So, for today’s post I was going to talk about how women can biologically prevent pregnancy, but only in cases of legitimate rape. However, much to my chagrin, this guy beat me to it. I mean, the nerve! Right before I’m about to talk about it… then yoink. And it’s just so darn unfortunate that I blew my ‘wizardry’ wad (not to be confused with the more standardized ’wizardly’ wad) in yesterday’s Creeper when talking about the head of the NRA, Moses. I mean, what else can explain this, but the magical (darn, see? I knew wizardry sounded better here) ways of how females can physically make unwanted injected sperm take a three point u-turn right out their own crevasse? There’s a famous saying that comes to mind: when given apples, make apple pie, or maybe that’s not it. When given poop, Pass It Forward in loving memory of Haley Joel Osment’s career. No, that doesn’t quite sound right… oh, now I remember. If life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie. So, Todd “they can just shut that down” Akins, if you’re listening, maybe you should find a sacred religious body of water and skinny dip amongst your colleagues and their families. Frolic about, and enjoy life for what you want it to be! Wait, what’s that? Someone beat you to it? WTF? Crimany! I just give up.
Okay, so after a much deserved week off, Deep Impact is back, and it’s better than ever. Based on feedback from all of my readers, all two of you… okay, you’re right, mothers don’t count; all one of you, we have a newly designed format. You could say that I am not only bringing you what you want, but also, what you need. It’ll be like BAM!!-sex, but, you know, not. So here’s how it’s going to go down and around. Remember my Waiver Man Cometh (1, 2) series? Don’t worry, that’s still here. But we’re going to add two thingamajigs to it. First, an injury update, focusing on news that pertains to dynasty leagues. Second, we’re going to add a segment that offers up an overview of two minor league players, usually a batter and pitcher. These won’t be guys that Razzball protagonist and prospect maven Scott Evans covers. As you would have guessed, we’re doing this deeper and more, um, impacting? Kinda like when I went FYPD all over the place. So let us partake in this mystical adventure of rough and tumble deep fantasy baseball love.
Waiver Man Cometh
After six years of toiling in the Padres, Pirates, Brewers, and Rangers system’s, Luis Cruz has found a home in the Dodgers lineup. After 144 PA’s, he’s produced a 286/329/474 slash. Adding 4 HR’s and 25 RBI’s, he’s been able to sustain a somewhat manageable 5.6% BB/9 and 12.5% K/9 for a SS. His BABIP of .304 is sustainable and in line with his minor league numbers, so I see no red flags there. If you are in need of some middle infield help, he looks like a Jose Altuve Lite, and then divide that by two. Which I guess gives you a 1’4″ tall baseball player. If he continues to get AB’s, I can see a baseline slash of 250/300/400 with some sprinkling of HR’s and RBI’s for the rest of the year.
Projected to be a 5th starter or a LOOGY, rookie Brooks Raley was recalled from Triple-A Iowa this last Saturday. As of now, the Cubs have him starting, both in the minors and majors, so if you are in need of pitching, he is young, with a high floor and low ceiling. Kinda like Frodo’s bedroom. No, don’t look at me, Samwise told me. To pick him up, you have to be desperate, otherwise, I’d pass on the good chance he becomes the next Casey Coleman or Glendon Rusch. His low K/9 of 7.57 and high BB/9 of 3.07 in Iowa concern me. Translated to MLB numbers, it looks like he might be at a 5.00/1.35 guy with middling K’s.
Not really a threat to earn saves, Jerry Blevins has had a pretty good year. Appearing in 46 games with 50.0 IP, he’s brought with him plenty of K’s (8.28 K/9) and a healthy 2.70 ERA. While I think Grant Balfour could hold onto the closer role for now, with Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook next in line, if you have the roster spot or need a solid middle reliever, Blevins could be your guy. And who knows, the closer spot for the A’s has been the village bicycle, if you know what I mean. And you do, because we live in a society full of villages where there are a bunch of bikes that everyone takes turns riding to, I don’t know, the store to buy cheese or something. I’m not sure if there are baskets attached, so good luck.
The ultimate number 5 outfielder, it feels like DeWayne Wise has been around forever. Apparently, the White Sox miss Scott Posednik so much that they had to find his brother from another mother. And that mother is known to give birth to sub-300 OBP players that have above average speed. But intangibles, oh my, the intangibles. They have heart, bring a veteran presence, play the game right, grind it out and stuff like that. To be honest, I’m stunned that Ned Colletti didn’t call dibs first. I’m not sure how anyone sustains a BA over .250 with a 2.2 BB%, but Wise has managed to cobble together a 264/281/506 slash. What immediately jumps out here is how he’s been able to put up a .506 in the SLG category. While it’s still in small sample territory with only 89 PA’s, he is getting at-bats at a semi-regular rate and could give you some steals and runs.
Anytime a pitcher arrives at PetCo, I start paying attention. The newest target of mine, Tom Layne, has pitched 3.1 innings and has struck out 7 batters. Me likey. Even with the ability to start, the Padres have converted the sinker-baller into a reliever after a 0-10 record in the minors this season. A 26th-round draft choice by the D’Backs in 2007, Layne has compiled a 6.93 ERA and 38-42 record over six seasons as a starter and reliever in Triple-A. However, after being designated to the relief role permanently, he quickly divided his delivery into two different arm slots, creating some funkiness that Josh Collmenter could only dream of. I don’t think he can pull a Burton or Wilhelmsen yet, but stranger things have happened.
An up and down lefty specialist, Wesley Wright is another high K guy (9.08 K/9) that could be useful if you are hunting for holds or strike-outs. Other than that, he doesn’t do much else. Oh, he does play for the Astros, which is the MLB Milford Academy, neither seen nor heard. Those who understand the joke will understand me.
Fauquier County Hospital
When healthy, Brett Anderson has shown a lot of promise. But the ‘when healthy’ part has been quite the boondoggle. His rehab assignment hasn’t really been super encouraging, pitching 23.1 innings in 5 starts. His FIP was at 4.66, with a high HR/9 of 1.54. However, a good sign was that his fastball was clocked in and around 93 MPH, which is around his career norms. If you need the help, I’d look into it, but I have this eerie feeling that he’ll only be good for a 4.65/1.35 as a best case scenario.
Set to be reinstated from the disabled list and start on Tuesday, Jhoulys Chacin will be facing off against the Mets. While he can be a frustrating pitcher to own, with below average control (career 4.27 BB/9), he does represent a high risk/reward gamble in terms of strike-outs (career 7.92 K/9) and is just one season removed from his 2011 campaign of 3.62 ERA and 11 Wins in 194.0 IP. If Brett Anderson is already out of your grasp, Chacin could provide the same numbers, after a fashion.
Making his way through back and elbow problems, Andrew Cashner, in his first three starts this year, struck out 16 batters in 10.2 IP. Because of that high strike-out potential, the oft-injured pitcher might present a good opportunity for your own post-season push if you need K’s and a low PetCo-fueled ERA. Scheduled to begin a rehab assignment today, he looks to be on schedule to return in early September.
While still very raw, the 20-year-old Yoel Araujo was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16. Standing at 6’0″ and 190 lbs, he has shown plus speed and plus raw power, with good upside and quick bat speed. So far in the Rookie League, he’s hit 253/315/386 in 93 PA’s. His K% of 32.3 is still very high, and his BB% of 5.4 needs some work. However, if it all comes together, Araujo projects as a corner outfielder and a productive 3-hole type hitter with speed and power.
Signed by the Nationals as a 2012 non-drafted free agent, the 22-year-old Matt Foat has lit the Rookie League on fire with a 347/421/424 slash. While fueled mostly by a .380 BABIP, his low K% of 9.1 makes him worth keeping an eye on. Drafted as a 2B, he currently profiles as a 1B, standing at 6’0″ and 185 pounds. His ceiling is Daric Barton, which might be worth something in OBP leagues.