In true Halloween spirit, we have a special haunted edition of the Pitcher Profile. Ok, so it’s not even September yet, but hey, we live in a world of mass consumerism and the Halloween specials and themed sections of department stores are already up. Don’t believe me? Ask the um, French Maid, you um… you saw leaving my room last night – it was just someone breaking in the costume! I’m kidding, I’m not Jude Law.
So about a month ago, I was all set to do a Scott Kazmir Pitcher Profile then his arm died. Kinda like Jared Leto’s arm in Requiem For A Dream. After a strong stretch through mid-June to late-July, Kaz gave up 4 to the White Sox, blanked the Marlins (but a slow-pitch softball pitcher could do that), then got rocked vs. the Angels and his arm was murdered. Murder, I Wrote! But through the modern world of medicine, he got a Will Smith I, Robot replacement, then struggled with his stuff with the zombie arm in his first game back, giving up a 5 spot and 12 baserunners at Oakland. So expectations were pretty low heading into his start yesterday against the Twins, but after seeing the stat line and his return to form, I decided to break down his start and see if that velocity is back where it was a few months ago: Please, blog, may I have some more?
You know, picking your fantasy baseball pitchers is surprisingly a lot like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. At the beginning, you want the old reliable guys – you know – the ones that can barely walk. Looking at you R.A. Dickey. You’ve got all this potential for an Oscar-winner/fantasy title. But as the movie and baseball season progresses, you want younger and younger guys with the upside of their ML debuts and big K potential against hitters who have never seen them before. Then after a longgggg middle half (and the dog days of summer in the baseball season), you’re in the final act and you’re ready to throw out there any 20-something-year-old just for the hell of it (just ask Kathy Griffin about that). Or you’ve walked out of the movie because you’re just not into it.
As you well know, Pitcher Profiles usually select a pitcher from Sunday, but with overwhelming questions and requests for a profiling of Danny Salazar, I felt overwhelmed to buck the trend. Please, blog, may I have some more?
When he was called up just before the All-Star Break, the exclamation for the long-awaited arrival for Erasmo Ramirez was perhaps hyperbolic. I’ll admit, I thought he’d be a big fantasy help too. Sure he was dynamite last year with a decent 3.36 ERA but dazzling 1.00 WHIP and 7.32 Ks per 9 in his debut 59 innings. His walk rate was under 2 per 9, pitches in Safeco – this was going to be a fantastic season.
But a triceps injury kept him from making the Opening Day rotation, forcing him to rehab his way back up. After two nice starts in single A and double AA, Erasmo spent most of his time in AAA with a solid 3.09 ERA and 42 Ks in 43.2 innings. However, red flags did arise with a WHIP at 1.31 and a walk rate at 2.89. Not exactly too scary, and he was certainly shaking some rust off. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have no idea of how to tie in one of the most famous AHnold soundboard choices, but like last weeks selection of ANIMAL!, I really don’t need a reason. I have established this, and it feels good to make said establishment. I also have no idea what we’re are still doing here, playing in these deep leagues. Sometimes I panic that I won’t have anything to write about, and then I remember, there’s always money in the banana stand. No, wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Ah, yes. We’ll always have Humberto Quintero to talk about. The fantasy catching equivalent of seppuku. And guess what? I haven’t even typed a player blurb on Tom Gorzelanny yet, so exciting times indeed! God, shoot me now. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Indians had themselves a good ol’ fashioned hometown community pow-wow in Chicago yesterday, scoring 29 runs off 33 hits in Friday’s double header. The Tribe tallied 19 runs in the first half of the double header, with eight different Indians having multi-hit games including 3-hit games from Asdrubal Cabrera, Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles. And as if the ChiSox weren’t having a bad enough night, the Injians managed to rally to score four runs in the ninth to win with a walk off home run by Nick Swisher in the second game. Jason Kipnis was the real hero going 4-for-7 with four runs, four RBI, four BB and his 18th stolen base. Kip’s got a .473 OBP in the past month, which is definitely worthy of a rain dance. Anyway, this is the second time Cleveland had scored 19 runs in a game this season, and they move within two games of first place in the AL Central. Rough night for ChiSox fans, but hey, Jeff Keppinger (6-for-8, 2 runs, HR, 4 RBI) had a great day, right? Right!? I’m making it worse aren’t I? I better take some happy pills quick before the world starts getting dark.
Sigh, well, here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night: Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I told you to pick up Joaquin Benoit yesterday, I was 85% sure he would close games until the Tigers traded for Papelbon, who will be known in Detroit as a Papelbonneville. Then, because Leyland reads Razzball between smokes, he named Benoit closer by not naming him the closer. He said, “I’m not naming anybody closer. I’m just saying if Benoit was available right now, I would try to close with him.” Thanks for clarifying! Managers deciding on a closer is like debating euthanasia. Valverde’s done, pull the plug! The Yelp reviews for Benoit are through the roof, but there’s a lot of five star reviews from fantasy baseballers with only one other closer. I’d grab Benoit in all leagues and hope he can hold the job and make the thought of trading for Papelbonneville absurd. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yasiel Puig was scratched yesterday with a strained shoulder, suffering the injury during batting practice. Look at him, making himself feel right at home with the Dodgers. Next thing you know, he’s going to say Brandon League is their best reliever, run at 40% and leave before the eighth inning to beat the traffic. Let’s recap quickly, Puig took a fastball off his nose, wiped blood from his face and took first base. Then The Cuban did an interpretative dance with Kennedy’s whole team that he called “The Bay of Puig.” Finally, the next day, he hurts himself in batting practice. It’s like when Jean-Claude Van Damme beat the crap out of 47 bad guys, but stopped production on Timecop because the production assistant forget to bring his hair gel to set. “Van Damme be Van Damned if his hair isn’t coifed.” As of right now, there’s no word on how long Puig will be out, but hopefully this Puiggy doesn’t go wee, wee, wee all the way home. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Roy Oswalt pulled something in his back and is presumably headed to the DL. The bad news here is he was supposedly a 2nd half pitcher in some people’s minds, though my mind wasn’t yet made up. It’s a guy’s prerogative to change his mind, or just not make it up at all. As someone who has struggled with lower back pain for most of his adult life… Oh, who am I kidding? I’m fit as a fiddle. I once dwarf bowled a 170. (Of course, he helped by kicking over that 7-10 split.) Wait, what was I saying? Oh, yeah! Oswalt. Yeah, he’s off to see a back specialist, the Astros are calling up Bud Norris, hopefully related to Chuck. Bud Norris might sound familiar to some of youse. Why? Cause I just said his name in the previous sentence. Hello, Mr. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kelvim Escobar was sent to the bullpen. His value goes from potentially good to potentially nothing. Scioscia said Escobar will be pitching out of the bullpen for the rest of the season. Scioscia also said Brandon Wood would start at shortstop two years ago and said Arredondo, the guy now in the minors, would be the closer and he said Rex Hudler’s got the best herb, when he wants to get wiggy with Figgy. Escobar will probably start games again in a month or two. But even if that is the case, he’s about as good to you now as those X-ray glasses you bought out of the back of a comic book when you were twelve. Matt Palmer gets a boost in value, which is to say he actually has value now. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Travis Hafner is coming back. We’re picking him up for our UTIL slot right now…in our 40 team mixed league. Brett Myers, who has been a marginal mixed league starter since returning from a bullpen stint 2 years back, may be out for the year with the latest – or should we say hippest – new injury….the torn labrum in the hip. It’s the new oblique. We had him on the risky list this year, but thought his elbow would be the first to go after throwing so many sliders last year. If any Phillie pitcher was going to get a new hip, we would’ve bet Jamie Moyer. (Incidentally, he’s also first on our list of most likely Phillie pitchers to get a new gall bladder.) Anyway, here’s what else we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Grady Sizemore – [sarcasm] Huge game for Grady as he went 1-for-3 with no runs or RBIs or steals. Watch out now! Please, blog, may I have some more?