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?

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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?

I’m back baby! Returned henceforth from thy vacation, and I have no idea if that attempt at Ol’ English made any sense. Now I wanna drink a 40! Which is something Julio Urias can’t do!

So much happens in baseball when you’re gone for two weeks! Well, I was just on vacation for one week, but most of it was without internet. Yeah – rough! First time I’ve done a big vacation like that during the baseball season. Not gonna lie though – kinda worth it for a little break. But alas – we have a lot to catch up on! Like Urias getting a very surprising (to me) call up this early. Sure he was mowing down AAA, but he’s 19 and the Dodgers seemed to go into the year with a lot of pitching options. Then Alex Wood went from scratched (giving Urias his debut in a “spot-start” that went poorly against the Mets) to the DL, so Urias has a shot to stick in the rotation for a bit. With that little bit of extra leash, how would Urias respond in a tough matchup at Wrigley? Here’s how the MLB’s youngest cub fared last Thursday afternoon:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…

I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winningMatt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!

We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nothing is a better, giant surprise than a Rubby in the morning!

Rubby De La Rosa has always been a guy with a power fastball and plus slider, but it’s never been enough.  Ks haven’t been there, he couldn’t get lefties out, and he’s looked more and more like Nathan Eovaldi rather than “the next big thing”.  But after yesterday’s outing, Rubby has somehow limited lefties to a .162 average and only allowed 1 homer in 87 LH batters faced.  Compare that to last year, when lefties murdered him for .315 and 20 homers in 410 batters faced.

After a pretty brutal start – including 3 relief appearances due to the D’backs bullpen being overtaxed – I really didn’t think too much about Rubby and his upside.  Kinda thought “he is who we thought he is!”  Wait, that’s a different Arizona sports team…  His last 5 starts have been really good with solid Ks, but I thought for sure the Giants with their bevy of lefties would crash the party.  Alas, we got a Giant surprise!  Here’s how Rubby looked yesterday afternoon in Zona against those Gigantes:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we point fingers and exclaim how “right or wrong” we are, know that I am writing this intro BEFORE Aaron Nola‘s start yesterday afternoon. I don’t want my intro to sully my thoughts from the top down. The post needs to read like a before-and-after! Kinda like how Grey slammed my Joe Ross rank endlessly on the Pod “before” the season, and even with awesome results “after” 5 starts, he’s still going to find ways to troll me on him… Sigh… Also, I need to use a thesaurus on the word “before”…

So why was I so slow to sip any of the Nola Kool-Aid? Well, here’s the red flags I saw PRIOR TO yesterday’s start: .227 BABIP, he averages 90.0 on his fastball, was never a K guy through the Minors, K rate has jumped from 7.88 in 77.2 IP last year to 9.90 in 40.0 IP this year, and finally, he’s looking like a 2-pitch guy right now with 59.5% fastballs and 33.7% curveballs. Now, I admittedly use Fangraphs as my reference, and maybe he mixes a few fastball variants and he’s leaning off his change-up since his curve is working so well right now. Unless you’re in the MLB Man Cave, you’re not watching every single SP every start (plus you’re like, a few weeks behind the current action, so that’s lame), so I concede I hadn’t watched Nola yet this year. But after the Nola-grilling on my ranks in the comments last week, seeing Nola was getting the start on Sunday made him the prime Pitcher to be Profiled. Here’s how he looked yesterday afternoon in the Crayola Canyon:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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