The Pirates are in it to win it, y’all! Maybe too aggressive. Okay, the Pirates are in it to make it seem like they’re in it to win it, y’all! Yeah, that’s probably a closer approximation. If we’re sitting here in October and saying the Pirates couldn’t have won the World Series without the help of Marlon Byrd, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle and pay for my monkey nephew to go to college, which is a lot of money. Luckily, I think they can win it with or without Byrd, as a Nikki Dinki-hosted show would say. Thankfully, none of this matters for fantasy, so why are we even talking about it? I don’t know, clunky expository question! Byrd will likely prop up the bottom of the Pirates lineup when he plays and prop himself onto the mascot’s shoulder on off days. Byrd gains a tad bit of value with this move since the Mess offense was nothing to write home about unless you were locked up abroad and ran out of things to write on postcards, and ‘Hitters Are Better Outside Of Metco’ is a bumper sticker I don’t own, but endorse. Also, going to the Pittsburgh Bucs is John Buck. Buck will change his New York nickname of “Midnight Cowboy” to “Swash,” and steal some looks behind the plate from Martin. Going the other way is Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later. Unless that player is Andrew McCutchen, there’s not a whole lot to talk about on the Mets receiving end. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Brandon Beachy – Shut down for ten days after visiting Dr. Freeze. Dr. James Andrews wants him to return to him in ten days for another check-up. Dr. Andrews said, “This extension I’m building on my house in Boca is ripping my wallet a new one, so I might have to do the same for Beachy.”
Starling Marte – Can’t swing a bat for two weeks. As his aunt scrambles to replace ‘swinging at a pinata’ at Marte’s niece’s quinceanera, I’d do the same to replace him because the chance you can count on him at all again this year is remote.
Jeff Locke – 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 3.22. Mr. Locke is smiling with an orange wedge in his mouth while giving all opposing hitters a ticket to walkabout the bases.
Pedro Alvarez – 4-for-4 and his 32nd homer. Pedro from Pittsburgh is on the precipice of a terrific season vs. a very productive one. If he can get his average up to .250 (it’s at .240), RBIs up to 100 (at 86) and homers up to 35, it will be terrific. If his average falls to .230 and his power dries up, it’ll be just a very productive one. I await your outcome, Pe-Al.
Neil Walker – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. And he sits directly on the precipice of a very boring season and a kinda boring season that was useful at times.
Aramis Ramirez – 4-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer. Just when you think they’re dead, the Zombinos rise up like some machine in a James Cameron-imagined future that the Hitter-Tron would try to fondle.
Jonathan Lucroy – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 5th steal. I haven’t mentioned him much this year, but he’s been right there with the top five at his position on our Player Rater. Pretty much guaranteed to be underrated again next year like Wilin Rosario was this year. For some reason, it takes an extra year for people to trust catchers not over-hyped like Posey, Wieters or Mauer.
Robinson Cano – First, J.A. Happ breaks Granderson’s forearm, now he nearly puts Cano out of commission by hitting him on the hand with a pitch. In December, a man wearing nothing but a Yankees cap is going to enter the Burlingame, California home of J.A. Happ and is going to do things to J.A.’s Chinese food leftovers. Cano is listed as day-to-day with the x-rays coming back negative, which is a positive.
Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and two more homers (27, 28). Could someone tell Rudy’s slightly younger self to draft us Soriano instead of Berkman?
Alex Rodriguez – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer, 2nd in as many games. It must be nice to be playing with the fear of no repercussions for anything he’s doing since he’s already suspended. If he’s like me, I’d be shooting up between pitches and, to add insult to injury, I’d be doing it with a Selig-inspired toupee glued to my helmet. With the test tubes of PEDs, syringes, Bunsen burners, a bad wig and glasses, it would look like A-Rod’s doing a Jerry Lewis Nutty Professor impersonation.
Curtis Granderson – 2-for-4 and his 7th steal. That’s in 32 games. You gotta really appreciate guys who try to give you their 162-game projections in a quarter of a season.
Justin Verlander – 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. Game was called due to rain in the 6th, but Verlander was already out of it, having thrown 104 pitches. What a shizzshow his season has been. Stupid curse of being on the cover of Madden Baseball.
Paul Clemens – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks. Nothing to see here. In fact, this Clemens’s nickname is Socket, because he gets lit up.
Matt Dominguez – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs. From the files of Do As I Say And Not As I Do, pick up Dominguez. The man is on fire. Hit it, Alicia Keys…He’s on fiiiiiiiiire!
Robbie Grossman – 3-for-5, 1 run and hitting near .350 over the last week. Note to self: Don’t get excited about Astro hitters; no one wants to own them. Note to self, II: Do as you do, Grey. Your handsome, people will follow your lead.
Avisail Garcia – 2-for-4, 1 RBI. He was day-to-day with something-or-other the other day (crack reporting right there!) and I dropped him, but I’m about to pick him up again. Me likey.
Jordan Danks – 3-for-4 and his 6th steal (88 ABs) and had a homer the other day (3rd; not Thirdsday, you buffoon; his third homer). I picked him up briefly on Monday, but saw the White Sox were facing a lefty and Danks sits for those, so I dropped him, but I could see streaming Danks in a deep mixed league lineup when he’s facing righties.
Matt Kemp – Ran with no issues. Did he chew gum at the same time too? Inquiring minds…
Desmond Jennings – 0-for-4, lowering his average to .248. I’m giving him until Sunday and then I’m dropping him. Jennings, you’ve been served!
Erick Aybar – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs. I looked at his player page for signs from his most recent games but didn’t find any, so I’m gonna hold off on the hot schmotato talk, but I’m a cyclops with a monocle with this guy.
Mike Trout – 2-for-5 and his 23rd homer. With MT, every glass is half-full.
Nate Eovaldi – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks. I’d be all over Eovaldi like a white glove on a lady named Muffy, but he tends to have these completely unforeseeable blow ups (3 IP, 9 ER vs. the Giants; 4 IP, 6 ER vs. the Brewers).
Christian Yelich – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer. I’m trying to get a read on where Yelich will go in next year’s draft, but I keep looking at Yahoo’s new player pages and getting blinded. A colored background with white font? Who was the web designer who sold them on this? Did they also get a free Geocities account with their order? Unless Yelich goes completely Septacular, he will probably go around 150 overall next year, and will be someone I’ll be looking at.
Ross Ohlendorf – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.49 in 43 1/3 IP. This is the best The Dorf has looked since the VHS tapes of The Dorf on Golf sold out in fifteen minutes. I would not, however, trust him in any league.
Danny Salazar – 4 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks. In this game between the Indians and Braves, the first 5,000 people dressed as racist stereotypes were admitted for free, the first pitch was thrown out by Ted Danson in black face and the 7th inning stretch featured The Vapors singing Turning Japanese. Someone asked yesterday if I thought Salazar would go deep enough into games this year to be worthwhile in redraft leagues, and no, no I don’t think he will. The Indians are being conservative with him, which is dandy for them, not so much for us.
Alex Wood – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks. As you know, Razzball has grown leaps and bounds this year, so I was thinking it would be a good time to have our first media backlash. Could someone do an ad in the spirit of Got Milk with Alex Wood, only it says “Got Wood” and his white mustache is not milk?
Shane Victorino – 3-for-3, 4 runs, 7 RBIs and 2 homers (10, 11). This is the greatest day in Hawaiian history since King Kamehameha added sugar to his bread. “We got sugar cane, we got pineapple, but those damn Samoans are still bigger than us. We need sugar in our bread!”
Mike Napoli – 1-for-5 and his 17th homer. As I’ve been maintaining for a few months now, he’ll get to 25 homers on the year or my name isn’t Grey Hashtag Albright.
Will Middlebrooks – 2-for-4, 2 runs. Facing the Giants and Dodgers pitching staffs in pitchers’ parks didn’t help Middlebrooks over the last week, but I’d still continue to roll him out there now that they’re back in Fenway.
Felix Doubront – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA is at 3.74, which is about where I projected him when I named him a sleeper in the preseason, which kinda shows the absurdity of ranking 100+ starters. I mean, I’ll still do it, but in most leagues, the top 40 starters are really all that matter.
Wei-Yin Chen – 3 2/3 IP, 8 ER. Um, ouch? Well, his ERA was at 3.19 before this game which isn’t realistic for him, so it was bound to happen at some point. He’s much more of a 3.75 ERA pitcher with a plus or minus of .25. And that’s me weighing in on Wei-Yin.
Jon Niese – 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks. I love Jon Niese (not really)! I really, really love him (still don’t)! He came up huge for me in a streaming capacity, looking a lot like the schmohawk I thought he was going to be this preseason. I’m holding him for his next start (in Washington), but not confidently and may just drop him if someone else shows themselves. FWIWerth, the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t love his next start, and I’ve nearly talked myself out of him already.
Brandon Belt – 4-for-5, 2 runs. Belt’s power recently went the way of the drawstring pants, but he’s still hitting for average.
Hunter Pence – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer. Since he’s gone a while with fewer homers than steals, he played this game wearing tissue boxes for cleats and peeing into milk bottles. Luckily, someone caught Pablo before he drank what he thought was Fanta pineapple soda.
Pablo Sandoval – 3-for-4 and his 10th homer. Ever since I told you to drop his oval ass, he’s been hitting. This was the first sign of power, but as anyone who watched the playoffs last year knows he can get hot.
Jason Kubel – Designated for assignment, but the D-Backs are still on the line for $8.5 million owed to him. Diamondbacks get rid of top arm prospects and throw away money on veteran bats. In related news, Kevin Towers should be fired this offseason.
Brad Ziegler – 1 IP, 2 ER and the blown save. Ugh. It was bound to happen, but Ziegler’s reverting back to the marginal reliever he was every year prior that can’t get out lefties. Their different shaped scissors scares him. With Putz on the DL, there’s no one really to step in so Ziegler will probably keep the job for a little while longer.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting over .300 in the last week with two homers. Rico Sauve is usually pretty yawnstipating, but I’d own him when he’s going well.
Adam Eaton – 3-for-5, 2 runs, hitting near .350 in the last week. Yelp reviews are saying this Eaton is, “terrific” and “there’s always available parking.”
Dustin Ackley – 3-for-3, hitting near .400 in the last week and had a homer earlier this week. Cleanliness is next to Godliness so Dustin is trying to get to heaven, and he’s a hot schmotato.
Joe Kelly – 6 IP, 1 ER, 11 baserunners, 1 K. Only a Cardinals pitcher can get away with 11 baserunners, 1 K and only allowing one run. Seriously. I’m flummoxed. I’m full of flummoxie. I’m a lummox on the flummoxie tip.
James Shields – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.14 and raising his record to 9-8. Murray Chass would say he’s just barely trying.
Danny Duffy – The Royals are calling him up to face the Twins today. That’s a great stream for Ks, but could either give you a 4 IP, 6 ER, 7 Ks game or a 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks game, i.e., it’s risky to rock a Duffy to rock a Duffy that’s right on time, it’s risky.
Mike Moustakas – Out a few games with strep throat. Fun fact! In the 1800’s, if a woman removed an undergarment for a man before marriage people would walk by her and do that thing where you cough, say ‘slut’ and cough again, so ‘strip throat’ then changed over the years to strep throat.