Yesterday, Lucas Duda went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with two homers (26, 27). He now has five homers in the last three days. Duda goes from doodie to Duda in the blink of an eye. He’s like a sports car that goes 0 to 60 in five seconds flat that you only drive three times a year, because, while your penis may be small, you’re also reasonable enough to realize if someone crashes into you, you’re going to cry and that’s embarrassing in front of your future trophy wife. It seems like no matter how many games Duda misses and no matter how deep his slumps get, he gets scorching hot at some point and will get to thirty homers. His hot streaks are shorter, but he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Davis. I will call him Piss Davis. Maybe I won’t call him that to his face. Somehow, Duda is available in over 40% of ESPN leagues. (Though 85% of leagues are abandoned already so he’s owned in 125% of leagues. Hmm…) So, if he’s out there, grab him before he takes the car back into the shop and pays $54,000 for a new taillight. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Perhaps it’s my inner Gob Bluth, but with just a week’s worth of games to be played, this truly is the final days of the season. Already the Royals, Blue Jays, Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals have wrapped up a piece of the postseason, yet four of those five teams are still jostling for position with only the Royals able to rest some of their players without fear of slipping to the Wild Card games. Today’s Ambulance Report will first focus on the teams in the postseason.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We have one reader in Nigeria who emails me privately about how I’ve won large amounts of muney (sic), so I don’t need to be working, which means this is more of a PSA, and should be taken even more seriously: Starling Marte is a God. There’s Jesus, there’s his Dad, there’s Jehovah, there’s Mormons’ magic underpants, there’s whoever the Jews pray to — Mel Brooks? — there’s Chief Jay Strongbow, there’s the Pope, there’s Allah, there’s Halla, the Arab God for dyslexics, and there’s others, I’m sure. My God is Starling Marte. You know how the religious say, “Peace be with you?” For baseball players, they should say, “May you always hit in Coors.” Yesterday in Coors, Marte went 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, which is the rainbow jimmies on the ice cream that has been his season. He has 18 HRs, 29 SBs and is hitting .288. Right now, he’s around top 25 on our Player Rater. For 2016, it’s gonna be hard for me to wait past the top 20 overall. Yes, he’s that good, and I may just rank him above McCutchen. Oh, snap! Don’t need the police to try to save them, your voice will seize, so please, stay off my back or I will attack and you don’t want that. Hit the bass, hit the anyway and let’s do this! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
To say Greg Holland has struggled lately would be a stretch. Mostly because the “qualifier” lately implies only for the past few weeks or so, when in reality Holland has posted below average numbers all season. While he has just five blown saves on the year compared to 32 saves, a lot of his numbers have trended in the wrong direction. Bullpen arms tend to be pretty fungible, SAGNOF after all, but the question isn’t if Holland has struggled, but why? Even more concerning than the worst ERA/FIP/xFIP and SIERA (other than his 2010 campaign) of his career is his walk and strikeout rates. Sure, Holland’s .319 BABIP this season is worse than his .301 career average, and as mentioned his 5.23 BB/9 is the worst of his career, but those seem to be symptoms of a bigger issue. Like most pitchers, the first thing I look at when someone is struggled is the average fastball velocity.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort. This sends an interesting message. I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort. Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing. Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season. Also, what does this say about Ausmus? That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort? Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort? How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort. I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do. What? You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place? Please!” Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night. Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year. This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brandon Finnegan pitched five innings allowing just three hits an earned run, two walks, while striking out four to notch his first win with the Cincinnati Reds last night. James Joyce would be so proud. Although his praise would be written in the form of a street ballad that would take years to completely analyze and understand. Finnegan was the big get in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City and we are starting to see why. The 22-year old lefty showed good control with a low 90s fastball and nasty change up. Used primarily as a situational lefty with the Royals, the Reds are committed to stretching Finnegan out as a starter, and it looks like that decision could pay off in the long run. Brandon was sharp last night shutting down a strong Milwaukee offense and now holds a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 29/16 K/BB rate. Finnegan is more of a name to keep in the back of your mind for your 2016 drafts but I could also see streaming him next week versus the Cardinals if you feel like gambling on some rookie nookie.
Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The original title Rudy suggested was, Love Is To Own Lindor, but Rudy tells me that title only makes sense to people forced to watch Frozen 5+ times. Let it go…Let it go…Let it go… I just sang that in perfect key and it still caused a cat to screech and paint to peel. Luckily, I don’t have a kid, a cat or paint. Let’s count the ways I love Francisco Lindor. *five minutes later, makes farting sound with hand in armpit* And that’s it! Oh, yeah, I should count the ways I love him aloud so you can hear. Fair enough, you nitpicker, you. Yesterday, he hit his 9th homer (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), topping off a week when he was hitting over .400, a month when he’s hitting over .340, a 2nd half when he’s hitting over .350 with 7 homers and 7 steals. He’s only 21 years old. At 21 years old, you fell asleep on a couch outside of your local bar waiting to talk a girl that you think might have been interested, only waking after a passing bus splashed a puddle of your own vomit onto you. Guys and five girl readers, he has 9 homers in 82 games (essentially a half a season) and he has 30-steal speed. I just got goose pimplies. To emphasize them, I’m drawing little goose faces on my pimples like those psychopaths draw on grains of rice. Yes, you should own Lindor on your teams for this year, and I can’t wait to draft him in sixteen after twenty. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
From Koji to Ross… Sounds like a bullpen whirlwind in the shade of a Justin-to-Kelly type scenario. Have things goten so bad north of me… NJ… that they are just trouncing anyone out there. Any retreads? Well, it’s full on guess mode at the late stages of the season for the B0-Sawx. If you are really scraping for saves this late in the game, than you my friend are a desperate man in search of desperation and regret. The Red Sox as a team are near the bottom in blown saves, bullpen ERA and basically look drab and beaten down. The only good news there is I think the Bruins start soon and Papi is chasing 500. Listen, I get that you play to the end of the season, but is Robbie Ross really the direction you want to go to when the end is near? Do yourself a favor, add a quality non-closer work on your rates, your free-style composure and possibly go shop at the merry-go-round for some really cool back to school clothes. Your pitching stats and your swagger will thank you with some compliments and some vulture wins.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique. This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief. Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed. Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you? Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way. Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring. Scary good. May be best of Cubs lot right now.” Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed. If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances. Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming. On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur. Or make that, as craptastic as those guys. In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel. Time, not the magazine, will tell. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
SAGNOF just keeps finding ways to stay absurd. Tom Wilhelmsen, Jean Machi, John Axford = good. Carson Smith, Junichi Tazawa…. even Greg Holland = bad. If all you care about are saves there’s been a wealth of options available. Realistically, I think chasing saves with bad closers can be a losing proposition. What do the first three (the so called “good”) have in common aside from taking over as the closer? How about WHIPs greater than 1.40. These players need to come with a warning label. “Implosion likely to occur.” I mean, it only took Edward Mujica about a week to implode and he was arguably better than any of these three. Axford and Wilhelmsen look like brothers from different mothers with their K:BB ratios at 1.75 and 1.91 respectively. Anything below 2.50 is really bad for a closer. Unless you’re Brad Ziegler. Then it’s okay. (I need a “no sarcasm” alert for that one). Here’s the lowdown on the closer situations that will make you want to scream.Please, blog, may I have some more?