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I Can’t Remember Anything
Can’t Tell If this Is True or Dream
Deep down Inside I Feel to Scream
this Terrible Silence Stops Me
Now That the War Is Through with Me
I’m Waking up I Can Not See
That There’s Not Much Left of Me
Nothing Is Real but Pain Now

That’s Metallica singing their ode to darkness, landmines and your 2014 fantasy roster. While I’m a big fan of the San Fran thrashers (and make a quick appearance in their Binge and Purge video collection), I’m not a fan of the creeping death that is the 2014 fantasy baseball season that currently has 151 players on the disgraceful list. As we hit the halfway point of the season the fantasy battlefield is littered with disposable heroes *insert 151 players here*. The latest casualties include Masahiro Tanaka (elbow), Edwin Encarnacion (quad), C.J. Wilson (ankle), Yadier Molina (thumb) and Brandon Phillips (thumb). Oh, is there anyone else for whom the bell tolls? Yup. Hanley Ramirez is getting injections in his shoulder, Mat Latos tweaked his back twerking, George Springer is dealing with a cranky knee, David Price has the sniffles and Jordan Zimmermann accidentally zipped up his zimmy. FML. I’m not one to quit mid-season, but I’m at my frayed ends of sanity here and it may be time to take up fantasy cricket. Before we hit the All-Star break, we have to drag the broken, beat and scarred off the stage and fire up the jammer crammer machine© as we go through the never looking for those players that just might inject some life into a lineup that is ready to fade to black. Take my hand, it’ s off to never never land – it’s time to jam it or cram it.

If you’re looking for more jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio.

 

Jam or Cram: Steve Pearce, 1B/OF/DH

2014 Stats: 182 AB, 28 R, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 4 SB, .319 AV.

Availability: 55% Yahoo, 97% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $7. It’s a buck for every homer Pearce has hit over the last month.

The Gist: Need a replacement for E5? How about picking up the N0. 10 hitter over the last month? I keep waiting for the regression faeries to b*tch slap Pearce back into reality. He’s never played more than 60 games in a season, he’s never hit more than four homers in a season, his career high in RBI is 26 and his career average is .254. He’s already topped it all in 2014. What in the name of Brady Anderson is going on here? The Orioles loved him so much they released him back in April. Since coming back to the O’s he’s hit everything thrown near him leading the team in average, OBP, SLG and OPS.

Key Stats: In his first two minor league seasons in the Pirates system, Pearce had 80 doubles and 57 homers.

Jam it or Cram it: Ok, we have another situation where the ownership percentages don’t jive, and Pearce may be long gone in your league. But, if he’s still out there, grab him now. I’ll wait. *checks watch, writes email to Heidi Watney, police deliver restraining order* Oh, you’re back. When a 30-something “slugger” suddenly “finds it” little alarms go off in my turban – especially when the guy’s teammate is Nelson Cruz. Cust kayin’. However, I don’t care if he’s on the Jamba Juice, if he keeps producing he’s on my team. JAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Logan Forsythe, 2B/DH, Tampa Bay Rays

2014 Stats: 182 AB, 21 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB, .236 AV.

Availability: 85% Yahoo, 94% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $1. Sure you can spend a dollar, but he’s likely sitting there for free.

The Gist: If you lost Brandon Phillips and his faulty thumb, Forsythe might be the right kind of Platoony Tune to pair with someone like Scooter Gennett. Logan’s on a run over the last two weeks going all Hot Schmotato with three homers, nine RBI and nine runs.

Key Stats: Logan’s never hit over .273 in his career.

Jam it or Cram it: Here’s the rub on Forsythe, he doesn’t play every day and the Rays just activated Yunel Escobar. Logan is worth a look if he’s on a hot streak, but unless Rays skipper Joe Maddon starts constructing rosters based on bad 70’s sci fi flicks he won’t get enough playing time to help you much. “Hey guys, we’re starting a Rollerball lineup tonight and James Caan is playing second.” CRAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Stephen Vogt, C/OF, Oakland A’s

2014 Stats: 98 AB, 11 R, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, .367 AV.

Availability: 76% Yahoo, 84% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $5. It’s a buck for every time I’ve mispronounced his name.

The Gist: If you lost your Yadier Molina please know there is no “mystery” Molina brother walking through that door. Shemp Molina never took up the base and the balls and was last spotted driving a food truck cross country with John Leguizamo. Wait that’s the theme of the movie Chef, apologies, check it out. Yadier is a big loss to the Cards and a big blow to fantasy rosters. The only catcher currently floating around the wire that interests me is Vogt. Vogt has 12-game hit streak and over the last week he’s hit .524 with four homers and five RBI. Over the last two weeks, he’s hit .435. And on the season he’s at .376 with an OPS of .972.

Key Stats: Vogt crushes righties to the tune of a .410 average and a 1.053 OPS, but struggles against lefties – just .222.

Jam it or Cram it: Love the multi-position eligibility as maximizing at-bats has been my mission this year. If you need a backstop and are used to playing catcher roulette like me, Vogt is getting my *ahem* vote. JAM.

 

Jam or Cram: Mike Leake, SP, Cincinnati Reds

2014 Stats: 121 IP, 7 W, 95 K, 3.42 ERA, 1.20 ERA.

Availability: 50% Yahoo, 47% ESPN.

FAAB $$$ Value: $3. It’s a nickel for every starting pitcher who’s had Tommy John surgery this year.

The Gist: Sayonara Masahiro Tanaka, see you in 2015. Maybe. That leaves a huge hole in the Yankees rotation and, well, who cares about the Yanks, it leaves a crater on our fake teams. It’s the year of the UCL and the waiver cupboard is getting bare for starting pitchers. With that in mind, let’s take a serious look at Mike Leake. Yes, it’s come to this. But before you pee all over my pick, keep in mind Leake is currently ranked higher than these 90+ percent owned guys: Gio Gonzalez, James Shields, Hyun-jin Ryu and teammates Homer Bailey and Mat Latos Leake’s K/9, BB/9,GB%, FIP and Xfip are all at career bests this season.

Key Stats: Leake’s strikeout to walk rate of 95/24 is the best of his career.

Jam it or Cram it: I spend an entire paragraph pumping up Leake and then he goes out and pees down his leg against Pittsburgh on Saturday. This potential jam has turned into a whole lotta CRAM.

 

**Bonus Tracks**

Kolten Wong, 2B, CIN: Five homers and a .370ish average over the last week? This Wong seem wight to me. JAM.

Arismendy Alcantara, SS, CHI: ‘Mendy beat Baez and Bryant to the bigs by hitting .307 with 10 homers, 41 RBI and 21 steals at Triple-A. How many shortstops do the Cubbies need?  What’s Ernie Banks doing these days? There’s some power/speed upsidey JAM going on here.

Jimmy Nelson, SP, MIL: Nelson had 114 strikeouts in 111 innings along with 1.46 ERA at Triple-A this year. That’s nice. He got pounded for six runs in four innings Saturday in his MLB debut. CRAM.

Grady Sizemore, OF, PHI: I like Grady in the 2008 Hot Tub Time Machine League. CRAM.

 

Stalk me on the tweet machine @TheGuruGS, check out my blog the dirty turban and join us on the Razzball Football 32³ Tour. Get your tix here

 

 

 

From Around The Web

  1. matlock says:
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    good stuff as always but that was not nelson’s mlb debut; he started v mia earlier in the year

    also, jam or cram chris davis ros and beyond?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      You’re right, I forgot that.

      I’m going to say Davis figures it out in the second half.

  2. Beastman says:
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    Poor Jimmy Nelson. It’s not enough that his name makes him sounds like he’s 8 years old.

    Jam or Cram on the following trade in a deep H2H with no streaming due to limited FAAB:

    Trade Harper and Lincecum or Dickey for Bumgarner and Ajax? Could use another quality SP and concerned Harper might not get his mojo back.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Every time I hear Jimmy Nelson I think Jimmy Olsen. As far as Harper goes, I’d say stick with him.

  3. Head Down says:
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    Would that Alcantara had SS eligibility in Yahoo leagues…I need to dump Segura. Only a 2B though

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      C’mon, Yahoo, get with it!

  4. Dan Uggla's Alarm Clock says:
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    H2H points league… got a trade offer:
    He sends: J-Upton & Howie Kendrick
    I send: Hosmer & Kenley

    Also, trying to fill my MI slot from the waiver wire, who’s looking like the better pick-up? Alcantara, Peralta, Hill?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I’d want J-Up for sure.

      Hill is probably the safer pick here.

  5. Hon solo burger says:
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    Howdy guru, happy Sunday!

    Keep aramis Ramirez (who I just added last week & use him at IF spot) or drop him to add kolten Wong? I’d be able to use Wong as IF spot.

    ROS; Alexei Ramirez , Jhonny peralta, jimmy Rollins, Andrelton Simmons or asdrubal Cabrera?
    I currently have Alexei but didn’t know if you prefer any of those over a ram? / if yes, would you drop a ram for any of those?
    I also have dee Gordon who I’ve been playing as SS over Alexei (my 2b is pedroia) & didn’t really want to keep dee out of the lineup

    Also, w/ the all star break starting tomowrow how would this work for weekly lock leagues? Would it lock tomowrow , or first game on Friday? It’s ESPN , since there’s only three games this week (Friday-sun) but this matchup lasts for an additional , would I be able to set my lineup again on the Monday the 21 or do you think it’ll be locked for the whole entire matchup?

    Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Howdy, Hon solo. Keep Aramis, get Asdrubal. A far as the weekly lock goes I’m not sure, I don’t generally play in weekly lock leagues. Sorry.

  6. Josh Freeman says:
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    But would I be wong to take Kolten over Arismendy ROS?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      That’s a good question. Leaning Wong right now.

  7. J-FOH says:
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    Thanks for the pop in today. I don’t trust forsythe either, same goes for Vogt for me.

    In case you miss it here is a great Neil Young remake done by Charles Bradley

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpfMFhRGDGs

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      That’s good stuff, man.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @The Guru: back to the videos on my article, I saw Lee Fields last year in LA and he was friggin amazing. sounds just like the album, thats probably because these guys all record analog. Charles Bradly will be LA in September and I think I’m going,

  8. Mike says:
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    Please rank ROS Wong,Kipnis,Gennet
    Thx!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Kipnis, then Scooter, Wong are close.

  9. Justin says:
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    I can hold 2 of the 3.

    Pearce, Vogt and Alcantara.
    Who gets the boot?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Alcantara

  10. Joeg414 says:
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    Shoemaker or S.Green (from Yankees) ros? Or Both? 6×6 roto mixed

    • Joeg414 says:
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      @Joeg414: thinking of cutting Carlos Martines for one or making room for both,

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Green has looked good, but I’d go Shoemaker.:

  11. 2 Giant rings says:
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    Would you trade Henry Mejia for any of Jordi mercer, roughned odor, Marwin Gonzalez, mookie betts or jake lamb? Thanks

    • 2 Giant rings says:
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      @2 Giant rings: no need to answer, I took betts.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Apologies. Go Mookie!

  12. Tom says:
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    Another great column! Vogt could be gold. For ROS do you think he will 1) start almost all the time 2) be platooned but always be started against RHP 3) have his PT significantly reduced when Reddick is healthy?

    After Mauer is healthy would you drop Vogt for him?

    Also..do you like Aybar or Alcantara ROS?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks. 2, Mauer, Aybar.

  13. Jack says:
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    Thinking about trading Pujols for Wainwright in my H2H OBP league. If both stay healthy and perform as projected, it’s a win for my team needs. So my main question is about Wainwright’s health. Jeff Zimmerman over at Fangraphs does a great job at looking at stats related to health. Jeff’s not putting up any red flags yet, but I did notice that Wainwright’s Velocity and Zone% (2 of the main warning signs) are trending moderately down from the beginning of the year. Offensively, I’d be replacing Pujols (who has some health risk of his own) with Duda, Dunn or Byrd.

    What do you think?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      If the trade makes sense for your roster sure. I’m worried about every pitchers health after this season. Ha. However, Waino looks good to me and the break should do him good. Leaning Duda.

  14. Mike says:
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    Puig or adam jones ROS??
    Thx

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Its pretty even. I’m leaning Jones by a just a bit.

  15. Lemmingness says:
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    Weekly points league,

    Who would you take ROS for a P spot: Hahn, Leake, Britton, Pomeranz?

    Also, which side, (Encarnacion) or (Pedroia and A. Jones), keeper league

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Tough question. Despite his last start, I still like what Leake can give you.

      Pedroia/Jones.

      • Lemmingness says:
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        @The Guru: Thanks a bunch Guru

      • Lemmingness says:
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        @The Guru: Also, do you still go with the Jones/Pedroia side if I can only keep Jones for next year?

  16. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Which post-break start you like best: Miley v Cubs, Hughes v TB, or Locke/Morton v COL?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Lets take Miley vs the K happy Cubs.

  17. Jiggy Nits says:
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    7$ Rosenthal or 4$ Dee Gordon

    5×5 NL ROTO

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Depends on what part of the SAGNOF you need. I’d want Rosenthal.

  18. Robert says:
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    I am thinking about dumping Alex Gordon from my Util spot. My options include: Vogt, Alcantara, Khris Davis, Ozuna. Pick up one of those or hold Gordon? Don’t need any particular category, just a better version of Gordon.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Those Royals bats are frustrating. Give me Khris Davis.

      • Robert says:
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        @The Guru: thanks

  19. Superfan says:
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    In a dynasty league, who do you think is the better keeper Mookie Betts or JD Martinez? Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      JD

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Sorry, got cutoff there. JD is better short term, but think Mookie will be better in a few years.

        • Superfan says:
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          @The Guru: Thank you! I

  20. J Boy says:
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    Guru, my man – 14 team roto keeper league. I’ve been offered Kennedy/Rizzo for Strasburg/Morales. My pitching is pretty loaded (Lee, Felix, Cobb) and I have a gaping hole at 1B with no Votto. I’m in it for this year and this deal would help. I’d have Stras as a 12th rounder for 2 more years after this one – if I do the deal, I’d have Rizzo for 5 years but as a 3rd rounder. At the end of the day, what do you think?

    Also, safe to drop Betts for Wong?

    Thanks Guru!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Hey J, I like towin now. I also see Rizzo as a first rounder the next five years. Make the deal and win. Go Wong.

      • J Boy says:
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        @The Guru: Thanks Guru, appreciate the quick response – keep up the great work!

  21. dubjay says:
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    Hey Guru,
    Would you drop anyone from my squad for B.BELT?
    12 TEAM H2H 5X5 keeper league. we keep 10

    C-W.ROSARIO
    1B-E.HOSMER
    2B-D.PEDROIA
    3B-T.FRAZIER
    SS-H.RAMIREZ
    OF-K.CALHOUN
    OF-M.KEMP
    OF-K.DAVIS
    UTIL-C.SANTANA
    UTIL-AR.RAMIREZ
    BENCH-D.JENNINGS, M.BETTS

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Team looks good. I’d hold. Maybe you could drop Betts for Belt if you need power.

  22. Steve says:
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    Would U trade Felix H for Puig or Adam jones?
    Need a hitter
    Thx

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Yeah, I would. Probably Jones has the slight edge.

  23. Mike says:
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    Would u drop Polanco and pick up kiermeier(tam)
    Polanco looks awful..
    Thx!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      No I wouldn’t.

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