I didn’t want to open this post with just any old sentence. I needed to come up with an unbelievable opening. Something that screamed brilliance. Something that truly captured my feelings for Andrew Benintendi. I held off on really gushing about him in an opening, because the time needed to be right. You know popping his opening cherry, so to speak was special stuff….(WOW! those were some words you could quote me out of context on, and it would look real bad on my part.) The time is here! So off we go, let the trumpets blow, and hold on because the driver of this mission is a horse proctologist by the name of Jan Wilbury. Is that my real name? It shall remain a mystery!! Oh yeah, Andrew Benintendi was promoted to AA Portland on Monday. The long and the short of it, or the “those Grey readers who just read the openings to other posts and scoff” version of why you should care. He’s a future 5 category, 6 if you’re in OBP leagues, contributor, and he’s going to be in the Boston outfield in short order. I suppose he could be in someone else’s outfield too, if there’s a …..gulp….trade. I’d just like to suppress those thoughts for today.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chicago_White_Sox

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…James Fegan, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago White Sox!

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Mike Fiers threw the first Astros no-hitter by a single pitcher in over 20 years last night and the very first no-no in Minute Maid Park to make his way into the Houston record books, alongside Houston greats such as Beyonce, Dennis Quaid….uh, Rory Gilmore…did I say, Beyonce already? Anyway, even more impressive, the 30-year old Fiers did it against one of the leagues top offenses in the LA Dodgers. You probably wouldn’t have started Michael Fiers unless you owned @#$%ing Michael Fiers! Fiers walked just three batters and struck out 10 in what was also his first career complete game. It took Mike 134 pitches to get through this one, but his stuff seemed to get better as he got deeper into the game. It was his first win with his new team. After struggling in relief in his first appearance with Houston, Fiers settled nicely into a starting role that he will be unlikely to relinquish after last night’s dominating performance. He’s allowed just one earned run in three starts with Houston, with a 19/6 K/BB rate. Fiers struggles with control at times but when he’s on the strikeouts numbers are nice and he can be a very useful fantasy starter. He’s available in over half of leagues and gets the Yankees next week, I’d grab him if he’s out there, he could be a helpful guy to own as the Astros make their run for a pennant.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Yesterday, Brandon Crawford went 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with two homers (17, 18). Crawford has a big flashing sign over his head that reads, “Career Year.” Under said sign, he has a smaller sign that reads, “Or could this be a legitimate breakout?” Under that sign, there’s yet another sign that reads, “There is no third sign.” Then under that there’s a smaller sign that reads, “Is that meta? Why even go through the trouble of hanging a third sign?” Then there’s yet another smaller sign that reads…Ugh, I can’t even read it, the font is too small. Let’s stick with the signs we can read and that make sense, “Career year” and “Or could this be a legitimate breakout?” His previous career high was 10 homers in 153 games last year, and prior to that he had never homered ten times in any professional league. In four full years with the Giants, he only had 26 homers coming into this season. That was in over 1800 plate appearances. His previous career high in HR/FB% was 7%. This year it’s over 17%. He’s in the top 30 in the league for homers per fly balls. For the most part, a guy who hits a lot of homers per fly balls are, as you can imagine, not guys that had a previous high of ten homers in over 1800 plate appearances. They’re guys like Just Dong, Braun, Te(i)x, Miggy, etc. etc. etc. The homers will disappear, but I wouldn’t mind so much if Crawford was more than a .255 hitter. The most obvious comp is a young J.J. Hardy, if he was an actual comp, but he’s not. Hardy hit 26 homers in his 2nd full season, Crawford never came close to this before, and I don’t think he ever will again. So…*picks up megaphone* All right, guys, let’s lose all the signs, except the first one. And get back to work! Ugh, teamsters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Corey Seager should’ve been called up already. Brucely, we’re up against it with the Dodgers. We have the aging vet, Jimmy Rollins, who looks like toast if you were to take doodie and pat it into the shape of toast and, uh, toast it. We have Justin Turner, who is having a career year but isn’t really this good and getting more slap hits than another Turner. We have Dumb Mattingly, who has Joe Torre on speed dial because he thinks Torre is still the manager of the team and Dumb is just acting as interim. We have the playoffs in their grasp. We have a team where money is no object, so if they call up Seager and bench Rollins and his contract, whatevs. We have a city that is obsessed with youth, says Debra Winger. This sounds as convoluted as True Detective. Now that I write it out, I’m surprised Seager didn’t get called up in April. I’ve refrained from tooting the Seager horn to avoid looking like a Bozo when he wasn’t called up, but I’m starting to think it could be soon, or at least within the next month. Why do we care, young prematurely balding men? Cause he looks like a young Tulo. Maybe he doesn’t steal 20 bases in a year, but he could hit 30 HRs with 10 steals and a .300 average. No, not this year, but at some point those numbers seem doable. And I’d like to do ’em! In redraft leagues, I’d now start stashing Seager, and, in keepers and dynasty leagues, he’s likely already gone, but if he’s not, oh, heck’s yeah. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Late last night, Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Blue Jays. Both hammys, his quads, his obliques, his elbow tendons, both groins. Why does he have two groins again? Maybe we don’t need to know. The Rockies getting rid of Tulo makes me think of when a kid is dropped off at the airport to fly alone. A flight attendant walks with the kid, trying to make conversation, waits with them at the gate, helps them into their seat, watches after them on the flight, escorts them off the plane and walks them to their uncle. Once the Rockies representative handed Tulo off to his uncle, Alex Anthopoulos, the Rockies representative went into the bathroom, did a line of blow and dialed the Rockies, “We got rid of him!!!” The Blue Jays longed to have a shortstop with two good legs. Sadly, they traded Jose Reyes to the Rockies, so now they still have a shortstop with one good leg, unless the deal includes Reyes leaving behind a hammy. Obviously, leaving Coors isn’t going to help anyone, but Tulo’s big problem has always been his health. If he stays healthy, the Blue Jays aren’t exactly the Kalamazoo Fightin’ Zebras playing in Petco. The lineup around him will be better, and he’ll get to face a junkload of terrible pitchers in the AL East. As for Reyes, he might not be long in Colorado, and if he is, then he gets a boost in value, until the Mile High air creeps into his hammys and does its worst. Reyes could now get back those extra five homers that seem to have disappeared from his usual batting line. Also, in this deal, LaTroy Hawkins went to the Jays. He was the flight attendant in the above scenario. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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How do you quantify the pure power of you, yes you, the loyal Razzball Nation commenter?

How about with an 82 ranking as if from nowhere!

I’ve actually seen Nate Karns pitch in AAA, and I remember not being too impressed…  Then again I was balls deep in craft beer and a footlong hot dog with BBQ and slaw on it, so there’s that…

I really haven’t seen too much of Karns this year, but what I have seen heading into yesterday’s start is a pretty good fastball with a solid knucke-curve.  Nothing “blow you away”, but enough to keep hitters honest.  And with a garbage-ish pool of pitchers to stream in a couple of leagues where I’m behind in my innings quota, Karns was my stream of choice against a struggling White Sox offense yesterday.  Boy was I happy with the result!  So I decided to go back and watch this start complete with all of the Pitcher Profile bells and whistles to see if there’s something a little deeper here than just a 10 or 12-team matchup streamer:

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The infidels are coming. They are storming the stronghold and sieging the castle. Cover your children’s eyes and lock up your grandmas. As a general rule, I’m not drafting a middle “infidel” early unless it comes at great value or I’m tinkering with the zig strategy. Scarcity has over taken too many owners who pass up great numbers to fill a positional need and have been blinded by the fact that numbers are numbers. As I’m writing this, I’m looking at all the great depth for MI and I wonder why the heck should I even be writing this. It’s pretty obvious that there is great upside late by reading Grey’s coverage of second base. Add to that some of the bounce back golden oldies, and you got generations at the keystone. Speaking of golden oldies, did you all catch the ridiculously redumbasshatily things Brandon Phillips had to say the other day?

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There’s a dark side to the expansion of rosters that no one wants you to talk about. Or people do talk about it, but they talk about it as written by the writers of The Honourable Woman so no one can understand it. You laid a cable modem through the Gaza Strip? But now the Palestinians can see which celebrities are on their side. “We got Rihanna! With a hashtag, baby! If we could only buy her albums. What does she sing? S&M? What’s that mean? Whips and chains? Oh, yeah, like torture? Oh. Regarding sex? Hmm, we’d kill her for singing that. What other songs does she have? Umbrella? It doesn’t rain here. What else does she sing? Only Girl in the World? That is neither accurate nor encouraging. Could she remix it to 72 girls in the world?” This MLB roster expansion has a side to it that is that disturbing. With teams expanding, they don’t need to DL players. A week ago if Dustin Pedroia was forearm shivered as he was on Saturday, he would’ve hit the DL. Now, well, he’s going to sit on the bench for at least a week. Miguel Cabrera may have also hit the DL a month ago, so he could rest his ankle. Now, the Tigers said he could sit for 4 to 5 days. It’s not great news, though with how he’s hitting, in some leagues it might pay to just bench him and grab a hot bat. As for Pedroia, I’d drop him in most mixed leagues. He could be out for a week or longer, and, brucely, he hasn’t done much this year when he has been playing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?