As they say in a Jewelery District of any major city, Johnny Cueto pitched a gem. Well, any major city except Detroit. There they call a gem, “Slowly remove it from your finger, and no funny business!” Against the Pirates yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks. Pretty much across the board for Cueto’s career, I haven’t been a fan. His xFIP has always been much worse than his ERA, and his K-rate has never been close to an elite starter. Well, a weird thing happened on the way to his fifth start of the year, he looks like an ace. His xFIP is down to 2.55, his K-rate is 10.50 and his walk rate is 2.40. Those are fantasy ace numbers. Last year through April, he had a 2.80 xFIP, 9.35 K-rate and 3.12 walk rate. Those numbers aren’t that different. Hey, random italicized letters are my shtick. Not right now, Random Italicized Voice. Whoa, snippy! There is one fairly significant difference between Cueto this year and last. About a mile per hour on his fastball. In some instances, his fastball is averaging two extra miles per hour from last April, and he’s cut out his, uh, cutter, and his ground balls have remained. He’s pitching slightly different, slightly better, and, for the first time I can remember, I’m really liking what Cueto is showing. Ain’t that a kick in Jason LaRue’s head? His ERA won’t stay at 1.50, but I also wouldn’t be looking to sell him high. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
My fantasy roster is like Rick and his Walking Dead gang, just waiting around to be fattened up for the slaughter in that train car. Doesn’t Daryl have a hidden crossbow? Feel free to kill off Beth though. Currently my team has lost Cole Hamels and David Robertson. Not too bad, but couple that with the injuries to Adrian Beltre, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig, and my team is on the verge of doing a Hershel. I feel like we should cue up that cheesy music they play at the Oscars when they pay tribute to those stars that died over the past year. Last week, the fantasy world lost Josh Hamilton (smattering of applause), Matt Moore (gasps) and Avisail Garcia (men openly weeping). Just bury them with all the other guys still on the DL – Clayton Kershaw (at least he’s throwing again), Matt Latos (skipping rehab start this week, uh-oh) and Jose Reyes (was born on the disabled list). Add Troy Tulowitzki (quad), Adrian Beltre (quad), Koji Uehara (shoulder quad), and Joe Nathan (dead arm quad) to the walking wounded list as well (guys hurtin’ but not DL’d) and we have a World War Z-sized fantasy apocalypse. Injuries are expected every year, but does it seem like there are more this season? Can I blame instant replay? Harold Reynolds? Someone or something is responsible. Quick, get Bartolo Colon to throw some stem cells in the Gatorade. I hear that helps. *note to self: Pitch embryonic energy drink to Gatorade, make millions, get killed by pro-life crusaders.* It’s time to bring in the fantasy reinforcements. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can cure what’s ailing our battered and broken roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s me yesterday looking to pick up the new Yankee closer…. *types Kelly into waivers box, presses Enter* Inner monologue, “Joe Kelly?! No, I don’t want him! Casey Kelly?! Blech! C’mon, this is a 15 team mixed league, I’m not in an NL-Only keeper! Someone beat me to the waiver wire? Really? For the first time in three years, I’m watching a Yankees game because nothing else is on and serendipitously David Robertson is announced with a groin strain, so there’s no way anyone beat me to the waiver wire… I’m here first, I have to be! So where’s Kelly?! Fine, I’ll click the button that shows the players that are owned too. Wait, he’s not even listed there. What in the holy name of Christ Colabello–” And that was around the time I realized his name was spelled Kelley, not Kelly and while I was misspelling it someone else swooped in and grabbed him. This has been the latest installment of Grey Albright: Are You Sure You Want To Listen To This Man? So, Robertson is out for a few weeks with a groin strain — easy on the noodes, doode! — and Shawn Kelley is your new closer in New York, and, even though yesterday was Kelley’s first career save, it doesn’t mean he can’t be successful for the next three weeks. Or unsuccessful, but I’d pick him up either way in any league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Holy hell, what just happened? This week was supposed to be about all the pomp and circumstance of opening day. Then a closenado happened, a whirlwind of job loss and fake unemployment questions. I mean, before two games ended, two closers were replaced. That’s just silly stupid, like buying a pack of crayons without the built in sharpener. Useless. Roenicke and Ventura, I am putting a sfortuna and a pox on both your households. Moves like this usually lead to managerial unemployment, so maybe we aren’t so bad off, as both look well fixated on the Kohl’s managerial program. To make things worse, Bobby P fell down and ‘Papa Grande’ came tumbling after.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It was all fine and dandy and then Roldy Chapman had to go and jump in front of a speeding bullet. It caused the first waiver wire riot of the year. Trick is, who to add? Everybody jumped on the J.J. Hoover train and I don’t blame them. He seems like the only real healthy choice, but have you seen him in ST? He looks god awful, like he is throwing with the losing end of a wishbone. This situation is one to get all waiver wire giddy about, but it’s not going to be fluid. Broxton and Marshall start the year on the boo-boo list and then what’s left? I’ll tell ya, be patient, stop yelling…. Manny Parra. I have read others speculating this, but I’m going to jump on it also. It’s only a temporary situation anyways, and if you lost out on Hoover, why not get a good ‘what the hell’ add? Could do worse, he has a K/9 over 10 in 2 full seasons as a set up guy and a ST K/BB rate of 11/1. I mean if we are going on merit, which never happens, he deserves a look and may get a few early saves.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It started with a twitter murmur. Hey Sky, you up to do a draft? Well, I say, I’m already in five leagues. What day? What is the set up? Are pants mandatory or optional? But of course with only 140 characters available, I had to abbreviate to ‘In 5. Day? Set Up? Pants? Lulz’. I don’t know why I said ‘Lulz’. I think it’s required to put in one text word into every tweet you send out or you get your account suspended. Ef you @Seaworld! Sorry, inside joke. Let’s move along. Suffice to say, over a long course of contact and back and forth I eventually joined into the fray that is The League Of Street Cred thrown together by Ryan Hodge of Fantasy Insiders. The title tells you exactly what you get by winning this league. Street Cred. That’s right, no money involved, unless Street Cred has an exchange rate. I’m assuming mine is worth one Bitcoin at this point…all this to say, the evite was accepted and I hopped in and drafted with this cadre of the fantasy expert macabre below…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Closer news, closer news… We need a musical about fantasy baseball, sorta like Newsies, but with a little Book of Mormon thrown in. Perhaps a musical adventure of sonnets and mignonettes by Stephen Sondheim. Come on, everybody loves a musical… he, no. Okay, it’s just me then. So drafting season is here, it’s the first and last time you will see over 20% of the guys drafting in your league until… well, never. Ahh, the internet and its anonymity. So with the games in the land of koala bears and oil cans happening this weekend, baseball is here. Officially. I have confirmed with multiple sources and gave them credit for groundbreaking stuff via twitter. So the week before the fake regular season I have 4 questions that we still need answers to, or was just wondering in my own stoned malaise.
The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again. For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future. My favorite team is also being covered here. I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team. That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one. I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it. Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note -- JERK!] Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note -- I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
The name says it all, it’s what everyone keeps asking for, NSVH. It sounds like a spin-off of CSI, or Law and Order. Except with really geeky dudes who shouldn’t really have an actual head-shot of themselves for use as their avatar. We know who they are, and pointing fingers isn’t polite unless it’s the one that I normally get from people at the retirement home I frequent for volunteer duties. Much love Shady Acres. So this week we delve into the numbers game, the ones that mimic me and steal my Nutella sandwich. These projections are highly irregular and tougher than most other stats in the pretend game. The fluctuation of personnel by teams is mind boggling and makes me look goofy. So in the chart below I am giving you the top-60 NSVH chaps with some pertinent stats that help all. During the year, I’ll get into more of the sustaining stats, but since we aren’t there yet, I can’t just make them up. Those tendency stats that I am referring to (Inherited Runners, Inherited Runners Scored, and Appearances with Lead) are my way of determining both closer and set-up guy efficiency. How they are used and when they are used. So those that are looking forward to that, hooray for you. So without further adieu, here are some projections for the top NSVH guys for this year.Please, blog, may I have some more?