All strikeouts aren’t created equal, apparently. Holy Samardballs, are you kidding me? It was a short schedule day. There’s no middle relief disinfectant for this feces you sprayed all over my team. Why do you hurt me, Jeff Samardzija? Did I not show you enough preseason love? Did my March cuddles not warm your cockles? Did the hype get to your head? Are you better suited for football? Are you a great Scrabble word in search of a pitching repertoire? What the effin’ eff are you doing to my ratios? I GOT QUESTIONS, Y’ALL! Yesterday, his line was 3 1/3 IP, 9 ER and today he’s dropped to waivers. You can’t hold a guy who’s as explosive as bad Mexican food. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mark Reynolds – Indians designated him for assignment. That assignment is to suck less. If he fails to accept his assignment, the Orioles have expressed interest. Baltimore said, “Reynolds’ whiffs would add some nice relief from our muggy summers.”
Dioner Navarro – Will undergo an MRI on his ankle. He’s hoping it’s nothing because the Food Network just picked up his show, Dioner, Drive-ins and Dives.
Michael Young – Scratched when he woke up with hamstring tightness. I wonder if he was running in his dreams.
Casper Wells – Phils claimed him. This is his fifth team this year. For those other four teams, Casper’s merely a ghost.
Darin Ruf – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. Who airs his power out? Ruf, Ruf, Ruf! Now has three homers in the last week while hitting near-.300. The average won’t stay so pretty, but, if you’re dying for power, you can do worse. Look at me having faith in you doing worse.
Cody Asche – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. He had some of the air let out of his balloon with Young not being traded, but Cody’s a good name to look at in deep keepers because I think even the Phils have finally figured out a 29-year-old John Mayberry Jr. isn’t the team ‘getting younger’ even if he has a junior in his name.
Carlos Ruiz – 2-for-5, 2 runs as he hit in the two hole, which is less of a compliment for Ruiz and more of an indictment of the Phillies lineup. I mean, c’mon, they had Kevin Frandsen hit leadoff, go oh-for-five and play 1st base. Yet, they still clobbered Samardzija. Hayzeus Christo.
Ethan Martin – 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. Coming into this game his K-rate was 12.46! Too bad his ERA was 12.46 too. Sad trombone.
Jason Grilli – Will resume throwing this weekend. I hate to wish harm on anyone (no, I don’t), but can we form a prayer seahorse-shape that Melancon stays the closer for the rest of the year?
Gerrit Cole – 5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. the MIA Marlins. I guess these Marlins weren’t that MIA. Ugh, roofies are going to be the death of me like two out of every ten Americans in Thailand. (Those are almost exact words of Mother Albright after I told her Cougar and I were thinking about going to Thailand on our honeymoon. Mother has been watching too much Locked Up Abroad.)
Neil Walker – 3-for-3, 2 RBIs. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column. I promise you it’ll get more exciting than that.
Christian Yelich – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his first major league homer. This was the first home run by someone who as recently as this past weekend was carded to see a PG-13 movie. Doogie, we love you! I’d also pick up Doogie in all leagues where you’re hurting for some sexy-as-fudge upside. Since he’s moved into the leadoff spot, he’s hit in eight of nine games with eight of those coming in a row, which is a crazy long-winded way of saying he’s hit in eight straight games while hitting leadoff. Damn, came up just short of the Guinness record for a run-on sentence. Better luck next time, Grey!
Placido Polanco – 2-for-4, 1 RBI. After the game, he signed autographs. Oh, wait, that was con artist who stole Polanco’s checkbook and had an unbeknownst Placido sign it.
Jose Fernandez – 5 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, 2.58 ERA. The Defector has put together a terrific season, obviously. So, with that said, what keeps him out of the top 20 starters for next year? He’s 21 years old, in a great pitchers’ park and has everything to go along with the great ERA — 1.04 WHIP and 9.70 K-rate. I’m not sure there’s anything keeping him out of the top 20. Shoot, he might be top 15 for me next year. We’ll see. Or not. Your choice.
Bruce Chen – 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks vs. the Red Sox as he lowers him ERA to 1.79. That’s just your run-of-the-mill WTF?! Imagine Bruce Chen is sitting at a train station, waiting for the 4:45 train. The 4:45 train is loaded with hits, runs, lousy starts. They even named the 4:45 train after the ERA it brings with it. Trains come and go and Chen just sits there, no 4:45 train. Eventually, that train does show up. It always does.
Mike Moustakas – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column. At 11:00 AM PST, hit refresh and it will magically appear.
Billy Butler – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 10th homer. After the homer, he provocatively squeezed his moob.
Alcides Escobar – 1-for-3 and his 13th steal. He’s hitting close to .300 in the last week and I have to think he gets close to 25 steals on the year. So, guess who just picked him up? It rhymes with Chez Alsprite.
Stephen Drew – 2-for-4, 1 RBI. About the hottest bat in the majors right now as he bats near-.500 (it might actually just be straight .500) in the last week. It’ll end, probably with a season-ending injury, but grab him while he’s going well.
Jon Lester – 7 IP, 6 baserunners, 1 ER (two unearned runs), 4 Ks. This is the most meh start. Meh’s better than eh or feh, but still very meh, which, of course, is not what Pedroia’s brother has to register as, that’s a ‘meh Lester.’
Tim Lincecum – 8 IP, 2 baserunners (1 hit), 8 Ks. I can say fairly confidently this is the best he’s looked in about two years, which is without me looking at all of his starts, so my memory may be just producing some confirmation bias or some other Psych 101 buzzword. As I said about a month ago, Lincecum is back. He’s been back for the better part of this year. His peripherals look nearly identical to his 2011 season when he had a 2.74 ERA. Right now, the only issue is his BABIP is up a tad and he’s giving up a few more homers. The only drastic difference with his stuff between this year and 2011 is his velocity is off two miles per hour. That’s a tad concerning, but his percentage of pitches swung at and missed is up from 2011. I don’t fully trust him in tough matchups, but, outside of Coors, I’d start him in every game.
Brandon Belt – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting near-.500 in the last week with two homers. I’m burnt out on this guy. “I thought you’d use burnt out for me.” That’s Lincecum poking his head in my office. What I mean is Belt has showed tremendous potential for the shortest of time periods in the past, then he goes back to looking like he’s going to be overtaken by Bret Pill. “I get no thrills from Pills!” Okay, that’s enough, Lincecum. Supposedly, Belt has altered his swing and feeling much better in the box. That’s what he said! Huh? Belt won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but he could be. He’s here now, how much do you need? Take take take, you!
Brandon Crawford – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting near-.300 in the last week with absolutely nothing else. He’s actually done that the whole year (7 homers, 1 steal). Martin Prado looks at that and burps, then he excuses himself. He’s classy.
Marco Scutaro – 3-for-5, 2 runs. Member what I said fifteen words ago about Crawford? If you don’t, you might want to up your meds. Scutaro has 2 homers and one steal on the year. Prado looks at that and farts, but fans it away from you. Stay classy, Prado.
Pablo Sandoval – 0-for-3, hitting .259 with 9 homers. From the Files of Sad But True, this year Brandon Belt has given more fantasy value than Sandoval. That’s no oval, more like Sandzero.
Aramis Ramirez – Brewers won’t activate him today. I just came up with a revolutionary idea. You may want to lower the volume on your brain, otherwise this will blow your mind. Players shouldn’t be paid if they’re on the DL. Let them get paid for every at-bat, hit, home run, RBI, whatever. But if they’re off the field, the salary stops. I’m like the anti-Marvin Miller.
Yadier Molina – Cards expect him to be ready to return on August 15th. Trainers said he’s already doing some light running. Then his brother Bengie said, “Nah, that’s known as Molina running.”
Carlos Martinez – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks and Shelby Miller will be able to rejoin the rotation after that scary incident on Wednesday. No, not when he walked into the bathroom on Matt Adams. I mean, the liner off his elbow. So, C-Mart is headed back to the minors. Love, peace and hair grease.
Michael Wacha – Wacha Flocka Flame is headed to the majors to start on Saturday for a spot start. So do you Wacha, Wacha want Wacha want? Sure, for a spot start against the Cubs, but since he’ll be sent down to the minors after don’t get carried away with yourself like you’re sucking in helium.
A.J. Ellis – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. Geez, what a terrible season– Oh, wait, he now has more homers than Matt Kemp. Oops.
Dee Gordon – 1-for-3 and a steal. A Dee Gordon sighting! I love those. With Hanley at least a few days away, Gordon could continue to see oportunities, which, of course, means SAGNOF!
Carl Crawford – 2-for-5, 1 run. I know I can’t be the only one this happens to, you see a name and you’re like, “Oh, he must be doing good,” then you look at his stats and you’re like, “Dolores, we have a problem, Carl Crawford has 5 homers and 11 steals.” He’s been doing great recently, but this doode got old fast. The Dodgers better be careful, they’re like a year away from being the Yankees or worse, the Angels.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks to lower his ERA to 2.99. Member when I ranked him crazy high in the preseason? Then I moved him down because some sites — ESPN, Yahoo, CBS — didn’t even rank him at all, so I was like grab him, but you don’t have to reach because no one else has apparently heard of him. Member that? You’re welcome.
Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-4 and his 15th homer, as he hits near-.350 in the last week. Nate Rightiehitz, or whatever I named him the other day, was facing? That’s correct, a righty. You’re smart!
Rickie Weeks – To the DL after hearing something pop. I can guarantee you he didn’t hear the pop coming off his bat. Maybe Scooter Gennett was opening a bottle of champagne.
Yu Darvish – Tightness in his gluteus maximus. He should make his gluteus maximus talk like Ace Ventura and say, “Are you not entertained?”
Alex Rios – Rangers claimed him on waivers, but before it happens there’s still enough hoops to jump through to make Lassie go a little crazy.
Max Scherzer – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, moving his record to 17-1. I wonder if there’s only so much of my love to go around and that’s why Giancarlo’s not having a good season. It’s like when a new baby is born and the firstborn gets all jealous and shizz and starts chewing through your favorite sneakers. At least that’s what I hear toddlers do, I don’t know, I don’t have kids, that I know of. Sometimes I do see young kids and I imagine what they would look like with a mustache, but none have come close to my handsomeness.
Alex Avila – Sent back to Detroit for concussion tests after taking a foul ball off his mask. I’m sure he’ll get the best treatment at the 8 Mile Hospital & Car Impound.
Prince Fielder – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs, hitting .260. Has 17 homers on the year. I’m not betting a large amount on him not hitting 30+ homers again next year, but the big-bellied do not age gracefully. Things that make you go hmm…
Victor Martinez – 2-for-5, 1 run, 3 RBIs, but how about Ryan Raburn pitching?! People love position players pitching. It’s like watching a dog drive a car. So, here’s an idea, at least once a week a team has to pitch a position player for at least one batter. Think about the drama when it’s a close game on Sunday and you know Leyland’s gotta let Prince Fielder pitch. Baseball, while you are terrific, I just made you better.
Dillon Gee – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks. Rudy’s had Gee for a little over a month now, and I can understand it. Gee’s ERA since the end of May is 2.55. What I can’t as easily understand is how he’s only owned in 12% of ESPN leagues. Take out 10,000 leagues that Snafu Larry owns so he can build up his virtual trophy shelf, and you have ten actual ESPN leagues, so Gee is owned in 12% of those 10 leagues, which is about one league. Wow, Rudy’s the only one that owns Gee is all of ESPN?! That’s crazy, but it’s gotta be right. I did the math myself.
Charlie Culberson – 0-for-3 with a steal. Between this guy, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson, the Rockies sound like the C. Thomas Howell All-Stars trying to get a college scholarship.
Jeff Manship – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. I liked him better when he was Jefferson Manship.