When Chuck conceived his son Daniel Norris, he was working on set in Asia with Mrs. Norris still living in the US!  Wait, did that make any sense…  I’ll leave the Chuck Norris jokes to the frat boy posters…

Traded to the Tigers along with another nice upside pitcher Matt Boyd, Detroit got some pretty good arms for a rental and they wasted no time throwing Norris right into the rotation.  And that’s with 12 walks over his last 21 AAA innings!  But throw caution to the wind, don’t look both ways before crossing, run with the scissors and see what ya got, amiright?!

I had Norris all the way to 61 right before the season, getting a little too rookie nookie and slack-jawed at his Minor League stats.  He wasn’t awful through 5 appearances with the Blue Jays pitching his way to a 3.86 ERA, but he was a little too wild and his pitch counts got out of hand.  So with the move to a better ballpark and to a team ready to unleash him right away, I decided to break down his debut with the Tigers to see how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maikellebrew strikes again! And again! Two homers last night for Maikel Franco (4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs, hitting .312), his 8th and 9th homers of the season in only his 36th game played. That prorates to, like, 189 homers in a season. (Don’t do the math.) Perhaps I’m drenched in jade, the mother jewel of sarcasm. Perhaps my cup runneth over with Blasé like a bored rapper. Perhaps I’m all cosmopolitan and citified and other words Charlie Manuel would call me, but why do I get the feeling Maikel is going to have a great rookie year than disappoint for the next three years? Has Bruce, Heyward, Machado and so many others taken away my innocence? Is that a Black Flag bumper sticker on a Cadillac? Don’t look back, I can never look back. I sure hope I’m wrong, but with each homer by Maikel, his hype grows and he moves further away from my clutches. But, if we are to entertain the insane for a moment, he’s only 22 years old. What does his future hold? Does only the papier-mâché head of Michael Jack Schmidt that sits on Prospect Mike desk hold the answers? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Member how I was saying yesterday that I owned Zack Cozart in multiple leagues, and he was a top five shortstop this year on our Player Rater, but I didn’t really appreciate him? Do I even need to tell you what happened next? Can you guess? If you hold your ear to the computer, does it help you guess? Cozart lunged for the 1st base bag as he was going down the line, hyperextended his knee and is headed to the DL. Einstein was right, “Absence does make the heart grow fonder.” Or maybe that was Peabo Bryson. I always confuse those two on attributing quotes. It’s usually one or the other. Was it Peabo Bryson who did the theory of relativity? Why can’t I spell genius without spellchecker? Questions for another day. One potential fill-in is Ivan De Jesus (1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer). De Jesus now has homers in two of three games, that’s twice as many homers as his dad had in his final 600 plate appearances. With Cozart out for who knows how long, De Jesus Jr., or as Christians and Nike marketers like to call him Lil’ Jesus, could be the shortstop, but so could Kris Negron (1-for-4). Negron, please! If it’s Lil’ Jesus, well, it’s worse than Negron, please! Lil’ Jesus doesn’t have much power or speed, while Negron, please, at least swiped 30+ bags one year in the minors. Neither are advisable outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“This is a smart decision by the Nationals franchise to not let Stephen Strasburg pitch in the playoffs,” said every sports reporter two years ago. Let’s try another one, Google, just give me the search results from 2010 when Strasburg was first promoted. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime arm that the world has not seen since Sidd Finch.” Strasburg, Virginia even considered renaming itself Stephen Strasburg. I’m not joking. The hype was real, prematurely balding man. In the past seven months of baseball: Sonny Gray or Strasburg? Is it close? Who’s been better, Strasburg or Lance Lynn? Can I now ingest that laced-Halloween candy that I got from the sketchy guy that I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Yesterday, Strasburg left the game after three innings and two earned runs, saying he has irritation under his shoulder blade. The Nats say it’s an alignment issue that could be corrected by a chiropractor. He’ll be looked at by Jon Cryer from Two and A Half Men. Probably from his stupid inverted W. Why not just call it an M?! No idea how long Strasburg will be out, but obviously this isn’t great news. But, Part II: If Ifs And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, I’d Be A Diabetic Squirrel, it’s better Strasburg not pitch injured and keep getting rocked. But, Part III: But Lives, I’d grab Tanner Roark in case he’s moved into the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy owners lost two good catchers this week in Travis d’Arnaud and Jonathan Lucroy. Even in 12-team formats, you probably threw up in your mouth a little when you went to the wire and saw your replacement options. God help you if you play in a two-catcher format. But not to fear, for the rookies are here! I’m looking in your general direction Kevin Plawecki…don’t disappoint me! When I went over the Top 10 prospects for every team this offseason, I typically spat on catchers in my rankings due to their limited upside. But it’s times like these when we need to bite the bullet and take a closer look at some rookie backstops. Here are six rookie catchers currently in the majors that you may need to roster while your studs are hurt. Yes, this list is ranked in the order that I’d personally add them.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Grey say, “Devon Travis my boo-boo.” Obama say, “What it do?” The Buy/Sell Column say, “Did you miss me?!” During the offseason, while you were diddling and thinking about how your middle school nickname was Skidmark, I, The Buy/Sell Column was re-reenacting scenes from The Act of Killing with puppets in a staged production on the western tip of Alaska because I’M HARDCORE! You want some Rip Taylor-wannabe, throwing confetti at your feet or you want a Buy/Sell Column that be cutting puppets’ necks with chicken wire while bundled up because it was frickin’ cold in Alaska during the winter!? Mental midgets, you want the latter! I’m eating puppet stuffing like I’m George “The Animal” Steele just to prove how crazy I am! Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery, I love Devon Travis like his momma. Let’s throw out what he’s done this year so far for small sample size reasons — that’s what she said! Huh? — and simply look at Travis’s minor league stats. In Single-A, he hit .352 with 6 homers and 14 steals in 77 games. That’s a young man’s professional ball level, let’s move up higher. In Double-A last year in 100 games, he had 10 homers, 16 steals and a .298 average. He didn’t strike out a lot. He wasn’t getting by on his good looks and high BABIP (for him). If you take me out of the equation, ZiPS gives him 13 HRs, 11 SBs in only 116 games. Unless he gets hurt, there’s no reason why he can’t play at least 140 games, so that makes him a 17 HR, 15 SBs guy. Oh. Wait a minute, that’s glorious. Also, I think the Jays are gonna move him to the top of the order by May 1st. Let’s just pray that the Jays don’t do something stupid when Izturis is healthy again. Because…They say with Devon love comes first! We’ll make Devon a place on earth! Sing it, Belinda Carlisle! (By the by, Belinda Carlisle? Hot Cougar Alert! She could be 85 years old and sexy as all get out!) If you’re hurting at MI, I’d grab him, because I’m randy for Travis. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you had 75 hours into the season for when Joakim Soria would become the closer in Detroit, you win a brand new car*! *Prizes not included (there’s no car; stop being greedy, you instead get words pieced together by the Fantasy Master Lothario). The Tigers’ pen is more of a pencil and a dull one at that. Where for art thou, Willie Hernandez? My kingdom for Todd Jones! Poopie Grande by any other name is still Poopie Grande. That was Shakespeare, you ignant boo-boo! The Tigers did get better yesterday with Joe Nathan, hitting the DL with a flexor strain in his elbow. Like when you remove that hair from your lip mole, it’s addition by subtraction. For those of you that drafted Soria, well done. Hopefully, he keeps the job all year. If Barry Manilow can find love, anything’s possible. By the by, all this time I thought he put the emphasis on Dee in Mandy. Guess I was wrong. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?