How quickly things change. Last week, it was looking like Adam Eaton was close to returning from an elbow injury and A.J. Pollock would be the odd man out in the Arizona outfield. Well, one setback later, Pollock looks good to go as a part of the four-man Arizona outfield and he’s worth watching in deeper formats. He’ll get starts against lefties and maybe more, so he’s a guy that you’ll have to play the matchups with unless he really catches fire. Meanwhile, Adam Eaton is probably not going to do much in the way of baseball for about three weeks and probably won’t be fantasy relevant until the end of June at the earliest. He was so close to returning too. Kind of like crashing your car with one payment left. We’ll take a look at matchups for all the members of the stolen base leaderboard for Week 9. As always, all players listed are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and Sunday’s stats are not included.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jesus Montero was sent down and the Mariners called up Jesus Sucre. Jesus for Jesus was the original name of Jews for Jesus when it only had one member. The only thing that I pray is that my Brayan Pena don’t fail me now…Jesus sucks! And I don’t think there is nothing Montero can do now to right my wrongs…Jesus Sucks! I want to talk to Yan Gomes, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long…Jesus Sucks! To the SAGNOF hustlers, worm burners, lefty murderers, HGH drug dealers especially A-Rod’s cousin… Jesus Sucks for them! To victims of Ron Popeil ‘Set it and Forget It’ catcher management style for we living in hell here hell yeah, Jesus Sucks for them! I.e., good riddance, Montero. With Easter passed, I have no idea when Jesus will be back, but I’d drop him in all leagues. Shoppach will take over full-time now, but this should put Mike Zunino firmly on your radars. On the most recent prospect power rankings, Zunino was honorably mentioned. Last time Scott, our prospect writer, really hooked his chompers into Zunino, he said this, “Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level. A real overachiever, like our very own Grey.” Hey, thanks! A word about that quote. (Actually a few words.) Jesus Montero is mentioned in there, and that’s not a goof by Scott, this just shows you what catcher prospects look like when they come up. Catchers tend to take a while to develop because they’re learning defense as much as offense. They can’t just hit, they need to play defense. Well, except for Mike Piazza. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Josh Rutledge did not play for the third time since last Friday because Walt Weiss is crummy with crackers, then thinking he was a real Weiss guy, Rutledge was sent down to Triple-A. This is the same Rutledge that went into yesterday’s game hitting .259 with a homer, 3 runs and 3 RBIs in the last week. He’d be leading the entire Marlins team with those numbers! On our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, he was above Starlin Castro, Alcides, Alexei, Rollins, Asdrubal for the year… Seriously. He was doing better than all but 8 shortstops. Yes, I’m on the River Denial and my boat is called, “Dubya Tee Eff?!” and I’m stopping at the Sphinx to riddle him with, “What are the Rockies doing?” Are you seriously going with DJ LeMahieu because he had hits the last two days?! Why not just go with David Guetta? At least he’s had hits I’ve heard of! The problem seems to be that the Rockies are holding Rutledge’s fielding against him. Luckily, Weiss wasn’t managing the Yankees in 1996 or Jeter would’ve been sent down for Luis Sojo. I know, The Art of Fielding, I know Dan Fielding, I do not know of sending Rutledge down for fielding. Stop the madness and bring back Rutledge! I’ll admit when I’m wrong with drafting guys, but Rutledge was not a mistake. It’s stupid teams, playing for stupid things that don’t matter in 5×5 roto. STUPID! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mitch Moreland, a notable imperialist, has been capturing the hearts and minds of fantasy owners while their villages are unsuspectingly pillaged. On the baseball field, he’s been hitting better than he has since 2009… when he was in high A ball. The boy’s a time bomb! So, will he be able to maintain anywhere near this level of production? Or will he turn it off like a light switch (just go click)? My fortune cookie says, “Signs point to yes.” Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with Exhibit A for why you shouldn’t ask your fortune cookie conflicting questions. For those of you who are familiar with Mitch, you’re probably pulling a Large Marge like me when you realized that he’s hitting over a 1.100 OPS in May. He’s doing everything a little bit better: lower strikeout rate, higher walk rate, and a higher home run to fly ball rate, which could be sustainable. Although the caveat is that he’s absolutely crushing the ball at home and against righties, so it’s hard to tell if he’s right side up or upside down. I’m thinking that he’ll likely produce closer to his numbers from last year, with slight improvement going forward. Mitch, I’ve got Moreland a feeling that you’ll still be solid the rest of the way. Anyway, here are some other players who have my attention in OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I went ahead and picked up Jarrod Dyson this past week only to watch him sprain his ankle before even entering my lineup. ESPN has him listed as 0.0% ownership, so apparently my team doesn’t even count in their world. I was about to get all depressed about it and throw on my Skinny Puppy t-shirt and black eyeliner when I realized that this is a SAGNOF world, and that means when one speedster goes down, we just go to the heap for another. We’re about 1/4 of the way through the season already, and that means it’s time to take a look at some stats for pitchers, catchers, and teams to try to exploit when chasing steals. I’ll also take a look at what Will Venable is up to and how Pedro Florimon may be a possible source of cheap speed in very deep leagues. At the beginning of the season, I posted the 2012 numbers for pitchers and catchers who should be exploited or avoided when it comes to steals, as well as team SB allowed for matchup purposes. Here are those same stats through the first 40 games of the 2013 season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mauledbypandas held on to first for another week, but Jack Full of Hate closed the gap to just three tenths of a point as he moved up from 11th place to second. Impressively, the Hateful Jack also has the 18th ranked team. Check out the Master Standings (you can also access them via the Leagues menu up top) to see where your team ranks in comparison to the other 767 teams through Sunday. Tell me your team and league in the comments and I’ll add your Razzball handle to the standings.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Max Scherzer has heterochromia, which is a condition where one eye is a different color than the other. Here’s a picture of him. Christopher Walken, Kiefer Sutherland, Mila Kunis, Kate Bosworth, to name a few, also have this condition. Doesn’t this seem like something that at some point will be the “it thing?” I could totally see teenagers in the future riding their hoverboards and wearing only one colored contact. Then further down the line the government will require everyone to have different colored eyes and teenagers with the same colored eyes will rise up to overthrow the government, only to be thwarted because some counter-terrorism organization supplied the teens with marijuana and a new “awesome” video game. Actually, I’m kinda surprised this hasn’t happened yet. With my deep, dark, mysterious, cock-eyed peepers, I looked into Scherzer and decided he’s been the 3rd best pitcher in baseball so far, if you throw out his ERA (the 2nd best is Anibal and 4th best is Burnett). Sure, when one looks cock-eyed at things, they cherry-pick stats and throw out common sense. Still, Scherzer has been fantastic. His K-rate of 11.26 is fifth in the league. His walk rate is 24th. Besides Peavy, Scherzer is the only one in the top 24 with a 9+ K-rate and a walk rate that low. Basic math: if you strikeout people and don’t walk them, great things will happen. Scherzer has been better than F-Her, only F-Her has an ERA of 1.53 and Scherzer’s is at 3.98. Fantasy baseballers (<–Grand Dame Albright’s term!) tend to overrate recent past results and ratios they can understand like ERA. If someone in your league thinks Scherzer is nothing but a #2 or 3 with good Ks, they’re wrong as no rain. I’d pursue Scherzer quickly before his ERA turns around like a dramatic prairie dog. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is not a drill. Eric Young Jr. should actually see steady starts in right field with Michael Cuddyer hitting the disabled list. After Helton went down we were teased by the occasional EY2 start. I may or may not have seen Grey with a Cuddyer voodoo doll in his hand and next thing I know, EY2 is the Rockies leadoff hitter and starting right fielder. He and a few others who are on page one of the steals’ leaderboards may still be available in your league. Juan Pierre, Michael Saunders, and Kelly Johnson all graduated from this list with over 50% ownership now. Hopefully they are able to contribute to their new fantasy owners instead of doing what I did when I graduated, which was sitting in my parents’ basement eating pizza rolls and hoping that today would be “PLINKO” day on The Price Is Right.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve read a few pieces recently about how stolen bases are down across MLB. As long as steals are a category they will have value, and if steals are indeed down compared to previous years, then they just become that much more valuable. The guy who is currently second in all of baseball in steals, Juan Pierre, is still owned in less than half of the leagues out there. This is kind of confusing to me. If we hit the wire to grab a guy who is in line for saves, or we’ll stream a pitcher hoping for a win, shouldn’t we grab Juan Pierre?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sure, these aren’t your slightly older brother’s Yankees. Even Mel Hall would roll over in his Aryan cellmate’s arms if you were to compare these Yankees with the early-90′s Yankees. Still… Again and this time put a little sting on it… STILL! Mr. DeMille, Matt Moore looks ready for his close-up as he announced, “I am big. It’s the other pitchers that got small.” The Yankees can usually take a walk, and Moore’s on the wild side when the guys and four girl readers go, ‘Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo.’ Yesterday, Moore only gave up two hits and three walks through eight innings while chipping in nine Ks. His season ERA now sits at 1.04. Sure, that’s gonna come up a bit, but I ranked him 16th overall for all starters for a reason. That reason is his stuff is nasty. Nasty as in good not nasty as in bad with that bad not being bad bad, he’s good bad. Kapeesh? Looking for a pitcher then can give you 200 Ks and a 2-something ERA then look at Strasburg. Looking for a guy that can get you the same amount of Ks and a low-three ERA, but will come a lot cheaper in a trade? That’s all the Moore reason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?