In the spring of 2013, Astro fans celebrated through the streets of Houston, shooting guns in the air and playing Houston’s own, Mind Playing Tricks On Me and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits, because her last name hailed from there. Those fans (all 17 of them) were celebrating the Astros’ National League exodus. “Let my people go, NL!” That’s what they chanted for years. “We need a fresh start like our entire body is covered in deodorant.” That’s what they told each other. Unfortch, no one explained to them that they wouldn’t just be able to play split squad games in their own league, they would have to join the AL. Yesterday, the Sawx destroyed them for 15 runs. Jacoby Ellsbury hit two homers (6 & 7), scored four runs, knocked in three and went 2-for-4. David Ortiz went 4-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and one big belly laugh at what A-Rod is going through. Shane Victorino went 3-for-5 with 4 runs and even walked once in honor of Jackie Bradley Jr. Jonny Gomes hit a homer and knocked in four runs and he didn’t even start. This was also a reminder to not go near any Lastro pitcher. A sad, sad reminder. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Clay Buchholz – Good news all you Buchheadz! Clay said he threw off the mound at 60% effort and felt fine. Now if he can refine his knuckleball, throwing at 60% strength won’t be an issue.
Corey Kluber – Hit the DL because I can’t have anything nice. This is payback for that time a two-year-old handed me a toy phone and I answered it with, “This is Santa Claus? And you’re saying you’re not real?” I’m sorry, it was ten years ago! Bring back Kluber!
Danny Salazar – The good news about Kluber’s DL stint is Salazar will now have a spot in the rotation. Okay, so I ain’t sitting shiva all day on Kluber. In the minors this year, Salazar had an insane K-rate (over 12 Ks per 9) and a 0.98 WHIP in Triple-A. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning vs. the Blue Jays in his first major league start. His breaking ball might need some work, but his fastball and changeup look major league ready. I don’t want any part of him for his start vs. the Tigers tonight, but he gets the Twins next in Hubert H. Homerfree Retrodome, then the A’s in O.co and I’ve already added him for those starts.
Justin Masterson – 7 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks. It was a no-win shituation for Masterson owners yesterday. At home, he had a 2.54 ERA so you kinda had to start him. Unfortch, it came against the Tigers. Damned if you do, and damned that you did.
Justin Verlander – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks as he got the best in the battle of Justin’s. Elias Sports Bureau said this was the first time two Justin’s faced off since a 14-year-old girl daydreamed that Timberlake and Bieber were fighting over her.
Don Kelly – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. LL Donkey making you Hollis. Speaking of LL, the other day he walked in behind Cougar and I at a restaurant and I was like, “You ready to be eating it and eating it and eating it well?” He smiled. Then I said, “Any interest in financing my dream restaurant, My Pupusa’s Said Knock You Out?” I should’ve stopped after the first comment.
Jason Heyward – Left yesterday’s game with a pain in his neck. Now he knows how his fantasy owners feel. For now, he’s listed as day-to-day, but I have faith he can turn this into a DL stint. Death, taxes and Heyward sucking seem to be inevitable at this point.
Julio Teheran – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, 2.96 ERA, but the best part was he beaned Bryce Harper after he homered earlier in the game. Bryce went towards the mound but Teheran mouthed, “This ain’t Argo, bitch. This Teheran doesn’t take hostages.”
B.J. Upton – 2-for-4, 1 run and 2 steals. I don’t even know what to do with myself after getting fantasy value from him. It’s like you pay for dinner, movie, valet, drinks and you expect nothing, then…B.J.!
Desmond Jennings – Rays said he’s expected back when eligible. From their mouth to Giancarlo’s ears.
Domonic Brown – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs as he was activated from the DL. Is it a surprise the Phils lost five straight games with Brown DL’d? He’s the catalytic converter turning over that Phillie lineup!
Darin Ruf – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. I saw him hit his homer and it was a bomb, and I was more impressed when he was able to make it around the bases. He looks like a young Matt Stairs. If unathletic were a word, Ruf would be the definition. He does have power and two homers in the last four games while hitting near-.300 in the last week. If you’re struggling for power, I could see grabbing this hot schmotato.
Chase Utley – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs. Watched him go from first to third and he looks like he’s moving pretty well; hopefully he can keep it up. You follow or was that too oblique?
Carlos Quentin – Could need a DL stint. As his doppelganger Jose Canseco would say on Twitter, “Only 37 years until eternal life. DL now, you’ll need your legs #nanobots.”
Jeff Locke – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 12 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. the MIA Marlins. The league has un-Locke’d the secret level where Jeff keeps the kayak which allows players to cross the Great Lake of xFIP and get all the hits and runs they want. Hey, you had a good three months from Locke, it’s time to move on in shallower mixed leagues.
Neil Walker – 3-for-4, 1 run. Ever picture him in a group of odd-looking people saying, “My name is Neil Walker because I can’t stand running.” Hmm, maybe it’s just me.
Henderson Alvarez – 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, 2.80 ERA. That’s nice. I wouldn’t touch him even if he were rolled in chocolate and sprinkled with Jimmies like one of those pretzel rods I can’t resist.
Donovan Solano – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI. He’s done less than nothing in the last ten days, so it’s hard to say if this is the start of something. Though I’ll be a cyclops with a monocle watching to make sure.
Edwin Jackson – 5 IP, 7 ER, 12 baserunners, 2 Ks. Guess he’s back to Edwin Jackshit.
Nate Schierholtz – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs. I held him for the better part of a week in one league, but then had to lose him because of the whole either not playing vs. lefties or wishing he didn’t play vs. them. Definitely a guy I like if you can platoon him in and out of your lineup so he only faces righties. I will call him Hit Rightiesholtz.
Welington Castillo – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. In 285 ABs, he has 3 homers. Hey, Welington, where’s the boeuf?
Mat Latos – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. Oakland. Take out the bottom half of the A’s and you just got Matlot, which sounds like an Andy Griffith show, and you don’t mess with that.
Michael Pineda – Shut down for a week to ten days. The race to see who got the better of the Jesus Montero for Pineda trade between the Mariners and Yankees is like the turtle vs. the turtle.
Tyler Chatwood – Scratched from his start due to a tight hammy. That’s what Kermit said!
Carlos Gonzalez – Now the Rockies are saying he could go on the DL. If he does go on the DL, it’ll prove my telekinesis powers of persuasion.
LaTroy Hawkins – With Bobby Parnell officially hitting the DL, the Mets went to LaTroy to close the game and…Cuddle Boy supreme for the save! I took a gamble the other day, passing over Aardsma who blew the first save chance, and the Fantasy Gods paid me handsomely for my courage. Plus, I’m handsome. All around good day! I’d grab Hawkins if you’re hard up for saves. Usually where there’s no clear cut guy, the first guy to convert keeps the job for the duration of the closer’s DL stint.
Jenrry Mejia – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, 1.96 through three starts and 18 Ks in 18 1/3 IP. Love him rolling his R’s at home for Ks, but I’d be cautious about starting him in hitters’ parks, especially since it seems like he’s working on a very tight pitch count.
Juan Lagares – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs. At one point in the last week, I grabbed Lagares for some hot schmotato action, and because I cycle through so many waiver wire guys, I’m not even sure if I got anything from him, but he’s hitting over .300 in the last week and has some slight power and decent speed.
Matt Cain – 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks. Now has three straight great starts and finally looks to have turned a corner and stayed turned. His 1.14 WHIP alone doesn’t compute with his 4.47 ERA, and, sure enough, his xFIP shows he’s been unlucky. Yes, I’m kinda saying all of this because I don’t own him and am trying to jinx him, but what kind of power do you think I have? That flower pot that just smashed behind you, I did that.
Wily Peralta – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. I sense a little passive aggressive business from Wily. Solid start, solid start, bomb, solid start. Don’t duck, duck, goose my ratios, bucko!
Danny Duffy – Was called by the Royals to start on Wednesday vs. the Twins. He has a 9+ K-rate in Triple-A this year. A starter with more Ks than innings pitched is all right by me. Plus, his mom’s name is Muffy. What’s not to like? Not rhetorical! Seriously, tell me. I’m waiting. Too long, moving on! Duffy’s just returning from Tommy John surgery and his walk rate in the minors this year is above 4. Slow your roll, I’m not buying him now. I’d stream him in AL-Only leagues, but it’s no guarantee he stays up past Wednesday’s start.
Andrew Albers – 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks vs. the Royals. Impressive for the first start of his career. Almost as impressive is how uninspired I am by him. He wasn’t bad in the minor leagues this year either — 7+ K-rate, 2.86 ERA. I’m trying hard to recommend him and I can’t get up my enthusiasm, and I just took a Viagra. Albers is the stereotypical Twins starter. Think a young Radke. Or LiketotallyRadke.
Brian Dozier – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer. Dozier is French for ‘to go to sleep if you pick him up.’ Nuff said.
Chris Colabello – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer in the last ten games. This is his first foray into the major leagues and he’s 29 years old. So, he was either juggling knives with Gattis in the circus for seven years or he’s a scrub. I’m gonna go latter, but Colabello might have some pop in him. Pun point!
Adam Jones – 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (23) and legs (10). He’s headed for a 32-ish homer, 15-steal season, but in the preseason I projected him for 34 homers and 15 steals. Sue me! (Don’t sue me.)
Chris Sale – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, 2.83 ERA and moved his record to 7-11. Everyone in attendance got cylindrical hamburgers and porn magazines sealed in plastic.
Grant Green – 2-for-4. Angels recalled Green because Howie Kendrick can’t play for a few days. Green failed to live up to his promise of “Green is for the money, gold is for the honey,” while on the A’s, but he’s hit well in the minors — 11 HRs, 4 steals, .326 average. He’s a guy I’d take a gamble on in deeper mixed leagues with the thinking that Kendrick might hit the DL. I think, y’all!
Ernesto Frieri – 1/3 IP, 2 ER. Not only is he not going to close another game the way he’s going, he’s not going to be in the majors much longer. I’d continue to stash Dane De La Rosa, and I’d bench Frieri until he can fog up a mirror.
Jonathan Villar – 2-for-2 and another steal, but he left with a sprained thumb. Steals ain’t got no face, but they do have working thumbs.
Robbie Grossman – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and a slam (2) and legs (6). Looks like I have to add an amendment to my will. My will had read, “Being of sound mind and body, I, Grey Coolio Albright can’t recommend picking up Grossman,” but I will now add, “Eff it, if he’s hot I’m grabbing him.”
L.J. Hoes – 2-for-4, 2 runs. Hoes up! That’s what I yelled out when I picked him up off waivers. I suggest you do the same. I’ll be listening for it.
Jeremy Hellickson – 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 4.77. He easily gets the award for best bamboozler. Somehow, I get more questions about picking up this guy than players with sub-3.00 ERAs. Seriously, why do you like him?
Evan Longoria – 1-for-4 with a homer. Only 14 more to go! (Better step on it, Longo, that’s a hefty asking price with only seven weeks to go.)
Wade Miley – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks. He had a 1.59 ERA in July and didn’t start August that poorly. 45% was my guess for how many people owned him. I underestimated you and for that I apologize. He’s at 60% owned. Should be near 90% though with those last five weeks. Wait, I underestimated you too soon, Hellickson was at 90% owned. *shakes head, moves onto next blurb*
Cody Ross – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer. Just about anyone who asks I’ve been telling to grab Ross. He’s hitting near-.450 in the last week with 3 homers in the last 8 games. Hot schmotato, come and get him!
Clayton Kershaw – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks as he was beaten by Joe Kelly 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 1 K. Of course, Kershaw lost to Joe Kelly! How could he not? The Cardinals could send a guy from the Witness Protection Program out there and have him pitch well. In fact, Joe Kelly sounds like a made-up name. Kelly has a 2.98 ERA, and like I probably said last time, I’d just grab him until he regresses. And that’s me guessing at what I said!
Matt Adams – 1-for-1, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. I mention Adams in the podcast coming later today. On a side side note, Adams reminds me of this line from D12. “Big ass stomach, b*tches think I’m cute, 50 told me to do situps to get buff, I did two and a half and couldn’t get up.”
Dan Straily – 4 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. This is the third straight game he’s pitched less than five innings. Usually management decides when a guy is going to become a middle reliever, but Straily seems to have taken matters into his own hands.
Josh Johnson – 5 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks. Before we start pleasuring each other like Josh’s porn star brother, Gosh Johnson, this was in Safeco and I still wouldn’t touch Johnson. What, I’m a prude.
Jose Reyes – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. Member how excited you were for the Jays and Angels offseason signings? So, I wonder if an exhibition game with the Blue Jays combined with the Angels — call them the Jay Angels (Blue Angels is taken), could beat the Pirates.
Brett Lawrie – 2-for-4 and his 3rd steal, hitting near-.440 in the last week and none of those hits were walls.
Tom Wilhelmsen – Demoted to Triple-A, so The Bartender will be serving up the minors, but, as they say, grass on the field, play ball!
Jason Bay – Released by the Mariners. This news reminds me when you find a two-week-old roast beef sandwich under your passenger seat and throw it away. “Hey, what’s Jason Bay doing under there? I gotta get rid of him before we get bugs.”
Elvis Andrus – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 1 RBI and 2 steals. Elvis didn’t leave the building marked “Fantasy Value,” with 27 steals, but he did totally abandon any notion of power with zero homers on the year.
Leonys Martin – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and 3 steals. Leonys, the Queen of SAGNOF is back! I’d absolutely grab him if I need steals. He’s my favorite Martin.
Colby Lewis – Will miss the rest of the year as he has spurs removed from his hip. He must’ve said he was a democrat. In Texas, that gets you spurs in the hip.