It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I may take you back to February of fourteen after twenty when Pablo Sandoval showed up to camp straight from a winter in Milan where he learned how to diet, smoke cigarettes, and eat nothing but greens, and this wasn’t greens like lime-flavored Popsicles and moldy cheese. This was healthy greens. On that blessed day, he was wearing a mankini and when he walked into the clubhouse, Bruce Bochy whistled, thinking he was making a catcall at some fine Dominican honey. That was fine Dominican honey, but only in fantasy baseballers’ minds who thought a contract year and 180 pounds dropped in a sauna was a sign of great things to come. Sure, Sandoval could now twerk without needing an oxygen mask, but what had changed? Well, apparently not a whole lot. Right now, he’s hitting around .200 with two homers. Burp. The good news is he’s been incredibly unlucky with his BABIP, his line drive rate is right about his career norm and he’s due to hit more homers. There’s some bad news, his K-rate is up and he’s hitting more ground balls. Even at 133 pounds, he’s not a great threat to beat out infield hits, so ground balls aren’t good, and for a guy that swings at everything, a K-rate is a bit scary. This all goes back to he’s not this bad — this terrible that he’s been. He will get better and can be either picked up in leagues or traded for for (stutterer!) very cheaply. I mean, I wouldn’t even give someone a Donkeycorn for him right now, but a Brain Freeze or a fourth outfielder sounds about right if you’re trying to acquire him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mark Ellis is considered a clubhouse leader. Listen, I’m gonna be real with you, there is no substitute for a leader in the clubhouse. These are real world intangibles you can’t quantify. Unfortch, no one has Clubhouse Leader as a fantasy category in their league, so good riddance as Kolten Wong was recalled. As Pitbull kinda says, “Hey, Mark Ellis, you’re going down, I’m yelling timber! Swing your butt, Mark Ellis is going down, he’s going down. I’m yelling timber!” Hopefully, the Cards give Wong a legit chance to play, but that’s not entirely clear yet. They should, since he could be Pedroia-like. For whatever reason the Cards seem to have a hard time going with a rookie in any kind of substantial role, but I’d still grab him in deeper mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So I forgot to throw it in last week, but I was thinking to myself, “what are some baseball ‘catch phrase’ calls I would make if I were a broadcaster?” If a batter chased a breaking ball, I would exclaim “and he’s gone gone chasin’ waterfalls!” Hmmmm, what would my home run call be… I need some ideas here! I know the Dodgers need a replacement play-by-play guy next season…
Then to the profile for today, and I wasn’t sure where I was going to go. Chris Archer seemed a good fit since he’s underperformed, but I did break him down once last year. Then in my “aha” moment of the weekend, I remember my gone gone chasin’ waterfalls bit and noticed Chase Anderson was set to make his MLB debut! It’s like the baseball gods are talking to me! Thanks for the title, Shoeless Joe. (If a pitcher you’d like to see for next week’s Profile pitches next Sunday, please remind me and throw in a comment on Sunday or tweet me @jbgilpin – I will take requests! But I do like to keep it to guys pitching on Sunday.)
With an injury-plagued first three years as a pro, Anderson seemed like a dooming last name for a starting pitcher (see, Brett). Chase finally got himself through a big chunk of work in 2012, pitching pretty well in 104 AA innings, then was limited to only 88 innings in 2013 and was awful in AAA. But just like Robert Downey Jr., he’s done with Anne Heche and ready for a comeback! (way to stay topical, JB…) Anderson started this season breezing through AA with a dazzling 39 innings to the tune of a 0.69 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 38 Ks. Sure he’s already 26, but the injuries have held him back and he finally got his MLB debut yesterday against the White Sox. I decided to check it out and break it down to see if anything’s there for spot-starting or a deeper league stache [sic]:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I mustache you a question, when you drafted, were you Axfording a hard time from your closer? Then you got it. John Axford finally was removed from the closer role. Francona said, “I’ve seen crap before, but Assford demonstrated a whole new level of excrement.” Or something to that effect. I’m not one for details. Axford was replaced by the committee of author Bryan Shaw, Nick at Nite star Cody Allen and The RZE. That’s also the order I’d pick them up. There’s prolly no reason to mess with The RZE, especially after he was treated like Jodie Foster in The Accused yesterday. Speaking of The RZE, Method Man and Raekwon forgot one way to torture their opponents when they talk about rusty screwdrivers and whatnot. “I’ll hack your fantasy team and pick up John Axford and leave him in your active lineup and let him keep feeding you terrible stats, and feeding you, and feeding you and feeding you.” Now, that’s gangster. There’s a good chance Axford never sees another save this year. Collective wisdom says Cody Allen will be the closer, but collective wisdom also said Obama was going to make a difference. Yesterday, the Indians set up the game so Shaw would be the closer, whereas Allen’s one save came when Axford was garbage and Shaw had already been used. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On this day, I’m reminded of the Imagine Dragons song, Demons. “It’s Prince Fielder‘s curtain’s call, it’s the last of all, when the lights fade out all the other players look like an upgrade. They look like an upgrade! Prince Fielder let us down! He should be hell bound! Though he says it’s all for you, stop hiding the truth! No matter what Cecil Fielder would breed. We are still made of greed, my fantasy team is my kingdom come, when will Prince Fielder’s homers come? When will they come?! When you feel my heat, look into my eyes, it’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. Abreu, don’t get too close, it’s dark inside and Fielder might rub off on you. It’s where my hate for Fielder hides, it’s where my hate hides. They say it’s okay if he hits .280 with 85 RBIs and 20 homers around the pole that is foul. I say it’s up to fate, it’s woven in my soul, Prince Fielder is an a**hole!” Usually I’m like don’t sell so-and-so for a DVD box set of the third season of Punky Brewster, but I’d sell Fielder low. Who knows maybe someone in your league won’t think you’re selling low. I’d explore ALL (yes, capped) offers for him immediately before things get worse. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fredo is a disgrace. That’s Fredo Gonzalez. He’s running around yapping his mouth about my fantasy team’s business, saying Alex Wood can go to the bullpen and Gavin Floyd can stay in the rotation. Why don’t you defend Moe Green while you’re at it, Fredo? I’m sorry, I’m about to have an aneurysm. Fredo said he doesn’t want to go to a six-man rotation, saying, “(Floyd) is one guy that would not go to the bullpen… We all know how the bullpen thing is. You get up. You get down. You go in. You got to warm up in 15 (pitches), and I don’t want to do that to (Floyd).” No, instead you’ll do it to one of your best, young arms. Jonny Venters just asked an elderly man behind him in line at the bank to sign his check for him because he can’t lift his arm! I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart! Well, I haven’t heard anything official yet, but it sounds like Wood is headed to the bullpen so Floyd can start. Super. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Wieters is headed to see Dr. Freeze about his elbow and likely to the DL. Stop throwing curveballs to 2nd base! Dr. Freeze has never seen an elbow he can’t sideline for six months. Can’t we have anything nice this year? The only player that is healthy in the entire league is Nick Punto. Now starting at 1st base for the Orioles…Nick Punto! Now starting at catcher for the Reds…Nick Punto! Now starting in right field for the Angels…Nick Punto! It’s Nick Punto’s world and we’re just trying to play fantasy baseball! The only ones doing well this year are Dr. James Andrews and Nick Punto! “Wanna go to Friendly’s?” “Sure, your treat!” And then Dr. James Andrews and Nick Punto laughed evilly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Go, go, go, go, go, go. Go, Corey, it is your birthday. We want to party like it is your birthday. *dance like a white man that has on parachute pants* We will sip Bacardi like it is your birthday. And you know we do not give an expletive it is not your birthday. I see Corey Kluber on my iPad and I want to kick him in the ass, but I still can’t make heads or tails of him. “Mr. Kluber, why do you bring anguish to my potluck dinner?” Justin Masterson had RSVP’d already with anguish! Ugh, I really don’t know what to make of Kluber. He’s hella risky and, yes, I still say hella. After his start yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks — you obviously have to own him if he’s on your waivers. The good news is his BABIP is obscenely unlucky (.353). The bad news is his velocity is down. He gets the Angels next and the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like it and I’d be lying if I told you I had the utmost confidence in him. In other words, own him, but it could be a rocky road without delicious marshmallows. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: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?