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In his first major league start, Max Scherzer didn’t look like Jobacum, Linecum and Joba’s love child, just a nervous rookie pitcher. You see a lot of unearned runs and you think to yourself, “Leave it to the Baby-Backs to fark up my man Jobacum.” Yeah, that was a gift by the official scorer. That call could’ve went either way and I think it probably should’ve been a hit. So the ERA should’ve been higher. Balls were hit hard. To paraphrase Randy Jackson, “He didn’t look so pitchy, dawg.” With just 119 1/3 innings last season and Doug Davis set to press him for his rotation spot when he returns, Scherzer probably won’t stick in the rotation. Doug Davis is far from a sure thing, but Scherzer’s innings are really the concern. I could see Scherzer put into a long relief role within a month to make sure Jobacum doesn’t blow his load. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Johnny Cueto – C’mon, he looks ridunkous. Are you kidding me? 41/8 K/BB. That’s nasty. Seriously, that alone is really all you need to know. I’ve watched him pitch every game and that number is not misrepresenting anything. When I was watching him today I realized something, the batter knows what’s coming and still can’t hit it! (Sorry for the exclamation point, but I felt it was necessary.) This is tremendous. The only thing stopping him is a manager that won’t want to drive up his innings…. Oh, wait, Dusty’s managing him. Okay, so don’t draft him in 2010 when he has 700 innings on his arm.

Geovany Soto – Got a hold of one off of Soto. I still say to trade him if you can get the right deal.

Brad Hawpe – Two home runs now in three days. Still wouldn’t start him against lefties. That’s why you carry Spilborghs, whose porn mustache should have its own harem, on your deep league roster.

Eric Byrnes – You’re wondering why he’s slumping so bad, then you realize last year was the outlier (Word of the Day). He has a .267 career average. He is what he is, but he’s not what he was last year.

Chad Billingsley – I keep pimping him and I keep getting questions, “Should I trade Arod, Magglio and my son’s college tuition money for Cliff Lee?” Cliff Lee’s masquerading, Billingsley is not.

Andruw Jones – He’s batting seventh and platooning within The Pierre Situation™. He’s really not on anyone’s team anymore, is he? I mean, he’s no longer even running balls out. I predicted he’d be retired by the age of 35. I might knock that down to 33. He’s gone from Hall of Fame talk to I Wish Pierre Was Starting Instead of Him talk in a little over two years. Torre needs to go Full Metal Jacket, “I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the team! I will motivate you, Andruw Jones!”

David Ortiz – So I, like, traded Ortiz for Cliff Lee and I’m, like, wondering if I did good. People need to chillax with burying Ortiz. Sure, he’s probably a few years older than Miguel Tejada who’s probably a few years older than he’s now owning up to, but Ortiz will be fine.

Joey Devine - Waking Joey Devine has three wins on the year and he’s the setup man in case Huston Street keeps blowing saves.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – The walks will come back to hurt him at some point. Probably will have an ERA of 4 by the All-Star break.

Wladimir Balentien – Wlady B. hit his second home run.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – God, his last name is a real pain to spell. He DH’d today. If he’s getting in there when he’s not catching, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be owned in shallow mixed leagues.

Ervin Santana – Probably could have pitched into the tenth inning if he was needed. 38/9 K/BB and he just keeps looking better.

Brandon Wood – First home run of the season. Loved to see him get some time, but right now there’s no guarantee of that.

Shane Victorino – Member last week when he was sitting in favor of Werth? He didn’t sit today. Or yesterday. Or the day before. Or the… Well, you get the picture.

Matt Kemp – Third home run. He doesn’t get to twenty.

Matt Joyce – Was called up as the Tigers designated Jacques Jones for assignment. Joyce has some pop against righties, and can strikeout with the best of them. Of course, he’s not in Yahoo anyway. I’m going to write an E-Book, “Fantasy Baseball Sites Need Ten Things.” Players available on waivers is numero freakin’ uno. I don’t even want to pick up Joyce, but this is really annoying.

  1. Josh says:
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    I thought Cueto was getting tons of calls yesterday.

    It may be because I’m a Cubs fan, and I had to listen to the crappy Reds announcers drone on.

    At one point the color guy noted that, “When a pitcher looks down into the box, and sees [Joey Votto], he sees a hitter.” Because other times, when the pitcher looks into the batter’s box, he sees a barista.

  2. Sav says:
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    Previous Soto projections need scrapping. He’s currently 3rd in MLB in OPS.

  3. Chase says:
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    Matt Kemp and Aaron Harang or Corey Hart and Zack Grienke?

  4. Chase says:
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    Oh and just quick off the top of the head projections for Soto and Quentin. Clement, Salty, Napoli, and Bengie Molina are available on Free Agent. Still trade Soto?

  5. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I am still kicking myself for not nabbing Ervin Santana after that first good start against Minnesota. He’s looking like Fausto ’07, except with tons of strikeouts.

    It’s not easy, kicking yourself.

  6. BSA says:
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    Trying to understand comments on Kemp. Is someone projecting him for 20 homeruns? Are you backing off him and jumping on Wladdy’s wagon?

  7. BSA says:
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    Here is my pitching staff: Beckett, Hudson, Bedard, Myers, Cueto, Volquez, Papelbon, Ryan without the training wheels, and Fuentes. Many of the teams in my league add/drop pitchers based on numbers of starts. Someone just dropped Harden for Saunders. Is he worth adding in place of Fuentes?

  8. BSA says:
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    edit to#7 – Jesus they dropped Sonnanstine, J. Sanchez, and Billingsley. How could I use one of them? Or maybe not?

  9. Kevin says:
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    Totally agree with you on Cueto. I would take him over Volquez the rest of the year. I too have watched every game and I got the same impression. The only game I felt this wasn’t the case was the one in Houston.

    I also own Scherzer and I must say I am not too optimistic. Not because of last night, he still has nasty stuff and should succeed, but the team’s plans for him this year. They are going to baby his innings, shuffle him back to the bullpen, and will make him perhaps worthless in my league, a points format.

  10. Russ says:
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    Hey Grey,
    I’m trying to get rid of CBY because … yes … he’s killing my AVG. I’ve got a guy dangling Grady who wants HR in my league. I also need a third closer. What do you think of a CBY/Scherzer for Grady/Sherrill. I’ve got Lackey coming back next week, so I’m hoping the guy a) hasn’t read the plans for Max and b) is still optimistic about Max after last night.

    I’ve also got Hill, but he couldn’t have any less value at this point. Well, unless he was Gallardo.

    5×5 MLB non-keeper.

    -Russ

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh: Dempster got 7 Ks and one walk so the ump was obviously a bit generous, but Cueto K/BB ratio is from all of his games, so last night wasn’t a whole lot different.

    @Sav: Barely a week into May. Would you have said this about OPS last week when he K’d eight times in a row?

    @Chase: Kemp and Harang, simply because Harang’s better than Greinke.

    Also, if you can get the right price for Soto, I’d still trade him then fill him in with Salty.

    @BSA: re: Kemp — I was just saying that if someone thinks he’s Jesus in Dodger Blue, I would trade him. Kemp is a better hitter than Wlad. Wlad is simply more likely to be on waivers so that’s why I just pointed out he now has two home runs. Whereas with Kemp, he’s more than likely on someone’s teams so I pointed out that you could trade him, get say a closer that you need then pick up Wlad.

    Billingsley is the only one I’d try and make room for, but I wouldn’t drop any of the guys you mentioned. Maybe a bench hitter? BTW, I smiled at the ‘without the training wheels’ comment — ha.

    @Kevin: Scherzer’s Got A Schort Leasch. Fo real.

    @Russ: CBY/Scherzer for Grady/Sherrill. — Grady/Sherrill by a lot. This is a fair trade that I would be apeshit over if it happened in my league. Really great trade for you.

  12. Russ says:
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    @ Grey

    The trade hasn’t been accepted yet, I was just trying to get a read on it from an outside source. It would be me that would be offering the aforementioned trade, so I’m not too optimistic that it would go through.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: Too bad Scherzer wasn’t lights out last night because it would’ve probably had a better chance of going through.

  14. Russ says:
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    @Grey: Very true. But then I’d probably be too enamored with the guy to get rid of him ;) I’m already sporting a huge man-crush on CBY…

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: Yeah, that’s the problem with falling into the “What have you done for me lately?” syndrome. Baseball’s a long season. Scherzer will still have his innings babied no matter what he does.

  16. Russ says:
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    So when the CBY/Scherzer deal is rejected, what do you think my next step should be? He has both Grady and Sherrill on his trading block and wants an OF and a SP. I think CBY can get the OF part of his wants done. Here’s my staff:

    Blackburn
    Harang
    Scherzer
    Shields
    Vazquez
    Jenks
    Marmol
    Rauch
    Joba
    Kershaw
    Gorzellany
    Rich Hill
    Boof
    Lackey (DL)

    OF is:
    Dunn
    Ellsbury
    Rios
    Taveras
    CBY
    Jayson Werth
    Matt Stairs
    Braun (but he’s at 3B right now, with no backup 3B)

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: I’d try and move any starter not named Harang, Shields or Vazquez. What about Scherzer and Blackburn? Unless this is a keeper. Is it?

  18. Russ says:
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    non-keeper. possibly a 3-for-2 scenario?

    thanks for the advice, grey.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: Yeah, go 3-for-2 if you can.

    Almost always when someone’s giving three guys and getting two back, the guy getting two wins the trade.

  20. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2434&position=OF

    NELSON CRUZ… He’s putting up higher numbers at AAA than Google stock. I want to pick him up and drop Troy Glaus and ride him to my league championship. (I have many with CI eligibility to fill in for the loss of Glaus)

    Is this a good idear?

  21. BSA says:
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    Grey you’re that big on Shields to put him with Harang? As you said earlier when someone was ready to frop just because of the tough game in Fenway. Will the real Shields please stand up?

  22. @BSA – I think at this point J-Shields has established himself as a #3 mixed-league starter. I sit my #3 if he is pitching in NYY, BOS, or COL (hasn’t helped me with AJ Burnett this year though…). But guys like Blackburn, Rich Ank-Hill, Boof, Scherzer, etc. are all speculative at this point. Can make an argument for each (strongest for Scherzer) but none are a sure thing.

    But Russ has Lackey on the DL who is due back in 10 days. That would make for a very strong top 4. I don’t feel too confident on Lackey coming back 100% (perhaps b/c Escobar always finds himself going back to the DL) but I wouldn’t trade Lackey at this point unless you could get a #3 starter like Wainwright.

  23. @IowaCubs – Nelson Cruz is 28 and was awful in 300 AB with Tex in 2007 (~300 ABs and ~90 Ks). He’s one of a zillion marginal bats that Texas has. Hamilton, Bradley, and Salty will get starter-level AB if they stay healthy. Just don’t see Cruz having the opportunity nor the talent.

    That’s not a sign of confidence for Glaus but at least Glaus is a proven low average/HR guy…

  24. BSA says:
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    Rudy, Here’s my team: Mauer, Morneau, Kinsler, Renteria, Longoria, Damon, Quentin, Kemp, Thome, Beckett, Bedard, Myers, Cueto, Volquez, Papelbon, Ryan. Bench: Varitek, Wells, ARam, Figgins, Fuentes, Hudson. What move would you move for JShields?

  25. i think J-Shields would slot in as your #4 starter (Beckett, Bedard, Hudson). I’d look to trade Cueto or Volquez – not that I don’t like both but you need to minimize your risk with young starters. I like Cueto more b/c of his control.

    If you need to drop anyone, it’s Varitek. Not worth keeping 2 catchers.

  26. BSA says:
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    Before I drop Tek I am trying to package him with Volquez and either Renteria or Quentin for Ellsbury or Jose Reyes. The only thing keeping me from dropping him is that a dink in my league wants him and I’d rather have someone in last place with a worse catcher have him.

  27. Josh says:
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    Is Carlos Quentin worth a look?

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh: Yeah, he’s been worthy of a look.

  29. Chase says:
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    adrian gonzales for aaron harang? who wins

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: More or less apples and oranges. Gonzo will cool off but it’s a fair trade.

    EDIT: I’d prefer to have Gonzo.

    EDIT II: But if you need pitching, Harang’s great.

  31. Chase says:
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    especially since he’s riding the pine since i have teixiera right? also, i read your rankings and was wondering if your a hanley believer now? haha

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: Oh, if he’s on your bench. Then definitely trade him for Harang.

    re: Hanley — Well, he was only knocked down to sixth overall and the season’s young so I’m fine where he is for now.

  33. @BSA – ‘Tek + Quentin should be able to net Ellsbury but it seems like you might need power as much as speed. ‘Tek and Renteria for Reyes doesn’t get accepted unless you’re trading with Mrs. ‘Tek or Grandma Renteria.

  34. BSA says:
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    Rudy-Throwing Volquez in the mix get Reyes done? Or am I overloading for a player. This potential trade is trying to do three things, 1. allow me to open a roster position by upgrading versus dropping, 2. keep Tek away from another team, 3. use that open spot to pickup either Shields, Harden, or Billingsley. The funny thing in this league is people are wary of trading so we’ll see. Worst case I wait until Sunday to drop Tek and pickup Shields, since he isn’t a two start pitcher he should float through waivers and sit for a bit. People in the league are either playing 2spow (2 start pitcher of the week)strategy, not making any moves, or making seeming weekly hot/cold moves. See below for example of a day on our transaction report.
    Team A first in other division
    Lieber, Jon SP CHC – Added
    Sanchez, Jonathan O. RP SF – Dropped
    Wolf, Randy SP SD – Added
    Sonnanstine, Andy SP TB – Dropped
    Team B second place in my division – Arod sitting on bench
    Buehrle, Mark SP CHW – Added
    Billingsley, Chad SP LA – Dropped
    Mora, Melvin 3B BAL – Added
    Glaus, Troy 3B STL – Dropped
    Team A
    Wilson, Brian RP SF – Added
    Shields, James SP TB – Dropped
    Guzman, Cristian SS WAS – Added
    Theriot, Ryan SS CHC – Dropped

  35. Chase says:
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    should i start aramis ramirez who was questionable bc of his wrist or adrian gonzales today?

  36. Chase says:
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    In need of your wisdom Captain.

    Justin Morneau or Adrian Gonzales…Guy came to me when I was about to accept a Harang For Gonzo trade. Could I do better with Morneau?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: Sure, but nominal. Aren’t you benching Gonzo anyway? I think Moreanu would garner a better pitcher, so you can make that trade.

  38. Sav says:
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    “@Sav: Barely a week into May. Would you have said this about OPS last week when he K’d eight times in a row?”

    Believe it or not, yes. Eight in a row is extreme but Soto’s a high K guy. He was a high K guy when he annihilated the PCL and when he crushed major league pitching in September. That likely won’t change because he will swing through pitches and he takes a ton of strikes. But I doubt any hitter in baseball hits the ball harder a higher percentage of the time than Soto.

    I know you’re skeptical, but he’s the real deal. Just watch.

  39. @BSA – If J-Shields and Billingsley are on waivers, then Volquez should have no value in a trade. But if they bite, reel ‘em in…

  40. Chase says:
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    soto grienke and j. sanchez for vmartinez lackey and billingsley? who wins

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: vmartinez lackey and billingsley

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