Yesterday, Noah Syndergaard admitted to having an elbow bone spur after denying it multiple times.  Terry Collins said, “No one would know our business if it wasn’t for giving the PR job to a puppy dog!  Ruff ruff!  Come here, Fido, I wanna spank you with a rolled up newspaper!”  This is the 2nd Mets’ starter in two days with elbow spurs.  I look forward to the opening round of the playoffs when all of the Mets’ starters are wearing Iron Mike Sharpe elbow pads to hold their arms together.  Or they hire John Cusack to marionette their starters.  So, this is obviously not good news from Syndergaard, but it’s also not the end of his season.  He could opt for surgery if he’s in pain, but he says he’s not in pain (though, he also said he didn’t have elbow spurs up until yesterday).  Jon Lester has pitched through elbow spurs for the last five years.  It’s not uncommon for starters to power through.  Would I look to sell Syndergaard low?  No.  If you can get a healthy, similar starter, then sure, why not?  No reason to panic.  Unless Syndergaard starts wearing cowboy boots on his elbow.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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You know how they have pink bats for Mother’s Day?  They should have bats in the shape of penises for Father’s Day.  “Ooh, a swing and a miss.  Damn, he had that schlong just out in front of that ball.”  “You know socialism never worked, but penises have worked for thousands of years, depending on what interpretation of the Bible you ascribe to.”  “Wow, what size bat is David Ortiz using?”  Happy Father’s Day to all of our readers minus five ladies!  Yesterday, for Dad’s Day, Julio Teheran showed us Americans how they do it in Iran on Father’s Day.  Teheran #1 — ptooey everyone us!  His line was 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 7 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.66.  I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that Teheran is worth picking up.  He’s obviously not this good.  His xFIP is 3.97, but his walk rate is down from last year and his ground balls are up, not literally.  Other than last year, he was a consistent low-3, high-2 ERA guy, and he looks like he found his way back there.  By the way, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, agreed, we should not allow any university lacrosse teams access to the penis bats.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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You see that old rocking chair in the corner? That’s me, mister reliable.  Made of wood and literally been around these parts since the dawn of time. I may not be the smartest fella, or the fartest smeller either, but I dig baseball.  I get the stats and the hub-bub surrounding the intricacies of deeper stats.  Relaying them in a manner that makes sense on paper and conveying them to you in a way that makes us all put away our Casio calculator watches is my style.  This report covers similarities from what I touch on the regular in my bullpen post, so for the normalcy of life, I will add some of my usual middle relief spice into the streaming world of stolen bases.  Sound good, grand glad we could agree.  Rostering established stolen base guys is all well and good, but is a better feeling when you stream an option and he gets one that wasn’t normally accounted for.  Kinda feels like stealing, in the actually stealing sense and not just in the statistical sense.  The world of streaming swipes is becoming harder and harder as stolen bases are a stat best left for the dudes hitting dingers. The more a pitcher lets players get on base with SB opportunities, the increase for SB’s grows… sometimes. This is my first attempt at this post, so I am starting it my own way. So let’s look at this weeks options to stream stolen bases and the trends for which to follow for streaming ideas.  Cheers!

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Devin Mesoraco was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his shoulder after missing most of last year with a torn labrum in his hip.  My Latin may be off, but I believe tearing two labrums means severe vagina pain.  The last thing he’ll want to do is be squatting.  Devin Mesoraco now has more torn labrums than Nadia Comaneci.  This torn labrum finally gives Mesoraco an alibi to his ugly.  If he were going to get a torn labrum of somewhere, I would’ve thought it was his most prominent feature, his sunken eyes.  Uncle Fester called, he wants his face back!  Tucker Barnhart (1-for-4, 1 run, hitting .298) will take over the catcher duties for Mesoraco.  Barnhart has 3-homer power, so he’s not recommended outside of leagues that are Cousteau deep.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It might surprise you to learn that a catcher was the most added player in ESPN leagues last week. That’s right. A catcher. You’re probably thinking that it’s some hot prospect who looks like the next coming of Mike Piazza. In that case, you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s actually 30-year-old journeyman catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty’s smacked 6 homers in just 48 plate appearances this season, which has some fantasy owners dreaming of a cheap 20 homers from their recent waiver wire find. He has hit 25 homers in a season before (2012), and power has never been an issue for Salty. What has been an issue is making consistent contact. He’s one of 11 players in MLB history (min 2000 PA) with a 30+% K% in his career, and his 32.4% K% since the beginning of the 2014 season is the 3rd highest in MLB over that span (min 600 PA) behind only Mike Zunino and Tyler Flowers. This season, he has a 37.5% K% and his early power outburst is largely due to a 33.3% HR/FB (career 13.8%). Same old Salty. Enjoy the hot streak but don’t get too attached. Too much Salty will give you high blood pressure.

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

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a fantasy baseball season.  I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I recommend starting a hitter vs. Jake Arrieta and pray.  I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am Bartolo Colon and you will never understand how I get on these pants.  1, 2, 1, 2, 3.  Yeah.  I was working part-time in a five-and-dime, my boss was Willie McGee.  U got the look.  Jesus, McGee, that look.  Twenty-three positions in a one night stand.  Twenty-three positions in a very deep league fantasy team.  Who’s my short-second-short-1st baseman?  Why do we scream at each other?  This is what it sounds like when David Price’s owners cry.  “Sorry to hear about Chyna,” said the ghost of Farrah Fawcett.  Arrieta, you got the batter’s fly balls all tied up!  Don’t make the outfielders chase you!  Even doves have pride.  Why do we scream at each other when we don’t own Jake Arrieta?  So, Arrieta threw a no-hitter yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 BBs, 6 Ks.  Rather economical pitch count too (119).  Member when we were able to own him last year by drafting him in the 8th round?  Alas, he’s a Sexy M.F. and I would die 4 U.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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My pain is self-chosen
At least, so the prophet says
I could either burn
Or cut off my pride and buy some time
A head full of lies is the weight, tied to my waist

That is quite the downer, isn’t it? Makes you want to jump out of the nearest window. Welcome to the saves game! It is the river of deceit. I can’t believe I went with a “grunge” title today, but I missed Sky this offseason. [Jay’s Note: The Emo King, to rule them all!] Mad Season is the inspiration today, as the saves game is the most emotionally painful part of the fantasy season. Well maybe “can be” the most painful would be more apt for this discussion. So in the spirit of classic me and using the song titles of Mad Season’s other bands, I will say this in hyper link glory. The closer game in the shadow of the season is a state of love and trust that hopefully signals it’s over now… in a good way. I went almost full unplugged there. So friggin’ 90’s. Enough of that decade, let’s move into today.

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True Story Alert!  Socrates Brito used to pause the Diff’rent Strokes credits for Dana Plato’s title card and would argue with the screen, calling himself a Socratic method actor.  This drove his family crazy.  For many years I’ve spouted off like Tom Selleck’s sprinkler the need to ignore spring training stats.  You should only concern yourself with injuries and position battles.  With that in mind, Brito is winning a position battle with Yasmany, leaving Yasmany baffled, “Do you people just want an outfielder with a long-flowing beard?  Is that what this is about?  What’s the argument for Socrates?  Am I making an argument for Socrates by annoying you with questions?  Is this table still blue to a blind person?”  In the top 80 outfielders, I added in Socrates into the Brendan Dassey tier.  Appropriate that he’s in the Brendan Dassey tier because if there’s any justice, there will be Socrates.  In Double-A, Socrates had nine homers and 20 steals, and Yasmany looks to be headed into the same Cuban abyss as Rusney Castillo and that guy that played Tony Montana’s buddy, Manny.  For 2016, I gave Socrates the projections of 56/7/47/.264/18 in 410 ABs, and if your league counts arguments with Plato, he has added value.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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The late rounds of most fantasy baseball drafts are typically filled with mediocre veterans and low percentage lottery tickets. “Maybe Jered Weaver has another sub-4.5 ERA season left in his arm. Is Max Kepler likely to be called up before the all-star break?” That’s you weighing your options in the last round of your draft. Pretty uninspiring, aren’t they? There is another group of players that is more likely to have an immediate impact on your fake team during the upcoming season – the post-hype players. These are the guys who showed promise at one point in their careers but lost some their shine due to underperformance or durability issues. Erasmo Ramirez is the type of player who falls into this group.

When trying to identify potentially undervalued starting pitchers, there are a few key things that I always look for. Notice that I specified undervalued players, since the hard-throwing, high strikeout artists (Syndergaard, Harvey, Sale, Strasburg, etc.) and the young “sleeper” types who are generally perceived to have high ceilings (Walker, McCullers, Rodon, Iglesias, etc.) don’t necessarily fit that description. So if velocity and K-rate are de-prioritized, what’s left to focus on?

There are a few other traits/skills that are worth emphasizing as far as starting pitchers are concerned. These include the abilities to:

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If I told you this post ends our position 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, would you believe me?  What if I told you it while holding your mom’s hand while calling you son, would you believe it more or less?  Man, you got issues!  So, yes, this is the end of our positional rankings, but I’ll be along tomorrow with a top 100 and then a top 500.  That’s right, 500!  Like a baller!  There’s also our Steamer projections for all hitters and pitchers.  All of the fantasy baseball auction values are also up for over 1500 players.  There’s a ton of different formats located there too, like the 5×5 OBP rankings, 6×6 OBP rankings, 6×6 Holds and a ton more.  All of my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted in this post.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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