REL baseball logo newWell, on the heels of the real-life Trade Deadline, we are now faced with the REL Trade Deadline looming this Sunday.  We’ve started seeing a huge influx of trades as team build for the final stretch or rebuild for the future.  You know the saying “the future is now”?  Things couldn’t be further from the truth for my REL Brewers!

To the teams that are actually good, and we’re starting to see runaways in both leagues.  In the AL, the Blue Jays are migrating to the top of every category, and in the NL, the Nats have already lived there.  Looks like the initial REL World Series will be the 1 Canadian team vs. the 1 former Canadian team.  At least things are going better for the ol’ US of A in the Olympics!  Here’s how week 19 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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The Razzball Baseball Pod is back, and on today’s show we learn about what Grey is going to do in retirement – antiquing – and talk big performances from the past week. We debate the relative safety of Joe Musgrove ROS, where Danny Duffy will rank amongst SP next year, and if Manny Machado is still a first rounder with no steals. Speaking of SAGNOF, we discuss some waiver adds like Travis Jankowski, Keon Broxton and Cesar Hernandez. Grey is also sure to share with us his Wikipedia editing prowess. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod, now with more citations!

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As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.

I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:

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REL baseball logo newThe Trade Deadline hath come and gone!  And thankfully, while there was a huge amount of trades, we got through the deadline with minimal confusion and dissent.  It’s a lot to buy into that you lose & gain players in AL -> NL trades.  But alas, I think we’ve shown the league can work.

Speaking of working it, how about the Indians on the trading block?!  They’ve made 4 trades I think it is in the past week, as they gear up for the stretch run.  I think for next year I’ll have a trades section as well for these updates, but I’m lazy for now!  The Tribe are still chasing the Blue Jays and the Orange Birds in the AL, while the NL is still a snoozefest as the Nats walk all over everyone.  Here’s how week 18 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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Special Edition Podcast Alert! On today’s show we cover all of the big trades in this week’s trade deadline: Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Moore, Andrew Miller… But let’s be real… We’re all here for B-Real! Grey sits down with the Cypress Hill legend to talk, well, lots of ganja. Grey was super lucid for the interview, that’s for sure! Hey at least Grey didn’t ask him about Madonna… Grey’s becoming a master podcaster by the day! Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod:

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I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snell within my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.

And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.

Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:

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REL baseball logo newWe’re heading into arguably the biggest week of the inaugural REL league! Trade deadline… Is it just me, or is the rumor mill louder every year? Everyone loves just throwing thousands of strands of pasta on the wall in the hope that one sticks so they can feel smart. I never understood that method for pasta, it’s a waste of friggin’ food!

With real-life trades having an impact on REL rosters, there is still plenty of time for fortunes to change and runs to be made. However, it’s going to be tough to unseat the NL leading Nats from their stranglehold on the standings. The AL is much more wide open though, with 5 teams at 100+ points and the Tigers in striking distance as well at 98. Here’s how week 17 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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We’re back with an all new “GREY GREY GREY! … and JB” Podcast, where Grey again struts his stuff like he’s the cock of the walk. On today’s show we discuss the Chris Sale situation, Aroldis Chapman getting traded to the Cubs, and two huge prospects making their debuts on Monday night. Then we get into some flavor-of-the-week pitchers like Tyler Skaggs and Sean Manaea, as Grey and I get into a shouting match that makes his neighbors Mr. Heckles him. “You’re disturbing my oboe practice!” We also hit on some hot sluggers like Ryan Schimpf, and run through some set-up guys who could be getting saves after the trade deadline. Here’s the latest edition of the Razzball Pod, now with more swearing!

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Junior 2

When you have to tell people your favorite team’s ace is a 31-year-old rookie, you kinda make a face like Arnold Schwarzenegger right there…  It’s as uncomfortable as a dude getting pregnant!  But for a rebuilding team, I guess nothing is inconceivable after all!

As an unabashed Brewers homer, and owner of the REL Brewers where I have to own a certain amount from my parent team, I’ve been a big follower of the Brew Crew beat, and there’s been buzz for Junior Guerra ever since we picked him up.  I even brought him up on the Pod when he was promoted, much to Grey cackle-ment.  I of course never saw anything like this coming though…  I knew he had a fastball and a great splitter, but that splitter hasn’t been just “great”.  It’s been the best splitter in baseball.  His other stuff is pretty good, but he hit 98 MPH in his last start against the Pirates, and if he can throw gas like that, it’s going to make him a dynamic guy ROS.  So I decided to double up on my Sunday afternoon baseball watching by breaking down Guerra’s start against the Cubs, while watching my Brewers like I would’ve anyway.  Two birds one stone!  Sue me!  Here’s how he looked:

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REL baseball logo newI know I used a similar open a few updates ago, but dayum!  Next week we’ll be over 100 games into the season!  That’s right, I plagiarized myself.  Is that in fact plagiarization?! Is it bad I had no idea plagiarize had that first “i” in there?! I can’t even plagiarize the word plagiarize!

The NL continues to be a boring domination by the Nationals, who keep adding younger and sexier talent somehow.  Their Minor League system is some sort of oligarchy.  Don’t know if I’m using that term correct, I never studied for History class…  At least the AL is much more interesting, with the Blue Jays in the driver’s seat with the surging Tribe moving into second.  The Orange Birds, who led for most of the season in the AL, are still clearly in the mix, as are the Red Sox and Astros with over 100 points.  Here’s how weeks 15-16 went down in the 2016 REL League:

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