It’s a closerousel! Which is a play on carousel, not arousal. Pick up your pants. Recently, the Cleveland Indians organization talked to the media about moving away from the unfortunate Native American stereotype their team is known for. They said, “We respect the people who came before us. This was their land, and we drove them out. Scalping was a crime on humanity. In other news, we just signed a guy that goes by the Ax Man. Chief Wahoo, can I get a woohoo?!” John Axford should be perfectly competent as the closer in Cleveland, until he’s not. What I mean is he’ll be handed the job and will hold it the whole year unless he reverts to his hideous ways. I was burnt by him in more leagues than I care to remember, but I would still draft him again. SAGNOF, after all. Then Theo Cubstein went out and got Jose Veras to close games. Cubs fans will miss the days when their games went an extra fifty minutes due seven men getting on base in the ninth inning. If you throw out Veras’s first five appearances and start his stats on April 13th of last year, he had a 2.48 ERA. Yeah, that’ll work just fine. Then the Orioles pulled their best Billy Beane impersonation when they let one high-priced closer go and got Grant Balfour back. Oddly enough, Billy Beane was the one that took the high-priced one. I scream, what’s the world coming to?! Then Billy Beane shoots Spider dead. Then Beane turns to me and says, “Not so fast, amigo. Check Balfour’s health. Oh, and amigo is being sarcastic, you dumbass.” I knew that! But not about the health. No one did. Except for the Jedi master. Of course, there was more to it. So, now Balfour’s deal may fall through with the O’s due to health concerns raised in his physical. It’s a developing situation as they say in third world countries about their water and cable TV. Finally, Addison Reed went from the Chicago White Sox to Arizona. Now the Diamondbacks won’t have to worry about what happens when J.J. Putz hurts himself opening a tin of Band-Aids. Irony only takes you so far, Putz. This leaves a vacuum in the South Side of Chicago in the ninth inning, but I guess they don’t plan on winning any games. White Sox GM Rick Hahn named Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs and Daniel Webb as possible replacements. Due to Scott Downs’ Syndrome, Downs is out of the mix. Jones will be a favorite by fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) due to his ability to strike guys out, but I’m guessing Lindstrom will end up with the job due to that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it closer experience quality. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
King Hodor of the House of Hodor. First of his Hodor. Long may he Hodor.
At this point, there appear to be more trades occurring after the July 31st deadline. In fact, just yesterday, Mike Morse was acquired by the Orioles, Jason Kubel was acquired by the Indians, and, as you may or may not have realized yet, John Axford and his, well, what ever you call the things he grows on his face, has been acquired by Ozark nation. Which, if you don’t know the area, is known for abandoned El Caminos and the second highest murder rate in the nation, next to Detroit. Err, Detroit, the RoboCop version. What’s the fantasy impact? I’m sure glad I just asked myself that question. Mike Morse’s situation changes a bit, a better hitting environment and a better lineup could lead to some stat boosting. Jason Kubel, well, he remains the same. Insignificant. Frankly, I don’t even understand the move, since the Indians are already paying for a player (cough, Mark Reynolds, cough) that’s doing better right now, yet plays for the Yankees. Ballsy strategy if you ask me. And then there’s John Axford. I’ll be honest, since I lie all the time I guess, the impact here is not much, if anything. But I do like Axford drinking the same water those other Cardinal pitchers are drinking, and would not be surprised if his situation improves next year. So keep a look out. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Pirates are in it to win it, y’all! Maybe too aggressive. Okay, the Pirates are in it to make it seem like they’re in it to win it, y’all! Yeah, that’s probably a closer approximation. If we’re sitting here in October and saying the Pirates couldn’t have won the World Series without the help of Marlon Byrd, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle and pay for my monkey nephew to go to college, which is a lot of money. Luckily, I think they can win it with or without Byrd, as a Nikki Dinki-hosted show would say. Thankfully, none of this matters for fantasy, so why are we even talking about it? I don’t know, clunky expository question! Byrd will likely prop up the bottom of the Pirates lineup when he plays and prop himself onto the mascot’s shoulder on off days. Byrd gains a tad bit of value with this move since the Mess offense was nothing to write home about unless you were locked up abroad and ran out of things to write on postcards, and ‘Hitters Are Better Outside Of Metco’ is a bumper sticker I don’t own, but endorse. Also, going to the Pittsburgh Bucs is John Buck. Buck will change his New York nickname of “Midnight Cowboy” to “Swash,” and steal some looks behind the plate from Martin. Going the other way is Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later. Unless that player is Andrew McCutchen, there’s not a whole lot to talk about on the Mets receiving end. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Mariners don’t play no mess. That’s their motto, and not the oft-cited mottoes, “F-Her and pray for rain,” or “Put the fences on wheels, so we can move them in when we’re at-bat and out when the other team is,” or “If we trade Chris Tillman and Adam Jones for Erik Bedard, we’ll have more seats empty to fill the stadium with recliners.” With the “don’t play no mess” motto in full-mode, they brought up Mike Zunino. A catcher bat like Zunino only comes once in a lifetime (the lifetime is that of a guinea pig that is being cared for by a 12-year-old, so the lifespan is about 18 months. Remember, because age is rounded down to the last birthday, on average guinea pigs live a half year beyond their final birthday. They live as zombies. Zombie guinea pigs are all around us. Now, I’m scared.) Sure, the last once in a lifetime catcher bat after Buster Posey and Matt Wieters also played for the Mariners. You remember, it was the Jesus who couldn’t catch or hit but could walk on water with the best of them. So, after turning to Jesus twice (Montero, Sucre), the Mariners are now turning to Rookie Zuninookie. BTW, Sucre is sugar, and Zunino sounds like Mexican artificial sweetener. You might remember Mike Zunino from such Scott, our prospect writer, sentences as, “.360/.447/.689 between Low-A and Double-A,” “The third overall pick this past June has been simply incredible since signing,” and my favorite, “His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues, but most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino,” which came when he ranked him 44th in the top 50 fantasy baseball prospects. Not to get all Chinese Calendary on you, but 2013 isn’t going to the Year of the Incoming Catcher. Zunino’s chances of making a huge impact seem slim to anorexic. The path to fantasy value for a catcher isn’t a Sunday drive down the Henry Hudson for Will Smith in the movie, Hancock. If Zunino blows away my projections, he gets 15 homers and a .260 average. More likely, he gets 7-10 homers and a .240 average. You can probably do better. Look at me having faith in you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You ask and you shall receive! I had numerous requests for a Jeff Samardzija Pitcher Profile, and since I’d only seen the fire-baller throw maybe once or twice against my Brewers, I thought it would be a great idea to break him down for Razzball Nation.
I know the big righty features a huge fastball that flirts with the upper 90′s, but off the top of my head I couldn’t remember any specific secondary pitches so I was excited to really analyze one of his starts. Remember when he was the top WR target for Brady Quinn? Seems like ages ago! Remember when he was an erratic fixture in that Cubs bullpen along with Carlos Marmol? I bet some of those innings made even Steve Bartman cringe. But it’s much further down the road with Samardzija a fixture in that rotation (along with your fantasy squad’s staff) and a piece of the Cubs’ rebuilding future. Let’s go through how he hurled against the Diamondbacks on Saturday:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Carl Crawford hurt his hammy on Saturday, which opened the door for the Dodgers to make memories. Every Dodger fan is on their portable mobile cellular device texting someone their excitement. Of course, their excitement is about how well Fast & Furious is doing at the box office or how it only took them twenty minutes from downtown to the beach. The 10 was a breeze! But amongst the Angeleno texts I intercepted, there was one about how the Dodgers called up the latest Cuban raftee, Yasiel Puig. You can imagine how excited Dodger fans will be once they realize how good he is and that they’ll be able to see him even if they leave the game by the 7th inning. There will be a chance for Puig to show his tools like Siamese Twins in an adult theater. In Triple-A, he hit 8 homers, stole 13 bases and hit .313 in only 40 games. If he does that in the next 40 games for the Dodgers, he will be the number one call-up for fantasy and there will be no way the Dodgers can send him down. The big question for me is what happens when Crawford and Kemp return. I think there’s a good chance Puig hits a few homers, steals a couple of bases in the next few weeks, then gets sent right back down. Obviously, you have to take a flyer on him in all leagues to see if he sticks. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Josh Donaldson is fired. As in, he’s been on fire since last August and I’m finally willing to announce that I’ve seen his face. Now I’m a believer! What’s there not to like? An improved walk rate, reduced strikeout rate, better contact, increased power, and a brand new hairstyle. After getting to know him from afar, I think he’s less likely to hurt your team than Jafar. There are many possible reasons for his improvement: receiving consistent playing time in the majors, having the pedigree (former first round pick), seeing the movie Moneyball, being in his prime, and, my favorite conspiracy explanation: that he’s no longer catching. All of these likely contributed in some way, but the important thing is I don’t expect him to fall off a cliff any time soon (as long as he cancels that hiking trip). For the rest of 2013, I’m going to optimistically project a .270/.350/.460 line, which is solid for a third baseman. Hold him if you own him. Otherwise, I’d see if his owner expects heavy regression (band name?). Shout out to commenter SwaggerJackers for inspiring me to cover Donaldson. On a different note, after next week’s article I’m going to have a very temporary Razzball hiatus (aka two weeks) while I travel to my motherland (or literally my mother’s land) for the first time. Whoever correctly guesses the country can pick who I’ll cover as my lede next week. I might give hints if asked on Twitter. Ready? Go! And here’s my Quick Draw McGraw approach to OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Today is the first day of the next month in our lives without Giancarlo Stanton. If you want, I’m holding a candlelight vigil in the garbage can behind Stanton’s house. If you come, don’t make too much noise. We aren’t technically supposed to be there. The good news about his hamstring injury is when he’s limping away from us, it’ll be a lot easier to stay exactly 501 feet away. Before he’d backpedal and it was like we were doing the lambada with 501 feet between us. The bad news is I’m writing this post with tears. Hnfcsdcnnn. That was a big, stupid tear that got away from me. Short circuit my keyboard, tears. I plead with you, so I don’t have to continue. I wonder if I can seal envelopes with these tears. That would be turning lemons into lemonade, right? Ow, I just touched my eyes, and now these lemons are burning my eyes. This is the sourest injury news ever. Make the pain go away, alcohol! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s always about you, Rockie Rookie. Man, Rockie Rookie, you are set up to conquer the world and didn’t leave me sh*t! Like you own the whole goddamn country, Rockie Rookie. (Only funny in Lou Diamond Phillips’ brother’s voice from La Bamba.) Late on Saturday night the Rockies answered my prayers to fix my Mike Mostsuckass 3rd base shituation and called up Nolan Arenado. To make the move happen, the Rockies designated Chris Nelson for assignment. His assignment was to stop sucking. Arenado isn’t the answer to the world’s prayers for clean water and/or a toilet that sprays air freshener into your butt after you poop. He won’t end world hungry and/or make sure everyone can one day appreciate jazz so the people who do appreciate jazz will stop saying, “Aw, man, you just don’t appreciate jazz.” He’s pretty much Pacheco or Nelson with a little more power. Maybe 17 homer power with ten of those coming at home, but A) He has upside. B) He’s in Coors. C) There’s no C. D) The Rockies would be fools to call him up and not play him unless he completely bombs out. E) I don’t feel like going all the way back to A and re-reading, have I mentioned the upside thing? F) What about the fact he’s in Coors? Have I said that? Have I said there’s no C? So, right there, there’s six to ten (I didn’t count) legit reasons to pick him up in all mixed leagues. For serious, grab him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you….
Damn you Cher. Damn you and your catchy songs. And damn you for killing Jack Nicholson in Witches of Eastwick. No one kills Jack. Jack is the man. Goes to Lakers games. Hits on Jennifer Lawrence during the Oscars. Lives in Hollywood. The man.
If you drive about an hour south of Hollywood through Los Angeles you get to Newport Beach.T hat just happens to be the home town of one Gerrit Cole. (Sexy Segue complete.) Cole is also the man. Drafted first in 2011, he will get his call to the show at some point this year. This guy can flat out pitch. In his first professional year, Cole climbed the complete ladder of the minor leagues by starting in high-A ball and ending in Indianapolis (AAA) for a cup of coffee. The guy sports a 98+ fastball that if it hits you it’ll leave a six-foot hole coming out. And he’s not afraid to be aggressive. (Be aggressive! B. E. Aggressive!) Just listen to what Gaby Sanchez said about the kid via Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
“Some guys who throw hard, they’re a little shy about going inside. This kid, he’ll get two strikes on you, then back you off, and now he’s got the whole plate to get you out. Tough, man. Tough.”
But when will we see him in black and yellow?Please, blog, may I have some more?