When I think of a creeper, two images flow into my mind— Bachmann-eyezed! and the song ‘Creep’. This combo punch is usually enough to haunt my entire day as I hum Radiohead and cry fearful tears, afraid that I’ll be accused of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood and then be stared at profusely by those hypnotizing conservative eyes. Just because I love lamb shawarmas and use ‘Tunuk Tun Tun’ as an adverb… sadness abound! And while I love Radiohead, them being the soundtrack to such an event can be unsettling and ruin the entire experience. So let’s go to a special and safe place where we can locate a fantasy target that might help you in the twentieth week of baseball. If you can guess from the title, we will be talking about Spam and eggs. Actually, no, much to my chagrin, we won’t be talking about one of my favorite breakfast combinations. Salacious thoughts and hunger… a dangerous turn of events, to be sure. I’ve tried to deviate before, whether it be about angry sexy latinas or Bruce Willis, or even Tentacle Porn, but unfortunately, I’ll have to once again go forth and write about the baseballs.
While rumored to be on the move to the Reds as the trade deadline neared, Denard Span ended up staying put with the Twins. Last season’s concussion and watching the movie Vertigo set on repeat in his peripheral vision turned out to be the sarcastic cherry on top of his last two seasons of statistical blah. 2009 was his last good year; actually, when you think about it, 2009 was his only good year. Batting 311/392/415 with 97 Runs and 26 SB, Span looked to be a solid option as a 3rd or 4th fantasy outfielder. But the unforgiving BABIP spirit required homage and regression. Previously able to sustain a .353 BABIP in 2009, Span has only managed .294 in 2010 and then .297 in 2011, fueling triple slashes of 264/331/348 and 264/328/359, respectively. This year, though, a resurgence has occurred in all areas for Span. With a higher sustained BABIP of .321, his triple slash has now responded closer to 2009 levels, and now stands at 296/359/401.
Span started the year off hot, hitting .330 with 3 SB’s in March and April. But soon June arrived and his numbers started to stagger, only managing 21 hits in 108 PA’s. Just in time for this wonderful and awe-inspiring post, he’s begun to heat back up. In the last seven days, Span has gone 12 for 27 with 4 RBI’s and 3 SB’s. Some things he can offer you in the short term are a good BA and OBP and some speed. Because he’s getting on the basepaths at a good clip this year, a healthy Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau teamed with Josh Wilingham are able to cash in, also providing a steady stream of runs. And trust me, in life, there are precious few things you want a steady stream of. Runs are up there, or actually, down there, depending on context.
For next week’s scoring period, the Twins will be facing the Indians and then the Rays. Zach McAllister is first up on Monday, bringing with him a surprising 8.17 K/9 and 3.39 FIP. His last start wasn’t anything special (4 ER in 6.0 IP) and Span hits righties pretty well, to the tune of 292/347/419 this year and 284/353/385 for his career. Next up is another righty, Corey Kluber, who I guess is the natural second step after you Doug Fister. Romance aside, Kluber did not pitch well for his debut, allowing 9 hits in 4.1 innings, and could be in store for another rough day if he continues to give up the long-ball. On Wednesday, Span will face-off against the volatile righty, Justin Masterson, who was roughed up at Minnesota just last week, giving up 8 ER’s in 5.2 IP. Span managed a double with 2 RBI’s and could be in store to cause more damage in Cleveland. Scheduled to go against Jeremy Hellickson and his 2012 FIP of 5.05 on Thursday, Span could have a strong four-day stretch going into the weekend. While Hellboy has looked pretty good in his last four starts, and his K/9 of 5.82 and BB/9 of 3.23 have improved from last year’s 5.57 and 3.43, his HR/9 has risen from 1.00 to 1.46. And he’s been very hittable and walk-happy in more than a few starts this year. Though not officially scheduled as of now, the likeliest next two pitchers Span faces are David Price and the pitcher formerly known as Jaime, now James Shields. As a left-handed batter, Span has actually done fascinatingly well against southpaws, hitting 293/379/399 for his career. But Price is no normal southpaw and represents the best pitcher Span will face this scoring period. And we all know the year Shields has had. One part #2 ceiling, one part #4 ceiling, all mixed with a Victoria’s Secret Catalog drenched in kitten tears. Suffice to say, Span might have a good day or a lousy one.
With news of Jose Bautista still feeling discomfort in his wrist and Logan Morrison’s potential to miss the entire season with right knee inflammation, it wouldn’t hurt to give Span a try. In a pinch, he can help you in multiple categories, but not in a gaudy way, more like in a soft caress way. Like how Enigma’s ‘Return to Innocence’ set to repeat at bedtime helps me love my body pillow that much more. So go forth and enjoy Denard Span (and eggs, sunny side up mind you), your potential creeper for the week 20 scoring period.