You literally can’t find a middle infielder with less than 20 homers. You can’t. Try it. See? This year there are more players with 20 homers than any other season in the history of baseball. Some conspiracy theorists have said the new commissioner, Our Manfred, is sticking Capri Sun straws into baseballs and juicing them, but this year is odder than that and deserves a better conspiracy theory. No one is hitting 50+ homers like during the Steroid Era. Only one guy is even close to 50 homers. Instead of a few guys doing insane damage in the power department, everyone is doing better, moderately. It’s the trickle down theory. If you’re not familiar with that, I’ll explain it. When Kim Kardashian first appeared on the scene, only she was smoking hot, but rather than Kim hogging the hotness to herself, it trickled down. Khloe went from a 3 to a 5, Kourtney went from a 5 to a 7, Kris went from a 6 to a 8, the two Jenner girls came of age, going from untouchable to 8’s, and even Bruce went from a zero to a three, becoming a woman that you’d throw one if you were drunk enough. This is also what’s happened in the majors. Jean Segura, and all middle infielders, went from fours or fives to 20s. Yesterday, Segura went 1-for-4 with his 20th homer, hitting .316, to go with his 30 steals. It’s going to be hard in 2017 to know if these are legitimate gains in power, for Segura and a whole slew of other players, or if half the league is going to regress. Kinda like Brody Jenner, who was so popular before Kim, ahem, came on the scene. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Max Scherzer – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.82, moving his record to 19-7, and finishing with 277 Ks. I’ll go over all the end of the season recaps in the weeks following the season, but I’ll give you a little sneak peek, Scherzer was the best fantasy pitcher this year, and it wasn’t close. The 2nd one is crazy surprising. You can cheat and look at our Player Rater to see. I can’t believe you would cheat. Wow, you’re no better than Barry Bonds, and you sit there and judge him. I’m tsk’ing all over you.
Anthony Rendon – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 19th homer. Solid bounce back season. Or was it?! You don’t have to flinch. Yeah, it was a bounce back.
Wilson Ramos – Done for the year as he was diagnosed with a torn ACL. The sad irony is Ramos can see his torn ACL so well. Stupid Lasik!
Corey Kluber – Out for 7-10 days with a mild quadriceps strain. He originally said it was a groin problem, but when he went for a groin MRI, he saw his nurse was Chad Gaudin and changed it to quadriceps.
Nick Castellanos – Was activated from the DL, but didn’t appear in the starting lineup. Speaking of Starting Lineup, anyone want a Damon Berryhill Starting Lineup figure? You just need to pay for shipping.
Justin Verlander – 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.10. I’ve made peace with Verlander being one of the best starters this year, so this isn’t about that. I’m not being ‘stubborn mule’ like an Eastern European mail order bride who I fantasize about would say. Yes, I argue with my fantasies, baseball and otherwise. Any hoo! Verlander was facing a B lineup yesterday.
Gordon Beckham – Giants traded for him from the Braves. Trading for Gordon Beckham with five games left is like texting a girl that just broke up with you, saying, “Were you being serious when you said you wanted to break up?”
Johnny Cueto – Cleared to start this Thursday, saying his mild groin strain has been upgraded to the discomfort you feel when you’re wearing wet underwear under your bathing suit.
Matt Moore – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.48. Watch him go on a King Kunta-type run through the playoffs. Anything to make fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) excited about him again.
Buster Posey – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a homer. Everyone has 20 homers this year. Well established by this point. Guess how many homers Posey has? 14. Ouch.
Steven Matz – Mets announced he was done for the season and he would undergo elbow surgery. This is actually good news because Matz will have the elbow spurs removed and should be fine for spring training. You prefer this vs. the Mets pretend nothing is wrong for another six months and Matz returns looking like he might be better off throwing with his non-throwing arm.
Bartolo Colon – Announced he’s pitching with a sprained foot tendon. A bad tendon with Colon is just offal!
Yoenis Cespedes – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 31st homer. Also, in this game, Jay Bruce (2-for-5, 2 RBIs) hit his 31st homer. Elias Sports Bureau said the last two Mets to get their 31st homers in the same game were Lenny Dykstra and Dwight Gooden during a late-night, RBI Baseball marathon while they were waiting for a ‘friend’ to make a ‘delivery.’
Lucas Duda – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs, and a modest four-game hitting streak. Can’t really say he’s hot yet, but there’s so little time, I’m looking anywhere, fighting for any last points, so throwing a hot schmotato to Lucas.
Noah Syndergaard – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.60. Doubt he throws again this season since he’s going to have throw every game during the playoffs.
Tom Koehler – 3 2/3 IP, 4 ER. I streamed Koehler, when I should’ve streamed into my Kohler toilet and left well enough alone.
Albert Almora Jr. – 2-for-2, 1 run. I said he might be a schmotato yesterday. Today, I’m saying he is but you have to make sure he’s playing.
Gregory Polanco – 2-for-5, 1 RBI and his 16th steal. Guess who’s back, back again. Brocktune’s back, tell a friend.
Carlos Gomez – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer. Someone, next year, should totally draft Gomez and Justin Upton. It’ll be like a stress test as administered by your cardiologist if you accidentally walked into your proctologist’s office.
Carlos Beltran – 2-for-3, 1 run and his 1st steal, hitting .297. After Beltran stole the base, he stood up and said, “Damn, it feels good to be young–Holy crap, that hurt every part of my body.”
Felix Hernandez – 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.71. There’s gonna be a guy in your league next year who is going to draft F-Her and be like, “Yeah, I’ll take a chance at 150 overall that he bounces back!” And I’m going to try to make sure you’re not that guy.
Rich Hill – Expects to start on Friday. His blister then took questions from reporters. “I’m trying to get on the field, best I can. Next question.” “I told him to put clear nail polish on me two months ago. He won’t listen. Next question.” “No, I’m no longer dating Selena Gomez.”
Tyson Ross – Could need shoulder surgery. If the Padres Mr. Bungled Ross for five months when he needed shoulder surgery this whole time, it still wouldn’t make the top 100 terrible things the Padres did this year.
Hunter Renfroe – 2-for-4, 7 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homers. Now has three homers in two straight starts. Too bad the Padres aren’t playing him every day. This didn’t make the Padres’ top 100 either. Or maybe that’s a 100 in red with underlines like the millennials do.
Kevin Kiermaier – Still out after taking a pitch off his hand. I had Puerto Rican friends in high school who would tell you if you’re not hitting the ball with your hand, you’re not playing a real sport.
Curt Casali – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 8th homer. Psycho killer!
Alex Cobb – 3 IP, 8 ER. Just where he wants to be going into the offseason!
Tim Anderson – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .278. Those eight homers go along with his ten steals. He has 10/40 potential. Um, yeah, I’m gonna be crazy about him next year. DeShields crazy? Maybe.
Melky Cabrera – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer. This was his third homer in the last week while hitting over .300. Hot schmotato alert!
Aledmys Diaz – 1-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 17th homer. Diaz was away from the team the day prior to grieve with Jose Fernandez’s family because Diaz was a childhood friend. Then, in his first at-bat back, he hit a grand slam. And, again, it’s man tear-rific. Every end of the baseball season is an emotional time, but, guys and five girl readers, we need a pint of ice cream and a Field of Dreams marathon. Stat!
Randal Grichuk – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 24th homer. Also, in this game, Matt Carpenter (1-for-4) hit his 20th homer; Jhonny Peralta (3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 8th homer and Fatt Adams (1-for-1, 2 RBIs) hit his 16th homer. In related news, the Reds’ pitching staff is as good as raw oysters that have been left in the sun for three hours.
Scott Schebler – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. Hitting over .300 in the last week, and has two homers in the last ten games. Schebler…schmotato…schmotato…Schebler. That was my introducing Schebler to his final week’s hotness.
Freddie Freeman – 2-for-3, 3 runs and his 33rd homer. See what I said for Votto, but subtract about 10 spots.
Roman Quinn – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 5th steal, but left with an oblique strain. He is likely done for the year, but this Roman had some parting words, “It is not these well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and the hungry looking for SAGNOF.”
Ryan Howard – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 24th homer, hitting .196. Be interesting to see if Howard finds a job next year. I could see him on the MLB Network, or maybe as a babysitter for his kids as his wife “gets some me time finally.”
Ricky Nolasco – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.42. Damn, that was a mighty fine stream by me. Too bad I streamed five other turd makers. (Autocorrect said turd makers was two words, by the by. I have my doubts.)
Drew Pomeranz – Won’t start again this year due to workload and some forearm soreness. You know what would fix that? A trade back to San Diego!
David Price – 6 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 4.04. You didn’t get what you wanted from Price this year; no denying that. At least you’re not paying him $30+ million for the next 7 years!
Gary Sanchez – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .316. He tied Wally Berger of the 1930 Boston Braves as the fastest to 20 homers in only 51 games. You might remember Wally Berger as the guy whose rookie home run record Mark McGwire passed in 1987. Interesting list of players who hit home runs the fastest to start their career (this isn’t exactly confidence building in Gary): Mike Jacobs, Wally Joyner, Kevin Maas and Jose Abreu.
Didi Gregorius – 3-for-4 and his 20th homer, hitting .279. The Gregorius D.I.D. and Starlin Castro are the first pair of middle infielders in Yankee history to have 20 HRs in the same season. “Yeah, but how many bunts? And where do you keep your money?” That’s the Ghost of Phil Rizzuto.
Tyler Austin – 3-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. He’s still not playing every day and won’t because Te(i)x will need his (not-a) victory lap at-bats.
Kevin Gausman – 6 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.66. I checked the Stream-o-Nator to see if Gausman was starting again this year, and he’s scheduled for the last day of the season, but I’d be shocked he goes if the O’s have clinched.
Aaron Sanchez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks. This is crazy (to me) and almost think it’s a typo it’s so crazy (to me). In 185 IP, Sanchez has a 3.06 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. On my fantasy team, he has a 3.06 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Big whoop, right? Yeah, except he’s only thrown 97 IP on my team. Zoinks!
Josh Donaldson – 2-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 37th homer, hitting .286. If you heard JB and me on the podcast yesterday doing our 2017 mock draft, you heard how I’m already not looking forward to Donaldson next year.
Joaquin Benoit – Diagnosed with a tear in his calf that he sustained during a benches-clearing brawl on Monday. Sounds like Joaquin needs a Ben-waaahbulance. High-five the stuffing out of me! C’mon! No? Okay.
Devon Travis – Day-to-day with a shoulder issue that he also aggravated in the fight. All of these fight injuries don’t bode well for the Blue Jays if they face the Rangers in the playoffs, because you know Odor’s bringing his meathooks.