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?

So far I’ve spent my opening paragraph telling you who to pick up and roll with. It’s been a mixed bag to say the least and by that I mean rose petals with kitty litter clumpings in with it. King Felix did fine on Monday. Thankfully none of you had to experience the Klub upside the head on Tuesday. And right now it’s only the second inning on Tyson Ross and it’s not exactly going great…but hey listen to me I know what I’m talking about! So my lead in isn’t to warn you off of starting Phil Hughes today. That’s a gimme and as much as I need a cheap win, I’m not taking it. Nah, I’m taking this moment to tell you to load up on power hitters in Chi-Town. Though I’ll like Hughes in his home starts here and there in the future, I’m telling you to get some Chicago bop into your lineup as Hughes had a 46.5 FB% last year. If he had pitched all year, that would’ve been second best. Or is that second worst? Yeah, second worst. Don’t believe me? Even the Hitter-Tron is telling ya to buy in as Jose Abreu is the top spot on his dirty little list and is an easy pickup at $3,800. And Adam Dunn is 4th if you wanna get a little cheaper at $3,700. Sadly, you can’t get both into your lineup. No DH Draftkings? What is this, the senior circuit of Daily Fantasy Sports? And just for fun, I decided to peek in and see what the $3,700 priced Hughes looked like on the Stream-O-Nator…yup, he sucks. A ChiSox stack is definitely in play. Ok, now that we’ve established all that, let’s move on…to another link! Don’t forget about our Razzball Draftkings Contest this Friday. Go reserve a spot. It’s a VIP thing (not really). And there will be free drinks in the lobby (it’s really BYOB). Ok now on with the show. Here’s our picks for 4/3/2014 contests for Draftkings 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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Sean Connery enjoyed the landing of B-Weezy.

So it’s official. Just in time for your playoffs or late-season run for a title, Matt Cain has joined Jason Heyward and Rafael Betancourt, all recent casualties, on the DL. Even though the X-ray’s came back negative after Cain got hit by a line-drive on Thursday, Bruce Bochy said it was too soon to say whether or not he would make his next start. A mere seven hours later, which I guess was not too soon anymore, it was decided that Cain would not only miss his next start, but at least three. You’d figure with such a big head, Bochy would have a better grasp of time. And, you know, bullpen usage. Granted, this season wasn’t shaping up to be Cain’s finest and was pretty up-and-down (more down) in general. But his second-half ERA of 2.84 and improved walk rate were representing an expected regression. So the timing couldn’t be worse, especially since the Giants are not postseason bound and really have no reason to rush a recovery. Relevant. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…

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So while helping Scott with his prospect and two-start pitcher questions over the weekend, I got a lot of questions for the best spot starter on Sunday.  I told everyone Hector Santiago followed closely by the debut of Jose Alvarez.  Score one for me!  I decided to write my pitcher profile on one of those guys, and since Alvarez only came up for one start (he’s already back in AAA), I went with Santiago.  Quick tangent – how unfair is that Tigers rotation?  Justin VerlanderAnibal SanchezMax ScherzerDoug FisterRick Porcello (who everyone needs to pick up – Ks are for real, looks like it’s all together now and he’s only 24), then Drew Smyly who should become a starter one day soon, and now Alvarez.  Yikes.

Anyway, Santiago has been yo-yoed in and out of the rotation, and after Jake Peavy fell to injury yet again, Santiago should remain in the starting staff for at least the next month if not longer.  He’s been better as a starter than out of the bullpen this year, and has over a K per 9 this season.  There’s a lot of things to like with Santiago, so I broke down his start yesterday afternoon against the Athletics to monitor his repertoire and what to expect while he’s in the White Sox rotation.

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I just went over the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Molina, Pierzynski, Wilin Rosario were all in the top 5 for catchers last year. Their average draft pick was around 250 overall last year. The bottom of the top 20 for last year consisted of Napoli, McCann and Jesus Montero. Their average draft slot was around 70. It’s like this every year. In 2011, Napoli and Avila were ranked second and third at the end of the year with Wieters and Posey disappointing, going into the year it was nothing like that. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. Then, there’s not much difference between, say, the fifth best catcher and nothingness. Wilin Rosario was the fifth best catcher last year. As late as July of last year, he could’ve been picked up off waivers in some leagues. Finally, the best catcher last year and the NL MVP was the 27th best player according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s the best year you can hope from him and he was still only ranked 27th overall. You’re paying a premium for a catcher, who would be the 8th best outfielder. The third best 2nd baseman. The fifth best first baseman. The fifth best 3rd baseman. Only shortstops were worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-two (John Jaso? Belch.); some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Alex Avila. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2013 fantasy baseball under 2013 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2013 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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Ryan Zimmerman recently admitted to the Washington Post that his shoulder isn’t at 100%.  I recently admitted to the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston Alumni magazine that my pinkie finger has been acting up.  I go to type up some fantasy baseball  advice and it looks like this, “I drafted Ryan Zimmerman, that piece of @#$%^&*”  I don’t reach for the Shift key and symbols, but my pinkie involuntary adds them.  

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Washington Nationals 2010Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (21) | 2009 (21) | 2008 (9) | 2007 (30) | 2006 (24) | 2005 (26) | 2004 (30)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [69 – 93] NL East
AAA: [76 – 67] International League – Syracuse
AA: [77 – 65] Eastern League – Harrisburg
A+: [70 – 69] Carolina League – Potomac
A: [65 – 75] South Atlantic League – Haggerstown
A(ss): [36 – 38] New York Pennsylvania League – Vermont Lake
R: [24 – 32] Gulf League

The Run Down
In the 2009 Nationals Minor League Review, I said, “It wouldn’t be a stretch to see the team win 10 more games this year with a slightly improved rotation.” They did win exactly 10 more games this year, too bad that was still good enough for last place in the NL East. 

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