Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, and the illustration next to it was Salvador Perez’s abuelita. A little voice inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back.” I thought I knew what love was. I owned Javier Baez in every league I could grab him, but what did I know? Those minor league days are gone forever. He’s got to let them go! I can see you, Baez, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun. You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby. And I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong. Not Giancarlo strong, but strong never the hoo! Baez’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone Movie — 23 homers, 16 steals and a .260 average in only 104 games. What are you? A 35/25 guy at shortstop? Why stop there? Why not just dress up like the Sun-Maid girl and feed me shrunken grapes? What? It’s my fantasy! Like Don Henley and later The Ataris sang, I grabbed Baez in every league that I could. He might not be any better than, say, Danny Santana this year, his K-rate in the minors is a little scary, and he might hit .220. Whatevs, it’s an upside gamble, which I like at middle infield. I’m guessing Baez will play 2nd base, Arismendy (I still love you!) will move to center field and one of the Cubs platooners will sit. To paraphrase Harry Caray, if the moon was made of Javier Baez would cha eat it? Well, would cha? I would! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The trade deadline was three days ago. By now fantasy experts like Trojan Croftbell and Cocky Karazola have picked over these deals until the bones were showing, and gone over the “slashes” these guys compiled while “toeing the rubber” and talked you, and themselves really, in-and-out of pickups until they were dizzy. There’s no other way to analyze this. Unless you take some of the moving parts to Week 19 of the Two-Startapalooza party!
What happens to the headlining acts is obvious. Jon Lester is a must-start almost every week. In the post-season, he becomes Orel Hershiser ’88, or at least Billy Beane and any long-time A’s fan that shudders at the thought of Orel Hershiser ’88 hopes. David Price scratches the surface of the Must-Start layer some weeks, but more often than not he’ll break the barrier thanks to some interesting non-sabermetrical splits. This year, Price had way better numbers away from the Trop (6-2, 2.74 ERA) than inside of it (5-6, 3.41). Which also means he had the same numbers on grass than on turf, and of course the Tigers play on the green stuff in Detroit (as opposed to the Rockies, who play on the green stuff in Denver, but that’s different).
Then there’s the other guys. It might not seem like what happened to John Lackey and bed crapper Justin Masterson matters as much, but as Twitter pal Ralph Lifshitz pointed out to me on my feed (@NiceRazzball), the Cardinals can turn anyone into a solid starter (see: Jake Westbrook and Joel Pineiro, Lifshitz said, and to that I say point taken). That being said, and I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot this week – getting something out of Lackey is one thing, but getting the Masterbaterson to get right on a consistent basis is something else. Can you imagine rolling that guy out in the playoffs? Yipes!
Drew Smyly, who got the shaft in the Price deal and goes from a nice park on a winning team to a mediocre team in a crappy stadium, falls down at least one tier per week. He becomes a stat-piler guy for those in search of Two-Starters. Jesse Chavez falls off the radar completely, as he ends up in the A’s bullpen. I’ll miss seeing his oops-I-crapped-my-pants mug every week.
A few of these guys get a double dip this week. For some more Two-Starters, keep on reading…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Alex Cobb‘s line was 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks. March Grey, “You’re welcome.” April Grey, “Figures you show your face now.” May Grey, “You know how much crap I took for you, March Grey?” June Grey, “Seriously!” All the Greys start yammering over each other. March Grey, “Hey! Hey! Hey! July Grey, defend me here!” July Grey, “Don’t be too hard on him, Cobb was injured. He has a 2.23 ERA in July.” April/May/June Grey, “Shut up!” March Grey, “What about the Ks, July Grey? Tell them about those too.” April Grey, “We don’t want to hear it!” July Grey, “36 Ks in only 32 1/3 IP in July. Oh, and in April his ERA was 1.89, so I have no idea what your problem is.” April Grey, “Peer pressure.” March Grey, “April Grey’s still in a daze from Dozier’s April.” June Grey, “Yeah, April Grey, how’s Mike Morse doing too?” April Grey, “You know what? I’m hanging up now.” May Grey, “Probably wants to check on his Brett Lawrie-led offense.” So, Cobb hasn’t been dazzling all year like I expected, but his ERA is down to 3.54 on the year, his K-rate is 8.6, walk rate is 2.6 and his xFIP is 3.27. Everything I liked about him in the preseason still stands. March Grey, “That’s what I’m saying! Now, are you sending the bail money or what? This Nicaraguan prison sucks. Greys? Are you guys still there?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in June, about six weeks ago, the Twins were liking their chances this year. They went out and spent money on Kendrys Morales, just to put them over the hump. Then about five weeks and six days ago, they realized their chances for the playoffs were slim to anorexic, and regretted their move. They had buyer’s remorse quicker than Betty Draper’s new husband. “How could Don not appreciate this blonde beauty?” Dot, dot, dot. “Oh, that’s why.” I personally thought trading for a complement to Willingham, Arcia, Plouffe and Colabello was a good idea. I mean, who among those guys is a power, lousy average and no speed threat? Oh, wait, they all are. Now back to the Mariners, yeah, they need another 1B/DH-type. We’ll assume Kendrys plays every day (which he should). In the 2nd half of last year, he hit 9 homers and a .274 average. I don’t see much more from him this year. If anything, maybe a few less homers since he’s been struggling. Basically, what you can get off waivers in most mixed leagues. Or what the Mariners already had in Coreygan Smoakison, their Frankenstein 1B/DH. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Going back to one of my old favorites, that I didn’t like for awhile, then did like, then loved, then hated, then should’ve loved but hated, then was nonplussed about, then Googled nonplussed to make sure I used it right, then took a nap, then clapped my hands, shot up out of bed and kissed my ‘Donna Martin graduates’ screenshot, scrubbed my undercarriage with my Q-Bert loofah and sat down to write about why you should sell Anibal Sanchez. Anibal’s K-rate is in the dumper. Big enough sample size to be concerned — that’s not what she said! Huh? His velocity is off. More concern. That dirty Sanchez! He hasn’t been great, but he’s been much worse when you throw out favorable luck. His xFIP is at 3.91, and he looks similar to the pitcher he was in 2010 when he had a 7 K/9 and a 3.55 ERA. Only he was in Florida then and against NL teams. I could see Anibal’s ERA continuing to rise and I don’t see much relief for his lack of Ks (currently a 6.9 K/9). 6.9 K/9? Who are you, Chase Anderson? Who the hell is Chase Anderson? I wouldn’t sell Anibal for tickets to see PM Dawn, but I would explore options. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I write this, I’m on a plane. I knew I wouldn’t have internet, so I asked myself what data could I pull and play with to help you play with your team. Let me play guarantee fairy again… I’m supposed to be writing about Deep Impact. I guarantee you can use this list to trade away pitchers that are over-performing for long term deep impact while targeting other pitchers that can provide you with more short-term value. Use the comments section below and I’ll scold or virtual high-five your trade offers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
Are you like me? Have you been doubting the existence of the humidor at Coors Field since they allegedly installed it in the early 2000s? Didn’t it sound like some kind of lame way to side-step the concerns that juiced-up ogres were having a field day lighting up the scoreboard in the thin air? Yeah, that’s it, it’s the baseballs, not the steroids coursing through players’ veins, leading to 15-13 games. But no, there really is a humidor at Coors, and they really do put baseballs in there to bathe them in humidity, not groups of smelly 55-year-old cigar-smoking creeps.
All kinds of studies have been done that show home run numbers and batting averages have been somewhat deflated thanks to the humidor. But that hasn’t exactly transformed Coors into Petco. I don’t need to dig for stats on that – you’ve started your best guys there, and you’ve seen your ERA numbers skyrocket as a result. It’s why I see an “@COL” next to one of the guy’s names below and move them down from where they started. So what pitchers don’t get crushed in Coors? There’s no way to predict for certain, but I looked at some of the games where the Rockies were dominated in Denver and found something interesting. Three pitchers who have done well this year have good sinkers, decent-to-great curveballs and throw the four-seam fastball.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I swear that box score turning blue to alert people there’s something historic going on is the mother of all jinxes. Not to mention, all the people talking about the perfect game. Member when that was a jinx? Since we’re currently living in the Age of Opinion (which is not the Scorsese movie, though if it gets the green-light, Gary Oldman could play the lead), everyone talks about the perfect game while it’s going on. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitbook, PinkedIn. In my day, we never mentioned a perfect game on Friendster! And on my General Gist band page on Myspace? Nary a whisper! Well, Jake Arrieta still pitched outstanding yesterday — 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.05 — even if the bid for a perfect game came up short. Like Altuve short. Like Kershaw looks at Arrieta’s perfect game bid and giggles. Still, this is about where Arrieta’s been and where he can go. What I said the other day still remains true — his swings and misses are going up, his control is getting better and he’s using his cutter more — a pitch he can dominant with. I’d still look at him in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Colorado Rockies have not had an easy go of it this season. After beginning the year in tremendous fashion, injuries have contributed to a pretty steady drop in the standings. Once 22-14, the Rockies have fallen one game below .500, to 34-35. Pitching is always to blame when it comes to the blemishes of the Blake Street Bombers, and this year has been no exception, with the team placing last in the majors with a 4.61 ERA. However, mounting injuries have put an even bigger dent into the psyche of the good spirited people of Denver. First, Nolan Arenado hit the DL. Then it was Michael Cuddyer (twice) and Carlos Gonzalez. Pitcher Jordan Lyles, who had been their best starter to date, broke his non-pitching hand on a freak play. Wilin Rosario even had a stint on the sidelines with a stomach bug. Presumably, he’s been using that as his excuse for his poor hitting all season long. The only player who hasn’t been hurt is human house-of-straw, Justin Morneau. Go figure.
Good news for the Rockies, and for fantasy owners, is that Arenado (finger) could be back by the All-Star break, or perhaps even sooner if he can progress quickly through rehab games. While any possible cancer scare is nothing to dismiss, the fact that CarGo’s injury was “only” a benign foreign mass — and not a torn ligament — was the best possible news his owners could hear. His original five-week timetable would have him back around the All-Star break.
Now all the Rockies need to do is get superz-sized sheets of bubble wrap for Troy Tulowitzki.
Here are some other injury notes that caught my eye this week…Please, blog, may I have some more?