Nothing captures a reader’s interest more than an Al Gore reference. At this point in the long fantasy baseball season you don’t need me to tell you that Jarrod Dyson is a good pickup for SAGNOF. Likewise, it’s not in anybody’s best interest for me to write a thousand words on a player who may only hold steals value in some deep AL-only league. However, there are still schedules to look at and several players that have speed were called up to their respective clubs in the past week. Billy Burns of the Athletics didn’t do much with his first stint in the majors, but could chip in a steal or three down the stretch even if his role is as a pinch runner. Likewise for Terrance Gore of the Royals. Gore stole 47 bags in the minors this season and was caught only seven times. In 2013 he swiped 68 bags and was caught only 8 times. Gore has already recorded a steal as a pinch runner and should see opportunities for more of the same in the weeks ahead. Other speedy call-ups include Jonathan Villar, Dalton Pompey, and Aaron Hicks.

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Last week was about speculating which players might be getting the call this September and providing any kind of fantasy value in redraft leagues. With September now a week old, we have the names of the players who have indeed been added to rosters. With all of these call-ups, it’s important to remember that playing time could be sparse and their impact in a 12-team standard mixed league may be minimal. However, those of us who are playing in deeper leagues or keepers may have been rostering some of these players already. In that case their call-ups are more meaningful. They can add depth to the fantasy roster and sometimes it’s just fun to get a look at someone you’ve been hoarding in your NA spot or on your farm. Additionally, just because September 1st has come and gone doesn’t mean more players can’t be added as the month progresses and the MiLB playoffs come to an end. We’ll take a look at the pitchers next time, but for now let’s dive into some of the bats that got the call to the majors this past week…

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It’s deja vu all over again. It was almost a year ago that Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter vs. the Padres. Only thing better would be if they both came on 4/20. After the game, Lincecum said, “I felt unstoppable the whole game. Even if something was hit, I felt like there was a giant baseball mitt in the outfield,” then seeing the giant baseball mitt sculpture in AT&T Park’s outfield, Lincecum slowly looked around to see if anyone else saw what he did, then said, “Dude,” five or six times, then refused to answer any more questions. The Padres are a team that could be no-hit any time they step on the field, so, in some ways, they fulfilled their destiny yesterday. What’s the difference between the Padres bats and Tony Gwynn? I remember when Tony Gwynn was alive. “Dude, seriously, do you see that giant mitt?” Yes, Lincecum, leave us alone. In the game following Lincecum’s no-hitter last year, he threw three and two-thirds innings and gave up eight runs, so, while this was a nice game, I wouldn’t go thinking Lincecum is suddenly the pitcher he was in his Cy Young years. A paranoid Lincecum runs by, “There’s a giant mitt out there!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I put a poster of David DeJesus up on my bedroom wall. Cougs said to me, “Grey, why do we have a picture of David DeJesus on our bedroom wall?” She was right. It was silly to put DeJesus up on my wall. So I cut out his face, cut out his lips, cut out his eyes and taped it around her face with masking tape, so she could see and talk to me through DeJesus. Then I asked my religious poster-ography if it could please leave my sweet, sweet upside pitchers alone. DeJesus said back to me, “Yes, can you please untape this thing from my head now?” DeJesus spoke to me! Too bad I didn’t do this prior to Yordano Ventura going out and getting rocked (2 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and then complaining after the game of elbow discomfort. Dah! As we know by now, no pitchers get away with elbow discomfort without a DL stint. The MRI will either lead him to a 15-day DL stint or a 12-18 month one. Lowercase yay. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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For all of today’s news and lineup notes, all with a Canadian/Arizonian accent (if that’s such a thing, I’m assuming it is unless they already deported it) here’s Nick the Podcast Radio Host with today’s HotSheet!

To be fair, Johnny Cueto is good, but that’s not the name of the song. Pitching a complete game, three hit shut-out with eight strikeouts is quite an impressive start, until you realize it was against the Padres. You gave up three hits against them? What is this? Kevin Correia hour? Even though those nine innings struck me as quite pedestrian, his last 63.0 IP have been quite impressive. And seeing as how he’s one of the eighteen pitchers who has survived so far without a tendon exploding, he could be well on his way for a Cy Young caliber year. And while the red flags are few and far between, I would be remiss not to mention them. First, his LOB% is insane at 99.5%. Yes, he’s really great at holding runners, but the league average is 72.8% and his career average 76.6%. Second, his BB% is unchanged, but his K/9 is 9.71, compared to a career number of 7.19, and there’s really no reason why. The velocity has remained the same. There’s been an uptick of two-seamers with less sliders and change-ups… but if it was sequencing, we’d need a bigger sample. If it’s a case of getting called third strikes at a higher rate, that would demand regression. And, of course, there’s always injury-risk. But in the year of the Tommy John, I’ll feel relieved if someone’s arm doesn’t literally just fall off during a game this season. But hey, pitchers have career years. And when good pitchers have career years, well, ahem, they have career years? Uhh… I was in trouble like six words in…

Here’s what else I saw on Thursday (besides yo momma):

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Go, go, go, go, go, go. Go, Corey, it is your birthday. We want to party like it is your birthday. *dance like a white man that has on parachute pants* We will sip Bacardi like it is your birthday. And you know we do not give an expletive it is not your birthday. I see Corey Kluber on my iPad and I want to kick him in the ass, but I still can’t make heads or tails of him. “Mr. Kluber, why do you bring anguish to my potluck dinner?” Justin Masterson had RSVP’d already with anguish! Ugh, I really don’t know what to make of Kluber. He’s hella risky and, yes, I still say hella. After his start yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks — you obviously have to own him if he’s on your waivers. The good news is his BABIP is obscenely unlucky (.353). The bad news is his velocity is down. He gets the Angels next and the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like it and I’d be lying if I told you I had the utmost confidence in him. In other words, own him, but it could be a rocky road without delicious marshmallows. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I love the Aussie people; they have goofy words for a barbecue and even goofier animals — koalas and kangaroos? Is Australia animated? Those things are goofy! Why not just get a duck-billed platypus and anteater and call it a day, you wacky-animal-having country! How about baseball there? Did all the fans in attendance win a Bowie knife if a player hit a home run into the big marsupial pouch? Did Crocodile Dundee throw out the first pitch? Did the batters hit with a fraternity hazing paddle? I don’t know, because it was at four in the morning! Selig really needs to stop doing this to Opening Day. The players will be exhausted from traveling and won’t be able to get their usual reps in during the spring. The first pitch of the season should be at a time when 7-year-old North American boys and girls can watch it. Not at 4 AM EST. What if the first game went extra innings or someone got hurt? Can they just call up someone from the minors for the next game? No, so then you’ll have a team playing short. Do these stunts in December as a goodwill trip. Don’t make major league baseball teams into the Harlem Globetrotters for a regular season game. Eh, whatevs, baseball is back, who cares if it comes with a big helping of Vegemite. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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If you want to see the worst video you can imagine, here’s Aroldis getting hit in the face by a line drive. I say it’s the worst video, not because of the graphic content, but because it looks it was shot by a blind man who has really large fingers. Which has me thinking, does braille come in different sizes? Things that make you go hmm… So, Aroldis Chapman got hit in the face by a comebacker off of Salvador Perez’s bat and needed to get carted off the field and taken straight to the hospital. No amount of weird stories about Aroldis coming home to find women tied to his bed, claiming they were kidnapped, makes what happened to Aroldis right. No amount of stories of him doing 150 MPH in a school zone, drag racing against Puig, makes this right. Aroldis can throw puppies in the air and say he’s making it rain for pussycats and it doesn’t make it okay. Though, I did rush to the waiver wire looking for J.J. Hoover just in case Aroldis would be out for a while, then I went looking for Jonathon Broxton. Fantasy baseball, you make me a bad person! I’d add Hoover and Broxton, just in case Aroldis is out for a while. Right now, I’d guess he misses a month with a fractured nose and a fracture above his eye. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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When he was called up just before the All-Star Break, the exclamation for the long-awaited arrival for Erasmo Ramirez was perhaps hyperbolic.  I’ll admit, I thought he’d be a big fantasy help too.  Sure he was dynamite last year with a decent 3.36 ERA but dazzling 1.00 WHIP and 7.32 Ks per 9 in his debut 59 innings.  His walk rate was under 2 per 9, pitches in Safeco – this was going to be a fantastic season.

But a triceps injury kept him from making the Opening Day rotation, forcing him to rehab his way back up.  After two nice starts in single A and double AA, Erasmo spent most of his time in AAA with a solid 3.09 ERA and 42 Ks in 43.2 innings.  However, red flags did arise with a WHIP at 1.31 and a walk rate at 2.89.  Not exactly too scary, and he was certainly shaking some rust off.

Please, blog, may I have some more?