It was a good night for a rally, but a bad night for a closer. Summer is officially here which means we can no longer use the “he’ll heat up as soon the weather warms up” excuse for our struggling stars. And just as the air at Coors makes the balls fly higher, the increased temperature and humidity also causes those baseballs to travel even farther. This time of year the advantage tends to shift from the pitchers to the hitters. It’s science, Mr. White! Fact. Just go ask a scientist. He’ll tell you summer is coming, Jon Snuh, no need to look so depressed all of the time. Perhaps this explains why last night, on Summer’s Eve, a number of closers collectively decided to destroy your ratios in an all out Closer Catastrophe. Let’s start with Zach Britton (0.2 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, BS (2)). I haven’t seen a Yankee beat a Britton like that since the Battle of Saratoga. Revolutionary war joke! (NERD!) With nine saves in the past month, it’s hard for Britton’s owners to complain here, so let’s move on. Old Reliable Glen Perkins (1.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB), was handed his third blown save but managed his third win, in expert vulture stylez. The crowning jewel of last night’s CloserTastrophe, Aroldis Chapman (0.2 IP, 2 hits, 2 BB, 4 ER) was handed the loss after a five run ninth inning capped off by a 3-run HR by Edwin Encarnacion. Say it ain’t so, Roldy! Is no one safe? With Craig Kimbrel (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 2 BB, 1 ER) notching his fourth blown save I should think not. Anthony Rendon hit a game-tying HR (11) off Craig, the first homer Kimbrel has surrendered all season. Are you getting scared yet? Was there a full moon last night or something? How about Greg Holland (1.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 BB, 2 ER) taking his second loss. This one was tied when he entered but stillz. By this time in the night when I saw Kenley Jansen (0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 hits) enter the game with one run lead, I knew it could only end poorly. Escape while you can, Kenley! Fake a stomach cramp or something! He was handed his third blown save of the year. Sure, I’m ignoring all the closers who did manage to notch saves last night, but that’s not the point. It was a tough night to be a closer, but an even tougher night to own one in fantasy baseball. I feel your pain, all.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:
George Springer – 1-for-4, HR (13), 2 RBI. It’s going down. I’m yelling Spriiiingeeer! Yes. George has given me everything I’ve wanted from him and more. Springer’s been great, but Summerer’s power number’s could be even better! #science
David Price – 8.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 12 K. The ratios aren’t making me swoon (3.81 ERA), but the 122/13 K/BB rate is pretty insane. Have I mentioned I like strikeouts? I made this collage of Ks out of old magazines. It’s not what it looks like–I love all races, colors and creeds! Price’s 10.35 K/9 makes me Happy, Pharrell. Clap along if you must. He’s struck out 10+ batters in four straight starts and has pitched at least 7.0 innings in his last six starts. If he could actually get some run support, or perhaps a new team even, Price could be invaluable down the stretch. Hard to believe I didn’t want any part of this guy a month ago.
Chad Qualls – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 2 K, SV (9). Really should be owned in all leagues, the Lastros are barely under .500 and Qualls has been way better than most of your other terrible closers.
Starlin Castro – 1-for-4, 3-run HR (11). I mentioned him last week when he homered but now Castro’s got a eight game hitting streak with three homers in that span. Last week, my shortstop slept with the girl I like, used all the hot water in the shower and finished off the rest of the cereal. So yeah, I’d rather have Castro right now.
Jason Grilli – 1.0 IP, 1 hit 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Looked better in the non-save situation, but probably a few more outings like this away from reclaiming the closer role. I wouldn’t drop him, but I’d try to own Mark Melancon too if I could.
Henderson Alvarez – 6.1 IP, 7 hits, 0 ER, 5 K. Grey told you to BUY him for last night’s start and Alvy impressed yet again. He has been quietly reliable. Which is the best kind of reliable. Nobody likes a show off. Henderson has a two wins, a 0.98 ERA and a 21/2 K/BB rate in four June starts, which is something you can set your watch to, if you have some weird watch that keeps track of ERA and strikeouts. Either way, I’d grab Alvarez for his start next week versus Philadelphia if he’s available.
Daisuke Matsuzaka – 5.1 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. The 2.68 ERA is certainly surprising, but wait until you see him throw a gyroball.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 2-for-4. Returned from a the DL and has now collected a hit in both games since his return. The catcher questions are inevitable so I will say that as much as I like the Saltine, I’m still probably not dropping my catcher for him unless my catcher is injured. But feel free to ask away!
Rick Porcello – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER. 1 BB, 3 K and his 9th win. I wish I knew how to quit you, cowboy Jake Gyllenhaal. I don’t understand why I can’t either. His ratio’s are bleh, and although his BB/9 are down from last year his strikeout numbers are way down from last year’s rates. The nine wins, however, ties him for fourth best in the league, which I guess explains why I still own him.
Joe Nathan – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 2 K, SV (15). Of course, on a night when six closers blow games, Nathan For You pitches a solid inning to get the save. Of course! Nathan’s now pitched four consecutive scoreless outings with two saves and a win in that span.
Victor Martinez – 1-for-3, 2-run HR (18). Sweet sassy molassy, 18 dingers!? I had no idea, V-Mart. We haven’t seen power like this from Martinez since he hit 20 homers in 2010 with Boston. He’s hitting .328 which is more than even his owners could have anticipated when they drafted him, and his current .596 SLG% is a career high and good for top five in the league! If Miggy’s looking for his lost power, Victor’s locker is the first place I’d check.
J.D. Martinez – 3-for-4, 3-run HR (7). J.D.’s locker is the second place I’d check. Grey told you to BUY this hot little potato and it doesn’t get much hotter than J.D. He’s got a 10 game hitting streak with four homers and nine RBIs in his last five games. In the past two weeks he’s triple slashing .447/.436/.895. Yes, you should probably pick him up. I probably should too. Race you!
Carlos Santana – 2-for-4, HR (10). Santana’s got 8 RBI and 3 homers in the past ten games. Pretty smooth, Rob Thomas. Matchbox 20. Sing a song! Now stop! I’ve been trying to buy him low, but owners don’t seem to want to budge on Carlos. The .196 batting average is cringe inducing sure but if you can still find an owner to sell, there are few players with his kind of ceiling, especially one with catcher eligibility.
Corey Kluber – 7.0 IP, 8 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Kluber’s been less dominant lately, but still very solid. Which is why I can’t understand his declining ownership numbers. Stop dropping him, people! Trade him to me instead. I will give you my two worst players.
Carlos Beltran – 2-for-4, 3-run HR (7). Beltran’s walk-off homer to win this one was his second homer in the past five days. Here’s a guy who could heat up really quick, and as bad (and injured) as he’s been, Carlos is due for a big week. The injury concerns make him a risky buy, but I do like him going forward. I’ve always liked you, Beltran. That swing is so pretty, and have I mentioned the weather is heating up?
Adam Eaton – 2-for-4, RBI. Eaton is available in a little less than half of ESPN fantasy leagues and I must insist that he be owned everywhere. He’s hit safely in his past seven games, with four multi-hit games in that span. He’ll steal some bases and he can be a run-scoring machine at the top of that line up. He’s battled some injuries, but has produced when healthy, so go pick him up before he gets hurt again. Not yet convinced? Grey told you to BUY him, too, so go do that! Adam should be owned everywhere.
Edwin Encarnacion – 2-for-5, 2 HR (22 & 23), 6 RBI. His sixth multi-homer game of the year. E5 grabbed the league lead in homers and he may never look back. Remember when he had zero homers on April 20 and everyone was panicked? Yeah, me neither.
Brett Lawrie – 3-for-5, HR (12). The 12 homers is a career high! Only a real friend, bud-day, guy would do that for your fantasy team. Thanks bud-day! Let the post-post-post-post hype hype hype begin!
Jay Bruce – 2-for-3, 2-run HR (6). Bruuuuuce! I haven’t heard that in a while…I guess that means Jay’s about to go on a tear and hit six homers in the next week, or hit 0-for-25 in the next week. The Reds had an eight run second inning in this one but managed to blow it in epic fashion. Unfortunately, owners can’t blame Bruce for that.
Colby Rasmus – 2-for-4, 2 runs. The Jays tallied 14 runs off 16 hits and it looked like that spark that they had before they lost it last week was back. At least until they lose it again next week. Sorry Blue Jays, the Royals are the new “it” team right now, and they’re right in the heartland of Amurca. Go back to Canada, will you? Colby’s collected a hit in each of his games since returning from the DL and the power should be back any time now. He’s available in about 70% of leagues and was one of this week’s BUYs so grab him.
Mike Minor – 7.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 BB, 2 ER, 11 K. Mike’s given up 29 hits and 13 runs in his past three starts, so it was nice to see this start from him, although it’s still not doing your WHIP any favors. As bad as he’s been Minor could be a good buy low candidate, the high BABIP (.345) suggests a bit of bad luck and I think he should be much better going forward.
Denard Span – 2-for-5, RBI. I think this was the first time in over a month that Denard Dawg wasn’t featured in this week’s buy/sell. Still sitting at under 40% owned, I think Grey gave up on us. Fair enough, I can try to fill in. Span has seven hits and three steals in his past four games so maybe you should pick him up!
Billy Butler – 3-for-4, run. Butler’s got a 10 game hitting streak with a homer in there somewhere, but he’s still only got two dingers on the year. A fat guy that can’t hit for power is about as useful as a doodoo scented air freshener. However, Butler has had seven-multi hit performances in that span and is hitting just about everything right now. If he’s hanging out on your wire he’s probably worth picking up, but be careful he’s pretty heavy.
Salvador Perez – 2-for-4, 2-run HR (8). That’s four times as many home runs as Butler, for those keeping track. And before you ask, yeah I’d probably drop your catcher for him. The Royals had 14 hits with two hit games from Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon and Jarrod Dyson and a 2-run HR (8) from Mike Moustakas. And they were all like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on their timepiece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash. And baby they’ll rule, they’ll rule, they’ll rule, let them help my fantasy (team).
Logan Morrison 2-for-5, run, HR (2), 3 RBI. You better believe he live tweeted it, too! Next time I want a live Vine cam, LoMo. Make it happen!
Brad Miller – 2-for-4, HR (6). Hit the go-ahead homer in the ninth to win this one for the M’s. Two homers in the past week. I won’t recommend him, but I will pick him up and let him disappoint me himself. I will spare you that pain though, loyal reader.
A.J. Burnett – 9.0 IP, 7 hits, 1 ER, 3 K. Say what you want about A.J., the dude eats innings and has rebounded quite nicely since surrendering 8 ER to Washington earlier in the month. Was that not what you wanted to say?
Paul Goldschmidt – 2-for-3, 2 runs, SB (7). I think I get even more psyched when he steals a base.
Josh Donaldson – 1-for-3, with the slam (18) and legs (2). Josh likes his slam and legs wrapped in a syrup soaked waffle.
Leonys Martin – 1-for-3, SB (16). Despite some yawnstipating stats, Leonys’ ownership numbers haven’t really wavered. I’m just not sure his numbers have warranted that kind of respect. Denard-ney Span-gerfield wonders why he can’t get no respect. Regardless, Martin has led off the past two games and perhaps that can give his value the boost that his ownership numbers deserve.
Garrett Richards – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 BB, 1 ER, 7 K and his seventh win. I don’t know if it’s the 94/33 K/BB ratio, the 9.03 K/9, or maybe it’s just the 7 wins and 1.11 WHIP. Most likely it’s the muscle relaxers making me feel all happy in my face, but I wish I owned Richards on every team. I am K-razy for Ks, y’all. It’s an addiction.
Corey Dickerson – 4-for-5, 2-run HR (9), 3 RBI. I’m not sure who should love Coors more, fantasy owners or players like Dickerson. The answer is fantasy owners. Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario had 3 hits a piece, but 10 runs just wasn’t enough to stop Marco Estrada from getting his sixth win (5.2 IP, 10 hits, 7 ER, 7 K).
Jean Segura – 3-for-5, 2 HR (3 & 4), 3 RBI. Grey JUST told you to BUY him yesterday. Is Grey pulling a Biff Tannen on us? I mean, is he working some crazy Back to the Future-esque racketeering scam where he came from the future with box scores to give us all fantasy advice? I have so many questions! How does he benefit from this personally, I mean besides all those daiquiris. And if Grey is Biff who’s Marty? Rudy is obviously Doc Brown, so that leaves only…well, I’m not saying I’d make the perfect Marty McFly, but I do own all Michael J. Fox’s films on VHS. I have no VCR to play them though. Maybe Grey/Biff can travel back to the 90’s and get me one. I know, that’s Lea Thompson and she’s super hot but it’s still my mom and that shizz is gross, man, come on! Holy tangent, where was I!? Ah yes, I’m Marty McFly and Grey has been travelling in time to tell us we should buy Jean Segura, who proceeded to hit two homers last night. Great Scott, Greynac the Magnificent! Time travel or witchcraft are the only explanations here.
Khris Davis – 2-for-5, 2-run HR, 3 RBI (13). The Brewers had 19 hits (there’s no place like Coors) including 3-hit games from Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Scooter Gennett and Aramis Ramirez. Bet you didn’t see that one coming did you, Biff? Oh? You say you did? It’s called HitterTron and it runs on a Flux Capacitor? I will have to check that out. Meanwhile, Krish Davish strikes again! I hope you’re getting my fan mail, Khris. The first 10 letters or so must have got lost in the shuffle. Hit me back, just to chat. Truly yours, your biggest fan. This is Dan (cue Dido).
Questions? Problems? Complaints? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below, or you can get at me on twitter @dandemanco. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!