Here’s what I said this offseason, “Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals. This is something I don’t usually do. Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten. But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh? He’s listed at six-six and 230. He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing. Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.” With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast. (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, an idiom that never made any sense to me. If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything? It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right? I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.) Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year. If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH. He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it. A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors. With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda. Or does it?! Snap, reversed on that. No, Giolito has control too. 97 MPH with command? I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna. Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve. In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way. Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos. He could be special, and TMZ spotted Pacino shopping for eighteen-inch stilettos, so that could be a good sign.” And that’s me quoting me! He should be added in all leagues, like yesterday. To put just the tiniest bit of dampers in these happiness diapers, Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA his rookie year in 107 2/3 IP. Rookies give roofies and take your kidneys. Hashtag truth. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ugh, ranking pitchers is so annoying sometimes! You like a guy, he sucks a little, you stop liking him, he then gets better… I’m changing this to monthly rankings here on out, dammit!
OK, rant over. Don’t worry, I’ll stick with the weekly ranks. But after buying into the Anthony DeSclafani hype in the pre-season, to taking him out of my ranks, to then rank him very aggressively when he got off the DL, only to see two meh starts including a rough one against the lowly Braves, and now DeSclafani is looking good again with that wicked slider has my panties bunchier than the chocolate in Buncha Crunch. I’m having a roller coaster of emotions! I feel like Yordano Ventura on the mound, I’m coming unhinged! I watched a good bit of DeSclafani’s first start off the DL hosting the A’s and he looked pretty good, but didn’t give it my 100% undivided attention. I think for my own sanity I needed to take a look with how he pitched yesterday afternoon against the Padres, to finally have a decision on this guy… Here’s how DeSclafani’s fourth start on the year went down:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Carlos Correa is a star. A heavenly body. Out of this world. I know what you must be thinking. No, I don’t have an unhealthy obsession with him. It just says so right on his uniform. According to the internet (so it must be true), the term astro is defined as a prefix that means “star,” “celestial body,” or “outer space.” The city of Houston decided to make a noun out of this prefix and call their team the Astros in order to have a team full of “stars.” Egomaniacs! In Correa’s case though, this term would seem to be appropriate. At 17 years old, he was the #1 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Last season, just three years after being drafted out of high school, he made his MLB debut. In his ninth MLB game, Correa became the second youngest player in the last century to steal three bases in a single game (trailing Rickey Henderson by 21 days). He set a franchise record by hitting 12 homers in his first 46 games. He had more homers (13) through his first 50 games than any other shortstop in MLB history. Power, speed, plate discipline, solid defense. Correa looked like the total package. His 22 homers, 14 steals, and .279/.345/.512 slash line in his first 99 games had fantasy owners dreaming of a .300/30/30 encore. The A-Rod comps started to get circulated around various fantasy circles. Correa quickly became a consensus first round pick in 2016 fantasy drafts. Just 21 years old, and all of the skills in the world. Upside through the roof. So what’s the problem?
A player’s second season is usually one filled with adjustments, especially for one as young and inexperienced as Correa. In his first two games against the Yankees this year, he came out of the gates smokin’ hot (5/9 with 3 homers and 2 steals for a 2.111 OPS). In his next 60 games (April 7th – June 14th) however, Correa managed just a .240/.338/.371 triple slash with 5 homers and 6 steals. Ouch. That’s Brad Miller kind of production. He’s rebounded nicely over his last seven games though (.360/.484/.800). Is Correa’s recent surge a sign of things to come or a good sell-high opportunity for his owners?
Let’s take a look at Correa’s profile to determine what type of production can be expected from him during the remainder of the 2016 season:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Not sure how many of you saw it yesterday, but Terry Collins got heated in a press conference when the Mets’ PR guy wanted him to tell the media more about Syndergaard. Finally, Collins called him a puppy dog and stormed out. Now, in a move that will be sure to make even the best PR person sweat, the Mets are in final talks to reunite with Jose Reyes. The news picked up steam when management asked that the players’ wives not travel with the team. Also, Wilmer Flores better not cry if Reyes joins the team. Reyes smells the slightest weakness and he becomes a slap hitter (of recent vs. of old). So, what can we expect of Reyes if he does land on the Mets, or any team, because he will sign somewhere. Last year, in 116 games, he had 7 homers, 24 steals and a .274 average. Honestly, that’s not that bad. He can’t stay healthy, but maybe starting in July will help with that. Figure he can play 80 games, which should put him in the area of a 7-10 HRs, 17-25 SBs and a .270 average. Not terrible if you’re struggling at shortstop or MI. Maybe the Mets will say eff it and also hire Doc Gooden to cut the foul lines. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ten weeks of the baseball season are in the books. Ten weeks! The craziness at the top of our Player Rater is remarkable being over 2 months into the season. Xander Bogaerts is 4th, Ian Kinsler is 5th (!), Ian Desmond, Robinson Cano and David Ortiz round out the top 10, and Mark Trumbo, Daniel Murphy and Jonathan Villar are all in the top 20. Before the season, I would have guessed Bogaerts is the only guy on this list who could get to the top 20 this year but I wouldn’t have bet on it happening. Does that mean I’d sell high on the rest of them? Not necessarily. I’d hold onto Desmond and Villar at this point for what they’re giving at the top of their lineups. The problem is when you’re in a league with smart players like RCLs, you can’t sell high on these guys so just hold them and hope for the best; they’re still be getting predraft value with inevitable regression. But in other leagues with inexperienced people? Try to sell high on these guys before the bottom falls out. Here’s a recap of everything that’s been posted on Razzball over the last week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been a model of consistency throughout the majority of his MLB career. This has been especially true in terms of his disciplined approach at the plate. From 2012 to 2015, he led MLB in walk rate (18.8%) by a comfortable margin and was one of only two qualified players (A.J. Ellis being the other) with an O-Swing% under 20%. Simply put, if a pitch was out of the strike zone, Votto rarely swung at it. This impressive strike zone awareness resulted in him being one of only four players (including Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, and Paul Goldschmidt) to produce a .300+ batting average as well as a .400+ on base percentage during that span. This season, however, his walk (13.9%) and strikeout (26.6%) rates have regressed, hurting his usually stellar batting average (.230) and OBP (.348) in the process. The man with the precise, almost robotic approach at the plate is suddenly about as effective as R.O.B. was for the 8 bit NES back in the day. Are the 32-year-old’s skills starting to erode? Is it time to say sayonara to Mr. Votto?
Let’s take a look at Votto’s profile to see what, if anything, has changed for him this season. Here are a few observations:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Albert Almora was called up yesterday by the Cubs, and he’s the latest barely in-his-20s, big-time Cubs prospect. Albert Almora also anagrams to Barrel T. Alamo, who’d be great as a San Antonian oil man villain. “Remember my wrath, Walker, Texas Ranger! Now hand me my seersucker suit, and, yes, I’m in my underwear because I just bedded your wife and daughter together. I dig holes for a living!” So, Almora’s up while Jorge Soler mends his broken hamstring, and Almora’s ready to get all that and a cup of coffee. Or is it bring Maddon a cup of coffee? Well, he’s here for his cup of coffee. And Maddon says he’ won’t play every day. And, Part II, And There’s More!, I still grabbed him in two leagues. He’s basically a young Dexter Fowler. I will call him Dexter Chick. In Triple-A, he had 3 HRs, 10 SBs, .318 average in 55 games. He could see action here and there, and might provide a few steals. In most leagues, he’s not worth grabbing yet, unless you’re like me and can’t resist rookie nookie. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Ree,” opens the front door, walks down the driveway, says hello to my Polish neighbor, Stash, walks to the DQ, gets a Blizzard, eats said Blizzard, walks home, opens the door, says “Dick,” hits the head, not like that, comes back feeling a Blizzard lighter, does some Netflix and chill, shuts it off, says, “You,” brushes teeth, gets into bed, moves arm over Cougs, hears about her splitting headache, rolls over and says, “Lus.” That’s right, in honor of Mookie Betts, I just did the most ridiculous ridiculous call ever. You earned that shizz, you madman! I’d count the ways I love this man, but like a savant Blackjack dealer I can only count up to 21. After his three-homer game yesterday, Betts (3-for-5, 5 RBIs, 10th, 11th, 12th homers) now has those twelve homers to go with eight steals, a .283 average and is on pace for 115 runs and 85 RBIs. Don’t make me do another ridiculous ridiculous call, cause if you want me to, I will. Oh, and with what he’s doing, it’s not even inconceivable that he keeps up this pace. His BABIP (.290) is actually below his career average (he’s getting unlucky!), his fly ball percentage is down (he could be hitting more homers!) and he hasn’t been caught stealing once (so steal more!). You are witnessing the emergence of a perennial first rounder. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You flip through your cassette singles. You pop in James Ingram’s Just Once cassette single, but decide that’s better to play right after taking the love of your life for an abortion. You then pop in the In Your Eyes cassette single, but it feels too Say Anything. You then pop in the Always & Forever single you played on the way to prom, and it…feels right. You take your boombox and place it on your shoulder, Luther Vandross plays obnoxiously loud if Vandross could ever be obnoxious, but you decide he can’t be. The song gets to the end and you flip it over to play the Always & Forever house remix. Yet, this whole time, Matt Harvey‘s Buy Low Window stays shut. You wonder why it won’t open again, and sigh. It’s now shut because yesterday Matt Harvey went 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA down to 5.37. Looks like the slider returned with his velocity. Last week I said I didn’t think his problems were unfixable, yesterday he showed they weren’t. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Junior Guerra has a backstory that puts the odd in odyssey. The Braves signed him as a 16-year-old catcher out of Venezuela. In 2006, he had position reassignment surgery and became a pitcher. As a herbathrowdite in Georgia, bathrooms and strike zones were hard to find, so he was released. He found courage from the support group, “PAC IO,” which is Pitchers And Catchers Input/Output, and tried his hand at Independent leagues. Eventually, he played in Mexico, Spain, and Italy. In Italy, it was especially difficult to be a pitcher because every time a hitter came up to the plate a large, mustachioed woman umpire would say, “Guerra, you hafta throw the meatballs. C’mon, the hitter’s starvin’ over here.” And Guerra’s cheeks would constantly be pinched. But, miraculously, Robin Ventura found him in Italy, while mistakenly thinking that’s where Jim Rome taped his show, and signed him. Of course, the White Sox had no place for Guerra, and his journey took him to Milwaukee, allowing him to be the first person with an Italian stamp on his passport in Milwaukee since Arthur Fonzarelli. Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks to move his record to 3-0. He’s touched 99 MPH with his fastball, averaging around 92-95 and has a split-finger change that falls off the map like an explorer in the 1400’s. Is he more than a streamer? Hard to say at this point. He will get strikeouts and faces the Braves next so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and grab him for that start. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?