Yesterday, Matt Cain had his shortest outing of his career with 2/3 IP and 3 ER. At least Bochy had the sense in his giant watermelon-sized head to remove Cain quick enough that yesterday’s damage was that of a bad Heath Bell outing. Wait a second, did I just compare Cain to Heath Bell? I just rang my own bell and answered with, “Holy crap no one wants to be compared to Heath Bell.” Where did it all go wrong for Cain and can Cain (almost stutterer!) get it back to good, assuming you’re not just signing a Matchbox Twenty song? Looking at his K-rate from last year to this year, he’s actually been better this year. His velocity is fine. His xFIP is nearly the same as last year when he had a 2.79 ERA. The only big change is his luck and his walk rate. He’s missing his spots. This can come one of two ways. He can miss his spots off the plate and walk guys or he can miss his spots in the zone and give up hits and homers. He usually works up in the zone. Done it his whole career. If you miss up…up, it’s a ball. If you miss up…down, you’re Sandy Duncan with one glass eye while watching with your other eye as the ball is leaving the park. The Giants are saying he might not be healthy, but I don’t think Cain is hurt. Still could land on the Disgraceful List. More likely, he needs to tweak something in his mechanics. Until that happens, I’d stay away from him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Chad Gaudin – In Vegas, he was charged with gross lewdness when he touched a woman’s breast in a hospital while she was lying on a gurney. Gaudin denied remembering that night and said, “I don’t know what Gaudin to me!” Hey, Amurica, whatever happened to what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? I did some wild shizz in my youth. Some of it is recounted in Who Is Grey Albright? But I never did some shizz like this. Feeling up a girl while she’s lying on an ER gurney? Gaudin must’ve totally misunderstood when his friends told him he was a smooth operator.
Kensuke Tanaka – 1-for-4. Was called up to play outfield and maybe some infield. It’s rare I find a guy that I or no one else on the Razz has ever mentioned. I blame Sky, our fantasy football writer. He’s also the reason why there’s only been one Simpsons movie, Tom Arnold has five different girls’ names tattooed on his buttocks and the whole New Coke fail. C’mon, Sky, get it together! Tanaka looks like a light-to-no power, solid average, great speed guy. This year in Triple-A, he had 20 steals and a .330 average in 78 games. He’s also 32 years old, so the upside isn’t here. Not sure if he’s going to see everyday at-bats, but it’s worth watching to see if the Giants can work him into the lineup. And, when in doubt, at least he’s not this guy.
Matt Harvey – Will be skipped on Saturday so he can start the All-Star Game–I mean, because of his blisters. A’la Johnnie Cochran, “If there’s no pus, I must call wuss!”
Marlon Byrd – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer and second homer this week. Give me your password and I’ll pick him up for you. If your password is “Grey’stightywhiteysarestained,” we’re done. And they’re a faded brown, eff why eye!
Ike Davis – 1-for-4, 2 runs. He hit .250 in this game, which is almost 80 points above his season average. Someone’s on fire!
Zack Wheeler – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. I looked at picking him up off waivers after this start, thought better of it and he’s still sitting there. He will be terrific at some point very soon, but the Giants aren’t exactly a powerhouse and I’m not looking to get roofied by Wheeler. I could see owning him in deeper leagues, but it would be contingent on how much upside you need to play for. Yesterday’s start could’ve been found off of waivers using the Stream-o-Nator.
Jarred Cosart – Astros are calling him up to start Friday. Here’s what Prospect Scott said, “Many baseball folks see Cosart as a high-leverage reliever, but the Astros are content to keep him in a starter’s role for now. At 6-3, 180, the 22-year-old generates heat in the mid-to-upper-90s, but mechanical shortcomings have resulted in inconsistent production. Cosart will look to steady his command at Triple-A, before joining the Astros at some point in 2013 — for fantasy’s sake, let’s hope that’s as a starter. Or to throw eggs at Grey’s stupid face.” Hey, c’mon! Cosart hasn’t gotten his command in check in Triple-A (4.84 BB/9) and I wouldn’t go near him outside of AL-Only leagues and keepers.
Paul Maholm – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 12 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. the MIA Marlins. Geez, tied to the WHIPping post and dropped the Cleveland Streamer. Maholm, while you’re ruining my day, why not just tell me I was adopted and my real mother is one of the ladies from The Talk?
Chris Johnson – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. I can understand when you don’t move immediately when I say he’s a hot schmotato, but how is it that people are still asking if they should pick him up? He’s hitting near .400 in July. You need a special Evite? Do people still use Evite? Why is evite a legal word in Words With Friends? I got questions, y’all!
Jacob Turner – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, 2.33 ERA. We streamed him in this start vs. the Braves and I’m not going to drop him (whether Rudy does is a different ball of beeswax). So far, he’s been terrific in seven of eight starts and reminds me of a young Kyle Lohse. Damn, why do I feel like I just dropped a cooler of ice down my shorts? Okay, so Turner’s upside is limited, but I’d look at him in certain match-ups and home starts.
Placido Polanco – 3-for-5, 1 run, 3 RBIs. Didja know Placido translated to English means yawnstipating? Fact!
Mike Leake – 8 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, 2.69 ERA. Another Lohse clone. I will call them a Clohse. Lift the Clohse and on the plate underneath is a guy that doesn’t strikeout many, walks few and has solid ratios.
Shin-Soo Choo – 3-for-4, 2 runs. Let me guess, he was facing a righty. This was one of the reasons I traded him two months ago for Beltre. As Platoony Tunes makes it abundantly clear, Choo is not good vs. lefties. If you have $260 at an auction and knew Choo would only face lefties, he’s worth negative dollars. Platoony Tunes says, “Th-th-th-that’s all chokes.”
Brandon Phillips – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs. He has 12 homers and 1 steal (two times caught stealing) on the year. The running game has completely evaporated. My guess is age has caught up to him. It catches up to everyone at some point, except George Hamilton.
Salvador Perez – Had his 2nd day off in the last four because of tightness in his leg. Ugh. Literally the only thing he had going for him was he started every freakin’ day. Last year it was Hosmer, this year Moustakas and Perez. Why do the Royals stress me out so much? Do I have some deep rooted prejudice towards monarchies? I gotta ask my shrink. I need answers!
Joba Chamberlain – Here’s what frequent commenter, Carnac, said, “(The Yankees) are aggressively shopping Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. Seems like just yesterday they were heralded by NY & ESPN as the future of the franchise. Nowadays, the Joba Rules refer to sh*t you don’t want your toddler doing. “Hey – off the trampoline! Joba Rules!”
Robinson Cano – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (21) and legs (6). No idea where the steals are coming from this year. Maybe since he’s in a contract year, he’s visualizing taking the money and running.
Ivan Nova – 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. Now has back-to-back superb games. He usually puts together stretches like this from time to time. Right now, it’s one of those times when he’s throwing the ball as good as anyone. I’d absolutely grab him for the immediate future.
Cliff Lee – 7 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners (0 BB), 6 Ks and four solo homers allowed. Not to sound too much like the veterinarian on the set of Caddyshack, but you gotta cut out those gopher balls.
Darin Ruf – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer, hitting .385 in his short time in the majors. Who let the dogs out? Ruf, Ruf, Ruf!
Gio Gonzalez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, 3.03 ERA. This Nat-Gio only comes with one picture, but he’s a pretty one.
Wilson Ramos – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer, hitting near .450 in the last week with two homers. Por favor schmotato y tu Vrrrramos!
Jayson Werth – 2-for-3 with his 2nd homer in as many games. After dealing with a wrist problem last year and the beginning of this year, he looks healthy now. This should be inspiration for Espinosa. In 14 months — good as new!
Yu Darvish – To the DL with a strain of his trapezius. Sounds like he didn’t listen to Joba Rules! Darvish is only supposed to miss one start due to the break, so it’s not as bad as it sounds or not as good as it sounds if you don’t own him like me.
Wei-Yin Chen – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks as he returned from the DL. He has a 2.82 ERA. I’d own him in all mixed leagues, and since he’s only owned in 0.4% of ESPN leagues now, we’ve got a long way to go. We is us. That doesn’t mean hold my hand, get away!
Nolan Reimold – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. Having…a…hard…time…not…picking…him…up…must…try…to…resist. I really gotta get the period key checked on my keyboard.
Chris Carpenter – Says he could return at some point at the end of July or beginning of August. Adding, “I just want to play again.” Aw, Carpenter, you’re such a martyr! I wouldn’t own Carpenter anywhere, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him return and go right back into the rotation. Maybe if you close your eyes and wish real hard Carlos Martinez will get in the rotation instead. I was kidding, open your eyes!
Yadier Molina – Sat out again with inflammation in his right knee. His brother Bengie was trying to get a look at it in the dark using a lighter and there was almost a catastrophe.
Matt Carpenter – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. I hope when Chris Carpenter returns Matt puts ‘Ma. Carpenter’ on his jersey. To honor the Massachusetts carpenters. Or his Ma.
Edward Mujica – 1 IP, 0 ER with his 25th save. Play that funky Mujica, white boy! Damn, I don’t even have 25 saves in some leagues. That, right there, was the pick up of the season for relievers.
Brett Wallace – 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI. He pfft’s at your Quad-A label. Then shrugs at your Quad-Single label.
Jeremy Hellickson – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks vs. the Twins. I kinda want every slightly above-average pitcher who’s facing the Twins. For those looking at the Twins schedule, no, I don’t consider Phil Hughes slightly above-average even if the Stream-o-Nator disagrees, giving him a $13 start on Saturday. BTW, here’s a hint for you with SON. You see that empty box below OPP? That’s not for Naughty by Nature but you can find the Wickedest Man Alive vs. different teams. Type in MIA and you see who’s facing them. Type in MIN, and Hip Hop Hooray. Type in SEA, and…SEE!?
Kelly Johnson – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer and his 2nd homer in the last three games. As someone who owned him earlier in the year when he was seeing the ball well, grab him right now if someone gave up on him.
Tommy Milone – 2 2/3 IP, 3 ER. He’s such a MediOAKer pitcher.
Francisco Liriano – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, 2.00 ERA. That’s not a typo. His ERA is 2.00. Don’t sweat it, Cain owners, there’s always the 2nd half of the year!
Jose Tabata – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and hitting over .400 in the last week. It’s about time! Tuh-bata-bata-bata is swinging like an actually batter. Only about 4 years after I pegged him to breakout. Stupid time travel messing with what year I’m in. Whatever, just gald to be back in 2009!
Jeff Samardzija – 4 2/3 IP, 9 ER. Yesterday, the first letter of his first name was silent. Sorta like this jEFF Samardzija! What the jEFFIN jEFF are you jEFFIN doing?! I’m too young for a colonoscopy, please get the jEFF out of my rear! I know you want to drop him after this jEFFIN travesty, but I’d hold tight.
Josh Hamilton – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs and two homers, hitting .229. This was the first time him and Albert Pujols (1-for-1, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, homer) hit back-to-back homers all year. Mr. Obvious, “I bet the 40-Minute Drive from Los Angeles Angels didn’t think they’d have to wait this long for that.” Thanks, MO! Hamilton has four homers in the last week, so this could be a sign that he’s back and not just feasting on that jEFFIN prick.
C.J. Wilson – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks vs. the Cubs, 3.37 ERA. I might like him more if I didn’t have to see him and Hamilton in those stupid dandruff commercials every 12 minutes. Does anyone advertise with MLB besides Head & Shoulders and Geico? At least, have Yasiel in there saying, “I’m guessing you’re pulling me over because I’m a Puig driving a car.”
Rick Porcello – 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. Future Sex/Love Sounds came up on my iTunes while I was writing this blurb. Then as I got to the end of that sentence a new song came up (yes, I type slow; I start writing these posts two days prior then fill-in names), The Corner by Common. That’s so appropriate because Porcello looks like he’s turned a corner and I will love him next year. It’s saying something since he currently has a 4.80 ERA.
Prince Fielder – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer. Good to see he wasn’t still winded two days after his double steal with Miggy.
Victor Martinez – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting near .450 in the last week. Meanwhile, Salvador Perez did a number two and his mom patted him on the head.
Gordon Beckham – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .343. Still hot, still schmotato’ing.
Dayan Viciedo – 2-for-3, 1 RBI, a day after a two-homer game. Speaking of hot bats…Was I speaking of hot bats? Stupid short term memory. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday– Wait, I said that already, right? Okay, grab Viciedo, he’s hot.
Brett Lawrie – Jays are considering moving Lawrie to 2nd base. Well, it wouldn’t hurt his fantasy value, so I’m down. This would allow Maicer Izturis to stay at 3rd base. Hmm…Well, I’m sure Gibbons has his reasons. Easy, Jane Goodall, I mean John Gibbons.
Esmil Rogers – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, 3.64 ERA. Esmil does throw fast, but up until this game there have been no Ks. He could have some decent matchups after the break, and could see grabbing him in deeper leagues. Are there Esmillion reasons why? Nope.
Casey Janssen – 2/3 IP, 1 ER and was yanked quicker then you can say, “I love MasterChef so much I want Graham Elliot’s loud fork clanging on his teeth as my ringtone.” Steve Delabar stepped in for the emergency save, and Janssen has given up 3 earned runs in the last three outings (though two of those runs came in a non-save situation). A change is on the horizon? Doubtful. Which is also what it says on the inside of a card you buy for your lady when you don’t feel like making it work.
Justin Masterson – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 6 Ks. Now has 9 walks in his last two starts (11 1/3 IP). That’s not good (well, dur), but I’d continue to roll him out there for now. My leash for Masterson is admittedly longer when I don’t own him.
David Ortiz – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 19th homer. I am so worried about starting Erasmo today, but I’m doing it. Let’s form a prayer rectangle.
Felix Doubront – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. Hopefully tomorrow’s Red Sox starter, Dempster, will keep the string going. That’s right, I’m starting Dempster and Erasmo. Stupid? Or stupid like a fox!
Tyler Skaggs – 4 1/3 IP, 3 ER. Just take a Forget-Me-Now.
Adam Eaton – Didn’t start yesterday. Okay, so that’s not good. If Gibson’s going to be be starting A.J. Pierzynski–I mean, A.J. Pollock (3-for-6, 2 runs), then Eaton’s value will be severely diminished. I’d try to hold Eaton through the break and hope he catches fire.
Heath Bell – 1 IP, 1 ER and a blown save. Hey, at least he was better than Matt Cain!
Yasiel Puig – 1-for-7, 1 run. The other day former Diamondback, Luis Gonzalez, went to talk to Puig about his Cuban roots and playing in the MLB. However, according to the USA Today, Puig didn’t even look up and acknowledge Gonzalez. Then Mark McGwire intervened, angry that Puig disrespected him. He told him, “Luis Gonzalez was suffering from backne when you were still whining to your madre that your lechon was too garlicky!”