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?
Jonathan Papelbon has a contract that insures that he remains the closer if he’s traded. He would likely be the closer in Washington even without that stipulation, but it’s so like Papelbon to have that in his contract. Should just call that the douche clause. To fix him, the Nationals should bring him into games where they’re up one run in the seventh and run him out there for three innings every night until his arm falls off. Sure, they’d cost themselves a closer and games, but isn’t spite worth it? I know it is when Cougs says she has a headache and I say, “Fine, I’m gonna sleep in the bathtub!” Sure, I could stay in the bed, or even opt for a couch, but the spite wouldn’t be driven home as well. Papelbon’s trade obviously kills all value for Drew Storen. Shame, his career feels like the exact opposite of Fernando Rodney. No matter how well Storen pitches every year he seems to lose the job for some unforeseen reason. Maybe he can figure out a way to work into his contract, “Must pitch after any white guy that is a terrible dancer whether that is Mark Madsen, Grey Albright or Papelbon.” Of course, in Philly, this means that Ken Giles gets his long-deserved chance to close for the Phils. All three games where they’re leading. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Late last night, Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Blue Jays. Both hammys, his quads, his obliques, his elbow tendons, both groins. Why does he have two groins again? Maybe we don’t need to know. The Rockies getting rid of Tulo makes me think of when a kid is dropped off at the airport to fly alone. A flight attendant walks with the kid, trying to make conversation, waits with them at the gate, helps them into their seat, watches after them on the flight, escorts them off the plane and walks them to their uncle. Once the Rockies representative handed Tulo off to his uncle, Alex Anthopoulos, the Rockies representative went into the bathroom, did a line of blow and dialed the Rockies, “We got rid of him!!!” The Blue Jays longed to have a shortstop with two good legs. Sadly, they traded Jose Reyes to the Rockies, so now they still have a shortstop with one good leg, unless the deal includes Reyes leaving behind a hammy. Obviously, leaving Coors isn’t going to help anyone, but Tulo’s big problem has always been his health. If he stays healthy, the Blue Jays aren’t exactly the Kalamazoo Fightin’ Zebras playing in Petco. The lineup around him will be better, and he’ll get to face a junkload of terrible pitchers in the AL East. As for Reyes, he might not be long in Colorado, and if he is, then he gets a boost in value, until the Mile High air creeps into his hammys and does its worst. Reyes could now get back those extra five homers that seem to have disappeared from his usual batting line. Also, in this deal, LaTroy Hawkins went to the Jays. He was the flight attendant in the above scenario. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different. This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues. Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys. The other day on our podcast I was asked by JB, “What is the USA Today?” Because JB was born in the 2000s. But I was also asked by him who is my biggest buy of the 2nd half. For that I said, “Um, well, I have to say, actually, actually, actually, my biggest buy is, uh, um, hmm.” Spit it out, Grey! You know how your own voice sounds weird? I wonder if that holds up for the Movie Trailer Guy. Any the hoo! My biggest buy was Adrian Beltre. For s’s and g’s, I looked at Beltre’s 2nd half from last year, it wasn’t great — six homers, zero steals, .308. Last year, he had 19 homers for the full season and he has 7 homers right now. So, I don’t think the power is going to come roaring back like he’s Mickey Maris in 1927 with Barry Bonds’s personal trainer. In my top 100 for the 2nd half of 2015 fantasy baseball (say that fast 117 times!), I gave Beltre 11 homers. That feels optimistic, but doable. His fly balls are more or less fine from last year, but he’s getting unlucky with his HRs per fly balls even though his home run distance isn’t terrible. He’s also been crazy unlucky with his BABIP. It’s sitting at .263, which would be his lowest since 2003. Basically, he’s hitting a line drive to the gap and a squirrel is grabbing it, flipping it to an outfielder and Beltre’s being called out because the ball never touched the ground. If I were struggling at corner and need to take a gamble, I’d trade for Beltre and watch the good times Esther Rolle! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half. It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains. So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season. So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues). The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats. So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS. Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck. Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect. Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent. So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…Please, blog, may I have some more?
For my “Rest Of Season” edition of SAGNOF Special, I’d like to start with a confession, or really more of an admittance: I’m in two Razzball Commenter Leagues this year and last year I was in one. Those are only the fourth, fifth, and sixth rotisserie leagues I’ve ever played in. This despite having played fantasy baseball since 2002. The reason is because I’ve primarily played in head to head leagues. One of the biggest differences between the two formats is the nuance involved in the tradeoff of various hitter stats (what one hitter can give you versus what another can) in rotisserie and it becomes much more important to not just realize where you are in the standings of individual stats but to try to predict/project where you will be by season’s end. That’s why I’ve chosen to give you some Rest of Season Steamer projections for the best base stealers. Use it to project your own players, to project your place in the final standings, or to scheme up a trade.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I saw an article the other day titled, “Brewers: Buyers or Sellers?” Admittedly, I only read the title. I figured I’d save myself some time because the Brewers are in last place, 19 games behind the Cardinals. Maybe the article was talking about the art of selling home brewed beer and had nothing to do with baseball. Buying or selling could be a conundrum for the home brewmaster along with, “What do you tell your wife about why she can’t go into the garage?” “Can you name your beer ‘HeineKEN’ if your name is Ken and other copyright laws?” And my favorite home brewer conundrum, “Skunked or urinated on by the family dog, how can I tell?” Yeah, I’m guessing the Milwaukee Brewers are sellers, which means Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra and others are headed somewhere. This will open everyday playing time for Khris Davis. It’s Khrismas in July! *ringing bell* Come Khristian boys and girls and Jewish boys and girls that want to pretend, it’s that special time of year! Why do we care about Davis? Because he has 30-homer power something baseball lost just after they started testing for those pesky PEDs. Right now, Davis is owned in less than 10% of leagues, but I could see that shooting up to 75% owned in the next month if he hits for power and gets everyday playing time as I imagine he will. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Does this happen to people? You’re working on something, and listening to certain tunes and that informs the way you go about your work. I’ve never had a real job in my life, so I don’t know how this works for those. Does a toll collecting juggalo listen to Insane Clown Posse while working and violently throw change back at drivers? Is this why a building’s roof caves in because the construction crew was listening to Because I Got High by Afroman? Or if you were to suddenly change a hitter’s walk-up music from say Next Episode by Dr. Dre (which seems to be at least one hitter’s song on every team) to The Pina Colada Song would that change everything? I don’t know, but I’m a deep thinker, and I saw Johnny Cueto‘s start yesterday and thought he had to be listening to the Silver Jews, specifically this one section, because that gets me so jacked I could jackhammer a driveway with my foot. I took a hammer to it all! *banging foot on cement* Right?! Okay, maybe it’s me. That’s why we’re having this one-sided conversation, to better understand each other. Yesterday, Cueto threw a farkin sparkler — a farkler, if you will — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 2.61. Cueto’s the bomb dot gov. He’s almost exactly in line with what he was doing last year when he had a 2.25 ERA in 243 2/3 IP. And, if anything, he’s actually pitching better this year, lowering his walk rate from 2.4 to 1.7. For whatever reason, he seems to stay out of the conversation for the best pitchers in the major leagues, but yesterday he took on Max Scherzer (4 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and took a hammer to it all. A hammer to it all! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hope everyone had a pleasant, footloose, but not finger-freeing July 4th weekend. I did. In the tradition of our forefathers, specifically Benjamin Franklin, I had an iced cold latte, three whole frankfurters and flew a kite with a key on the string. Also, since this year our country passed the right to gay marriage, I ate those frankfurters in the gayest way possible. *Graphic description of how I ate the hot dogs deleted* Also, on this wonderful holiday where we pretend to be the greatest country in the world, I’m reminded of an ally from the 1700’s when we first got this ship afloat. That country was Germany and their concept of schadenfreude, the enjoyment derived from others’ misery. I’m sorry if you lost Miguel Cabrera for six weeks. Really, I am. *bursting with the schadenfreude giggles* The Tigers say he could return around late-August, which is a bummer. *barely containing myself* Hopefully, he can return and give you a solid four homers and .300 average the rest of the way. Thank God, this schadenfreude concept has no karmic retribution attached to it. *reading that Strasburg is also hurt* NOOOOOOO!!! Can’t I have one nice thing?! Ugh. I’m sorry I laughed at your loss of Miggy, can I have Stressbird back? Please! I can’t, can I? Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Don’t yell at me! I own Carlos Santana and I know how awful he’s been! It makes sense that his name is Carlos Santana, because Carlos Santana looks like Edward James Olmos and the acne scars Olmos has are how deep Carlos Santana’s scarred my fantasy soul. Sometimes I wake at night in a cold sweat, frightened that Carlos Santana has found his way on all of my fantasy teams, only to realize it’s just a dream and I haven’t been sweating. Instead, I peed myself, so I fall back to sleep soundly. So, with that uplifting lead-in to this Buy, what do you sell to get Santana? A herpes blister and hope for a dead cat bounce? Yes, that would seem to be the case. Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery, do I really want you to buy Santana? Yeah, I do. Let’s look at his 1st half vs. 2nd half last year. 1st half: 14 HRs, 37 RBIs, .207 average, 45.8% ground ball rate, and death threats for what he did to fantasy teams. The 2nd half last year: 13 HRs, 48 RBIs, .260 average in 16 less games than the 1st half. His ground balls went way down (not literally!) to 34.2% and his fly balls shot up (literally!). His hard contact went up, his Ks went down, his everything went up. Some thought that his 2nd half last year was a sign he was going to break out in April this year. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but he’s not old and I can’t imagine he’s going to stay this bad all year. This year’s 1st half of 9 HRs, .211, 44.8% GB rate isn’t the end of an era, but maybe about to be the end of his error. Pithy points! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?