Austin Jackson clouds up the Cubs’ current roster in all the worst ways. Can one team have too much of a good thing? The short answer is yes. The long answer is yeeeeeeeees. Now, Coghlan (1-for-4), Fowler (2-for-5 and his 15th homer), Schwarber (1-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) and maybe Baez, when he’s called up, are squeezed for playing time. If anyone can make this work, it’s Maddon. Sadly, only Maddon will understand how, why, what and every journalistic question as to when Jackson or anyone will play. Oh, and Soler will return shortly too. And by “shortly,” I don’t mean the manner in which Altuve does something. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe it’s because Whip/Nae Nae is permanently stuck in my head — One word of advice. If you take no other advice from me, please, I implore you, accept this advice. If you don’t know what Whip/Nae Nae is, don’t, under any circumstances, Google it. It make Gangnam Style seem like a walk in the park when it comes to catchy songs. If you don’t know what Gangnam Style is, I love how you’ve decorated under that rock of yours. — but I can’t help looking at Jake Arrieta‘s no hitter less about the 12 Ks and only allowing one walk — Sure, those are sweet — but more about how his season WHIP is 0.94. There’s Greinke (.85 WHIP), Kershaw (.90), Scherzer (.93) and deGrom (.94). An under one WHIP and a 9+ K/9 is a little piece of heaven like sitting in an exit row of an airplane. On the podcast that’s coming later today, I debate Greinke and Arrieta, Scherzer and Arrieta and deGrom and Arrieta as we try to figure out where they’ll be ranked in 2016. I say something like Arrieta will be ranked around the 4th to about the 7th SP off the board. I agree with Early Sunday Afternoon Grey, but I will say that Arrieta has made it difficult for me to think of four SPs that should be drafted before him. Let alone six. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s start on Jose Berrios with what Prospect Mike said, “Berrios has a great starter’s arsenal with a plus fastball (sits mid-90s) and a plus curveball coupled with an above average slider and changeup. The ceiling is a #3 starter with good ratios and decent strikeout totals. Most reports rave about his maturity and ability to make adjustments, which could give him a better shot at making it in a big league rotation. Imagine a scale of good and evil with Maikel Franco on the good side and that Albright fella on the evil side, Berrios is more on the Franco side.” Why am I a part of this example? If I could quickly evaluate the Twins current crop of starters that are prospblocking Berrios: Garbage, More Garbage, Utter Garbage, Shirley Manson in Garbage, Magic Garbage. (Magic Garbage is Utah garbage where you find soiled magic underpants.) I haven’t even started talking about how Berrios was bred in a lab in Knott’s Berry Farm by founder of the boysenberry, Rudolph Boysen, whose grandchild killed his parents and is currently behind bars (true story; yes, you’re dropping the ball, Dateline, by not featuring this). The only thing that’s been stopping me from adding Berrios in every league is I have no idea when he’ll be called up. I would add him now to see if he’s called up when rosters expand on September 1st, then drop him soon after in redraft leagues if he’s not called up. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As Jeff Probst once said, “Turnabout is Johnny Fairplay,” which was his mashup of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart line, “Turn around, bright eyes,” which was co-opted by a children’s toy commercial with, “Turn around, Rainbow Brite eyes,” which was Elmore Leonard’s original name for a pedophile, which he changed to short eyes, and short people have big reason to smile, unless they’re not wearing shoes and, yesterday, Matt Shoemaker threw a one-hitter into the 8th inning. *takes a breath, bows, exits like Tommy from this season of MasterChef* And scene! So, Shoemaker returned from the minors yesterday and did exactly what we’d hoped from him since March — 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks. He will remain in the rotation, but I wouldn’t indiscriminately add him in all leagues. I would give him a shot in his next start in Oakland, and go one start at a time from there. While you’re wearing the kid gloves for Shoemaker, hopefully you don’t accidentally Like an Instagram post from two years ago by someone you once dated that you’re now stalking. Been there! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*swirls a glass, takes a gulp. spits it back in a bucket* “That’s vintage Justin Verlander,” said Kate Upton. “Okay, this might sound gross, but can you spit into my mouth?” That’s you getting up the nerve to say something to Kate Upton. I just thought of a moneymaking idea for Shark Tank! You stand outside of Comerica Park with a cardboard cutout of a naked Verlander and have people pay $10 to take a picture with him, pretending to be Kate Upton. Oh, and no, this post isn’t an attempt to Bleacher Report up Google’s rankings by mentioning Verlander and Upton repeatedly, though it does seem that way…Verlander/Upton, Verlander/Upton and Verlander/Upten for the illiterates. So, Verlander did look magnificent yesterday until the 8th inning when he began to tire, ending up with a one hitter –> 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 Hit), 9 Ks with an ERA at 3.45. Big Magoo captured Verlander’s upside about two weeks ago with this post. Worth reading, but the key part (cause I know, y’all can only read so much), “Since the All-Star break, Verlander’s 7.25 K/BB ratio is the 5th highest among qualified starting pitchers, and his 1.1 BB/9 is the 6th lowest. He shares the same swinging strike rate (12.1%) as Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole over that span as well. Now, excuse me as I go drain the weasel on a picture of Grey.” Hey, wait a minute! I didn’t remember that last part. So, if Verlander is out there in your league, the one-hitter yesterday doesn’t seem to be a hirame. Sorry, I just had sushi. It’s not a fluke. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world. An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved. Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?! Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder. This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off. “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique. This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief. Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed. Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you? Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way. Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring. Scary good. May be best of Cubs lot right now.” Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed. If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances. Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming. On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur. Or make that, as craptastic as those guys. In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel. Time, not the magazine, will tell. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m in New York celebrating my grandfather’s 88th birthday, or as he calls it “achy-ache,” and we started talking about Caitlyn Jenner, and he said, “She’s a hot number, I’d throw her one.” Throw her one, I believe, means have sex with her. I thought this was pretty forward thinking for my grandfather, then he continued, “Do you know how they put lost children on the side of a carton of milk? I heard if Caitlyn got lost, they’d put her on a carton of Half & Half.” Ah, there he is. Reminds me a bit of Marge Schott, which brings us to Raisel Iglesias, who threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks. “Raise the Church” has looked far superior since he returned from his stint in the minors with an ERA that’s bordering on startable everywhere (3.93), and peripherals that look ownable everywhere (9.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.42 xFIP). At this point in the year, I would go one start at a time for him, but I would definitely own him, and start him for his next one. Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back before my grandfather tries to “throw one” at Cougs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Give me a buy, a bouncy buy! Wait, might have my Martin Short characters mixed up. *Googling* Damn, that was from his Irving Berlin. Jackie Rogers Jr. didn’t have much of a catchphrase. Last Saturday, JBJ was sworn in as the hottest schmotato in the land as Jackie O., his mother and who he was named after, held the Bible. After the ceremony, JBJ stated, “Compared to taking a free pass, hitting is a cakewalk.” Then he high-fived himself. Jackie Bradley Jr. is more or less a hot platoon player, but Cousin Sizzlechest is about as hot as they come right now. JBJ will cool off at some point, he strikes out a bit too much, but he’s worth owning in all leagues where you’re hurting for that little extra spark. Plus, to get JBJ on your team, you don’t need the assistance of the Cubans, the FBI, Frank Sinatra, Joe Pesci in a bad wig, a vast right wing conspiracy, Joe DiMaggio and some dude named Zapruder. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?