Way back in April the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Commonwealth of Independent States, sent the notorious “Player To Be Named Later” to the Baltimore Orioles for Parker Bridwell. At the time Bridwell was an unheard of 25 year old righthander with less than 20 innings above AA. The move flew under the radar to most of the baseball world with the exception of the Bridwell family, and an eccentric dyslexic real estate agent named Shelly with a passion for anything bird related. See no one at the time, could have foreseen this unheralded pro in his 7th season in the minors helping a major league ball club. Fast forward 3 months, and here we sit about to breakdown Bridwell’s 6th major league start of 2017 against the contending Tampa Bay Rays. What a world!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I really wanted to start this post with a quote, something like “it’s always darkest before the dawn”, or something like that. I figured that was a great way to offer hope and encouragement regarding the “second half” of the season. Let’s face it, with this whole “seamingly” out of nowhere spike in offense the last two seasons, there’s one inevitable conclusion. Pitching sucks!!! I mean we’ve been holding onto any shred of decency available. Look at Jason Vargas! Why am I ranking Jason Vargas? Does he have some sort of magnificent secret about these new Hi-C joints MLB is calling balls? Why the hell is he so much better than Justin Verlander? I have too many questions! I’m supposed to have answers! Here’s the truth, as if I’ve been lying to you before. There’s maybe 20 matchup proof starters in all of baseball, and then the rest of them you have to be careful with to varying degrees. Now, that’s not necessarily true for points formats, or deeper leagues with quality starts. Or even those with a greater emphasis on counting stats over ratios. But in our RCL formats, or any 5×5 roto with innings or starts limits, you must choose wisely. Around every corner lurks a roofie to your ratios. Just because Jordan Montgomery has been good more often than not, that doesn’t mean I’m up to a level of confidence that I’d start him in Colorado. Nah mean? Nod along. If you’re having trouble knowing which starts to avoid, check out Rudy’s Stream-O-Nator. It’s the perfect objective voice on those tough decisions you won’t get in your own head, or from your friends. That is, if you have friends with voices in your head and all. Anyway, be careful out there, and good luck in the second half.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is an excerpt of a phone call Razzball intercepted during Sunday’s afternoon games. Since every state involved is a two-party consent for recording, we cannot reveal who recorded the call, but it rhymes with Trudy Gramble. Here, let’s listen in: “Hello, this is the CEO of Super Ball, the world’s hardest, bounciest, craziest, shouldn’t-be-used-as-a-baseballiest ball. Who is this calling?” Our Commissioner Rob Manfred disguises his voice so he sounds raspy, “I’m Kathleen Turner. I was wondering if you would sell me 70,000 Super Balls to not be used for baseball purposes.” “Body Heat Kathleen Turner? Not to get all James Lipton, but I am a huge fan of your–” “Okay, toots…” Manfred lowers the phone receiver, to his secretary, “Toots?” Back into the phone, “Um, so don’t make me kill you and blame a different femme fatale. I need those Super Balls.” So, yesterday was bonkers for homers, yet again. I will now list the home runs by guys in just the Astros game: Yulieski Gurriel (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 11th; Jose Altuve (3-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, hitting .347) hit his 13th; Evan Gattis (2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 8th and Carlos Correa (4-for-5, 5 RBIs) and two homers, his 19th and 20th. Holy Salami Tom, there’s a crapton of home runs this year. I have two mixed leagues where I feel like if I’m not getting at least five homers per day, I’m falling behind. Also, on a pitching front, if I can just maintain a 3.50 ERA, I could come in first for ERA. By the way, I hope we’re not sued by Our Commissioner Rob Manfred, but something must be done. Get the Super Balls out of baseball! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Thankfully, I no longer do 4th of July like I used to, because when you have a holiday weekend that lasts five days, you will get alcohol poisoning if you go too hard, and the 4th is especially dangerous because: day drinking. At least with New Year’s Eve, it’s at night. The Fourth is lying on a discarded sofa on the side of a highway at 3 PM and being like, “The hum of 75 MPH cars is so peaceful, I go to sleep now,” and waking up with a flashlight you mistake for a fleshlight and now you’re a registered sex offender. Hopefully, none of that happened to any of you, well, maybe the fleshlight part, and you all had a safe holiday. Any hoo! Yesterday, Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 and his 15th and 16th homers as he hits .288. He found the Fountain of Youth sometime in May and has been a Zombino eating brain custard ever since. I’m still half expecting — cting? — McCutchen will resort to blah in the 2nd half, but it looks like I wrote off McCutchen before his sell-by date. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
How many of you remember the watershed 1993 film Dazed and Confused? In this coming of age saga, a young righty, with the flowing locks of Sampson himself, embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. It is in that film where we first meet Mike Clevinger. I could go on a lengthy diatribe about the film with the Indians righty supplanted as the protagonist, but I already did that a year and a half ago when I first introduced you to Mr. Clevinger. It’s like I’m watching my kids grow up right before my eyes. Either way Clevinger is long haired and goofy just like Mitch from Dazed and Confused. Not to toot my own horn, but to totally toot my own horn, I called this developing breakout a year ago. The Indians acquired the former 2011 4th rounder from the Angels back in 2014 for pen arm Vinny Pestano. Since then it’s been a classic Cleveland starter story, as the organization focused on bringing Clevinger along first as a pen arm, and now as a starter. With a 14.1% SwStr, and a 28.5% K%, there’s some signs that Clevinger, in a season of disappointing starters, could be a diamond in the rough. Let’s look under the hood, and then go pitch by pitch through his Sunday start vs. the division rival Detroit Tigers.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Greetings from beautiful Sandestin, FL. I am on vacation for a long holiday weekend, but I am so dedicated to Razznation that I am taking time away from the beach to make sure you still have the information and insight you desire this week.
Before we get started, feel free to ignore Clayton Kershaw. I have no inside information that he might not start twice this week, but it seems that every week that he is on the list Dave Roberts and the Dodgers change things up on us. Going forward, if he is on the list, just assume that he will be removed. If he is not on the list, assume he will be added. Roberts and Co. are determined to tinker with their rotation every week, possibly just to mess with us. Since he is scheduled to start twice as of this writing, I assume that that will no longer be the case by the time you are reading this roughly 18 hours from now.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yankees called up their 3B prospect, Miguel Andujar (3-for-4, 4 RBIs, and a steal), to fill-in for DL’d Matt Holliday. That reminds me of Joaquin Andujar, and now I’m sad. Gone too soon. RIP, Joaquin. “I always thought you’d kill someone before life killed you.” That’s my eulogy to him. Any hoo! I watched some game film on Andujar (while chewing on an unlit cigar, because that’s how scouts do it, right?), and he reminds me of so many Dominican players that take the Roberto Clemente/Vlad Guerrero approach. Old adage goes: You can’t walk your way off the island. We should have a glossary term for these type of hitters. Please suggest in the comments. Any hoo, Part 2: Still Hoo’ing, Andujar is raw, swings at a lot and makes contact, sometimes to his detriment. He could DH or see time at 3B, but will need to hit to stick. Could be a deep league power bat if he hits and Headley is benched indefinitely or Holliday stays out a while. Maybe Andujar will be so lucky that Girardi gets one more wish filled this year and looks at Andujar, saying, “Now, you be the Judge.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the things I love most about baseball, but particularly covering prospects, is when a guy I totally missed on pops up, and exceeds expectations. Sure, I could become obsessed with my own reputation, and shoot down any suggestion that I missed on a player. But what fun is that? So, when it comes to Nick Pivetta, I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t see this coming. Hell, I wrote up 15+ Phillies prospects, and name dropped another 7-8, and didn’t even mention Pivetta. Fangraphs covered 33 Phillies prospects, and Pivetta ranked in at 27! All this to say, that the “out of nowhere” label is somewhat appropriate when it comes to the Phil’s righthander. After an outstanding outing vs the Red Sox at home a few weeks ago, the strikeouts, and numbers in general seem to be trending in the right direction. So why not check him out, and see if we in fact have a breakout bubbling. Before we begin, big shouts to Oaktown Steve, who’s been hyping up Pivetta in the comments the past few weeks like a Sabermetrics Flavor Flav. Only he turned in his giant clock (read that fast), for an abacus, which I’ve heard can get a bit bulky when worn as a necklace. Anyway, let’s get into Pivetta’s last start vs the Cardinals at home, the second time he’s faced the Redbirds in four starts. He’s going today in Arizona, so maybe we’ll see if he’s worth rolling out… Actually no rookie pitcher with a heavy fly-ball approach should be started in Arizona, but that’s just common sense. On to the profile!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Washington rookie outfielder Brian Goodwin played the unsung hero Friday night on a team with many heroes going 3-for-4 and mashing two home runs, including a game-tying solo shot in the seventh inning. If there’s one thing Brian Goodwin’s good for it’s winning. Obvious and bad pun is obvious and bad. Regardless, Brian also set the stage for the…good win, with a single in the 10th that moved a runner to third and let Bryce Harper do what he does. I’m trying to tell you this doode is clutch, and if he continues to be clutch batting second between Trea Turner and Bryce Harper, he should definitely be on your radar and in Dusty Baker’s daily lineup. Can you imagine being sandwiched between Trea and Bryce? Mmm. Oh, I’m all flustered now. I need a few minutes. Goodwin is slashing .265/.326/.578 with six homers and 15 RBI in 32 games this year, and has been stuck in a platoon for the majority of the season. With Jayson Werth hobbled, Goodwin has been given more opportunity lately to shine and he’s done that with a monster month, slashing .288/.358/.678 with three doubles, six homers and 12 RBI in June. Yes, please! That .678 SLG% is especially powerful. See what I did there? Do you want a nerdy stat–how about his .313 ISO. Does that blow your mind? Because considering the sample size it probably shouldn’t, but sure is fun to look at. The risk with Goodwin is he could be a batting average killer (he hit just .208 in May), but he certainly seems to be seeing the ball well lately hitting .289 with 5 homers in the past week. Goodwin is available everywhere, is batting second in one of the best line ups in baseball, and is one of the hottest little potatoes around. If you need an outfielder with some pop and some upside Brian could be a good add and a good win for your team.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy Father’s Day to all but five of our readers. I am not a father, but I have a dog I ignore most of the time, then play catch with after my wife tells me to, so, technically, I am a father too. For Father’s Day, I went to see the Tupac movie, and to misquote him, “Back for a check, all respect to those who broke their neck to keep this movie in check, cause oh they made some mistakes with this movie majorly, damn, why does Jada keep paging me?” I should’ve taken Cougs to see Wonder Woman, but I was afraid it would empower her. One last note on Pop’s Day, MLB has pink bats for Mother’s Day, so they should have penis-shaped bats for Father’s Day. Yesterday, Jimmy Nelson looked like he should be getting dogged by Jada Pinkett for keeping it too real — 9 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.39. His peripherals are right there to match — 9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.52 xFIP with the velocity to back it up, and, if you throw out April, his ERA would be near 2.50 with an xFIP to match. The major change — excuse me, not change — the curve is his major key. Hat tip to Lance and his Jimmy Nelson fantasy. The crux of that is you should own Nelson and stop cruxifying him, and the crux of this is I don’t know how to spell crucify. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?