With games like this, who needs healthy elbows? Certainly not Chris Sale. Four score and two dozen ‘and that’s me quoting me’s ago, I posted our AL-Only team. I went on about what a shambles the pitching staff was and how our only bat was Evan Longoria. Sure, we had high hopes for Brad Peacock, but our starters were cheap tequila bad. The more you looked at them, the worse The Gas Face you got. All we had was Jake Peavy and Chris Sale. ZOINKS!!! (Caps and teenaged-girl punctuation not for emphasis, but because my keyboard is sticky.) And now that team is in first (with a .237 average — ha!). You won’t find this non-advice from many fantasy baseball ‘perts, but no one really knows anything, as William Goldman will tell you about Hollywood. We can guide you in the right direction, but players need to play the games. Just because Longoria had a low BABIP last year, it doesn’t stop him from getting injured and just because a little pitcher that I loved in the preseason named Chris Sale seemed like a great late round bargain, he still needed to pitch. And, Chef Boyardee, is this guy pitching well in our national pastatime. There is a caveat though, prematurely bald men and four foxy ladies. (Speaking of which, one of our four girl readers is beating all of y’all in the master standings.) In the preseason Chris Sale sleeper post, I say he’s going to get around 125 innings this year. Succinctly, this is still true. More succinctly, ‘is ’till ‘rue. Most succinctly, it true. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Matt Moore – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks. Believe what you want, but I was going to highlight him this Friday for a Buy. You don’t go from having as much potential as him to nothing overnight. Lincecum, “That’s what I keep telling people!”
Lonnie Chisenhall – Jack Hannahan handled pythons, tigers, Black Widow spiders, but, in the end, it was a calf that got him. No bull. So… Heeeeeeeere’s Lonnie! Shore, Lonnie’s lost the Sweetheart tag, but he’s still in a good Situation. In Triple-A this year, Chisenhall had a .321 average with 4 homers in 27 games. Here’s what I said about him this preseason, “Lonnie Chisenhall was called up in the middle of last season, like a firefly without a light. In his first full month, he hit two homers and .217, like a slow torch burning. In his 2nd month, he didn’t do much better, like a key that could use a little turning. Seemed like he should’ve been getting somewhere. Then in September, he hit four homers and .279. Like a madman laughing at the rain. If you knew those were Soul Asylum lyrics, pat yourself on the back…with a knife. Chisenhall’s BABIP during his torrid-for-him month of September was .308. That’s close to doable for him, but his walk rate was pathetic last year. In 21 games in August, he didn’t walk once. His K-rate wasn’t great either. So .279 seems doable, but highly unlikely. He looks more like a .250 hitter. In September, his HR/FB was 16.0%, which is a little high for him, making 4 homers per month on the high side, too. For 2012, he’s gonna be more of a 3 to 4 homer per month guy…” And that’s me quoting me! So best case scenario, homers and average like he’s a Baby Ruth. In the long term, he’s a .250 guy with power. It’s good for right now if you’re hurting at corner infidel. It sure doesn’t hurt that he hit a homer yesterday. In keepers, I’d pursue with a bit more gusto. What did one wind say to another wind? You need more gusto. Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.
Jason Kipnis – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th steal. I’m in a ‘I told you so’ mood while undercutting it with ‘I don’t know anything.’ How about you garden my lawn with your hedging? Thanks, Random Italicized Voice. I told you in December about Kipnis (you can Google Kipnis 2012 sleeper to find it, if you want — though that might return the query, “Did you mean Katz’s Deli?”), but I didn’t think he was gonna be this delectable. Kipnis is no Jewish deli nosh, he’s a meal! So, could you wrap up my pastrami and DL’d Utley to go?
Eric Hosmer – 1-for-4 with a homer. At least that’s what the box score said, but I couldn’t find a video of the homer. I’m thinking Hosmer hit a pop up, then Frenchy threw a ball over the fence.
Logan Morrison – 2-for-4 with his 3rd homer. Wow, Morrison broke on through this year and landed right in the Slumdog Millionaire bathroom. I gotta think his knee is bothering him.
Juan Carlos Oviedo – Back in the US, but faces an 8 week suspension from MLB for falsifying his identity. So why isn’t Ryan Zimmerman suspended for appearing good in my eyes? I want answers!
Ty Wigginton – 3-for-3, 6 RBIs with his 2nd homer in the last 4 games. He is the definition of a hot schmotato. With two homers in the last four, he’ll have two more by next Sunday. Or my name isn’t Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario.
Jonathon Papelbon – Lost the save yesterday when the Phillies scored 3 runs in the 9th inning. Someone mentioned in our forums how this is an area for a glossary term. I agree. What do you call it when your closer is about to come in for a save, but then his team scores to eliminate the save opp?
Barry Zito – 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.21. Making a bid to be included in the category of completely unsexy veteran pitcher along with Zambrano, Bartolo and Millwood.
Trevor Plouffe – 1-for-4 with a homer. Or as the Eskimos would say, Plouffe courtesy flushed that ball away.
Kila Ka’aihue – Second 1-for-4 with a homer game in his last three games. Haven’t talked much about The Good Eyein’ Hawaiian. He hasn’t hit for much average so far in the major leagues. Or is it ma’ajor leagues? But with his recent power, he could be a sneaky add in very deep leagues. Oh, poi!
Jhonny Peralta – 1-for-3 with his third homer, while batting .243. Very few people have asked about dropping Peralta, so I’m guessing he’s on more abandoned fantasy teams than any other player.
Freddie Freeman – Out on Monday with vision problems. Look at that, Heyward, you’re not the only one with promise that can’t go 20/20.
Tommy Hanson – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER. Hanson with his latest hit, “Mmmflop.”
Matt Adams – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and is hitting .382. If there’s a reason to not own him, I’m all ears like Alfred E. Neuman.
Lance Lynn – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks. Solid bounce back start from him, but I still think someone’s gonna dump some Liquid Paper on his stats soon, so this is golden opportunity to still sell him.
Jonathon Lucroy – Out for 4 to 6 weeks with a hand fracture. Lucroy says the accident happened when he was reaching for a lost sock and his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand. Is he married to Tawny Kitaen?
James McDonald – 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. Just give me your password and I’ll pick up McDonald for you. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if your password is “Iheartcats.”
Carlos Quentin – 1-for-4 as he was activated and hit cleanup. I could see taking a flyer on Quentin if you’re hurting for power… Dah! I can’t work up any more enthusiasm for him, sorry.
Chase Headley – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs as he homered twice. If you would’ve jumped out of a DeLorean saying you were a time traveler and told me to draft Headley instead of Ryan Zimmerman, I would’ve asked why on earth aren’t you telling me something more worthwhile if you’re time traveling? What’s the next Facebook?! Have housing prices bottomed out? Is the Ren-Faire worth going to? Give me something!
Everth Cabrera – 1-for-5 with the most unlikely slam and legs. Either the wind was blowing out or they put in Rock N Jock short fences for this game.
Will Venable – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. So how do these Creepers of the Week work? Do they continue into the next week? Are they only one week, but because of the holiday weekend Venable was good into Monday?
Carlos Marmol – Activated from the DL. Sveum says Marmol will work middle relief for now. Specifically, he said, “We’re hoping to have games blown by the 6th inning so we don’t even need to figure out a closer.” So far, so good! I’d continue to hold Russell.
Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last three games. Here’s a coin flip for you: Gordon Shumway Soriano or Quentin? I’d take Alf, at least he’s currently hitting.
Mark Reynolds – 2-for-3 with 1 RBI as he was activated from the DL. For most leagues, he’s worth owning, but I’m not sure I’d start Mini Donkey until he ponies up some stats.
Felix Doubront – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. He might be the first Red Sox starter I’m excited about since Curt Schilling. So, yes, I’d definitely invest in him as long as you don’t bankrupt the state of Rhode Island to do it.
Dustin Pedroia – Left yesterday’s game with a jammed thumb. Doesn’t sound too serious, he’ll just need to wear a cone for a few days so he doesn’t chew on it.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 2-for-4 with his 9th homer. The time it took him to go from prospect to producing was almost as long as it took me to spell his name correctly. Right now, Saltymochachino reminds me of Napoli all of those years that he was on the Angels, optimizing the Ron Popeil School of Catcher Management with “Set it and Forget It” and making excuses for his Mom’s nip slips. Can we get the Fountains of Wayne on the podcast to do a remake of Stacey’s Mom? “Napoli’s Mom…Has got it going on…”
Wilin Rosario – Speaking of Ron Popeil’ing your catcher, Wilin now has 7 homers and 17 RBIs. As a Jewish grandmother would say about your fiancee, you could do worse.
Dexter Fowler – 7-for-9, homer, steal, 5 runs, 3 RBIs. Wow, Dexter’s killing pitchers lately. Doode’s like a buck thirty-five soaking wet, and making me wish he had 1st base eligibility. This year he has 7 homers, 4 steals. I think at some point those will invert and he’ll end up with more steals than homers, but a 15/20 season from your 5th outfielder ain’t too shabby. Pick up Fowler, unless you’re chicken.
Ted Lilly – Shutdown with shoulder issues. Sounds like LA traffic yesterday.
Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and a homer as he returned to the lineup. I’m so hoping he goes on one of his crazy homer binges. That is all.
Nelson Cruz – 2-for-4 with a slam & legs. That Is All, Part II: Obviously That Wasn’t All; Cruz is on one of his crazy homer binges.
Jered Weaver – Left yesterday’s game with a lower back injury. Supposedly, he threw it out when Albert accidentally called him Jeff.
Ike Davis – 0-for-3 to lower his average to .167. I’m being sincere when I say someone really should step in where the Mets doctors are failing and make sure he doesn’t have Valley Fever. “He doesn’t have a propensity to say ‘Gag me with a spoon.'” That’s the Mets doctors examining him.
Ronny Cedeno – Has a small calf strain. Well, dur. If it was a big calf strain, it would be a cow.
Jon Niese – 5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Only gave up two hits, unfortch, he gave up 5 walks. Coming into this game, he had a 1.63 ERA in day games this year due to hitters unable to pick up the ball with his nose shadow.
Vinny Rottino – Homered now in his last two games he started (also on Saturday). Nothing really to see here, unless your league has a category that rewards players that sound like they’d claim to have once dated Snookie.