This weekend, I went to an Ikea for the first time. First of all – you are herded through the store on a specific path like you’re being herded alongside other furniture-buying sheep.

Bahhhhhh! That bottom left frame of Buster is about how I handle crowds like that…

Anywho, at the end when you pick your furniture to buy, it’s in this giant warehouse that makes the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark look like it’s in a studio apartment’s tiny closet. Ish is huge! And that giant warehouse is exactly how I used to look at starting pitching in my 10 and 12-team waiver wires through any given MLB season. Limitless streaming opportunities – sure some with more risk than others – but pretty much a starter widely available every night that I could feel decent enough with rolling out. Alas, it’s no more, with hitting making a comeback this season. Balls are juiced! And in that vein, I’ve been overlooking a lot of the “been there, done that” pitchers that have broken through, none worse than being slow to warm up to Danny Duffy. We’ve seen him have power stuff, but not hold up as a starter, getting meh K numbers in the process. This will anger people – but I saw him as a lefty Nathan Eovaldi coming into this year. Ouch! In more ways than one! But Duffy has been absolutely crazypants this season, vaulting all the way into my top-15 last week. And through this amazing run, he hasn’t even been blessed with a Pitcher Profile! This changes now! Here’s how Duffy looked yesterday afternoon against the Twinkies:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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So, I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m just gonna throw out the reason why right off the bat: I’m selfish and lazy. That’s what mid-August baseball talk is all about!

As part of my rebuilding efforts in the REL – well, I should say, my main anchor in my rebuilding efforts – I got Alex Reyes to hopefully be my staff stopper. I mean, have you SEEN the Brewers rotation?! Yikes. With some control issues and a pretty bad ERA in AAA, I wasn’t too surprised to see a fantastic arm like Reyes get the call-up anyway as a bullpener. This had been speculated upon all season – the Cards did this with their major prospects in Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez – so we’re not getting a big shock. And with Reyes called up at the same time as Luke Weaver, it appears they might piggyback each other for the foreseeable future. But Reyes clearly, CLEARLY looks like a dominant starter that’s about ready. After seeing his debut inning last Thursday night where he hit 101 twice, I’ve been eagerly awaiting an encore. Here’s how Reyes looked in his 2nd-4th career MLB innings Saturday afternoon at Wrigley:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.

I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snell within my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.

And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.

Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Junior 2

When you have to tell people your favorite team’s ace is a 31-year-old rookie, you kinda make a face like Arnold Schwarzenegger right there…  It’s as uncomfortable as a dude getting pregnant!  But for a rebuilding team, I guess nothing is inconceivable after all!

As an unabashed Brewers homer, and owner of the REL Brewers where I have to own a certain amount from my parent team, I’ve been a big follower of the Brew Crew beat, and there’s been buzz for Junior Guerra ever since we picked him up.  I even brought him up on the Pod when he was promoted, much to Grey cackle-ment.  I of course never saw anything like this coming though…  I knew he had a fastball and a great splitter, but that splitter hasn’t been just “great”.  It’s been the best splitter in baseball.  His other stuff is pretty good, but he hit 98 MPH in his last start against the Pirates, and if he can throw gas like that, it’s going to make him a dynamic guy ROS.  So I decided to double up on my Sunday afternoon baseball watching by breaking down Guerra’s start against the Cubs, while watching my Brewers like I would’ve anyway.  Two birds one stone!  Sue me!  Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ohhhhh, an MLB debut on Sunday!  Perfect for the Pitcher Profile!  Starting the second half with a bang!

Even though he was likely not throwing too many pitches, I decided to take a flier on Dylan Bundy in most of my redraft leagues.  He was the talk of the prospect community way back in 2012 where he terrorized the Minors and actually picked up 1.2 innings in the Majors that season, progressing all the way from A ball.  Unfortunately, as is the case with a ton of pitcher prospects, injuries reared their ugly head with a TJ surgery and shoulder issues, and he hasn’t pitched 100 professional innings since.  I remember going coocoo for Cocoa Puffs for him back in the day, so I was all decked out in my proverbial Bundy gear to prepare for his first Major League start.  Here’s how he looked yesterday afternoon at the Rays:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sexy prospects are finally making it baby!

It’s good to be back to the Pitcher Profile, with so many hot options out there to break down as we head into the ASB. While Lucas Giolito (who I was always spell wrong with two T’s the first time I type his name) has more “overall” prospect buzz, I think I might have been more excited that we finally got the Tyler Glasnow callup. I had continually been ranking him very favorably in my ranks in the 60s, and I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Steven Brault got the call before him (and this is even after Chad Kuhl too), I was dismayed. But alas! Glasnow made his debut last Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals with a lot of encouraging stuff coming out of it. Not too surprisingly, he was sent back down as he wasn’t needed for another start before the All-Star Break, but will he be back soon sooner or later? Well, here’s how he looked in his MLB debut, and an analysis on if you should be holding onto him on redraft rosters:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ugh, ranking pitchers is so annoying sometimes! You like a guy, he sucks a little, you stop liking him, he then gets better… I’m changing this to monthly rankings here on out, dammit!

OK, rant over. Don’t worry, I’ll stick with the weekly ranks. But after buying into the Anthony DeSclafani hype in the pre-season, to taking him out of my ranks, to then rank him very aggressively when he got off the DL, only to see two meh starts including a rough one against the lowly Braves, and now DeSclafani is looking good again with that wicked slider has my panties bunchier than the chocolate in Buncha Crunch. I’m having a roller coaster of emotions! I feel like Yordano Ventura on the mound, I’m coming unhinged! I watched a good bit of DeSclafani’s first start off the DL hosting the A’s and he looked pretty good, but didn’t give it my 100% undivided attention. I think for my own sanity I needed to take a look with how he pitched yesterday afternoon against the Padres, to finally have a decision on this guy… Here’s how DeSclafani’s fourth start on the year went down:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know, I know.  Most boring Pitcher Profile in the lauded history of the Pitcher Profiles…  But Tim Lincecum has been the talk of the town in some circles, that is, if the circle you’re in is at a retirement home…

I was hotly debating writing this week’s profile on the sexy new call-up Cody Reed, but legit decided to flip a coin to see who’s 2016 debut I would go with.  One side was Jennifer Lawrence and the other side Sir Laurence Olivier.  As in he’s old!  Wait, I don’t think he’s even alive…  Don’t fact check that…

It’s been several years since Old Tiny Tim has been fantasy relevant, and it’s only fitting that the reason why is a hip issue.  He shoulda pressed the Life Alert earlier!  But now he’s had the surgery, showed some flashes in his Minor League rehab games (7 inning 1-hitter with 8 Ks his last AAA start), and debuted for the Angels on Saturday afternoon.  Here’s how his 2016 debut went down going at the A’s:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bases haven’t been nearly full at all in Michael Fulmer‘s starts this past month!

After a rocky beginning to his Major League career, Fulmer has been absolutely on fire the past month, vaulting from “meh, another big prospect called up too early, schwatev” to “this guy is ROY!”  As in, Roy Campanella!  Wait, I don’t think he was a pitcher…

Featuring a huge fastball and an awesome beard, it’s getting tougher and tougher to not jump on board the Fulmer train on his incredible scoreless streak and 5 Ws in a row.  I usually write the intro before breaking down the start, but I worked a little out-of-sequence today.  Spoiler alert!  I’m so on board.  I’m trading in my “Mustache Rides – $0.25” shirt with Grey on it to “Beard Rides – $0.50” with Fulmer.  So without any more ado or facial hair-play, here’s how Fulmer looked yesterday in a dominating start against the Yanks:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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