My favorite move clubs make is the manager says so-and-so is the closer, but then use someone else and that other player becomes the closer. A close second is when they say so-and-so pitcher just didn’t have his best stuff, then roll him out there one more time, watch him get rocked and then say he has a broken elbow. But my third favorite club move is when they hold a rookie back for some arbitrary arbitration day. Everyone knows it’s arbitrary, but it’s done because clubs are cheap and want to hold the rights. Super Two, stupid two. Amiright? But there’s one move clubs do that you don’t see that often that might be crazier. Calling up a prospect — Oscar Taveras — right before his Super Two status changes. That’s crazy like a fox! Three weeks ago, Cards GM said, “I know a lot’s being made out of Oscar … coming to St. Louis, but right now I don’t even think it’s a logical thing to do.” I get that Fatt Adams just hit the DL, but wouldn’t you wait just a few more days at this point? Bizzonkers, but it’s the kind of crazy I can get behind because it brings with it one of the best — if not the best — prospect in the majors. Here’s what I’ve said previously about him, “From what I’ve heard (read), Taveras’s biggest strike against him is he doesn’t see any strikes — turn of a phrase point! He’s being compared to Vladimir Guerrero without having knees like Mama from Mama’s Family. Taveras swings and hits everything. Also, like Vlad, his swing is long, unwieldy and it looks like he could swing at pitches above his head and in the dirt on two consecutive pitches. (Google video of Oscar Taveras if you don’t believe me; what, you don’t believe me? My feelings are hurt.) What wasn’t mentioned, his stats also look like a young Vlad. I will call you, Vladimir Guerrerito. He can hit for power and steal bases. At twenty years old, he hit 23 homers in 477 ABs with 11 steals in Double-A in 2012, his last full year of minor league ball.” And that’s me quoting me! Later on in my Oscar Taveras article from November, I gave him this line 42/10/32/.288/8 for this year if he were to be called up in June. Still sounds about right. Basically, A.J. Pollock, but there’s a chance here for huge upside, so he’s ownable in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Robinson Cano – Missed his fourth straight day due to his bruised hand. Cano had at least 159 games played in seven straight seasons prior to this hand issue. I tell you that because it gives you an idea of how serious the hand injury must be, even if the Mariners aren’t letting on. Cano is not a player that sits out here and there unless there’s a real problem. In more succinct terms, get ready for the latest first round casualty. In even more succinct terms, uh-oh. Succincter, yikes.
Roenis Elias – 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks. Elias Sports Bureau said, “That’s our boy!” I have to give credit to Rudy for telling me to draft Elias in my NFBC league when he was simply SP Placeholder Nine. I thought maybe I was getting at most SP Placeholder Seven or Eight, but he’s been closer to a Five. Even after his huge game, he’s still more of a deep league play, but he’s very close to an all-league play. One more great start and he’ll be there, so depending on how bad you need upside/risk, I could see the gamble.
Brad Miller – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer. I told you he’d be good! *slowly tiptoes out of the room*
James Jones – 2-for-4, 1 RBI and his 6th steal. SAGNOF! Or like his much, deeper voiced namelganger, sagnof. It reads the same way just lower.
Matt Wieters – Not close to returning, and has to decide by July 1st if he’s going to have season-ending surgery. All because he can’t throw. <sarcastic>Too bad the Orioles don’t have a DH spot for him.</sarcastic>
Nelson Cruz – Day-to-day after taking a pitch off his hand. That sound you hear is his owners breathing a sigh of relief. At some point he will get injured and miss a significant portion of the season, but the hand issue from yesterday doesn’t seem like it will be his fantasy chloroform.
Manny Machado – 2-for-4, 2 runs and a grand slam & legs. That’s his 3rd homer and first steal. Macho-macho-Machado man! I miss him, but I still don’t love him for this year. Don’t worry, we’ll get back on the Machado train next year.
Matt Dominguez – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. I think every one of his homers has come on a Sunday. He should change his last name every day. Or marry Jemile and Rickie’s sister and take her last name.
A.J. Pollock – Will miss 6-8 weeks after being beaned by a Cueto pitch on the hand. How many Pollocks does it take to get out of the way of a Cueto pitch? More than one, apparently.
Alfredo Simon – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks. Uh-oh, Simon’s going full Ye. *grabs mic from The Regression Fairies* I’m real happy for you, Regression Fairies, and imma let you finish, but first I’m gonna be the greatest of all time!
Ryan Ludwick – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer. Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey all homered in this game, but the one that stands out to me is Ludwick. He’s not starting every day, but if he gets hot, he will, and he’s capable of being much better than he has been. Not a hot schmotato yet, but on the watch list.
Jason Hammel – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.78. If you own Hammel, I feel like you have to start him every time out, because he gets hit or throws a great game with no rhyme or reason. In Petco — gets rocked, against a top offense — throws shutout baseball. Hammel will make you go humma-humma-humma.
Jeff Samardzija – 3 IP, 8 ER. It’s a jerky move after a guy is shelled to tell you that I told you to sell him two weeks ago. It’s soooooooo not a jerky move to point out I told you to sell Samardzija after a terrible game by indirectly alluding to it.
Kyle Lohse – 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.60 and raising his record to 7-1. When he was a 5+ K-rate, 2 BB-rate guy in previous years, I had nothing nice to say. I was stingy with my compliments and effusive with criticism like a backwards Dale Carnegie. But Lohse’s evolved into a 7 K-rate, 1+ BB/9 guy which is completely usable.
Wily Peralta – 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER on Saturday. My apologies, he got bombed because I picked him up for this game. Sure be nice if Wily would walk a guy rather than throwing a homer ball. Sure be nice. Or as my bumper sticker says, “Free Wily from throwing strikes and killing trainers at Sea World.”
Mike Trout – Missed two straight games with back stiffness. There’s at least one owner in every league that would happily give him a full-body rub-down.
Jacob deGrom – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks on Saturday. And the Gods came together on the last day of May. And they said, “Let us bestow on the Mets one glimmer of a lil’ something-something.” It was a terrific start. If you’re denyin’, I’m flyin’ (to tell you you’re incorrect). Nothing in his minor league numbers indicate he has big strikeout numbers, but he throws relatively fast and hitters may not be aware of his stuff, so it’s catching them off guard. There could be some immediate upside, but he’s more of a number three than a number one.
Michael Pineda – Shut down with back inflammation. Member those days when Pineda’s shut downs were shutouts? We were younger then, and you had more hair!
Masahiro Tanaka – 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.06. In case you haven’t been listening to our Razzball TV on the Radio, Nick traded Tanaka to Jay(Wrong) for Kemp. Trying not to laugh. Trying harder. Still trying. Failing.
Chase Whitley – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.37. He sounds like the guy who shows up halfway through the first hole because he had to drop his six-year-old off at Portuguese lessons because him and Muffy want Junior to be able to speak to the maid in her language. In reality, a converted reliever that can’t go deeper than five innings even against the Twins isn’t a great bet for success going forward. He gets the peasant Royals next and the Stream-o-Nator hates it and I understand that.
Phil Hughes – 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks in Yankee Stadium. The conquering hero returns home with the trophy wife and tells his classmates at the reunion that he just sold his tech company to Facebook for $3.8 billion. Whether he goes into the parking lot and gets mugged by his old high school buddy and wishes he hadn’t been carrying around $3.8 billion in his glove compartment is unclear, but, at this point, we have to assume he holds onto his newfound riches (and pitches).
Trevor Plouffe – 2-for-4, RBI, has hit in five straight and has two homers in the last week. I went to pick him up after this game, but he was already owned by new Razzball writer, Paul Singman, who’s writing about short schedule pickups.
Josh Willingham – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer and 2nd in three games. The North American Council of Pork couldn’t be happier about Willingham, they’d also like to point out to please stop calling them about African-American issues, they are the NACP. Totally different organization.
Marcus Stroman – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Blue Jays are indicating he’ll be sent back down. Guess they haven’t seen enough of Liam Hendricks, or they just enjoy his clubhouse arguments with his brother, Noel Hendricks.
Mark Buehrle – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering ERA to 2.10 and moving record to 10-1. The Veteran’s Committee is talking about bypassing the required five years retirement period for Buehrle to get elected to the Hall of Fame. Also bypassing the retirement stipulation entirely.
Adam Lind – 2-for-4, 1 run, hitting .357 on the year, hitting close to .450 in the last week and he’s owned in less than 70% of ESPN leagues. That tells us there’s one person in 30% of ESPN leagues that is like, “Winning this league was totally worth making nine alias email addresses.”
Mike Moustakas – Returned fr0m the minors with Danny Valencia hitting the DL. Mostsuckass hit well in the minors, but most Quad-A players do. If you pick him up, it says more about how gullible you are then about Mostsuckass’s ability.
Tim Hudson – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, lowering his ERA to 1.75. With each great game, the deleted scene from Moneyball where the A’s actually have great pitchers seems more and more like it shouldn’t have been left on the editing room floor.
Evan Gattis – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer. Our Player Rater says the most valuable catcher on the year has been (Mesoraco), which I don’t disagree with, but if I’m just getting homers from my catcher, I wouldn’t be mad, and Gattis leads all catchers with homers. To think all of those years, all he needed was a “Will Homer For Food” sign and to stand outside of Petco.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Hit the DL with a mild concussion. Salty got the grains knocked out of him.
Marcell Ozuna – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. Fifteen years ago, there was an unreported nuclear explosion when the Dominican Republic was testing arms. A scientist was able to rescue one small child who was working in one of numerous Dominican baseball sweat shops. The scientist renamed this boy OZUNA aka Black Godzilla.
Nate Eovaldi – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. Aaron Harang (6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 2 Ks). After the game, both pitchers had an ERA of 3.24. On his Tinder profile, Eovaldi was quick to point out there is exactly zero other similarities between him and Harang.
Yu Darvish – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 12 Ks. Up until yesterday it hasn’t felt like we’ve been getting the same incredible Darvish this year, right? Yeah, well, he has a near-11 K-rate and a 2.08 ERA. You need a fantasy baseball mother to show you some less fortunate teams with some lousy pitching.
Donnie Murphy – 3-for-4, 1 RBI. Joining him in the Rangers lineup was Chris Gimenez, Luis Sardinas and Dan Robertson. What happened to the Rangers? I actually had to check that it was Adrian Beltre in their lineup and not Engel Beltre.
Corey Dickerson – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer. Here’s a total gut call, by the end of the year Dickerson will have more fantasy value than Blackmon. That’s including Blackmon’s insane first six weeks, not just going from now until the end of the year.
Carlos Santana – Likely back from his concussion on June 6th. Here’s hoping it knocked some hitting sense into him. Or at least inspiration for a new collabo with Rob Thomas.
Jason Kipnis – 0-for-4, hitting .226 with 3 homers and 12 RBIs. Not in this game, though only the RBIs would be a record (barely). I hated Kipnis in the preseason, wrote a schmohawk post for him (I won’t even point out the comments there telling me I was half a stunod), but even now I’m beginning to think there’s a small buying opportunity here. He’s not quite this egregious, Jackie Childs.
Josh Tomlin – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks. Tomlin credited the Ks to pitching angry after getting into a pregame fight with David O. Russell.
Cody Allen – On Friday and Saturday, Allen recorded back-to-back saves and it appears he’s the go-to option as closer in the Indians pen and I’d move on from Shaw, if you were still holding out hope, no matter what the Morgan Freeman voiceover in your head says about hope.
Cameron Maybin – Left Saturday’s game with calf tightness, and didn’t play Sunday. That’s so Maybin!
Chris Sale – 9 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 1.59. I hate paying retail, so I wanna like Sale. I really do. He just worries me. As I’ve said umpteenth times, he is great when he’s healthy. By the by, did you know the etymology of umpteenth comes from a tee ball ump who was fifteen years old with a lisp that was always late for games? Everyone would say they were on umpteenth time.
Brock Holt – 4-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs and his 3rd steal. This is after he hit a homer on Saturday and is hitting .337 on the season. Hard to say where he’s going to play now that Stephen Drew is joining the club, but I’d ferry cross that Mersey when I came to it and grab Holt to see how it shakes out.
Jon Lester – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks. If you click on Lester’s name, you’ll be taken to his player page. There’s a lot there, and unlike other sites, we actually tell you what guys are going to do in the future vs. only what they have done. Damn, if I could toot my horn like that more often, I’d never leave my house. Any the hoo! One number I want to point out is his FIP. If it’s below 3, then he’s a likely stud. That goes for any pitcher. If his K-rate is above 9, then he’s a likely stud. If he has both, he is a definite stud.
Will Myers – Hit the DL with a sprained wrist. He’s seeing a wrist-seeing doctor (technical term), so this news could get a lot worse before it gets better. Yes, even worse than a fifth round selection in drafts hitting .227 with five homers that makes you wish you had just drafted George Springer 20 rounds prior to where he was going and sat him in your outfield for a month prior to him even hitting. Good times. That’s what Myers has wrought on us. Like an Amish man wroughting his own jail cell from horse hooves.