My fantasy roster is like Rick and his Walking Dead gang, just waiting around to be fattened up for the slaughter in that train car. Doesn’t Daryl have a hidden crossbow? Feel free to kill off Beth though. Currently my team has lost Cole Hamels and David Robertson. Not too bad, but couple that with the injuries to Adrian Beltre, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig, and my team is on the verge of doing a Hershel. I feel like we should cue up that cheesy music they play at the Oscars when they pay tribute to those stars that died over the past year. Last week, the fantasy world lost Josh Hamilton (smattering of applause), Matt Moore (gasps) and Avisail Garcia (men openly weeping). Just bury them with all the other guys still on the DL – Clayton Kershaw (at least he’s throwing again), Matt Latos (skipping rehab start this week, uh-oh) and Jose Reyes (was born on the disabled list). Add Troy Tulowitzki (quad), Adrian Beltre (quad), Koji Uehara (shoulder quad), and Joe Nathan (dead arm quad) to the walking wounded list as well (guys hurtin’ but not DL’d) and we have a World War Z-sized fantasy apocalypse. Injuries are expected every year, but does it seem like there are more this season? Can I blame instant replay? Harold Reynolds? Someone or something is responsible. Quick, get Bartolo Colon to throw some stem cells in the Gatorade. I hear that helps. *note to self: Pitch embryonic energy drink to Gatorade, make millions, get killed by pro-life crusaders.* It’s time to bring in the fantasy reinforcements. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can cure what’s ailing our battered and broken roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So long, farewell, goodnight, Prince Fielder. One of the most disappointing starts to the 2014 season has been Mr. Fielder with his .162/.205/.216 line. To exacerbate things, his offseason move to Texas led to him being hyped heading into drafts and his current owners paying top dollar to roster his .421 OPS. Following a disappointing 2013 season, his slow start has caused some owners to panic, pointing to his inability to walk or hit a home run. So what do I recommend doing at this point? Buy Prince Fielder while you still can. I really don’t like using “small sample size” to dismiss early starts, because it feels like the lazy way out. A better approach would be to see that Fielder has had 0 for 4 games against Alex Cobb, David Price, etc., notice that his batted ball distribution hasn’t dramatically changed, and remember why he was rated so highly in drafts. Even with the slow start, I’d be surprised if Fielder didn’t improve on last year’s .279/.362/.457 line this year, especially the slugging. And while it’s on my mind, here’s a few other players who have had surprising starts and what it means for OPS and OBP leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This has less to do with Jedd Gyorko than it has to do with panicking. You drafted Gyorko this year because of what he’s done in the past. Yes, you’re hoping for better in the future, but you’re going on what he’s done already. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. You want him primarily for his power. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. You knew he was on a lousy team. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. You knew he hit .249 last year. Fact or not fact? FACT or NOT FACT?! Fact. Last year, he hit zero homers in 93 ABs in April. It’s simply a fact! Of course you want better this year, but he hasn’t done anything less than he did last year thus far, and you still drafted him. If he does exactly the same as last year, but doesn’t get injured and miss a month, he will hit around 27 homers and have 75-ish runs and RBIs. You’re getting that from another 2nd baseman? Which one, cause I’d like to get in on that. Can we double date? Wanna hear something completely crazy? I’m typing this with my toes. Wanna hear something completely crazy related to fantasy baseball? Gyorko could have a better year than Tulowitzki. Tulo’s already hurt and said last year he’s no longer stealing bases. So, Gyorko hits 27 homers and .250, Tulo hits 27 homers and .295. A few weird bounces in BABIP and they hit the same. So why are you dropping Gyorko? Better yet, why are you not trading for him? Don’t drop guys that just happen to have a bad one or two weeks to start the season. In general, anyone that you drafted in the first ten rounds, should be untouchable in April. You need to let your Clydesdales carry your beer. There’s a fine line between reacting and panicking. Walk the line, Johnny. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lots of people tried to explain to me why you don’t slide into first base. I still don’t get it, so apparently I’m dense. Is 1st base lifted higher than other bases? Are there Lilliputians standing by first base with mini hammers? Is there a mini MC Hammer there singing U Can’t Touch This which is just so bizarre it screws you up and you hurt yourself? I get that it slows you down, so there’s no point to doing it. I understand that sprinters don’t slide into the finish line. I’ve heard that from countless announcers. I do kinda wish in the next Summer Olympics a sprinter would slide into the finish line just so announcers would stop saying it. I still don’t understand why people invariably get hurt doing it. Josh Hamilton for one. He’s out for 6-8 weeks with thumb surgery. He should’ve just had Ryan Braun look at it, he can cure thumbs just by brining them in vinegar. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?