Oh man! So close to a Joel Youngblood sighting! Melvin Upton was traded from the Padres to the Blue Jays, a team they are currently facing. Is it me or does it seem like this year the teams are so cheap, they’re not even using their cell minutes. If they’re playing against a team, then they’re trading with them. That’s it. Surprised the Indians haven’t been more active then. Ya know, cause they could use smoke signals. By the way, nothing you could ever say about Native Americans is more racist than a team being called Redskins or the Indians’ mascot. So, go ahead, try! Melvin Upton shook the B.J. name, but you can’t take the Upton out of the B.J.’s, Blue Jays, that is. The trade of Upton takes him from a mediocre team to a solid offensive team, but moves him from the middle of the order to the lower third of the order and potentially even hurts his playing time if the Jays want to get Smoak into the lineup. I’m gonna say all things being equal, it’s a push, which technically means all things are equal, so there! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I were to have asked you prior to the start of the season, who would lead the majors in home runs on July 26, you probably would have said, “Harper, Stanton, or Bautista.” Hey, all of those are fair names. In fact, Encarnacion, Frazier, or Arenado would have made great choices as well. But, would any of you picked Mark Trumbo? Highly unlikely. It appears as though Trumbo is the new Nelson Cruz. After struggling in back-to-back season, Trumbo is well on his way to 40-plus homers, which would be a career high. Baltimore is a perfect spot for Trumbo and he’s making the most of his tenure in Charm City. On Tuesday night, the Orioles welcome Chad “Don’t Call Me Jerome” Bettis and the Rockies to Camden Yards in what will likely be an all-out slugfest. The funny thing is that the Orioles are drastically underpriced. Only $4,100 for Trumbo? Um, what? This guy is leading the majors in home runs for God’s sake! Though his ownership will likely be high, it’ll be tough to fade Trumbo is cash games. Play him and love him when he goes deep twice or play him and get moderately annoyed when he goes 0-for-4 with three Ks and a flyout with the bases loaded–hopefully he’s 50 percent owned!
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Yesterday, Francisco Liriano went 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks with zero walks. Insert the madman cackle of Francisco Liriano’s owners who owned him up until last night when he had a 5.11 ERA. He had 13 Ks without a walk! This came from a guy who had a 5.7 BB/9 coming into the game. That’s not bad. No, no. You think that’s bad? You should swipe right on Tinder the next time you come across a thesaurus if bad’s all you got. That’s effin’ egregious. That’s the 1980’s Lower East Side before Donald Trump fixed the entire New York City as narrated by Jon Voight. That’s the worst walk rate since Todd Van Poppel’s walk rate of 6.87 in 1994. Since 1980, there’s only been walk rates of 5.7 or worse four other times. In 36 years! Jesus, 36 years? I’m getting old. This start came against the Brewers who have struck out more than any other team in the major leagues. So, nice start, but I wouldn’t go near him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Earlier this week, we looked at some lightly owned hitters in ESPN leagues who could be potential difference makers in fantasy baseball over the second half of the season. Today, it’s time to focus on some pitchers who can give your fake teams a boost down the stretch. Even if your team’s ratios look more unsightly than a Meg Ryan facelift, there’s still plenty of time remaining to fix those issues. So put down those Francisco Liriano and James Shields voodoo dolls people, and let’s go to work.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The sexy prospects are finally making it baby!
It’s good to be back to the Pitcher Profile, with so many hot options out there to break down as we head into the ASB. While Lucas Giolito (who I was always spell wrong with two T’s the first time I type his name) has more “overall” prospect buzz, I think I might have been more excited that we finally got the Tyler Glasnow callup. I had continually been ranking him very favorably in my ranks in the 60s, and I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Steven Brault got the call before him (and this is even after Chad Kuhl too), I was dismayed. But alas! Glasnow made his debut last Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals with a lot of encouraging stuff coming out of it. Not too surprisingly, he was sent back down as he wasn’t needed for another start before the All-Star Break, but will he be back soon sooner or later? Well, here’s how he looked in his MLB debut, and an analysis on if you should be holding onto him on redraft rosters:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Here’s what I said this offseason, “Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals. This is something I don’t usually do. Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten. But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh? He’s listed at six-six and 230. He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing. Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.” With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast. (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, an idiom that never made any sense to me. If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything? It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right? I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.) Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year. If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH. He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it. A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors. With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda. Or does it?! Snap, reversed on that. No, Giolito has control too. 97 MPH with command? I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna. Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve. In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way. Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos. He could be special, and TMZ spotted Pacino shopping for eighteen-inch stilettos, so that could be a good sign.” And that’s me quoting me! He should be added in all leagues, like yesterday. To put just the tiniest bit of dampers in these happiness diapers, Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA his rookie year in 107 2/3 IP. Rookies give roofies and take your kidneys. Hashtag truth. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Shoemaker, $9,900, AKA The Cobbler, came out of no where and put up some Ace like numbers in the second half of 2014. He went 9-2, striking out 62 batters in 72 innings, all while posting a nice and tidy 1.87 ERA. I was one of the lucky ones that scooped him up and I road that train all the way to multiple Title Towns. In 2015 he was one Grey’s preseason favorites and then he did his best Francisco Liriano impression, but seemingly nose dived 5 times harder. It was tough to watch as he still held a special place in my heart, just like Kris Medlen of 2012, Kendrys Morales and Dallas Keuchel circa 2015. Unfortunately, the long ball absolutely crippled The Cobbler last year, as he coughed up 24 HR’s in just 134 innings of work. In May of 2015, I said my farewells to The Cobbler and bid him adieu. This year started out no different than 2015, as he had a terrible April posting a 9.15 ERA while giving up 6 HR in just 20 innings. With those type of numbers I figured he was going to get sent down to the minors, but the Angels pitching staff was so bad that they actually needed someone to eat up innings. Then halfway through May something magical happened. I can’t explain it as there haven’t been any injury reports, but I do have a theory. Late one May night, amid the thick Anaheim fog, the Disney Pixie’s awoke from their two year slumber and visited The Cobbler, just like they did in 2014. They sprinkled him with some special Pixie Dust shizz and then he went out and pitched an absolute gem against a tough Baltimore offense going 7.1 innings with 12 K’s and 0 ER. The mysterious missing magic was back in his next start vs Houston going 8.1 innings with 11 K’s and 0 ER. He’s returned to the circle of trust as he’s been solid over his last 7 starts, striking out 62 in just 51.2 innings while posting a 2.11 ERA vs some strong AL opponents. I don’t know how long the magic dust is going to last this time, but he’s limiting the long ball and I like him tonight at home. He’s facing a tough offensive Houston Astros team tonight, but they’re also the number 3 in strikeouts vs RHP.
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Albert Almora, Jr. went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI Friday night and the rookie outfielder has now hit safely in his past three games and is slashing .429/.455/.619 since his call up June 7. Oh, hello there, AAJ. Have we met? This isn’t just any prospect we’re talking about here. This is a Cubs prospect. Alert the media! Oh wait, that’s us? Grey covered him a week or so ago, and I’ve been telling you to pick him up as well. Grey said, “Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain.” Sound advice as always, boss. I will summarize in case you no read good. Almora had 3 homers and 10 steals in 55 games at AAA and he likely won’t play every day, so expectations can be tempered. I added him everywhere I needed runs and average, but I also drafted Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Upton, so I’m not so sure you should be listening to me anymore. Regardless, he’s definitely a player to keep your eye on, especially if you have a third eye, and the other two are busy trying to watch the NBA Finals and the most-hyped episode of Game of Thrones ever simultaneously. If you’re a sucker for the rookies like me, Almora has looked good so far at the plate and bats in a stacked Chicago line up and could certainly be worth an add for his upside alone.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jake McGee hit the DL with a sprained MCL. Damn, 1150 was a very bad year for him. Wait, a new closer that no one owns is up for grabs! When this news broke, I was sitting in a French cafe, wearing a beret to the side, flicking a Virginia Slim 120 like a French baller. I immediately looked for Carlos Estevez, but he was gone. Then I looked for Jason Motte — gone! Then I looked for Boone Logan — there! So, I grabbed him, then I wept quietly. Was I really picking up the guy third down the SAGNOF totem for the Rockies? I’m such a pitiful save vulture. Get some dignity, man, you’re better than this, you’re rocking a beret and a Virginia Slim 120! After Saturday’s game, Walt Weiss announced Estevez would be the closer, so now, even more pitifully, I will be dropping Boone Logan, who got me a cheap vulture save on Sunday due to Estevez being used too many days in a row. That’s like the fantasy baseball walk of shame. Everyone who sees you drop the guy that doesn’t get the closer job knows full well that you desperately tried to make the wrong guy work. Now I have to pick up and drop twelve other guys to bury my move. The fantasy baseball shame cycle! As for Estevez, his outings will be like brother Emilio — short. His performances may be like brother Charlie’s relationships — rocky. Unlike his father, Martin, he will not be starring in an awful Netflix series canoodling with the DA from Law & Order. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Albert Almora was called up yesterday by the Cubs, and he’s the latest barely in-his-20s, big-time Cubs prospect. Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain. “Remember my wrath, Walker, Texas Ranger! Now hand me my seersucker suit, and, yes, I’m in my underwear because I just bedded your wife and daughter together. I dig holes for a living!” So, Almora’s up while Jorge Soler mends his broken hamstring, and Almora’s ready to get all that and a cup of coffee. Or is it bring Maddon a cup of coffee? Well, he’s here for his cup of coffee. And Maddon says he’ won’t play every day. And, Part II, And There’s More!, I still grabbed him in two leagues. He’s basically a young Dexter Fowler. I will call him Dexter Chick. In Triple-A, he had 3 HRs, 10 SBs, .318 average in 55 games. He could see action here and there, and might provide a few steals. In most leagues, he’s not worth grabbing yet, unless you’re like me and can’t resist rookie nookie. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?