The night was humid in San Diego. Some fans in the front row brought their own Chardonnay, a mix of floral and fruity notes, which could’ve also described the crowd’s apparel. Tommy Bahama as far as the eye could see. One Padre fan stood up, three glasses of wine in, screaming to let Templeton play. Most of the fans that night were there for a picnic that was billed as ‘the best picnic mom’s ever packed.’ One thing these picnickers never expected was to become a part of history. Whispers amongst the Padre fans began in the 1st inning. “It was going to be a long night.” Not because of Tim Lincecum, who began his quest to throw the 700th-something no-hitter in the last ten years. Tonight would drag for these Padre fans because the picnic brie was forgotten at home. Tonight these Padre fans groaned in the first inning because when Lincecum took the mound they thought the game was being preempted for a k.d. lang concert. So, Lincecum wasn’t economical in his 148-pitch no-hitter, walking 4 guys and K’ing 13. He’s the first pitcher to throw more pitches in a no-hitter than he weighs. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Lincecum doesn’t look bad in his peripherals this year. His K-rate and walk rate are pretty close to the numbers he put up when he had a 2.74 ERA in 2011. He didn’t make the top 100 for the 2nd half that is coming tomorrow, but I considered it for a long time (about 25 seconds). The unknown right now is whether or not the 148 pitches is going to tire his arm. Obviously, he’ll have the All-Star break to rest and I wouldn’t be against giving Lincecum a chance on my fantasy team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today I had jury duty for the very first time. As a lot of you know, that means I sat in a room doing literally nothing for eight hours hearing about some guy who accidentally burnt himself, while I’m sitting there wishing the trial was actually for a drug-deal-gone-bad-quadruple-homicide. After about five hours I was simply staring at the hottest fellow juror because at that point I no longer cared what she or anyone else in the room thought of me. As you might assume, all the time I didn’t spend making phony racist assertions and promising that in no way will I be a fair judge, I was fantasizing about fantasy baseball. It was the only thing that kept me from scratching my eyes out, God of War combo-punching everyone, and subsequently getting shot in the face by a security guard, which now seems like it might have been the best course of action because I have to go back tomorrow. “Who the hell is Yoervis Medina and why did he get a save last night?” “Excuse me, sir, phone usage is discouraged.” “LOL, yeah.” In a way, the entire day’s proceedings were eerily similar to a lost fantasy season — as time went on, things seemed bleaker, time moved slower, and windows seemed more appealing. Even if this season is a jury duty of a season, don’t let next year’s be. That’s why we have our beloved keepers — guys on whom we develop creepy man-crushes and who symbolize hope.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The afternoon started with Matt Harvey. He pitched a stellar 7 innings with 13 Ks, but Terry Collins sent him out there in the 8th after throwing 110 pitches, which lead to two singles and a walk, three runners that the bullpen let in. After the game, Collins said, “I felt bad for Duda (who blew a chance for a Harvey no-hitter by not covering first base on Heyward’s infield single). I couldn’t let Duda make the only Metsake of the game. I was going to keep pitching Harvey until he screwed up. He’d have started the nightcap, if necessary.” Fortch, it wasn’t necessary, as the nightcap brought on Zack Wheeler‘s debut with a line of 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 7 Ks. To summarize, it was shaky as all get-out at first. He looked like he couldn’t hit the broadside of Precious. Then he either calmed, or realized something — if he could locate, no one could hit him. He can easily be as good as Harvey, but I’m guessing it won’t be until next year. Last night was the best you could’ve hoped for. To summarize that summary, he was shaky, then solid. To summarize the summary’s summary, Zack good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did someone call Glenn Frey? Cuz the H is O. When the news hit, I was on the toilet, which reminded me of that famous Lawrence Taylor quote when he said, “My life is in the toilet and no one is flushing.” Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez‘s lives are in that same proverbial toilet; hopefully they avoid sleeping with an underage prostitute. “Baby, you ever see me break Theismann’s leg?” “The Theismann Trophy? Wow, isn’t that bronze?” “Joe Theismann, woman!” “Woman? I’m 16.” That’s an audio recording of LT in the hotel room. So, the world is ablaze with ESPN’s report that a suspension is forthcoming for Braun, A-Rod, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera, amongst notable fantasy names. Gio Gonzalez isn’t in danger because he makes people write down shizz in invisible ink. “I bought this pen from the back of comic book, forgoing the 3-D glasses.” That’s Gio at the steroid reception desk. By the by, how buff was the lady taking calls at Biogenesis and how bad did A-Rod hit on her? I got questions, y’all! If Ryan Braun is suspended, the repercussions will obviously be huge for your fantasy team. However, Braun looks like he’s already battling something — the Jewish guilt? P to the erhaps. If you’re doing well in your league with the Braun that you have, chances are you can rotate through hot schmotatoes in shallower mixed leagues to give you his production. If A-Rod is suspended? Well, no one cares outside of the buff receptionist. EverCab could also send people scrambling for steals on waivers, while Cruz and Jhonny are replaceable in most mixed leagues. On the bright side, Braun’s lawyers will probably fight this for at least a month or two, and they’ve won before over what mail carrier someone used, so you never know. On the brighter side, the publishers of the Jewish Sports Hero Pamphlet can hold off on an expansion for a while. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
They say baseball is a game of inches. When ‘they’ say that, ‘they’ are wearing a plaid jacket and flood pants. They also have adult acne. But if baseball really is a game of inches, the Tigers are packing heat in their lineup like John Holmes. So, for all other teams’ fans, I ask you gently, Tigers, please don’t have good pitching too. I mean, besides Verlander and Scherzer and Fister and Anibal, because that would just be unfair. Yesterday, it appeared they had that with Rick Porcello. He went eight innings with zero earned runs, four baserunners and 11 Ks. After his eleventh K, the sound system played, “Rick’s a Jolly Porcello.” That is the best game I can remember from Porcello, by far, and I use all of his game logs as toilet paper, so I’d remember. I mean, what else am I doing in the john? Answering comments? Well, maybe. Just keep that in mind when you’re asking me who I’d drop. Porcello’s xFIP looks solid and his walks have always been stellar. The one flaw in his game I didn’t like was his ability to K people. So far this year, his K-rate is up and way up after yesterday. If you’re struggling to find a starter, I could see adding Porcello, but there’s risk because he does tend to have huge blow ups. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Diamondbacks said J.J. Putz needs elbow surgery. Imagine the doctor misreads Putz’s chart and J.J. walks out with a new putz that is an arm, elbow to hand. Would that have him get to third base and home all with one swing of the bat? It would help him avoid that awkwardness when you try to hug and undo a girl’s pants. He could also towel himself down while opening a door. Actually, this sounds like a plus-plus, or rather, a putz-putz! I’m reinventing the knuckle shuffle! The Diamondbacks also officially announced yesterday what I announced the day before, Heath Bell would be the closer. Ya know this means he’s going to crap your face and call it Google Glass, right? You know this, right? I do, and I still grabbed him. I’d also grab David Hernandez in case the only thing Bell rings in are blown saves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week, Jack Morris said Clay Buchholz was cheating. Not surprising that something doesn’t smell right with the fingers of a guy named Buchholz. Morris is probably mad because Clay’s not pitching to the score. I don’t usually subscribe to rumors, innuendos and urban legend…though a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt will get you laid more. However, it did look like he was cheating vs. the Blue Jays. His balls were dancing more than a Chippendale after an eight ball of coke and five Monster Energy drinks. It looked like Gaylord Perry was his personal spitting fountain. Then yesterday vs. the Twins, Buchholz looked human for the first time all season (6 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks). Maybe the Red Sox told him to lay off the Vaseline and if he wants to do something heroic, squirt some ketchup on his ankle between innings. Curt Schilling: The Catsup’d Ankle That Bankrupted The State Of Rhode Island. If Buchholz is filing his balls like Mike Scott and not like an anal retentive dog neuterer, I’d be careful of Clay moving forward. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Roy Halladay makes every hitter look like Babe Ruth right after he burped. (Burping was the key to his success; I watched a documentary.) Roy’s gotta hit the Disgraceful List, doesn’t he? I mean, it’s in everyone’s best interest at this point. Watching him is like seeing Carol Channing before someone told her to use a mirror to apply makeup. “How’d I get this lipstick on my ears? Maybe a dab of mascara on the ol’ chin!” You should’ve heard me saying that line like Carol Channing in my head. It’s just real sloppy out there right now for Roy. If he’s not hurt, his fantasy owners may find him in a dark alley and change that. If he is hurt, stop taking one for the team, you gamer you. “I’m a gamer. I grind like I’m old school, Jodeci, going riding roughshod over fantasy ratios…Horatio…Alger, in reverse.” That’s Roy doing beat poetry. At this point, I’d bench him against most teams until he starts piecing together something less craptastic. You might, unfortunately, have the reincarnation of 2012 Lincecum. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hold on, Alabama Shakes. This title isn’t meant for you to run out and take a crowbar to an injured player’s knee. Instead, I’m handicapping injured players in terms of their value. In a way, this is an expansion upon an article I wrote about how Corey Hart compares to Allen Craig. I’ve heard people argue that you can’t predict injuries, so you should draft players with confidence who, though they have an extensive injury history, are currently healthy. To me, it doesn’t make sense to make that assumption, as if injuries have no lingering aftereffect or increase in chance of future injury. Just because we don’t know the full extent of something doesn’t mean we should ignore it. So, it’s worth building this potential risk into the price you pay or the round you draft that player. It is the same approach that you can use to value players who are currently injured. Does this sound controversial? Perfect, that means you’ve followed me so far. I’m going to use this approach to evaluate a few players. The goal of this post is to reduce the uncertainty of how injuries affect a player’s value, particularly in OPS leagues. Anyway, here’s how I value some of these players:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Like the 2nd basemen to target post, this is necessary. You want to take flyers on late shortstops. You want to avoid taking high-priced shortstops. Position scarcity is a buzzword(s) that fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) like to throw around. It’s the same as someone using ten-dollar words in conversation they don’t really understand. I’m drafting Tulo because of position scarcity! That’s you after reading an ESPN analcyst. We talk about position scarcity on our first fantasy baseball podcast of the year, too. At least I think we do under some of the jazzy music. Our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater shows Jimmy Rollins was the top shortstop last year at 36 overall. Maybe what everyone means by position scarcity is that there’s scarcely anything good at that position. It seems like everyone understands to punt catcher, but shortstops get people all greedy like Scrooge McDuck. Let’s assume Tulo doesn’t get hurt and gives you my projected stats: 83/25/98/.288/7. To draft him, you had to skip, say, Fielder (they are back-to-back in ESPN’s rankings), so you missed out on 94/39/117/.291/1. Then you grab, Ryan Howard later for 79/30/98/.245. So you got 162/55/196/.265/7. Now if you got Fielder and Jed Lowrie, you would’ve had 146/56/179/.275/3. That’s essentially the same thing, and you tell me who you feel more confident about Tulo or Fielder? Also, Lowrie can be had about 100 picks after Ryan Howard. Finally, if you were to go by ESPN’s projections, they have J.J. Hardy projected for 92/27/79/.267. That’s obviously bonkers, but how different is that than Tulo? Then there’s the fact that the majority of shortstops get value from the steal. SAGNOF! What’s the difference here between ESPN’s projections: 73/6/53/.278/21 or 77/9/47/.275/24? Barely much at all, right? One is Andrelton and one is Aybar, but they give them about an eighty draft pick difference. There were only three shortstops that earned more than $20 (barely) last year. Don’t get caught up in position scarcity. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2013 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?