Before you read this, I want you to go outside and look at the birds chirping. Smell the freshly-cut grass. Look up at the sun that your deity of choice made from a very large matchstick. Pat your kid on the head and tell them, “I don’t love you any more today than I did yesterday, but let’s act like I do because I won’t see you for a good six months because baseball’s back.” One more time with caps lock bringing the enthusiasm, BASEBALL IS BACK. As frequent commenter, Eric W. said, “I keep getting excited for opening night Sunday, then have to remind myself it is the Astros vs the Rangers. It’s kinda like getting to open one present on Xmas Eve and getting socks.” Yay — baseball! It’s the Astros vs. the Rangers. Okay, lowercase yay. But it’s a rivalry that dates back to Sam Houston! Don’t remember that? You should’ve rented a car at Alamo last night. Am I mixing up commercials? Eh, who cares? I’m excited! Texas is the largest state in the 48 contiguous states, it’s just too bad baseball is its third most popular sport behind football and “shootin’ empty Shiner cans.” Whatever. Baseball is back and even Selig’s badly-shorn toupee can’t change that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Bud Norris – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. I wouldn’t say “Norris in walk(ov)er Texas Ranger.” He showed glimmers of why I liked him as a late round flyer this year. That didn’t change with this performance, but he didn’t show great control. Leaving balls in the zone at times when he should’ve lost them in the dirt. Don’t let the Astros, and their $18.7 million payroll, persuade you to ‘try and keep the balls clean.’
Justin Maxwell – 2-for-3, 2, runs and 2 RBIs. On pace for 324 RBIs and 324 runs. Someone’s looking like a breakout! I’m kidding. This is Maxwell. Get smart.
J.D. Martinez – After being demoted last week in favor of Fernando Martinez, the Astros recalled J.D. and DL’d Fernando. Obviously what’s going on is the Astros are so cheap they only have one Martinez jersey.
Rick Ankiel – 1-for-2, 3 RBIs and a home run. 0.4% of mixed league owners rejoice!
Matt Harrison – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks. My sweet lord, Harrison, it’s the Astros! Lucky I told everyone to avoid him. What? You didn’t listen? Aw, poo.
Leonys Martin – 0-for-3. Ron Washington said some magical words for fantasy owners on Saturday. Martin will be stealing as many bases as he can. Well, specifically, Washington said, “Any guy that can get down a line quicker than me deserves to have the green light.”
Jose Fernandez – First thing I do when I have a prospect question is search the site to see what Scott, our prospect writer, said. What I found, was a whole Jose Fernandez fantasy. He didn’t stop there, he also talked about him in the Marlins prospect preview post in October. There he said, “Fernandez broke out in 2012, posting a 1.75 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and a 10.6 K/9 between Low-A and High-A. The 20-year-old has legitimate ace-potential, and should find himself in the top-15 on most prospect lists this offseason. Now, if I were making a top-15 list of Well-Groomed Mustaches, Grey wouldn’t make it. When I blow up his picture 1000% in my laboratory, I can see cheese microbes.” Wow, Scott has a laboratory? That’s awesome! So, the Marlins are an interesting beast. They sell off all of their pieces, but they promote within quickly. After watching that Showtime series last year about the Marlins. I’m 50/50 on whether they even know about the arbitration clock. Within their minor league system, they’re run like, “We gotta make it to the playoffs this year!” From the major league level, they’re run like, “Let’s make sure we ship in our concession stands’ Cracker Jack from Chile because it’s four-hundredths of a cent cheaper. They pop their corn in yak oil.” I’d absolutely grab Jose Fernandez in all leagues. He has the chance to be lights out and could go 160 innings. He has the stuff that could make him a top ten starter in all of baseball within a year. For this year, I’ll give him the line of: 7-8/3.74/1.31/120 in 130 innings. Absolutely can be better. And worse. That’s the rookie nookie blessing and curse.
Justin Ruggiano – Here’s a move that will prolly anger a lot of youse that didn’t follow my rankings: the Marlins are platooning Ruggiano with Coghlan. As I said in my rankings, “(Ruggiano will) be 31 years old this year and he is a journeyman who shouldn’t have a starting job on a major league team.” And that’s me copying and pasting me! Ruggiano is and will be garbage who happened to be hot garbage for a short time last year. Ruggiano will only face lefties and is droppable in most mixed leagues.
Nate Eovaldi – DL’d with a sore shoulder. Pitchers may jog in from right in Miami, but this move is outta left field. (The beginning of the previous sentence put through “I Was Raised A Jew” Meme Generator spits back, “True players mah jong in Miami.”) The Marlins obviously saved all of their big moves for the last day. “Hey, guys, um, I think the season starts tomorrow.” “Nah, doode, season starts in April.” “I’m pretty sure Monday is April.” “Crap, I told you not to Yard Sale all of our calenders.” This honestly sounds like a move that isn’t true, but MLB doesn’t enforce their DL and there’s some kind of loophole with the DL that saves the Marlins money. In NL-Only leagues, you DL Eovaldi as he tries to compose himself and in mixed leagues you drop him. I wouldn’t be shocked if Eovaldi pitches out of the pen for a lot of this year while Fernandez gets a long look.
Henderson Alvarez – Also to the DL with a shoulder ailment. This too is a BS injury due to my recently-invented DL Loophole Conspiracy Theory. Alvarez will be replaced by Alex Sanabia. Sanabia is a 6-ish K/9, 4.20-ish ERA pitcher, i.e., NL-Only. I bet Alvarez will return and bump Sanabia. BTW, Bumpin’ Sanabias is the pitching equivalent of bumpin’ nasties.
Wily Peralta – With the addition of Lohse, Fiers almost went up in smoke, but Narveson got the shaft. Now, the Brewers rotation has a new low man, Wily. Here’s Sky’s Wily Peralta fantasy. I agree, Peralta is a solid end game target for your staff. He can produce a 8+ K/9, but his downfall is too many walks. As Sky pointed out, he’s YoGa-lite, which is just sitting in an eighty-four degree room in an awkward position.
Collin Cowgill – Mets named him their leadoff hitter and everyday center fielder. Aw, sookie. Here’s what I said about Cowgill when he was sent to the Mets, “Cowgill may sound like a Texas radio personality, but he’s a guy that’s languished in the minors for longer than he’s needed to. He’s ready for the majors, and there’s a chance the Mets play him. In the minors, he showed some pop and nice speed. Think 7 homers and 25 steals with an everyday job. He’s also shown the ability to take a walk in the minors, but so far in the majors (196 ABs) he’s looked overmatched with ballooning Ks. Definitely a solid flyer for NL-Only leagues and I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns a spot in an early season Buy column. You’ll hear about him much more if secures a job in Queens.” And that’s me quoting me! Grab him if you’re missing outfield depth.
Oscar Taveras – Sent down to the minors. BOO! Sorry, I was hoping to scare Beltran and have him pull a hammy. Maybe Beltran can face Wainwright in batting practice and have his knees buckled by a change. Not ‘for a change.’
Justin Sellers – The new Dodgers starting shortstop. He actually makes more sense for the Marlins…. Because they’re always Sellers! Reverse fake pump pun! So, Justin “The Inspector” Sellers got the job over Dee Gordon… I call ‘Huh?’ on that move. The Inspector isn’t worth owning in any leagues, except those that have a category, “Children of Britt Ekland.”
Luke Scott – Could miss five weeks with a strained calf. Sounds about right. Luke, you are my waiver fodder.
Manny Machado – For the last few years, Brian Roberts has *hit out of the two hole, so this year Machado will hit out of the two hole. This news makes me extremely happy. O’s face! O’s face! O’s face!
Dylan Bundy – Dealing with tightness in his elbow. Off of this news, I wouldn’t peg Bundy for arm surgery, but you’re smoking bud if you think it’s a good sign.
Darwin Barney – Gashed his knee and might miss a few games. Next time, this happens to him, he’ll only miss one game, then the time after, he won’t miss anything, then his great-great-great grandson won’t have knees but will have wings. That’s how Darwin’s evolve.
Pablo Sandoval – You might remember Injury Update #782 was “There is no update,” which wasn’t helpful at all, but Injury Update #781 was “See Injury Update #780,” which also could’ve been more insightful but it came on the heels of Injury Update #779, “He’ll be ready for Opening Day.” Unfortunately, Injury Update #783 tells us that he tried to throw on Friday and had to leave with a sore elbow. That sounds like he’s gonna need a DL stint after all. Injury Update #784, “Hey, that’s my update!” But Injury Update #785 says, “The Giants are still optimistic that Sandoval will be ready for Opening Day.”
Tyler Colvin – Sunny came home, only home was Triple-A. Sounds like Colvin’s in the Eric Young Jr. doghouse. The Rockies obviously need to get 39-year-old-hasn’t-been-good-in-seven-years Helton some at-bats. If Helton, CarGo and Cuddyer are all healthy by May 1st, I’ll eat my hat. Though, I wear a tostada as a hat, so it’s all good. Don’t worry about me.
Eric Young Jr. – Speaking of the speed demon, I know, we’ve been down this path a lot in the last few years, and EYJ still isn’t a regular, but — and this is a J. Lo-sized but — Walt Weiss says that Young is going to play a lot. I could see Weiss trying to use the oft-misused Young speed. If he’s a super-utility playing 100 games, he could get 40+ steals this year. Cust kayin’.
Eric Sogard – Named the ‘better’ side of the A’s blahtoon at 2nd base. Seriously, when is Michael Lewis coming out with the Moneyball sequel about how Beane has revolutionized platooning? Here’s some quotes from Platoonball, “If you’ve got a seven dozen position players, you need to speak 72 different languages. 73 if you want to talk to Coco Crisp.” “Teams can throw a LOOGY at us, but we’ll spit back at them six situational righties.” “We spent more money stocking our clubhouse with left-handed scissors than we did on middle infielders.”
Jedd Gyorko – Great news for his eligibility, the Padres will alternate him between 2nd and 3rd base. In high school that was called, “I don’t know if I’m ready” and “Of course you are. We’re in love.”