“Naquin the Chef looks determined without being ruthless.  Something heroic in his manner.  There’s a courage about him.  Comes across so calm.  Acts like he has a dream.  Full of passion.  Well, you know why.  Knock homers out of the box all the time.  Pitches know his repertoire, big fly.  Yeah, straight up, Naquin mess your whole team up.  It’s for real though, ball connect with stick, ditto.  We could trade places, ball lifted run around the bases.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.”  I almost didn’t write the title of the Naquin the Chef song, Infatuated Redfaces, but then I was like, “There’s a team named Redskins and a mascot named Chief Wahoo, I think I’m all right.”  Yesterday, Tyler Naquin kept it going with the insane run he’s been on — 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with two homers (11, 12).  He now has six homers in the last ten games.  That’s six homers in July to go with his six homers in June.  As I said back in spring training when I saw Naquin play, he had a nice stroke against righties, but looked kinda gnarly vs. lefties.  Looks like a 17/17 player that needs to platoon.  Right now, his power’s way above that, but will likely come down to earth at some point.  Of course, I’d still own him now.  Word up, peace, infatuated redfaces.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“But I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do).  No, I can’t Jo-Fer that, (Jo can do).  Oh, I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do), I can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, but Jo can do!”  I can do this all day.  Seriously.  That yin vs. yang, angel vs. devil, Ho-Hos vs. Yodels constant battle wrecks havoc on me.  Jose Fernandez showed why he’s one of my favorite pitchers yesterday.  I mean, goddamn, he made that pitch famous, he made that pitch famous!  His line:  6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 14 Ks.  So, what’s the problem?  What is the yang, devil, Yodel?  That he will be shut down barely into September.  If the Marlins stay in the pennant race, Jo-Fer may even be shut down earlier to give him a chance to pitch in October.  I love him, but if you can get anything close to equal in value for him, I could see trading him in redraft leagues.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was watching the PCLInternational League All-Star game (Psyche! You thought it was going to be about the MLB All Stars; well it is, we’ll get there and Psych was an underrated great show) and took note of a few older All Stars.

1). Casey McGehee still plays!  And still spells his last name weird.  He was fantasy relevant for a short time in Milwaukee and this season in the PCL he’s got five homers and an OPS of .837  at AAA(and little chance of getting a call-up, but shout out to him anyway).

2). Jesus Montero was also around (hitting 11 homers with an .810 OPS in AAA).  Fun fact.  He’s got a brother named Jesus Montero.  Another fun fact, too many 1B in Toronto in front of him for now, but it is Edwin splitting time at DH and Justin Smoak.  So keep an ear to the ground (don’t do that, the ground is dirty) and maybe Jesus rises again (yep, should’ve seen that one coming).

3). The immortal Tuffy Gosewisch, familiar to Diamondback fans only (or at least he should be), who has a .952 OPS in the PCL and a career MLB OPS at .531.  It’s certainly true, the PCL is where you want to hit.

4). I’m not a fan of Billy Ripken.  Love the F Face baseball card.  Not a fan of his announcing nor his appearances on MLB Network.  More a fan of Al Leiter who’s pretty decent on MLB Network and the Marlins and Yankees games I’ve watched.  While we’re at it can we send Harold Reynolds back to ESPN?  Keep Byrnes, who I’m glad they toned down and Smoltz and Pedro (sometimes) with Amsinger and MLB network is good to go.  There were a lot of good prospects at the PCL-International All-Star game, but that isn’t my bag, so I’ll refer you here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*nervous finger tap*  How many days without baseball?  So, I can close my fantasy baseball team browser window without missing anything?  Okay.  *throws computer out window*  What?  Was there another way to close my fantasy team page?  I hadn’t in so long I forgot.  What do you mean I can go outside without worrying about missing anything in baseball?  But there’s real people out there!  I’m staying right here, thank you very much!  So, we’re headed to the break, but Craig Kimbrel just has a tear, no break. He hit the DL with a medial meniscus tear in his knee.  Oddly enough, a remedial mend-iscus Band-Aid is not used to fix this.  I think you messed up modern medicine, but I’ll reserve judgment.  This will sideline Kimbrel for about four weeks.  In his place will be Koji Uehara.  Koji is famous for his food truck and 41-year-old junk pitches.  The newly-acquired Brad Ziegler, who should put a Z like Zorro on the mound after every strikeout, will back up Uehara, because Ziegler’s kinda bleh (1.40+ WHIP, 6-ish K/9) and Koji’s been in Boston a while.  Since Boston’s colors are red, they should call him Scarlett Uehara.  As for over in Arizona, I agree with Dan Pants in Saturday’s roundup.  The non-Yankee Clippard is the one to own.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With just over half of the MLB season in the rear view mirror, you should have a pretty good idea of where your fantasy team stands at the moment. The seasonal sample size is sufficient to properly evaluate the majority of the everyday players, and now is a good time to try to swing a deal to strengthen any weaknesses and make a push for the league title. The players on the extreme ends of the talent/production spectrum are fairly easy to identify. Who doesn’t want Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw on their fake teams? At the same time, it might be better to leave a lineup slot empty than to use either Alexei Ramirez or Yonder Alonso at any given time. Those are the easy decisions. The tough ones involve the players who are hovering somewhere in the middle, teetering on the edge of breakout or bust. Philadelphia Phillies 23-year-old third baseman Maikel Franco is such a player. After leading the Grapefruit League in homers and RBIs this spring, Franco looked as appetizing to fantasy players as an authentic Philly cheesesteak wiz wit. The first couple of months of the regular season weren’t all fresh Amoroso rolls and grilled onions for the second year player though. Through June 19th (263 plate appearances), Franco was sporting a .236/.281/.409 triple slash line with 19 runs, 11 homers, 33 RBIs, and zero steals. Not exactly the type of production that his owners had in mind. However, in his last 15 games and 66 PAs since then, Franco has slashed .375/.470/.786 with 14 runs, 6 homers, and 16 RBIs. So who is the real Franco? The mediocre three category liability that opened the season or the Miguel Cabrera clone of the last few weeks?

Let’s take a look at Franco’s profile to determine what can be expected from him over the remainder of the 2016 season. Here are a few observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Noah Syndergaard admitted to having an elbow bone spur after denying it multiple times.  Terry Collins said, “No one would know our business if it wasn’t for giving the PR job to a puppy dog!  Ruff ruff!  Come here, Fido, I wanna spank you with a rolled up newspaper!”  This is the 2nd Mets’ starter in two days with elbow spurs.  I look forward to the opening round of the playoffs when all of the Mets’ starters are wearing Iron Mike Sharpe elbow pads to hold their arms together.  Or they hire John Cusack to marionette their starters.  So, this is obviously not good news from Syndergaard, but it’s also not the end of his season.  He could opt for surgery if he’s in pain, but he says he’s not in pain (though, he also said he didn’t have elbow spurs up until yesterday).  Jon Lester has pitched through elbow spurs for the last five years.  It’s not uncommon for starters to power through.  Would I look to sell Syndergaard low?  No.  If you can get a healthy, similar starter, then sure, why not?  No reason to panic.  Unless Syndergaard starts wearing cowboy boots on his elbow.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I said this offseason, “Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals.  This is something I don’t usually do.  Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten.  But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh?  He’s listed at six-six and 230.  He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing.  Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.”  With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast.  (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, an idiom that never made any sense to me.  If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything?  It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right?  I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.)  Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year.  If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH.  He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it.  A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors.  With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda.  Or does it?!  Snap, reversed on that.  No, Giolito has control too.  97 MPH with command?  I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna.  Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve.  In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way.  Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos.  He could be special, and TMZ spotted Pacino shopping for eighteen-inch stilettos, so that could be a good sign.”  And that’s me quoting me!  He should be added in all leagues, like yesterday.  To put just the tiniest bit of dampers in these happiness diapers, Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA his rookie year in 107 2/3 IP.  Rookies give roofies and take your kidneys.  Hashtag truth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My Spanish is more than rusty, so I apologize if I failed to offend you with my title. Actually I don’t apologize. Now have I offended you? Who cares. I realize it should have been “Aquí Viene Ramos”, but my way sounds much better. More Dr. Seuss if you will. I feel like it’s time for some points league rankings. Who doesn’t love rankings? The best part about writing this column is that if I feel like it’s time for a rankings post, I write a rankings post. Who’s gonna stop me. I guess Grey could, but if I fly in under the greydar, then I should be ok. Today’s rankings are based 70 percent on year-to-date performance, 30 percent on rest of season projections and 10 percent on experimental formulas. Yes, I realize that adds up to 110 percent, but that’s part of what makes it experimental.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know how they have pink bats for Mother’s Day?  They should have bats in the shape of penises for Father’s Day.  “Ooh, a swing and a miss.  Damn, he had that schlong just out in front of that ball.”  “You know socialism never worked, but penises have worked for thousands of years, depending on what interpretation of the Bible you ascribe to.”  “Wow, what size bat is David Ortiz using?”  Happy Father’s Day to all of our readers minus five ladies!  Yesterday, for Dad’s Day, Julio Teheran showed us Americans how they do it in Iran on Father’s Day.  Teheran #1 — ptooey everyone us!  His line was 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 7 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.66.  I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that Teheran is worth picking up.  He’s obviously not this good.  His xFIP is 3.97, but his walk rate is down from last year and his ground balls are up, not literally.  Other than last year, he was a consistent low-3, high-2 ERA guy, and he looks like he found his way back there.  By the way, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, agreed, we should not allow any university lacrosse teams access to the penis bats.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh my God, Drew Smyly is more like Smyly Corleone.  Every time you think you’re out, he pulls you right back in.  Fredo, you went against the family, and we can’t have that.  “Smyly, is that you?  Why do you keep calling me?”  That’s Alfredo Griffin getting annoyed with Smyly Corleone.  “I made them offer at a pitch they couldn’t refuse.”  Seriously, stop Smyly Corleone!  So, there’s always one pitcher (sometimes more than one) that befuddles and seduces, seduces and befuddles.  Justin Masterson carried the torch for a while when he was Justin Masterson:  Passive Aggressive Starter.  Now, Drew Smyly seems to be carrying that same damned if you do, damned if you don’t torch.  Yesterday, his line was 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners with 12 Ks.  On the year, his K-rate and walk rate are 10.3 and 2.2.  Those are ace numbers.  Unlike a lot of other big strikeout guys and actual aces, Smyly doesn’t throw very hard and seems to tire after about two starts in a row.  His ERA on the year is 4.75, but that’s absurd, as in I will absurd you while you’re on waivers.  But, ugh, that K-rate, that walk rate, it’s hard for me to resist and if he was dropped in your league, I could see giving him another chance, but I’d be wary of matchups because I just don’t see him overpowering most teams when he’s not working on ten days rest.  He just doesn’t throw hard enough.  I.e., leave the speed gun, take the cannoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?