The Mariners don’t play no mess. That’s their motto, and not the oft-cited mottoes, “F-Her and pray for rain,” or “Put the fences on wheels, so we can move them in when we’re at-bat and out when the other team is,” or “If we trade Chris Tillman and Adam Jones for Erik Bedard, we’ll have more seats empty to fill the stadium with recliners.” With the “don’t play no mess” motto in full-mode, they brought up Mike Zunino. A catcher bat like Zunino only comes once in a lifetime (the lifetime is that of a guinea pig that is being cared for by a 12-year-old, so the lifespan is about 18 months. Remember, because age is rounded down to the last birthday, on average guinea pigs live a half year beyond their final birthday. They live as zombies. Zombie guinea pigs are all around us. Now, I’m scared.) Sure, the last once in a lifetime catcher bat after Buster Posey and Matt Wieters also played for the Mariners. You remember, it was the Jesus who couldn’t catch or hit but could walk on water with the best of them. So, after turning to Jesus twice (Montero, Sucre), the Mariners are now turning to Rookie Zuninookie. BTW, Sucre is sugar, and Zunino sounds like Mexican artificial sweetener. You might remember Mike Zunino from such Scott, our prospect writer, sentences as, “.360/.447/.689 between Low-A and Double-A,” “The third overall pick this past June has been simply incredible since signing,” and my favorite, “His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues, but most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino,” which came when he ranked him 44th in the top 50 fantasy baseball prospects. Not to get all Chinese Calendary on you, but 2013 isn’t going to the Year of the Incoming Catcher. Zunino’s chances of making a huge impact seem slim to anorexic. The path to fantasy value for a catcher isn’t a Sunday drive down the Henry Hudson for Will Smith in the movie, Hancock. If Zunino blows away my projections, he gets 15 homers and a .260 average. More likely, he gets 7-10 homers and a .240 average. You can probably do better. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Gerrit Cole – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks. One word that would describe what I saw after using a bunch of extraneous words to say I had one word to describe him: poise. I think he can be a number one starter as soon as next year. He reminded me a lot of a young Verlander. I don’t say that flippantly, if I’m using the word flippantly correctly. He easily touches 98 MPH and can overpower just about anyone. He looked a lot more seasoned than a guy going in his first major league start. The Pirates announcers said he was trying to save his minor league bullpen so he didn’t strikeout as many guys in the minors. Not sure if he’s carrying that nonsense over to the majors, but maybe that’s why he only got two Ks. He was very efficient last night. For fantasy, that’s more like EFF-icient, give me Ks! For now, I’d bebop my way to the waiver wire and get on the Cole train.
Wandy Rodriguez – Placed on the DL. But where will Snafu Larry draw his imaginary line in the sand now? At a pitcher that is actually owned in more than 50% of ESPN leagues? Straight crazy talk!
Starling Marte – 1-for-4 with a slam (6) & legs (18). On our Player Rater, he’s hovering around the 20th ranked outfielder. I think that’s about where he’ll be at the end of the year too. To give you an example, a young Shane Victorino. Call him, Don’t Need Rogaine Victorino.
Pedro Alvarez – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer. I forget where we are with my running count from last week when I said he’d hit 5 homers in the next 10 days. Four maybe.
Pablo Sandoval – Will only miss 15 days, as he’s headed to the DL with a foot strain. Sandoval says right now he can’t put any weight on it. Yeah, well, dur.
Marco Scutaro – Left the game after taking a pitch off his hand. He looked like he mouthed, “It’s broken.” He might’ve mouthed, “Al Roker.” I’m not a lip-reader.
Tim Lincecum – 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks and 7 wistful sighs watching Gerrit Cole.
Miguel Gonzalez – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, 3.71 ERA. I was about to recommend him, then I looked at his next start. Better off embarking on a mission sans Miguel.
Mike Trout – 1-for-4 with his 12th homer, and 2nd in as many games. I wonder if Arte Moreno would’ve spent his $450 million better on trying to clone Trout.
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. I swear to God, he hit the homer right as I was spelling his name out with rose petals on my Cougar’s back.
Derek Dietrich – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. I have no evidence to prove this, but I think the Marlins accidentally switched Dietrich and Ozuna’s uniforms. Ozuna is the one with power and no average and Dietrich is the one with average and no power. Anyone know if they’re remaking the Fred Savage-Judge Reinhold classic, Vice Versa?
Logan Morrison – 2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI. The Marlins lineup doesn’t look as bad with the addition of Giancarlo. That sentence also works if read it with the fortune cookie ending “in bed.” Morrison could benefit a bit from that, and I have liked Morrison for a few years now, and he’s disappointed me numerous times… Struggling to not pick him up… Losing struggle….
Jacob Turner – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA is at 1.80 through three starts. He also faced three weak offenses and is about to go to Arizona. Burp.
Jim Henderson – 1 IP, 2 ER. Well, that’s one way to play yourself out of the closer job. The Muppet Master entered the game in the 8th with a lead (so he wasn’t even going to close), then took the loss and blown save. Continue to hold K-Rod; he might just stay the closer for two more saves until he gets 300th for his career or he might stay on longer. The Brewers office assistant did mistakenly order “307!” banners to celebrate. He thought the Brewers wanted to commemorate Yovani’s BAC.
Kris Medlen – Said he’s not interested in returning to the bullpen. This made me laugh. This is like when you throw a party and the next morning you find barf in the bathroom and before anyone is assigned to clean it up, you’re already making reasons why you should not have to be the one. Poor Medlen, before any names are even bandied about for moving to the bullpen, he’s already saying he doesn’t want to do mop-up duty.
Roy Oswalt – Close to joining the Rockies rotation. In related news, that guy who shot Trayvon Martin is close to going to prison.
Tyler Colvin – 2-fof-4, 4 RBIs and two homers. Well, he doesn’t help diversify the team like Charlie Blackmon, but I guess it’ll have to do. *blood vessels about to pop* Do you see why Colvin should’ve been up the entire year?! Insane that he didn’t make the club, and the crazier thing is, when Cuddyer returns, the Rockies will stick with muffbeard, Helton, over Colvin. I’d grab Colvin just in case Cuddyer is out an extended period of time. My hopes aren’t high, though.
Alex Cobb – As frequent commenter, Carnac, said, “The Rays have placed Alex Cobb on the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother. I think I know what killed her.”
Desmond Jennings – 3-for-5, 3 runs and two homers. Desmond Two-Two!
Evan Longoria – 1-for-4 with his 12th homer. 24 more!
Ian Stewart – Cubs suspended him because he was calling them out on Twitter for not calling him up. In Triple-A, he’s hitting .164. I bet the Myrtle Beach Mermen would love to have him manning third.
Matt Garza – 5 IP, 9 ER. Luca Garza put a dead horse in my fantasy bed.
Cody Ransom – 1-for-3, 2 runs with his 7th homer. I’ve been wanting to tell you to pick him up for a few now, which is also exactly like another guy that homered in yesterday’s Cubs-Reds game, Xavier Paul (2-for-4, 3 RBIs with his fifth homer). In NL-Only daily leagues where you can play match-ups, they’re great. They’re the kind of guys that your opponents look at on your team and wonder why you’re in first place. In mixed leagues, they’re fine, but you need to mix and match them because they don’t play every day.
Stephen Strasburg – Threw a simulated game without issue. He went against one of the blue doodes from Avatar and he wore 3-D glasses.
Dan Haren – 5 IP, 5 ER. Are you trying to lose your league? Drop him already!
Yoenis Cespedes – Day-to-day with a tight hammy. The Cuban must’ve pressed it in there too close to the pickles and mustard.
CC Sabathia – 6 IP, 6 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA up to 4.07. I won’t bother quoting how I told you not to draft him and then sell him if you did draft him. I’ll only recount how I won’t recount it.
Clay Buchholz – Could start on Sunday. If he does take the start, he’ll have his arms lathered with suntan lotion like he fell in a vat of fro-yo simply because of the sun, know it!
Jon Lester – 4 2/3 IP, 7 ER. I was very sore when he pitched well to start the year after pitching so terribly for me last year. Sore, y’all! But it’s no fun reveling in others’ misfortunes. It’s great fun! Schadenfreude, you make me feel gooooood!
Corey Kluber – 8 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. Yup, pick him up. Yup, right now.
Jordany Valdespin – 2-for-4 as Lord Jordany Valdespin played 2nd base. With Ike dealing with odd looks from fellow minor leaguers because they said, “Come here and join the group,” and then he stood five feet away from them, Murphy played first and Valdespin went all keystoney. I lurve Valdespin if he’s starting every day at 2nd. Has solid pop and speed. Worth a flyer in most mixed leagues if he sees the ABs? Yup, and even dyslexics can agree on that.
Omar Quintanilla – 1-for-4 with his 2nd homer, which was an absolute bomb (though it kinda has to be in Metco). Omar Five-fingered Nilla Wafer Discount has been getting on base (.325/.372) since he replaced Tejada, and could be a quick hot schmotato in deeper leagues.
Michael Wacha – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks. I watched Cole and Wacha’s entire starts. When you watch your pitcher on the MLB.TV, do you also watch the pitcher’s team feed? I always do. I really want some root, root, root for the home team when I’m watching my pitchers. I don’t need any schmohawks rooting against my hurler. No siree Bob. Okay, that was a sidebar. The main event was Wacha looking like Michael Wonky. The Mets were batting something like .190 in the last two weeks at home. They’re batting nearly .235 overall. Yet, Wacha didn’t look good for the first few innings. He was very lucky to stay in this game, and even luckier to have his ending line. Outs were scorched at fielders. Two shots nearly took Carpenter’s head off, but he’s no martyr, so he caught them. If Wacha wasn’t headed to Crayola Canyon next, I’d say drop him, but you gotta hold for that start. That’s assuming he’s not bumped for the newly-repaired, Westbroke.
Allen Craig – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .313. Fun Fact! A teacher once yelled at him for putting his last name first.
Tony Cingrani – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Alas, Johnny Cueto is supposed to return on Sunday. I’m holding Cingrani for now if I have room because Cueto’s had more setbacks than the “just a flesh wound” guy.
Todd Frazier – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th homer. I’ve heard the constant murmurs about dropping Frazier. I’ve attempted to keep him on everyone’s team. Just like he was crazy hot in April, he can do that again starting yesterday and have 15 homers by July. To pithy that up, he’s turning murmurs to homers.
Zack Cozart - 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 6th homer. Eat it, Salieri!
Joey Votto – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a home run. How did he hit a walk out of the park? Aw, I’m just playin’. Kinda.
Adam Dunn – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 17th homer while batting .183. If he can get 200 hits this year, Bonds’s record could be in jeopardy.
Addison Reed – 1 IP, 1 ER and his 2nd blown save. He’s also thrown in four straight games. Obviously, Ventura harbors some ill-will towards pitchers. No idea why. Thornton or Crain could sneak in and steal a save today, but Reed’s safe as long as he’s healthy.
Edwin Encarnacion – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a homer. Him and Jose Bautista (who also homered) are taking my fantasy bet pretty seriously. They now are both hitting .266 with Edwin edging him in RBIs (53 to 36) and homers (18 to 15). For fantasy value, Edwin’s still got him by the angry inch.
Rajai Davis – 3-for-5 with 2 steals, and his third steal in his last three games. SAGNOF!
Adam Lind – 3-for-5, 1 run. That’s not a hot schmotato. THIS IS A HOT SCHMOTATO!
Bud Norris – 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks vs. the Mariners. I streamed my first Astro yesterday. I feel dirty. Will you wash me? I was kidding, turn off the hose!
Aaron Harang – 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 Walks, 10 Ks vs. the Astros. I should’ve streamed my first Mariner. Jesus H. Montero, The Harangtuan must’ve been mad because someone said he had nice features…for an oaf.
Raul Ibanez – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer. Some blogger should suggest Ibanez is on steroids. That always goes over well.
Cole Hamels – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Twins. He was outpitched by P.J. Walters, who sounds like he sells decorative adult diapers. P.J. Walters? Really, Hamels? He sells friggin’ diapers with 1940′s Chevrolets on them!
Max Scherzer – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, moved his record to 9-0. Okay, dilemma. What if I tell Scherzer I wanna go steady after already telling Giancarlo the same thing? You think Max would find out? Do I risk losing them both? I can’t choose!
Matt Kemp – Yet to resume running. Maybe he’s protesting because of Chris Brown’s song, Run It.
Zack Greinke – 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks. He was beaned in the head by Ian Kennedy (6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunenrs, 6 Ks), that led to a 10 minute brawl. Few quick thoughts: 1) Greinke might do well as a WWE manager that starts fights for his wrestlers. 2) If every girl you meet doesn’t get my sense of humor, then maybe wafting your farts into their face isn’t funny. If you fight with everyone in the league, Greinke, maybe you take a chill pill or a Zanax, as they now call them. 3) There’s no 3. 4) Off screen, I bet Mattingly took a swing at Brandon League. 5) McGwire is still on ‘roids. Slow your roll, big man. 6) What pitcher hits another pitcher in the head? That’s fertilizer! 8) I want to see Ian Kennedy and Carlos Quentin re-enact the ending to Thelma and Louise.
Jason Kubel – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. He’s right there with what I said yesterday for Cody Ross. Kubel will hit 25 homers. Basic math says he’s got a lot more in his bat.
Cameron Maybin – Out six weeks with a torn PCL. Maybin can’t catch a break. Tears he can catch like syphilis.
Chase Headley – 1-for-3 and his 6th homer. About time Chase Headley showed some signs. No relation to the Diamondbacks pitcher who is, Head Chasely.
Kenley Jansen – So, get this, there was a “Make Kenley Jansen the closer” memo put in Mattingly’s in-box in the beginning of February, but Hanley made a paper airplane out of it and tossed it out the window. It flew down three floors, smacked on the front of a bus window and went east almost 3,000 miles. In the next five months, that memo saw parts of this country that no one else has, including Edward Snowden. At one point that memo was down on its luck after an overnight stay in Vegas, turned tricks (not illusions) to get the bus fare to go back to Los Angeles, only to get stuck on the wrong bus and go east…Again. It went over Niagra Falls in a barrel, saw Mt. Rushmore, did smack with Lindsay Lohan… You can even catch the memo in the audience of Dancing With The Stars, the episode where D. L. Hughley was voted off. Finally, after 5 months and 5,000 miles logged, Mattingly got the memo and Jansen was named the closer. Mazel effin’ tov.