Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson were called up on Sunday. Here’s what I just said on Friday when I told you to pick Vitters up, “(He) comes with high expectations simply because Cubs fans are like a 104-year-old virgin who would just love to touch the playoffs’ boobies. He has solid power and this year he’s finally taking a free pass (not dramatically, but he’s been better — 30 BBs in 439 PAs). The Cubs have no reason not to let him play 3rd for the final two months and have said that.” And that’s me quoting me! Here’s what I just said about Brett Jackson when I told you to pick him up, “He had hideous strikeouts last year. This year, more of the same. His walks are even down and he hit .256 in Triple-A this year. But — and this is a J. Lo-sized but, he also had 15 homers and 27 steals in 106 games.” And that’s me quoting me, Part II: The Return of Me Talking! Jackson’s an immediate pick up in all leagues. As soon as I heard B.J. was called up, I made like a bear and tucked that Cubbie under my wing, to mix metaphors, context and animals. Yesterday, they hit him in the two hole and they’d have to be delirious to not play him every day. BTW, if someone is trying to come up with a name for a deli, go with Deli-rious, you’ll be glad you did. Josh Vitters should also play every day because the Cubbies’ 3rd base slot is a void, or avoid up until now. I’m slightly higher on Jackson because speed translates a little easier when someone is promoted. Though, neither may hit over .240. Also, I’d hope in most leagues you don’t have room to grab an unproven corner infidel, but, let’s face it, of course you do. Times are desperate and you’re trying to latch onto any spark that can push you over the top, Sly Stallone. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Ryan Cook – He looks well done as in meat, not as in a British person saying, “Well done, old chap.” On Saturday, he blew his fourth save in the last five opportunities. It’s not like he’s giving seeing-eye singles and bouncing-off-Canseco’s-head homers. Last two blown saves have poor excuses like “My dog ate my homework” or “Sweetheart, I was bouncing up and down on a bed like I like to do and my penis accidentally fell into that other girl’s vagina.” Where Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour were both available, I grabbed Balfour, but if he was taken I’d grab Dolittle.
A.J. Griffin – Alfredo Jettuccine was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury. The A’s said it isn’t a big deal. Sure, if Alfredo Jettuccine was playing Hacky Sack. As a pitcher, I think it’s kind of a big deal that he has a shoulder injury. But what do I know, I’m not a doctor, but I sometimes say I am when making dinner reservations.
Brandon McCarthy – To return from the DL this week if he can avoid any setbacks. He’s not a part of the Bennis Carpensheeter definition, but he could be. McCarthy’s been very effective when healthy. Unfortunately, that ‘when’ is the size of Tupac’s after-death catalog.
Emilio Bonifacio – At first, the Marlins thought Emily Boneface may be out the rest of the season, but now they’re saying he could return in 3 weeks. If he has one setback, that becomes him returning September 25th to sit on the bench and laugh with Jose Reyes, who will be sitting out the last five games so he can keep his average at .300. If your DL space is tight like a Tijuana emergency room, I’d suggest cutting Bonifacio.
Brett Lawrie – Left Friday’s game with a ribcage issue and didn’t play all weekend, but hopes to return on Tuesday. At least I think that’s what he said, he had six hashtags in the matter of five words so I’m not sure.
Colby Rasmus – Sat out Saturday and Sunday with a groin strain. Also hopes to return on Tuesday. Raising Hope for Tuesday night was brought to you by Fox.
Michael Cuddyer – Could be out for three weeks with a strained oblique. Speaking of oblique, I saw Tree of Life this weekend. At least, I think I saw it, but rarely do I watch a movie for two and a half hours and have no idea what I’m watching. Wasn’t even sure what drugs I was supposed to be on to understand it. Booze? Pot? Peyote? As I’m wont to do after seeing a movie, I read the reviews. If you were to believe them, I was the only one that didn’t get it. I think critics are so sick of seeing remakes of 80’s TV shows or adaptations of graphic novels that they’re willing to give a good review to anything with any ambition, no matter how crackers it might be. Roger Ebert’s review was about how Malick captured his childhood. I gotta say, my childhood had conversations about baseball and girls and not whisperings of grace, nature and a mother float-dancing by a tree. But I guess that was just me.
Pablo Sandoval – The news said he’s about a week away from returning. But it also said he was seen doing a sprint yesterday, so I’m not sure what to believe. Maybe AT&T Park changed it’s name again.
Stephen Strasburg – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks. After I posted about how you should sell Strasburg because he will be on an innings limit no matter what the Nats say, Davey Johnson, apparently a big-time Razzball reader, suggested Strasburg would in fact be limited to 160 innings. Davey also said talking about the subject was yawnstipating and he said that’s me quoting me.
Adam LaRoche – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs to bring his total to 71 RBIs on the year and he also has four homers in his previous four games. He eats up 2nd halfs like Garfield with LaSagna.
Drew Storen – Got the save yesterday because Clippard had pitched three days in a row. Tyler Clippard, the captain of the Nationals 9th inning yacht, has looked a bit sea sick as of late. He hasn’t lost the job outright, but Storen may start seeing more and more saves. If you’re a save vulture out at sea, I’d start circling Storen.
Matt Harvey – 5 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 1 K. Takes a certain chutzpah to lure a fantasy owner into Petco and then roofie them. I wouldn’t drop him across all leagues because of this start, but obviously it’s not all peaches and cream with rookie pitchers.
Chase Headley – 1-for-3 with his 2nd homer in as many games at Petco. Wow. Maybe the Padres hired a hypnotist to put Headley under and make him think he was traded to a contender. I feel bad for him when he orders pizza in San Diego.
Chris Johnson – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and a homer. Now has 3 homers in the 6 games for the Diamondbacks. With the $200,000 saved by cutting Chris Johnson, the Astros are looking to buy a house in Houston’s 5th Ward.
Stephen Drew – 1-for-3 with his first homer, also went 2-for-4 on Saturday, so just maybe this is the start of a hot schmotato run. Your deity of choice knows it’s long overdue.
Trevor Cahill – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks as he battled Cliff Lee to a no decision. Cahill has 9 wins and a 3.76 ERA to Cliff Lee’s 2 wins and 3.78 ERA. Sure, the Ks and WHIP are in Lee’s favor (101 to 124; 1.32 to 1.17), but for our purposes — or porpoises if dolphins are reading — Cahill and Cliff Lee have been nearly equal. Hopefully you didn’t do a spit take onto your computer.
Wilton Lopez – On Saturday, Lopez converted his first save. The game ball will travel around to all the other major league parks, then off to Cooperstown.
Kevin Youkilis – 1-for-2 with his third homer in the last two games. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have designs on Youuuuuuuuuk, Old 97’s.
A.J. Pierzynski – 1-for-2 with a pinch hit homer run. He’s now homered in five straight games. I’d say sonavabench because that’s what pinch hit homers usually cause, but you shouldn’t own two catchers in one catcher leagues so there’s no sonavabench there. I’ve had A.J. for three days on one team and he has a third of all the homers I have from the catching slot all year. I don’t say that to brag.
A.J. Burnett – 8 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks. It’s a renaissance for A.J.’s! Next thing you know A.J. Soprano is gonna get a spinoff where he’s seeing Dr. Melfi because he’s feeling inadequate, dating Big Pussy’s daughter.
Drew Stubbs – 1-for-3 with a slam (14) and legs (24). A lot of people don’t know this but Drew Stubbs played Sam in the stage adaptation of Diff’rent Strokes with Arnold and Willis played by Justin and B.J. Upton.
Raul Ibanez – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer. Back in the dugout, he forearm bashed his teammates because they think that’s the new, hip thing to do.
Miguel Gonzalez – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks. He’s been pretty much hot garbage since his call up, mixing in the occasional start where he looks like lukewarm garbage that’s only been on the floor for three seconds so you can still eat it. I’d continue to avoid him in mixed leagues.
Joe Blanton – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks for Magic’s new-look Dodgers. Blahton is an over-4 ERA pitcher wherever he pitches, so I wouldn’t get too excited about him. This year his K:BB ratio is superb, so I’d look at him in favorable matchups.
Evan Longoria – Maddon says there’s a 50/50 chance Longoria returns on Tuesday. I don’t want to say he definitely will return, but yesterday at a diner I got a piece of toast with an image of Longoria on it. On the other side of the toast was his last name and the number 3. Then there was a hash brown in the shape of a New Era cap and he entered the diner, took back his hash potato cap and said he’d be back on Tuesday.
Kris Medlen – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. Warm it up, Kris! He’s about to!
Chipper Jones – 2-for-4, hitting .320. Said he doesn’t plan on 2nd guessing his retirement decision. Between 2nd and guessing, he tore his hammy.
Adrian Gonzalez – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer since the All-Star Break. Hmm, has anyone seen Teixeira lately?
Carl Crawford – 3-for-5 and his 3rd steal to go along with 3 homers while hitting .279 in 68 ABs. You know what he’s doing, right? You know, right? He’s doing just enough so he looks good again in next year’s draft.
Josh Willingham – 1-for-3 with his 28th homer. Willingham’s been providing burning hot lardons for his fantasy owners all year.
Derek Holland – 6 IP, 6 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Royals in a game where Greg Holland got the win. Elias Sports Bureau said this was a much more peaceful outcome than when Zach Britton faced Esteban German. Actually, they didn’t say that. Something that was heard at the Elias Sports Bureau compound this week, “Taylor, in Accounting, asked his boss to stop saying “Winning” for a record 700th time since last year.”
Jeff Franceour – 2-for-5, 2 runs and a homer. I wouldn’t get too excited; Frenchy is only dressing vs. lefties.
Jarrod Dyson – 1-for-4 with a steal. Now has five steals in the last four games and is batting around .550 in the last week. That’s not a hot schmotato. THIS is a hot schmotato. If you need SAGNOF, get Dyson now.
Matt Garza – Sounds like he’s headed to the DL due to a triceps issue. This is the kind of injury that could have him out for the rest of the season. Don’t shoot the messenger. And don’t ever take no jive from no Western Union messenger.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-4 with his 9th homer. As I tell my girlfriends, beware the small sample size, but if you prorate Rizzo’s homers over a full season, he’s on pace for 40-plus. Well, hello there.