You know who’s happiest about Kolten Wong being called up? The Vatican. Finally, something non-Catholic related will show up in search results when you Google ‘Cardinal + Wong + 2nd base.’ Somewhere, Dan Brown is scribbling notes for a new thriller…the Catholic church took a page out of the playbook of the Native Americans, who having foreseen the Internet in a 1973 peyote-inspired dream, worked to make sure the practice of reselling tickets was known as scalping. So now you Google ‘Indians + scalping’ and the search results are just a way to get cheap seats in Progressive Field. Wong’s call-up crowds the Cardinals infield in the weirdest of ways. Wong can’t play shortstop. It says here. There. Where I just wrote here. He can’t play 3rd. Says there. Where I wrote it. Can’t play 1st. Says here. Next to where I wrote here. He plays 2nd, Carpenter goes to 3rd and Freese goes on ice. Sorta surprised by this because the Cardinals know that seriously reduces Freese’s trade value, but he was seriously reducing his trade value by playing. But, wait, why do we care? What can Wong do right? Here’s what Prospect Scott said just two days ago, “Wong has caught a heater at the right time, hitting .333/.429/.556 with 2 homers and 2 stolen bases through his last 10. Too bad Grey can’t catch a heater in his groin.” What? Why? On the year in the minors, Wong has a line of 10 HRs, 20 steals and a .303 average. That’s close to what I’d expect of him in the majors too. He has a great eye at the plate (60 Ks, 41 BBs) and nice speed. Maybe a handful of homers and steals in the last six weeks with a good average. In keepers, he’s a must have. In redrafts, I’d grab him in all leagues for upside. I’m excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Alex Cobb – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. I saw that Cobb’s last minor league start wasn’t that great while he was rehabbing, and I thought that wasn’t a good sign for him vs. the Mariners. But, silly me. Silly, silly, Grey. Sometimes I want to pinch my own cheeks I’m so silly. Of course, the Mariners give less of a fight than he got while pitching for the High-A Charlotte Raes. Bee tee dubya, Charlotte Rae, who the Rays affiliate is named after, dead or alive? As of midnight last night, alive. By today, it’s anyone’s guess. Now that Cobb’s back up to game condition after countless hours of conditioning and playing duck, duck, goose with heavy emphasis on duck, what can you expect of Cobb the rest of this season? I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up right where he left off. It’s not like it was an arm or shoulder injury. No reason why he can’t produce a low-3 ERA and solid Ks. If you’re in some league where he’s available (and I see there’s some like this), definitely grab him.
Wil Myers – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs. Hmm, what’s he up to now for 2014 ADP? 111?
Evan Longoria – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer. Only 9 more (but, man and four ladies, he might really take my preseason projection of 32 homers down to the wire, and, yes, for a while I was hoping he’d beat my projections and was counting him off to 36 homers, but let’s take 32 and be happy after how miserable he’s been for the last six weeks. Hey, how do I get out of this parenthetical? Is there a door or something? I feel like a mime inside a self-drawn box.).
Raul Ibanez – 2-for-4 and his 25th homer, his first homer since July 12th. I forgot one thing Zombinos can’t handle besides stakes through the heart. Humidity. Which does make it odd that there’s so many retirement communities in Miami.
Roy Halladay – Went six innings and gave up three earned runs in his rehab debut. That’s a better rehab debut then, say, Lindsay Lohan, but still not that great.
Drew Storen – Nationals recalled Storen, which sounds like what you’d think it means for a guy with a near-6.00 ERA, but he wasn’t pulled off the road for faulty brakes. He was brought back to the majors.
Phil Hughes – 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.97 and moving his record to 4-12. “Hi, Phil, thanks for coming in. I think you’ll find that this is a wonderfully supportive group of players. If you get a chance, try the churros in the back of the room that Meulens brought in.” That’s Kevin Maas at the Failed Yankee Prospect Not-At-All-Anonymous meeting.
Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, and keeps his torrid streak going vs. Anaheim. With the Angels in town, Soriano must’ve thought he died and went to heaven. It wouldn’t be the craziest thing for someone 85 years old.
Grant Green – 2-for-4, 1 run. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column. It’s a humdinger, which only sounds like a command you give a prostitute.
Chris Nelson – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and two home runs. That’s the kind of batty call that makes you want to ring them up again the next day to say you had a nice time. There’s been something brewing in the comments that some of you might find interesting that don’t read the comments. Frequent commenter, Oaktown Steve, introduced something called, stacking. Here’s him, “In the daily games that have popped up in the last couple years, there’s this strategy called stacking. Essentially rather than pick out individual players across multiple MLB teams, you would pick every available starter you could from a single team regardless of your opinion of any particular player on that team. The idea makes a lot of sense. If you have a good match up in a good park, even bad teams will sometimes score a lot of runs. If the game turns into a blow out, you’ll have a concentration of productive players and it’s more consistent than the arbitrary nature of pick and choose from the whole player pool. The play was so successful in daily games, they’ve outlawed it in a lot of places. When a strategy play is successful in a money game, you kind of want to take notice.” I haven’t experimented with it yet, but a lot of people were successful yesterday, sending a bunch of hitters out to face Hughes. It’s something to be aware of, and even use when the time is right.
J.B. Shuck – 2-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI and a steal, hitting near-.350 in the last week and has cemented himself at the top of the Angels lineup. Bourjos who?! Bourjos is an outfielder who is being activated from the DL today. I know, Random Italicized Voice, it’s a figure of speech. ‘Bourjos who?!’ is a figure of speech? People often say this? Forget it.
C.J. Wilson – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 12 baserunners, 3 Ks and the win to move his record to 13-6 and his ERA to 3.40. Yesterday, he didn’t have many Ks, but he has been solid this season (8+ K-rate) while cutting his walk rate from 4+ last year. This is less of a limb now that Weaver’s ERA is above his, but Wilson has easily been the best Angels pitcher this year, and I should’ve trusted him more in the preseason. Alas, you win some, you draft Rutledge everywhere else.
Clint Barmes – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer. If only the Pirates would trade for 2nd baseman DeWitt to go with Barmes, then their announcers can use the home run call, “There goes another roper!”
Russell Martin – 2-for-5 and his 11th homer. It’s kinda of scary how much more valuable he’s been than a ton of other catchers. Not scary as in a cat jumping out of a closet, but scary like “Why does she have an Adam’s apple?”
A.J. Burnett – 4 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks. That’s gonna confuse things when he texts his wife at home with what happened at the game saying, “I got tattooed.”
Yadier Molina – 0-for-5 as he was activated from the DL. Since I’ve been dealing with Geovany Soto as my catcher in a deep league, I’ve never been so happy to see Yadier back on the field. Our country never would’ve crossed the Mississippi, if it was Geovany instead of Hernando de Soto.
Matt Carpenter – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI, raising his average to .315. Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the NL batting race became a three-way between Chris Johnson, Yadier Molina and Carpenter, the least exciting ménage à trois ever.
Jon Jay – 2-for-6, 1 run, 1 RBI, and hitting near-.400 in the last week. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy, but you don’t need to wait for that if you need average or runs. See that, I’ve empowered you.
LaTroy Hawkins – Took a comebacker to his groin area on Wednesday. Isn’t that illegal? You know, because it’s a spitballer. He might be unavailable for a day or two, which would mean Gonzalez Germen (who got the 2-inning save yesterday) or Aardsma would get a save or two. I know how LaTroy feels. I took his blown save to my fantasy team’s groin area.
Zack Wheeler – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks. Not only did I stream Wheeler, but on the same team I also streamed Tyson Ross (7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks) because I needed Ks. I have exorcised the demon! Damn, my mustache looks a bit fuller today. My hair a bit more feathered. My pants a little tighter. Of course, I still couldn’t get a win. Sad trombone.
Sonny Gray – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks. Sonny Gray isn’t just a name old people call me, he’s a thing of beauty. Rawr, you big sexy beast! Owning you in fantasy is like playing with myself! Wait, what? Eh, forget it, I’m too excited for semantics. I just went over my Sonny Gray fantasy. I wrote it while singing John Legend. Sonny Gray and I aren’t just ordinarily people!
Tyler Pastornicky – Will have an MRI on his knee. Maybe Andrelton can touch his knee.
Dan Haren – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks. I’d ignore his 4.38 ERA on the year and simply focus on the fact that he gets the Cubs, Royals, Mets and Marlins next. Yes, I’m endorsing Haren.
Jayson Werth – 2-for-4, 1 run and his 6th steal, batting .500 in the last week. He’s been way more valuable than Bryce Harper this year, according to our Player Rater. Then again, so has Marlon Byrd and Nate Schierholtz.
Rafael Soriano – 1 IP, 3 ER and his 5th blown save, raising his ERA to 3.40. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but ever since Joakim Soria returned Soriano hasn’t looked good. Is it possible that someone called Joakim the wrong name and he said, “Soria, no,” and they shipped him to Washington? That probably is what happened now that I think about it.
Trevor Plouffe – 2-for-4 and his 12th homer and 2nd in the last four games. Member what I just said about him? Neither do I. Let me check. *not really checking* Probably something about how he never hits just one homer in a week. Also, wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit another this weekend.
Johnny Cueto – Will resume throwing this weekend. He’s been out since June, so even in the best case scenario he’s not returning to the rotation any time soon. Maybe the last couple of weeks of the season. That even seems optimistic. Somewhere, Jason LaRue is having a good laugh.
Tony Cingrani – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.78. Cingrani makes me drunk on upside like I just drank a cocktail made from gin, vermouth and bitters. (Hints from Heloise: make sure you know how to pronounce a Negroni before ordering it.)
Carlos Gomez – Left yesterday’s game with a knee injury. He’s being sent for an MRI, but said, “It’s really painful right now. We’re going to find out tomorrow. The doctor say he doesn’t think it’s something bad but the way I feel is different. I feel a lot of pain.” We’ll let the whole “doctor say” thing go. He’s in pain. Conjugating is the last thing he need to be worrying about.
Kyle Lohse – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.17. He could lower his ERA to 2.17 and I wouldn’t be excited by him. I may own him in that scenario, but still no upwards turn on the sides of my mustache.
Norichika Aoki – 2-for-4 and his 17th steal. He was getting hot there for a little while after the All-Star break, and it looked like he was a 2nd half hitter. Now it appears that he’s a 2nd half of July hitter.
Mark Reynolds – Signed with the Yankees after being released by the Indians. It’s pay back for Manhattan.
Emilio Bonifacio – 1-for-4 and his 13th steal. On his new team, it didn’t take him long to do exactly what we’ve been waiting all season for. He’s still hitting .218, and this one day doesn’t change everything, but it’s a start.
Chris Getz – 2-for-4, 1 run and his 11th steal. With Moustakas’s injury, Getz stayed in the lineup, even with Bonifacio. Getz now has 7 steals in the last ten games. I wonder what his uncle Bernard would say about all of these steals.
Andy Dirks – 4-for-4, 2 runs. He only started because of a day of rest for inaction Jackson, starring Carl Watchers.
Prince Fielder – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and a homer. Some news outlets are blaming his struggles this year on the fact that he filed for divorce on May 28th. This reminds me of the Prince song, “Harder 2 Give U Up Than Meat.”