The Phils have a game plan, and it looks a something like this: trade and/or sign washed-out AL East starters. Worked last year with Jeremy Hellickson, and now they’ve traded for Clay Buchholz. This is the first trade where I can declaratively state both teams won and I don’t even know who Josh Tobias is, the infielder the Phils sent to the Red Sox. Yes, I used declaratively. Watch out, reading comprehension! Looks like Tobias has some speed, but it doesn’t matter. The Sox needed Buchholz off their team because they have a set rotation without him, and the NL East is about as good a landing place can be, even if Citizens Flank is slightly offensive-minded, and I don’t just mean the insults that rain down from the stands. “The only time the Phils ever strung three W’s together is with their website.” That’s a Philly fan. “Now lean down so I can puke on you.” That’s the same Phils fan. Buchholz looks to be in possession of all his pitches that he had when he had a 3.30 xFIP in 2015. Of course, those pitches couldn’t have looked more pear-shaped than last year with his 5.32 xFIP. Honestly, I think he could be anywhere from a 3.50 ERA pitcher to a 4.50 ERA one. Is he a mixed league starter? Maybe as a streamer, or if he starts off well, but not out of the gate, as they say in horse racing. For NL-Only, I’m going to like him as a late-round flyer. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 8-10/4.07/1.31/117 in 145 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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The White Sox traded Adam Eaton for Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning and top pitching prospect, Lucas Giolito; the second day in a row top prospects are headed to the White Sox. It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibilities that Theo Epstein is studying abroad this winter and abroad is the South Side of Chicago. “Excuse me, but, uh, why do you have this electrodes hooked up to my brain?” That’s Theo Epstein as Rick Hahn dips out of the interrogation room to get coffee. If I were a fan of a club that had no chance of winning next year, I’d want my team to go about rebuilding like the White Sox. “What, you don’t like our signing of Ian Desmond?” I’ll get to you in a second, Rockies. The White Sox have taken a bunch of lemons, planted lemon seeds next to a sugar plantation that they purchased off eBay and should have lemonade in a few years. They might even trade that old guy from the Country Time Lemonade commercial for another prospect! As for fantasy, Adam Eaton went 14/14 and 14/18 the last two years, which is deceptively awful. It’s one thing to go 14/14, it’s another thing to go 14/14 in 619 ABs. He’s like Markakis as a middle infielder. If you own Eaton in any fantasy league shallower than 14-team mixed, you should lose your league. The problem with a guy like Eaton in a shallower league is anyone who is even half paying attention should be able to beat his stats with just a few decent waiver wire grabs. You can likely beat Eaton’s numbers by just streaming hitters every day, and never even holding any guy who gets hot. Eaton’s stats come out to one homer and one steal every two weeks. Holy Jewish Jesus, that’s bad. Sure, there’s some value to his 90+ runs and .280+ average, but if you can’t get runs and average that matches that from streaming, again, you deserve to lose. For 2017, I’ll give Eaton the projections 102/12/49/.277/16 in 605 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Red Sox made a huge splash yesterday trading away Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe, Victor Diaz and Michael Kopech for Chris Sale. Red Sox must be appealing to Bernie Sanders with their rotation: two lefties named Sale and Price. Dave Dombrowski sure does love to trade away his top prospects. Dombrowski buys 10 copies of Baseball Prospectus every year, crosses out the ‘u,’ and barters them for two cartridges of Nintendo Baseball Stars. Dombrowski used to have four young kids, until he traded them to a Mormon family for an honors student three months from graduating high school. Dombrowski dreams of finding the Fountain of Youth so he can trade it for a veteran fountain. I’m not going to compare Sale to Price even if the Jew in me wants to talk wholesale. Price had concerning stats going into last year and is older. Of course, some of Price’s concerning stats were a lower K-rate and a falling velocity on his fastball, which are two warning signs with Sale too. Okay, maybe I will compare the two. Sale’s fastball velocity went from 94.5 MPH to 92.8 MPH, while relying on it 7% more of the time. You’re a big-time Razzball noob — Razzboob? — if you think I’m going to suggest you draft an ace, and Sale is no different. I’m not about to say he’s going to fall off, but declining velocity, K-rate and rising xFIP is not an ace I’d be excited about. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 18-8/3.31/1.08/244 in 225 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Winter Meetings concluded day two yesterday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Seen at the Gaylord so far was the best free agent starter (Rich Hill) signing, one of the best closers available (Mark Melancon) signing, and Curt Schilling protesting that the Gaylord Resort should not be allowed to marry. “Is it going to start calling a lobby ‘Bobby’ and adopt a baby too?” That’s Curt Schilling with his own special brand of crazy. With Giants’ signing of Mark Melancon, I’m saddened to remember all the good times I had over the past few years with the Giants’ bullpen. Here’s those times condensed into a single run-on sentence, “I can’t believe I drafted Santiago Casilla, ugh, maybe I’ll back him up with Sergio Romo, oh man, that hurts just as bad, fine, I will grab Hunter Strickland, and he’s killing me too.” Scene. Yeah, those times, in theory at least, are behind those owning the Giants’ new closer, Melancon. For 2017, I’ll give Melancon the projections of 4-1/2.26/0.97/58, 42 saves in 62 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy Black Friday! Oops, sorry, I mean Happy African-American Friday! As I type this, I’m being trampled at Bed, Bath and Beyond. “There’s enough Scrub Daddys for everyone!” The Diamondbacks got a head start on Black Friday sales on Wednesday when they traded Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte. What’s that old axiom, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, you’re the sucker. Mariners, you’re the sucker. If anyone forgot that the Diamondbacks fired Dave Stewart immediately following the end of the season, this was a reminder. If Stewart were still there, the Diamondbacks would’ve traded Greinke for Todd Walker. As Dave Stewart would say after reading that, “I’m not mad at ya.” Don’t love the move to Chase Field for Walker, but the NL West makes that medicine go down a little easier, chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cher-ee! Walker had a 8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 last year in 134 1/3 IP. That goes up to 8.5 in the NL West and he’s pretending to yawn as he puts his arm around a low to mid-3 ERA. The only thing that’s stopping you from nodding your head like a plus-size Pez is that Walker hasn’t done it yet. He’s only 24 years old, not doing it yet isn’t a great excuse for never doing it. For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 12-11/3.44/1.18/153 in 160 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All my fantasy baseball titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I drafted Matt Holliday,
Oh, why did I believe in Holliday…day…day…day.
Suddenly! Jacob deGrom’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s injured groin that I made of plaster of Paris and that just came to me suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.
*sniffles* Here, take a tissue. You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones. What will we do for the next few months without an update on a Mets’ pitcher elbow? Does Daniel Murphy’s butt hurt or is he just butt-hurt? What will we do without a Bryce Harper injury update? WHAT? WILL? WE? DO? Prepare for next season, of course. But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season. Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This offseason I’m going to recap sixteen-after-twenty, then I’ll go over the best rookies for next year, then I’ll go into sleepers and, finally, the new rankings. Holy crap! We’re already at the new rankings?! Oh, no, we’re not. Sorry, I sometimes confuse exposition and reality. Like, right now, am I explaining I confuse the two or am I really confused? Any hoo! I mention some offseason business now as an on-the-nose prelude to what’s to come, but also because I’m excited to talk about Alex Reyes for each one of those upcoming categories. Best rookies? Reyes still has eligibility, so check. Sleepers? He has a 1.57 ERA, more than a K per inning and averages 97 MPH, so check, check. Rankings? I want Reyes on every team next year so where do I rank him? Check, check, check! Check pah-vodka-sha! He trap me with that alligator blood! Damn, I haven’t seen Rounders in a while, I wonder if it holds up. *looks to see Rounders DVD holding up crooked bookshelf* Oh, yeah, baby! Yesterday, Reyes went 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks with the same superb — samperb? — pitching he’s done since he was called up. I can’t imagine he’s not in the rotation to start 2017, but, as Teddy KGB would say, Cards speak. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta. Not sure it would be the wrong move either. Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter. He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas. He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas. Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10. About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right. I said it around the time of his no-hitter. That took some pants grapes. What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut. On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta). Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up. It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine. It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.” And that’s me quoting me! On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.” And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record! I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it. For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year. People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall. Yeah, and it won’t work out either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You literally can’t find a middle infielder with less than 20 homers. You can’t. Try it. See? This year there are more players with 20 homers than any other season in the history of baseball. Some conspiracy theorists have said the new commissioner, Our Manfred, is sticking Capri Sun straws into baseballs and juicing them, but this year is odder than that and deserves a better conspiracy theory. No one is hitting 50+ homers like during the Steroid Era. Only one guy is even close to 50 homers. Instead of a few guys doing insane damage in the power department, everyone is doing better, moderately. It’s the trickle down theory. If you’re not familiar with that, I’ll explain it. When Kim Kardashian first appeared on the scene, only she was smoking hot, but rather than Kim hogging the hotness to herself, it trickled down. Khloe went from a 3 to a 5, Kourtney went from a 5 to a 7, Kris went from a 6 to a 8, the two Jenner girls came of age, going from untouchable to 8’s, and even Bruce went from a zero to a three, becoming a woman that you’d throw one if you were drunk enough. This is also what’s happened in the majors. Jean Segura, and all middle infielders, went from fours or fives to 20s. Yesterday, Segura went 1-for-4 with his 20th homer, hitting .316, to go with his 30 steals. It’s going to be hard in 2017 to know if these are legitimate gains in power, for Segura and a whole slew of other players, or if half the league is going to regress. Kinda like Brody Jenner, who was so popular before Kim, ahem, came on the scene. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, was the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935. Though, in 1994, the Cubs were so gonna win the final 49 games if the strike didn’t happen, giving them 98 wins, then two losses were going to go under review and get reversed. What? My crystal ball is very specific. Why don’t you people believe me? Kidding, I know you believe me because I can see you in my crystal ball. Put on some pants that don’t have an elastic band, would you please! Kyle Hendricks (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 walks), 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.99) did his usual magic. I say let him sit out his final start so he can end the year with a minus-2 ERA, and I bet the Cubs say the same thing as me. Know why? I have the best words. People love my words. No one has words like me. Carrying them offensively was Javier Baez (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer). Whenever Hendricks grooves, Baez seems to play himself a little ditty, too. Must be their Woodstock connection. If Joan Baez didn’t perform at Woodstock, don’t tell me, for folk’s sake. Baez is going to be a tough nut to peg (totally a saying) for 2017 fantasy. He’s made great strides with his strikeouts. Looks like an easy bet for a 17/17 season if he were to play every day, but 17/17 is just a tad boring compared to 20/20. By the way, Tad Boring never gets any dates on Tinder. Also, we’re not sure if Baez will have an everyday job. Cubs’ playing time can be Maddon’ing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?