When I told you to pick up Joaquin Benoit yesterday, I was 85% sure he would close games until the Tigers traded for Papelbon, who will be known in Detroit as a Papelbonneville. Then, because Leyland reads Razzball between smokes, he named Benoit closer by not naming him the closer. He said, “I’m not naming anybody closer. I’m just saying if Benoit was available right now, I would try to close with him.” Thanks for clarifying! Managers deciding on a closer is like debating euthanasia. Valverde’s done, pull the plug! The Yelp reviews for Benoit are through the roof, but there’s a lot of five star reviews from fantasy baseballers with only one other closer. I’d grab Benoit in all leagues and hope he can hold the job and make the thought of trading for Papelbonneville absurd. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Andrew Bailey – 0 IP, 2 ER, 4th blown save, has now given up 7 runs in his last 5 appearances. Before yesterday’s blown save, the Red Sox said Andrew Bailey was healthy. The Red Sox also said the earth is flat, but they were comparing the earth to Billy Butler. As I said yesterday, Bailey is not healthy. Bailey doesn’t give up runs in every single game he pitches when he’s healthy. It’s a pretty simple logic problem from there. Runs = Not Healthy. I did that math in my head. Then after yesterday’s blown save, the Red Sox said Bailey is out as closer. I grabbed Tazawa prior to the latest blown save, so that’s who I want to get saves, and lots of them. Koji Uehara could also be in the mix. That mix features David Guetta.
John Lackey – 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, 3.03 ERA. Here’s the thing, and there is a thing. Lackey’s peripherals look like he’s usable in all leagues, but if you ask me if you should pick him up, I’m going to say no. I Lackey the enthusiasm. See what I did there? Do you see?!
Ryan Braun – Could be out a month. Aw, someone’s got a boo-boo that hoits dem turribly! Braun need a kiss on it from his Maw-Maw? Maybe his mom can make him some chicken soup with HGH in it? DOES HE NEED A WAMBULANCE?!
Jean Segura – 2-for-5 with 2 steals (22). As they used to say in film school after a good short film, Jean-Luc Goddamn!
Yovani Gallardo – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. I dropped him about a week ago. I don’t even remember who I dropped him for. I’m gonna say Hector Santiago, or maybe it was Gerrit Cole or maybe it was Corey Kluber…Whatever, not the point. The point is, I dropped him and he’s still stressing me out!
Jonathan Lucroy – 2-for-5 and his 7th homer. “So…about J.P. Arencibia?”
Jim Henderson – 1 IP, 1 ER as he entered the game in the 8th and blew the save. Hey, Jim, if there’s any way for you to return to the closer job, you have to set-up K-Rod so he can get his 300th save. There’s a lot of pieced together “Congratulations Trevor on number 600″ banners just wasting away here.
Carlos Pena – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in as many games. If you need a refresher, I told you on Wednesday to pick him up for power. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy because he’s here now. Act like you know, MC Lyte!
Matt Dominguez – 3-for-4, run, RBI and now hitting .333 over the last week. For whatever reason, he’s batting 8th for the Astros. If you can name the first seven guys in their lineup, you’re Bo Porter. Hey, Bo, how about you move Dominguez up to the five hole? Thank you.
Roy Oswalt – 5 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 11 Ks as he was promoted. Finally, he gets a chance at the big show! I wonder if his grandchildren were in attendance for his first game? 11 Ks are nice, but 4 earned runs against one of the worst offenses in an away game? Rockies could be longing for Jeff Francis once Oswalt is pitching a mile high.
Bryce Harper – Hitting in a cage, and he’s close to returning. Get him in your lineups (when he actually does return; this is helpful, huh? Sorry, was reading an ESPN news blurb and it inspired me. My favorite current ESPN news blurb is for Mike Carp, “He’ll play in the 2nd game of the doubleheader.” That was three days ago and he still hasn’t played. Thanks, ESPN!).
Jordan Zimmermann – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, 2.26 ERA. You know what else has three M’s and three N’s? Nom nom nom.
Anthony Rendon – 2-for-4, 1 run and his 1st steal. That’s a nice added bonus. Steals aren’t really a huge part of his game. Maybe because he’s filling in for Espinosa he’s taking over his characteristics. Like Whoopi in Ghost. Rendon: Medium Infielder.
Denard Span – 2-for-3, 1 run and his 8th steal. When you signed up in the preseason for 25 steals from Span, you didn’t think it would go like this, huh?
Adam LaRoche – 3-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs. After 7 homers in May, he’s still homerless in June. It starts with one, Adam, maybe tomorrow eve? This blurb was brought to you by Kirk Cameron.
Alex Cobb – Diagnosed with fluid in his ear. Plouffe was out for a month with a concussion after taking a knee to his head; Morneau still hasn’t fully returned after a similar injury five years ago (guesstimating how long ago it was). I hope Cobb comes back, but to think he’ll be effective again this year is more optimistic than even Maddon who said Cobb may not pitch again this year. Who are you, Florence Nightingale? You gotta mend Cobb’s wobbly head? Send him a Get Well card and drop him.
Evan Longoria – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and 2 homers. 20 more to go!
Desmond Jennings – 3-for-4, 2 runs. I hate to aid and abet here, but I wouldn’t mind some steals.
Yunel Escobar – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Since the Blue Jays had the day off, someone needed to step up for resident short schedule Mr. Boombastic, Colby Rasmus.
Matt Moore – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks and the Win vs. the Yanks. Say it with me…Sonavabench!
Jon Niese – Likely headed to the DL with a shoulder injury. He threw a pitch and then winced the same way people used to after seeing his nose.
David Wright – 3-for-4 with two solo homers. C’mon, David, CougarLife said they don’t like long balls.
Mike Minor – 6 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 6 Ks. Hard to fault a guy with a 2.89 ERA, but let’s try. This was against the Mess! They only have one guy hitting above .300 in their lineup. So, that means you pitch around him, you don’t groove two so he has his best game of the season.
Tyler Pastornicky – 3-for-5, 1 run with his 2nd start of the season. So, of course, he hit leadoff. I’m not saying Simmons has been terrific, but why isn’t he hitting leadoff over Pastornicky? Was it because of Gandolfini’s passing and Pastornicky sounds like a character from The Sopranos? BTW, my mother, who’s Italian, broke the news to me on Gandolfini within 10 minutes of it happening. I think there’s an app for bad things that happen to Italians. So, what does she say, “Well, at least he died in Rome.” Like that makes it all better. Being near the Vatican.
Justin Upton – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. Box score shows a multi-hit game, but I didn’t see it so I have to trust the work of whoever does box scores. Who does do box scores anyway? Are they outsourced? Is someone in Nepal like, “You spilled chutney all over my screen and now I don’t know what Andrew Bailey did! Oh, my goodness! Okay, let’s assume he gave up a run.” I bet the Nepalese box scorers are really good in their fantasy leagues.
Tom Koehler – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks. After every batter he faced, he yelled, “Nobody puts Koehler in the corner!” He left in a strait jacket after the 7th.
Chad Gaudin – Left the game after taking a liner off his arm. Oh, boy, the hubbub about protecting pitchers better is only going to get worse. Maybe Selig can get every pitcher to wear a helmet made of hair — let’s call it a steel toupee — a stoupee.
Mike Trout – 4-for-4, 1 run and his 16th steal. Okay, but what did Puig do?!
Mark Trumbo – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 17th homer. Good thing they gave Pujols a $460 million contract. Where would the Angels find someone to play 1st base?
Peter Bourjos – 3-for-4, 3 runs and a slam (3) and legs (4). I kinda love Bourjos. I don’t know why. It’s like my love for Brett Gardner. Bourjos is just wildly unappreciated. Yeah, I’d own him if he’s out there.
Tommy Hanson – 2 IP, 7 ER vs. the M’s. It’s actually three M’s followed by a plop.
Felix Hernandez – 5 IP, 6 ER, 12 baserunners, 2 Ks. Rudy streamed Hanson and he also owns F-Her. Hahahahaha… *breathe, Grey, breathe* I mean, who streams against their ace? You fell for the oldest trick in the book. Oh, my God, this was the best game I’ve ever seen. 13 earned runs in 7 innings. Oh, it hurts to laugh. Damn, I think I pulled my oblique.
Kyle Seager – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. Seager was loving life in Anaheim last night, singing, “40 Minutes South Of Hollywood Nights.”
Raul Ibanez – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs. Is it weird that the M’s scored nine runs and Ibanez only did this or is it weird that I expect more from Ibanez?
Troy Tulowitzki – Could do baseball activities on Monday. Until then, he has Jonathan Herrera moving his jockstrap for him.
Dexter Fowler – Could be placed on the DL. The MRI came back clean on his ring finger, but Fowler was singing “Single Ladies” in the MRI machine, and the hand motions might’ve skewed the results.
Alex Rodriguez – The reports say he is “making fantastic progress.” Great, I’ll remind my 2006 self to get excited.
Yasiel Puig – 1-for-5 with his 6th homer. Puiggy most definitely has the conch shell.
Stephen Fife – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Fife’s pitches float on gravity, never had a cavity, got more rhymes than Puig’s got fantasy value.
Pedro Ciriaco – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam and legs. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell, but no need to wait. Go ahead, add him now if you need an MI.
Angel Pagan – Had to be carted off the field after suffering a setback in his rehab. Sounds like he could be out months due to his hamstring. I guess every time someone hits Heath Bell hard it has no effect on Angel.
Jed Lowrie – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI. This was his first three-hit game since the first game of June, otherwise known as June Bloom, no relation to Judy or Josh Lindblom.
Josh Donaldson – 3-for-5. He has 2 homers this month with a .260 average. Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot less calls for him to be a candidate for the All-Century Team. Or how he changed his approach to be more Mike Schmidt-like. Or how he sleeps with one eye open and that eye is watching video of yesterday’s game.
Alfredo Griffin – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks and a no decision. Note to self: Link to that pitching line when asked what the average start is for a streamer.
Josh Lindblom – 5 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks, but he’s being bumped from the rotation for Martin Perez. Perez was once a top prospect, but he’s looked bleh in limited time in the major leagues and pitches home games at Arlington. With Martin, I’d say Sha-nay-nay.
Jose Alvarez – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. You’ll see on his Player Page he was predicted to get 3.5 Ks yesterday. (Actually, it might not be there anymore, I think predictions disappear the day after the start happens). Any the hoo! Where is my other half of a strikeout?! I want an 0-1 check swing the ump calls a strike! So, Alvarez’s filling in for Anibal, here’s what I said previously, “Alvarez’s minor league numbers up until this year are yawnstipating. Always been solid with his control, but this year he’s’ getting Ks with no walks. That me likey. His stuff, no likey so much. He looks destined to be a reliever. Depending how long Anibal is out, Alvarez is nothing but an AL-Only flyer. And if in your league AL stands for the first two letters of a player’s last name, he’s even more valuable.” And that’s me quoting me!
Drew Smyly – 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 baserunners, 4 Ks and his 3rd win, lowering his ERA to 1.85 and WHIP to 0.98. Smyly has fantasy owners’ lips with two parallel chevrons.
Lance Lynn – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks to move his record to 10-1. Murray Chass is already mounting his case for Lynn for Cy Young. “Lynn wouldn’t have won all of those games without intestinal fortitude or determination. How do you judge intestinal fortitude or determination? Is there a newfangled stat for that? No! The only way to judge that is by placing yourself in the mind of the pitcher when he is willing his team wins.”
Matt Holliday- 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11trh homer. Look at Holliday producing without riding Beltran’s coattails. Since I actually own Holliday, I like that. He must have intestinal fortitude.
Jon Jay – 2-for-4, 1 run. He hasn’t had many multi-hit games lately, but when he does have one he usually goes on a tear for a few days. Watch The Federalist rip up the field for 3-5 days like it’s the Magna Carta.
Welington Castillo – 3-for-4 with his 2nd homer. Boeuf goes the dynamite!
Shin-Shoo Choo – 2-for-4, 1 run and his 8th steal. He almost seems afraid of doing more than 20/20. Maybe he could try to do some pre-Oscar interviews, just to see there’s more out there for him.
Jay Bruce – 1-for-4 with his 5th homer this week. Bruuuuuuuuce!
Homer Bailey – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, but he was out-pitched by Brandon Cumpton, who I thought was a character in the remake of The Nutty Professor. Homer-cules! Homer-cules!
Tony Watson – 2 IP and the save. This was simply a rest day for Grilli, who worked three of the last four days and would prefer to operate on MOM or HOH.
Pedro Alvarez – 3-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 16th homer. He’s hotter than Pedro Almodovar dressed as Tintin in a tapas bar in West Hollywood.
Starling Marte – 2-for-5 and his 22nd steal. He could have a 8/25 season by the All-Star break. Shane Victorino who?! He’s an outfielder for the Red Sox. Used to get 10/30 seasons, but he’s been battling injuries this year. I know, Random Italicized Voice. Whew, I was worried for a minute there because I’ve been reading you for a few years and if you didn’t know Victorino, well… Thanks for your concern.
Brian Dozier – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. He now has twice as many homers as Morneau. Dozier’s name stands for a waiver wire pick up that puts you to sleep, but how much can you fight a hot schmotato? How much, I ask you.
Oswaldo Arcia – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. He’s had a good game once every week, so he was due. Where’s Oswaldo? Waiting for next week.
Clete Thomas – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 1st homer. I wonder if he’s related to Thomas Neal. Or even Brandon Cumpton.
Paul Konerko – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, his 7th homer and is hitting over .400 in the last week. I almost put him in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell, but I refused to believe he wasn’t owned in more than 50% of leagues. I mean, I get it, he hasn’t been great, but Morneau is owned in 20% more leagues than him? Granted, 40% to 60% ownership could mean Morneau is owned in one extra league by Peter Dinklage.
Alexei Ramirez – 4-for-5 and his 15th steal. That is now his 2nd highest season total after last year’s 20. He also only has 1 homer this year after setting a career low last year with 9. Did he get invited to a Juan Pierre party where they serve SAGNOF Perignon? “I feel so bubbly and weak!”
John Danks – 5 IP, 6 ER. He gave up 4 homers at Target Field. That’s harder to imagine than buying 4 of those Wal-Mart steaks that they try to peddle through MasterChef. I had Rudy over for a BBQ and this was overheard. “Hey, Grey, thanks for grilling me a steak, but it tastes off.” “Well, Rudy, it only cost $1.99/pound and it comes with peace of mind that the cow wasn’t slaughtered. He died from natural causes because it didn’t have a health plan.”