Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hishashi my dashi — slurp SLURP! Yesterday, Hisashi Iwakuma threw the AL’s first no-hitter since 2012, a span of three years (nice math skills, Grey stache!) This wasn’t an easy, rollover and let me scratch your belly, Padres club he was no-hitting either. This was no “Get out your Slinky and drop it from the top of the stairs and it’ll go all the way to the bottom,” this was more of a “Drop your Slinky and watch it get two stairs down, and then Chris Davis comes up and flattens one into the Pike’s Market concourse, and then one of the fish guys throws it back and then Machado comes up orders a Flat White with almond milk and he hits one over one of the 16,000 Starbucks* in the greater Seattle area.” Wow, I got totally lost in that analogy. Iwakuma’s ERAs are all over the place in his time in the states, but I’ll say this, everything else is nearly identical. His K/9 is always within point five, his xFIP is 3.29 now and it was 3.28 in his 2nd major league season, his fastball velocity was 88.9 last year; it’s 88.9 now, his walk rate is 1.5, it was 1.1 last year. This year, he’s given up more homers, that’s been the difference. You’d have to assume in Safeco homers would come down and Iwakuma would go back to being a mid to low-3 ERA pitcher. *I did the Segway Seattle tour during the All-Star break counting them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As soon as you’re finished with this post, I want you to close your laptop, step outside and look at a bird in flight. Pick up a flower, breathe in its fragrance, sneeze from your allergies, wave to a neighbor and close your robe because you’re not just waving with your hand. How does that feel? Exhilarating? Then your dedication sucks! It should be a total bore. You should be more interested in whether or not I’m going to have a top 100 for the 2nd half of fantasy baseball tomorrow than what your significant other has been doing for the last three and a half months. Luckily, I will have a top 100 tomorrow, and your significant other can remain your fantasy team. Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery! Yesterday, Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer as the Yankees called him up on Saturday to be their 2nd baseman. My middle infielder slot on all of my teams feels like the old adage, “Ridden hard and put away wet.” If a fantasy team slot could catch an STD, my MI slot would be it. There might not be a starter on any team that I haven’t tried once, thanks, Rendon! Refsnyder had seven homers and ten steals with a .290 average in Triple-A and looking at him, I’m immediately reminded of Pedroia. In other words, goodbye, Jace Peterson, hello, Refsnyder! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Alex Gordon is out for eight weeks with a seriously strained groin. To add insult to injury, his strained groin was in the smallest colander they could find. Ouch! Sure, in deep leagues, this one hurts. I’m not doubting that. Okay, I am, but let’s stay on good footing today since it’s Friday, and say I’m not doubting it. However (Grey’s cranking the sail and turning this boat around!), Gordon getting hurt in shallower leagues is actually a blessing. Now you can grab hot waiver wire guys and stop relying on boring production from Gordon. Real Talk with Grey Albright. One such guy that I’d grab is Gordon’s teammate and all-around vacuuming chicken, Jarrod Dyson (2-for-4 and his 11th steal). There might not be a bigger value change for one player in the last week, let alone the last month than this one for Dyson. Maybe all year if I can be stupidly hyperbolic without getting called on it. Dyson had the biggest value change since 1925 when Wally Pipp had a tooth pulled and Gehrig got a start at 1st. Dyson had the biggest value change since big pox decided to downgrade to small pox. Dyson could steal 25 bases in eight weeks. No, I’m no longer exaggerating. I’d grab him everywhere I needed SAGNOF! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Does this happen to people? You’re working on something, and listening to certain tunes and that informs the way you go about your work. I’ve never had a real job in my life, so I don’t know how this works for those. Does a toll collecting juggalo listen to Insane Clown Posse while working and violently throw change back at drivers? Is this why a building’s roof caves in because the construction crew was listening to Because I Got High by Afroman? Or if you were to suddenly change a hitter’s walk-up music from say Next Episode by Dr. Dre (which seems to be at least one hitter’s song on every team) to The Pina Colada Song would that change everything? I don’t know, but I’m a deep thinker, and I saw Johnny Cueto‘s start yesterday and thought he had to be listening to the Silver Jews, specifically this one section, because that gets me so jacked I could jackhammer a driveway with my foot. I took a hammer to it all! *banging foot on cement* Right?! Okay, maybe it’s me. That’s why we’re having this one-sided conversation, to better understand each other. Yesterday, Cueto threw a farkin sparkler — a farkler, if you will — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 2.61. Cueto’s the bomb dot gov. He’s almost exactly in line with what he was doing last year when he had a 2.25 ERA in 243 2/3 IP. And, if anything, he’s actually pitching better this year, lowering his walk rate from 2.4 to 1.7. For whatever reason, he seems to stay out of the conversation for the best pitchers in the major leagues, but yesterday he took on Max Scherzer (4 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and took a hammer to it all. A hammer to it all! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I get props at my mention ’cause I vex y’all. So Wada Wada want! He’s so funny with the 88 MPH gas that he flaunt! Where’d you get your information from, huh? You think that Tsuyoshi can front a fantasy rotation when revelation comes? You can’t front a fantasy rotation on that! Sweeter than that Jason Hammel guy with Ready Whip topping? Goin’ from streamer to streamer kickin’ it wall to wall! Well, I’ll be calling out you people who draft a number one starter! It’s wack when you’re jacked, someone take Strasburg from me, he can’t throw no harder! As you can bet I think I’m losing my league this time. This time I’m losing my league. So, Tsuyoshi Wada looked terrific yesterday in his first start of the year, if just not fully stretched out — 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks. He was solid last year (7.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 3.25 ERA in 69 1/3 IP). The Ks from yesterday likely won’t be the norm, but he should be solid for most mixed leagues once he gets stretched out, which should be by next game. I’d definitely grab him, and you can’t front on that! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“As Bryce Harper passed home plate after his 2nd home run of the three he hit yesterday, Ian Desmond lifted Harper’s helmet and with a flick of the head, Harper’s hair fell back in place. If you get a base hit, you have to stand on base and the helmet weighs down your hair. That’s why Harper uses the home run.” This message was brought to you by Aqua Net. What? It’s better than the same stupid Major League Baseball highlights over and over again on MLB TV — we get it, Bo Jackson threw out a runner! Get a new highlight! It’s also better than a Hanz and Franz commercial — talk about a sad commentary on baseball fans’ demographic. “Hey, Bill, we have a commercial that appeals to 35 to 60-year-old white males. Any ideas where we should place it?” So, Harper hit three monster-sized badonkadonks like a night out as Gabourey Sidibe’s pants and I told you to draft Harper before just about every fantasy baseball ‘pert, so you’re welcome. Don’t mention it. No, no, it’s okay. Okay, fine, you can hug me. Stop trying to touch my mustache! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s no secret that offense has been in decline across the board in major league baseball in recent years. It seems like only, uh, 17 years ago that the race was on to see who could break Roger Maris’ single season home run record. Last season, only Nelson Cruz reached the 40 HR mark and just ten other players managed to knock 30 out of the park. Remember Vince Coleman’s string of three consecutive 100+ steal seasons from ’85-’87? No? Too young, eh? If you’re familiar with the video game R.B.I. Baseball for the original 8-bit Nintendo, he’s the guy who’s able to steal bases at will. It was basically the same deal in real life. Pretty darn impressive feat, especially when you consider the fact that only four players reached the 40 SB mark last year.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let the hard sell begin. I feel like I’m that dealer with the bad comb over in the polyester suit at the used car lot trying to sell a jalopy. Minus the car analogy, I feel like I’m describing Woody Harrelson in Kingpin. You know the film and if you don’t, it’s streaming on Netflix right now. And by right now, I mean when I wrote this. If this post isn’t live before they’ve pulled it, mea culpa for getting you excited about it and also, mea culpa for getting you excited about it in general…it’s a Farrelly brothers movie and it’s not one of their best and ‘best + Farrelly bros’ google search should tell you all you need to know about that phrasing. BTW, this post isn’t sponsored by Netflix…but it should be! Seriously, Razz movie reviews. When does this happen? We can stick with the sports section. We’ll cover every 30 for 30! But I digress even further than I normally would. Given how we all feel about Travis Snider at this point in his career, you’d think he was Roy Munson on the baseball field, metal hook for a hand and all. It’s true, he never lived up to our dreams and probably won’t still. But in a deep league setting, that ain’t our concern. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at Snider and how he can help you with your nasty 7-10 split for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Everything black was white and white was black. Everything up was down and down was up. I was a Girl Scout and the only cookies I could sell were Rah-Rah Raisins and I couldn’t give away the Samoas. I was an Asian in NASCAR. I was a five-foot, six-and-a-half-inch white boy that could hoop. (Actually, that last one is true.) I zagged when I usually zigged! And it felt okay. I didn’t wake in a puddle of sweat like I was a puppet in the Land of Confusion video, wondering what I had done. I didn’t burn all my old draft manifestos like I was trying to escape Olivia Pope from finding me out. I just went at it a little different. This league is a 15-teamer, OBP league, so I used Rudy’s rankings. I still knew which players I liked and didn’t like, but I decided to lean on Rudy, which makes for an interesting draft when Rudy was using the same rankings. For unstints, when Matt Holliday sat at the top of my board for two rounds, I knew Rudy was going to draft him. When Ian Kennedy sat at the top of my board, I knew Rudy was going to Marilyn Monroe that Kennedy. Though, I also knew if I wanted a guy sitting at the top of my board, I needed to act before Rudy. Okay, you’re primed, let’s start coating your mind with knowledge. (BTW, Our Razzball leagues are signing up still. Go there and sign up now!) Anyway, here’s the 2015 Tout Wars draft and my thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?