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?

It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours.  He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.

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

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?

It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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?

Looking for the Razzball Podcast? TOO BAD! It’s now Razzball Radio, and you can check out all the episodes here!

This is a different kind of disaster my friends. And trust me, here in the metro area, we’ve suffered many disasters. Did you know about Snowmageddon in 2010? Sure, what we experienced during that time was what New England calls ‘any Friday night in February’, but we don’t live up in the northeast, do we? No, we’re more civilized and cultured and decided to live in a humid mid-atlantic swamp, with a cesspool of slime, filth, and trash. And that’s just K street. Don’t even get me started about the state of the Potomac river. As an added bonus, in 2011, there was the Earth quakepocolypse, where a 5.8 shaker did irreparable harm to my lawn chair. And I’ll tell you this, no one called in off-shore drillers, trained as astronauts, like they should have to save us. Well, that time is now. With Francisco Rodriguez leading the universe in saves AND father in-law abuse, the world truly is on the precipice of disaster. Global warming? Pfft, that ain’t nothin’ compared to the state of our fantasy teams. With 87% of the MLB DL-eligible, as stated here by your’s truly, we are now covering another harsh reality in this lede… the era of closers as we know it has ended. Thanks Obama! Rod Beck… hug me. Actually, don’t get near me. You smell like a week-old hot dog and the great depression…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I mustache you a question, when you drafted, were you Axfording a hard time from your closer? Then you got it. John Axford finally was removed from the closer role. Francona said, “I’ve seen crap before, but Assford demonstrated a whole new level of excrement.” Or something to that effect. I’m not one for details. Axford was replaced by the committee of author Bryan Shaw, Nick at Nite star Cody Allen and The RZE. That’s also the order I’d pick them up. There’s prolly no reason to mess with The RZE, especially after he was treated like Jodie Foster in The Accused yesterday. Speaking of The RZE, Method Man and Raekwon forgot one way to torture their opponents when they talk about rusty screwdrivers and whatnot. “I’ll hack your fantasy team and pick up John Axford and leave him in your active lineup and let him keep feeding you terrible stats, and feeding you, and feeding you and feeding you.” Now, that’s gangster. There’s a good chance Axford never sees another save this year. Collective wisdom says Cody Allen will be the closer, but collective wisdom also said Obama was going to make a difference. Yesterday, the Indians set up the game so Shaw would be the closer, whereas Allen’s one save came when Axford was garbage and Shaw had already been used. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you cheated and looked ahead before reading, shame on you! But, for those who didn’t, I am attaching my cart to Francisco Rodriguez. Not only has he done nothing wrong (which seems impossible for closers nowadays), but looks in no danger of getting the rug ripped out from under him. The team is winning, the bullpen is toight like a tiger, and Jimbo Hendo looks to be doing a swell job as second fiddle. Not only would I marry K-rod right now, he can also fart in my dinner… tonight. (Ed. Note– Protip: I wait until at least the second date before letting farts in my food.) I mean what he is doing is pretty remarkable– most saves in April, EVER. It reminds me of the good times when I played the jug in the band The Dixie Cups. For a barely drafted guy who wasn’t even the teams first choice for saves… and to also be giving your team a saves boost for basically nothing, you should wanna carry his luggage. So keep reading to see what other closer goodies I got for ya… or just skip to the comments and tell me something awesome.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, everyone can give a complete exhale that two save-category standard bearers were not shut down with shoulder problems. Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara both threw bullpens yesterday, and are all systems go for the rest of the week.  Not like any of you have them, because we don’t and shouldn’t overpay for saves on draft day.  So if either of these guys fell to ya, good on ya and relax, and stop checking the waiver wire for half a tick.  Kimbrel is the tits, regardless of setbacks, his numbers say so, and you should walk around telling people the such as well.  Kenley is nice, has all the check marks: winning team, K’s, and the large drink to boot.  I just can’t, with good faith, de-commit from Kimbrel unless he actually hits the DL.  So with the sighs of relief I hear, let’s touch on some more of this weeks hap’s and slaps.  Shall we?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You’re about to get busted. Do you go harder, become more brazen, with the illegal activity or attempt to clean up your act quickly so you don’t get punished more severely? I don’t know. This is where fantasy baseball meets a PBS Frontline special. I think different people react in different ways. Not to get all philosophical on you like your college philosophy prof who would invite you over for lavash and hummus and marijuana, then try to feel up your girlfriend, but last year’s Ryan Braun — 9 homers in 61 games — could be exactly what he is off of PEDs. There’s no way of knowing when he was or wasn’t using. If he knew he was about to get suspended last year, he might’ve laid off of everything and been totally clean for that decent but not spectacular partial season, even while he battled a thumb issue. The same thumb issue that has resurfaced this year. I should’ve been more aggressive in the preseason about pointing that Braun wasn’t healthy last year. The kind of unhealthy that has lingered into this year. He admitted the other day that he was unable to take a normal swing due to battling a nerve issue. Or if you’re reading in your best Curly voice, a noive issue. That’s hella bad with hella having a hashtag that says 2004. I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar, but I’d be interested to see if someone would give me 85 or 90 cents on the dollar. Or if someone would give me the Euro exchange rate. Why are they still making pennies?! Tell me Yahoo! Answers! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?