As Jeff Probst once said, “Turnabout is Johnny Fairplay,” which was his mashup of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart line, “Turn around, bright eyes,” which was co-opted by a children’s toy commercial with, “Turn around, Rainbow Brite eyes,” which was Elmore Leonard’s original name for a pedophile, which he changed to short eyes, and short people have big reason to smile, unless they’re not wearing shoes and, yesterday, Matt Shoemaker threw a one-hitter into the 8th inning. *takes a breath, bows, exits like Tommy from this season of MasterChef* And scene! So, Shoemaker returned from the minors yesterday and did exactly what we’d hoped from him since March — 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks. He will remain in the rotation, but I wouldn’t indiscriminately add him in all leagues. I would give him a shot in his next start in Oakland, and go one start at a time from there. While you’re wearing the kid gloves for Shoemaker, hopefully you don’t accidentally Like an Instagram post from two years ago by someone you once dated that you’re now stalking. Been there! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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*swirls a glass, takes a gulp. spits it back in a bucket* “That’s vintage Justin Verlander,” said Kate Upton. “Okay, this might sound gross, but can you spit into my mouth?” That’s you getting up the nerve to say something to Kate Upton. I just thought of a moneymaking idea for Shark Tank! You stand outside of Comerica Park with a cardboard cutout of a naked Verlander and have people pay $10 to take a picture with him, pretending to be Kate Upton. Oh, and no, this post isn’t an attempt to Bleacher Report up Google’s rankings by mentioning Verlander and Upton repeatedly, though it does seem that way…Verlander/Upton, Verlander/Upton and Verlander/Upten for the illiterates. So, Verlander did look magnificent yesterday until the 8th inning when he began to tire, ending up with a one hitter –> 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 Hit), 9 Ks with an ERA at 3.45. Big Magoo captured Verlander’s upside about two weeks ago with this post. Worth reading, but the key part (cause I know, y’all can only read so much), “Since the All-Star break, Verlander’s 7.25 K/BB ratio is the 5th highest among qualified starting pitchers, and his 1.1 BB/9 is the 6th lowest. He shares the same swinging strike rate (12.1%) as Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole over that span as well. Now, excuse me as I go drain the weasel on a picture of Grey.” Hey, wait a minute! I didn’t remember that last part. So, if Verlander is out there in your league, the one-hitter yesterday doesn’t seem to be a hirame. Sorry, I just had sushi. It’s not a fluke. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It feels like only yesterday when everything was right in the world. An animated blue bird landed on my window ledge and sung to me about boobies and other things the republicans want to make illegal, then another animated bird joined him and sung to me about foie gras and other things the democrats want to make illegal, then a centrist animated bird landed and said a lot of nothing that could neither be refuted nor approved. Why do I have all of these damn cartoon birds but no Carlos Carrasco?! Yesterday, Carrasco hit the DL with a sore shoulder. This sounds to me like an early shutdown is not too far off. “Hello, shopping mall ear piercer, can you put a diamond stud in the hole in my heart that Carrasco left?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique. This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief. Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed. Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you? Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way. Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring. Scary good. May be best of Cubs lot right now.” Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed. If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances. Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming. On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur. Or make that, as craptastic as those guys. In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel. Time, not the magazine, will tell. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m in New York celebrating my grandfather’s 88th birthday, or as he calls it “achy-ache,” and we started talking about Caitlyn Jenner, and he said, “She’s a hot number, I’d throw her one.” Throw her one, I believe, means have sex with her. I thought this was pretty forward thinking for my grandfather, then he continued, “Do you know how they put lost children on the side of a carton of milk? I heard if Caitlyn got lost, they’d put her on a carton of Half & Half.” Ah, there he is. Reminds me a bit of Marge Schott, which brings us to Raisel Iglesias, who threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks. “Raise the Church” has looked far superior since he returned from his stint in the minors with an ERA that’s bordering on startable everywhere (3.93), and peripherals that look ownable everywhere (9.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 3.42 xFIP). At this point in the year, I would go one start at a time for him, but I would definitely own him, and start him for his next one. Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back before my grandfather tries to “throw one” at Cougs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mike Fiers threw the first Astros no-hitter by a single pitcher in over 20 years last night and the very first no-no in Minute Maid Park to make his way into the Houston record books, alongside Houston greats such as Beyonce, Dennis Quaid….uh, Rory Gilmore…did I say, Beyonce already? Anyway, even more impressive, the 30-year old Fiers did it against one of the leagues top offenses in the LA Dodgers. You probably wouldn’t have started Michael Fiers unless you owned @#$%ing Michael Fiers! Fiers walked just three batters and struck out 10 in what was also his first career complete game. It took Mike 134 pitches to get through this one, but his stuff seemed to get better as he got deeper into the game. It was his first win with his new team. After struggling in relief in his first appearance with Houston, Fiers settled nicely into a starting role that he will be unlikely to relinquish after last night’s dominating performance. He’s allowed just one earned run in three starts with Houston, with a 19/6 K/BB rate. Fiers struggles with control at times but when he’s on the strikeouts numbers are nice and he can be a very useful fantasy starter. He’s available in over half of leagues and gets the Yankees next week, I’d grab him if he’s out there, he could be a helpful guy to own as the Astros make their run for a pennant.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You’d think with a lineup featuring Prince Fielder, the Alfredo would go down fast and leave a mess for someone to clean up. I mean, I know Fielder is a vegetarian so maybe there were too many meatballs? How else can you explain it? It wasn’t Sunday so ‘Any Given Sunday’ need not apply and Any Given Thursday just opens the door for all the days of the week to claim coincidence as its catch phrase. We can’t have these things, there must be a reason! Yeah, there are no reasons. To the antithesis of all baseball nerd reasoning, Alfredo Simon pitched a complete game yesterday against a reasonably good Texas Rangers offense, only giving up one hit and two walks in the process while K’ing five in the shut out. Alfredo was giving up 1.45 HR/9 to go with a .383 wOBA to lefties on the year going into last night and faced a team that had five reasonably good lefty bats in their lineup. Let’s just stuff this one away in Gray’s Sports Almanac and move on with our lives without giving it a second thought, shall we? Yes, let’s. So without further ado, the guy who isn’t Grey will lead you through the rest of what he saw from yesterday for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Guess who’s back? Back again! No, that’s not The Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis, sufferer of chronic back pain, singing. Besides, it’s “who’s back,” not “whose back.” We’re not trying to identify a back! Byron Buxton‘s back, baby, yeah. With every positive reaction, there’s an equal opposite negative reaction, or so said Einstein when he was fiddling with refrigerator magnets. And the negative reaction to Buxton coming back is Aaron Hicks hit the DL. Too bad, so sad. Buxton didn’t do much in his first stint in the majors, but he could be easily as good as Schwarber, Sano or any other rookie nookie that’s got your cookie all melty. I would grab Buxton in every league. I’m excited. Uppercase yay! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.” And I did. Only, I wasn’t that impressed. He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A. Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.” And I did. His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal. Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!” No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself. I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player. I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again. But now suddenly you’re worried about the future? You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable. Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was able to pick up Pedro Alvarez (2-for-4, 19th homer) for the batty call yesterday, which is kinda silly since he has four homers in the last week, and now I don’t see how I can drop him. Wouldn’t be the first time a batty call turned into living with each other for a few years, until the fighting becomes too much for each us. But we’re not brave enough to leave, so we bitterly sleep with our backs to each other, and when Pedro falls asleep before me, I pull out my iPad, lower the volume so he can’t hear the sites I’m visiting and I excite my “Josh Reddick” until my “Marcus Semien” arrives and I cry myself to sleep. Or something along those lines! *giggles awkwardly, coughs, clears throat* So, yes, that’s a vote for Pedro (just don’t get married to him). Seriously, he’s hitting .252 with 19 homers, how is he only owned in 50% of leagues? Not to answer, but to judge others. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?