In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Tommy Hunter – 2/3 IP, 4 ER. All through the preseason, the closer with the biggest question mark was Chad Qualls. Then maybe Jose Valverde. But then! Tommy Hunter. In the first month, he looked the part of closer if you ignore things like dominance. Now, he looks like a wounded pigeon, hiding in the bushes outside a mental asylum like he’s Margot Kidder cracked out of her mind. If he’s not owned yet, grab Darren O’Day in all leagues. There’s no reason O’Day isn’t the closer already.
Ubaldo Jimenez – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks. What if I told you Ubaldo’s sole purpose was to make Gausman owners rethink benching Gausman for his start vs. the Tigers? Would be better than telling you Ubaldo is actually his nickname for his ‘special purpose.’
Drew Smyly – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. The Emoticon’s owners are almost as happy as the guy who transcribed Moby Dick into emojis when the Library of Congress accepted it. Though Emoji Dick never had to deal with bouncing back and forth to the bullpen.
Victor Martinez – 2-for-4 and his 9th homer. Once upon a time, Lance Berkman made the term Zombino famous is certain circles (these circles) when he rose from the ashes of his former fantasy fantasy prominence and showed that glory again. Well, right now V-Mart is the night, day, year of the Living Dead all rolled up into one green, oozing pus of a Zombino.
Jose Fernandez – Has a UCL tear and fantasy owners have 10,000 tears. The only one that really benefits here is Tommy John, receiving another nickel for naming rights.
Devin Mesoraco – Started a rehab assignment yesterday and is about two days away. Here’s to him staying healthy longer than it would take Daenerys to free a slave.
Mat Latos – Targeting a late-May/early-June return. Bryan Price didn’t want to put an exact timetable on Latos’s return, saying, “I’m dealing with pitchers’ arms that were left to me by Dusty Baker.”
Mike Leake – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA to 3.09. Not actually pitching much worse than his ERA is showing, but his Ks are pedestrian, though you’d think it would be his walks.
Aroldis Chapman – 1 IP, 1 ER and a homer to Chase Headley, which sounds terrible, but Headley has been hot recently (2 homers in last three games). I don’t want to scream fire in the theater of Razzball, but I’d keep a close eye on Broxton; Aroldis may not be ready.
Omar Infante – To the DL with back stiffness. He needs to try the Couch Lumbardi from the Relax the Back Store.
James Shields – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.54. Fun fact! Scott Boras tells his friends that he was a consulting producer when the ABC show was called, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.S.
Lorenzo Cain – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Cain…Sugar! could get smoking hot, but then he might be known as caramel. Any hoo! I’d look at adding Cain if he was available.
Salvador Perez – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer. So far he’d bore you to death…Hey, I wonder if that’s what happened to his abuelita.
Jake Peavy – 4 1/3 IP, 6 ER vs. the Twins. You’re a big, strong, slightly overweight man and you’re not in touch with your feelings, so I’m here to discern. I’m discerning, y’all! You’re feeling peevish.
David Ortiz – 4-for-5, 4 RBIs and two solo homers (8, 9). Just think if the Twins never released Ortiz. *wavy lines* “Hey, David Ortiz just hit two solo homers because no one is on base for the Twins. Hmm, that’s not much different than what happened yesterday. This is the worst dream sequence ever!” *wavy lines*
Chris Parmelee – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer as he started once again in front of Colabello. A tandem of Parmelee and Colabello sounds like the makings of a satisfying meal, but the cheese is cardboard and the soda syrup is really dirty water.
Kurt Suzuki – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .314. The race for the most valuable catcher-eligible Twin is heating up with Mauer hitting .302 but only 12 RBIs to Suzuki’s 25 ribbies. Mauer does have double the homers — a whopping 2.
Jason Motte – Threw a scoreless inning in Triple-A and is about a week away from rejoining the Cards. For those reading through the prism of an early 20th century slang dictionary, this is not applesauce, nor is it the cat’s pajamas.
Jaime Garcia – Cards said he’s an option this weekend to replace Tyler Lyons who went to the Disgraceful List. I’m beginning to think the Cardinals would have a contest between homeless people for a rotation spot prior to giving it to Carlos Martinez.
Adam Wainwright – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks. Didja know Wainwright recently went two days without eating? That’s the last time he labels his food in the clubhouse fridge as Adam’s.
Peter Bourjos – 2-for-5, 1 run and 1 steal. Still not playing every day like I’d prefer, but in one deeper league I’ve been rotating him and out of the lineup to mild success. How’s that for the hard sell?!
Trevor Rosenthal – 1 IP, 1 ER. He was on the opposite spectrum than Tommy Hunter in the preseason. Everyone wanted Rosenthal. Well, everyone that didn’t follow the SAGNOF credo. His ERA is now up to 5.19, but he does have only one blown save, so I’m guessing he won’t be replaced just yet
Gerrit Cole – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks. His ERA is at 3.76, but this isn’t 1998. You need to have a sub-3 ERA to stimulate my loins!
Marco Estrada – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.28. Do you see this, Gerrit, you’ve got me longing for Estrada? How dare you, sir!
Aramis Ramirez – Hit the DL with old. No cure, good luck recuperating!
Ryan Braun – 0-for-2 as he was activated from the DL. Bill in ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department says, “Get him in your lineup!” Meanwhile, Frank in ESPN’s “Temper Your Expectations” Department says, “Temper your expectations!”
Carlos Gomez – Left yesterday’s game with lower back stiffness. That sounds like a cue to accept his suspension. By the by, what’s taking so long for his suspension? Did he hire A-Rod’s attorney?
David Price – 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks. And then that happened. That’s 12 Ks vs. 0 walks too. He continues to lose velocity on his fastball, but he’s also been supremely unlucky. I still wouldn’t mess with him. He was bound to get a favorable matchup and there’s few better matchups than a lefty facing the Mariners. Their team makeup is basically saying they’re punting games against tough lefties.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks. Hisashi my dashi — slurp SLURP!
Dallas Keuchel – 9 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Well, he kinda screwed up my plan to keep picking him up and dropping him, thinking no one would notice him. You kinda notice a shutout vs. the Rangers even if Prince Fielder is 400 pounds of grass-fed wheatgrass. Yes, you should own Keuchel. Yup, in your league too.
L.J. Hoes – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd home run. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the number one selling jersey in the Houston area is Hoes.
Coco Crisp – Could return on Friday. Let’s just say he’s day-to-day for the rest of the year and move on, shall we?
Drew Pomeranz – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks. Oh, well, okay. He was originally only up for a spot start, but this Pomeranz was so good his leash was extended. Pun point! He has struggled with his command in the past, so there might be ugly games at some point, but he was in last week’s Buy and I do like him.
Brandon Moss – 3-for-5, 5 RBIs and two homers (7, 8). Even more encouraging is he’s hitting over .300 against lefties. Granted, the A’s have been very conservative about how many at-bats he’s seen vs. those that use the weird scissors, but he could start to see more if Beane loosens up the puppet strings on Bob Melvin. “Michael Lewis is writing a sequel about platooning and where I have to meet my daughter’s bandmate and future husband, don’t make me look stupid!” That’s Beane reaming out Melvin.
Josh Reddick – 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Thankfully, one Reddick.
John Jaso – 3-for-5, 2 runs. Now hitting near-.500 in his last seven games (not the last week, because he’s been platooning). Worth looking at in deep leagues, if you’re struggling at catcher. Deep, don’t ask me if you should drop Salvador Perez for him.
Jason Kipnis – Began hitting off a tee. Okay, so what’s his handicap?
Justin Masterson – 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks in Toronto. I kinda figured Masterson would throw a decent start yesterday because the obvious move was to bench him, which had me rethinking whether or not to tell people to start him. This is Innerspace and Masterson is Dennis Quaid in my head.
Colby Rasmus – Hopes to only miss three days due to his hamstring. Usually it’s more of a four day or two day thing, so this will be interesting to see if he can beat the odds.
Juan Francisco – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .293. I doth protested a bit too much when Rudy dropped Andrew Romine in our AL-Only league for Francisco, but it might’ve been the best pick up thus far. All hail Gamble!
Casey Janssen – 1 IP, 0 ER and his first save. In related news, Sergio Santos raspberried his lips, saying, “You just needed to tell me that’s what you wanted.”
Mike Minor – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Finally, Leo Mazzone’s rocking back and forth in front of the TBS broadcast pays off.
Josh Hamilton – Expects to take batting practice this weekend. Good news, but I’ve honestly never heard anyone expect to have a setback, so there’s that.
Cliff Lee – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, but gave up four unearned runs. Ticker shock!
Jeurys Familia – 1 IP, 1 ER. Terry Collins said that the Mets will go on a game-by-game basis for who will be the closer. Farnsworth and Familia are the only viable options and Farnsworth can’t pitch well anymore, so Familia would be the best option. Plus, when he does well on your team, you can shout ‘Mi Familia’ like you just got done watching The Godfather.
Daniel Murphy – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 3rd homer. The Mets lineup actually looks better than the Yankees’ in Yankee Stadium. Too bad Metco is waiting a train ride, a panhandling and a mugging away.
David Wright – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs as he sits on two homers for the year. If Razzball was in charge of the All-Star Game festivities, I’d pit Wright vs. Hosmer in the Home Run Derby. First one to a homer wins.
Yangervis Solarte – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting over .500 in the last week. You say schmotahto, I say hot schmotato, let’s call the whole thing on!
Brian McCann – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. I still can’t get used to seeing him without glasses. Maybe Lois Lane wasn’t that daft after all.
Carlos Beltran – Out yesterday with a bone spur in his elbow. Probably the worst injury imaginable for a Zombino. How is he supposed to extend his arms and walk slowly towards your luscious brain custard?