So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Addison Russell – Going the over way in the trade was one of the A’s top prospects — a shortstop. In related news, Starling Castro had to decline five different Cubs execs who were asking him if he needs help packing. Russell prolly won’t join the Cubs until September (unless Castro gets dealt in July), and Russell won’t be a full-time player until next year (see previous parenthetical). He’s a 15/15-type player with solid plate discipline. He’s what grizzled scouts call ‘polished.’
Edwin Encarnacion – Headed to the DL with a quad strain and will miss two to four weeks. I told you to sell him! Kidding. This had nothing to do with my sell, was just an unfortunate injury. Unfortunate you didn’t sell him! Still kidding. Take it easy. You’re not as cute when you’re on edge. Though with the loss of Edwin, I would’ve assumed you’d be on a ledge. If you are on a ledge, say hello to Tehol in the Domonic Brown jersey.
Nolan Reimold – Blue Jays claimed him off waivers. Something that many don’t know, Reimold doesn’t wear a typical uniform. He gets a uniform airbrushed on him, and you know that’s no way to get rid of mold.
Brandon Moss – Underwent an MRI on his sprained ankle. It’s spraining men, hell-of-a-time-llelujah. He’s listed as day-to-day. I don’t know where that list is, maybe it’s in my sock drawer.
Kevin Gausman – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks. I’m not sure if he’s going to stay in the Orioles rotation. Only thing I can say for sure is he could file for sexual harassment because the Orioles are jerking him around without his consent.
Nelson Cruz – 8 for his last 11 with his 27th homer on Saturday. My Magic Eight Ball said a terrible accident will happen to Cruz when he reaches 27 homers. My Magic Eight Ball also agreed to watch The Normal Heart with Cougs, so my Magic Eight Ball hasn’t been without its flaws.
Manny Machado – 2-for-6. The hot hitting he was doing prior to the suspension has continued, so he’s a barely changed man from that suspension like Josh Lyman from Sorkin’s years to Wells’s years.
Jon Lester – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.73. Has been a sneaky back-end fantasy number one this year, and this Lester roll has led to Good Times.
David Ortiz – 4-for-5, 2 RBIs. Wonderful, terrific, adjective. Where’s Mookie Betts? Why isn’t he in the lineup? What is the meaning of this? I request a definition of this absurdity. Red Sox, are you this stupid? Do you sometimes use a word that don’t mean nothing like loopid? The Red Sox really need to see if Jackie Bradley Jr. (2-for-4, 1 run) can walk multiple times in a game? Ugh.
Rick Porcello – 5 2/3 IP, 7 ER vs. the Rays. This guy should be in the shampoo commercials with C.J. Wilson because he’s flaky. Back-to-back shutouts and then he goes against the Rays and their drawn-out-of-a-hat lineup and this happens. I didn’t like Porcello when he was coming off those shutouts, guess how I feel about him now. You don’t have to guess out loud. I can’t hear you.
J.D. Martinez – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer, hitting .400 in the last week with three homers. J.D. is definitely passing the bar for usable outfielder.
David Price – 8 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA down to 3.48. About a month ago when I told you to buy him his ERA was over 4. That was my Price check!
Jake McGee – Got the save yesterday because he walked two grandmothers to the milk section of the supermarket. Not to be outdone, Joel Peralta told the media he plans to walk three grandmothers across a busy street today.
Ben Zobrist – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI. Hardly any power or speed coming from him, but he does seem like he’s coming out of his average funk. She’s a brick…house! Sorry, I thought someone said funk.
Sean Rodriguez – 4-for-5, 1 run. He’s hitting near-.500 in the last week with a homer on Wednesday, and is a good guy for a batty call when he’s playing, but if you can figure out when Maddon’s going to play him, you are Maddon. Hey, Maddon!
Desmond Jennings – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. He goes through long stretches that make you wish you were watching The View instead, but I bet he ends the year in the top 40 for outfielders with an outside chance for top 30.
Andrew Heaney – Optioned to the minors after getting beat up on Saturday. Not by fantasy owners who took a gamble on him, but by the Cardinals.
Henderson Alvarez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.27. Damn, that’s Marla Gibbs sassy. I guess I should’ve held Alvarez. Oh, well, pitching is so deep it doesn’t matter. To put this to you another way, Alvarez is owned in 60% of ESPN leagues and has a 2.27 ERA. If he were a hitter, how many homers would a 2.27 ERA be for fantasy value? I’ll say around 17 homers. Any hitters with 17 homers hanging around on your waivers? Yup.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. I wouldn’t recommend Salty for my worst enemy even if said enemy had high blood pressure.
Jaime Garcia – Out for the year with thoracic outlet syndrome, which sounds like something a cockroach who sticks its leg into an electric socket would suffer from.
Kolten Wong – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer as he was activated from the DL. Yes, if you need MI help, you should pick him back up. Yes, even you. Stop looking behind yourself, I’m talking to you!
Matt Adams – 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI and his 3rd steal. When Adams was running into 2nd base for the steal, a man with poor eyesight in the stands, proposed marriage to Adams, saying, “I’d like to steal 2nd on her.”
Collin McHugh – 4 IP, 2 ER. I told you after his last start to get his address so you can correspond with him after you dropped him. Now you’re just that couple that should’ve broke up and is staying to together because you’re scared.
Kole Calhoun – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 9th homer. Don’t worry, The Sciosciapath will bench him today anyway.
Ryan Braun – Left Saturday’s game with back spasms and missed Sunday. When the trainer applied some Icy/Hot to his back, it caused Braun to have a brilliant idea for a lonely dragon that breathes fire and ice for Braun’s new line of Affliction t-shirts.
Matt Garza – 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks. It’s just natural instinct for Garza to do well during the July trading season. Your Brewers are doing well this year, Garza, you don’t have to audition for a new team. “So, I slept with that Dodgers scout for nothing?” Oh, Garza.
Yovani Gallardo – 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. the Reds. I nearly streamed him for this start because the Reds are a mess this year, but obviously our past history gave me too much banging on the Worry Stick.
Joey Votto – Headed back to the DL with the same injury that he was on the DL with earlier in the year. You know the one, he said he never recovered from it. Yeah, that one. I won’t go over how I told everyone to sell him low. I’ll only say exactly that by saying I won’t say that. Semantics, perhaps. Votto isn’t going to be right all year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t even see him play for more than a few weeks the rest of the year. There’s a chance he may never be right again. He’s no spring chicken, after all. He’s also no Moo Shu Chicken, cause that’s just straight delicious. I like to say to my local Chinese food purveyor, “Ooh, when you do the Moo Shu that you do,” then he says, “That sounds more like Salt ‘n Pepa shrimp,” and we have a good laugh.
Mat Latos – 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.41. Geez, only three Ks? If only his wife could be limited to three hashtags.
Jonathan Broxton – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 6th save. Aroldis wasn’t available due to a sore hamstring, but should be ready to go today. Aroldis said, “This hamstring don’t fly straight,” but he learned English by watching Scarface, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.
Jay Bruce – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer. He’s teased me with looking like he’s getting hot a few times this year and, within a few days, he’s looked like crizzap again, so I refuse to get too excited about Bruce until he shows something for a week straight. Now, get going if you want the Fantasy Master Lothario’s approval!
Gio Gonzalez – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, now has 22 straight scoreless innings (of course, that includes two games vs. the Cubs). Whatever the case, it’s nice to have the fantasy number two that you drafted and not just a number two.
Wilson Ramos – 2-for-3 and has a hit in every game since he returned from injury. I’ll believe he can stay healthy when he actually stays healthy, but you are not as cynical as me. You’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and you need a catcher who is hitting, so vamos y Ramos.
Jake Arrieta – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.78. Arrieta and Teheran combined on my team have a 1.77 ERA in 147 1/3 IP. Okay, most of that is Teheran, but Arrieta has a 1.30 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP in 27 2/3 IP on my team. I love this country! Though, I guess technically you can play fantasy baseball in any country, and they do. Good luck drafting Altuve in a Pygmy league.
Justin Ruggiano – 2-for-4, now hitting .500 in the last week with two homers. Not sure how long his everyday playing time will last, but he should be owned while he’s hot schmotatoing around.
Taijuan Walker – 4 IP, 1 ER, 5 Walks. Lloyd Christmas McClendon said Walker had a ‘disappointing outing.’ If he was outing, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Walker had a bad walking.
Jake Petricka – 2 IP, 0 ER and his 3rd save, which comes after Zach Putnam blew a save on Saturday. Putnam only gave up one earned run, so it wasn’t like I woke up sweating, screaming ‘nam! This could still be anyone’s closer job. Just because someone got a clean save on the White Sox it doesn’t mean they’re the closer. After all, Ventura went to Belisario for 6 weeks.
Alex Wood – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks. When someone asks me about my fantasy team and they ask me if I have Wood, I have to think twice about how to respond.
Paul Goldschmidt – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer. Au Shizz!
Wade Miley – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 4.43. I was thisclose to picking up for this start, and I’d even like to move that ‘this’ even closer to that ‘close,’ I’m so committed to proving how close I was to picking him up. Alas, my nads failed me. The Streamer-o-Nator does like his next start, and I may stream him. T to the B to the A.
Alfonso Soriano – Designated for assignment. Soriano caught this news with a hop and an “Ow, my hip.” With Soriano’s release, Joe Girardi becomes the 3rd oldest guy on the Yankees bench. As Soriano left the clubhouse, he said goodbyes to his teammates and promised to see them again on the shuffleboard courts. Jeter, always the statesman, told the press, “There goes the best player to play in each of the last six decades.”
Brandon McCarthy – Traded to the Yankees for Vidal Nuno. You didn’t think the loss of Soriano would suddenly have the Yankees rethink their anti-youth movement, did you? McCarthy is older than Nuno, but it’s not a terrible pickup by the Born-in-1927 Yankees. McCarthy has one of the biggest differences between his ERA and xFIP. Not only this year, but that I have ever remember seeing. His ERA is 5.01 and his xFIP is 2.89. He should be much better, and he throws ground balls, so The House They Built Across The Street From The House Ruth Built shouldn’t kill him. I’d bid aggressively in AL-Only leagues, but he’s still not much more than a streamer in most mixed leagues.
Jacoby Ellsbury – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 5th homer. No evidence to prove this, but Ellsbury looked jacked up on hard candies that Soriano left behind.
Trevor Plouffe – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Plouffe goes the dynamite!
Chris Colabello – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. I don’t want to say he’s doing better than Mauer, but, by not saying it, it’s sorta implied. Colabello now has two homers in the only two games he’s started since he was called back up. If I needed an outfielder or corner man for today’s short schedule day, I would’ve picked up Colabello.
Michael Cuddyer – Will have an MRI on July 21. Here’s a shorthand for you. When an injury-prone player is scheduled for an MRI in almost three weeks, he’s not going to play again this year.
Matt Kemp – 4-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs. Coors sure didn’t hurt, but I’m not sure how much it helped either since he was 0-for-7 in Coors the previous two games. Kemp, you pickle wrapped in a riddle that passed through the Sphinx’s colon.
Michael Bourn – Hit the DL with a strained hamstring, the same hamstring he had surgery on last year and sidelined him earlier this year. Speedster aging, no fun, the SAGNOF that no one wants to talk about.
Corey Kluber – 8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.86. I’m not late to the Kluber party; I started wearing glow sticks around my neck and dropping MDMA in my Red Bull for him last year. I am late to this bit of trivia that I recently read: Kluber joins Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens as the only AL pitchers during the age of the DH to have 60 Ks and less than 10 walks in a single month. Kluber did it this May. Takes a special confluence of events to have that happen (need to face K-prone teams and pitch a ton of innings in one month), but it’s also damn hard to accomplish and you need to be straight butter.
Carlos Santana – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer. Oye como va! Still hitting .210 — Oy, c’mon, yo! <–almost anagram!
Yan Gomes – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .269. Rawr!
Danny Duffy – 6 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA up to 2.86. He’s on the inevitable road to a 4.00 ERA. Mark my words. Not literally, you just marked your computer screen.
Mike Moustakas – 1-for-2 and his 10th homer and 2nd homer in as many games for Mostsuckass, but he didn’t play on Saturday. Mostsuckass now leads the Royals in homers. Hasn’t been such a hideous display of power by Royals since Catherine the Great ordered everyone to dress their horses in butt-less chaps.
A.J. Burnett – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Pirates, and Jeff Locke (8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks) in a battle of Pennsylvania. Loser had to tell the Amish about the TV show, Breaking Amish. Both pitchers are essentially streamers, and they’re going in opposite directions for their next starts, according to the Stream-o-Nator.
Marlon Byrd – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. It’s a bit in poor taste that between innings, Byrd’s trying on different team caps to see which one brings out his eyes the most.
Leonys Martin – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. Hey, he fogged up the mirror under his nose! Hopefully, this gets him started, or I will let autocorrect win and spell his name, Leon Y. Smartin.
Alex Rios – 1-for-5 and his 4th homer. Ridunk how little power he’s showing this year. Leave it to me to finally draft him and end up with the Rios during his year of ineptitude. I know he’s going to hit 25 homers next year and not be on any of my teams. Isn’t it always the way?
Robinson Chirinos – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer, and his 3rd homer this week. Nice random $1 flyer in your AL-Only league. Nah, I know it was all luck. You don’t need to lie to me. I own Chirinos on two teams too and have no idea how I ended up with him, so I know we’re in the same good ship luckipop.
Zack Wheeler – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 4.07. In theory, he should be a solid start his next time out vs. the Marlins, and he’s dominated the Fish in the past and yadda squared, I still don’t trust him.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – 1-for-2, 3 runs and a slam & legs for this platoon player. Fun Fact! Nieuwenhuis is Ikea’s number one new furniture competitor in Scandinavia.
Jon Niese – Hit the DL with a shoulder strain. I wonder if his nose was like Samson’s hair.
Jesse Hahn – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.34. Yes, you should still own him and, no, not just so you can change your fantasy team name to “Talk To The Hahn.”
Pablo Sandoval – Hit on the elbow on Saturday by a pitch and is day-to-day. Sandoval said, “That pitch just ate me up, and if I wasn’t on this stupid diet…”
Tim Lincecum – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. The Padres managed a hit this time against him — three of them. One for each of their GMs.
Santiago Casilla – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 2nd save in as many games. Bochy named Casilla the closer after Casilla, not only got back-to-back saves, but Romo gave up two earned runs in a third of an inning. That’s like when the girl you’re into believes the phony news story you Photoshop about how you won a Pulitzer Prize and also the phony obituary for her ex.