Shane Victorino has long been a benchmark for many other players’ production here at Razzball. Dexter Fowler is Feign Victorino; Alejandro De Aza is Should-Hit-The-Gym-And-Train Victorino; Ryan Zimmerman is Bane of my Existence-rino. I look at Victorino like a proud papa. Back in 2008, when people wanted to drop him after he started losing time to Geoff Jenkins, I told them to hold tight, he’ll be fine. (BTW, the week Victorino lost his job for about 3 days to Geoff Jenkins, elsewhere Tulowitzki was hurt. The more things change, the more whatever that cliche is.) Victorino went on to have a 14/36 season in 2008 and a Razzstar was born. When he was hurt, we were crying for the Hawaiian. When he was producing, we were singing, “Let’s Hear It For The Poi” and “I’m So Keen-o For Shane Victorino.” When he kept doing his stats year after year, we became ambivalent because we were so used to it. Davey Lopes was credited with teaching Victorino how to steal and now he follows in his footsteps to the Dodgers. Victorino’s power 15-ish and speed 30-ish should play fine in Dodgers Stadium. His Home/Road splits are pretty even over the last three years and he hit .344 in Dodgers Stadium over the same time. I look forward to the day I run into Victorino at my favorite pupusa shop and I get to Instagram us in a photo with colors that don’t exist.
Also leaving the Phillies is Hunter Pence, the player acquired last year for the title run that didn’t happen. I feel the same will be true of the Giants, but I don’t want to be a party pooper. The Giants can totally compete with the Rangers, Angels, Yankees, Reds, Braves, Washington, Chicago, Detroit… Honestly, I’m not sure the Giants could beat the Phils in a best of 7, but whatever! This is about Pence. The Giants aren’t a great hitting team, said Captain Obvious. Their top hitters are Melky and Posey. Posey’s fine, especially for fantasy since he’s a catcher, and Melky’s had a nice 18 month run, but we’re not talking about Pence moving to the 1927 Blue Jays. I wouldn’t say Pence’s value is totally diminished. He actually hit better in road games this year and has been fine in Dropped Calls Park. In the last three years, he’s hit 5 homers in San Fran, which is tied for the 2nd most homers he’s hit outside of Philly and Houston. I’d put him down for more or less the same value. So Giants sic Pence, fantasy owners none the richer. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Domonic Brown – Recalled by the Phillies. So far it’s been “How now Brown…Frown” but he’s still young enough (24) to not be a total bust. He’ll probably slot somewhere in the lower half of the lineup and be given the rope to succeed or fail depending on how badly his fantasy owners need him to produce.* (*There’s no evidence that his fantasy owners hopes and dreams have anything to do with Brown’s potential success rate. In fact, some studies that don’t actually exist show that the more fantasy owners want something to happen the less likely it will.) Since he returned from a knee injury in Triple-A, he’s hit .362 with a homer. Injuries have really been the june bug in his yokelism, but if he can stay healthy for the final two months, he could give 7 homers and a decent average. He also has speed, but not sure how the aforementioned injury is affecting him. For the flyer on upside, I’d grab him in all leagues.
Stephen Strasburg – 4 IP, 6 ER. At this rate, he won’t have to be shut down to save innings.
Gaby Sanchez – They should make Marlins jerseys where the names are Velcro’d on, so you buy one jersey and just change the names. While every Marlins telecast is going to look like this Cardinals one. So the Pirates acquired Gaby and will probably work him into a platoon of sorts with Garrett Jones. For fantasy purposes, Gaby’s a hot name to think about. For fantasy baseball purposes, I’d continue to ignore in mixed leagues until he’s hitting.
A.J. Burnett – 9 IP, 1 Hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks. With four outs to go, Burnett lost his no-hit bid. Tough week for A.J. On Monday, Webster’s was this close to switching out the picture of Kris Humphries for A.J. Burnett for the word douchebaggery.
Ivan Nova – 5 IP, 9 ER. Holy schnikeballs, what was I thinking putting him in the top 100 for the 2nd half? Sometimes, I’m a brilliant man with a mustache; sometimes I’m a man with a brilliant mustache. This was the worst performance by an Ivan since Koloff accidentally plummeted his tag team partner, Dick Murdoch, but that was after The Great Kabuki accidentally spit some green crap in his face, blinding him.
Joba Chamberlain – Returned from the DL after a 14-month absence. He was initially out due to Tommy John surgery and then he hurt his ankle on a trampoline, taking the Sparky Lyle book, The Bronx Zoo, way too literally.
Casey McGehee – Sounding like a jock in high school explaining his dating life, getting Gaby made Casey expendable. So the Yanks swooped in and grabbed McGehee to help with their 3rd base shituation. I’m not sure if it’s gonna be all rainbows and unicorns for McGehee, but he’s in a lot better place to succeed. There is a chance the Yanks use him with Chavez. For those in AL-Only and Pig Latin leagues, feel free to ixnay ixNay.
Nate Schierholtz – The guy whose last name is German for pantyhose moves to the Phillies in the Pence trade. Can’t wait until Philly fans adopt a new fan favorite and show up at the games wearing pantyhose on their face. That should go over well in Citizens Bank. Once Schierholtz fever spreads, it could be a boon for Germantown, Philly, too. No longer will German prostitutes with their broad shoulders and small noses be made to feel like they can’t knockwurst in public. As for Nate’s fantasy value, it doesn’t help him since he’s nothing but a platoon guy.
Cliff Lee – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks to move his record to 2-6, which is the same record as Francisco Rodriguez and only a hair worse than Jamie Moyer’s 2-5 record. Cliff Lee’s record has me beyond words, adverbs specifically.
Chris Tillman – 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks. The O’s jumped out to an early lead and Tillman got the free room at the W. As I said last time he pitched, he is not a sub-2 ERA guy, but more like a 3.75 ERA guy with matchups appeal. His ERA is now up to 2.70 and will continue to climb.
Ryan Ludwick – Due to his 2-homer game coming on Saturday and him not playing on Sunday, I didn’t mention it. But he homered again yesterday and he’s officially the world leader in hot schmotatoness. Keep in mind that Stubbs had three homers in three straight games and Dusty benched him yesterday, so anything’s possible with Ludwick’s playing time, but I’d grab him while he’s hot.
Todd Frazier – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in his last three games. Sonavadroptowaivers! Damn, not sure why I dropped him either. It’s not like I’m short on schmohawks to drop. I think I dropped him because Dusty benched him on Monday. Damn you, Toothpick Man!
Jonathan Broxton – Sent to the Reds. Not sure how Dusty is going to ruin pitchers’ arms with so many competent relievers, but he will find a way. Dusty’s Toothpick, “Give me one extra inning game and I’ll have at least three pitchers screaming uncle or ‘Mark Prior.'” Broxton will be used in set-up of Aroldis, and may get the occasional save when the latter (if latter means Aroldis) has worked a few days in a row. Also, due to Broxton’s body type, he will be wearing Marge Schott’s old uniform.
Brandon Phillips – Had a calf strain and left yesterday’s game early. After the game, Phillips said, “The calf is no bueno right now.” Sounds like his Spanglish is muy bien. As of this writing, the Reds hadn’t made a move yet, but Phillips looks to be headed to the DL. Maybe Broxton can take grounders at 2nd. Or just maybe Billy Hamilton will be called up. *drool*
Tim Lincecum – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. I feel like I should be tiptoeing when I write this like someone on The Ultimate Cake Challenge when they get Mickey’s fondant ears to stick with nothing but pulled sugar.
Greg Holland – Come out to Wal-Mart and meet the new Royals closer! “I was just here to grab some incredibly affordable paper towels and look who it is, Greg Holland! Geez, which one should I use to clean up a ninth inning mess? Hardy-har-har!” That’s Royals owner, David Glass, in disguise, trying to strum up excitement at his favorite chain store. I’d grab Holland in all leagues. He was beat up a little recently against the Angels, but they’re Trouterrific. On the year, Holland’s been more than adequate and can get saves for the reminder of the year. Hopefully, the Royals don’t go Dutch with Holland and Crow. Pun point!
Lorenzo Cain – 2-for-5 with his 2nd steal out of the 3 hole. Cain…Sugar!
Ryan Dempster – Dealt to the Rangers as his fantasy owners say, “Wha’ happened to the Dodgers?” Not a great trade for his fantasy value and about the biggest value change for anyone moving. To misquote Naughty by Nature, a real shame, isn’t it? Not a shame, a product of the trading deadline. Granted, I don’t think Dempster’s value goes into the, uh, dumpster with this trade. He’s sure as heckfire not going to be a 2.25 ERA pitcher as he is thus far this year, but probably closer to a 3.75 ERA guy as he’s been over the last few years. Since becoming a starter in 2008, Dempster’s ERA vs AL is 3.49 in 87.2 IP, but obviously that’s not playing all his home games in Texas. In two short months, maybe you get lucky and he’s around a 3.00 or 3.50 ERA. If you get unlucky, he might be droppable by the end of August.
Mike Trout – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. You know what? I’ll stop talking about him when he stops giving me something to talk about. How’s dem apples? Delicious!
Jered Weaver – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks in Arlington. Looked fine once again in a tough matchup, but someone should check the lost and found for his Ks.
Albert Pujols – 2-for-5 with his 19th and 20th homers. Remarkably, I wouldn’t bet against him reaching 30 homers, .300 average and 100 RBIs. Even more remarkably, I opened the last sentence with remarkably. Since when has it been a surprise that Pujols would give those numbers?
Paul Goldschmidt – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 2nd homer in as many games. Aushizz!
Matt Harvey – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Yeah, I’d grab him. Yup, in your league too.
Josh Beckett – Left yesterday’s start with back spasms. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt his back nine.
Neftali Feliz – Seemed to be struggling to stay healthy last year when Icy-Hot did the advertising campaign, “You can’t spell shoulder inflammation without Neftali,” then the Rangers decided to stretch him out to be a starter and botched his elbow up real good. Not sure why he’s so Feliz now since he’s about to miss all of next year, undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Roy Oswalt – Rangers moved him to the bullpen. I’m Cust kayin’ here, but the Rangers are cutting ties quicker than a bunch of youse that own him for fantasy.
A.J. Pierzynski – 2-for-3 and his 2nd homer in as many games. Ooh, I need your love babe… This is A.J.’s week! Hope you need my love, babe…. A.J.’s week!
Francisco Liriano – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks vs. the Twins. Must be a real student of the game and all of those years of watching people pitch well to the Twins finally paid off. If you have any idea how well or poorly Liriano’s going to pitch on any given day, you’re lying. I’m sad. Why would you lie to me? I’m not going to sleep with you.
Denard Span – 4-for-5 with a steal. Denard Dawg is hitting near .500 in the last week and around .340 in July. And he’s only owned in 33% of ESPN leagues. Oh. Huh?
Tommy Hanson – To the DL with a lower back strain. Man, this Medlen yo-yo’ing in and out of the rotation has me feeling like Duncan Mimes. You know, the mime that lives next door to me that mimes yo-yo tricks. “Hey, Cougar, look! He’s walking the dog!” “What dog?” “I know, it’s brilliant! You’re awesome, Duncan Mimes!” With Hanson out for two weeks, Medlen should once again get a chance for about 4 starts. Grab him, guys and four girl readers!
Kris Medlen – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks. Why are you still reading this? Go pick him up!
Tommy Milone – 6 IP, 5 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks. It’s almost like the Baseball Gods didn’t like that Beane didn’t give the trading deadline his all and now they’re reverting the MediaOAKers ERAs to their FIPs.
Evan Longoria – Was potentially going to return on Friday, but hamstring soreness after playing Monday’s game has shut him down until Thursday. Hold on a second, phone call… Hello, who’s this? Thursday? A day of the week from the future is calling me? Yeah, what’s up, Thursday? Longoria gets shut down again? That’s terrible news. Okay, lates.
James Shields – 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks. Damn, A.J. Burnett wasn’t even the best pitched game yesterday, but A.J. had already turned in for the night, giving a sideways peace sign to Tuesday.
Wilton Lopez – The Astros announced Lopez would take over the closer job from Cordero, then Lopez said he had elbow soreness while throwing batting practice and wouldn’t be able to close yesterday’s game. Your new Astros closer…Jose Altuve! Seriously, there’s teams whose closer you want to own, then there’s teams whose closer you don’t want to own but you own them anyway, then there’s the Astros. Hold Lopez to see if his elbow mends and doesn’t break or punt the Astros saves.
Edward Mujica – Cardinals got him from the Marlins for Zack Cox. Mujica will be used in a relief role and Cox hasn’t done much hitting since being a first round pick in 2010. Trading Deadline Fever…Catch it! On the bright side, when Cox gets into the batter’s box, these lyrics play, “It’s my Cox in a box, my Cox in a box, babe… It’s my Cox in a box, my Cox in a box, girl…”