B.J. Upton is having one hell of a bad year and he recently hit bottom with an adductor injury that sidelined him through the All Star Break. There were some whispers during the first half of the season that the Braves were going to send him down to figure things out, but it never happened. The injury may have been a blessing in disguise, though. Maybe it gave him the time and the means to work on issues that he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to if he had stayed healthy. His ownership dropped to around 40% at one point, but it’s recently surged back up due to a handful of multi -hit efforts since his return and 3 steals. For our purposes here, the steals are what I want to focus on. There’s good news and bad news here. The bad news is that the three stolen bases since his return came against the Phillies and Nationals, two of the worst teams in baseball at controlling the running game. So, before we get too excited and decide that BJ is going to rattle off 20 steals over the last 6 weeks of the season, just keep that in mind. Ready for the good news? He gets the Phillies and Nationals again this week! I wouldn’t be surprised to see him swipe a couple more with those match-ups. Here are some other speedsters I think might help your stolen base numbers this week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
Matt Kemp is headed back to the DL. He needs Chris Brown to slap some health into him. Obviously, this a terrible sign for Kemp since it’s his shoulder that he had surgery on that is bothering him. Prior to last week, I stayed away from him all year. Teach me to waffle. Billy Butler, “Who’s making waffles?!” On the bright side, Andre Ethier (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday) should see everyday playing time. I’m not sure who that’s a bright side for outside of Ethier and his close relatives. Maybe in some leagues where you’re struggling to find a fifth outfielder, you give Ethier a bit of how’s your father. There’s no bright side for Kemp. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole or touch a ten-foot Pole named Stanislaw. He’s the Pole I’ve been seeing in my dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After stealing only 3 bases in all of 2012, Peter Bourjos met that mark in the past ten games. It seems as though his hamstring is just fine,and despite hitting in the bottom of the lineup for the Angels, he is producing runs. More importantly for the purpose of this column, he appears to have the green light and hasn’t been caught stealing yet, either. If you’d like, we can pretend that last year never happened and just look at his 22 steals in 147 games back in 2011 to get an idea of what he might be able to pull off the rest of this season. Last week, I pointed to the fact that I’d rather roster a leadoff hitter when looking for steals, at which point Cholly Manuel promptly shoved Ben Revere into the seventh spot in the Phillies’ lineup and he stole 3, count’em 3 bags. Thanks for proving my point, Cholly! So lineup position be damned, feel free to ride Bourjos to SAGNOF glory. He’ll draw the Tigers and Astros this week. While you’re here, check out some of this week’s other available speedsters.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?
Josh Johnson looked solid yesterday (7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks vs. the Rockies). But Colorado away from home can be an easy match-up. Hey, Rockies, try doin’ it in the land of Labatt! You’ve been Molson Iced! JB called this one in the comments yesterday. I did not believe. Though, I do look much more animated now. Like I just stepped off a yacht in a Miami Vice cartoon. I’m snorting cartoon drugs and listening to cartoon Phil Collins play cartoon bongos. What do you think of the new avatar? I just stepped off a boat yet my hair still looks adorable, right? The new avatar rates well in the 18-25 demographic; it’s the Poochie of avatars. As for Johnson, I wouldn’t mess with him. So far, he’s been solid vs. NL teams, but, the thing is, he kinda, sorta plays in the AL. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, I’d like to start off this post by saying I’m sorry to the folks in Razzball nation who picked up Cameron Maybin last week in their weekly leagues. He’ll be out for quite a while with a PCL tear to his knee. In the words of the Guru on Twitter, “This time wasn’t different, Mike…oops”. Maybin promised me the 8 o’clock rez at Dorsia, but then he slipped me an extra lithium and I ended up at Barcadia. Worst of all, in my weekly league, it was too late to swap him when the injury news came out. Next thing I knew it was lunch at Texarkana. Sheesh. Onward and upward, they say, and this week we have some new faces in the mix, including Gregor Blanco, who seems to have found a hot bat since stepping in for the injured Angel Pagan. Check him out and some of the other base stealing threats this week, but you’ll have to excuse me, I have a lunch meeting in 20 minutes with Cliff Huxtable at the Four Seasons.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Looks like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are doing the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. Then they started screaming for Dexter Fowler to do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. It’s just a dive to the left, a foul ball to the right, put your hands on your hips and yell, “Ow, that smarts!” Let’s do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. Let’s do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. You feel your knee get tight. You can’t make a pelvic thrust. Owning these guys really drives you insane. Let’s do the DL Time Warp aaaaaagain. As of right now, CarGo’s day-to-day after being pulled from the game with a bruised ankle after taking a foul ball off it from Pacheco. I’ve seen that game on Price is Right and don’t recall “Knock A Top 10 Hitter Out Of The Game” as one of the outcomes. Fowler’s day-to-day with a bruised finger after a poor attempt at a bunt. Using salt instead of sugar is also a poor attempt for a bundt. We’ll see on him. Meanwhile, Tulo’s got a broken rib. Shocker! Hopefully, he remembered his DL stamp card. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks. That’s two months in Tulo time. Hey, I told you to sell him. Of course, he’s hurt. When isn’t he hurt? Doode’s a joke. He broke a rib diving for a ball. Are you Mr. Glass? Sorry, if I’m not terribly sympathetic because this means… Josh Rutledge is back! The Rockies beat writer, who doesn’t write about beats, rhymes & life, but about baseball, said Rutledge was hitting the melons out baseballs down in Triple-A. I say he should’ve never been sent down! Walt Weiss thinks his team would be better with eight Brendan Ryans. Weiss should be the fielding coach for the Padres. Well, whatever, he sucks. Now, go pick up Rutledge! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hello, Nick Castellanos, see you soon, maybe, yeah, no, okay. Great to meet you, Gerrit Cole, eventually. What do you know it’s, Mike Zunino, maybe at some point in the near future. What’s up, Billy Hamilton, hey, aren’t you supposed to be fast? What’s taking you so long? Is that Oscar Taveras…Oh, it’s Willy Taveras eating nachos out of a dwarf’s sombrero. What about that number one prospect guy that the Royals traded so they could be a .500 team? What’s his name again? Something Byers. Or is it Jon Cryer? HBO Signature Loves Playing Radio Flyer? Wil Myers! That’s it. Let’s compare him first to a guy that he’s nothing like, shall we? Cool, thanks for indulging. What a mensch, you are! Jurickson Profar was called up and has played about as well as expected. Is there any league where you can’t do without him? Sure, maybe in a deep AL-Only league where you lost Kinsler or were starting Marwin Gonzalez. In most mixed leagues, Profar has been good but replaceable. At some point in the near future, Profar’s going to use the world to wipe his butt. He’s not going to wash his hands and then run them down our country’s shirt with his profound badassery. That day probably isn’t that far off. Right now, he’s good, I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse for mixed leagues. Compare him to Jean Segura if you like. Segura was nice when he came up last year, this year he’s dining with Jay-Z while shushing Blue Ivy. Now, like I said, Wil Myers isn’t a Profar comparison when it comes to their stats, but everything else I said there could apply. Myers is holding his own in Triple-A so far this year (10 HRs, .276) and could be called up in about three weeks. Now would be the time I’d stash him in all leagues. The moment he’s called up it will be like The Day the Earth Stood Still only Hitter-Tron will be saving all the ladies. I’d cautiously expect him to see 80% of starts after being called up, and numbers around 30/14/35/.280/4. That’s probably a tad optimistic, but what fun is there in dour? Those numbers could also be had in three months from, say, Alfonso Soriano. ‘What fun is there in dour’ then you drop Soriano? Sorry, Random Italicized Voice, we’re not seeing a Trout this year and I’m just being honest. What are you, Abe Lincoln? Lie to me! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?