The A’s called up Derek Norris, the catcher prospect they got from the Nationals. Little known fact: The Nats traded Norris because he’s less kidnappable. You might remember Derek Norris was in the huge trade Beane pulled off back in December that had Gio going to the Nats. Can you say Moneyball sequel?! Actually, if you can’t say it, you might have a speech impediment. Norris put up solid power numbers in the minors — 20 homers in Double-A in 2010; 8 homers in 55 games in Triple-A this year, while cutting his Ks and holding a good part of his already-sweet walk rate. Norris is up there with the best hitting catcher prospects in the game. Jesus Montero and…uh…Devin Mesoraco, for sure…then, uh, Rosario on the Rockies…Travis d’Arnaud’s supposed to be special– Well, either way, catchers don’t really mature as quickly in the majors for fantasy purposes. They’re calling games, they’re poppin’ and squattin’, they’re doing stuff. As Yogi could’ve said, “Catching a baseball game is the hardest thing to do without having to read Chinese.” There’s no indication that the A’s are ready to trade-in their Suzuki sidekick yet for spare parts, so Norris may only play three to four days a week. In two catcher and AL-Only leagues, I’d grab Norris immediately, but I picture him this year giving something that you can get from just about any catcher off of waivers in most mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Yoenis Cespedes – 1-for-4 as he hit a walkoff homer to win the game for the A’s. Fidel Castro issued a statement following the game. Here it is in its entirety, “I considered Yoenis a brother even if we weren’t blood, similar to the Doobie Brothers. And I’m not talking the Michael McDonald Doobie Brothers. They were crap! I mean, the original Doobies. That was us, Yoenis. Now you play for a club whose uniform colors are capitalist pig colors! Green and gold? Do they let you ring a bell before each game to commence the exchange of dollars and cents? Now, I go listen to the music by myself… Oh, oh, listen to the music.” Wow, powerful stuff.
Travis Blackley – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks. We have Hodgepadres (borderline starters that are only good in Petco), we have Marginers (borderline M’s starters in Safeco), how do we not have a term for borderline A’s starters at O.co? Please suggest in the comments. Thank you!
Jacob Turner – 5 IP, 9 baserunners (5 BBs; one intentional), 3 Ks. His minor league numbers this year have been ugly (5+ K-rate, 4+ walk rate). He’s also only 21 years old. Have a beer and come back to me when you can walk two less and strikeout two more per nine! Damn, I’m a tough love guy, huh? Lucky, I don’t have any kids (that I know of; but there was this one girl I dated who used to do handstands after intercourse. She said she was an acrobat, but when I challenged her to walk on a clothesline, she balked. Any the hoo!) I’d say I’m going to mention Turner in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell, but I won’t. He may not even stay in the Tigers rotation for another start, and I wouldn’t want him outside of AL-Only leagues even if he did.
James McDonald – 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. We talked a bit about McDonald on this week’s podcast. The general gist was he shouldn’t be looked at as a guy that will regress to not being useful. By the way, did you know General Gist was my high school band? Our first album was Neither Here Nor There with the hit song, “Vaguely Telling You Something Or Other.”
Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-4 with his 13th homer and his 5th homer this week. I’m not going to mention him in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell because you don’t need to be told things twice. “I love Giancarlo, hate Ryan Zimmerman, sell Lance Lynn, sell Chris Sale, indifferent on David Wright but people think I hate him.” And that’s me quoting me! Okay, I won’t tell you anything else twice.
Jeff Francis – 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks. Rockies re-signed Scrawny Francis showing everybody is somebody’s fool. If you read re-signed as resigned, the sentence would still work. Ever wonder what some of these pitchers would do if there was never a Rockies team? It’s A Wonderful Life starring Jeff Francis. “Mike Hampton, what are you doing in my tryouts for major league clubs?” “I’m not Mike Hampton. I’m Clarence Hampton, his twin brother.”
Chris Nelson – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in as many games. You say hot, I say schmotato…
Wilin Rosario – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer. There was a Wilin Rosario sleeper post. But who wants to click on shizz, so I’ll grab the still pertinent info, “Rosario strikes out alot and has a minimal walk-rate so he’s never going to win you a batting title. With that in mind, go look at his career ISO across all levels: those kind of power numbers make ISO horny! If J.P. Arencibia taught us anything last year, HRs are nice even when they come with a .220 average, which Wilin might saddle you with.” Not a bad call by Sky, who’s now over at the fantasy football blog section-a-ma-whosies of Razzball.
Gio Gonzalez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks. Who’s a top 5 pitcher in the major leagues? Who told you to draft him before anyone else had any sense to tell you to draft him? Yup and uh-huh. Shower me with your love. Now rub your loofah on me. Down a little. What, too much?
Vance Worley – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners 2 Ks to lower his ERA to 2.78. Hey, if you got him, roll with him, but I don’t trust him after that elbow issue. Sorry, over-the-internet friend.
Chase Utley – Could rejoin the Phillies next week. So far he’s batting .217 in High-A. You’re a high person if you think he’s going to be able to do anything close to what he used to.
Matt Moore – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners (4 BBs), 6 Ks. Walks weren’t only an issue this game; he’s been pretty poor in that department all year (4+ walk rate). Really besides his K-rate, none of his peripherals are telling that pleasant of a story. Even more odd (odder? Hello, mudder, hello odder?), he can’t get lefties out. They’re hitting .321 against him before tonight. That’s deadly, Moore; lefties are hitting the ball somewhere between the moon and New York City. He’s not a Buy, that’s for sure. If I could sell him to someone who thought he was about to turn a corner, I’d consider it.
Will Middlebrooks – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer. Meanwhile, Youk was on a QVC simulcast to all major league teams.
Clayton Kershaw – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks. I don’t want to scream fire in the theater of Razzball because Kershaw has been more than solid this year, but he’s also lost quite a bit on his K-rate and he’s throwing his curveball almost twice as often. Hope it’s just a blip on the radar because my tramp stamp with his name is getting harder to explain. Maybe I can alter it to “The Crack U Saw.”
Omar Infante - 2-for-4 with a steal. Now has a modest three game hitting streak. Okay, very modest. But he’s five for his last eight and might be coming out his monthlong slump.
Giancarlo Stanton - 2-for-3 with a slam & legs, and, better still, the end of that nasty three week slump. I want to scream hallelujah into the nearest Giancarlophone. That’s what I call microphones now.