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:

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They’re the world’s most fearsome fighting team, they’re heroes in the half shell and they’re green. When the Evil Shredder attacks these turtle boys don’t…. Oops sorry I got lost for a minute in quite possibly the greatest theme song of my childhood. Say what you will G.I. Joe fans, and followers of He-Man but the Turtles were killing the game back in the early 90’s. Maybe you’re not familiar with a little ditty called “Ninja Rap” by the God emcee Rakim Vanilla Ice! Is it bad that after watching that video I’m reminded that Ice was 100 times more legit hip-hop than Drake or Meek Mill? Seriously some solid scratches in the intro there. But that’s all besides the point, today’s post is dedicated to those down with the Turtle Power since Day One. Welcome to the sewer…Riggidy Raow! Oh snap who invited Das Efx? Sorry guys you disappeared faster than Chris Shelton’s short lived power surge. Go back down that man-hole cover. Now back to the lecture at hand, this week the tiers are all about the Turtles boi! Oh yeah and two start pitchers, because anyone reading this is in one of two positions. A. You’re in the playoffs, don’t have a bye and are loading up on the double dippers. or B. You’re making that last push to make the playoffs or lockdown that all important bye. Doesn’t matter what type of league you’re in this time of year, even roto players like myself are looking to stream and load up on starters to reach our limits after being patient boys and girls all year. So this is for y’all. Two Start Pitchers, Week 21!

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Looks guys. There's where all my skills as a player went. Floated away, like a cloud...

Look guys. There’s where all my skills as a player went. Floated away, like a cloud…

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these round-ups, and to be honest, hanging out over at our Fantasy Football site (Football is almost here!), I’m not even sure if I remember what baseball is or how it works. However, looking over the some of the games last night, I noticed that my Padres are 55-61, good for second-to-last place. So things haven’t changed at all I suppose. Oh, wait, the Astros are 63-53 and are in first place? Okay, so let me redefine that. Some things change, but nothing changes when it comes to things I like. Yeah, sounds about right. Alright, alright, yes, Matt Kemp did hit for the cycle, the first one ever in Padres history (going 4/5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R), which I guess is okay… Look, it’s impressive, no doubt, but all I’m saying is: it’s about time? I mean, to be honest, I’m not sure if I was more impressed with Melvin Upton Jr. managing to get one hit out of four tries. Actually, yes, I’m way more impressed with that. Okay, yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m just being salty at their entire season. Admission is the first sign of recovery folks. Regardless, let’s get this show on the road.

Here’s what else I saw from yesterday’s games…

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With just over a month and a half left to play, it’s still a tight two-horse race between Razzball’s J-FOH and Hannibal Montana for the first Razznasty championship. The big story right now though is MattTruss (The Hippos). Truss has gained nearly 20 points in the standings since our last league update in early July and now sits comfortably in third place. How has he done it? Basically he’s dominated the rest of us since July 1st – leading the league in RBIs, wins, and strikeouts over that span. But that’s not all. The Hippos have also been top five in four other categories, including hitting the second most homers and posting the second best ERA since the beginning of last month. In other words, it’s been a balanced attack on the standings, and I am now officially scared of hippos. There is still a lot of ground between Truss and our two leaders, but anything can happen when you’re a 2-ton animal on the move.

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Luis Severino (+29.7%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. You know that the MLB youth movement is officially underway when even the Yankees refuse to part with their top prospects at the trade deadline in order to acquire a veteran rental for the stretch run. “I just traded Severino and Aaron Judge to the Mariners for Hisashi Iwakuma. Suckers! We just found our Hiroki Kuroda replacement, and it only took a couple of unproven kids to get him. You’re welcome, New York!” That’s pre-2015 Brian Cashman gloating about a potential deadline deal that might’ve been made in seasons past. Fortunately for Yankees fans, Severino was off-limits in trade talks and was promoted to the big league club just under a week ago instead. The 21-year-old phenom flashed his impressive arsenal (mid-90s fastball, slider, changeup) against the Red Sox in his debut and more than held his own, allowing just 2 hits and 2 runs (1 earned) over 5 innings of work while walking none and striking out 7 batters. Severino has excelled at limiting the long ball, allowing only 8 homers in 320+ minor league innings throughout his career. He’s exhibited impressive control in the minors (2.3 BB/9) while striking out just over a batter per inning (9.1 K/9) during that time period as well. However, as is the case with most young pitchers these days, Severino’s workload is likely to be closely monitored in the coming weeks. He’s already thrown over 100 combined innings this season, and he seems to be in store for roughly 35-40 more (or 6 more starts) if the Yankees follow the old +30 rule for young pitchers. He looks like the real deal, but is likely to be skipped/shut down by mid-September, limiting his fantasy value for the rest of this season. Until then – giddy up!

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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It’s almost time to think about next year. I don’t mean that as an A’s fan — that works too — but more in the terms of keeper and dynasty leagues. Keeping pitchers can be a very risky proposition given their tendency to get injured, making the call on a pitcher a tricky one. For now, lets take a look at current Chicago White Sox and soon-to-be free agent Jeff Samardzija. Other than a 4.35 ERA, there are multiple red flags on the Shark’s pitching profile. A dip in swinging strike rate, K/9 and K-rate to go with a four year high in FIP and xFIP are all trends going in the wrong directions.

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Luis Severino will be called up to face the Red Sox on Wednesday and presumably will stay in the rotation for the busted, no-candy-giving Pineda. I say presumably, because can we really be sure about anything other than smart stuff coming from my brain, but not being able to come up with a synonym for stuff? It’s rhetorical, don’t rack your brain custard. Severino’s minor league numbers are eye-popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone: The Movie (not a dated reference at all!). In Double-A, a 11.4 K/9 and a 1.91 ERA in Triple-A. Yup, I’m like a migrant worker cherrypicking stats, but I’d gamble on Severino in all leagues for upside. He looks like he might be the 2nd coming of wonderful with a splash of yummystiltskin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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:

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In the vast world of fast food, food, and fine dinning, you’ll find your pick of the garnishes to the delight your tastebuds. Some will be salty and some will be sweet, but only a pickle can be some of each. No where on earth such a veggie exists, you’ll it eat on burgers, and sausage, and fish. I run to the store to share some with friends, that here is the place where this story book ends. Or maybe begins as I took out my sack and I shared with my kins, cause I’m the pickleman mack. I gave one to Grey, Smokey, and Jay, I gave one to Tehol but he put it away. No, no silly Beddict keep that out of your rectum, these pickles are delicious I demand you respect them. Dan Pants said here, here as he munched on a gherkin, but Tehol didn’t hear he was too busy twerkin. Magoo and J-Foh enjoyed their half sours, as Jack waxed poetic about hating Joe Mauers. All was well in Razzland oh sweet pickled cucumber, it’s Two start pitchers, week I forget the number.

So big changes this week to the two start post, and I think the you’ll agree it’s for the better. I ramble less and instead provide you with a wide range of stats to justify my rankings. That’s better right? Hopefully I don’t leave you with a burning feeling like that girl in your dorm that had Daddy issues. Oh yeah and pickles!

BTW when you’re done here go read soccer, it’s good I swear!

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