Mike Moustakas left yesterday’s game with a groin injury that could end his season, which would also end his sophomore slump (the “o” is silent in sophomore, like when you make love to your woman — oofa!) The 2nd season like the 2nd Greek letter is beta. Beta is also a testing phase when the most kinks are found. So, naturally, we should expect guys in beta to perform for stretches and then find they have serious compatibility issues with major league pitching, right? Well, there’s no scientific evidence to support this. Sure, Austin Jackson and Jason Heyward’s 2011 seasons were miserable and this year we got the same from Hosmer and Moustakas, but Gaby Sanchez was fine for two years, then hit a what? Junior year slump? John Axford also had a solid sophomore year and hit the junior year slump, if there is any such thing, and all that progress Boesch made his sophomore year disappeared this year, too. Craig Kimbrel and Giancarlo knew of no sophomore slumps, but the latter is draped every night in the Shroud of Turin, so there’s that. Freddie Freeman and Mark Trumbo built on their rookie years. Maybe pitchers take the sophomore slump better, unless they were just pitched in too many innings — hello, Michael Pineda and Brandon Beachy. Or maybe pitchers are just as susceptible. What does all this mean? It means there’s a whole lot more confirmation bias than actual sophomore slumps, i.e., if you want to see a sophomore slump in some instances and not in others, then you can. So if there’s no sophomore slump, why am I worried about drafting Mike Trout in the first five picks next year and expecting Mike Moustakas and Hosmer to bounce back in their junior years? Damn you, illogic and ill reasoning. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Luke Hochevar - 4 2/3 IP, 9 ER. He ends the season with a 5.73 ERA. For fantasy, Luke should be banned in the USA.
Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a steal. Has 15 homers and 21 steals with a .283 average. Shin-Soo is one of those 5-category performers that just doesn’t have huge upside in any category. Martin Prado also comes to mind. David Murphy could be added to that list. They’re like getting five deuces when you’re playing with ten wild cards. It’s a decent hand, but it’s probably gonna get beat.
Nate McLouth – 2-for-4 with a slam (7) and legs (11). Sloth, “McLouth! McLouth! McLouth! Baby McLouth!”
Chris Davis – 2-for-3 with his 5th homer in the last 4 games. Now has 31 homers and a .272 average and a K-rate just off 30%. Also with around a 30% K-rate? Dunn, Stubbs, Pedro Alvarez, Carlos Pena and Mini Donkey. In other words, Davis has the best average out of all of those guys by nearly 30 points. In other other words, Davis is a butterfly sneezing in Indonesia away from hitting .220.
Jason Giambi – Done for the season with a hernia. Backdate this to 2008.
Cole Hamels – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, will finish the year 17-6/3.05/1.12/216 in 215 1/3 IP and one lesson taught to Bryce Harper. Hamels had the third least amount of contact made of any qualified starter in the major leagues when a batter swung a bat. Seven percent less contact was made against Hamels than the average pitcher. He had the best swinging strike percentage. That means no other starter had batters miss as many pitches. All you really need in life is stuff and Hamels has it.
Brett Lawrie – Speaking of seasoning, Lawrie went 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 11th homer. Here’s to him being one of my 2013 Junior Year All-Stars. In your junior year, you get your license, your first real girlfriend and first debilitating case of the pimples while figuring out major league pitching.
Matt Kemp – 2-for-3 with his 3rd homer in the last two games. When he turns 35, he’s going to get himself a huge payday from the Yankees.
Luis Cruz – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs with his 6th homer. I’ve been rocking him at my SS spot for a while. That’s shortstop spot. I’m not in some weird Nazi league.
Carlos Beltran – 3-for-4, 5 RBIs and two homers. Last year, Lance Berkman went all Great Zombino on the Cards, this year Carlos Beltran. If I were Vernon Wells, I’d take a $20 million dollar pay cut and go to St. Louis.
Pete Kozma – 3-for-3, 1 run and 3 RBIs. He has 11 RBIs in the last week and is batting over .400. He’s hot and this may be your last chance to own Kozma. I mean ever for his career, because he’s not this good, but grab him now.
David Price - 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks to secure his 20th win. Now let the Tampa Bay-area Jews haggle over Price and whether their Star of David will win the Cy Young. Please don’t tell them he’s not Jewish, they’re still reeling from Zobrist, who they thought was mishpocheh.
B.J. Upton – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and 2 homers, his 27th and 28th. Uh-oh, I just had a flash forward of what Fox is going to do during the playoffs. When they do their pre-game opening, they’re gonna have the Black Eyed Peas singing “My Humps” only they’re going to be singing about pitchers taking the hump. Only we can stop my flash forward from coming true. Please, we have to stop this!
Huston Street – 1 IP, 3 ER. Has now given up runs in every appearance since he’s returned. Member last week when I said I was going to drop him because I don’t need the saves? Yeah, I’m a flippin’ idiot and forgot to drop him. Consarnit!
Everth Cabrera – 0-for-2, 2 runs with 4 steals. Four steals with no hits is the most beautiful line. It shows me that a guy is still trying to give fantasy value even when everything else fails. An 0-for-2 with 4 steals is a line for all those SAGNOF’ers that never had a chance. That 0-for-2 with 4 steals is pouring out a little of its St. Ides for Eric Young Jr.
Tim Lincecum – 6 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks and three homers surrendered in Petco. From the files of Not True, But It Seems Like It: The last pitcher to give up three homers in Petco was Jamie Moyer in 1987.
Kris Medlen – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks to move his record to 10-1 and move me two and half inches northwest.
Andrelton Simmons – 2-for-3 and 7 for his last 13. Pastronicky ran off with Carmella, which means Andrelton will be the Braves starting shortstop for 2013. Will I be interested in him next year? Two words for you: Zack Cozart. Not as in Zack Cozart bombed so Simmons will too, but as in I liked Zack Cozart and will like Simmons. I like flyers at middle infield. It’s MI prerogative.
Torii Hunter – 4-for-5, 1 run and 2 RBIs in the 1st half of the doubleheader, then 3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI in the nightcap. The Angels threw a Hail Mary in the playoff race, but ended up with a split like a female model would be on top of a car in an 80′s video about an angel.
Mike Trout – 2-for-7, 2 runs and a slam (30) and legs (48) in the 1st half of the doubleheader. A mash-up to Angels in the Outfield and Snakes on a Plane is in the works called, Trout on the Plane. Only instead of trying to get the snakes off the plane, Samuel L. Jackson will be trying get him on his fantasy team. “Get this monkey-fighting Mike Trout on my monkey-fighting fantasy team!”
Ervin Santana – 2 2/3 IP, 6 ER vs. the Rangers. This game reminded me of the classic 9-8 Red Sox vs. Yankees matchups. Now if only Jered Weaver would wrestle Jackie Moore to the ground and question who is David Murphy?
Adrian Beltre – Left the 2nd game of the doubleheader with a shoulder strain. His owners might want to form a prayer square for his speedy recovery.
Mike Napoli – Didn’t start the first game, but went 3-for-3, 6 RBIs and two homers in the 2nd game. He’s got his eye on winning the catcher spot on the Italian national team, hoping to beat out Snooki.
Bryce Harper – 1-for-3 with his 22nd homer. When this season is finally over, he plans on celebrating with a Slushy Magic fruit punch and a Drake & Josh marathon.
Michael Morse - Hit a grand slam on Saturday without a bat. What you’re not seeing in that video is before the homer, he held up two fingers for how many words it was, pulled his ear for “Sounds like” and then acted out “canned spam.”