Jump in the Guru’s Hot Tub Time Machine and join me as we take a short spin through the space-time continuum back to the year 2000. *wavy lines wavy lines* Hey, what the hell’s going on? What’s that big balloon thingy? Ooohhhh, its 1937, my bad. Everyone back in the hot tub. Oh, the humanity. *more wavy lines* I want to welcome you all to the year 2000. They promised us Jetson cars and replicant strippers, but all we got was Creed and Battlefield Earth. No wonder crystal meth became so popular. Another popular pharmaceutical was anabolic steroids. And baseball was up to its shrunken testicles in it. At the end of the 2000 season, 46 MLB players had belted 30 or more home runs. 15 players hit 40 or more. And Sammy Sosa hit 50. Lo siento Sammy, pero tienen pechos! Now everyone back in the El Camino hot tub before we hear “Smooth” again. Wait! Year 2000 JayWrong, bet a bundle on the Yankees in 5. Your future self will thank me. *yet more wavy lines* Probably would have been easier to just search all this online, but I was afraid Y2K might mess up all this important data. Taking a look at last year’s numbers only 26 players hit 30 or more home runs and only six hit 40 or more. Miguel Cabrera led the league with 44. Sammy Sosa hit 0. But he did win 205 pesos at a Dominican cock fight. ¡Viva! In 2013, according to ZiPS projections for the rest of the year, only 20 players will hit 30 or more home runs. Two players, Cabrera and Chris Davis, have a real shot at 40. Commissioner Bud has officially pulled the plug on all the long ball fun. We got an official power shortage y’all. So, with homers in short supply, let’s head to the waiver wire and take a look at some potential power hitters. Either that or we can take the hot tub again and kidnap George Foster. Time to jam it or cram it.
Jam or cram: Raul Ibanez, OF, Seattle Mariners
Availability: 74% Yahoo, 58% ESPN
Current Stats: 60 G, 29 R, 18 HR, 44 RBI, .243 AV, .829 OPS
On Pace For: 37 home runs
The Gist: “Eating” Raul Ibanez remembers the year 2000. He has just 28, living in Eddie Vedder’s Airstream and on his first go-round in Seattle. Now he’s 41, on his third tour of duty with the Mariners and Eddie won’t return his calls. “Eddie, it’s me Raul”. “Jeremy? I thought you were dead.” Raul may not get the keys to the camper, but he still has some pop in the bat. He has four home runs in his last six games.
Key Stat: Ibanez has 16 home runs and 38 RBI in 41 games in May and June.
A Gooey Factoid: If Raul can hit 12 homers, Ibanez has a chance to do something no player has ever done: Hit 30 home runs in a season after reaching the age of 40. I read that on a Twisted Tea label.
Jam or Cram: Ibanez has played in 60 of the Mariners 81 games this season. If he continues to appear in games at the current rate, he will get into about 59 more games on the year. If Raul continues his current home run pace, that would give him 19 more homers on the year and a total of… 37 home runs. Hey Pythagoras, that’s what I call math. Jam.
Jam it or Cram it: Delmon Young, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Availability: 97% Yahoo, 99% ESPN
Currents Stats: 48 G, 15 R, 7 HR, 25 RBI, .259 AV, .751 OPS
On Pace For: 22 Home runs
The Gist: Delmon Young is 9-for-14 over his last three games with a homer and 8 RBI. That will mean more playing time for Delmon on a Phils club that is about to have a team wide yard sale. “Hey, how much for this abacus?” “$6.” “What about this Cliff Lee thingy?” “$78 million.” “I’ll give you 20 bucks for both.” “Sold.”
Key Stat: Young had 21 home runs and 112 RBI for the Twins just three years ago.
X-File: Young is with his third team in four years. He was born a ramblin’ man. Trade rumors have him linked to the Indians. If we know Delmon, like we think we know Delmon, if he does get traded to Cleveland he probably won’t be drinking Manischewitz in the Shaker Heights area.
Jam or Cram: Delmon Young is in hot schmotato territory right now. Think you want to add him? Here’s what I think. *closes eye, slowly sizes up cue ball, methodically sinks eight ball in side pocket, takes long drag off Camel, blows smoke ring* What were we talking about? Cram.
Jam it or Cram it: Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Houston Astros
Availability: 77% Yahoo, 74% ESPN
Current Stats: 76 G, 37 R, 15 HR, 40 RBI, .229 AV, .775 OPS
On Pace For: 29 home runs
The Gist: Carter was one of our first jammer crammers. He only had three home runs back then. He’s hit 12 since. But we were all so young, carefree and easily distracted by things like Adam Dunn and Ike Davis. What a weary time those days were — to have the desire and the need but not the ability. That’s some tasty Ham on Rye kind of wordplay. Have a Pabst on me. To all my friends.
Key Stat: Carter’s career 20.1 HR/FB% is almost double the league average. This year he’s at 23%. Jeez, more math. This abacus is coming in handy. Thanks Phillies yard sale.
Jam it or Cram it: I may not be the sharpest muffin in the guitar case, but I do put my leg warmers on one sleeve at a time just like you and I know power when I see it. Jam. Do you have any bath salts?
Hold on, I gotta call my sponsor. This week’s blog has way too many triggers.
OK, we’re back…
Jam or Cram: Juan Francisco, 1B/3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Availability: 95% Yahoo, 98% ESPN
Current Stats: 55 G, 17 R, 9 HR, 26 RBI, .232 AV, .715 OPS
On Pace For: 22 home runs
The Gist: Since being traded to the Brewers from the Braves, Juan “Be Sure to Wear Flowers in your Hair” Francisco, has struggled. The power potential has always been there. Francisco hit 27 homers in 2009. The only problem is he was playing with the Double-A Carolina Mudcats. What’s a Mudcat? Hell if I know. Let’s learn together right now.
Key Stat: In 525 career at-bats, Francisco has struck out 181 times. That makes Muddy the Mudcat cry.
A Gooey Factoid: One of Francisco’s home runs last week reached a height of 168 feet. The highest since 2011. The ball took 7 and a half seconds to land. Is this guy Roy Hobbs or Ray Guy? I think real baseball just caught me in their web of athletic supporting lies. Thank you Jeebus for fake baseball.
X-File: Hit 112 home runs over six seasons…in the minors. Muddy the Mudcat smiles.
Jam or Cram: Francisco seems to be one of those Four-A type of players. Too good for the minors, a suckhole in the majors. If “I Left My Heart in” Juan Francisco hits more than 15 home runs this season, I’ll send everyone that writes in today a lobster. They grow on trees around here! Francisco has never hit more than nine in a year in the bigs, so I’m liking my chances of winning this bet. However, I have just been informed by the Razzball fact checker that ‘Ol Juan had three homers, five RBI and hit .304 last week. Uh-oh. To the Hot Tub Time Machine!! *wavy lines3* If “I Left My Heart in” Juan Francisco hits more than 422 home runs this season I’ll send everyone that writes in today a lobster. They grow on trees around here! Cram.
*Bonus Tracks* Other possible power sources:
Nate Schierholtz, OF, CHC: Hit his 11th home run last week. Has some value against righties. Especially if the Cubs trade him to a team in contention. But…Cram.
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE: Brantley has three homers and three stolen bases in his last ten games. The Stream-o-Nator is not a fan this week. But, I got a feelin’. Jam. *editors note: Sometimes The Guru’s “feelin’s” are gas related.*
Thanks for the read Razzballer’s. Questions, comments, Bukowski quotes welcomed below. Follow The Guru on Twitter @TheGuruGS for the daily jam or cram and roster 411′s.