The Cubs.  The lovable losers.  The trade first and ask questions later…ers…

Say what you want about what the Cubs are doing, but I liked their blockbuster deal with the A’s.  John Kruk was slamming it on Sunday Night Baseball (while my boy Rick Porcello got a bitch slap of regression), but then again I’m a Brewers fan and not a Cubs fan!

Last year, the Cubs sold Scott Feldman for current pickup of the year nominee Jake Arrieta.  So that’s one thing they’ve done right!  Both the Shark and Jason Hammel weren’t re-signing, and this ridiculous emergence from Arrieta eases the pain of rebuilding a rotation.

But we don’t really care about Wrigley politics, we just want some nasty stats on our fantasy teams.  Arrieta has been absolutely unbelievable (only Clayton Kershaw has been better the past month) and he had back-to-back no-nos through 7 prior to Sunday’s start.  How legit is this breakout?  Is Arrieta a sell high?  I’ve seen the highlights and bits of some of the previous starts, but I wanted a deeper look into his stuff and decided to Profile how he looked in yesterday’s great outing against the Nationals:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, you should be sorry, Ronald Belisario. You have been pretty rough on your owners since stepping into the closer role, testing the limits of SAGNOF and just how much pain a fantasy owner will endure to capture those elusive saves. Belisario was at it again last night and gave up three hits and two runs to the Blue Jays, recording just one out before being removed from the game. In just 12 innings pitched since inheriting the job, Ronny has surrendered 10 ER on 20 hits with three blown saves in in that time. More like RonaldO-No! Hey, a World Cup pun, how topical. In Belisario’s defense, he did manage eight saves during his stay as closer, but that’s more a testament to Manager Robin Ventura sticking with him this long. Well, Ventura has had enough. Alrighty then, Ventura, who’s your closer now? Jake Petricka finished out the game last night and notched his second save of the season. Petricka has a 2.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP on the year and looks like the most likely choice to take over the closer role. Javy Guerra, Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb could also be names to watch and see chances were the Sox to go to a committee. Whatever the case, Ronald is out. And although he may not apologize for killing your ratios over the past month, you can drop him now, which is definitely something you won’t have to feel sorry about.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pitching my life with his words. One time, one time. What, you don’t get down with The Fugees remix? By the by, Wyclef, musical talent, instrumental to success, pun noted. Lauryn Hill bonkers talented, pun noted. Pras? Um… Well… An actual refugee? True story, Wyclef once walked into my mom’s chiropractor office and asked her to massage his butt. My mom declined…Or so she tells me! Marcus Stroman did a little dazzle number last night — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks — that hinted at his true talent level. Why has he looked like Pras’s career post-Fugees? Because he’s a rookie and prone to roofies. The pretty remarkbuehrle thing about his numbers thus far is he averages a 94 MPH fastball (that’s terrific) and an under 2 BB/9 (also terrific). A guy that can throw bullets and aim them will translate into an ace very quickly. To see what kind of thing the Royal We is talking about — his Triple-A numbers were 11+ K/9 and a 2.3 K/9. If that happens in the majors, he’ll be a top 10 starter. For serious. Unfortch, for now he’s a streamer in most mixed leagues with a chance for upside. Yesterday, the Stream-o-Nator liked him and next time out it loves him, so I’d give him a little how’s your father, good, thanks for asking, but he’s still risky. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After the first couple months of a season, we start to get enough at bats to make informed decisions about how the current season may suggest a change in a player’s future performance from what we previously expected. Or do we? Yes, yes we do. But sometimes people overreact to recent information. Let’s call it recency bias because I think that’s its actual name. However, just because a sample size in the current season is statistically significant doesn’t mean we should ignore a larger sample (the player’s entire career). My preference is to investigate whether there is a reason why a player’s performance may have changed, from both a statistical perspective and due to any reported personal issues (injury, new baby, divorce, etc.). The idea is to see if it tells a story, which admittedly involves some subjectivity, but I think it helps place statistics in their proper context. This helps determine the likelihood that a player will approach their previous numbers or maintain their current performance. This is my long-winded way of saying that I’m looking at some players who have had at least one stretch of a drastic change from their expectations in 2014:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cause you got a build up of wax in your eyes and haven’t been digesting the non-verbal medicine I’ve been doling out about Khris Davis, he’s getting a lede. This is coming to you from a tough love perspective, so whatever I say I don’t wish to offend or denigrate. Y’all seem like good people. Some of you I would even consider friends. Friends that I’ve never met and friends that when you called me to make plans I’d lie about other plans I didn’t have to avoid you, but friends nevertheless. You all have good souls. Each and other one of you. Now, it’s time to unload on you. Damn, in the middle of softening the blow, I forgot what the blow was. Well, you should own Khris Davis. I know that was part of it. He’s been out-homering Chris Davis. Everyone knows there’s only one way to spell Khris Davis. Spelling it with a C is for cream puffs. Even that should be khream! Is Khris the answer to your season? Prolly not, but he is capable of 30 homers and he has 10 as of right now. Plus-minus that shizz and you have a bunch more homers in his bat. Oh, and four of those homers came in the last eight games. He is only 26 years old so there might even be a chance here for huge upside. I.e., his ceiling is unknown. All that is known is that he’s hit for power everywhere he’s played. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Razzball is that I haven’t encountered another fantasy baseball site where the commenters are this active and generally friendly with each other. Another great thing is that even the comments are worth reading because there tends to be some nice insight. Example A is Principal Blackman, likely a pseudonym for Charlie Blackmon, who said this last week, “How about a little love for Shin-Soo Choo’s .432 OBP & .929 OPS? Both would be career highs (the Arlington effect?), but they are not wildly (unbelievably) out of line with his career averages (.391/.858), and they are right in line with the advances he made last year… ZiPS and Steamer both foresee some regression on the way for him, and indeed a .392 average on balls in play would blow his career BABIP (.352) out of the water. And at the same time, his K% has dipped below the league average, but, on the other hand, he has maintained the improvements he made last year to his already stellar walk rate, and since the beginning of the 2013 season he only has one infield popup (none this year).” Since then, Choo has slumped a bit and had his OPS dip below .900. I expect to see him around that level all year, while maintaining his ~.420 OBP. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind in OBP leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Looking for the Razzball Podcast? TOO BAD! It’s now Razzball Radio, and you can check out all the episodes here!

With only two (three if you are including the eventual death of Yordano Ventura‘s elbow) notable names going on the Disabled List this past week (Mike Napoli and Noah Syndergaard, who probably pulled something while pillaging a camp near the North Sea… HAHA Viking jokes, so good), things are looking a tad bit brighter. But not really, since there are still about 983 players currently on the DL according to my last count. Which seems low, but what do I know? Rudy does all my counting for me. And, as we took a moment this weekend, between relaxing and cooking stuff, to honor all the men and women, active, retired, and tragically lost while defending their county, in all the armed services, we should take a moment today to remember that Jose Fernandez is awesome. Prince Fielder, well, he’s fat. Matt Wieters‘ elbow just seems to be one angry effer. Kris Medlen is strikingly average, but some Patrick Corbin could have been nice. Special thanks to Bobby Parnell for the wake he’s left in New York. Jose Valverde… more like Jose LOLverde. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, which is probably the most apt metaphor ever. EVAAR. I mean, just check out my team’s start of the season, in picture form:

titanic-maiden-voyage-2

So, after taking a moment yesterday to remember all of those brave souls that we’ve lost, and all those who have served and are serving now to preserve our way of life, let us take a moment today, Tuesday, to remember all the hamstrings that have been pulled, all the obliques that have exploded, and all the ulnar collateral ligament’s that have just simply dropped dead, and honor their sacrifice. How did I honor them, you might ask? By doing what I usually do when perusing my leagues available player list…

XpKRTcC

My Fantasy Baseball brethen… 2014, the year of the DL… always remember.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What’s more American than Memorial Day weekend? How about an ex-country singer-dating, gun-toting, Texan, a guy that looks like he puts a hot dog in the fly of his pants and goes up to female reporters and asks them if they’re hungry, a guy who we call Red State Jeter, a guy that looks like he has the rhythm of Mark Madsen, someone who has Ted Nugent’s special I’m-a-huntin’ phone number, a guy that Roger Clemens probably watches and thinks, “I wonder if he’ll have sex with my wife while I watch,” throwing a no-hitter? With a no-hitter on Memorial Day, Josh Beckett just took your ‘Murica and raised it back to its 1950′s ‘Murica when we were more obvious about our contempt for other nations. Though for our fantasy porpoises — hey, dolphins! — I gotta be honest, I’m a bit worried about him throwing 128 pitches, but his peripherals suggest a guy that if healthy can be a solid fantasy number three. He is not an ace now, so if suddenly people think that, feel free to shop him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What do the Rangers do now? Prince has gone belly up. [Jay's Note: More like belly all around, amiright? You know, because he's fat.] Besides Yu Darvish, their pitching is hot garbage. I’m 50/50 if they try to make a deal for Kendrys Morales. What’s really going on in Arlington? Mitch “I get relevant every May” Moreland is what’s going on. Over the last three years, the month of May has been by far his best. He’s hit .312, with 17 dongs, 46 runs and 38 RBI’s. Maybe he has a thing with the letter ‘M’? MMMHHHH! – Mitch Moreland May I? Mitch May Moreland… Is May his middle name? Either way, something good has happened for triple M. Prince Fielder‘s neck couldn’t handle all that weight it’s been carrying around, and now Mitch gets his shot again. Hey J-FOH, Mitch has never been able to put it together for a whole season? That is correct, diligent random commenter. Mitch has never been able to put it all together for a full season and I don’t expect that to change. What I do know is May is almost over, Mitch loves to hit in May, Prince is now a popper… of pain killers, and opportunity is the drug we all subscribe to in fantasy baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?