Yesterday, Alex Cobb threw a 4-hit, 2-walk shutout with 8 Ks vs. the A’s. Cy Cobb? Nah, probably not. Last night though, pretty. Let’s look it how The Tampa Bay Peach got where he is. Earlier this year, The Tampa Bay Peach hit that sweet spot, deciduously ready and he dropped to the ground, rolled about sixteen feet into the River Styx as “Come Sail Away” was playing in the background. Then a little Persian boy, picked him up and said, “Ah, Ma, peche. This is better than Momofuku.” Before he could bite into him, he held him up to the Fruity God, who likes to wear tight rainbow spandex, but no one talks about that, and the Fruity God said, “That’s not a peach; that’s a pitcher, let’s put him through the minor leagues and give him a 4-something ERA going into the A’s game so only the Stream-o-Nator knows to stream him.” And so it was. That’s a tale that Jason Collette tells his nephew when he can’t get him to go to sleep. Cobb’s actually pitched better than his 4.23 ERA shows with his mid-3 xFIP. He’s had some bad luck with men left on base and balls hit into play. He hasn’t reached his K-rates of the minors and with his barely 90’s MPH fastball it may not happen. Next year, he’ll probably be close to a 3.75 ERA with a low 7 K-rate and have around a fantasy four or five value, but, for one night, let’s be glad the Fruity God stopped that little Persian boy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Collin McHugh – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks. Took over for Johan in the Mets rotation and did a bloody good job, McHugh, bloody good. Let’s see what we know about him. He was an 18th round draft pick which means no one was ever clamoring for his affection. “Hey, guys, I can also hand-under-my-armpit fart ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb.'” That’s McHugh at the MLB draft. He looked solid in every stop in the minors with a high 8+ K-rate and around a 3 walk rate, while his family shortened his last name from McHughjerk. A good call, I say. The problem for right now is he won’t be able to go every fifth day because of an innings restriction. He’s a very low end starter to stash in NL-Only keepers and a streamer candidate in all leagues.
Tyson Ross – 6 IP, 5 ER. Aw, shoot, too bad, Ross. Now bring back Straily!
Mike Napoli – Won’t be ready to return on Sunday, but is probably closer to a week away. He’s on Italian People’s Time. Punctual for meals and to call his Mom three times a day, but late for everything else.
Roy Oswalt – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks to lower his ERA to 5.94. He has 47 Ks and only 10 walks in 50 innings. I’m no pitching coach, but he might want to walk a few more and not challenge as many. Or maybe he’s distracted thinking about the target practice he left behind. Roy, did you have to glue them together in such a demeaning way?
Denard Span – 2-for-5, a RBI and 2 steals as he returned to the lineup. In the offseason, when he’s traveling overseas, you think he signs off his postcards with, “Span’ing the globe?” Just a thought.
C.J. Wilson – 5 IP, 6 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks. So, you guys had better days and you can’t ever take those away. Though his post-All Star break 6+ ERA sure is doing its best to help take away all of those fond memories. “Why are you using my old pictures for toilet paper?” That’s you talking to his post-All Star break ERA. I’d lose him in most shallower mixed leagues for a hot hand off waivers. He gets the Sawx again next time out, then he’s in Oakland, who just beat on him a few starts ago.
Mike Trout – 3-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 steals, 2 legit, 2 quit.
Howie Kendrick – 2-for-5, a run and RBI. He obviously didn’t have the season that I envisioned for him back in March, but he has a hit in every game in August except for one and is hitting .310 since June 1st. The power is admittedly in the can, which stinks. Literally.
Vernon Wells – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a homer. On the year, he has 8 homers and 21 RBIs. He’s also making $21 million this year. That contract should be nicknamed, “Blackjack Can I Get A Mulligan?”
Jon Jay – 2-for-4, 3 runs, now is hitting near .400 in the last week. He would’ve been in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell, but he didn’t make the imaginary less than 50% owned. Bummer, he’ll also miss the $50,000 Buy/Sell contract bump as negotiated by Boras.
Allen Craig – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs. By this point in the season, I know where most players will be drafted next year and where I’m gonna probably rank them, but Craig’s a bit of a wild card. I think he might go as high as the top 100 overall for some ‘perts and as low as 175 for others. He’ll probably fall somewhere around 130 for me. He’s going to be tricky because if you prorate his stats out over a whole season, he looks great, but is he injury prone? Or were they freak injuries (not injuries sustained by dropping a bong on one’s toe, which is a Freak injury)? Or is he prone to freak injuries? Can someone be prone to freak injuries? Now I feel like I’m writing up a philosophy exam for first year med students. If they had someone who had no business writing up exams, writing them up.
Jake Westbrook – 5 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 1 K. There was some disagreement in the comments yesterday over whether this was a decent start as predicted by the Stream-o-Nator, where S.O.N. gave it a 120. 5 earned vs. the Astros but with a win? Personally/redundantly, I want more from the Stream-O-Nator than a conshellation prize. Stream-o-Nator, “How about you blow me?” Damn, S.O.N, someone didn’t have their morning coffee.
David Freese – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 17th homer. Another guy that could be tricky to rank. Then throw in Lohse and his 2.61 ERA and 1.08 WHIP and the Cards are a bunch of riddles wrapped in a conundrum asking “What does it all mean” to an old Asian man on a mountain in Tibet.
Tommy Hanson – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER vs. the Giants. I know Hommy Tanson, and, you sir, are no Hommy Tanson. He has a 4.40 ERA on the year and, if this is the line he puts up while in San Fran, I’d look elsewhere in most mixed leagues.
Sergio Romo – Was the name Bochy pulled out of his hat for the save last night. It also took him about 45 minutes to find one of the folded pieces of paper in his hat.
Todd Frazier – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs. As I’ve assumed all along, Dusty said Frazier would lose playing time when Votto returns. He said, “At some point in time, the world is going to be his. Now it’s partially his, which isn’t a bad spot to be in.” At least the Cincinnati Enquirer said that was Dusty, it sounds a lot like one of the last things Kim Jong-il said about his son. Dusty might be taking his team’s name a little too literal.
Alfredo Aceves – 1 IP, 5 ER. He saw eight hitters in the 9th and gave up 3 runs, so, of course, Valentine sent him out there for the 10th inning to give up a lead off homer and a single, which later scored. What we learned from that? Valentine owns Andrew Bailey in a fantasy league. What a mess this game was in its entirety. It was like Vin Mazzaro was pitching for both sides.
Dustin Pedroia – 4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 11th homer. I get the sense this Sparky Anklebiter is trying to make up for lost time as the season comes into its homestretch. Hitting around .330 in August with five steals while knocking out 2 homers this week. It may take 20 minutes to cook grits, but 5 months of baseball for grit to get going.
Pedro Ciriaco – 4-for-6, 4 runs. I almost put Ciriaco in this afternoon’s Buy, but, well, he’s here now; don’t get greedy. He’s been hitting around .350 in the last week and 35+ steal speed over the course of a season. If you’re struggling at MI, he’s worth a flyer.
David Ortiz – Could be activated today as he was able to run without incident. I didn’t even know running was a part of his game. Call him Usain Bloat.
Miguel Cabrera – Left yesterday’s game with a sore ankle. The Tigers’ doctor declared him fine going forward after they had him walk a straight line and then touch his nose while standing on one foot.
Justin Verlander – 9 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks. He’s been as terrific as advertised in the preseason. I still see no reason to own a pitcher this good in most mixed leagues. Right now, I’m rocking Medlen, Gio, Bumgarner, Vogelsong and Straily in the RCL (after dropping Lynn, Peavy, Latos and Minor, to name a few) and, trust me, pitching isn’t the issue for my team (with 50 out of a possible 60 pitching points). There is just so much pitching in these 12 team mixed leagues. I could throw a rock and hit 5 waiver wire pitchers to pick up.
J.A. Happ – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Wikipedia says J.A. pronounces his name “Jay.” Not to be an ass, but then your name is J. Happ or Jay Happ. If you’re gonna go through the trouble of J.A., then your name is Jay A. I’d even accept Jay Alpha. Any the hoo! He’s actually been much better this year than in 2011 or according to his ERA (4.68). His xFIP is around 4 and his K-rate is almost at a 9 with only 49 walks in 134 2/3 IP (129 Ks). Could be interesting for next year.
Edwin Encarnacion – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 33rd homer. Not even Momma Encarnacion believes the season her little one is having.
Jose Bautista – Hit two homers in his last rehab game. As of today, he’s your starting 3rd baseman and if he has a good September to help you win your league, you will name your firstborn after him. “Jose Kapowitz, nice to meet you. What an interesting first name for a Jew.”