One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Razzball is that I haven’t encountered another fantasy baseball site where the commenters are this active and generally friendly with each other. Another great thing is that even the comments are worth reading because there tends to be some nice insight. Example A is Principal Blackman, likely a pseudonym for Charlie Blackmon, who said this last week, “How about a little love for Shin-Soo Choo’s .432 OBP & .929 OPS? Both would be career highs (the Arlington effect?), but they are not wildly (unbelievably) out of line with his career averages (.391/.858), and they are right in line with the advances he made last year… ZiPS and Steamer both foresee some regression on the way for him, and indeed a .392 average on balls in play would blow his career BABIP (.352) out of the water. And at the same time, his K% has dipped below the league average, but, on the other hand, he has maintained the improvements he made last year to his already stellar walk rate, and since the beginning of the 2013 season he only has one infield popup (none this year).” Since then, Choo has slumped a bit and had his OPS dip below .900. I expect to see him around that level all year, while maintaining his ~.420 OBP. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind in OBP leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The wait has been overbearing… The anticipation in the air… palpable.  I almost typoed Palpatine.  Which is what you loyal starting pitcher-aficionados probably think of me!

We had a start pushed back.  We had me an unbelieving heathen.  Then Memorial Day!  Plus my near-descent into the inability to get out of bed when I watched Yordano Ventura‘s start the other day – saw him torched, velo fall, and taken out early.  Now we get “valgus extension overload” which sounds like some sort of Eastern European sex move…

But alas!  We’ve finally gotten here.  A Pitcher Profile wholly dedicated to Dallas Keuchel, as he continues to rock-m sock-m robot opposing hitters.  Did I just make that a verb?  Yup!  Add yet another complete game to his docket (very nearly three in a row), and he’s easily become the flashiest, out-of-nowhere add to legions of fantasy squads.  But is he a guy to cut at the first sign of danger?  To try and sell high?  Let’s take a looksy at his start this past Sunday where he went the distance against the Mariners:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know, I know.  I promised everyone Dallas Keuchel, but he’s pitching tonight!  His last start was so long ago that Jose Abreu still seemed like a good guy to trade for if someone wasn’t selling too high (ack!).  So long ago that Jay Z seemed to still love his little sister-in-law!

But do not fret, I promise unless there’s a Noah-type monsoon that floods out four games, that Keuchel will be next week on his weekend start.

So in my despair when I saw Keuchel was tonight and not yesterday, I went to Twitter for some ideas and got a great one for Ryan Vogelsong.  I gotta admit – I love Vogelsong.  Helped carry me to titles in both 2011 and 2012 where he stayed undervalued for an entire 2-year stretch.  Pretty hard to do.  But 2013 was a disaster with hitters bashing him at a .299 clip, suffered a 5.73 ERA, and I guess the more appropriate adjective use of “suffer” would be for his broken hand on a comebacker.  It was in a 5-inning scoreless game too!  Talk about the worst timing, right whence he was turning it around.

In 2012, everyone ignored Vogelsong because he started the year on the DL and I think he missed all of one start.  Noobs!  To ignore him (like I obviously did) based on a terrible 2013 for a 36-year-old pitcher I think is more logical.  But he’s got his velocity back up to 2012 levels, dropped the line drive rate, and has four gems in his last five starts.  Indeed, it felt only logical to break down his start yesterday against the Marlins, and if he can indeed make another under-the-radar lasting impact on fantasy teams in 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I forgot to throw it in last week, but I was thinking to myself, “what are some baseball ‘catch phrase’ calls I would make if I were a broadcaster?”  If a batter chased a breaking ball, I would exclaim “and he’s gone gone chasin’ waterfalls!”  Hmmmm, what would my home run call be… I need some ideas here!  I know the Dodgers need a replacement play-by-play guy next season…

Then to the profile for today, and I wasn’t sure where I was going to go.  Chris Archer seemed a good fit since he’s underperformed, but I did break him down once last year.  Then in my “aha” moment of the weekend, I remember my gone gone chasin’ waterfalls bit and noticed Chase Anderson was set to make his MLB debut!  It’s like the baseball gods are talking to me!  Thanks for the title, Shoeless Joe. (If a pitcher you’d like to see for next week’s Profile pitches next Sunday, please remind me and throw in a comment on Sunday or tweet me @jbgilpin – I will take requests!  But I do like to keep it to guys pitching on Sunday.)

With an injury-plagued first three years as a pro, Anderson seemed like a dooming last name for a starting pitcher (see, Brett).  Chase finally got himself through a big chunk of work in 2012, pitching pretty well in 104 AA innings, then was limited to only 88 innings in 2013 and was awful in AAA.  But just like Robert Downey Jr., he’s done with Anne Heche and ready for a comeback! (way to stay topical, JB…)  Anderson started this season breezing through AA with a dazzling 39 innings to the tune of a 0.69 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 38 Ks.  Sure he’s already 26, but the injuries have held him back and he finally got his MLB debut yesterday against the White Sox.  I decided to check it out and break it down to see if anything’s there for spot-starting or a deeper league stache [sic]:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know I’ve had some requests for more fun pitchers, but Dillon Gee was a guy I ranked high and a guy I kept high.  And very early on “I tried to figure out why… I had him so high!”, but lately dude has been tossin’ gas!

The very under-appreciated Gee ended 2013 on a tear, pitching with a 2.41 ERA from May 30 to September 15 – with 100 Ks in 137.1 IP in 20 starts.  So ridiculously under the radar that Lord Helmet must’ve jammed it!

As a non-Mets fan and non-Gee owner in any leagues at the current present, I haven’t buckled down to watch any of his starts as of late.  And with three scoreless outings out of his past four – giving up two runs total in those four – I decided to break down his start yesterday at the Rockies and if Gee should be owned in a lot more than 38% of leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!  I used today’s title to try and embody the question everyone is having looking at their waiver wires…

Who the hell is this guy?!

Before his ridiculous debut at Safeco, Collin McHugh had pitched less than 50 ML innings with an ERA that resembled an Extenze advertising claim.  Called up to fill in for a DL-bound Corey Scott Feldman, McHugh got a struggling Mariners offense with swiss cheese bats for 12 Ks and no walks in 6.2 for his first win – giving up three singles and no earned.  I love that before the start, Bo Porter said McHugh is a “pitch to contact guy.”  Good thing the Mariners ain’t got no contact right now!

I watched some highlights of the Ks that game and was lukewarm impressed, but McHugh went out and shut down the A’s, who have a pretty solid O these days.  #Moneyball!  So I decided to take a deeper look at his hot start to 2014 and break down what he could offer fantasy owners looking for some SP help:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

More terrible relievers turning into dominant starters, mo problems!

So it’s been an up-and-down start to this young season – pretty much all of my sleepers except maybe Corey Kluber (who I still like a lot) are doing great, Nathan Eovaldi still looks pretty good and I remain bullish on him, but Tyson Ross who I bailed on turned in a gem on Saturday.

Then to my rankings, where, yes, I didn’t have Jesse Chavez ranked last week.  I had him at 102 and couldn’t break him in, then Monday night he went out and carved up the Angels for 9 Ks in 7 innings with only one earned.  I mentioned that night in the comments I would have to add him in there, but before Monday he was a terrible career-reliever with only one eye-popping start at the Twins.  I’m regretting not adding him somewhere (“welcome to the party, pal!”), as I streamed some guys yesterday who weren’t awful, but would’ve preferred Chavez.  And I would’ve been right too, as he dealt another solid game.  Here’s how he looked yesterday against the Astros:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“What’s it short for?  Ya know, like Rosstopher?”  “Just Ross!”

I had cautious optimism heading into the year for Tyson Ross, and he looked pretty wild early on.  And not the good kind of wild.  No one in San Diego is wearing Wild Thing-Ross T-Shirts.  I caught most of his debut against the Dodgers, and he didn’t look right.  Hitchy delivery, lower velocity, and terrible control.  Since he was fringy anyway, in the one league I owned him (deeper 10-team), I cut him loose for some scrub closer.  I don’t even know who, probably Matt Lindstrom, who at least vultured a win for me yesterday.

Anyway, I saw Ross was bad again in his second effort, racking up 9 walks to only 9 Ks through two games, somehow escaping with a 4.50 ERA because he piled up 6 unearned runs.  Needless to say, I was pretty content to ignore him, but yesterday he turned it around against the offensively-charged Tigers.  Since it’s still early, maybe he had an early mechanical issue that got worked out, and he’s back to picking up where 2013 left off.  So I decided to break down his start, and see if he needs to be scooped off waivers in leagues where he was dropped or undrafted:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, we’re back baby!  I just wet my pants a little bit.

The first Pitcher Profile is here!  I haven’t been this nervous since Grey had me wax his mustache my first day as an intern.

So if you’re new to Pitcher Profiles, where ya been?!  Well glad to have you, and below is a gargantuan post that I think will break your browser.  But hey!  It’s your one-stop shop (cliche boner) for all pitching questions, rankings, and GIFfing.  I just learned how to GIF, and man, it’s sorta close to learning how to Dougie except less people point and laugh at you (hopefully – but that’d be a bad GIF!).

As always, I tend to select my profiling on a pitcher who is widely available in most 10 and 12ers for owners to gauge their pickup or streaming interest.  I know these was a hope for a Taylor Jordan (sorry Long Beach!) profile, but I wanted to go for a guy who I think can have a bigger impact.  A guy that “Oh my god throws a fire!  Sale.”

We’ve all heard about Nathan Eovaldi‘s stuff.  Huge velocity – the fastest heater in baseball for a starter – but it’s been a while since I’ve really broken down one of his starts.  Plus his name sounds like an Italian deity of fornication.  Now with two solid, you could even say “quality”, starts under his belt (plus he’s still only 24 even though it feels like he’s been around for a while) I decided to tune into his game against the lowly Padres and see if the hurler from Crayola Canyon deserves more love:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s official because we don’t deal in unofficial. Whatever that means. Which is nothing, if you’re wondering. But it does make the post feel more important. Delusions of grandeur? That’s my life story bro. And that also might describe the life story of many here who reside at Razzball HQ. Which is basically our basement. With bountiful supplies of Hot Pockets and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Oh, wait, nevermind. Sky called, he want’s his everything back. Jokes on you buddy. I’m keeping the Hot Pockets. So, where were we? Oh, that’s right, delusions of grandeur… and Hot Pockets, it happens to the best of us. And that’s why we make these picks. Because we think we’re right all the time. Except for me. I’m just very wrong. But don’t let that stop you from looking at our well-thought out (maybe) picks for this upcoming 2014 season. (Now with more Grey and Rudy!) We all can’t write a 1500 word exposé on these players, so you get this nifty assortment where you’ll gain a general sense of which players we like and which we don’t. All in a simple box for you to stare and giggle at. Kind of like what you normally would do if you were looking at Tehol.

Please, blog, may I have some more?