Almost two months into the 2013 Major League Baseball season and things have suddenly turned into Bizarro World from the Superman comics. Those not familiar with the term please note what the scholarly website Uncyclopedia says, ”Bizarro World is a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite of expectations.” In Bizarro World, Bizarro Coke tastes like Pepsi, Bizzaro USA is Canada and Bizarro Tom Cruise is a heterosexual, black orthodox Jew. The Bizarro Code states, “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Us love Cocktail!” Does this all mean that Bizarro Razzball would be Yahoo Sports? Let’s hope not, but there JayWrong would be JayRight. In the current Bizarro fantasy baseball world Justin Verlander surrenders 8 runs in only 2 2/3 innings, last year’s Cy Young Award winners have 4 wins combined, and Clay Buchholz is Christy Mathewson smothered in Bullfrog juice. I’d try to look away but man, these stats are Clockwork Oranging my eyes open. In the Bizarro baseball world James Loney looks like Rod Carew, Josh Hamilton is Kingmanesque and Jean Segura morphs into Robin Yount. All of those things are actually happening, right? Yes they are, but I keep having this funny feeling I’m going to wake up in 1975 next to Suzanne Pleshette. Now that’s an old-timey cougar reference! If your roster is suffering through all things unearthly, let’s take a look at players currently inhabiting the baseball Bizarro World that could help your real fantasy team for the next week or so. Us must Jam it or Cram it.
Jam or Cram: Dayan Viciedo, OF, Chicago White Sox
Availability: 63% Yahoo, 62% ESPN
Current Stats: 21 GP, 8 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, .288 AV
The Gist: Welcome to the Bizarro World one of the most under-owned, undervalued, under 25, power hitters still available on the wires right now. He’s all yours for the taking. Unless of course someone read this before you. Damn you, Jack Full of Hate! Since returning from the DL with a strained oblique, Dayan Viciedo has hit .409 with 2 home runs and 4 runs batted in. He also has 6 walks. That’s 6 more than he had before he broke his back fat. Always an aggressive swinger at the plate, the improved discipline has been paying off as Viciedo has raised his average 60 points since May 10. Last year the Cuban import knocked out 25 homeruns and batted in almost 80 runs. Those kind of stats look good on any team, Bizarro World or not.
Key Stat: In 2012 Viciedo had a 120/28 K/BB ratio in 505 at-bats with an OBP of just.333. That’s Adam Dunn like. In a bad way.
X-File: Dayan Viciedo’s power in 2012 was not a Bizarro World mirage. His 25 home runs came after two seasons of 20 in the minors. Viciedo also wasn’t one of those players who hit a bunch of homers in April and May then fizzled out. He hit 14 in the first half and 11 after the All-Star break.
Jam or Cram: For most fake baseball teams power is a premium. Viciedo has plenty. He’ll hit 25-3o home runs with 70-75 additional RBI ROS. If his recent trend of cutting down on the K’s continues then the low average should not be too much of a drain. Send Ike Davis off to Bizarro World and welcome in a man named Dayan. JAM
Jam it or Cram it: Raul Ibanez, Outfielder, Seattle Mariners
Availability: 96% Yahoo, 98% ESPN
Current Stats: 13 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, .235 AV
The Gist: The fifth hottest fantasy player last week, between Mike Trout and Cargo, was ”Eating” Raul Ibanez. I don’t know where Ibanez has been, but he is currently residing in Bizarro World. No, it’s not Seattle. It’s more like Portland. He says hello when he leaves, goodbye when he arrives and runs the bases backwards. This week Ibanez hit .381 with 4 homers and 10 RBI. Wednesday night against the Yankees he went all Mr. Mxyzptlk , going 2-for-5 with six RBI and a grand slam. When did Raul turn into Lou Gehrig? Those things happen on that square planet.
Key Stat: In the past week Ibanez has more RBI than other player in baseball. The week before he had as many as the Miami Marlins Chris Valaika. Who? Exactly.
X-File: With Franklin Gutierrez back soon, Michael Morse in left and Kendrys Morales at DH, the Mariners will soon have no spot in the regular lineup for Ibanez.
Jam or Cram: While it was quite the week for Ibanez, it’s back to riding the bench, clubhouse ping pong, and the occasional spot start. He’s a jam in the Bizarro World of deep AL leagues where every player is over 40, but here on the greatest world the Earth has ever known he is a CRAM.
Jam it or Cram it: Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants
Availability: 64% Yahoo, 62% ESPN
Current Stats: 17 R, 5 HR, 21 RBI, .246 AV
The Gist: Going into the 2011 season Brandon Belt was the #17 prospect in baseball. The past two seasons he has hit .250 with 13 homers. I’m no Scott Evans, but that’s more #717 prospect worthy. So what happened in the past week? Well, he just strutted around like he owned Bizarro World singing “Pumped up Kicks” and hitting .429. Brandon loved the 0’11′s. He also belted homers number 4 and 5. Now, any Foster the People fans care to tell me when he hit home run number 5 last year? That’s right my skinny jean wearing friend it was September 4. Now go chase this frisbee. Belt has been labeled one of those ” four- A” types that crushed minor league pitching, showed flashes in the bigs, but mostly left you feeling as disappointed as that hipster trying to get his frisbee out of a tree.
Key Stat: In two seasons in the minors Belt hit 31 HR and 148 RBI in 189 games. In 248 games in the majors he has 21 and 95.
X-File: The Baby Giraffe is still only 25 but needs regular AB’s to prove he belongs someplace other than on prospect lists that never panned out. Yes, I’m looking at you Lastings Milledge.
Jam or cram: Belt’s limited ownership won’t stay low for long. He’s hitting .305 over the past 3 weeks and the Bizarro Belt Breakout could be upon us. I’ll project another 15 homeruns and 50-60 RBI ROS. That was me being serious. Just not a way that’s readily apparent. JAM.
*Bonus Tracks* Jam it or cram it SP streamers this week:
Tommy Hanson, LAA vs. SEA: Jam
Dan Straily, OAK vs. TEX: Cram
Trevor Cahill, ARI vs. COL: Cram
Edwin Jackson, CHN vs. PIT: Jam
Questions? Problems? Musical requests? Please post in the comments below. Look for my daily jam or cram on Twitter @TheGuruGS