There have been some Hall of Fame names over the course of baseball’s colorful 2000 year history. C’mon, Guru, baseball’s not that old! Whaddya mean disembodied voice of Razzball Nation that sounds slightly like my ex-girlfriend Brenda? Why do you think the Roman’s called Caligula “Little Boots?” The dude couldn’t field, booted everything. Then he married his sister Helen Mirren. Thanks, Wikipedia (and Bob Guccione). We’re not talking names like the Babe or Dizzy here, I’m talking Pickles Dillhoefer, Johnny “Ugly” Dickshot and Heinie Groh. And whatever happened to Hall of Namer Rusty Kuntz - and where can I get his throwback? One player making a name for himself these days (and making us some DraftKings cash) is Scooter Gennett. The Brewers second baseman has been rolling lately hitting .376 over the last 30 days and has more runs scored than every other second baseman not named Anthony Rendon. Sure the Scooter is no Wonderful Terrific Monds III, but he deserves a spot in the Hall of Names and more importantly a spot in this weeks edition of Jam It or Cram It.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I love when I tell you to pick up a player and he comes up days later. It makes me smile, and not one of those weird Japanese emoji smiles, but a full-faced grin. So, Andrew Heaney, you’re already okay in my book, even if that book is called, “Rookie Pitchers Will Fill You With Enthusiasm Until They Actually Pitch For Your Fantasy Team.” If you missed my Andrew Heaney fantasy with Friday’s Buy, where were you? Playing Patty Cake without your hands on the dance floor to Jason Derulo’s Wiggle song? Good story, brah. You should turn that into a novella. I’m giggling with excitement for Heaney like I’m Lisa Simpson, only instead of hehe I’m going HeHeaney. Pitching his home games in Crayola Canyon won’t hurt him, and the NL East is filled with a bunch of sad, sad hitting teams. Didja know the Marlins are the best NL East hitting team, and it’s not close? Fact! The Braves, Phillies, Nats and Mets could hold a two week round robin tournament and score less runs than goals scored in the World Cup. I went over the dangers of rookie pitchers in my Friday Buy, and what Heaney’s been doing this year in the minors. It’s all there. I will say now he should be owned in every league and is capable of winning the NL Rookie of the Year in only a little over a half a season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”. What does this mean for the Pirates? Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division. Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it. Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.
Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this. The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery. Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games. Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud. For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since. For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Coco Crisp‘s recent neck injury opens the door for Craig Gentry over the next few days. He’ll likely take over in center and bat at the bottom of the A’s lineup while Crisp practices turning his head in both directions. Hopefully he didn’t promise his bike to anyone who could fix him. You were supposed to sleep on a board, Coco! Gentry makes an interesting play for steals, and he appeared in this very column last week. In 2013, Gentry had 24 stolen bases in just 287 plate appearances, so he’s got some wheels. He’s already got six steals in limited playing time this year. On the schedule this week are the White Sox and the Indians. Both teams are tied for the 10th most steals allowed in the majors (25) so it’s not a bad match-up play. Crisp isn’t on the disabled list, he’s just day-to-day, so it could just be the White Sox series that Gentry gets all of the starts.
Take a peek at the new SB Rates vs. SP tool that Rudy has conjured up. Using all of last year’s data, it lets us know which pitchers to deploy our SAGNOF specialists against (based on their steals per innings pitched rates). I used it yesterday in DFS when I saw Eric Young was going to start against Cole Hamels, who’s pretty easy to run against. I swapped him into my lineup and it paid off with two steals from EY2 in the game. Here are some other SAGNOF picks for this week…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jarrod Dyson gets a nice short-term spike in value with the injury to Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Dyson had been placed on the bereavement list heading into the weekend, but he is expected to rejoin the team today. So while he missed the Twins series to sit in awkward silence with his mee-maw and step-peppers, he’ll be deployed in the Royals outfield from today forward until Cain returns.
This means a great opportunity for SAGNOF. I mentioned Dyson in my 2013 wrap-up because he was really one of the most productive base-stealers in baseball last season. Dyson stole 34 bags in just 239 plate appearances. That’s roughly a steal every 7 plate appearances and was the best rate in baseball outside of billy Hamilton. Dyson is your best bet right now for free steals. I say free because I doubt he was drafted in most standard leagues and his ownership percentage at ESPN right now is a whopping 0.0%. He’ll draw the Indians and Orioles this week for seven games. The Orioles have been tough to run against, but the Indians are in the middle of the pack in terms of steals allowed.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our first full slate of games and two closers lost jobs. Mother Nature and/or Al Gore (if they’re different people), how is climate different than weather if both lead to a closepocalypse? An interested party is curious. It was a bit before concussions were in vogue, but did anyone ever check Robin Ventura for a concussion when he got cantalouped by Nolan Ryan? Cause he just lamebrained up my fantasy teams by naming Matt Lindstrom the closer– Um, Grey? What’s up, Random Italicized Voice? When Addison Reed was traded in December, you said, “White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality.” And that’s me quoting you! DAH!!! I got wrapped in the allure of a young, sexy closer and forgot where my butter pickles were buttered! I imagine this shituation will get worse before it gets better, so if you have room, I’d hold Jones for now, but you should absolutely pick up Lindstrom in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I love the Aussie people; they have goofy words for a barbecue and even goofier animals — koalas and kangaroos? Is Australia animated? Those things are goofy! Why not just get a duck-billed platypus and anteater and call it a day, you wacky-animal-having country! How about baseball there? Did all the fans in attendance win a Bowie knife if a player hit a home run into the big marsupial pouch? Did Crocodile Dundee throw out the first pitch? Did the batters hit with a fraternity hazing paddle? I don’t know, because it was at four in the morning! Selig really needs to stop doing this to Opening Day. The players will be exhausted from traveling and won’t be able to get their usual reps in during the spring. The first pitch of the season should be at a time when 7-year-old North American boys and girls can watch it. Not at 4 AM EST. What if the first game went extra innings or someone got hurt? Can they just call up someone from the minors for the next game? No, so then you’ll have a team playing short. Do these stunts in December as a goodwill trip. Don’t make major league baseball teams into the Harlem Globetrotters for a regular season game. Eh, whatevs, baseball is back, who cares if it comes with a big helping of Vegemite. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Taijuan Walker was shut down for a week due to a bursa in his right shoulder. Isn’t a bursa a type of Ethiopian bread? Sounds more like Somalians are holding my beautiful, upside starting pitcher captive. Only Captain Phillips can get me out of this mess…by being taken captive for two hours of a two hour and twenty minute movie and then being saved by characters we don’t even empathize with. Snooze. True story, schmue story, give Phillips a hidden machine gun in his rectum and let him shoot his way out by farting! This is starting to sound bad for Walker. I haven’t moved him in my top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball yet, and, since I only have him down for 170 IP in my projections, I’m not changing anything, but I’d definitely be careful about pairing Walker with lots of other risk. As of right now, Walker will not be ready to start the year in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today we go over the top 80 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, which comes after we went over the top 60 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, which came after the top 40 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball which followed the top 20 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball. Link dump! Tomorrow we hit the 80-100 best outfielders then on to the top 100 starters. It’s the best day of your life because I’m bestowing on you wonderful like your father never did. Don’t ask me to go see you play Little League though, that’s not happening. As always, my tiers and projections are noted and all of the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Where? There. Dur. Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?