As I announced yesterday after inferring things from elsewhere, it’s official. Anthony Rizzo will be in tonight’s lineup vs. the Mets. I’d continue to paint the walls of your brain with more praise, but I think we’ve heard enough. If I effuse anymore, you Rizzo owners aren’t going to be able to get into your pants anymore. Let’s look at reality for a second, last year he hit 1 homer and .141 in 49 games and 128 ABs. I didn’t make those numbers up. I seriously just looked them up on the Al Gore-invented Internet. One homer, .141 average. That sounds downright Zimmermanian. Sure, it was in Petco (for his home games), and the only one that likes to hit there is Tony Gwynn and he’s hitting the buffet. Is it totally outta the realm of possibility that Anthony falls flatso? Noppers. Right now, Rizzo might be at the height of his value. Say you have Konerko, Middlebrooks and really no room for Rizzo, except by clogging up your Utility spot. I wouldn’t hold onto Rizzo waiting for his value to possibly drop out. It might take alligator blood to trade Rizzo right now, but to the bold go the fantasy spoils, or whatever that cliche is. This is not to say I think he will Triple Lindy back into Triple-A, but it’s out there as a possibility. You didn’t just back up into Miguel Cabrera off of waivers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Travis Wood – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. You know something the media hasn’t covered much? What a great year it is for pitchers with double entendre last names. We haven’t seen anything like this since The Big Unit tried a backdoor cutter. Wood has a K:BB 35:20 in 48 1/3 IP. That’s fine for NL-Only leagues, but I’d be careful letting Wood poke around my mixed league team.
Shaun Marcum – Elbow is still sore and they’re shutting him down until it gets better. My guess is it’ll be another couple of weeks. Couple is two, but is used when you want it to sound like more. For instance, “Grey, how much of a tip did you leave on that $40 check?” “A couple of bucks.”
Zack McAllister – The Indians demoted Jeanmar Gomez and are expected to call up the Zach McAttack to jam on Thursday’s start against the Orioles. I wouldn’t be friends forever with him but his numbers this year in AAA and in 25 IP in MLB (7+ K/9, < 3 BB/9) make me more excited than scared to pick him up in deep leagues.
Norichika Aoki – 1-for-3 with a homer and he stole 4 bases on Saturday. Fun fact: In Japan, porn music sounds like Norichika-Norichika-boom-boom.
Drew Stubbs – 2-for-3, 2 runs and a steal in his return from the DL. If an impatient owner dropped Stubbs, I’d pick him up. No reason why he can’t still give double digit power and great speed.
Mat Latos – 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 13 Ks. Sonavawaivers! Apparently, the kickstart he needed was me dropping him. Now I know what people mean when they say they’re Latos intolerant, cause he’s giving me an ulcer. My only consolatosion is he just came off a 4 IP, 7 ER start vs. the Indians, so it wasn’t like I was starting him in this game either way. Whatever, I held him longer than Temple Grandin stood at the Emmys in a bolo tie. I’m not going back, I’ve moved on; now please, Gee, don’t compound my agony.
Hiroki Kuroda – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.40. I’ve been surprised by the year Kuroda’s putting up. I didn’t think he had a chance to be an under-4 ERA pitcher in The Stadium They Built Across The Street From The House That Ruth Built, but he’s been Hiroki-dokie.
Carlos Ruiz – 3-for-5, 3 runs and his 3rd steal, average is now up to .354. Chooch don’t want to carry your team, and make you arepas, but Chooch will if he have to.
Jose Tabata – 1-for-4 with a homer. Now has 3 homers and a .226 average. Wow, what a terrible season he’s having. If you had him in your lineup, I’m assuming there was a death in the family and you haven’t checked your team in a while. Or you’re just dopey. Either way, my condolences.
Ricky Nolasco – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.78. This is probably a case of the grass is greener for any pitcher except Latos, but Nolasco is capable of running off a month of promise and his July ERA over the last three years is 3.29. Far and away his best month.
Jose Reyes – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs. Reyes is 14th on the Fantasy Baseball Player Rater for shortstops. Wanna find him? Just close your eyes and say Marco and wait until someone says Scutaro, then look just in front of him.
Heath Bell – 1 IP, 4 ER, Kazaam!
Eric Hosmer – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with the magnificent, the beautiful, the so-effin’-overdue slam & legs. You know how when you don’t eat for a long time, you’re not that hungry (I’m onto you, Gandhi!), then when you have one little morsel you suddenly realize how starving you are? I was past-hunger with Hosmer. Now, I want more nourishment!
Luke Hochevar – 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks. Ah, so he was the two-start pitcher to go with this week. Drats you, two start pitcher roulette! Deep Thoughts with Grey Albright: I wonder if Hochevar is Flemish, because whenever I say his name I cough up phlegm.
Alex Cobb – 8 IP, 8 ER, 13 hits and 1 K. In related news, Joe Maddon has a sore elbow so he couldn’t signal to the bullpen.
J.P. Arencibia – 1-for-4 with his 10th homer. I just dropped him for Geovany Soto, so of course he homered. I rationalized that I was still Popeil’ing with the “Set It and Forget It” at catcher because I originally drafted Soto.
Francisco Liriano – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks to lower his ERA to 5.30. He’s the Godfather of “Ugh, Again?” Every time I think I’m out, “Ugh, again?”
Ben Revere – 4-for-5 with his 15th steal, five steals in the last 10 games. The SAGNOF is coming! The SAGNOF is coming!
Jared Burton – 2nd day in a row with a save as Capps was officially DL’d yesterday and Perkins got the 8th inning Hold. Burton actually makes more sense than Perkins as the closer (righty vs. lefty; 0.90 WHIP vs. 1.33 WHIP; Richard vs. Tony talking pictures lineage).
Erasmo Ramirez – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks. I like his name; it sounds like someone in the hospital where he was born didn’t understand Spanish and the mother was actually telling them to erase the name. In Triple-A, he wasn’t anything special — under 7 K-rate, 3-ish ERA, but nice control. I don’t think he’s more than an AL-Only pitcher at this point, but he could have Marginer appeal in mixed leagues. The Ks from last night are the exception to the norm. “No! No! Erase!” “Erasmo? Okay.”
Tommy Milone – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 BBs), 5 Ks. Yesterday’s game was in Safeco, but that’s basically a home game. Sometime when you got yourself a free second, look at his Home/Away splits.
Quintin Berry – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 12th steal. You should grab him for steals, but this is more of an aside about the Tigers batting order. You get to the five hole hitter and, man (and four lady readers), that lineup takes a dive. It’s like where fantasy sleepers go to die. Raburn, Boesch, Delmon… They should lose the Old English D and throw a sideways emoticon on these guys.
Kevin Youkilis – He entered the game with his new team hitting .233 and he went 1-for-4, so he’s doing better already!
Nate Eovaldi – 5 IP, 8 ER as he put a dead horse’s Cleveland Steamer in his fantasy owner’s bed.
Ike Davis – 1-for-4 with his 9th homer as he returned to the lineup. Be like Ike! (Which is terrible for two and a half months, then finally show signs just as vultures start circling your carcass.)
Mark Prior – Placed on the minor league DL. He’s still got it!
Ryan Kalish – 2-for-4, 1 RBIs and a steal. Could be the start of something for deep leagues, but when I say Kalish has been poor, I’m being generous and insulting to the word poor. On a side note, Topps should do one of those combo cards with Kalish and Kipnis with the title, “Kosher Deli Classics.”
David Ortiz – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and 2 homers. In the Dominican Republic, Manny Ramirez was seen doing the homer hug to a TV.
Felix Doubront – 6 IP, 5 ER, 12 baserunners, 2 Ks. Doubront hasn’t looked that bad since The Majestic was released. I still like Doubront (his Ks are pretty, aside from this game), but it’s hard to be fully pot-committed to a guy you can’t fully trust in Fenway against the AL East.
Marlon Byrd – Suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancer. I wonder what the sales pitch was from the performance-enhancer supplier. “You wanna hit .050 with a long fly out? Or you wanna hit .210 with a homer?” “Is it possible I get maybe 2 homers?” “If the winds right, sure.” “Give me the needle in my buttocks, Pusher Man!” So far this year, we’ve had Marlon Byrd and Freddy Galvis test positive for performance-enhancers, and have combined for 4 homers. Has anyone tested Ryan Zimmerman?
Miguel Tejada – Speaking of performance-enhancers, Tejada was released by the O’s. In honor of what will probably be his swan song, here’s a blurb on Tejada from the Razzball archives, “News came out that Tejada is actually two years older than he had been claiming. What he’s still not telling you is, Miguel Tejada isn’t actually Latin. He’s a black guy from the Bay Area who grew up as Michael T. James. He went to the same high school as Jimmy Rollins, albeit a decade earlier. After high school, he played at a local community college for two years, then made a slow 8 year progression through the Mexican League. His game finally took off when he started taking Mexican B12 – aka El Bingo. He settled on Miguel Tejada as his Latin alias, took out the cornrows, grew a non-hip mustache, and dialed back the age odometer. In related news, Albert Pujols’ calendar has 15 months in it. Those extra 3 months are all summer months, which allowed him to practice more when growing up.”