There have been some Hall of Fame names over the course of baseball’s colorful 2000 year history. C’mon, Guru, baseball’s not that old! Whaddya mean disembodied voice of Razzball Nation that sounds slightly like my ex-girlfriend Brenda? Why do you think the Roman’s called Caligula “Little Boots?” The dude couldn’t field, booted everything. Then he married his sister Helen Mirren. Thanks, Wikipedia (and Bob Guccione). We’re not talking names like the Babe or Dizzy here, I’m talking Pickles Dillhoefer, Johnny “Ugly” Dickshot and Heinie Groh. And whatever happened to Hall of Namer Rusty Kuntz – and where can I get his throwback? One player making a name for himself these days (and making us some DraftKings cash) is Scooter Gennett. The Brewers second baseman has been rolling lately hitting .376 over the last 30 days and has more runs scored than every other second baseman not named Anthony Rendon. Sure the Scooter is no Wonderful Terrific Monds III, but he deserves a spot in the Hall of Names and more importantly a spot in this weeks edition of Jam It or Cram It.
If you’re looking for some bonus jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio where Nick “The Welsher” Capozzi and your well turbaned Guru talk jams of the week and Nick brings shame upon an entire nation.
Jam or Cram: Scooter Gennett, 2B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers
2014 Stats: 220 AB, 27 R, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 4 SB, .305 AV.
Availability: 87% Yahoo, 84% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $3. The cheapest ride in town. Next to Brenda.
The Gist: The Scooter is outperforming the hot rods like Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips and Aaron Hill this season. In the past two weeks, he’s put up nine runs, a homer, five RBI, a steal, and hit .405 with a 1.063 OPS.
Key Stats: Is the .360 BABIP a sign the regression faeries are coming for a visit?
Jam it or Cram it: Scooter has been a great find at a thin middle infield this season. While he’s a slight Platoony Tune, manager Ron Roenicke has continued to ride the Scooter against lefties lately. Remember when we all loved Jean Segura? We were all so young…three months ago. Leave Jean parked and get on your Scooter and ride. JAM.
Jam or Cram: Luis Valbuena, 2B/3B, Chicago Cubs
2014 Stats: 190 AB, 26 R, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 0 SB, .284 AV.
Availability: 95% Yahoo, 97% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $1. Even spending that buck somehow feels dirty.
The Gist: I like those guys with multiple position eligibility and have made a real effort to try and maximize at-bats this season. Valbuena certainly isn’t sexy as his .230 career average can attest. But is he worse than higher owned players like Brad Miller or Mike Aviles? Valbuena is on his way to his best season, but there is a reason he’s on his third team in seven years.
Key Stats: Valbuena is currently second to only Robinson Cano in OBP among second baseman this season.
Jam it or Cram it: Dear Theo Epstein, please stop wasting our time with the likes of Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena. We want Kris Bryant and Javier Baez and we want them now. Sincerely, Razzball Nation. P.S. CRAM!
Jam or Cram: Marlon Byrd, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
2014 Stats: 272 AB, 34 R, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 1 SB, .268 AV.
Availability: 50% Yahoo, 20% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $6. Depending how competitive your league is it might take a little more.
The Gist: Byrd is just not getting the love he so richly deserves. Beautiful plumage! Maybe it’s the PED suspension, maybe it’s just the general hatred spewed by you Philly fans towards anything not cheesesteak related. Byrd hit his 12th homer on Friday, has two in his last four games and is on pace to hit more than the 24 he doinked last year. It will be interesting to see if Byrd actually spends the entire year in Philly. My guess is the Byrd flies that coop come trade deadline. Hello, Boston?
Key Stats: Byrd’s flyball rate is the highest it’s been in his career. Back on the juice? Who cares, just hit bombs.
Jam it or Cram it: Prorate Byrd’s stats over 140+ games and we’re looking at close to 25 homers and 90 RBI. Once again we find the weird discrepancy between whatever fantasy site you’re playing on, but if the Byrd is loose on your wire and you’re hurting for power the Byrd is the word. JAM.
Jam or Cram: Eric Young, OF, New York Mets
2014 Stats: 160 AB, 30 R, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 17 SB, .231 AV.
Availability: 80% Yahoo, 81% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $2. If you’re hurting for SAGNOF! it’ll probably take more. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
The Gist: Since coming of the DL, EYJ has a hit in six straight games despite batting ninth, yes ninth, behind the pitcher last week. Interesting bit of strategy there, New York Mets. Maybe Mr. Met can bat ninth. Either way it doesn’t seem like the best way to utilize the one great skill Young has – speed.
Key Stats: Despite missing nearly a month with a hamstring injury, Young is still top 10 in steals.
Jam it or Cram it: If you’re starved for SAGNOF! go ahead and JAM. I won’t tell anyone. However, the outfield is a little crowded with Curtis Granderson, Bobby Abreu and Juan Lagares coming back soon. What a mess, but who knows, maybe the Mets can figure out a way to bat Young tenth. CRAM.
Jam or Cram: Alex Wood, SP/RP, Atlanta Braves
2014 Stats: 60.1 IP, 5 W, 63 K, 3.43 ERA, 1.29 ERA
Availability: 42% Yahoo, 76% ESPN.
FAAB $$$ Value: $2.
The Gist: The Braves shipped Wood off to Triple-A Gwinnett in favor of Gavin Floyd after someone slipped a mickey into GM Frank Wren’s Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby. Now Floyd’s elbow looks like it got caught in the thresher and Wood will get the start on Wednesday against the Astros.
Key Stats: Before getting sent down, Wood had a 63/15 K/BB ratio with 63 strikeouts in just over 60 innings.
Jam it or Cram it: The lefty Wood should be able to step right back into the Braves rotation and rack up the Ks with none of those damn inning restrictions. Wood could be a sneaky second half find if you’re hurting for a starter after this season of UCL ‘splosions. JAM.
Mark Melancon, RP, PIT: With Grill Cheese toast, M&M is a must JAM.
Danny Duffy, SP, KC: Was that another UCL I just heard exploding? CRAM.
Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA: Some power, some speed (he had 17 steals at Triple-A this year), some CRAM.
Jake Arrieta, SP, CHC: Needs to be owned. Go do it now. JAM.