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?
It’s that time of year. With just a couple of weeks until rosters expand in September, it’s time for players in re-draft leagues to start considering prospect call-ups. Billy Hamilton is by far the best bet for a steals impact in the final month of the season. Entering the weekend, he had 70 stolen bases in just 110 games. Check out what Razzball’s prospect whisperer Scott Evans had to say about him recently: “Need to make a late push in steals before year’s end? Billy Hamilton will soon help in that regard, and he won’t need regular plate appearances to do so.” And Evans knows his shizz. Billy Hamilton is fast. He could enter games as a pinch runner on first base and be on third base before you swallow that sip of stadium suds. In addition to holding the MiLB steals record and posting sick times from base to base, Hamilton chugs through Mountain Dews like Dusty Baker chews through toothpicks. He’s one of the players I’m most excited about watching if he gets the call this September. The fly in the ointment continues to be the Reds’ reluctance to place him on the 40-man roster. As of Friday they were still undecided, and that’s important information to keep an eye on. To be honest, the Reds would be foolish not to use him as a weapon, but I’m not running any major league teams last time I checked. As we’ve done all year long, let’s look at who is out there and ready to contribute now in the steals category: Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ll admit that I rarely write about pitchers, which may not come as a surprise if you knew my long and troubled past. Many years ago, I had a strong affinity for many pitchers on my favorite team (rhymes with Drew Stubbs). Unfortunately the coach – let’s call him either “D. Baker” or “Dusty B.” – was bent on crushing my hopes. But for you, my favorite readers, I will temporarily set aside my shattered dreams to review how 2013 “OPS against” views different pitching staffs. I’ll also include WHIP and BB/9 because I’m just that generous (don’t forget humble!). Anyway, here is the list of the worst pitching staffs: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Okay, sue me for Safecoexual Erasment, but I need some Erasmo Ramirez right now. Who is stopping him? Joe Saunders, The Harangutan or is it Jeremy Bonderman? Whips and chains excite me, but Bonderman does absolutely nothing for me. The tantric Mariners will eventually succumb to an Erasm. They have to. They are pleasure seekers like all of us fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). Ewww, just got the shudders talking about my mom with all of these double entendres. “Grey, your moostasha is full, but I don’t like this dirty word talk!” That’s my mom fresh off the boat from Sicily. Ramirez has an under 2 BB/9 and over 9 K/9 in Triple-A this year, and he’s not an out of the blue pitcher or without major league seasoning. Last year with the M’s, he threw 59 IP with a 3.36 ERA and an even 1.00 WHIP. There was even talk he’d start the year in the Mariners rotation, until he got injured. He’s fully healthy right now and blowing people away, biding his time for entry into the M’s rotation. Looking for that pitcher that could be this year’s Kris Medlen? Look no further! Unless, of course, you’re looking about 3 inches short of your computer screen, then look a little further. What does the Buysellatops think? It doesn’t think; it’s a dinosaur! I realize Erasmo pronounced backwards is, “I’m sorry,” but he won’t disappoint. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Angel Pagan might be out the season, but will definitely be out until September. Too bad, so sad, don’t forget to write, don’t write too often, waste of paper. Hey, Gregor Blanco, come on down! You are the next contestant on The SAGNOF Is Right. How many steals can you steal this year? Peter Bourjos says 20. Not bad, but seems a little low. Jacoby Ellsbury says 60. Whoa, that’s way too high; you’re not gonna win a trip for two to Mount Rushmore like that. Michael Bourn says 35. That’s not bad; he’s practiced this at home with his grammy. Oh no, Darin Ruf says 1. Damn you, Darin Ruf! Now I have to guess exactly or go with 2, but then Marlon Byrd can say 3 and I’m screwed. I’ll say…28. Byrd goes with 2, and Ruf gives him the stink-eye. Drew Carey says… Oops, when he pulled out the card an eight ball of coke fell out of his pocket. The correct answer is 32! I win! Next up, Plinko! Fitting since Gregor sounds like a Pinko. Sure, Blanco’s not an exciting name and is only the lede because there were four games yesterday, but he still has lots of value. This news is the equivalent to a new closer taking over. Blanco won’t kill you in average, and has been hitting near .500 in the last week. Blanco is a guy I’d grab in every single league if I needed speed. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
K:BB. Mmmm can’t think of a sexier group of three letters. Double D’s are nice but that’s only two letters. JB is only two letters. So if you have to go to three letters, I’ll take K:BB.
A guy I’ve liked for a while now, Corey Kluber came into yesterday’s matchup against the Nationals with a sparkling 57:12 K:BB ratio so far this season. Don’t believe me that he’s been my man crush the past month? Look at phone records to Sky or my friend Peter. Just ask the NSA, they’ve got them saved somewhere… Kluber has been around a while, pitching in the Minors since 2006 with consistent strikeout numbers, but other than that never has put it completely together. Now 27 years old, Kluber is suddenly owning MLB offenses.
As soon as I saw Kluber’s numbers last month before he was the talk of the town, I went and looked at his pitch selection. He’s completely changed his arsenal from a slider as his main breaking offering into tossing a cutter as his second pitch. Does that remind you of any other Cleveland Indian who had late(r) career success? Reminds me of Cliff Lee! Ok so I’m not saying Kluber is the next Cliff Lee, they’re very different pitchers, but it is interesting. Please, blog, may I have some more?
If Chris Archer was aiming to win last night he was right on target, pitching seven innings against the fearsome Orioles lineup, allowing just 2 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB and striking out two to grab his first win of the year. Bulls-eye! Archer even retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced. Let’s just say opposing hitters could hear Kenny Loggins’ music playing with Archer on the hill because they were riding into the DANGER ZONE, LANA! Relax those monster hands, you don’t have to be Krieger to know Archer misfired in his season debut, surrendering five runs to the Indians and lasting just four innings. But he looked Sterling last night. Chris threw just 84 pitches in the outing, hurling his 95-mph fastball with ease and locating the pitch with perfection. Even Burt Reynolds was impressed. Pitching coach Jim Hickey told Archer he needed to see more of that change up, and both the change up and the slider were on full display last night. He was able to throw both pitches on any count with excellent confidence and control and kept the O’s hitter off balance all game. Although, his next start at Fenway this week is not ideal, he should be streamer-worthy going forward given the right match ups. Until David Price returns from his triceps injury, Chris Archer looks to see a few more starts and is worth a flier in AL-Only and deeper mixed leagues. Also, danger zone!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jesus Montero was sent down and the Mariners called up Jesus Sucre. Jesus for Jesus was the original name of Jews for Jesus when it only had one member. The only thing that I pray is that my Brayan Pena don’t fail me now…Jesus sucks! And I don’t think there is nothing Montero can do now to right my wrongs…Jesus Sucks! I want to talk to Yan Gomes, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long…Jesus Sucks! To the SAGNOF hustlers, worm burners, lefty murderers, HGH drug dealers especially A-Rod’s cousin… Jesus Sucks for them! To victims of Ron Popeil ‘Set it and Forget It’ catcher management style for we living in hell here hell yeah, Jesus Sucks for them! I.e., good riddance, Montero. With Easter passed, I have no idea when Jesus will be back, but I’d drop him in all leagues. Shoppach will take over full-time now, but this should put Mike Zunino firmly on your radars. On the most recent prospect power rankings, Zunino was honorably mentioned. Last time Scott, our prospect writer, really hooked his chompers into Zunino, he said this, “Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level. A real overachiever, like our very own Grey.” Hey, thanks! A word about that quote. (Actually a few words.) Jesus Montero is mentioned in there, and that’s not a goof by Scott, this just shows you what catcher prospects look like when they come up. Catchers tend to take a while to develop because they’re learning defense as much as offense. They can’t just hit, they need to play defense. Well, except for Mike Piazza. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Paul Goldschmidt went off again last night, collecting four hits with two 2-run home runs and scored four times. Awww Schmiiiidt! Goldy has been locked in at the plate lately. Over the past two weeks, he’s batting .400 with 5 home runs, 12 RBI and 2 stolen bases. As a result the D-Backs sit at the top of their division, winning three straight games and seven of their last 10. Paul is currently on pace for over 40 home runs, 15 steals and 120+ RBI. Although he will likely come back down to earth some, he remains the number one first baseman on the player rater and is looking like a lock to finish in the top three. He also is the number two player overall behind only mean Jean Segura. To quote Mike Myers second worst film, “I love…Goooold.” We all do, Johan van der Smut, you horribly offensive Dutch stereotype. We all do. If you read Razzball faithfully, there’s a good chance you own Pauly G. on a team or two. If so, you are lovin’ life right now, so enjoy this. Bask in it. Take. It. In. You earned it. I had a goldfish named Goldy but I never loved that dumb fish as much I love owning Paul Goldschmidt. So thanks Grey. Thanks Rudy. If you ever need a kidney, I’m your guy.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night: Please, blog, may I have some more?