I have waxed poetic about him for three straight weeks and still have never given him the lede.  Well, Travis is the pure definition of what SAGNOF is.  It’s Grey’s term, but next to it in the glossary of Razz-terms, there should be a picture of Mr. Jankowski drinking a mai-tai while laying around on one of those full size ab-machines that he uses as a lounge chair.  All the dude has done is have basically half the plate appearances of a regular over the past 30 days, post a near .400 OBP, and have one less steal in that time than MLB leader Starling Marte (with 12).  Now, I am no numbers genius, I am a realist, and I really like the low-cost ability that he has for a team that has no other real choice but to play him, if he continues to do what he do. In all seriousness, where are the Padres going?  No wheres is the answer.  Guy is a newly minted 25, has shown decent enough OBP skills and prowess for thievery, that he may be wax-penciled into their lineup next year as someone they should try and build around and play smaller ball with.  I mean, they could do worse… they could sign Melvin Upton.  Oh, wait, that turned out good.  They can see if Wil Myers can play first base on the regular, yet again something else that went right.  For the small things, maybe the Fathers are starting to get things in the right direction, and instead of spending crazy stupid money for free agents and trading assets, they should start modeling themselves after what A.J Preller knows best.  They are a small market club with big club aspirations, start acting like it.  Just my two cents.  Let’s see what else is going down on the 90 feet thieves and sneaky saves department…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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On this high holy season of fireworks and excessive drinking, it all unfortunately comes to an end on a Monday.  Today.  July 5th shouldn’t be a day of the hangover and partial powder burns…  So in honor of our noble sacrifice, let’s touch on some chaps that have some steal value.  We will attack it slow so you can read this, and in between flip the burgers and dogs on the grill.  The steals game is slowing down.  Look at the numbers we expected from guys this year based off last years stats.  Guys like Rizzo, and Goldy, and even Ryan Braun all down.  The expectations across the board have to be lowered.  It should be lowered enough that we open the window and chuck it out that same window.  Unfortunately, we can’t, because counting stats are counting stats and it is still a whole category which we must choose to score points in.  The days of steals being a reliable category are long gone.  The “punt a position” for SB’s is a mythical lore of the whole Pegasus persuasion.  It exists only because we remember the days that it actually happened.  The weekly guys for the leaders in the category read like an extra list for a CSI episode, it is not fun, but we get drawn into the allure of the chase.  The chase is fun, the end result is just a let down like an aerial photo of your upcoming date from Tinder.  So here is the week ahead, behind and below SAGNOF targets and guys that are contributing for their teams that will make you give a second look if chasing that SB fix.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the world of fantasy, when players hit the rewind button and show flashes of brilliance from days gone by, the buy-in factor is sometimes slower than most waiver acquisitions.  Well, enter B.J., Melvin, or Bossman Jr. Upton.  Whichever name you want to use for him, he is quickly becoming a must own player and is pushing to be the SAGNOF waiver wire pick-up of the year. Currently, I think Eduardo Nunez is in that spot, wait, did I just say that and mean it?  When all is said and done though, I think Melvin is the most likely to sustain his value and is on a 23HR/35SB pace.  Had we known that in preseason, it would have put him in 2nd round draft range.  But alas, he wasn’t, and is still only owned in 43% of all ESPN leagues.  His on-pace numbers are basically production wise to what we got from Charlie Blackmon last year.  Blackmon, was of course, a top-30 player entering the season.  The only problem holding Upton back is that he has been bad for a few years, in his favor though, is that he has been bad for a few years.  What I mean by that is that I don’t think he has much value to anyone but the Padres.  He will play every day for an offense that is near the bottom in all categories, and doesn’t appear to be a sell candidate for them at the deadline.  So add away my friends, and happy SAGNOF’n this week.  Here are some updates to the pitchers that are easiest to steal against and some waiver wire type blurbs for steal/save streaming…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the complexity of scoring, much like that of Scrabble, the steals game is all about the triple word score.  With names and with letters that are uncommon for words, you know the J’s and X’s of the world.  We all can cheat and make the word “jo” or “ox”, but imagine the scoring erection you will get when you use Rajai   This wordsmith of the basepaths has been giving new form to the SAGNOF game.  Over the last 14 games, no one in the game has more steals than Davis.  Rajai has been the Magi of it for years, and it is crazy to think that he’s crazy Joe Louis old.  He is 35, which isn’t quite as old as me, but I also don’t even run when chased, let alone run 90 feet from pillow to pillow.  For the most part, Rajai is the goods because he basically fills all your SAGNOF needs and isn’t and absolute void in other categories like a newly DL’d Mallex.  Davis, over the last 14, has put up 2 HRs and a cup full of RBIs.  It is more than what we get from Mallex, who offers nothing but steals. even is an abysmal in BA, and his one saving grace is that his OBP is decent because he takes walks at almost a 17% clip.  So for the few of you that are surfing for a SAGNOF savior to replace your Mallex fix…  here are some names that could be good for now and later.  Side note, I used to love that candy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It is more simple then just correlating the “every stolen base is essential” represents a swipe to the right.  It goes farther the that, for some guys. it is like fish in a barrel… for others. it is a game they just don’t play.  Anyone that has partaken in the chicanery that is Tinder, gets the other far deeper references here because there are endless similarities.   Over the past seven games of play, there have been 13 teams with one steal or less, on the contrary to that, there was only four teams that swiped more than five.  That does not add up to a ton of stats to go around, especially when players like Cody Asche, owned in 0.6% of ESPN leagues, and Marwin Gonzalez (3.0%) are toeing the line of stolen base leaders for the week.  Only being one behind the leader for the week, of a mass total of three.  The sexy factor of steals is like a 2 AM special at the bar: dark, desperate, and a crap shoot.  So I am not here to tell you to not shoot for the moon with guessing with stolen bases, I am just saying that it is a game of haves and have-nots.  So be heady my good friends, as you search the waiver wires for good situations, pay attention to the pitchers who allow the most steals.  Pay Attention to the last 14 days of OBP, and of course with lesser owned fellas, watch general playing time.  Here are some fish in the barrel types for this week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When the season started, the hype was on top prospect Byron Buxton… he had the center field job won out of spring training and had the tools to be a fantasy asset.  Then he started the season going 7-for-49 with not enough counting stats to warrant him being on your fantasy team any longer, so the Bill Heywood-led Twins demoted him to Triple-A.  Down there, he worked on his composition, his derogatory comebacks, and sharped the tools in his shed.  That resulted in him slashing .336/.403/.603 with 6 homers and 4 steals in 29 games.  Now, fast forward to a week ago when he was promoted, everyone could see he was on (or most likely on) waivers, feeling burned by the failures of his previous performance.  He has gone 7-for-20 in his second chance at life in Minnesota, reaching base in every game and looking like a completely different player confidence-wise.  Because confidence doesn’t come in a bottle, which will kill all the snake oil salesman’s pension funds… but oh well.  Byron has made a slight timing adjustment to his swing and it is working wonders, and he’s, from this point on, someone to watch as he brings speed defense and youth vigor to an already “looking forward to next year” Twins team.  If he can maintain an OBP of between .320-.330, I think he can have a healthy steal total by the all-star break and be pushing 25-30 for the season.  If and buts were soup and nuts, my grandma always said, and it remains to be seen if he can be the asset we all thought, but the prospect status is almost gone from him now and he needs to show it or be buried in fantasy waiver wire purgatory.  Let’s see what else was going down on the basepaths this week in the SAGNOF report…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The reflexive of what I have been covering in the last few posts has been looking at trends with pitchers and the stealers themselves.  In a steal equation, the catcher plays a part in this.  If he wasn’t involved, it would look like the scene from Naked Gun where Leslie Nielson is throwing the balls back.  We wouldn’t like that from a whole Enrico Pollazo type way, not one bit.  So for now, let’s stop googling that video and focus on the backstops, the teams running most against and their success (or lack there of).  Yes, there are other factors into being caught stealing, a bad jump, shoes being untied, or maybe even a cramp.  So before all the stat gurus get all huffy and puffy and get their mom’s basements in a tizzy, let’s just say that catchers and their caught stealing prowess are on the even keel that they are what their numbers say they are.  As I discussed last week, stolen bases are down across the board this year and a downward trend has been materializing for years… this has direct affect on the numbers for caught stealing, and attempts.  Without one you can’t have the other.  So here is some interesting stat dirt that I have dug up with teams to run against and the possible streaming value added by playing guys against those teams.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Listen, I’m a realist when it comes to numbers.  I understand that trends are written in there somewhere and the analytic guys use their Little Orphan Annie decoder rings to decipher everything.  I, my friends, am not that guy.  I look at something and then relay the message to you.  I am a sharer, an over excessive high-fiver, and extremely (and most importantly) excessively inappropriate in public.  I have looked at the numbers and I am telling you that the stolen base is the new punt stat.  Everyone always talks about punting stats from time-to-time in their ramblings of delusion, but I am being serious.  The downward trend in baseball is written in the stats.  I will even slap a handy chart in this post to clarify my thinking, (the chart is through the end of May for all other years but this), but the trend is going down the way of the SAGNOF drain.  I wish it weren’t true, because I loved watching the go-go 80’s and guys like Vince Coleman make a living being this generations, chuckle… Billy Hamilton.  Those days are gone.  Do we even remember the last guy who stole 100? 90? or even 80 bases in a year?  The answers are: 1987, 1988, and 1988 again.  The last significant stolen base total was when Jose Reyes was single and not suspended in 2007 with 78 swipes.  Like I said, I hate it to be true, but the days of amassing a significant total from one player, and having that player be a fantasy asset are dead and gone.  Running just doesn’t happen as frequently…  This is based on delivery times to plate, video technology, and basically the game evolving.  So I am sorry that this week’s report is a sad trombone of fantasy reality, which is an oxymoron, but I just wanted people to realize the decline in stat that they chase on a weekly basis.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You see that old rocking chair in the corner? That’s me, mister reliable.  Made of wood and literally been around these parts since the dawn of time. I may not be the smartest fella, or the fartest smeller either, but I dig baseball.  I get the stats and the hub-bub surrounding the intricacies of deeper stats.  Relaying them in a manner that makes sense on paper and conveying them to you in a way that makes us all put away our Casio calculator watches is my style.  This report covers similarities from what I touch on the regular in my bullpen post, so for the normalcy of life, I will add some of my usual middle relief spice into the streaming world of stolen bases.  Sound good, grand glad we could agree.  Rostering established stolen base guys is all well and good, but is a better feeling when you stream an option and he gets one that wasn’t normally accounted for.  Kinda feels like stealing, in the actually stealing sense and not just in the statistical sense.  The world of streaming swipes is becoming harder and harder as stolen bases are a stat best left for the dudes hitting dingers. The more a pitcher lets players get on base with SB opportunities, the increase for SB’s grows… sometimes. This is my first attempt at this post, so I am starting it my own way. So let’s look at this weeks options to stream stolen bases and the trends for which to follow for streaming ideas.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I hate this. Stupid SAGNOF! Pisses me off to no end. The worst part of the strategy is at times, you have to own guys you may dislike, or in my case, hate. It goes with the territory and when they succeed, it takes away some of the burn of the past. But when they fail, they become deader than Randy Quaid’s career. Like this GIF, sometimes it results in a wedgie and everyone laughing at you. Thanks SAGNOF wedgie. This is what I struggle with, the unsavory characters you have to hang around and the resulting public humiliation when you fail. But when you nail it… BOOM!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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