The Jays have all but conceded the closer role to Jason Frasor. They must love Frasor’s witticisms! See if you can trade Kevin Gregg for Nadir Bupkus. Otherwise, I’d drop him as soon as it’s official, which it may be by the time you read this. Gregg’s not worth the stack of napkins you’re using until you buy more toilet paper. I moved Frasor up my Closer Look from the other day. His days of brain freezing could be behind him quickly; he can easily be a donkeycorn by May. Gregg isn’t much of a challenge to Frasor and Gaston seems content with Downs in middle relief. Anyway, here’s what else happened over the weekend in fantasy baseball:
Jon Rauch – The Twins are going with the dreaded closer-by-committee. (Rauch moved down that same Closer Look.) Matt Guerrier will see some save chances, Jose Mijares could see some situational saves, but I think Rauch will see the majority. I own Rauch and Guerrier in different leagues. If there’s one bullpen that can pull through losing their closer, it’s the Twins. In years past, I’d say they definitely would ride it out, meaning no trade. But they’re opening a new park and I think they want their fans to think they’re out there trying their best, so I think they acquire a closer, namely Heath Bell. When will they acquire him or someone? Either very soon, or June assuming they’re still in the race. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Phil Hughes was named the Yankees’ fifth starter. The good news, he’s a solid fantasy 4th starter with 3rd starter appeal. He can put up over an 8 K/9 with a near-4 ERA. Rudy’s Hughes’s (say that fast seventeen times) starter projections have him at 10-5/4.18/1.32/130 in 140 innings, which brings us to the bad news. There’s no way the Yankees throw him for more than 140 innings. That could mean instituting a new “Hughes Rules” doctrine, where he’ll be skipped on occasion, won’t throw more than five innings, won’t start after August, can’t eat after midnight, etc. Anyway, here’s some other fantasy baseball news:
Aroldis Chapman – Dusty will be deciding between Aroldis, Travis Wood and Mike Leake for the fifth starter job. Honestly, if you would’ve said, name the one that is not a professional baseball player out of these three: Travis Wood, Mike Leake or Jimmy Fakename. I would’ve had no idea. Would love to get a glimpse of Dusty Baker’s decision making process for picking a fifth starter. I know there’s equal parts eeny and meeny. There might also be a dunk tank. I’ve compared Aroldis to a young Randy Johnson. Wanna see where? Here, “His stuff is wicked awesome and his control is wicked awful. But he wouldn’t be the first guy to struggle there. Hello, Randy Johnson. That’s a tall order, literally. But he’s someone I’m excited about in keepers and deep leagues. He should be owned in keepers from the jump. In one year leagues, I’d take a flier on him in the final rounds to see if he breaks camp. If he doesn’t, then you drop him. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Justin Upton left yesterday’s game with a sprained ankle. It’s obviously not easy carrying around millions of fantasy baseballers’ hopes and dreams. He hurt his ankle while stealing second, then he advanced to third and scored one batter later. I liked Upton 1.0 better, which came with customizable speed and power but no hustle. The good news is Upton wasn’t removed until after scoring, so it doesn’t sound serious. Just precautionary. It’s an exhibition, after all. You know, like when Kenny Mayne ran Daisy Fuentes for Jerry O’Connell in the 2005 Celebrity Softball game. Anyway, here’s some more news in fantasy baseball:
Dustin Pedroia – Left wrist sprain. It’s spraining, men! That’ll teach Pedroia to try and open the pickle jar all by himself. This actually worries me more than the Upton sprain. Injured wrists are tricky for, ya know, hitting. He’s scheduled to take BP on Thursday so hopefully it’s very minor and the pain doesn’t have to, doesn’t have to, doesn’t have to let it linger. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I don’t want to believe a word I read by anyone in the New York Mets organization. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I’m in minayal. As the definition states, “Denial of the truth by a GM – either disingenuously to the press or, even sadder, they believe the lie. Includes denial of player injuries, trade rumors, manager firings, etc. Example, “If it weren’t for the Mets being in such minayal, Reyes would be on the DL and I could have an empty bench spot on my team!” Related adjective is Riccardulous.” So with that said, Jose Reyes was cleared to return to action. I haven’t been as interested by something I’ve read in the New York Post since they so delicately handled a recent crisis with the headline, “Holy Shiite!” Could Reyes really be good to go? I sure as heckfire hope so since I’ve drafted him already on a few teams. As I’ve maintained since he went down, this wasn’t another leg injury. It was his thyroid. It might phonetically sound like it’s located in the leg, but it’s not. Omar says Reyes could be ready for Opening Day. My best guess is he’ll miss the first week and a half and by May you won’t even remember he missed any time. I say grab him, hopefully I’m not in minayal. Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball news:
Albert Pujols – Went for an MRI with a sore back. The New York Post said, “Pujols is full of Shiite!” Actually, they didn’t. But could one day. Pujols played last season with one working elbow. I’m not too concerned about a sore back. Please, blog, may I have some more?
SPOILER ALERT! Kerry Wood is out for 6 to 8 weeks with a strained dorsi muscle. I thought only dolphins had dorsi muscles. Huh. Wait! Maybe Kerry Wood’s a dolphin. He does seem like he’d be good at Connect Four… underwater. Nah, couldn’t be. Though I could see him getting injured trying to remove a beer from a six pack holder. Hmm… maybe. Alas, for another day. Chris Perez is the pickup. If my money’s good at this rodeo, Kerry Wood’s not coming back until the All-Star Break and even then he’s no sure thing. Anyway, here’s some other fantasy baseball news:
Huston Street – Suffering from only shoulder inflammation. Could resume closer’s role by late-April. Put this in the file of, See Then Believe. Please, blog, may I have some more?
AJ Hinch said, “Conor Jackson screams two-hole to me right now.” That’s what Mexican food does to me. Speaking of Mexican food, Conor Jackson is in a good position for runs, hitting in front of J-Upside, LaCucaracha, and Mini Donkey. That’s also a good spot for LaRoche, assuming the D-Backs aren’t facing a lefty and it’s after the All-Star Break. I tease. Who knows, maybe LaRoche will get his act together, hit well the whole year and be a decent sleeper in the end rounds at your corner infidel spot. Both Jackson and LaRoche are being drafted right now like they don’t even exist and, well, that feels wrong. Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball news:
Andrew Bailey – Out for a week with tennis elbow. No word exactly what caused it, but we’re guessing it’s from all the pressure on his serving when playing with his doubles’ partner, Brad Ziegler. Stop with your underhand serve! Wuertz hasn’t pitched yet in the spring, Waking Joey Devine is Walking Wounded Joey Devine until he sees game action, so that leaves Ziegler. Here’s my IM exchange with Rudy about picking up Ziegler. Me, “I’m grabbing Ziegler.” Rudy, “Forget it, Grey, it’s Oaktown.” He was right; I forgot it. Bailey could still be ready to start the season, so this isn’t an immediate add, but, as I’ve been saying in the offseason, Bailey’s not that safe. This could be a bullpen by committee by May 1st and Ziegler’s probably the third man on the totem pole. Hard to say right now with so many injuries. If this were in the middle of the season, I would’ve grabbed Ziegler. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Put on the reverse lights to three weeks ago when Huston Street experienced tightness in his shoulder while playing catch. Was shutdown for three weeks. Yesterday, Street went to play catch and felt the same tightness. He’ll now miss the start of the season. Street’s resilience is akin to the elasticity on your favorite pair of boxers from the mid-90s. “Hey, my shoulder will be just fine in three weeks! Give me the ball, Mr. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Chris Carpenter went five innings giving up no runs, allowing 4 baserunners, adding in 6 Ks, driving in 6 runs and five golden… rings. 12 runs for the Cards, but everyone was a ticker tease, except for Carpenter who pitchslapped Kip Wells. LaRussa’s mind must be swimming with ideas….Do I hit him 8th? 7th? Do I platoon him with Ankiel in the OF and have Ankiel come in for intentional walks? Do I go with a Singapore Sling or an Old Fashioned? Why is Dave Duncan looking at me? Is my fly open? How come no one read my book, Tonyball? If I’m facing East, my hair should be facing West! Why is it going South?! If homeless people have no homes, why do they lug around so much junk? Homeless people shouldn’t be pack rats!… Wow, there’s a lot swimming in Tony’s mind. Interesting to peek into the mind of a genius, ain’t it? Surprised he didn’t mention this is the last roundup of the year. Ho-hum, so sad. There will still be a new post every week day through the fall and winter, so check your separation anxiety at the door. I’m still here. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Scott Baker – 5 IP, 0 ER. His FIP last year was 3.79. This year it was near 4. So he was .20 off of last year. He throws around 7 Ks per 9 innings. So he’s good for about 155 Ks. His Post-All-Star Break ERA was 3.39. Guess what I’m saying is I’m going to predict next year he’ll pitch around a 3.75 ERA, good WHIP and solid Ks and he’ll be someone to look at as a third fantasy starter with number two upside and number four downside. And in three months, I’ll quote that. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Four months ago, a torn tendon behind his right knee shut Jose Reyes down for the entire season. That’s the good news. In an attempt to return to a team that has been out of the playoff picture since July, Reyes tore his hamstring this week as he ran the bases. His season is finally, completely, officially over. Sure, it wouldn’t been nice to see him steal 65 bases and for the Mets to win 25 and a half games in the last three days of the season, but maybe trying to get him back for the last weekend of the season wasn’t the best idea. Now his 2010 is going to be of the “Is he finally healthy?” variety rather than the “He’s finally healthy” variety. Obviously more will be known as we get closer to next season. I’m sure February Grey is preparing his status report as we speak. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ricky Nolasco – 7 IP, 0 ER, 16 Ks. Probably should’ve been the lead today, but I felt like ranting on the Mets. You’ll forgive me. Take out your Benihana Buddhas and pray that next March your leaguemates look at Nolasco’s 5.06 ERA and pass on him. Then flip a shrimp tail into your hat. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jay Bruce has hit four homers in the last four days while hitting over .500 in the last week. Now has 22 homers in only 74 hits with 73 Ks to go along with 3 steals. I never thought Mark Reynolds would steal 24 bases. I didn’t think he had 15 in him. So, don’t take this comparison the wrong way, but Mark Reynolds is lucky he snatched up the Mini Donkey nickname because Jay Bruce looks like he could be headed that way next year. Bruce is still very young, and his propensity to strikeout leaves him vulnerable to big slumps, so I won’t predict a huge breakout in 2010. But he can hit 30 homers and steal 10 bases while batting .250. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Homer Bailey – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks. Now we’re getting to the point where he might actually be touted by the analcysts over at ESPN, which would mean his 2010 sleeper status could be in jeopardy. Please, blog, may I have some more?