Grey’s in transit to Texas Wine Country for a friend’s wedding so Drunk Uncle Rudy’s has control of the ol’ roundup post. Yup, Texas has a wine country. If you guessed the wine is mediocre and they only sell it in magnum bottles because everything’s bigger in Texas, you’re half-right (you can buy it in barrels too). But mediocre wine ain’t so bad. My mother-in-law brought us Arkansas wine the other day that she and her husband picked up on a recent roadtrip. Oofa! I had a sip and thought, “Are they trying to make this taste like Manischewitz?” Did they run out of grapes and substitute with purple gobstoppers? I bet when Arkansas winery sales reps stop by Wal*Mart HQ, the wine buyer has to euphemize, “We appreciate you make wine in our state but we don’t think it meets the standards of our indiscriminate clientele.”

Since there is no big news today, I thought I’d revel in the awesomeness of Arquimedes Caminero – the Marlins middle reliever who pitched 2 scoreless innings last night in a mop-up role. It isn’t his talent or potential that is awesome – it’s the name. The first name adds some Greeky Latin to the Italiany Latin Giancarlo and Placido and explains the spiraling fortunes of the Marlins. The last name sounds like a Chevy car designed especially for Staten Island with a Camaro front and an El Camino pickup truck back. Haul trash to the local landfill by day – charm the guidettes by night. The Caminero! (BTW, Chevrolet’s social media agency, if you’re reading this, totally recommend the Caminero to GM and stop with that Chevy Silverado ‘Strong’ commercial on Pandora. “Everybody knows he ain’t just tough…he’s strong.” More like everyone knows that song doesn’t just suck….it blows!

Anyway, here are some Grey bragging about his RCL team-free notes from a short schedule Thursday…

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King Hodor of the House of Hodor. First of his Hodor. Long may he Hodor.

At this point, there appear to be more trades occurring after the July 31st deadline. In fact, just yesterday, Mike Morse was acquired by the Orioles, Jason Kubel was acquired by the Indians, and, as you may or may not have realized yet, John Axford and his, well, what ever you call the things he grows on his face, has been acquired by Ozark nation. Which, if you don’t know the area, is known for abandoned El Caminos and the second highest murder rate in the nation, next to Detroit. Err, Detroit, the RoboCop version. What’s the fantasy impact? I’m sure glad I just asked myself that question. Mike Morse’s situation changes a bit, a better hitting environment and a better lineup could lead to some stat boosting. Jason Kubel, well, he remains the same. Insignificant. Frankly, I don’t even understand the move, since the Indians are already paying for a player (cough, Mark Reynolds, cough) that’s doing better right now, yet plays for the Yankees. Ballsy strategy if you ask me. And then there’s John Axford. I’ll be honest, since I lie all the time I guess, the impact here is not much, if anything. But I do like Axford drinking the same water those other Cardinal pitchers are drinking, and would not be surprised if his situation improves next year. So keep a look out. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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It was about a half year ago that Grey threw all his chips into the pot on Marco Estrada. Man-crushed him onto just about every team we co-manage (along with the deviated septumet) as well as his Razzball Commenter League team. Well, this looked like a lost season for ol’ Marco when he went on the Disgraceful List in early June while sporting a 5.32/1.36 in 69 IP. Combined with Ryan Braun’s suspension and the inevitable 2nd half regressions for Gomez/Segura, Milwaukee has been as relevant to fantasy baseball fans as the city is for travelers intolerant of lactose, cheap domestic beer, and drag queens masquerading as a young Penny Marshall. Under this shroud of yawnonymity, Marco Estrada’s season is beginning to rise from the ashes like Bud Selig’s toupee at that fateful windy hometown barbecue that’s now annually celebrated as Furrywurst Day. Estrada went 7 IP in a tough matchup (@CIN) and gave up 3 baserunners (1 H, 2 BB) and K’d 9 Reds. That’s his 3rd solid start in his last 4 and that includes an @TEX + home vs. STL. He’s definitely worth a pickup for the homestretch if only to see if he can pitch well enough to convince Grey to double down on Estrada in 2014.

In other news…

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Fact: Ron Washington is a giver.

MLBtraderumors found a reason to stay significant post-trade deadline yesterday, and now it’s official — Alex Rios has been traded to the Rangers for Leury Garcia. Who? Basically. (To be fair, he does have some speed, but the hit tool is a bit lacking. So close, yet Profar. HUUUUR.) You can check on the complete, gory details here. But don’t complain about the lack of gore. So, what’s the fantasy impact here? No, silly, I’m not asking you. Unless you know the answer, then by all means, go for it. You can’t tell, but I waited a good five minutes. Thanks for nothing. Allow me. While U.S. Cellular Field can be homer happy, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is right behind in offensive park factors. I do prefer the Texas lineup, so a boost in projected runs and RBI’s may occur. Grey projected a 37/10/30/.284/14 line for him in the second half, and while Rios has gotten off to a slow start, these are still achievable numbers if going into a playoff situation can get some of those juices flowing. Or there might not be any juices. I am unaware of Rios’ juice levels. But let’s hope its cranberry. Because that’s my favorite juice. Honestly, it’s just really hard to tell if a player is going to pull a CC Sabathia or Ryan Ludwick. Overall though, I don’t see a huge change in the dynamic, but there’s certainly nothing to complain about. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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Last night, one of the most talented young arms in baseball followed up a career high in strikeouts with yet another career high in strikeouts. Jose Fernandez cooled off the Cleveland Indians with 8 shutout innings and 14 Ks. The Tribe entered Crayola Canyon on an 8-game winning streak, but left the game wondering if they should have even bothered to pack their bats for the trip. J-Fer, as the kids call him, has most likely been one of your league’s best waiver pickups since his surprise call-up and is currently sporting a two-fitty ERA and a WHIP around 1.00. Oh, and then there are the strikeouts. 27 Ks over his last 16 innings and now 138 on the year is pretty impressive considering the kid couldn’t even have a drink in the Clevelander until this past Wednesday. Like most rookie pitchers, the dreaded innings cap is looming (word on the street is 170), but for now let’s enjoy the ride and appreciate nights like these when we get to see a future ace show his best stuff. Here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Albert Pujols and his owners are not not not gonna have a good time the rest of 2013 thanks to a partially torn plantar fascia ligament in his foot. It must be hard to stamp out fasciasm when it affects one’s foot – especially when the leader of the movement is so menacing. Pujols has clearly been a shadow of his former self but he still has been the 6th most valuable 1B (not counting guys with other position eligibility) according to our Season-to-Date Player Rater. For those of you without a built-in replacement at 1B like the Angels (Mark Trumbo), I recommmend just playing matchups via the Hitter-tron and hope you luck into a few hot streaks. Or, if you’ve got surplus at a position, trade for a dependable 1B to save yourself the joy of deciding between the Yonder Alonsos on the waiver wire.

Anyway, here are some other notes from the weekend. (And a shout-out to Grey ‘Iron Man’ Albright who is taking a night off with the Cougar’s family whom, I assume, live in a pink house somewhere in Indiana)…

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Tyler Chatwood continued his red hot play last night pitching seven innings, surrendering just six hits, two runs, and walking none while striking out 11 Brewers for his seventh win. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate with 2 RBI because apparently he is Tyler the Run Creator now. How about that headline, you guys? I woke up in the middle of the night and saw it in bright lights. And as much as I kept telling myself it was really, really bad — sometimes these things are too bad to be denied. Back to Tyler Chatwood. Hello there, strikeouts! Have we met? You’re just visiting for the weekend? Oh, that’s too bad. The Ks may be a bit fluky and that Milwaukee line up is inspiring fear in no one these days, but Chatwood’s success over his past few starts can’t be denied. He lowered his ERA to 2.48 and has allowed 2 ER or fewer in his past four starts. He has also managed to notch three wins in those four starts, with the tough luck loss coming after pitching 8.0 innings of one-run ball. He is a great option on the road and is at criminally under 10% owned in RCL. I’d absolutely grab him for his start in Atlanta next week if you need starting pitching help. He cannot be stopped right now! I better go knock on Chat-wood.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:

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Max Scherzer is finally starting to post some non-apocalyptic ERA/WHIP results to go along with his thunderous league-leading K totals.  A 7 inning / 1 ER / 9 K win against the Pujoless Angels marks his 4th straight start with a Win, 6+ IP, 2 ER or less, and 8+ Ks (this was actually his 8th straight start with 8+ Ks!).  

Please, blog, may I have some more?