After the Orioles played 18 innings on Tuesday, delirium set it in and they said, “We’ve had two bean and cheese burritos since 6 o’clock and we have to pull a double shift ice trucking. Somebody gives us a Christian side hug right now or we’re calling up Dylan Bundy. Okay, fine.” Only they did it with no punctuation and in a spot-on Christopher Walken impersonation. For the ostriches with their heads stuck in the sand, Dylan Bundy is the Orioles 19-year-old who has been labeled by some as the best prospect to come out of high school since Babe Ruth had sex with Miss Agatha Hannigan and he was kicked out of his orphanage. Bundy’s A-Ball numbers were insane. He was too good for A-Ball. A-Ball called a press conference and said, “You’re embarrassing us. Please leave” In 30 innings, he had 40 Ks and 2 walks. Only giving up 5 hits and zero earned runs. High-A wasn’t quite as bonkers, but wasn’t far off — 57 IP, 66 Ks and 18 walks with a 2.84 ERA. In Double-A, it seemed like people started to finally catch up to his talent level, but he only threw 16 2/3 IP and had 13 Ks with a 3.24 ERA. The Orioles also told him to stop using his cutter. They said go with your 99 MPH fastball, i.e., I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Cutter. So he’s adjusting. Even without the cutter, he’s going to be a number one, an ace, the head cheese, the big mahoff, the big fish in the big pond, the best, Jerry, the best. If he’s somehow not owned in your keeper, I’d grab him immediately. I imagine he’ll start the year at Double-A and be in The Show, as the grizzled scouts call it, by June of 2013. For this year, he’s not much more than a middle reliever. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Andy Pettitte – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks. Going into the game he was supposed to be on a 70 pitch count, but after 68 pitches, Girardi sent him out for the fifth and he got through the inning in 7 pitches for the win. Regarding Girardi sending him back out, never underestimate a grown man, who gets braces, wanting to make people happy. For his next start, Pettitte will be on a 90 pitch count, but if he noogies Girardi, he’ll get to throw 100.
David Phelps – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. Be interesting if the one Yankee starter without any hype actually becomes the one who breaks out with value. And by interesting, I obviously mean not really that interesting. He’s always had decent K-rates in the minors, but he’s been dogged by injuries and it would be slightly shocking if he became a fantasy number three next year. For this year, he’s probably headed back to the bullpen with Pettitte’s return. Or maybe the Yanks trade him for Jay Buhner Jr.
Andrelton Simmons – Sat out yesterday with a sore shoulder, but the Braves hope he’s back for Friday. Andrelton has now been healthy/not healthy too many times. Should Braves fans learn how to pronounce your name or not, man?!
Max Scherzer – He says he’s hoping to make his next start. I say you put “hopes” in one hand and a sore shoulder in your other hand and tell me which one you can lift.
Miguel Cabrera – 1-for-3 with his 41st homer. Now has 6 homers in the last week. “I’d like to dedicate this H2H trophy to Miguel Cabrera. Yes, my trophy is technically just a mule I’ve dressed in lady undergarments because I’ve watched Maria Full of Grace too many times, but it’s still significant to me.”
Lance Berkman – When asked about whether he could return this year, he said, “I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m not ruling it in, either.” I’m guessing he plays all the numbers and the line between the Pass and Do Not Pass.
Yadier Molina – 2-for-3 with his 20th homer. David Freese also went deep yesterday for his 20th homer. I’m surprised by Freese, but I’m downright shocked by Yadier. As anyone who likes to criticize me knows, I wasn’t high on Molina this year (or any year, for that matter). When I recap everyone in the offseason, I’ll go more into depth here, but let me just say a 30-year-old catcher crushing his previous career high in homers, no one saw this coming…except maybe A.J. Pierzynski.
Daisuke Matsuzaka – 3 IP, 5 ER. Dice-K, there’s too much meat on that gyro.
Pedro Ciriaco – 2-for-4, 2 runs with his 15th steal. I get the feeling the Red Sox aren’t going to be starting Ciriaco next year (due to trading for people, or buying free agents), but he seems like the kind of guy that isn’t drafted in some mixed leagues, or very late, and ends up giving good value next year. Like a .290+ average and 30 steals.
Alcides Escobar – 3-for-3 with a steal. Speaking of a .290+ average and 30 steals…
Alejandro De Aza – 4-for-5, no runs and a caught stealing. I only point that out because Rudy and I have about $8,000 riding on a few runs and some steals. We have a friggin’ Mike Trout vacuum on this team. While he’s been incredible, everyone else in our fantasy clubhouse feels like they don’t need to do anything. Get your head out of your De Aza!
Brett Anderson – Fell down throwing a pitch in the 3rd inning and strained his oblique. There’s injury prone and there’s accident prone. Brett Anderson walks that tightrope between the two, falls, lands awkwardly in the net and hurts something.
Matt Harvey – 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I just went over my Matt Harvey fantasy, so I’ll keep this brief — I’ll see you next year on my fantasy teams. Bye-bye! (Okay, I also wanted to be brief because I want to watch Survivor…. Jeff Kent! Okay, back from watching, hmm…I hope Jeff Kent knows there’s no 15-day DL on Survivor.)
Aroldis Chapman – Threw yesterday without incident, but will need a few more sessions to work on command. That never stopped Marmol!
Ryan Ludwick – He left yesterday’s game with tightness in his groin. Sounds like someone saw Blair from The Facts of Life in wet mom jeans.
Ruben Tejada – 3-for-5, 1 run and his 3rd steal. With 409 ABs, he’s batting .289 from leadoff (for the majority of his ABs) and he only has 48 runs. How?! I’ve mentioned this before, but could someone please look up if anyone’s ever batted first for the majority of the season and had so few runs as Tejada? Or tweet the question to Tim Kurkjian and let him look it up.
Jimmy Rollins – 1-for-3 with his 22nd homer. He now has more homers, steals and runs scored than anyone else in the last week. Meanwhile, Kimmy Collins put a recipe for a blueberry milkshake on her Pinterest page.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Left yesterday’s game with renewed wrist soreness. He says he might be able to return this weekend. Sounds like *pinkie to mouth* wristful thinking.
Adrian Beltre – Sat out yesterday as he dealt with intestinal issues. It seems it’s also “he who dealt it, felt it.”
Josh Hamilton – Missed yesterday’s game because of sinus issues. Same thing used to sideline Felix Unger.
Joe Nathan – Returned to action to put a nail in the-relatively-close-to-LA Angels’ heart. Though it wasn’t a save situation, so I don’t know why Nathan needed to pitch last night after sitting for six days. Guess mine is not to reason why.
Luis Cruz – 4-for-9 in the doubleheader. Now has a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .300 in 233 ABs (with nothing else notable).
Matt Kemp – 3-for-8, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer. Or 19 more than Chris Brown.
Michael Morse – 3-for-8, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a homer as he returned to the lineup. I’m guessing he got a cortisone shot.
Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4 with his 30th homer. This is his first 30-homer season since 2007 back when he was 46 years old.
Andrew Cashner – Shut down for the year with a recurrence of his lat problems. Would’ve been nice if he mentioned that the lat was hurting him before I threw him into my lineup for his last abomination. Too much to ask, apparently.
Marco Estrada – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks. The Stream-o-Nator had him as 124 score, which comes after it took a couple of lumps the other day. Stream-o-Nator, “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for most of the year!”
Norichika Aoki – 2-for-4 with his 9th homer. Here’s a little insight into how I write these roundups. I first write, “Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball,” then I write, “Norichika Aoki -” and just assume he’s going to do something.
Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-4 with a slam (29) and legs (19). The Dread Pirate’s kicking some booty! I think that’s a pun.
Jordan Zimmermann – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks. For a young pitcher, Zimmermann’s been remarkably consistent. I’m gonna geek out for a second, because this got me all jazzed. Going into yesterday’s game, Zimmermann’s K-rate was 6.98; in 2011 it was 6.92. His walk rate was 1.88 and 1.73 the year before. His xFIP was 3.74 and last year 3.78. He threw a 93.9 MPH fastball 61.8% of the time and last year he threw a 93.4 MPH fastball 61.3% of the time. He threw exactly a 84.6 MPH slider both this year and last and one year 24% of the time and one year 24.1% of the time. There’s more similarities: his changeup, curveball, BABIP, LOB%… It’s like there’s a glitch in the Matrix, whoa…. Throwing luck out the window, he is exactly what we’ve seen the last two years — a reliable number two fantasy starter.
Gorkys Hernandez – 1-for-4, 2 steals. I was just saying that we might have to wait for Gorkys’ Revenge to see the speed, but this is Gorkys II: The Next Day and guess what I’m peeping through the hole in the locker room? SAGNOF!
Pablo Sandoval – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (9) and legs (1). There was a special giveaway yesterday in AT&T Park, everyone over 300 pounds gets a 50 foot lead off of first.
Angel Pagan – 2-for-5, 2 runs and a steal. He’s now hit in 9 of the past ten games with three steals in that time frame. With 8 homers, 27 steals and a .291 average on the year, he’s quietly having a productive season. Well, less quiet now.
Kris Medlen – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Okay, live with me for a second. Since I picked up Medlen, his stats on my team are: 7 wins, 0.60 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 63 Ks in 60 1/3 IP. Hello, gorgeous! What’s your name? Kris? That’s an androgynous name and I’m oddly turned on. Do you want to watch me eat this corn on the cobb without using my hands?