For some strange reason, I have the great Willie Nelson song in my head… On The Road again. Why, you ask? Because I am out perusing the great country of ours and doing fantasy football’s 32x32x32 with Nick. I may be thinking football, but my heart is in San Francisco… rather bullpens. So it was all quiet on the savedom front til recently, when some usual save stalwarts stubbed some toes. While some repeat offenders… yeah you Joe Nathan just continue to lull us into a state of perpetual eye-rolling… all of these issues are no bueno for the push to make playoffs in some formats, or those pining for the stat push in point leagues. I am personally not too worried about the married guys, they are there for good reasons; they do it all year and you have them for saves or to save not. I am more throwing my ire towards those middle guys, the Steve Cishek‘s and Rafael Soriano types who have given us decency all year and then have recently given us both ERA’s over 7 a piece the last 2 weeks. So buyer beware at this point for stat purposes with these guys they aren’t going to be replaced but the production is on the level of a doozer on light duty. Stick around for some tid-bits of knowledge or stay to just say high. [Jay's Note: Oh... I get it.]Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s way too quiet in here… I need a sniper to take out a closer or something. Maybe a team of trained Labrador assassins [Jay's Note: Everyone knows that Labradoodle assassins are better.], no one would expect that. The “Seeing Eyes of Terror” would be their name. Speaking of which, I want to concentrate this week on the under-ratedness of Huston Street. The trade that helps him, the new ballpark that allows his team to actually score runs, and the ability to be that close to Mike Trout. So we are going to venture back through time and space, steal some plutonium from some Libyans, and go back to stats for 2012 to the present day. Confused? Good, me too. So, since 2012, Huston St. is top-10 in saves (86), tops in save % with only 4 BS in 3 years, at a 95.3% clip. And he also has had a resurgence in K Rate to push it over 9 K/9, but for a better perspective, he K’s batters at a 26.5% rate. Hold on, I’m not done yet. He is also one of only four RP with a K rate of over 9 and a walk rate under 2.1. Add all that up, and I love Street for this year, and next year well he will probably be over-drafted based on this post alone. Catch you all on the flip-flip, meaning comments.
Psyche! Before you go further, you should take me on in our Fantasy Football RCL’s for chances at some really neato prizes! (Or commish one for a chance at a Best Buy gift card!)Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, I guess enough was enough in Detroit. It’s always nice to waltz around with a security blanket like Linus, and have the ability to add a closer to back-up a closer that is making 10 mil a year. Joakim Soria walks into the room dressed like Lloyd Christmas and is all tops and tails. Great starting pitching and an actual winning team that he can back up. For the Rangers this year, he had 17 saves for a 40 win club. Turn that around, and he went from being on a 21-games-under-.500-team to a 14-games-over one. His only problem is that he is flirting at the Sadie Hawkins dance with the date that Brad Ausmus brought, and Nathan has a some pull there. My take is it’s not going to be long before the settle in on “The Mexicutioner”. So I have them ranked mid-table until the dust settles and we see what’s what. I mean, all Soria has to do is show some kind of consistency, and boom, you have a top-8 closer for the rest of the year. You can think what you want, but Detroit is a 90 win team all day and a bag of chips tomorrow, however that expression goes… In Texas, Neal Cotts and Neftali Feliz as of now look like the two heads of the class for minimal save value in Arlington. So the closer-thon to cure save depravity has begun, adjust your rosters, operaters are standing buy to take your recent waiver wire donations.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In school they teach, or try to teach, in most of our cases for the ADHD crowd, the essentials of a good curriculum. Reading, Writing and arithmetic. We can apply that to the closer situation in Arizona. Addison Reed is the closer, but for how much longer?, is the key conundrum. He see’s the writing on the wall, but he also has the backing of his manager throughout the season (and again on Tuesday), and has since blown 2 more saves. Though the way the D-Backs are going, would it be optimal for them to ground an asset, or a “sort of asset” now, and then try and go a different direction later via trade? Cuz let’s be honest, they aren’t going anywhere, and have capable arms in the majors and minors to jump in if necessary. Now the math part, well that is why we do fantasy baseball, it’s all about the numbers. Which, in Addison’s case, really sounds like a totally hot chicks name, prolly drives a Jeep Wrangler, wears her dad’s old jeans as cut-offs, basically a goer if you catch my drift. [Jay's Note: I really don't.] Where was I and why am I all sweaty? Oh…numbers. Reed’s K’s are up and walks are down from his career numbers… but but but Smokey, those are good things. Right? Well, technically yes, but when luck runs out you go to Zig-Zags, and by that, I mean Brad Ziegler, (the next guy up in the event of a change). Yes, even with the escape-goat win on Wednesday. I mean, Addison has done really nothing wrong besides blow 5 games, and sometimes looks about as hittable as Rihanna. So sit on Addison, but cushion the blow with B-Rad, and for dynasty lookers, take a look at Jake Barrett. Let’s see what other geniuses of truth happened in the last week or two.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s just sad when you watch what should be a fluid situation turn out to be a fiery car wreck. That’s what the bullpen situation with the Angels is like. Just awful to think about, watch and….yikes, to even be immersed in their roster purgatory is just dreadful. Their bullpen is like the Swamp of Sadness in The NeverEnding Story. Atreyu (Mike Scoiscia) leads his horse, Artax (Ernesto Frieri) there, and the horse gets swallowed up with despair (your roster). The only bad thing is that Fred Savage isn’t in the Angels pen. Instead, we are stuck with Joe Smith, Ernesto Frieri and the schloo of underachieving or unproven arms that they have to offer. I for one would like them to just settle on a guy, who cares if he fails 5 out of 10 times. I was just informed that this is exactly what has happened already. In all seriousness, roster Joe Smith, bench Ernesto. Monitor everyone else, but don’t hold out hope that a luck dragon is going to come swoop in and save the situation, or your team if you got pot committed to the situation there. Stick around for some random tidbits of mental masturbation…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The job in Tampa isn’t as pretty as it used to be, as the team is super underachieving, and not in a superhero-footed pajamas kinda way. Joe Maddon looks like he needs an executive parachute, even though he is a hoot to listen to during an interview. I think he is waiting for someone to jump and run with the job. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta or even the artist formally known as Leo Nunez may be the most obvious and experienced options, but I have another one for ya: Kirby Yates. I didn’t make that up. He reminds me of what Jim Henderson did two years ago with the Brewers. Career journeyman, decent, but nothing stands out about his minor league numbers… then boom. K -ates in the minors are above 12 for the last 3 seasons, and he has over 50 saves during that same time. Tampa is the place to rehab relievers, and Korean War shrapnel wounds, so crazier things have happened. Kyle Farnsworth, Fernando Rodney, Troy Percival, Danys Baez, Lance Carter, Al Reyes…. you get the point. The rule with closers is: It’s better to be first then not at all. So if time and space are in alignment and Rod Serling is already taken, pounce. Stick around, it’s a good week to speculate on saves and save-nots.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There is something to be said about doing your job, and then saying “good job but the regular guy is back, and he’s taking your job back.” Mark Melancon filled in swimmingly for the injured Jason Grilli and his line is better than most closers in the F-tier of my rankings. To his dismay, Grilli is back, and is being eased back into his role. Is it fair? Probably. Does it suck for Melancon stat vultures? Most definitely. Going back exactly one year, when Melancon became a fantasy stalwart on our rosters, he has an ERA under 2, 25 Saves and 17 Holds. That’s all after Grilli went down last year. Besides the K factor, which is in Grilli’s favor, Melancon is basically being grounded for getting only an A- in English class… but but but it’s still and A!, I’m sure he’s muttering. But, I’m rooting for Grilli, dat journeyman done good, saved all those kids from dat thang. Whatever that thing was. You know the story. No? Well make one up, tell your friends it happened, and let’s start a rumor. So good luck Jason Grilli, just make sure to look both ways when you cross the street. Oh, we totally forgot about your 3 BS in April. Cause you’re back here forever. Subliminal message: Hold onto Melancon.Please, blog, may I have some more?
For all of today’s news and lineup notes, all with a Canadian/Arizonian accent (if that’s such a thing, I’m assuming it is unless they already deported it) here’s Nick the
Podcast Radio Host with today’s HotSheet!
To be fair, Johnny Cueto is good, but that’s not the name of the song. Pitching a complete game, three hit shut-out with eight strikeouts is quite an impressive start, until you realize it was against the Padres. You gave up three hits against them? What is this? Kevin Correia hour? Even though those nine innings struck me as quite pedestrian, his last 63.0 IP have been quite impressive. And seeing as how he’s one of the eighteen pitchers who has survived so far without a tendon exploding, he could be well on his way for a Cy Young caliber year. And while the red flags are few and far between, I would be remiss not to mention them. First, his LOB% is insane at 99.5%. Yes, he’s really great at holding runners, but the league average is 72.8% and his career average 76.6%. Second, his BB% is unchanged, but his K/9 is 9.71, compared to a career number of 7.19, and there’s really no reason why. The velocity has remained the same. There’s been an uptick of two-seamers with less sliders and change-ups… but if it was sequencing, we’d need a bigger sample. If it’s a case of getting called third strikes at a higher rate, that would demand regression. And, of course, there’s always injury-risk. But in the year of the Tommy John, I’ll feel relieved if someone’s arm doesn’t literally just fall off during a game this season. But hey, pitchers have career years. And when good pitchers have career years, well, ahem, they have career years? Uhh… I was in trouble like six words in…
Here’s what else I saw on Thursday (besides yo momma):Please, blog, may I have some more?
This whole opening will be devoted to Trevor Rosenthal. Why? Because you are being put on notice, a notice to cease and desist your sucktitude. Watching you makes me wanna renew my prescription card to the herbal remedy place. The stats are yuck, take your K’s and jump around as he huffs and puffs and blows your WHIP house down. I wanna take a moment and send this note just for Trevor.
Trevor… Hey what’s up man. I don’t know you, don’t know if you read Razzball, but you should, because we are like the Danity Kane of Fantasy Baseball. Take a look over your shoulder my friend, you see that beard having flame thrower getting prepped in the minors? Yeah, that’s basically Wally Pipp coming back, but in this case he will be called Jason Motte. Now, Jason is a level-headed bloke, he stabbed someone in 3rd grade for stealing his apple sauce at snack time, and though all charges were dropped and wall-ball was played after… he is coming. Like the Balrog that Gandalf had to beat up… You have been warned homie. Oh, and say hello to your mother for me.
So if you are reading this and have a DL spot,or a wasted spot you wanna spec on for a week or two, now is the time. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, he comes back and shats the bed on your bench, but who cares? That’s like doing it on someone else’s bed, and they have a maid. Stick around for some tid-bits or bits of tid for the guy who wears a helmet and reads this column.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?