First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor. Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players. But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries. What positions are a lock? What positions are being fought over? What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
To answer your first question, no, I am not dead. Secondly, sorry to disappoint you. As we count down the days to draft and when pitchers/catchers report, it’s a virtual ‘pins and needles’ fest for some of the closer battles that could be looming. Some of these battles are going to be very interesting, ’cause battles are awesome and make fools of everyone. Let’s dive into some of those battles, shall we? The Cubs and their smoke-show of a bullpen is first and foremost. Jose Veras looks to be the guy, until Pedro Strop‘s me-mah gets all free paella for every manager named Sveum. The Orioles still really don’t have a closer, and until free agency is kaput, Tommy Hunter is the guy. And the other one to keep an eye on is Colorado… I mean my name is Smokey… so I am firmly entrenched in the bumper crop going on there. LaTroy Hawkins has been called the “closer” for now. I have a feeling that the Rockies, at some point, get all nepotistic and gives it to Rex Brothers. The last situation I would monitor is the effectiveness and trust level that Pittsburgh has with Grilli, who is getting back into the saddle. Mark Melancon is arguably the first non-definite closer for me that is draft worthy over some guys who are low on this list that have the job. So stay tuned conclusionary fans, it’s early and things are always a changin’. Like last year, I will be doing an off-week Holds post to keep all things relievers up to date.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jose Veras was traded to the Tigers, which is bad news for Veras and potentially Joaquin Benoit. It’ll likely only be bad news for Veras’s owners. My guess is Benoit will hold the job with Veras setting him up, but I would hold Veras until the Tigers confirm that through usage. It’s also potentially bad news for anyone who picks up the Lastros potential replacement, Jose Cisnero. Too bad Jose “Set The Table For The Opposing Team” Mesa retired, it sounds like there’s a Jose revival. “I can get someone to cover for me selling scratch-off tickets.” That was Jose Mesa, holding a presser at his local 7-11. Since the newest name to get some fantasy value is Cisnero, let’s be like a cyclops with a monocle and take a closer look. He’s been awful. You’d be hard-pressed like overpriced juice to find someone who has been as bad recently that could be getting saves. Since June 26th (last ten appearances), he’s given up eight runs in 8 2/3 IP. In that time, he’s allowed nine walks, nine hits and one homer. Only thing he’s not allowed is a legitimate reason to be the closer other than he’s young and the Asstros might like to try him out for next year. Another option for saves in Houston is the guys the Astros just called up, Josh Zeid and Chia-Jen Lo. Both of which sound like background extras in the cantina scene in Star Wars. Both are unproven, so likely headed for the middle innings or to see Boba Fett. Finally, there’s Wesley Wright, who sounds like the third Wright brother — the one that was scared of heights. “We’re gonna need you to put your seat in the upright position.” “You know what? You and Wilbur have at it.” That was Wesley getting off the plane right before that maiden flight. Wright is more of a lefty specialist, so he might only see a handful of saves. Then again, this is the Lastros, and there may only be a handful of saves for anyone. All in all, or whatever clunky intro you want on this sentence, I’m glad someone else beat me to the punch grabbing Cisnero. I sense a Mitchell Boggs reprise in the works, which isn’t the same as The Mitchell Boggs Reprisal that the Geneva Convention commissioned after Boggs attacked fantasy owners ratios earlier this year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So down goes a top ten guy in an off week where I talk about set-up guys. Jason Grilli is beset with a forearm strain and up steps the league leader in Holds, Mark Melancon. Melancon has been spooktacular this year, and if wasn’t owned prior to the injury then your league is hot garbage. Sorry, but truth is truth. So the pecking order in the ‘Burgh now reads like this, which really isn’t devoid of good RP this year. I see Tony Watson and Justin Wilson splitting the left-handed set-up duties and Bryan Morris and Vin Mazzaro to continue their RH dominance. If given the opportunity, Victor Black could be brilliant, so keep an eye on him. Not one guy is going to run away and garner the hold chances that Melancon has gotten to date this year so it is going to be a mish-mosh of hold chances. Also factor in that the Pirates are in some trade rumors for some end game help and the rosterability of all these guys is tough to call until we know how long Grilli is under the weather. Enjoy the week to come.Please, blog, may I have some more?
From fear that MLB would crack down on Performance-Enhancing Goggles, Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Orioles. Or was something else at work besides the Orioles wanting Dor-K to pitch the 8th, setting up Jim Johnson? Here, try this. Put your arm down, now pick it up, now put it down, now move your furry eyebrows up and down. Jim Henderson, The Muppet Master, pulls all strings. He orchestrates all. He forces Beaker to say, “Me me me me me me me.” Bit of a control freak if you ask me, but it worked out for him this time, since Henderson will be taking over the ninth inning now in Milwaukee. For those holding John Axford for saves, it could happen since he’s been solid for the last two months. The Brewers could still trade Henderson or Axford. Or the Brew Crew could send out 2014 season ticket offers reading, “Braun’s Back Without the Acne!” Only time will tell. As for K-Rod, in most redraft leagues that don’t use middle relievers, you can lose him. This did come across the wire in Baltimore, when you trade for K-Rod, then you better watch your back. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Phew! The fantasy baseball DT’s have finally subsided. It was touch-and-go for a while with many Trainspotting-like moments. Choose life. Choose a job. Choose Razzball. We are 90 games in and while I’m not so good with the math (look I spelled “boobs” on my calculator) me thinks that’s more than half-way through this fantasy season. If you were one of the lucky ones that drafted Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis or Carlos Gonzalez good for you. If you happen to own all three, I tip my turban in your general direction. But for the rest of us that drafted Jason Heyward, Matt Kemp and Brett Lawrie, we have some ground to make up. Hurry, everybody in the El Camino and let’s cruise over to the waiver wire flea market. While sifting through Mexican blankets, Blue Oyster Cult 8-tracks and old Playboys (Jaywrong, put that down! Oohh, Suzanne Somers), we might just find the player that catches fire in the second half and sends us to a fake baseball championship. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So team success helps everything, from team building exercises to a secret program that siphons money into a bank account at fractions of a penny at a time. Whatever works, works, but at the end of the day the stats are what matters. Take for example the Texas Rangers’ bullpen. The trio of Neal Cotts, Tanner Scheppers and Jason Frasor are getting it done minus the flair. They have combined for 17 Holds in the last 30 days and are tied for the AL lead in Holds with 50. Earlier in the year, I was asked the best strategy for NSVH, and I said the best way is to grab a top 10 closer and 2 middle relievers from the same team. This is why this theory makes all the sense. Take a resurgent Cotts, who has dominated batters to a BAA of .187. “It’s Murda.” Thanks Ja Rule, for having nothing else to do. Throw in Scheppers and as of late a rejuvenated Frasor and you have a nice drunk punch of goodness for a Holds factory. Holds are a streaky stat, take a look at Mark Melancon, he is still leading MLB in holds only because he had 14 thru the first 30 days. The leader since then? Hmmm I betcha I just mentioned him above… Tanner Scheppers with 8. Enjoy the week to come.Please, blog, may I have some more?
First, Erasmo returns for our rookie nookie needs, then Adam Eaton is called up to see if owning rookies can be better than Viagra. They can. I asked your grandpa. What? We talk. Adam Eaton has that built in ability to…Ugh, I just started singing Invisible Touch in my head. Phil Collins, wherever you are, you’ve polluted my mind! I love Adam Eaton like a brother I never had and never wanted, but would hang out with if I had time between telling Mom that he was wearing her clothes and doing a runway show in the living room. Eaton has 30-ish steal speed and 10-15 homer power over the course of a full season. Well, that full season went out the window with his injury, and now there’s a Native American crying because someone littered with Adam Eaton’s full season. In a half a season, he could still have a huge one. A Starling Marte-type half wouldn’t completely surprise me. That would be the absolute best case scenario. More likely, he’ll get 4-7 homers and 12-15 steals and be primed for a huge breakout next year. I’d still grab him in every single league because he’s got something you just can’t trust. Something mysterious. And now I’m falling, falling for him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy Fourth of July, unless you own Yasiel Puig, then you’re wondering if A) He’s healthy B) Where was Carlos Quentin during this? If you haven’t seen it, here’s another look of Puig crashing into the wall. Why do I suddenly want to buy a Subaru? This comes the same day he won Player and Rookie of the Month honors. That’s the first time a player has won Player of the Month honors their first month in the majors. It’s not the first time a player has won Rookie of the Month honors in their first month. If that’s surprising, you should take your medication. After crashing into the wall, Puig originally stayed in the game and he’s a cyborg, so I think he escaped without anything serious happening. Right now, he’s listed as day-to-day with a bruised hip and thigh. Let’s hope it heals quickly because I just sold my Cougar’s engagement ring for 3,000 Yasiel Puig rookie cards. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?