When I went hunting for players to write about this week, I had trouble finding somebody for the lede. Most of the tried and true speedsters are owned everywhere, and I wasn’t liking the match-ups I saw for the borderline guys. Then, as the fantasy writer gods often do, they dropped a pair of rookies in my lap. A couple of fresh faces have arrived on the scene in Junior Lake and Jonathan Villar. Lake, a speedy infielder turned outfielder, was called up by the Cubs. While I was mildly interested in his solid debut performance Friday night, I became even more interested when I started to look into his minor league numbers. Like “cyclops with a monocle” interested as they say here in Razzball land. Even more exciting was the Villar call-up that was announced yesterday. The young Houston shortstop also showed above average speed in the minor leagues. We’ll take a closer look at both and set the mood for a little ‘rookie nookie’. Meanwhile, at the adult table, Eric Young continues to rack up the steals and should do some major damage against the Nationals later this week.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Chad Gaudin shut down the Diamondbacks last night, pitching seven innings, surrendering no runs while giving up just three hits, walking none and striking out eight for his fourth win. Throwing just 92 pitches, he could have easily come out for the eighth but Manager Bruce Bochy opted to go with four relievers instead, because, well that’s the most Bruce Bochy thing ever. Anyway, hello there, Gaudin. Have we met? You say you shook my hand while I was unconscious? Strange, but I’ll allow it. Poor Chad seems like an easy target ever since the news broke that he was arrested for lewdness in Vegas after groping an unconscious woman on a stretcher. That doesn’t sound that…bad….right? Errr. I don’t know the whole story, but perhaps he was trying to resuscitate her? Besides, we all get a case of “the honks” every now and again, amiright, fellas? Despite his inability to keep his hands to his sides, Chad Gaudin has been able to pitch incredibly effectively since stepping into the rotation. Since June 2, Chad has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts, with a 2.16 ERA and 35/9 K/BB ratio in that span. Gaudin is still under 20% owned in RCL leagues and he gets a good test versus the Reds next week at home. With a 0.55 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 33.0 innings at AT&T Park, Chad Gaudin is definitely worth a pick up in all leagues where you need help with starting pitching, at least until he gets suspended for groping Pablo Sandoval in the locker room.That’s sexual harassment, Panda!
Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe you’re with me, maybe you’re against me on this one, but the MLB All-Star game is an idea that should be buried alongside B.J. Upton, New Coke, Bic Disposable Underwear, and the XFL. He hate me because I hate the All-Star game. Home field in the World Series, whether it comes down to the Tigers and Cardinals or the Red Sox and the Braves, should not be determined by a matchup between Steve Delabar and Marco Scutaro. Also, it’s fans like this voting guys in, so the teams are not really the “best of the best” to begin with. Yet they are allowed to affect actual teams in real games? Only Bob Costas loves to hear, “Ladies and gentlemen, warming up in the American League bullpen, Brett Cecil!” I look forward to the day when my son tugs on my shirtsleeve and says, “Daddy, tell me the story again how Jason Castro popped up to second in the All-Star game.” And I will turn to him and say, “I have a son? Did your mother work at Applebee’s in 2008?” It’s time we just bury Bud Selig and his “it counts” t-shirt alongside Chris Berman and his Hair in a Can. The All-Star game doesn’t count, it sucks. Bud and Boomer, the people don’t care. Television ratings for the game have been down every year and last year’s game had the worst ever with a 6.8 rating. Know what pulls in those kind of numbers? Sharknado. There must be a way to work that into the Razzball glossary. “Erasmo Ramirez sharknado’d my ERA this week!” Not sure, but that phrase may have already jumped the… *now back to our regularly scheduled rant* The first televised All-Star game in 1967 pulled in a 25.6 rating. Keep in mind that in 1967 there was one nationally televised baseball game a week, smoking was good for you and a kid’s favorite toy was Hasbro’s Stick with a Nail in it. Times, they are changin’. Sing it Zimmy.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jarred Cosart was fantastical last night in his season debut pitching 8.0 shutout innings, and surrendering just 2 hits and walking three. The rookie carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Ben Zobrist spoiled his fun with a 1-out single. The 23-year-old had the longest no-hit bid in a debut since 1972, and he was the first Astro to go eight scoreless in his major league debut. The Astros big get from Philly in their Hunter Pence trade, Cosart has a mid-90′s fastball and a sick curve he used to baffle the TB hitters last night as he shut down the scorching hot Rays who had won eight in a row. The fact that Cosart was facing off with Tampa’s ace David Price, makes his feat even more impressive. Brandon Barnes also impressed, making a circus catch in the outfield to preserve Jarred’s no-no in the sixth, but who cares, that won’t help your fantasy team. Jarred actually had a chance at the complete game shutout in this one and came out for the ninth, but was pulled for Jose Veras after walking the first batter. Naturally, after the game the Astro’s sent him down to AAA, but I imagine after this outing he should be back before the end of the month. If he were to get recalled after the All-Star break, he would likely face the Oakland A’s next week. Grey told you to BUY him yesterday, so obviously he foretold this start (he’s a wiiitch!), but Cosart is certainly worth stashing in deep mixed and all AL-Only leagues. With talented arms like Cosart, Appel, Lyles and Peacock, the Astro’s have assembled an impressive “future stars” pitching staff, and if games like this are any indication, we won’t be making fun of the Houston Lastros for much longer.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s say you’re looking for the player with the best stolen base per plate appearances ratio. You might think of recent SAGNOF heart-throb Rajai Davis, who basically has a steal for every 8 plate appearances. Davis has recently soared to 80% ownership thanks to his outburst of 7 steals in 4 days and an absolute monster day at the dish yesterday. You’d be close, but the answer is actually Jarrod Dyson at 1:7, and who is owned in 79% less leagues. But Mike, isn’t Jarrod Dyson just a platoon player, part of a four-man outfield in Kansas City? Of course he is, but so was Davis before Melky Cabrera went down, and unfortunately that’s where I’d suspect Davis will be headed once again when the Blue Jays’ $8 million dollar man returns from the DL in the next week or so.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I originally titled this post “SuperNova Destroys Baltimore,” but I was worried it would cause mass panic in the Crab Cake Capital, and those guys already have it rough enough with Hamsterdam running wild. For now, I’ll settle for simply pissing PETA off. Planet destroying exploding stars aside, Ivan Nova‘s star was shining extra bright Friday night as he dominated Baltimore pitching a complete game, giving up just three hits, two runs and striking out 11 Orioles. Ivan “I Vill Crush You” Nova’s only blemish in this game was a second inning home run to Matt Wieters. It looked like Nova would be stuck with the no-decision but new best friend and obvious father figure Vernon Wells hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to get New York their fifth win in a row. It was Ivan’s first career shutout and he now has a 2.95 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 22/4 K/BB ratio in his three starts since returning to the majors. You gotta like that! Ivan gets the Royals next time out and he could be worth streaming in most formats, because they aren’t any good. Super Nova is a star worthy of a look, at least until he explodes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It may have been hard to catch Grey’s BUY post last Friday, because it was littered with SAGNOF outfielders. We’ll take a look at some of those guys today, with a special focus on Rajai Davis of the Blue Jays, who recently found himself some steady playing time in left field while Melky Cabrera is on the DL. As you’re reading this, I’m on the road to the Jersey Shore with my family for the Fourth of July, so I apologize in advance if I’m not as quick as usual with the comments. Speaking of Grey and Jersey, the main man talked about how New Jersey, my home state, looks like the profile of Kid from Kid ‘n’ Play. I have to say I was impressed. I like that image better than the American Indian profile they taught us in school. It’s probably more politically correct, too. Hats off to you, Grey! If only you had been my third grade teacher…Please, blog, may I have some more?
After stealing only 3 bases in all of 2012, Peter Bourjos met that mark in the past ten games. It seems as though his hamstring is just fine,and despite hitting in the bottom of the lineup for the Angels, he is producing runs. More importantly for the purpose of this column, he appears to have the green light and hasn’t been caught stealing yet, either. If you’d like, we can pretend that last year never happened and just look at his 22 steals in 147 games back in 2011 to get an idea of what he might be able to pull off the rest of this season. Last week, I pointed to the fact that I’d rather roster a leadoff hitter when looking for steals, at which point Cholly Manuel promptly shoved Ben Revere into the seventh spot in the Phillies’ lineup and he stole 3, count’em 3 bags. Thanks for proving my point, Cholly! So lineup position be damned, feel free to ride Bourjos to SAGNOF glory. He’ll draw the Tigers and Astros this week. While you’re here, check out some of this week’s other available speedsters.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The way you hit it. I can’t believe it. I ain’t never seen an Astro like dat…the way you swing it, you make my fantasy team go…DUH DOING DOING DOING! I had to look up the lyrics to that song so I could figure out how to spell ‘DOING’, by the way, and it still feels wrong. What are you doing? Doing’ing? Must be like Polish and polish. Did you read those two right? You read the last one like what you do to all of your fantasy baseball trophies and the first one is the one you hear in all your grandpa’s racist ‘screw in a lightbulb’ jokes. It’s all in the capital letter to pronounce it differently. Maybe all caps makes doing refer to pitching a tent. This is a fantasy baseball blog, why are you talking about camping?!? It’s summer, you should go camping at least once readers, really. Enjoy the sunshine while you can. Don’t live in a cave writing about fantasy sports all day like we do. Hrm, I don’t know how to transition back to the point of this conversation now so I’ll just awkward segue to it. Matt Dominguez is home for five games and I want him on my team for that amount of time. Wanna know why? Well read in the next paragraph as I explain it for week 13 of the 2013 fantasy baseball season…Please, blog, may I have some more?