It’s that time of year. With just a couple of weeks until rosters expand in September, it’s time for players in re-draft leagues to start considering prospect call-ups. Billy Hamilton is by far the best bet for a steals impact in the final month of the season. Entering the weekend, he had 70 stolen bases in just 110 games. Check out what Razzball’s prospect whisperer Scott Evans had to say about him recently: “Need to make a late push in steals before year’s end? Billy Hamilton will soon help in that regard, and he won’t need regular plate appearances to do so.” And Evans knows his shizz. Billy Hamilton is fast. He could enter games as a pinch runner on first base and be on third base before you swallow that sip of stadium suds. In addition to holding the MiLB steals record and posting sick times from base to base, Hamilton chugs through Mountain Dews like Dusty Baker chews through toothpicks. He’s one of the players I’m most excited about watching if he gets the call this September. The fly in the ointment continues to be the Reds’ reluctance to place him on the 40-man roster. As of Friday they were still undecided, and that’s important information to keep an eye on. To be honest, the Reds would be foolish not to use him as a weapon, but I’m not running any major league teams last time I checked. As we’ve done all year long, let’s look at who is out there and ready to contribute now in the steals category:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, how’s your season? *connects hose to tailpipe* That good, huh? Well, the end is near my depressed Razzballin’ droogs. Some of us are prepared for the sprint to the finish and others are drinking too much Colt 45, screaming “Ike Davis” at confused strangers and assembling Fantasy Football draft boards in their tighty whities and Ken Stabler throwbacks. Speaking of which, everyone say hello to Sky. He’s our Fantasy Football Czar and would like to meet your acquaintance here. If you’ve enjoyed our weekly jammer crammer sessions, once we wrap up this here baseball season in a pretty little bow, your humble Guru will continue jamming and cramming on Fantasy Football Island. So join a RCL League now. As for our fake baseball teams, how did you do? Taking a look at The Guru’s collection of teams, I’d have to say it’s been a satisfying season. Currently I’m staring at 10 firsts, 5 seconds and a third. 16 teams? Yes, I admit I do have a problem with moderation. Excuse me while I pour another scotch. Good morning. The areas that have been problematic for me this year have been steals and saves. SAGNOF! Injuries to Jason Motte and Joel Hanrahan certainly didn’t help and had me scrambling to the waiver wire early and often for the likes of Koji Uehara and Rex Brothers. When it comes to steals, the early injury to Jose Reyes and now the suspension of Everth Cabrera put me in the SAGNOF hole. Ouch! Stay away from my SAGNOF hole, it’s an exit not an entrance. As we enter the final three weeks of the regular season, here’s hoping your season has been a success and all the credit can be heaped upon your motley crew of Razzballin’ scribes. If you are out of it, damn the fantasy gods, troll Tehol on Twitter and let me pour you a tumbler of Islay. Enjoy and leave a comment below on the state of your season. It’s time to jam it or cram it – SAGNOF! Part II: Red, White and Screwed.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know who’s happiest about Kolten Wong being called up? The Vatican. Finally, something non-Catholic related will show up in search results when you Google ‘Cardinal + Wong + 2nd base.’ Somewhere, Dan Brown is scribbling notes for a new thriller…the Catholic church took a page out of the playbook of the Native Americans, who having foreseen the Internet in a 1973 peyote-inspired dream, worked to make sure the practice of reselling tickets was known as scalping. So now you Google ‘Indians + scalping’ and the search results are just a way to get cheap seats in Progressive Field. Wong’s call-up crowds the Cardinals infield in the weirdest of ways. Wong can’t play shortstop. It says here. There. Where I just wrote here. He can’t play 3rd. Says there. Where I wrote it. Can’t play 1st. Says here. Next to where I wrote here. He plays 2nd, Carpenter goes to 3rd and Freese goes on ice. Sorta surprised by this because the Cardinals know that seriously reduces Freese’s trade value, but he was seriously reducing his trade value by playing. But, wait, why do we care? What can Wong do right? Here’s what Prospect Scott said just two days ago, “Wong has caught a heater at the right time, hitting .333/.429/.556 with 2 homers and 2 stolen bases through his last 10. Too bad Grey can’t catch a heater in his groin.” What? Why? On the year in the minors, Wong has a line of 10 HRs, 20 steals and a .303 average. That’s close to what I’d expect of him in the majors too. He has a great eye at the plate (60 Ks, 41 BBs) and nice speed. Maybe a handful of homers and steals in the last six weeks with a good average. In keepers, he’s a must have. In redrafts, I’d grab him in all leagues for upside. I’m excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, the Pirates called up the Frozen Tundra, Andrew Lambo. The Pirates should trade Lambo to Milwaukee (Green Bay) for Yovani Gallardo (arrr!). Or give Andrew a whistle and call him Coach Lambo-ardi. If you’re confused by any of this, you’re not alone. Rudy came up with the title and then spent twenty minutes on IM explaining it’s football stuff and most people would get it. Only a real man rocks a mustache and knows what a ronde jambe is but not a Lambeau leap. (If football is your bag, there’s our fantasy football section of hazarai.) Lambo’s worth discussing because he has big time power — 31 homers in the minors this year. Lambo mercy, you’re so power thirsty. He used to be a top prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system, but was suspended in 2010 due to taking hits from the bong, then never really got started in 2011. His playing time with the Pirates is debatable at this point — he’ll play; no, he won’t, yes, he will, less filling! At worst, the Pirates should play him against all righties. He’s 25 years old, so his upside is limited, but he could be like a Ryan Ludwick-type. I’d definitely take the flyer in just about any league where you need power, and especially in deep-ish keeper leagues. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him pull a Han Solo and cement himself into the lineup. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. 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?
When Josh Rutledge was optioned to Triple A, I got burned. Whether he can figure it out and make his way back up to the majors remains to be seen, but what made things worse was that the guy replacing him had one of those names I had never heard of nor knew how to pronounce. DJ LeMahieu sounds like he should be a forward for the Canucks, but he is now the Rockies’ starting second basemen. Despite an underwhelming .267 average and only 3 runs scored, he’s got a pair of steals in the last seven days and has found his way onto my radar. LeMahieu never hit below .300 in the minors and had stolen 8 bags in 33 games prior to his call-up this year. I don’t think he’s an add in 12 team mixed leagues or shallower, but in deep leagues and obviously NL-only leagues he has value. He’s got a tough match-up against Cincy to start the week, but then he gets to face the Padres for a four-game set. It will be interesting to see if he can net a steal or two against San Diego, one of the top ten teams in stolen bases allowed.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ll be honest here, I had no idea that Shelley Duncan was still playing. Not only is he playing, he’s, um, well, I’m supposed to put something he’s doing well here to make the play of words work. But that’s not really possible. Oh, he does have two homeruns. Does that help? With a career slash of 230/306/427, I think I’ve actually found a worse outfielder than Don Kelly. What’s next, stigmata? While, if given regular at-bats, 260/330/480 represents the very high end, I could foresee 10 homers and 50 RBI’s if he play’s for 50% of the season’s games.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We have almost a week of baseball in the books and Yu Darvish‘s Marvishlous 14 K 1-hitter and Chris Davis‘ power surge have been early standouts. Don’t own either? That’s a shame. Feel like quitting? Not yet, Razzball Nation, I am here to help. You may remember me, Dan, or my alter ego Blairtch, from such fantasy Friday roundups as Mike Trout Saved My Season, But Jewel Saved My Soul and Harper: Better, Faster, Stronger, and my popular online fantasy advice guide, Quit Losing Already, You Loser! I will be recapping Friday nights in fantasy baseball, providing plenty of references to The Cure and fantasy advice so Grey can use his weekends to take care of business, i.e. drink all those daiquiris you’ve been buying him and continue travelling across America interviewing players and managers, scouting top prospects, and attending round table discussions featuring only the most prestigious faculty, alumni and council members at the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston. So do not worry, I’ll be here throughout the season to cover Friday’s full slate of games for the loyal weekend warriors. There are lots of players to cover this week so let’s get right to it.
Here’s what happened Friday night in fantasy baseball [*Opening Week Edition*]:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re like me, once you finish your fantasy draft, you have a photographer take a picture of you with your team. You pull up your team page on your laptop, and the both of you sit next to a flower bed. The setting is similar to your mother’s yearbook picture. The cameraman even uses the filter that blurs out everything around you. As you wait for the makeup person to dab cover-up on your nose pimple, you reach into the flower bed and pull out a hydrangea. Then you speak directly to the SAGNOF Gods and recite his prayer, “He loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves me, he loves me Motte, he loves….” And the last petal ends on “He loves me Motte.” And you weep. Motte has an elbow strain and you’re stuck with his litigious brother-in-law, Mitchell Boggs. The Cardinals are currently saying all the right things, “Motte will be fine,” “Mitchell will temporarily fill-in,” “We had no idea McGwire was on steroids.” An elbow strain sounds like a thing that’s going to take Motte from his 40-save potential to an eight-save season with a 5.00+ ERA, which will be interrupted by surgery. Grab Boggs in every league, he could easily be a top five closer for this year. If you own Motte, you obviously DL him and hope for the best. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?