In 1778, Benjamin Franklin pulled the first American flag from Betsy Ross’s, uh, clutches and proclaimed a holiday to be called Labor Day in the then-resort city of Philadelphia. Since then there’s been a long history of great Philly pitchers: Steve “Lefty” Carlton, Jackie “Kid” Gleason, Robin “ESPN anchor” Roberts, Curt Schilling, who later went on to be known for saucing his French fries with ketchup out of his sock, Jim “Beds Are” Bunning and Brett “I’ll Show You Slap Hits” Myers. Philly’s not the same town now as it was in Ben’s day, as the battle for best cheesesteak tore up most of the city. “Geno’s? How about I give you a jihad wit wiz?!” It’s ugly, without much joy in the City of Brotherly Love, a nickname adopted due to the popularity of a WWF manager in the early 90’s. Yesterday, for a moment, all of that sorrow was told to go to ‘morrow, as Cole Hamels and Jacob Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a no hitter. Hamels only made it through six innings, because he took Labor Day literally and struggled with five walks. If I had to give an award out because I had an award and didn’t know what to do with it, I’d ask someone next year if Jacob Diekman ever threw a no-hitter, and would reward them with that unwanted trophy if they said yes. A great day for Philly fans everywhere (except for the fans that came to the game with D batteries hoping for a reason to throw them at a player). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Maikel Franco – Phillies promoted Julio Franco’s great-great grandson to start against lefties. Member what I said on Friday about September call-ups for fantasy? Franco is going to be a solid fantasy contributor at some point in his career, maybe even next year, but for now he’s a platoon bat, battling with Cody Asche for at-bats. We’ll call the platoon Franco-Aschican, which sounds like what happened prior to someone saying, “Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs.”
Ben Revere – 2-for-3, 5 RBIs. After the game, he complained about the day-night doubleheader on both sides of the country with the Nats going to the Dodgers. “Joel Youngblood is an old wives’ tale, no way he did this!”
Jason Heyward – 0-for-2 with 3 steals. Not often a team is no-hit and a player gets three steals. In fact, Elias Sports Bureau tells us it hasn’t happened since 1983 when Mike Warren no-hit the White Sox and Ron LeFlore made three steals. However, those weren’t bases.
Julio Teheran – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA down to 2.90. The Phils did score a handful of unearned runs (if you have tiny hands). Ticker shock!
Phil Hughes – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 3.54. In 180 2/3 IP, guess how many walks he’s allowed? Lower. No, much lower. No, not a negative number. Are you even trying now? He’s allowed 15 walks. Wow. Hughes looked like the dog’s breakfast for a few years there, but he’s definitely reestablished himself on the Twins. Yup, usually it works the other way.
Joe Mauer – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs, hitting .276 on the year. “He’s had a great last 18 hours. Looks like he’s finally paying off patient owners.” Okay, who was I impersonating?
Kennys Vargas – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, hitting .317. Lucky that Kenny Plural comes in a package deal. That’s only .106 for each Kenny.
Nelson Cruz – 1-for-4 and his 36th homer. The daily motivational texts from Scott Boras has really paid off for Cruz. “Buy yourself a new wallet the size of Delaware. Mophuckers gettin’ paid! Wish I had a dollar sign emoji. Here’s a Jay Peg of Bobby Bonilla dressed as a hundred dollar bill from my last birthday…. Auto correct *jpeg.” That’s Boras’s text.
Kevin Gausman – 7 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA to 3.93. Wouldn’t shock me one bit if next year he’s all over the map for fantasy value, essentially acting as a streamer in most mixed leagues, then breaking out the following year as a number one or two. Would actually shock me more if he breaks out completely next year, due to his yawnstipating peripherals.
Aaron Sanchez – Blue Jays announced that Sanchez could see multiple inning saves in the final month. Since Casey Janssen hasn’t been very good lately and is an impending free agent, the Jays aren’t in the business of making Janssen more money. “You do not get a Jay Peg of Bobby Bonilla.”
Daniel Norris – Blue Jays promoted their next top-flight pitching prospect to work out of the bullpen. Previous prospect writers Scott and Chris had great things to say about Norris. No word yet from SAGNOF Mike, who is taking over prospect duties moving forward. Sorry about the turnover recently with prospects; was out of everyone’s control; real life gets in the way some times. Any the hoo! Norris had a 15+ K/9 in Triple-A. Oh. Wait, what? Holy schnikeballs! I now have to change my Spidey underoos. His control is a little wonky, but this won’t be the last time you hear about him before next year. In keepers, I’d pursue aggressively. He could be a number one starter.
Homer Bailey – Done for the year. I appreciate the DL move, unlike Masahiro that’s been diddling around more than Hideki Matsui in the bathroom of a adult magazine store.
Juan Lagares – 1-for-5, 1 run and his 7th steal, and his third steal in the last four games. Sometimes guys take September to prove they should be in future plans for the team. Lagares’s defense prolly does that on its own, but he has some light power and speed, and could be a light schmotato.
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-4 and his 34th homer. Only two more!
Henderson Alvarez – Left yesterday’s start with an oblique strain. Likely done for the year. I’ll stream you again next year. Until then, ta-ta! Speaking of ta-ta’s…
Kolten Wong – 1-for-1, 2 RBIs and yet another homer — this one a pinch hit number, his 11th homer, after he passed more concussion tests. Yesterday’s tests included how well he could look at a picture of Verlander and Kate Upton naked and block out Verlander.
Justin Masterson – Demoted to the bullpen. *walking over to you curled up in a corner* He can’t hurt you now. C’mon, let’s have some ice cream.
Michael Wacha – Tossed two scoreless innings in his rehab debut. With the minor league season ending, it’s not clear where he’s going next to rehab. My guess is the Cards give him some carnival tickets and have him try to win a Spongebob on the speed gun.
Jon Jay – 2-for-3, 1 run, hitting .313. I know The Federalist is about as exciting as reading The Federalist Papers, but I’ve been rocking him in two leagues where I can platoon him out when the Cards face lefties. The Federalist hit .382 in August and .360+ in the 2nd half of the season.
Matt Holliday – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs. He’s now up to 81 RBIs and 12 RBIs in the last three games. So, next year some sap is going to draft him due to a 3-game stretch. Sweet, better for me.
Gerrit Cole – 6 1/3 IP, 5 ER. Two steps forward, one step back into a bucket filled with vomit.
Yasiel Puig – 0-for-3, 1 run as he was dropped to 6th in the order. The Dodgers raftee is leaking air and has no idea where it’s coming from. In related news, Joc Pederson was called up. Better chug some Kahlua, Puig, and get your Charley Luau on. Quick. I’ve already gone over Pederson, there I said, “Pederson is ridunkly sexy. Like my 87-year-old grandfather’s 60-year-old girlfriend sexy. What? I have a cougar problem! Here’s what my grandfather told me, “Your wife is okay, but my girl is Angie Dickinson sexy.” His exact words. Pederson (had a) 30/30 season while hitting .303. In 80 years in the PCL league, no one (had) gone 30/30. In keepers, Pederson is a must own, he can be special. For this year, I bet he doesn’t get more than 35 at-bats.” And that’s me quoting me! I love, love, lurve Pederson, but I’m not sure there’s anything here yet for redraft mixed leagues.
Alex Guerrero – 0-for-1. Also, called up and here’s what I said about him previously, “As for Guerrero and his Phantom of the Opera mask that Miguel Olivo mouth-designed for him. The Dodgers could work him into the middle infield and move Hanley to 3rd base or occasionally bench Gordon. Guerrero probably still won’t see everyday at-bats, but in deep daily leagues, I bet he’ll have more value in September than Pederson. This year in Triple-A he showed his 15-ish homer power and 5-7 steal speed. He should also be stashed in keepers, since he should have some sort of job next year too, and I’m guessing that job won’t be as an ear model.” And that’s me copying and pasting me!
Jayson Werth – 1-for-2 with a slam (16) and double helping of legs (8, 9). While a lot of his contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, Werth continues to put up a young person’s numbers. Must be the facial hair, and piercing green eyes and surprisingly toned physique. Wait, that’s me.
Asdrubal Cabrera – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 4th homer on the Nats, and 13th overall. Nats actually have too many weapons which limits Asdrubal’s value. Well, it limits it when Matt Williams bats him 8th. That’s assuming Williams is actually making a lineup card and not just eeny-meeny-miney-moe’ing.
Carlos Gomez – Sat out yesterday, and could miss a few games this week. The universe just doesn’t like any kind of CarGo. Frank Sobotka ran into the same problem.
Khris Davis – 1-for-4 and his 21st homer. I had to make an executive decision the other day and drop Davis from one of my teams. He wasn’t playing every day and I couldn’t wait around for Roenicke to do the right thing on a free-floating dolly. Don’t cry for me, an executive decision is really easy when you’re talking about your fantasy team.
Gerardo Parra – 3-for-4 and his 8th homer. Yeah, that won’t muddy up Davis’s playing time one iota. Shizz is crystal clear like Zima.
Anthony Rizzo – Missed the entire weekend series due to lower back soreness and was out again yesterday. Rizzo is taking this long weekend thing serious. Lucky he doesn’t celebrate Ramadan.
Luis Valbuena – 1-for-3 and his 16th homer. I cannot tell a lie, I batty called Valbuena yesterday. I mean Jesus Crisp the doode’s got four homers in the last week. My only regret is I caved to society norms and threw out my yellow pit stained t-shirts. My only regret specifically pertaining to Valbuena is I went for the name value of Hosmer and dropped Valbuena. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him actually do better than Hosmer.
Welington Castillo – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer. Where’s the beouf?! Welington!
Jorge Soler – 2-for-4, 1 run, hitting .526. Wake me when he’s hitting .600. No, seriously, wake me, because he’s hitting so well all the blood is rushing out of my head to my penis and I’m about to pass out.
Troy Tulowitzki – 1-for-2 as the Rockies made up a suspended game. Talk about messing with their Comatose Rockies Fan. “Surprised not to see Tulo and Cuddyer back in there for the 2nd game of the doubleheader. Probably best to rest them to keep ’em fresh for the stretch run. They are around for the stretch run, right? No to what part? Stretch or run?”
Hunter Pence – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs as he hit his 5th homer and 19th homer yesterday, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. The Gangly Manbird hit two homers three months apart, but they both counted yesterday. The Gangly Manbird also had to beat a flamingo off him for humping his leg. Giants fans nearly got out the PC police when Gangly Manbird started to say he wasn’t into that flamingo, before he ended the word with an O.
Brandon Crawford – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs. Hasn’t done a whole lot recently, but he’s in Colorado for today and tomorrow, so could be a short-term schmotato if you’re hurting at MI. MI, a name I call my middle infielder. Far, a long, long way to run.
Sergio Romo – 2/3 IP, 1 ER. Hopefully Bochy’s big head wasn’t blocking himself from seeing Romo lose the game yesterday. Stay with Casilla!
Corey Kluber – 2 2/3 IP, 5 ER. Kluber was running for five months on Red Bull and herbal ecstasy so he was bound to crash at some point. Hopefully, he can go to a 7-11, get a cylindrical hamburger and get his mojo back like every other Kluber.
Miguel Cabrera – 4-for-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs and two homers (18, 19) as he returned to the lineup. Yup, great, terrific, adjective. The only problem is if he needs three weeks of junky games and a day out of the lineup to get a big game from him.
Victor Martinez – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 28th homer. It could be worse, instead of just metaphorically, he could’ve literally ripped out your heart.
J.D. Martinez – 2-for-3 and his 18th homer. He has only one less homer than Miggy. That guy sitting in the cubicle behind you crying? He owns Miggy. And he benched him yesterday.
Torii Hunter – 0-for-5 as the Tigers scored 12 runs. Ticker tease!
Jed Lowrie – 2-for-4, 1 run as he was activated from the DL. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said from his Labor Day party, “Get him in your lineup, and stop looking at me for smoking two cigarettes at once, I have two lungs, don’t I?”
Jason Hammel – 8 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. I streamed him yesterday, sorta ignoring the Stream-o-Nator. Though, I would listen to SON for his next start. About midway through this game, I had a strange feeling. I wanted him to give up a few runs, so I could get a save from O’Flaherty. I’m greedy, y’all!
Adam Dunn – 2-for-3 and his 21st homer. Just like Billy Beane drew it up. Well, when he drew it up, Geovany Soto (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) was playing 1st catcher and Stephen Vogt (1-for-2, 1 run) was playing 2nd catcher (directly behind the ump).
Chris Young – 2/3 IP, 5 ER. The Regression Fairies brought a beautiful ambrosia salad to your picnic yesterday, they kept asking if you could play some JT on your iPod and they will rip your ratios out through your anus and screw your dog with them.
Brad Miller – 1-for-3 and his 9th homer. Just in time to be a sleeper for next year?! Right? Guys? Four girls? You there?
Eric Hosmer – 1-for-4 with his 4th steal as he was activated from the DL. Probably best if we leave Kevin to his Labor Day party and don’t find out what he says.
Salvador Perez – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer as he hits .269. Not as good as The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story, but not bad.
Dustin Pedroia – As mentioned yesterday after reading other sources and putting it into my mind blender, Pedroia won’t play this week. Wouldn’t be surprised if Pedroia is a shell of his former self until next year, and you know what you do with shells? Discard them.
Mike Napoli – 1-for-4 and his 17th homer. What’s more American than Labor Day, Napoli homering and his mom doing nip slips? Nothing. Don’t try to come up with anything more American. You can’t.
Rubby De La Rosa – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, , 6 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. Drew Smyly (5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks). In the wake of the leaked celebrity pics, this matchup of Rubby/Smyly couldn’t have happened on a more appropriate day.
Ender Inciarte – 2-for-4 and his 14th steal, and his 5th steal in the last eight games, while batting near-.400. I know he’s not glamorous, but neither is the hair on your shoulders and you don’t do anything about that. If you need runs and speed, I’d grab Inciarte.
Cory Spangenberg – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs as he was called up by the Padres. Yesterday, he played third base. Since Spangenberg has 30-steal speed and 3-homer power, I wouldn’t necessarily say he is a prototypical third baseman, but it’s not prototypical for an entire team to bat under .230, so the Padres don’t do anything expected. In NL-Only leagues, Spangenberg is strictly for SAGNOF.
Tyson Ross – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 2.60, moving his record to 13-12. He’s got more decisions than William Rehnquist. Ironically, he had to rely on a Quackenbush too.