Whenever spring training starts to wind down and the closer spot is yet to be determined, it’s never a good thing. It causes rosters to get fat off the land, and wastes your draft picks on no-news type situations. I will turn my one good lazy eye to the Minute Maid conundrum of “who closes for the Astros?” Some may ask: “who cares?” But this is the essence of SAGNOF believers. Cheap closers are what makes the fantasy world get on a sit, spin, chug a beer, and scream obscenities at trolley cars. So from the beginning of the hot-stove baseball season, and even after they signed Luke Gregerson, I believe that it’s still Chad Qualls‘ job. No news is good news for the incumbent… Even though the news all across the reliever landscape is all speculation, “he said this” and “the beat writer said that”. Well, the only person who actually knows is the manager, Hinch. So I am going to do my best to break it down from my ivory soap tower. Stick around, there may be something fun or edible once you get inside.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This draft was by Yours Trudy. Never understood that, Yours Trudy. Who is this Trudy that everyone is talking about? No, no, I’m not changing the subject before even embarking on the subject simply because I’m not happy with my team. How dare you j’accuse Yours Trudy of that! So, yesterday, on the Not-the-Ides of February, Grey Albright, the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it!) took part in a 12-team NL-Only draft that was commissioned by Scott White of CBS Fantasy. You know, CBS, they brought you such head-scratchers as Viva Laughlin and Travis d’Arnaud as a top 60 overall pick. In fact, I razzed one of the CBS ‘perts about his d’Arnaud love in the beginning of the draft, then the room nominated d’Arnaud and the CBS ‘pert didn’t draft him. I think I might’ve shamed too hard. *shrugs* C’est la. This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and 1,000 of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We now get to the ugly step-sister of rankings and the waiver darling position that we all chase. The relief pitcher is by far the most debated position on who to draft, where, and when. For the most part, I agree with you (with whatever you think), but the guys you want…if you get them where they are being drafted, usually beat or exceed value. Injuries suck and do happen, you just can’t prevent them. You just have to be in a position of favor and hope that you land his replacement. Sucktitude, i.e see Joe Nathan last year, is just a roster burden and usually drags you down all season because he isn’t someone you can just drop, but he makes it awfully hard to roster. It’s a catch-22, to stat or not to stat. Last year saw an unforgivable 10 closer changes in the first six weeks. That is not something you can pad your roster with enough save-cuffs for. So let’s get to the first set of rankings of the year. I will get into draft strategies for them, and as always, cover holds in the countdown to the season.
Note: Don’t forget to come visit me on the new Razzball Fantasy Soccer home everyday of the week. If you’re not familiar with the format, NBD, relax, you got us. Ralph and I are giving you the best Fantasy Premier League coverage out there. If you haven’t tried fantasy EPL, you’re missing out…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s break this down like Murray Chass would want it. Felix Hernandez has the 2nd best ERA in the AL, fourth most Ks, and 14 wins. When his team needed a win more than anything, so Grey (me) could possibly collect on a preseason bet he foolishly made for the Mariners to win the World Series, Felix choked up 8 ER in 4 2/3 IP, raising his ERA to 2.34. Felix has the 2nd best xFIP, 3rd best WAR for a pitcher and 8th best K-rate, but since we’re doing this as Murray would’ve wanted it, “What the flip is xFIP and I fought in Dubya Dubya Two and F-Her doesn’t know anything about WAR! Now stop with the Pollyanna chicken crap!” Did F-Her just lose the Cy Young award? He did if all the voters are subjected to a fifteen minute wait in a post office line with Mr. Chass. “Mr. Chass, did you print out an email to snail mail it?” “I don’t trust the internet!” Did the Mariners just lose all hope at the playoffs? F-Her, you effed me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Man do I hate the end of the year. People chasing saves are all into it, while the ones that are dead in the water couldn’t care less. And let’s be honest, they were prolly dead in the water all year when it came to saves. The end of the year chase is starting to show casualties, like the fall from grace of Glen Perkins. Glen is the kinda guy that I like, home-grown guy, pitching in his home state, took a nice friendly contract from the team. He can totally date-my-sister type. Unfortunately, he is staggering to the finish with an unimpressive last few weeks. I personally feel bad, because I own Perkins in a lot of places. I have so many teams, that I actually counted and the only closer I don’t own is David Robertson. Yes, every other single closer on this list is owned in some way shape or form by yours truly. So back to Perkins… his ERA and his K/9 rate have seemed to morph into some sort of Jeff Goldblum fly concoction of fantasy uselessness. Overwork and or an injury are the only things I can think that are the problem. He is/was a semi-elite guy until the wheels fell off. So if you’re still chasing, Jared Burton and Casey Fien look to be the guys lost likely to take the helm until Perkins rights the ship…which will prolly be next year. Only two weeks to go and we will get one Bullpen Report and one more Closer Report to end the year. The last will be a souped up version with lot’s of 2015 treats and stuff. So stay tuned or don’t. Your choice.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Braun revealed he doesn’t have a thumb issue, he has a whole hand issue. Unfortch, he’s also proving to have a ‘can’t stay on the field without steroids’ issue, which is the result of a ‘steroids has broken down his ability to stay healthy’ issue that’s brought up a ‘is he really trying to get on the field’ issue that all came about when he was ‘wearing scrubs, watching his wife spit out a kid and his wife was squeezing his hand too tightly’ issue that leaves the issue, ‘will he return and do anything this season?’ Basically, Braun’s got more men’s health issues than Ricky Martin. Whether or not you drop him or just bench him comes down to who you have to replace him, but, in September, he’s hitting .200 with zero homers, and he hit .240 in August with four homers, so chances are good you can find someone better than him for the final two and a half weeks. This will definitely muddy waters on if Braun is a mannish boy or what to expect from him in 2015 fantasy baseball. Unless Lame-Ass-Busta Excuses is a category in your league, then Braun has it on lock. (Also, applies if the category is spelled Lame-Ass-Buster Excuses or simply Lame Excuses.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This late in the year, Big Head Bochy minus his monsters goes and has to be all “I am changing it back to the way it used to be when all was being drafted and confidence in February Grey was at an all-time high.” So the news that Santiago Casilla will now be in a co-starring role this late in the season just sucks for all parties involved. Sergio Romo gets back into the fray as the closer situation is all muddled now in the city by the bay. Whoa, whoa, whoa-o. Even Steve Perry hates this idea. Don’t believe me? Go ask him, as he seems like he’s over Sheila and prolly all good in the wits department. Now I can see if Casilla was pitching awfully, which he wasn’t… well not completely, but come on Bruce. You can’t do this and actually sleep at night knowing you torture fantasy line-ups the way you do, and I for one am writing a letter. No, an email, screw that a petition! You hear that Bruce? A petition… so get yourself ready, I may even sue you. Smokey smash. So if you saw the writing on the wall from this, you already had Romo stashed. Let’s see what the jumbled up rankings look like with the injuries, demotions, and the rigmarole that is involved in the Saves of Thrones.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jorge Soler arrived in the majors earlier this week like a gift from the fantasy baseball gods. Last night he went 3-for-3 with two more home runs and three more runs batted in. The 22-year-old from Cuba has come to the plate 12 times and already has seven hits, three homers, six RBIs, and a walk. Those are video game numbers and could carry a fantasy team through September. It hasn’t come out of nowhere either. Soler was always regarded as a good prospect even in the loaded Cubs system. Injuries and some makeup questions put a damper on his value earlier this year, but he quieted all that noise by raking for Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs are absolutely stacked with hitting and even if one or two of their prospects don’t reach their ceiling, they will still have more than enough firepower in that lineup. The scary part is that their players are all still so young. It’s a great time to be a Cubs fan, and a great day to be a Soler owner in fantasy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go too bonkers in September so we can all still draft him on our teams for 2015. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy baseball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Madison Bumgarner threw a near-perfect game vs. the Rockies, ending with a one hitter and 13 Ks. Tim Lincecum was the first one to congratulate him, saying, “I’ll see you in the bullpen in two months.” Then Lincecum laughed, a hallow, empty laughter and his eyes glazed with what appeared to be tears. Yesterday, Bum was so impressive that even Gattis said, “I’d bunk in a cardboard box with that Bum anytime.” Yesterday, Bum was so impressive, Brian Sabean altered Bumgarner’s contract, making him twelve years older. Yesterday, Bum was so impressive, Giants fans didn’t roll their eyes when someone had white wine with a burger. On the year, Bumgarner has a 3.02 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and is about as consistent as a starter that you can find. Oh, and he’s only 25 years old. *Homer Simpson drool* Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For some strange reason, I have the great Willie Nelson song in my head… On The Road again. Why, you ask? Because I am out perusing the great country of ours and doing fantasy football’s 32x32x32 with Nick. I may be thinking football, but my heart is in San Francisco… rather bullpens. So it was all quiet on the savedom front til recently, when some usual save stalwarts stubbed some toes. While some repeat offenders… yeah you Joe Nathan just continue to lull us into a state of perpetual eye-rolling… all of these issues are no bueno for the push to make playoffs in some formats, or those pining for the stat push in point leagues. I am personally not too worried about the married guys, they are there for good reasons; they do it all year and you have them for saves or to save not. I am more throwing my ire towards those middle guys, the Steve Cishek‘s and Rafael Soriano types who have given us decency all year and then have recently given us both ERA’s over 7 a piece the last 2 weeks. So buyer beware at this point for stat purposes with these guys they aren’t going to be replaced but the production is on the level of a doozer on light duty. Stick around for some tid-bits of knowledge or stay to just say high. [Jay’s Note: Oh… I get it.]Please, blog, may I have some more?