There is no truth to the rumor that Elvis Andrus stole his entire playing career from “Fats” Domingo, “Ivory” Roberto Kelly or Nate King Colbert.  Elvis hits the covers off the ball better than Cam “Carl” Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis Brinson.  It is not Elvis’ fault that the way he plays the bat is seen as an appropriation of a top shortstop of yesteryear.  He’s got the chops to knock down that axe!  (All guitar knowledge I possess was used in that nine word sentence.)  Yesterday, Elvis Andrus had the best game of an already great season, going 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs with his 8th and 9th homers.  On our Player Rater, he’s in the top 20 overall.  Not for shortstops, for all hitters and pitchers.  Love me tender!  Some of the names he’s above Giancarlo, Correa, Mookie and Dee Gordon.  Love me sweet!  Never let me go!  Well, not so fast there.  If I thought you could actually get value for Andrus in a trade, I could see it since he’s likely at his peak value.  Unfortunately, there’s little chance you’d get back in a trade anything resembling Andrus’ value, so I’d Bubba hold Tep.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of the things I love most about baseball, but particularly covering prospects, is when a guy I totally missed on pops up, and exceeds expectations. Sure, I could become obsessed with my own reputation, and shoot down any suggestion that I missed on a player. But what fun is that? So, when it comes to Nick Pivetta, I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t see this coming. Hell, I wrote up 15+ Phillies prospects, and name dropped another 7-8, and didn’t even mention Pivetta. Fangraphs covered 33 Phillies prospects, and Pivetta ranked in at 27! All this to say, that the “out of nowhere” label is somewhat appropriate when it comes to the Phil’s righthander. After an outstanding outing vs the Red Sox at home a few weeks ago, the strikeouts, and numbers in general seem to be trending in the right direction. So why not check him out, and see if we in fact have a breakout bubbling. Before we begin, big shouts to Oaktown Steve, who’s been hyping up Pivetta in the comments the past few weeks like a Sabermetrics Flavor Flav. Only he turned in his giant clock (read that fast), for an abacus, which I’ve heard can get a bit bulky when worn as a necklace. Anyway, let’s get into Pivetta’s last start vs the Cardinals at home, the second time he’s faced the Redbirds in four starts. He’s going today in Arizona, so maybe we’ll see if he’s worth rolling out… Actually no rookie pitcher with a heavy fly-ball approach should be started in Arizona, but that’s just common sense. On to the profile!

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Sometimes, baseball can be that game we all fell in love with *covers mouth so you can’t hear number* years ago.  Whether it’s Paul O’Neil hitting a triple with an error to score a home run for a child in the hospital or that minor leaguer who crashed through a fence to make a catch or Bryce Harper tossing a foul ball to an actual clown to silence his questions or Reggie Jackson thinking about someone other than himself for a moment after Thurman Munson’s plane crashed or Lou Gehrig’s speech or Kirk Gibson’s fist pump or Saturday.  It would’ve been Yordano Ventura’s 26th birthday.  Obviously Edinson Volquez was very close to him when they were both on Royals.  According to Volquez, they shared everything, even constantly having to tell people, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.”  Edinson posted a pic of Ventura on his Instagram page Saturday morning, then went out and pitched the game of his life that afternoon, a no hitter — 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.79.  For one day, Edinson was able to say, “No, I’m not Johnny Cueto.  I’m better.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The fantasy baseball roster you could make out of the current disabled list would easily be in first place in many rotisserie leagues. If you left your draft with all of these players healthy you would probably be pretty confident of your trophy chances. Granted, if you left your draft with these players I’d question the skills of your league mates.

Fun story, I once joined a friend’s new fantasy baseball league and one of the members had never done fantasy sports before. He drafted every offensive position in order starting with catcher in round 1. This was my actual reaction when I realized what was going on in about the 3rd or 4th round… Needless to say his pitching was a disaster.

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How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Speaking of Alex Wood, he’s got my sundial pointing a high noon. Maybe that’s because I picked him up this week in every one of my points leagues and started him for Monday’s 11 strikeout win. Do you know what I call it when you start a pitcher from the Dodgers in a late game and wake up to find out that he struck out 11 batters? Morning Wood! Click here to see my woody.

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We all have fears, no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re scared of something. It might be clowns, maybe it’s spiders, perhaps it’s being strapped to a chair Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch a Ben Stiller movie marathon. Totally a plausible scenario, might I add. While not quite as frightening as any of the aforementioned options, I must admit, I have developed a new fear. And no it’s not the fear of Grey mistaking me for Giancarlo, and having to have him surgically removed from my toilet leg. No, that ain’t it, though I am frightened by that thought. It’s far more topical, and far less titillating. It’s the fear of covering a bad start in my weekly pitching profiles. What fate could be worse than writing up an absolute slugfest? What if the pitcher I pick is chased in less than 3 innings? What if he trips and falls jumping imaginary lines? Shizz happens, right? So to prevent this, I decided to pick out three games, record them, and use the start I like best. In my whitewashed, pre-fab world of pitching, there are no bad starts, only starters I poorly ranked.  So who did I go with? Who was this lucky recipient of my barely readable prose? Well, it just so happens, I decided to go ying to last week’s yang, and cover another young AL East starter, facing the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball. That’s right, this week’s Pitcher Profile is on Yankees righty Luis Severino. Not a bad time to dive into the young flamethrower as he’s hotter than fish grease.

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I can’t believe Aaron Judge was caught stealing yesterday.  I’d be afraid of tagging him.  He should have just put the MI in The Claw, Baron Von Judgeske-style.  You remember The Machines?  They were the most obvious masked wrestlers in the 80’s.  Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan put on a mask, but wore exactly everything else.  Here’s Hulk Machine:

It’s like the Clark Kent of disguises.  It’s like if I wore a Hamburglar disguise but you could see my mustache.  They should do Baseball Machines.   Right now, Judge Machine is my favorite Machine and moving in on my love for Giancarlo Machine, and where the hell is Odor Machine?  He needs to pop Bautista Machine in his big, fat mouth and get crazy like Charlie’s mom, Ma Sheen.  As for Judge Machine, yesterday he went 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his major league-leading 13th homer as he hits .330.  That last number is the real surprise.  Is he a .300+ hitter?  I’m gonna go unlikely with a side of nuh-uh.  Can he hit 40 HRs and .270?  That’s looking affirmative.  I’m sure he’ll cool off; they all do, but I wouldn’t be against buying him high either.  If someone doesn’t believe the 40-homer, 275-pound love muscle, get him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Corey Kluber left yesterday’s game with lower back discomfort, before giving up five earned in three innings to the Tigers.  In every game, the Tigers look like John Jaso, just dreadful.  I mean, you ain’t got no alibi.  U-G-L-Y.  Then Kluber makes them look like The Ghost of Charley Lau is gliding each bat from beyond the grave.  “Don’t worry, Alex Avila, I will help you hit .400 and don’t forget to buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day.”  “Hey, Ghost of Charley Lau, you help with the hitting and let my iCal do the rest!”  That’s so ungrateful, Alex Avila!  Looking at Kluber’s peripherals, there’s some cause for concern, but cause for optimism too, assuming his back will be fine (maybe a large assumption).  His velocity is down a hair, but his Ks, walks, and xFIP are not saying he should be pummeled like a gymnast’s horse.  His Aprils have been terrible for the last two years (yes, I know we’re in May), so I’m hoping Kluber comes out of it.  At worst, he’s a 3.70 ERA guy with 200+ Ks.  At best, it all still comes together. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

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I’m picturing Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alcatraz, coiffing his hair (gorgeous hair) chipping away with his pickaxe.  I’m seeing Andy Dufresne also beautiful hair and a pickaxe.  Now that I think about it, you don’t need jail cells, just take away all prisoners’ blow dryers.  Any hoo!  Why am I seeing these great prison movies?  Because they are about breakouts.  Breakouts come in different shapes and sizes.  Some would say Cameron Diaz’s complexion is a breakout.  For a baseball breakout:  James Paxton.  Yesterday, Paxton went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.39.  His K/9 and BB/9 are now 10.7 and 1.8, respectively.  That’s about as ace-like as you’re gonna find.  Okay, now for one small step back from the ledge of crazy excited.  In his last start, he did give up five earned in four innings and I don’t think he’s going to avoid all wonkiness, but there’s no one throwing as well as him right now.  Okay, maybe Kershaw and Ervin Santana.  Someone get these guys blow dryers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?