To make sure I don’t miss any player in my rankings, I go through every team’s depth charts and I go through every eligible player who is projected for at least one at-bat by Steamer.  After I looked through the players with at least one at-bat at 2nd base, I vomited in my mouth, then spit said vomit onto the ground and it spelled out, “Gnarly.”  My vomit is right.  2nd base is not a pretty position.  Shortstops got younger in the last year and some guys are coming to make it even better.  The top 20 1st basemen wasn’t straight gorge, but there was plenty of talent there from veterans.  The top 20 catchers are always ugly, but these top 20 2nd basemen are giving the catchers a run for their money.  There’s only three guys with legit 20-homer power and three guys with easy 20-steal speed.  One that will hit .300 and zero that will get 100 RBIs.  I don’t know what happened to the latest crop of 2nd basemen, but I have a theory.  Twelve years ago, when these 2nd basemen were learning the position, their role model was Bret Boone.  Boone used to frost his hair blonde, so all the kids learning 2nd base at that time, frosted their hair too.  Then their friends beat the crap out of them, and that was the end of all future 2nd basemen.  Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2016 fantasy baseball.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included for the low, low price of zero dollars.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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ss2

Despite a season of disappointment and injury, Stephen Strasburg won me my points league championship. As one of my keepers coming into this season, I was excited for the potential of a Cy Young campaign. Instead what I got was a season of heartache and despair as he spent more time on my bench than he did in my lineup. In his last three starts however Strasburg threw a total of 23 innings, striking out 37 batters, walking 3 and yielding only 2 earned runs. During that three game stretch he scored 103 fantasy points for an average of 34.33 points per start. I’m happy when I get 25 points from a start. Just when I thought I had my keepers figured out for next season, Strasburg has to go and do this and put his name solidly back into the mix. On a side note, a few weeks back I suggested he grow a Bumgarner-like beard in hopes of helping him find his lost ways. Instead he seems to have shaved himself clean and I am thrilled with the result it has had on his performance. I just re-read that sentence and it can certainly take on a different meaning.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
It was the age of 60-day DL moves,
It was the age of activations and promotions,
It was the epoch of balancing playing time options,
It was the epoch of dropping part-time players

Unless you’re playing in a head-to-head league, moving your ratio stats ahead of the other teams is tough with only two weeks remaining. With that in mind, this week’s version of the injury report is all about next year’s possibilities.

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The original title Rudy suggested was, Love Is To Own Lindor, but Rudy tells me that title only makes sense to people forced to watch Frozen 5+ times.  Let it go…Let it go…Let it go…  I just sang that in perfect key and it still caused a cat to screech and paint to peel.  Luckily, I don’t have a kid, a cat or paint.  Let’s count the ways I love Francisco Lindor.  *five minutes later, makes farting sound with hand in armpit*  And that’s it!  Oh, yeah, I should count the ways I love him aloud so you can hear.  Fair enough, you nitpicker, you.  Yesterday, he hit his 9th homer (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), topping off a week when he was hitting over .400, a month when he’s hitting over .340, a 2nd half when he’s hitting over .350 with 7 homers and 7 steals.  He’s only 21 years old.  At 21 years old, you fell asleep on a couch outside of your local bar waiting to talk a girl that you think might have been interested, only waking after a passing bus splashed a puddle of your own vomit onto you.  Guys and five girl readers, he has 9 homers in 82 games (essentially a half a season) and he has 30-steal speed.  I just got goose pimplies.  To emphasize them, I’m drawing little goose faces on my pimples like those psychopaths draw on grains of rice.  Yes, you should own Lindor on your teams for this year, and I can’t wait to draft him in sixteen after twenty.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, I was watching the Twins game and I fell asleep and had a dream that Razzball’s Twitter account got one of those blue check marks.  I’m not sure what this says about my fantasies, but it says something about Tyler Duffey and the Twins.  They lack a certain je ne sais Michelle Kwan.  The Twins seem to do this on purpose.  Very workmanlike.  Like a Minnesota woman who would handily beat me in an arm wrestling match.  Pun noted.  I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I picture the women looking like Jesse Ventura when he used to wear feathers in his hair and leotards.  As with just about every Twins pitcher since Radke, minus Liriano and Johan, Duffey is yet another Twins hurler that has solid control and okay, not great strikeouts.  Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Tigers, and had a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A with a 7 K/9.  I don’t see any huge upside here and is better in real life, which apparently the Twins play in.  The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, but I would start him if I needed to gamble.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks.  I took some guff in the preseason for being down on Tanaka, in the non-sexual way.  I projected him for the line of 10-4/3.49/1.15/150.  His line right now is 11-6/3.57/1.01/125.  Yeah, I was waaaaaaaaay off.  Multiple A’s to allow time for an eye roll.  Kids write me letters and say, “Unkie Grey, how did you know what Tanucky (sic) would do so mediocrely?”  My answer is always the same, I’m a witch.  Then I continue, “No, that’s just a broom.  Male witches ride around on Vespas.”  Tanaka was an easy person for me to avoid this year due to his elbow tendon.  For 2016, sadly, I don’t see my enthusiasm changing.  Or at any point for him until he has surgery, rehabs for 12-16 months and then returns.  I wish he would, because I would like to get excited about him, but it’s just not gonna happen, said like Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush.  Now, excuse me, I double-parked my Vespa on Sandoval’s foot.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 31st homer and, like, his 12th homer in the past week.  Doode’s straight combustible heat.  Like a fatty steak on the grilling heat.  Uh-oh, I feel my rap altar ego, B-Fire, coming on.  Cannot stop the blaze.  Like a Scottish sheep, I can’t stand here, I gotta graze.  Between Monday and Tuesday is a hidden day called Muesday, between Monday and Sunday is all Grey’s days.  I watch a Merchant-Ivory period flick with my piece, because I’m strapped and going through a phase.  Shh, it’s my Victorian secret.  Whomp, there’s another Yoenis hit.  Cepedes is so on-lock it’s like he’s got a hundred legs all stuck in tar pits.  For my Def Poetry Jam audition tape, this I will submits.  I liked About Schmidt, but why Kathy Bates gotta get out of the tub naked with her flabby– Nah, I need to quit.  So, on the year, Yoenis has a line of 93/31/92/.298/7 and is nearly top five for all players on our Player Rater, not just top five outfielders, and, for 2016, it’s going to be real hard to knock him down much past the 2nd round.  Unless, of course, the Padres get their grubby mitts on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Matt Harvey did a 180 on his 180.  This weekend he announced that he’s not pitching past 180 innings.  Come rain, come shine, come playoffs.  Then, when met with a huge backlash, he reverted course to say he will not pitch past 180 innings in the regular season, so he can pitch in the playoffs.  Somewhere, Nolan Ryan is cackling like a mad man (though, after he cackles, his arm falls off and he needs to Crazy Glue it back on).  I don’t have anything personally against Harvey’s decision, but, to announce it yourself, it comes off like a selfish decision.  PR 101, have the team announce it.  And, don’t, whatever you do, have your agent announce anything, especially while Boras is wearing that horned costume with the pitchfork.  Or maybe I just saw a picture doctored by a Mets fan.  This is not at all surprising.  He’s coming off of Tommy John surgery.  He should be shut down at some point.  Glad to hear he’s pitching in the playoffs, those innings won’t count towards his innings count for next year.  Of course, I’m being sarcastic.  None of this bodes well for how much I’ll like Harvey next year, since I prefer pitchers to get babied, but I guess this won’t be an issue if the Mets are bounced early in the playoffs.  Let’s go Dodgers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Did you ever wonder why, back in your school days, that there was no “E” grade? What happened to “E”? The apparent reason for the lack of an “E” grade is because most systems are based on four passing grades. “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. After these passing grades come failure, and since failure starts with the letter “F”, “F” is used to denote a failure. It’s really quite simple. It just happens to be that “F” is the sixth letter, but had it been the tenth or even the last, an “F” would still be used to let you know that you just flunked. Someone who fails is a failure. Does that make someone that flunks a flunky? I actually had a teacher one year, I think it was the 7th grade, that incorporated “E” into his grading system. It was actually higher than an “A”, if that makes sense, and stood for “excellent”. I always thought that was an A+. I’m pretty sure that teacher was a major pothead. I liked him. I had an entirely different teacher that had a completely different set of grades that included an “E”. In this class it stood for “exceeds expectations”. There was no “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F”. Instead we had “E”, “M” and “N”. The latter two standing for “meets expectations” and “needs improvement”.

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I must say, I don’t believe in curses, hexes, jinxes or whatever you may call it, but this season is rapidly descending into a Euripides level of despair for me. As I look at my various rosters being struck with injuries and my place in the standings perpetually falling, I’m already looking ahead to next season. With another round of injuries comes another round of drinks. Misery loves company, right?

Jeremy Hellickson, D-Backs: A strained left hamstring forced the club to shelve Hellickson for a time, as the right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to August 19. The 28-year-old has had an up an down season, and I’ve been bamboozled by his strong 10.6 percent swinging strike rate not translating to a better strikeout rate. His SwStr% is tied for 25th out of 88 qualified starters, however his 7.47 K/9 ranks 38th and 19.1 percent K% comes in at 50th. I’ve been holding out hope Hellboy could get his K-rate to match his whiffs, but for now we’ll have to wait at least until the first week of September to see him back in action.

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