Tanaka, Pineda, ooh, I’m gonna take you. To Sabathia, Kuroda, ooh, I wanna own you. K-Rob, oh hold up now, I don’t want Sabathia and I don’t care if I ruined the song. So, Michael Pineda will be the Yanks 5th starter, at least out of Spring Training. Damn you, qualifier! I don’t think the rest of the league will hit the stuffing out of Pineda (quinceanera pun for the win!), but I do think the Yankees will have have to limit Pineda’s innings at some point. He can’t return from serious surgery and throw 200 IP this year. I’m not adjusting Pineda in my rankings. He’s in the “Lottery ticket” tier and he will remain there, but you don’t need to wear overalls over to the Wawa to scratch him off and win. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2014 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?

First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!

The Pitcher Profile corner is back after an off-week of profiling.  If you listen to the Razzball Baseball Contest, I was indeed in Oklahoma but it was the exact opposite of Nick’s rendition.  I think Nick is just mad at my Canadian bashing.  Here is how I would describe his normal weekend:

It’s icy today.  Fishing?

Pail.  Cut hole.

 

Wait.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve started that dance with Xander Bogaerts. You know what dance I mean. The dance when you pick up, drop, pick up, drop, think about picking up then decide against it, go partially through with picking him up only to sit on your team page and not have anyone to drop…Then decide against it. That dance. The dance that any middle-aged man would do if he were in Morocco and not willing to pick a side because he’d only be fighting for a woman he banged in Paris and his only friend is some guy with bugged-out eyes. Every time I start the dance, Sam starts playing his piano and I’m like, “Play it again, Sam?” I say it in the form of a question so I don’t get sued for copyright infringement. I’ve done that dance with Bogaerts for about a week. And I can’t commit. *lights cigarette* Of all the waiver wire joints in all the fantasy leagues in all the world, he walked into mine. I’m only doing this back-and-forth dance with him because he’s going to be so good and I know he’s about to be called up. The Red Sox moved him to 3rd base in the minors just to give him a bit more flexibility to get him into their major league lineup. On Prospect Scott’s top 50 minor league fantasy prospects, he was number one. Numero uno, the head cheese, the big mahoff. Between Double and Triple-A this year, he has 14 homers and 7 steals. That’s solid for a prospect. For a 20-year-old, that’s the sign of a future perennial All-Star. In all leagues, I’m going to be dancing with him until he gets the call. As I wrote this, I grabbed and dropped him two more times. If you have the room, stash him right now. He will be up within the next month and this will be the start of a beautiful friendship. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, Jose Iglesias is gone. The less intelligent Red Sox fan screams bloody murder like Schilling’s sock, “But Julio Iglesias was batting .400 after ten games about two weeks ago! His name’s Julio, right? RIGHT?!” The intelligent Sawx fan screams, “Does this mean Xander Bogaerts is coming up?!” The drunk Sawx fan screams, “We’re fine with this trade no mahder what ‘cuz Jackie Bradley Jr. wok’d three times in his first game! I need more Sammy A!” The Sawx fan who doesn’t play fantasy says, “Um, what about Jake Peavy?” The Sawx fan who does play fantasy says, “His value doesn’t change with this trade, maybe a few more wins.” The drunk Sawx fan butts in, “I’m going to the packie, you wahnt anything?” The less intelligent Red Sox fan says, “I’ll take a packie of Pahl Mahls.” Then the drunk Sawx fan shakes his head, “Yah more stoned than Robert Parrish.” Then Will Middlebrooks says, “Hey, I could get called up instead of Bogaerts.” Then all the Sawx fans in unison say, “Shaddup!” So, Iglesias goes to the Tigers, which is a solid landing spot for him. He’s known for his defense, which puts his fantasy value at slim to anorexic, unless you have a Web Gems category in your league. He’ll act as insurance for when the steroid hammer drops on Jhonny Peralta. Avisail Garcia goes to the White Sox, and he’s a light hitting corner outfielder who will probably take over once Rios is moved. Bogaerts or Middlebrooks will take over shortly (or third basely) and I stashed Bogaerts immediately when I heard this trade go down. Finally, Peavy is who he is as the Sawx fan pointed out above. He doesn’t have substantial innings in Fenway in his career, but that doesn’t matter because they would’ve been against the Sawx. He’s a terrific addition in real life for Boston, but he’s a 3.70-ish, 8+ K-rate starter for fantasy, which is around a fantasy number three. Jake Peavy will definitely do better than Jack Pervy, who Rudy and I went to school with in Boston. He used to hang out with someone we named Tim Wackfield and you can imagine how we mangled Keith Foulke’s name. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jose Veras was traded to the Tigers, which is bad news for Veras and potentially Joaquin Benoit. It’ll likely only be bad news for Veras’s owners. My guess is Benoit will hold the job with Veras setting him up, but I would hold Veras until the Tigers confirm that through usage. It’s also potentially bad news for anyone who picks up the Lastros potential replacement, Jose Cisnero. Too bad Jose “Set The Table For The Opposing Team” Mesa retired, it sounds like there’s a Jose revival. “I can get someone to cover for me selling scratch-off tickets.” That was Jose Mesa, holding a presser at his local 7-11. Since the newest name to get some fantasy value is Cisnero, let’s be like a cyclops with a monocle and take a closer look. He’s been awful. You’d be hard-pressed like overpriced juice to find someone who has been as bad recently that could be getting saves. Since June 26th (last ten appearances), he’s given up eight runs in 8 2/3 IP. In that time, he’s allowed nine walks, nine hits and one homer. Only thing he’s not allowed is a legitimate reason to be the closer other than he’s young and the Asstros might like to try him out for next year. Another option for saves in Houston is the guys the Astros just called up, Josh Zeid and Chia-Jen Lo. Both of which sound like background extras in the cantina scene in Star Wars. Both are unproven, so likely headed for the middle innings or to see Boba Fett. Finally, there’s Wesley Wright, who sounds like the third Wright brother — the one that was scared of heights. “We’re gonna need you to put your seat in the upright position.” “You know what? You and Wilbur have at it.” That was Wesley getting off the plane right before that maiden flight. Wright is more of a lefty specialist, so he might only see a handful of saves. Then again, this is the Lastros, and there may only be a handful of saves for anyone. All in all, or whatever clunky intro you want on this sentence, I’m glad someone else beat me to the punch grabbing Cisnero. I sense a Mitchell Boggs reprise in the works, which isn’t the same as The Mitchell Boggs Reprisal that the Geneva Convention commissioned after Boggs attacked fantasy owners ratios earlier this year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After an underwhelming cup of coffee last year, Tyler Skaggs looked primed for the 5th spot in the Diamondbacks rotation, only to lose out to Patrick Corbin.  I remember there was some dissension with that decision, but you don’t hear any of those arguments now!  With Corbin obviously one of the biggest surprises of the season, Skaggs had a really rough start to his AAA assignment with his ERA climbing close to 7.00 through six starts, but then again it was with Reno in the Pacific Coast League.

Skaggs has put it together recently though, racking up a 30:5 K:BB ratio in 25.1 May innings and three straight quality starts.  With Ian Kennedy ailing with a cut on his finger, Skaggs got the call for a spot start in a tough matchup in the first leg of a double-header against the Rangers.  I don’t think expectations were huge for this game, but having never seen Skaggs pitch and with no knowledge of his repertoire, I decided to tune in and break down his 2013 debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Yankees’ extra-bat-off-the-bench in the playoffs, Alex Rodriguez, will be out for six months, following surgery on his hip that is set to take place in January. Guess A-Rod doesn’t want to be out of service for the holiday season. “Hey, I got a date with this smoking hot, butchy female and she wants me to dress up as Santa and sit on my lap. Can we do this whole hip-ma-whosie Jan one?” That’s A-Rod talking to his doctors. Yes, A-Rod says Jan instead of January. BTW, I Googled A-Rod surgery and the first article was at Latino dot Fox. A-Rod is as Latino as Taco Bell. On the fo’ really tip, why can’t he go into surgery right now? He’s getting paid approximately four hundred million this year and he wants to delay surgery so he misses an extra month of the season? The $17 million that went to Russell Martin just shook its head, incredulous. If there’s a legitimate reason for the delay that I didn’t read about, there’s no legitimate reason, so don’t bother telling me about it. Maybe if Pasta Diving Cap’n Jetes would get hip surgery in December than A-Rod would, as well. Well, even before Rodriguez came down with the appropriate hip problem, he shouldn’t have been drafted. He’s actually done us all a favor. Now he’s pushed himself so far down draft boards that you won’t even have to think about it in, say, the 12th round. For 2013, I’ll put his line at 40/13/44/.263/6 in 300 ABs. He’s firmly in the “Do Not Touch” section of your draft board. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?