It feels good to finally be able to use a Demi Lovato song in my title. Forget Chad Kuhl let’s talk about Demi! What star power! What charisma! What a voice! Name another song besides the one in the title! You can’t!
**inner-monologue** Wait, don’t take that bet. Don’t show your true colors when you don’t have to. I mean, it’s not like I Ralph Lifshitz am actually a Demi Lovato fan. PFFT! That would be preposterous! **inner-monologue-out**
Chad Kuhl of the other hand, different story. Now he is a someone who’s fandom I’d consider! (You don’t believe me do you?) The 24 year old righthander, has followed up a promising rookie campaign with an inconsistent 2017. That’s not to say this season hasn’t had it’s bright spots. He looks on pace to reach at least 150 innings, his velocity has jumped nearly 3 miles per hour on the fastball, his swinging strike rate is up, and despite a 4.52 ERA, he’s been slightly unlucky (68.5% LOB, .316 BABIP). Luck aside he’s struggled to limit contact, and has always walked a few more batters than you’d like to see. Since the calendar turned to July, Kuhl has been a top 30 starter going 4-2 over 10 starts with a 3.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .211 BAA, and his 21% K% is up about 2% from his career norm. More than likely this is a hot streak but with a player this young it’s best to see for ones self. Today we’ll dig into Kuhl’s most recent start vs St. Louis at home to get a closer look.
As oft-misheard lyric is, “Eddie, are you okay? Are you okay, Eddie?” For those millennials who are reading, misheard lyrics were lyrics you thought you were hearing in songs before you could just Google, “[song name] lyrics.” For 25 years, people went around singing, “I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone,” and were just happy to be rid of Lorraine! R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) was just a chorus and four minutes of jumbled words, and that…sounded…fine! So, is Eddie Rosario okay, or is he just okay Eddie? Yesterday, Rosario went 2-for-5, 4 RBIs with his 17th homer as he hits over .400 in the last week. Some notes about Eddie: he’s gone hitless in only two games in August; has five steals to go with the 17 homers; is hitting .303; has a .209 ISO which is tied for 56th in baseball; and now hits at the top of the order. He should be grabbed in all leagues, and, I’m moving close to him becoming my 2018’s Max Kepler. *inhales deeply* Ah, the sweet smell of embarrassment. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Thank Cobb this injury wasn’t worse. After failing to stick the landing on his improvised triple lutz down the first base line, Bryce Harper owners ran to their bobble head and starting lineup figure shrines to pray to the old baseball Gods and the new (Praise Be to Frank Thomas.) Luckily, there was no knee meat damaged in the play which is good, but it is still looking like a mid-September return from a bone bruise in his knee. But Harper is just crazy and young enough to beat that time frame. Funnily enough, the first few suggestions when you start to type “bone bruise” into Google are “bone bruise knee,” “bone bruise heal time” and “bone bruise knee heal time.” Fantasy managers are so quick to become amateur physicians when their players go down. How you handle a Harper replacement could be key to you making & surviving your playoffs. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Say it with me now: “Goosfraba.” No one man can replace Harper. Now that that’s out of the way let’s see what we’re working with. You know who you should grab before it’s too late? Eddie Rosario (37%.) Since July 1st Rosario has a .333 average with 20 runs, 6 HR, 22 RBI and 3 SB — 5 of those HR have come in his last 8 games. Is this realistic? Not entirely. However, Rosario is only 25 and was a 20/20/.280 threat in his minor league days. Ride the hot hand here.
Yesterday, Phils’ manager, Pete Macktheknife, said, “Everybody wants to see (Rhy Hoskins‘) bat but Tommy Joseph has done well enough where there’s enough games left for him to show even more improvement. It’s hard. You don’t want to put Tommy Joseph on the bench so maybe (having Hoskins play outfield) is a way to do it.” Hey, quick question, anyone got a participation trophy for Joseph? Sounds like he could really use one! “I accept this participation trophy on behalf of all the players who are at positions where the club has a better prospect in the minors, but is too cheap to promote them. Especially to my runner-up, Shin-Soo, way to keep down Willie Calhoun!” A bunch of prospblockers, the lot of you! Don’t even get me started on the absolute craziness that you risk putting your top prospect in left field just to keep playing Tommy Joseph. Hoskins should be okay out there, but there’s a ton more risk with injuries in left field than standing on 1st. I grabbed Hoskins in all leagues. He was top 30 for Prospector Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, and might be the last big name to come up that can make a difference. For this year, I’d say Hoskins = Mark Reynolds with way fewer Ks. Long term, well, I won’t say Votto, but his OBP is insane for a kid. Scouts call players kids, did I sound like a scout? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I’m going to break this down to you nice and simple like Minnie Pearl would’ve liked it. Guys that bust and you don’t want next year, you should be rooting for in the 2nd half. That’s guys that bust, not guys with a bust. Please, Billy Butler, stop pretending to lactate by dripping milk on your shirt. The reason you want them to succeed in August and September, because A) They’re prolly on teams that have checked out and are checking on our fantasy football content (Football RCLs sign up today; smooth transition), so no harm, no foul. B) You want people to get excited about them next March because of their 2nd half, while you ignore them, because you know they’re not good. Then the cycle starts again. They draft players that were good in the 2nd half, those players are not good in the 1st half next year, and they check out again. Rinse, repeat. C) There’s no C. Yesterday, Josh Donaldson (2-for-4, 4 RBIs) hit his 14th and 15th homers, and has four homers this month. Here’s to him helping all of those tenth place teams move up to ninth and exciting everyone again next year! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
It’s just like old times, as we here at Razzball are profiling a Brewers starter this week. I can’t put my finger on what that means, but I digress. The familiarity doesn’t just end there my friends, oh no, we just happen to be covering the MLB debut for one of the top pitching prospects in the minors, Brandon Woodruff. On the heels of a somewhat out of nowhere breakout in 2016, Woodruff exploded onto the dynasty league radar, and squarely into the ranks on several top prospect lists. After leading the minors in strikeouts last year, the righty credited an increased pace, thanks to the direction of AA pitching coach Chris Hook. After a solid showing in the challenging confines of Colorado Springs earlier this season, Woodruff was called up in mid-June to make a spot start. Unfortunately he was injured warming up, was scratched from his debut, and did a month on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Recalled Friday to face the contending Rays in Tampa, Woodruff might be an interesting stream down the stretch in re-drafts of all sizes. Let’s see how the highly touted rookie looks vs a seasoned AL East lineup. Not a bad litmus test.
Ozzies sure seem to always be MIs. Oswaldo Arcia must not have been allowed to change his name, he should’ve switched with Orlando. I’m at the waiver wire like this, “Go shopping…Go shopping…Let’s all go shopping…Go shopping…” Ya know what? I’m just gonna leave this here…
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
You have to love Biz’s way with words. Can only be described as slow and methodical. Ozzie Albies can best be described as mini-Altuve. What’s he a dwarf? You little person, Ozzie Albies Square Mall? He has a ton of speed (70 score), and makes contact, while his power has made serious gains. Or GAINZ, according to Endorphin Ralph. He’s a must grab in all leagues, and could be a top 25 fantasy player for dynasty leagues. This little guy is big-time. Unlike Ozzie Guillen and Ozzy Osbourne, this Ozzie will use his bat for something useful vs slapping and biting. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Maybe Carlos Rodon is a bit more high, ahhh, ummm, profile than the usual pitching, ahhh, ummm, profile candidate I cover. After all, at points over the last few years this is a guy who’s been universally owned. Things have definitely been a different story in 2017, as he missed all of April and May, and most of June recovering from a biceps injury. Following two strong starts upon his return, we’ve seen “Bad Carlos” over the last three turns. The former third overall pick has been steady, but inconsistent throughout his first two seasons in the big leagues. Apt to spells of poor control and command, that typically led to some ugly pitching lines. Is that what’s happening here? Simply a case of “Bad Carlos”? Good or bad, something has obviously been amiss the past few starts, let’s take a look under the hood and see what’s going on. Are these problems fixable or is there a lingering injury? On Sunday Rodon faced the red hot Indians and my guess is you already know what happened. Here’s what I saw.
There is a decent chance that the MLB Trade Deadline throws some wrenches into our list this week. Yu Darvish is currently on the list and could very well get traded. He got absolutely rocked his last time out, though, so some owners might be a little shy about throwing him out there for two starts this week. Depending on your team and league format, though, the chances are you should probably send Darvish out there for his two turns this week. He is going to start at least once even if he gets traded, and August is not the time to start second-guessing your squad.
Our focus for this week is Charlie Morton. He is only owned in 49% of RCLs, and Streamonator likes him for a $13.60 value that is partly due to favorable matchups against the Rays and Blue Jays, both of whom are in the bottom eight in team wOBA over the last couple weeks. In his last start out against the Phillies (who are surprisingly in the top eight for team wOBA over the last two weeks), he tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts on just three hits and a walk.
The main difference in Morton this year that has increased his fantasy value is he is striking out batters at a much higher rate than he ever has in his career. His career K/9 is 6.66, but his K/9 in 2017 is up over 10/9:
The fans that arrived early yesterday at Nationals Park were puzzled to find what appeared to be a show on HGTV. The newest Property Brother, Michael Blazek, the Brewers pitcher, opened a box from Ikea, and sat at home plate for six hours during the pregame, assembling something. At one point, he screamed to the heavens about being screwed, but Bryce Harper (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homers) realized Blazek wasn’t saying he was screwed, he needed a screw the box was missing. Ryan Zimmerman (2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 21st and 22nd homers) had a fix, they could use Dusty’s toothpicks to hold together Blazek’s contraption. Then Anthony Rendon (2-for-4, 2 runs and his 21st homer) had a brilliant idea. The twine holding together the Nats’ bullpen could be used to hold together Dusty’s toothpicks. Brian Goodwin (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer) and Wilmer Difo (2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer) were the first ones to the plate to see what Blazek had constructed. It was a bit shoddy in places, but it was holding up. Pulling back, we reveal that Blazek had built a baseball tee to place all his pitches on. All of these guys are either owned or are Wilmer Difo, with the exception of Brian Goodwin. He has three homers since the All-Star break, and has been cemented in the leadoff spot (for reasons only Dusty can explain). Won’t help you on average, but has a solid base of speed and power that could help in deeper leagues while he’s leading off, and especially when hitting off a tee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: