I have waxed poetic about him for three straight weeks and still have never given him the lede.  Well, Travis is the pure definition of what SAGNOF is.  It’s Grey’s term, but next to it in the glossary of Razz-terms, there should be a picture of Mr. Jankowski drinking a mai-tai while laying around on one of those full size ab-machines that he uses as a lounge chair.  All the dude has done is have basically half the plate appearances of a regular over the past 30 days, post a near .400 OBP, and have one less steal in that time than MLB leader Starling Marte (with 12).  Now, I am no numbers genius, I am a realist, and I really like the low-cost ability that he has for a team that has no other real choice but to play him, if he continues to do what he do. In all seriousness, where are the Padres going?  No wheres is the answer.  Guy is a newly minted 25, has shown decent enough OBP skills and prowess for thievery, that he may be wax-penciled into their lineup next year as someone they should try and build around and play smaller ball with.  I mean, they could do worse… they could sign Melvin Upton.  Oh, wait, that turned out good.  They can see if Wil Myers can play first base on the regular, yet again something else that went right.  For the small things, maybe the Fathers are starting to get things in the right direction, and instead of spending crazy stupid money for free agents and trading assets, they should start modeling themselves after what A.J Preller knows best.  They are a small market club with big club aspirations, start acting like it.  Just my two cents.  Let’s see what else is going down on the 90 feet thieves and sneaky saves department…

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I am always a day late and a buck short on the posts because I am relegated to be the Saturday morning cartoon of the Razzball variety.  No worries, I mean, who doesn’t love 80’s cartoons and can’t list 10 shows that would drastically alter children’s universes today?  One word… Snorks.  So with everyone else doing the second-half rankings, I felt it was my duty to give the closer rankings based solely on the second games remaining.  The elite will still be the elite, the mediocre are still mediocre, and the middling teams will still be middling. I don’t care what algorithm Jimmy Bill came up with to have expected win totals and blah blah.  Expected win totals are an indicator of save expectations. because the percent of saves converted in wins by teams has been pretty stagnant at 52%, give or take a few sheckles each way.  So looking at the games remaining, some teams have less games to play then others, and some have more so the expected totals for some teams will be different then what you would expect them to be.  So as a wise person once said to me in throws of fantasy passion, lets have at it.  Cheers!

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The changing parabola that is the saves game is taking over the first “S” in this weeks post.  Steaks are boring, throw rocks at them.  The “saver stitch” has changed in several different destinations, and the funny thing is, I just wrote about closing situations two-and-half-days ago.  Strange days indeed, my friends.  The closer in the Desert, the Beantown, and now, the City of Angels, is possibly up for grabs.  Check the bottom for the first two, as I would like to concentrate on Huston Street.  He pulled up lame on Sunday and with the All-Star break here, we will anxiously await his massive 5.7 K/9 rate.  The rumor mill was already circling for Street to be a trade candidate in a few weeks, now the possible injury puts a dent in the already dented can.  The adds for the Angels are a yuck Joe Smith, who if possible, has been equally as bad as Street.  My speculative pick if Street is more injured than it appears is Deolis Guerra for a bit, before seeing what Cam Bedrosian has.  Baby Bedrock was a tout of mine a few months back and stumbled.  Guess what?  He is back, but no one cares because the Angels are bad and not anything or anyone watches except the cast of Angels in the Outfield.  So those looking for a speculative add for the boring non-three days of fantasy, check the stacks of Angels and be ahead of the curve, instead of having trouble with it.

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I figured out the best concoction for delivering fantasy baseball…  First, go to liquor store and grab your consumption of choice.  Next, convey your thoughts about fantasy bullpens to the masses in a cognitive and fluid way that makes sense to… the masses.  Mission One: check, Mission Two: to be determined.  This week, I wanna touch base on the neophyte in Seattle’s Edwin Diaz, the once highly-touted starting pitcher prospect that is now occupying the first chair in Seattle.   He is sorta the new kid in class, and the trust level to let him borrow a Nintendo game just isn’t there yet.   The stats will speak differently though.  Check the rhythm of the rhyme I wrote and while I got a chance here, let me clear my throat.  For the last month, he has been chipping away at the Benoit salad in Seattle’s pecking order.  Well, now he is the goods by setting up a Cishek.  Cishek in this case is Swahili for “not for long”.  Over the last fortnight, he leads all of baseball in holds with 5, and his 20.57 K/9, which is basically unparalleled by anyone.  Listen, Cishek has the job and he isn’t getting shipped anywhere while the Mariners are in a wildcard hunt.  But isn’t it fun to own the guy who is sexy now before you start seeing kids in the mall all wearing him like he is the new Cavaricci?  Diaz is his name and RP satisfaction is his game, green is his color… blue is the other.  So hop on the good foot and add the sure thing.  While you’re at it, check some other delectable sundries that I have in the shape of bullpens and their place in society…

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On this high holy season of fireworks and excessive drinking, it all unfortunately comes to an end on a Monday.  Today.  July 5th shouldn’t be a day of the hangover and partial powder burns…  So in honor of our noble sacrifice, let’s touch on some chaps that have some steal value.  We will attack it slow so you can read this, and in between flip the burgers and dogs on the grill.  The steals game is slowing down.  Look at the numbers we expected from guys this year based off last years stats.  Guys like Rizzo, and Goldy, and even Ryan Braun all down.  The expectations across the board have to be lowered.  It should be lowered enough that we open the window and chuck it out that same window.  Unfortunately, we can’t, because counting stats are counting stats and it is still a whole category which we must choose to score points in.  The days of steals being a reliable category are long gone.  The “punt a position” for SB’s is a mythical lore of the whole Pegasus persuasion.  It exists only because we remember the days that it actually happened.  The weekly guys for the leaders in the category read like an extra list for a CSI episode, it is not fun, but we get drawn into the allure of the chase.  The chase is fun, the end result is just a let down like an aerial photo of your upcoming date from Tinder.  So here is the week ahead, behind and below SAGNOF targets and guys that are contributing for their teams that will make you give a second look if chasing that SB fix.  Cheers!

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So this year, like so many before, the closer trade market is always an interesting cocktail mixer of events that shake things up.  The Padres waited to be first, which makes zero sense… but also makes total sense.  A conundrum wrapped in bacon as they traded Fernando Rodney to the ever more deadly bullpen in Miami.  He will not be closing there, but will basically make that bullpen just deeper and taking value away from great holds guys on the year in David Phelps and Kyle Barraclough.  Rodney brings his glistening 1 earned run on the year, to a situation behind the Marlins closer A.J. Ramos, who hasn’t blown a save to date.  So now the ramifications don’t just stay with the Marlins, their bullpen is solid.  The Padres, however, are like the movie Thinner, a cursed bunch of unprovens, which is sometimes good and bad.  Ryan Buchter is the first guy up, as he has carved out a decent set-up niche there.  After that, it is a bunch of Quacks, Villas, and BM’s.  Buchter has the K-rate, just not the pedigree… yet, to be a closer.  He has the job as they say in fantasy, which is better than being fantasy homeless or unemployed. So Buchter is the add. Maurer and Quackenbush are on ready five.  Here what else is happening in the game of final bosses.  Have a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend!

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In the world of fantasy, when players hit the rewind button and show flashes of brilliance from days gone by, the buy-in factor is sometimes slower than most waiver acquisitions.  Well, enter B.J., Melvin, or Bossman Jr. Upton.  Whichever name you want to use for him, he is quickly becoming a must own player and is pushing to be the SAGNOF waiver wire pick-up of the year. Currently, I think Eduardo Nunez is in that spot, wait, did I just say that and mean it?  When all is said and done though, I think Melvin is the most likely to sustain his value and is on a 23HR/35SB pace.  Had we known that in preseason, it would have put him in 2nd round draft range.  But alas, he wasn’t, and is still only owned in 43% of all ESPN leagues.  His on-pace numbers are basically production wise to what we got from Charlie Blackmon last year.  Blackmon, was of course, a top-30 player entering the season.  The only problem holding Upton back is that he has been bad for a few years, in his favor though, is that he has been bad for a few years.  What I mean by that is that I don’t think he has much value to anyone but the Padres.  He will play every day for an offense that is near the bottom in all categories, and doesn’t appear to be a sell candidate for them at the deadline.  So add away my friends, and happy SAGNOF’n this week.  Here are some updates to the pitchers that are easiest to steal against and some waiver wire type blurbs for steal/save streaming…

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Whatever your cultivation of choice may be, go with it.  Oscar Gamble was, and is still a pimp in social culture, as is California sensemilia.  So whatever your subset of life is, that’s cool with me.  My obsession is a little of column A, a lot of column B, and I incorporate column C.  Column C being my love and passion for the deliverance of the most finite bullpen jargon on the web.  Go look, there isn’t anything better than me.  I checked, if I added a pretty colorful chart with catchy funny names, then I would literally have to kick my own ass.  So here we sit, and look at what the Rangers are doing.  They have been doing, in the last 30 days what the Cubs did over the first 30.  They are, in no large part, being buoyed by a stout bullpen.  Their starters are all hitting the DL and fast.  The trio of Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, and Sam Dyson are about as tight as a bullpen can get, and the best group I have seen since the Isley Brothers concert Prospector Ralph and I went to see.  I have talked about Dyson and Diekman on separate occasions this year.  So no, it’s the one without voting privileges turn.  Bush has basically been a la machina since promotion on May 12th.  He has appeared in 13 games for the Rangers to date, and his usage has only recently spiked having pitched in 13 of the last 22 overall for the Rangers.  His 10-plus K-rate over that time is coupled with an ERA under a buck and his xFIP is basically what David Phelps is giving you.  Who, in most hold leagues right now, is pretty much a must own and isn’t a guy you yawn at in mixed company leagues either.  Bush is a feel good story that I think can continue as long as the Rangers can duct tape their starting rotation together long enough to maintain their AL West dominance.  He should be rostered in most leagues going forward for his usage potential as the remaining Rangers starters, minus Cole Hamels, average less than 6 innings per start.  So head for the mountains and roster some Bush.  Stick with me for some other diatribes of greatness…

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With the complexity of scoring, much like that of Scrabble, the steals game is all about the triple word score.  With names and with letters that are uncommon for words, you know the J’s and X’s of the world.  We all can cheat and make the word “jo” or “ox”, but imagine the scoring erection you will get when you use Rajai   This wordsmith of the basepaths has been giving new form to the SAGNOF game.  Over the last 14 games, no one in the game has more steals than Davis.  Rajai has been the Magi of it for years, and it is crazy to think that he’s crazy Joe Louis old.  He is 35, which isn’t quite as old as me, but I also don’t even run when chased, let alone run 90 feet from pillow to pillow.  For the most part, Rajai is the goods because he basically fills all your SAGNOF needs and isn’t and absolute void in other categories like a newly DL’d Mallex.  Davis, over the last 14, has put up 2 HRs and a cup full of RBIs.  It is more than what we get from Mallex, who offers nothing but steals. even is an abysmal in BA, and his one saving grace is that his OBP is decent because he takes walks at almost a 17% clip.  So for the few of you that are surfing for a SAGNOF savior to replace your Mallex fix…  here are some names that could be good for now and later.  Side note, I used to love that candy.

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The save buffet line in Minnesota is becoming a tiresome “wait-and-see who gets the chance today”.  We all sit there and wait to own all the bullpen condiments that they offer, whether it be Brandon Kintzler, Fernando Abad, Trevor May, Kevin Jepsen, or Michael Tonkin. Including Perkins, those are the names that have been gifted a precious save chance for the occupants of the Twin Cities.  A save opportunity total that is second to last in the league (18), in front of a surprise first place team in the Cubs.  The Cubs are only there because they are beating everyone up and don’t have the late-inning chances that other losing teams do.  So back to the Twinkies… they have the least amount of saves, holds, and have the least amount of appearances by relievers with the lead.  All those things are so bad for roster space that you are speculating it to get you a save. They are on pace to average less than 3/4 of one whole save a week.  But if people want to keep roster shuffling, looking for the odd save here or there, who am I to judge?  I mean, some people say cucumbers taste better pickled.  The fortunate thing for you is that I am here to guide that steady hand and give you astute advice for a nominal (not nominal, it’s free) fee.  So here the rankings of closers for week 11, now with more added snippets of goodness!

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