James Lipton recently sat down with Stephen Strasburg and when he asked him what he thought of becoming a Nat, Stephen Strasburg said a’la Brando in On the Waterfront, “Actaaaaaa!!!” Stephen Strasburg is THE BEST PITCHER EVER. (Caps were provided by Scott Boras.) The hype and superlatives of Strasburg have been spewed across the interwebs, so allow me to give you some perspective. The last seven number one draft picks were Delmon Young, Matt Bush, Justin Upton, Luke Hochevar, David Price, Tim Beckham and Strasburg. One guy in those seven is currently helping you. One guy could help you. One guy grabbed $3.15 million and opened a shaved ice stand in Acapulco. In 1996, Kris Benson was presumably the best pitcher to ever toe the rubber coming out of college with a 204/27 K/BB ratio. In 1999, Alfredo Amezaga was drafted one pick before Albert Pujols. I think Strasburg will help your fantasy baseball team at some point. I don’t think he’s helping you this year. In deep keeper leagues, I’d grab Strasburg now. He’ll be a Nat sooner versus later, but that’s only because the Nats number one pitcher is John Lannan. In one year leagues, wait until he’s called up. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Brad Lidge – Headed to the DL. Man, who else strikes out more than a batter an inning, yet looks so vunerable to a meltdown? I mean, this doode literally will strikeout the side around two home runs. I don’t think this will necessarily be a lost season for Lidge. He should come back in July and be ‘just okay.’ Hopefully, for Lidge owners, he gets the closing job back. I think he will. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own Madson.
Aaron Poreda – Called up by the White Sox. In Double A, he struckout more than a batter per inning, but he also walked 32 guys in 58 1/3 innings. Open the Victrola, blow the dust off the scratched record and listen to the B-side of, “Rookie Pitcher/Risky Pitcher.” In AL-Only leagues, I’d grab him and expect nothing. In mixed leagues, I’d prefer about 40 other pitchers.
David Wright – HR yesterday. Wait, what? Home run by Wright. Come again? Home. Run. Wright. Ah, yes.
Metco – 7 HRs were hit today in Bankrupt Bank Field b/w the Phillies and Mets. While that would be fathomable with Moyer vs. Livan, this was Happ vs. Santana. Even odder, no HRs were hit at Yankee Stadium. (It helped that Josh Beckett pitched and that the game was in Fenway.)
J.A. Happ – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER. Well, the honeymoon’s over and now he heads home to face the Red Sox and the O’s, then he gets the Blue Jays in Toronto. You gotta know when to hold ’em… Know when to fold ’em. I’m folding. (Actually sometime between screaming “Screw you” and “Hochevar,” I gave up on rookie pitchers for a few months, so I don’t own Happ anywhere. But if I did…)
Rafael Soriano – Got his fifth save as Mike Gonzalez worked a lefty-heavy eighth.
Ben Zobrist – Hit his 12th homer. You can’t stop him, you can only hope he doesn’t have his corked bat taken from him.
Elijah Dukes – HR yesterday. He’s so gangsta!
Pablo Sandoval – 4-for-5, HR and 3 RBIs. 22/5/27/.318 on the season. I have him on one team where I’m in first. Did I have him all year? Yup. He’s a catcher and I ignore them. Trust me, catchers don’t matter. Put someone there and let them be. In February, I put his projections at 60/14/65/.300 and that’s about where he’ll be in September.
Matt Cain – 6 1/3 IP, 4 ER. Obviously not a great start, but as I said in the preseason, he could easily get the run support this year that Lincecum got last year. Cain’s leading the NL in wins with 8. He’s still a sell though if anyone’s looking at the sub-3 ERA and thinking he’s been that good. He hasn’t.
Stephen Drew – HR yesterday. Batting .393 in June. I hope everyone held tight on Drew, still a lot of season left.
Mark Reynolds – Hit his 15th homer and is batting .269 on the year. I have him on every team. Mini-donkey!
Willie Bloomquist – Citing precedence from the 1700s, Bloomquist ruled in favor of the Royals v. Indians as he went went 3-for-3 with 2 steals. Then the decision was overturned in the 7th in favor of the Indians. Rightfully so.
Carlos Gonzalez – 2-for-4 with 2 doubles and a steal. I feel like I should make this a whole post, and maybe I will. But if you pick up a guy, you hold him for at least a week unless your team situation gets drastically different. I only say this because someone dropped CarGo in one of my leagues yesterday and I thought it was odd that they grabbed him the day he was called up only to drop him less than a week later.
Mat Gamel – HR yesterday. Interleague’s coming up. Cust kayin’.
Matt Kemp – Undoubtedly the best 8th hitter right now in the NL. How does a .310 hitter with 7 HRs and 13 SBs end up hitting 8th behind Russ “0 HR’ Martin and Rafael O-Furcal? Maybe if Matt dated a nice Italian girl like Alyssa Milano, Joe Torre would hit him higher up in the lineup.
Scott Baker – The Mentalist followed up a 7 IP / 2 ER / 7 H+BB/ 10 K game against the Indians with 8 IP / 3 ER / 5 H+BB / 8 Ks against the A’s. Doubt he’ll make it through the year without some time on the DL but it might be worth offering up an expendable closer or outfielder in the spare chance he can maintain this Verlander-like month worth of starts (if he keeps getting Indians and A’s matchups, it’ll only help…)
Adam Lind – Hit a homer as a thank you for writing a post about him yesterday. You’re welcome, Adam. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars…
Brian Tallet – 7 IP, 0 ER. He has too many walks in 74 innings. It’s Tallet, not talent.
Andre Ethier – 2 HRs. This came after Manny went into the clubhouse yesterday and let Ethier feel his stomach. It kicked!
John Baker – Pujols hit him with his backstroke. Hmm… what were they doing in a pool? Nevertheless, Baker’s day-to-day.
Nolan Reimold – Another homer. Yes, he’s better than the schmohawk behind door number 3.
Josh Johnson – 7 IP, 3 ER. For those who missed the game, Johnson didn’t give up any runs. The outfield defense for the Marlins is terrible. Can they please trade Hermida? He goes back on a ball like he’s wearing cement boots.
David Ortiz – HR yesterday. Now that he has eyedrops to moisten his eyes, supposedly he doesn’t need to blink as much and can hit home runs. *cough* placebo *cough* Big Papi’s lack of blinks will probably cost him the lead in the Broadway rendition of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.