On Wednesday, Jon Lester gave a line of 6 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks and I said he found the sweet spot between yawn and ho-hum. Some runs, bunch of hits and not at all dominating. It was just another run-of-the-mill start for Lester. Larry Johnson’s Grandmama could throw that line. Perhapizzle, I say, speaking like a hip-hop Yoda. “There is no try, there is only do-izzle and do not-fizzle.” Yo, Yoda, why you wear your Jedi robe so low? “Easy access, I like.” Maybe there was something else to that Lester start. Maybe, Columbo, things aren’t how they seem. Maybe I’m holding a container of Colombo yogurt and talking to it. Don’t judge me, but let’s judge Lester. That start was also his highest K-rate in one game this year, and he issued no walks. Some people are talking about how he’s got a new approach. He’s peacocking without the flair of Ks. He’s about the pitch-to-contact approach that Charley Lau would’ve enjoyed. Yeah, let’s take what makes us great and instead pitch so people can hit the ball against The Green Monster. You don’t need to hit every branch coming down the Rocket Scientist tree to think that makes no sense. If you have strikeout stuff, you strike people out. On Wednesday, he did that. I think that was a corner turned. June is always his best month, but he usually stays hot in the summer because he likes to keep things appropriate. I wouldn’t trade a top bat for him, but I think his owners are concerned and I’d definitely buy him for the right price. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Andrelton Simmons – Speaking of Star Wars, this guy’s first name sounds like a planet in one of those made up galaxies that Lucas sold at auction for $150,000. “Now up for bid, an imaginary planet in the Arkanis sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Do I hear one hundred thousand? We have a bid from the forty-something year old man with acne. No, not you, sir, the man next to you.” Simmons had 26 steals last year in High-A and 10 steals this year in Double-A through 43 games. He doesn’t look like he has burner speed, but in shallower leagues and very deep leagues I’d take a chance on him. I say those two types of leagues because in one options are so abundant that it’s good to take a flyer on someone for a week. If they take off, great! If they don’t, there’s other options and what did you miss? A week of EverCab? Big whoop. In very deep leagues, you take him because your other options are Daniel Descalso.
Everth Cabrera – He has 3 steals in the last three games and he has crazy speed. Much faster than Simmons. In Triple-A, he had 15 steals in 34 games. 29 steals in 58 games the year before. Everth’s also the poster boy for you can’t steal first, and that will be the only time Everth and poster are ever used in the same sentence unless he goes to Kinko’s and makes up a poster of himself.
Darwin Barney – Hey, Barney, I kinda like you, you kinda like me… We’re a happy fantasy team… Until you revert back to being lousy.
Matt Adams – We’re gonna know a lot after tonight about Fatt Adams’s playing time moving forward. I think he should play at least 5 days a week with the return of Allen Craig, but I kinda like my 1st basemen to play every day. It’s a notch in his belt. BTW, I like to think in today’s culture where people want to be skinnier a notch in someone’s belt is the opposite meaning of what it originally meant.
Anthony Rizzo – The Cubs will bring up Rizzo by the end of June. When they do bring him up, they will play him. It’s anyone’s guess if he will hit in the major leagues. I will probably be writing a ‘Sell’ on him for non-keepers. I’m not trying to put the kibosh on your hopes and dreams. I’m just trying to avoid a grease fire where people are dropping productive players for a lottery ticket.
Ty Wigginton – Since the blog was started and the Buy/Sell column, Wiggy probably has more mentions than anyone else. He’s an old pro, as they say where they say that. It’s not easy to appear in the most Buy/Sell’s. You need to be borderline startable, doing just enough every 6 weeks or so for a week or two at a time. He’s kinda like a clunker that you’re not sure if you should keep, give to the junkyard or to your nephew that you don’t really like.
Todd Frazier – Dusty will have more incentive to play him since Frazier can be counted on in case Dusty swallows his toothpick.
Mark Reynolds – Bit surprised to see Mini Donkey so low on the owned charts at ESPN (31%). Though, 45% of ESPN leagues are abandoned, 17% are leagues made up of Matthew Berry playing against 9 aliases so he can get more virtual trophies for his virtual mantle and 5% of leagues are our RCLs. So, Reynolds is actually owned in 98% of leagues. Okay, we’re good then.
Lonnie Chisenhall – We sure do have a huge influx of corner men this week. Reminding lawmakers that people actually care about corner men must’ve paid off with the government’s corner men subsidies. Hopefully, this doesn’t trigger a backlash where people start complaining that they can’t find a good trade partner for Youuuuuuk because of his low interest rates.
Tom Wilhelmsen – Now at 5% owned. Sure takes a while for youse to add people, huh? He could get saves and he has 30 Ks in only 25 1/3 innings. Plus, Wilhelmsen also matches your futon.
James Russell – Named the closer, and already has a save and a win. I bid on him in one league for $3 out of $100. Best ‘not actual money’ I’ll ever spend!
Ernesto Frieri – Has 43 Ks, 0.97 WHIP and a 1.14 ERA in 23 2/3 IP. He should be owned for that alone, and he’s getting saves.
Dexter Fowler – Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle (which means I have a monkey sibling), Fowler’s only owned in 35% of leagues? Let’s see some names he’s been better than according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater: Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Luke Scott, Alex Rios, Shin-Soo Choo and Dean Marlboro. Okay, I made up the last name, but it’s a cool name, isn’t it? “I’m Dean Marlboro and I play fantasy baseball while having sex.”
Denard Span – He’s been atop the Twins lineup (which is kinda like batting 8th for an NL team), and he’s got some speed.
Rajai Davis – Speaking of speed and lineup placement, Rajai’s been starting while hitting at the bottom of the Blue Jays lineup, which is like hitting cleanup in the NL.
Colby Rasmus – I almost made Rasmus the lede of this post to tell you to buy him. I figured people don’t read the ledes because they’re long, so a short Buy on Rasmus would be just as effective. Shoot, kinda blowing that too. Okay, how about a medium-short blurb telling you to buy? Or just BUY! “THAT I UNDERSTAND,” said Mr. All Caps.
A.J. Burnett – As pointed out the other day after having it pointed out to me, his ERA is 1.52 if you remove the 12-run Cardinals eviscERAtion.
Felix Doubront – I told you to buy him last week, and I stand, uh, buy that. His next start’s a bit of a doozy though, so proceed with caution.
Felipe Paulino – After his last start vs. the O’s, where he gave up 5 BBs, tonight’s start will go a long way to whether or not he had a hot streak in the beginning of the year or he’s back to a WHIPper crapper.
Garrett Richards – I was pretty lukewarm about Richards the other day. How lukewarm, you ask. Like a present-day Loni Anderson offering me a massage while forcing me to watch WKRP in Cincinnati reruns. I wouldn’t spend more than a couple bucks on him in an AL-Only league.
Nate Eovaldi – He’s got electric stuff…Boogie woogie woogie. He also has a start in Colorado next, and isn’t worth grabbing yet outside of NL-Only leagues.
Michael Fiers – As mentioned the other day when I went over Eovaldi and Fiers, I like Fiers better in the short term. He could be one of those guys that has a good month run until the league catches up with him.
Yasmani Grandal – Brought up by the Padres to the consternation of Padre Personnel Director Lance Beowulf, Grandal profiles in 2012 as similar to Yeammate Yonder Alonso. Very good OBP, okay AVG, nothing on power. Given Hundley is hitting .169, wouldn’t be surprised to see Grandal take over as starter and Hundley dangled as trade bait. In two catcher leagues, NL-Only leagues and keepers, pursue. In most mixed leagues, you have better for now.
Chris Sale – On a sidenote before I go into why you should Sell Sale, Robin Ventura didn’t want him to start. Robin Ventura thought it was a good idea to have Hector Santiago close. Is it just me or is maybe Robin Ventura in over his head? I realize from Ozzie to anyone is a step in the direction, but you might want to reconsider when Robin Ventura’s most well-known in-game decision is charging Nolan Ryan. Okay, so I love Sale. He’s going to be amazing this year….If he stays healthy and if he pitches more than 120 innings. The first ‘if’ is the size of a Biggest Loser contestant and that second ‘if’ is an entire cast the first day on the ranch and 1,000th straight day on Ranch Dressing. He’s already had tests done on his elbow and he just doesn’t have the innings under his belt from past seasons to allow him to pitch deep into the season. I wouldn’t trade him for a lunchdate with Rip Taylor, but I’d explore options.