Try not to act so jealous, Frank Thomas. A new superstar has arrived in Chicago. After Evan Longoria hit a go ahead 2-run home run in the ninth inning last night against the Chicago White Sox, most thought the game was all but over. But not Jose Abreu. People have been telling him “No Way, Jose!” all his life. A real defector at heart, he was ready to prove them wrong the only way he knew how– with his bat. The crowd was slowly filtering out, the concessions employees were removing the hot dogs from the rollers and placing them back in the warm stagnant water for the next day, and Adam Dunn was already in the locker room, eating his post-game bucket of oats. But White Sox rookie slugger Abreu aka the Grande Dolor aka or is it el Gran Dolor? aka “I guess it doesn’t really matter, he’s just a monster” Abreu had a different idea. Chicago loaded the bases for the phenom and he promptly sent it into the stands with the grand slam and the walk off win. He finished the day 3-for-5, with two home runs and six RBI. Ay carumba! The final home run was Jose’s league-leading ninth jack of the year, and he also tied for the lead with 27 RBI and his .632 SLG% and .968 OPS are among the league’s best as well. He set the rookie record for April home runs too, and counting. Abreu is making those who gambled on him early in drafts look like geniuses, jacking homers every 10.6 at bats and rocking a sick and a 26.9% HR/FB ratio. That means he’s going to hit more home runs. Like, a lot more. And if he’s as fun to own in fantasy as he is to watch in actual real-life-not- in-a-box score-but-on-the-field baseball, then Abreu could likely find himself in the upper echelon of the fantasy elite as soon as this year.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:
Mark Buehrle – 5.1 IP, 12 hits, 6 ER, 3 BB. Buehrled alive! He’d only given up 2 ER in his previous four starts. Yeah, well, what did you expect, him to lead the league in ERA? The Sawx scored 8 runs on 16 hits, including a home run from David Ortiz and two hit days from Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli.
Juan Francisco – 2-for-4 with his 1st HR. Juan-Fran has gone on home run sprees in the past. Grey told you to BUY him, so grab him if you need power. If you already have the power, you are probably He-Man, in which case, “Hey, He-Man! Nice haircut!”
Will Middlebrooks – 2-for-4, run, RBI. Will the Thrill is coming back from the DL twice as strong as before and he’s doing it all for Jen-nay (Dell). “I’d make a good husband, Jen-nay.” That was my impression of Will Middlebrooks’s impression of Forrest Gump. If Diddlebrooks is still out there on your waiver wire, grab him while you still can. I won’t tell anyone who you have been forced to play at corner infielder lately. Let us never speak of it again.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. – 3-for-4, 2 runs, RBI, and a SB (his third). Word traveled pretty quick about JBJ’s epic three walk performance against C.C. Sabathia on Opening Day in 2013. His showing last night may very well crash twitter. J.B-Rad Jr. is like Jacoby Ellsbury 2.0. Well, he’s not as fast or as strong. He’s smaller. Hmm…name coolness factor? Tie? Okay, he’s more like Ellsbury 0.2.
Jake Peavy – 7.0 IP, 7 base runners, 1 ER, 7 K. Aside from getting shelled last week by the Orioles (5.2 IP, 14 base runners, 5 ER), Peavy has been pretty solid so far. He’s got a 32/16 K/BB ratio and is the perfect example of I guy I wouldn’t touch on draft day performing well. Way to make me look bad, Jake!
Hiroki Kuroda – 4.2 IP, 10 hits, 6 ER. Kurodayum! We probably should have known better than to test the Angels right now. They’re finally playing as well as we all thought they could last April. You can’t rush chemistry. It must have taken a while for Albert to get used to Trout’s quirks. Like the way Trout always swims upstream or the way he never closes his eyes. Creepy. But classic Trout. Either way, the Angels offense has arrived. They scored 13 runs on 16 hits with three hit games from Hank Conger and Howard Kendrick. Erick Aybar exploded for four hits and a 3-run home run, and Ian Stewart added two hits and a homer onto the pile. Mike Trout was 0-for-4 and I’m pretty sure that’s the ultimate definition of a ticker tease.
Albert Pujols – 2-for-4, HR. Alby’s got four home runs and 10 RBI in the past seven games. His nine home runs lead the league, the .652 SLG% tops the AL, and the 1.009 OPS is real nice, too.That’s a lot of fancy numbers just to say: Welcome back. Old friend.
Yordano Ventura – 8.0 IP, 7 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Alrrrrighty then! The Strikeout Detective, indeed. All seven hits allowed were singles. He was dominant. I already like Yordana Ventura a lot. If he starts conducting his post game interviews with his butt cheeks, I think we might have to be new best friends.
Chris Davis – Likely headed to the DL after leaving the game with a strained oblique. Things couldn’t get much worse for Chris “The Dish” right now. And yes, I know nobody calls him that. Like most injuries of this nature, his outlook for avoiding the DL is oblique.
Garrett Jones – 2-for-4, 4th HR. Jones is tied with Stanton with 30 strikeouts on the year, they are also both huge fans of “pizza.” But the similarities between the two pretty much end right there. Garrett could be a decent source of power with four homers on the year, but if you’re looking for Giancarlo power, you should have drafted Giancarlo.
Henderson Alvarez – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Have you ever picked someone up day-of and then forget to start them? I need to drink more water, I think my brain is shrinking. I should stop mixing my psychedelic drugs, I’m having a hard time distinguishing perception from reality. Is that Bryce Harper’s face on that baseball? No. It couldn’t be…Henderson has been more than solid with a 2.73 ERA through five games. That’s the reality. I’d grab him for his start next week vs. Atlanta.
Zack Wheeler – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. More like Zack 18-Wheeler! Once he gets it going there’s no stopping him, unless you want to get hit by a truck. I’m sorry, it’s late and that’s the best I could do.
Ervin Santana – 6.2 IP, 9 hits, 4 ER, 7 K. Smooth, Santana. The 4 ER was a season high but Big Erv still grabbed his third win of the year. I’m not sure what Atltana is feeding their pitchers, but I assume it has peaches and moonshine in it. Okay well, that sounds delicious.
Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 9 hits, 5 ER, 4 K. No, Homer! I thought we were over this. Are we going to have to get the club started again? Justin Upton hit a 3-run HR in the first inning and Bailey was deflated from there. That’s seven homers surrendered this year for Homer, which could be some kind of irony, but I don’t want to get into an argument over it in the comments. Save it for the English message boards, nerds!
Shelby Miller – 5.2 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. Shelby has strung together a few nice starts in a row now. He’s got 25 Ks in 28.1 innings to go along with 18 walks. Hmm. Yeah, I think it’s time to trade him while his value is high.
Mark Melancon – Jason Grilli is headed to the DL, so Melancon is the new Grillimaster in Pittsburgh for now and a great add if you’re looking for saves. Jason also let Melancon borrow his platinum mouth grill so he can be all iced out on the mound, and that’s a great add for Mark if he’s looking for cold sores.
Matt Garza – 7.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 7 K. He had some choice words for the Cubs pregame. Really, Garza? Like the Cubs aren’t hard enough on their luck you have to rub salt in the wound? That’s like picking on the disabled kids at school. And no Cubs fans, I’m not really comparing your team to disabled persons. Geez, don’t be so sensitive. What I’m saying is, don’t poke the bear!
Francisco Rodriguez – 1.0 IP, 2 K and his 10th save. Frankie hasn’t allowed a run all year. At this point, you probably can’t even imagine owning a closer who doesn’t give up at least a few hits and/or runs on his way to a save. K-Rod has not. His 0.62 WHIP is top among closers and I think I love him a little again.
Carlos Gomez – 3-for-5, 2 runs. CarGomes is doing his darnedest to get fantasy owners as many stats as possible before he’s ultimately forced to serve that suspension. Keep it up, Carlos!
Ian Desmond – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI. We complain a lot about the batting order in Washington, but Desmond is the one who should really be upset. He should be hitting second or third but has been stuck batting sixth or later most of the year. They might as well lock Desmond in a Hatch for three years and force him to push a button every 108 minutes, brutha!
Bryce Harper – 2-for-4, 4 RBI. Harper hit a triple with the bases loaded that cleared the bases. The Trifecta! Do non-hustlers get triples!? Tell me that, Skip? Bryce went all Cassidy-like on Matt Williams–hustlers get triples, Skip, and I’m-a-husta, I’m-a, I’m-a hustla, homie. Hustlas also leave in the fifth inning with thumb injuries after jamming it sliding. You see what happens when you hustle! X-Rays were negative, and Bryce will likely be back out there soon, but the moral of this story, like always: never try.
Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 7 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K. The Strasborg is currently rocking a 14.03 K/9. What? I’m supposed to praise you now for doing what you’re supposed to do! OK, fine. That’ll do, Strassy.
Robbie Erlin – 5.1 IP, 13 hits, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Erlin has been the Nationals primary source of runs this year, giving up 17 runs to the Nats in just two starts. If Harper could score runs like that I wouldn’t have to pop Zolofts every four hours.
Nick Castellanos – 2-for-5, 2 run HR (his 3rd), 3 RBI. He’s batting .300 with two HR and eight RBI over the past week and is slowly heating up along with that Tigers o-fence. He-like-a the sauce, huh? Helios! Get some sauce for da man!
Rajai Davis – 3-for-4, SB. Rajai is a hot little potato right now. He has nine hits in the last four games with a HR and two SB. He’s like a SAGNOF+. HitterTron loves him this weekend too, even more than most other robots love Joaquin Phoenix. And how could you not? He was so great in Gladiator.
Miguel Cabrera – 2-for-5, 1 RBI. That’s a four game hitting streak! But I doubt you owners have even noticed he was slumping. (Step back from the ledge. It’s going to be OK).
Rick Porcello – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K and his third win. Rick pitched better than the score shows. He cruised for five innings but couldn’t manage an out in the sixth. It seems like the majority of the questions I get involve whether or not people should drop Porcello. You shouldn’t drop him, but I wouldn’t expect juicy numbers either. He is a good pitcher on a very good team and will get plenty of opportunities to win games.
Jesse Chavez – 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 2 walks, 5 K. Another start that looked worse than it was, two runs scored off an error in the fourth, but regardless we knew some regression was coming. Don’t bail on Jesse yet, Mr. White has always had faith in him.
Josh Donaldson – 1-for-4, 2-run HR. I thought Donald’s sons were Huey, Dewey and Louie. Or were they his nephews? But weren’t they Scrooge’s nephews, too? Where are the parents in this situation!? Regardless, JD has a seven game hitting streak, and he’s hitting close to .400 with four homers and 10 RBI in that span. Oh boy! (Which google tells me is Donald Duck’s, not Cam’ron’s, catchphrase).
Michael Morse – 1-for-2, 2 RBI, and his 6th HR. Beep, beep beep beep, beep beep. That’s Morse code for “Mike has four homers in the past week and should be owned everywhere.” Now let’s beeping keep this up!
Tim Hudson – 7.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 5 K. Old reliable. His K:BB ratio is an insane 25:2 in 37.0 IP, and his 0.78 WHIP is good for third best in the league. Timmy the Gray walks no one! YOU-SHALL-NOT-PASS! That’s like, Cliff Lee type shizz right there. Cliff Lee owners wish they could own Tim Hudson right now.
Carlos Carrasco – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Not terrible, but you’re going to have to pitch a lot worse than that if you want to get demoted from the rotation for Trevor Bauer. Oh wait, that’s not what you want, that’s what I want.
Robinson Cano – 2-for-4, 2 RBI. Seattle managed to win this game but the offense has not looked good so far. The Mariners really had me thinking they had a legit offense in the preseason. I credit the M’s marketing team for that one. I know it’s early, but how did I not see it? Justin Smoak, Abraham Almonte, Willie Bloomquist? This is the the same kind of offense I was so quick to stream against last season, they’re just surrounding Robbie Cano and the shell of Corey Hart‘s former self now.
Fernando Rodney – 1.0 IP, 4 base runners, 2 ER, 4th save. His 2.05 WHIP is really bad, even bad for a really bad closer bad. Danny Farquhar is a pretty good stash because this cannot continue much longer.
Adrian Beltre – 1-for-5, RBI in his return from the DL. I’m glad he’s back though I don’t know about you guys, but I already miss Kevin Kouzmanoff. We had a good week together, laughing and skipping and talking of memories past.
Robbie Ross – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 5 K. Ross may never be good enough for Rachel, but he’s struck out 15 while walking none over his past three starts, and that’s good enough to warrant a spot start in most leagues.
Aaron Hill – 2-for-4, 2-run HR, 3 RBI. He’s batting over .300 this past week, which I guess makes him the second best hitter on the D-Backs right now? Ugh. If you’re an Arizona fan you’re probably still hung over right now, so go lie back down and I’ll email you when they call Archie Bradley up.
Josh Collmenter – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 5 K. Addison Reed almost blew this one for Collmenter, but he managed to get it done. Maybe in deep NL-West-Only leagues he could be worth the add? Eh, probably not though. He gets the Rockies next week, pick him up if you hate yourself.
Corey Dickerson – 1-for-4, 2nd HR. Grey told you to BUY him after Michael Cuddyer hit the DL. Buy and you shall receive. After the game Charlie Blackmon told him, “Just wait until we get back to Coors, you’re going to love it there.” True dat, C-Black. He would know.
Josh Beckett – 8.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 6 K. Grey told you to BUY Beck, too! For yesterday’s start at least…He gave up solo home runs to Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson but otherwise was outstanding. Beckett’s got a cushy start in Minnesota next week too, but beware you are playing with fire here. I can just see him destroying your WHIP next week, with that smug grin on his grease-covered face as he polishes off another Popeye’s chicken drumstick. But still, he’s allowed just two runs in his past three starts and has struck out 22 this year. At just under 20% owned and he’s worth the flier for his winning potential alone.
Adrian Gonzalez – 1-for-5, 2-run HR, his 7th. Adrian hit a homer in the ninth inning but it wasn’t enough to mount a Dodgers comeback. Yasiel Puig was 2-for-5, 2 RBI with his third HR, too. Clearly, Puig is going to be just fine, but I’m also expecting big things from Adrian this year. He’s only let me down twice before. Third time’s the charm. I think 30 HRs, 120 RBIs isn’t too crazy. One or the other, not both, I’m not delusional or anything. By the way, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Yasiel Puig are coming by my house later to play XBox One. If you want to come, hit me up and I’ll come pick you up in my Maserati.
Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below, or you can get at me on twitter @dandemanco. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!