Pitcher Profiles are almost back baby!  Oh man, I haven’t been this excited for pitchers to return ever since all the crap I got for saying Ryan Dempster was a sleeper last year.  Of course, no one remembers Matt Harvey was my #1 sleeper (audio proof!), and then Grey even forgets which old bad pitcher I lumped in my sleepers saying it was Josh Beckett!  Ugh.  Being such a bully around the office.  Punk me for the rest of those picks!  Yikes.

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I remember as a kid trying to watch Kelly’s Heroes with my dad, and not understanding any of it.  I mean, it didn’t have a Wookie.  Reading over that Wikipedia synopsis, sounds a lot like Three Kings that came out almost 3 decades later.  Nothing original in Hollywood anymore!

But to baseball, Joe Kelly has some heroes of his own.  First there’s the Cardinals developmental system that seems to churn out pitching prospects that can throw upper 90′s faster than Hollywood sequel greenlights.  Then there’s the Cardinals offense that leads the NL in runs scored by 53.  Using his rag-tag unit of pitching coaches, arguably the best catcher in the game Yadier Molina, and an offense ready to give him a lead every game out, can Joe Kelly help you steal the gold in a fantasy title?  I tuned into his start yesterday in Pittsburgh to break down how he looks and if he can be a wildcard contributor to your final fantasy push:

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In true Halloween spirit, we have a special haunted edition of the Pitcher Profile.  Ok, so it’s not even September yet, but hey, we live in a world of mass consumerism and the Halloween specials and themed sections of department stores are already up.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the um, French Maid, you um… you saw leaving my room last night – it was just someone breaking in the costume!  I’m kidding, I’m not Jude Law.

So about a month ago, I was all set to do a Scott Kazmir Pitcher Profile then his arm died.  Kinda like Jared Leto’s arm in Requiem For A Dream.  After a strong stretch through mid-June to late-July, Kaz gave up 4 to the White Sox, blanked the Marlins (but a slow-pitch softball pitcher could do that), then got rocked vs. the Angels and his arm was murdered.  Murder, I Wrote!  But through the modern world of medicine, he got a Will Smith I, Robot replacement, then struggled with his stuff with the zombie arm in his first game back, giving up a 5 spot and 12 baserunners at Oakland.  So expectations were pretty low heading into his start yesterday against the Twins, but after seeing the stat line and his return to form, I decided to break down his start and see if that velocity is back where it was a few months ago:

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You know, picking your fantasy baseball pitchers is surprisingly a lot like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  At the beginning, you want the old reliable guys – you know – the ones that can barely walk.  Looking at you R.A. Dickey.  You’ve got all this potential for an Oscar-winner/fantasy title.  But as the movie and baseball season progresses, you want younger and younger guys with the upside of their ML debuts and big K potential against hitters who have never seen them before.  Then after a longgggg middle half (and the dog days of summer in the baseball season), you’re in the final act and you’re ready to throw out there any 20-something-year-old just for the hell of it (just ask Kathy Griffin about that).  Or you’ve walked out of the movie because you’re just not into it.

As you well know, Pitcher Profiles usually select a pitcher from Sunday, but with overwhelming questions and requests for a profiling of Danny Salazar, I felt overwhelmed to buck the trend.

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When he was called up just before the All-Star Break, the exclamation for the long-awaited arrival for Erasmo Ramirez was perhaps hyperbolic.  I’ll admit, I thought he’d be a big fantasy help too.  Sure he was dynamite last year with a decent 3.36 ERA but dazzling 1.00 WHIP and 7.32 Ks per 9 in his debut 59 innings.  His walk rate was under 2 per 9, pitches in Safeco – this was going to be a fantastic season.

But a triceps injury kept him from making the Opening Day rotation, forcing him to rehab his way back up.  After two nice starts in single A and double AA, Erasmo spent most of his time in AAA with a solid 3.09 ERA and 42 Ks in 43.2 innings.  However, red flags did arise with a WHIP at 1.31 and a walk rate at 2.89.  Not exactly too scary, and he was certainly shaking some rust off.

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Do you remember those Will Smith albums?  Yikes – hard to believe he actually does serious movies.  As in, “seriously?”  Like Seven Pounds.  “Oh I want to donate my heart to some chick with a heart problem that somehow got affected by my texting and driving accident.  So why don’t I hop into a bathtub with an extremely toxic jellyfish – that’ll make my heart just fine for a transplant, right?” Seriously this got greenlit! Oh – spoiler alert!  Wait, isn’t that supposed to be before you say what happened?  Work on your timing!

Well the Fresh Prince of Milwaukee (wait strike that, you can’t call another Brewer “Prince”…) Wily Peralta burst onto the scene last year with huge power stuff, then Sky went out and wrote a sleeper piece on the big guy before the season started, and it looked like Sky would be the butt of our jokes early this season.  And my, besides writing on Bartolo Colon, tough to get more butt.  Ok I kid – as a Brewers fan I can tell you Peralta is just an overall big dude – he’s not sporting a David Wells gut.

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Despite not living in an MLB-market area, I have a great AAA team nearby.  I got to see Chris Archer pitch for the AAA Durham Bulls with his great velocity, luckily before his hit role in Coming To Tampa.  But after wanting to search for a career, he got promoted from Zamunda and went to Queens Tropicana Field in hopes of a complete game.  Well, when Houston is running out Carlos Pena at leadoff, as Kevin Garnett would exclaim, “Anything is possible!”

I’ve always liked Archer’s stuff, but the high WHIP was a big bugaboo.  Like Starship Troopers big.  But I liked him in spot starts, and all through comments on Grey’s articles last week, took Archer as my spot starter of choice against a lot of other fringe-streamers.  Score one for JB-O-Nator!  Ok, that sounds more like I’m an Austrian movie star in a political position.  Let’s take a look at how Archer did inning-by-inning, get to the Choppa Pitcher Profile!

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Welcome back, Pitcher Profile nation!  I am glad to be back home after a fantastic trip to DC where I got to see my Brewers go 1-1 on the 3rd and 4th and score a handful of runs.  Given it was against Ross Detwiler and Taylor Jordan (along with help from some Drew Storen trouble) – but it was nice to see some good O in person.

Then the Brewers go back home to face the Mess, and while having some decent offense early in the series, we got absolutely stymied by Jeremy Hefner yesterday afternoon.  I didn’t watch too much of the game, I was busy gawking at my boyfriend Corey Kluber, so I had yet to see much of how Hefner looked.  Then I got a tweet from Sky bringing me in on a Tehol question asking: “Am I supposed to know who this Heffer dude is on the Mets?”   My response: “Only watched an inning today, stuff looked better than earlier this year but not overwhelming, Brewers K lots.”  So what better way to elaborate on 160 characters than up it to close to 2,000 words?  Pitcher profile!  Here’s how he looked:

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I am back with another Pitcher Profile Razzball Nation!  I was out of town last week and unable to work on multiple screens slash was sipping daiquiris on vacation.  True story.  Ask Sky.  Then ask him what drink we came up with while my daiquiri was half melted and looked like a prop from Hostel.

As I try to do every week, I like picking a guy who pitched on Sunday to keep things topical.  I also like to do profiles on pitchers that have been requested.  And Zack Wheeler pitched on Sunday!  The stars have aligned to give everyone an introspective look and how he… well… looked.

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K:BB.  Mmmm can’t think of a sexier group of three letters.  Double D’s are nice but that’s only two letters.  JB is only two letters.  So if you have to go to three letters, I’ll take K:BB.

A guy I’ve liked for a while now, Corey Kluber came into yesterday’s matchup against the Nationals with a sparkling 57:12 K:BB ratio so far this season.  Don’t believe me that he’s been my man crush the past month?  Look at phone records to Sky or my friend Peter.  Just ask the NSA, they’ve got them saved somewhere…  Kluber has been around a while, pitching in the Minors since 2006 with consistent strikeout numbers, but other than that never has put it completely together. Now 27 years old, Kluber is suddenly owning MLB offenses.

As soon as I saw Kluber’s numbers last month before he was the talk of the town, I went and looked at his pitch selection.  He’s completely changed his arsenal from a slider as his main breaking offering into tossing a cutter as his second pitch.  Does that remind you of any other Cleveland Indian who had late(r) career success?  Reminds me of Cliff Lee!  Ok so I’m not saying Kluber is the next Cliff Lee, they’re very different pitchers, but it is interesting.

Please, blog, may I have some more?