Some of the trade rumors I’ve seen are just plain funny.  Craig Kimbrel to the Yankees?  Wait, what!?  Really?  I’m not denying it as a possibility but I am thinking it might be a little overboard to acquire a premier closer when you probably only need a solid bullpen guy because you already have TWO premier closers.  The list of closers and strong middle relievers available is so long this year.  One thing’s for sure, there are going to be some strong bullpens vying for postseason play.  Here’s the lowdown on closers and some other relievers who could be dealt in the upcoming weeks, starting with some of the players most likely to be traded and ending in with those much less likely to be.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What do numbers call their father? Data. Thank you, Highlights. You taught me so much with the juxtaposition of Goofus and Gallant, and you’ve entertained me for thirty years. One copy, that is well worn, sits on the back of my toilet as my salvation, especially when Cougs forgets to restock the toilet paper. Why am I thinking about data right now? Because I just spent two hours (more like ten minutes) looking for something. I was trying to find what a hitter does after hitting the longest home run of their career, then sorting by guys that do it before their 24th birthday. Alas, I couldn’t find anything. Elias Sports Bureau probably knows but they’re a bunch of baseball nerds. We’re fantasy nerds. Huge difference, we have imaginary friends cooler than their real friends! My hypothesis I was aiming for is if a guy, who was once a well-regarded prospect is called up at a very young age, it might take a bit of time for them to acclimate themselves. Then, once they were comfortable, they’d show power, hit the longest home run of their career and take off from there. At this point, it’s just conjecture, but it makes reasonable sense in a case study of one. So, who was this well-regarded prospect that just hit the longest home run of his career this week? Nick Castellanos. My Spidey sense says Castellanos might finally be breaking out. Breaking out from what, you’re likely thinking. Well, not from chocolate. From being a schmohawk. Plus, my Spidey sense is strong since this is on the web. Like Castellanos’s relatives throw glasses into the fireplace, he was thrown into the fire at an insanely young age, and is only 23 years old now. It’s a little early for 2016 sleepers, but Castellanos was a guy that was pegged as someone that could hit for a solid average with some power. I’m intrigued, y’all! In keepers, I could see going after him now for next year, and just grabbing him in redraft mixed leagues. Castellanos you later! Thanks again, Highlights! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different. This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues. Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys. The other day on our podcast I was asked by JB, “What is the USA Today?” Because JB was born in the 2000s. But I was also asked by him who is my biggest buy of the 2nd half. For that I said, “Um, well, I have to say, actually, actually, actually, my biggest buy is, uh, um, hmm.” Spit it out, Grey! You know how your own voice sounds weird? I wonder if that holds up for the Movie Trailer Guy. Any the hoo! My biggest buy was Adrian Beltre. For s’s and g’s, I looked at Beltre’s 2nd half from last year, it wasn’t great — six homers, zero steals, .308. Last year, he had 19 homers for the full season and he has 7 homers right now. So, I don’t think the power is going to come roaring back like he’s Mickey Maris in 1927 with Barry Bonds’s personal trainer. In my top 100 for the 2nd half of 2015 fantasy baseball (say that fast 117 times!), I gave Beltre 11 homers. That feels optimistic, but doable. His fly balls are more or less fine from last year, but he’s getting unlucky with his HRs per fly balls even though his home run distance isn’t terrible. He’s also been crazy unlucky with his BABIP. It’s sitting at .263, which would be his lowest since 2003. Basically, he’s hitting a line drive to the gap and a squirrel is grabbing it, flipping it to an outfielder and Beltre’s being called out because the ball never touched the ground. If I were struggling at corner and need to take a gamble, I’d trade for Beltre and watch the good times Esther Rolle! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half.  It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains.  So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season.  So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues).  The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats.  So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS.  Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck.  Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect.  Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent.  So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ma nishtana, how is tonight different than every other night? Because there’s some G-D regular season baseball! Ah fanabla! The Padres aren’t wasting any time with bird sex or Joaquin Benoit either as they traded for Craig Kimbrel. Why do I get the sense that the Padres played 2,500 games of Strat-o-Matic this offseason and on Saturday it was 1249 to 1249 and they were like, “Nuh-uh, we didn’t pay $750 million in free agents to tie the World Series. We need to get to that twelve hundred and fifty-first win!” Then the Padres’ management patted themselves on the back saying they were Strat-o-Maticians like that wily Epstein guy. Then another Padre official even said he thought that guy’s name was Wily Epstein. So, Benoit now has the value of a film degree in Hollywood. “Well, we were gonna let Spielberg direct this film, but this guy over here has a Master’s degree!” In Atlanta, Jim Johnson or Jason Grilli could close games. A Braves official said Juan Jaime could even close games. I’m pretty sure he made up the name Juan Jaime. Grilli seems the most likely candidate, and this has all the makings of a situation where you’re so pumped to be the first one to the waiver wire to grab him until Grilli is actually closing games and giving up three runs in the one lead the Braves have every two weeks. Let’s get out of the lede to talk about the rest of the trade and actual baseball that was played last night! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for 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?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (14) | 2011 (16) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (27) | 2008 (18)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [61-101] NL Central
AAA: [53-87] Pacific Coast League – Iowa
AA: [72-68] Southern League – Tennessee
A+: [59-74] Florida State League – Daytona
A: [63-75] Midwest League – Peoria (Kane County beginning 2013)
A(ss): [37-39] Northwest League — Boise

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
Dae-Eun Rhee (RHP); Kevin Rhoderick (RHP); Nick Struck (RHP); Tony Zych (RHP); Logan Watkins (2B); Rubi Silva (OF); Matt Szczur (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Anthony Rizzo (1B); Steve Clevenger (C); Welington Castillo (C)

The Run Down
Since Theo and his gang arrived, it’s been evident that the Cubs are on a better track. They traded for Anthony Rizzo, they signed Jorge Soler, they drafted well (it seems that way, at least), and they’ve added much-needed depth to their farm system via deals with Atlanta and Texas. In just one year’s time, it’s quite impressive how improved this system is. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when 2011 draftees, Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach, break out with huge statistical years. Still, the bottom-up impact that the Epstein-Hoyer regime has had on this organization cannot be denied. If it’s lacking anywhere, it’s in the starting pitching department — there simply aren’t many high-impact arms coming up. But the Cubs have ample dough to work around that shortcoming with signings at the big league level. It might be a few more years until they’re contenders in the NL Central, but it’s clear that that they’re headed in that direction. Oh, and there’s quite a bit of fantasy impact in the names below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America

2012 (15) | 2011 (2) | 2010 (9) | 2009 (6) | 2008 (8) | 2007 (15)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [89-73] NL East

AAA: [78-65] International League – Gwinnett

AA: [61-79] Southern League – Mississippi

A+: [60-78] Carolina League – Lynchburg

A: [60-80] South Atlantic League – Rome

R: [39-29] Appalachian League – Danville

The Run Down

The Braves have maintained a top-tier farm system over the past few years, and it’s still a quality system, but it’s only a few graduates away from looking rather depleted.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?