The Winter Meetings concluded day two yesterday at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.  Seen at the Gaylord so far was the best free agent starter (Rich Hill) signing, one of the best closers available (Mark Melancon) signing, and Curt Schilling protesting that the Gaylord Resort should not be allowed to marry.  “Is it going to start calling a lobby ‘Bobby’ and adopt a baby too?”  That’s Curt Schilling with his own special brand of crazy. With Giants’ signing of Mark Melancon, I’m saddened to remember all the good times I had over the past few years with the Giants’ bullpen.  Here’s those times condensed into a single run-on sentence, “I can’t believe I drafted Santiago Casilla, ugh, maybe I’ll back him up with Sergio Romo, oh man, that hurts just as bad, fine, I will grab Hunter Strickland, and he’s killing me too.”  Scene.  Yeah, those times, in theory at least, are behind those owning the Giants’ new closer, Melancon.  For 2017, I’ll give Melancon the projections of 4-1/2.26/0.97/58, 42 saves in 62 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Brian Dozier went 3-for-4, 4 RBIs with two homers (11, 12).  Dozier’s quietly had a great June (7 HRs, near-.350), after having a miserable May (2 HRs, .215) and an atrocious April (3 HRs, .191).  Who knows what July holds?  Which sounds like the title for a piece of art done by Daniel Johnston.  Let’s see, Daniel Johnston describing Dozier.  “June is Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  If I ever thought I could be happy, it was from Dozier.  Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  Oh!  That rock and roll!  It saves my soul!  Owning Dozier in June, it must’ve been a happy time, Kool Aid flowing like wine, the bubble gum, forever-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever after!  Now I will get on a random bus in Austin and ride to New Mexico.”  Oh, Daniel Johnston, you were taken from us way too soon.  *sees he’s still alive*  Okay, moving on.  So, Dozier has turned his season around and is close to the same pace as his previous season stats (28 HRs, 12 SBs).  Moreover, Dozier has cut his Ks by a lot, so he could hit for a better average this year (.250 vs. .235).  Daniel Johnston might be onto something.  About fun, fun fun not about getting on random buses.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You wanna know frustration?  Of course, you do.  You play fantasy baseball!  We’ve chosen a hobby that is the least relaxing hobby possible.  May as well have a hobby of picking cheese off mousetraps.  If the mousetrap doesn’t smash your finger, you win.  What do you win?  A virtual trophy!  Oh, and bragging rights.  Awesome!  Okay, wanna really know frustration?  Wait to see how Dusty uses Trea Turner upon his call-up.  This is gonna be so fun!  Will Lloyd’s of London insure the ulcers of all Trea Turner owners?  Yesterday, he was called up to replace Ryan Zimmerman, who went on paternity leave.  So, unless Zimmerman’s wife takes as long as he does to get hot, I’m assuming Zimmerman will be back in three days tops.  At that point, Turner will stay with the club and play, stay and get benched or get demoted again.  If he stays with the club, do you think Dusty is going to play him over Espinosa?  Well, he could.  I guess.  “So, how do you play this mousetrap game again?”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Justin Upton was one of this offseason’s prized free agents, and with good reason. He’s shown the ability to hit for power (.200+ ISO and 26+ homers in each of the last three seasons), get on base (.348 career OBP), and even steal a few bags (18 or more SBs in five out of the last seven seasons). At 28 years old, the odds were pretty good that there were still a few productive seasons left in the tank. The Detroit Tigers pounced on the fresh meat and decided to lavish a six year, $132.75 million contract upon Upton in January. Thus far, the carcass of this Upton has been more rancid than the ones described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle over a century ago. J-Up has managed to produce a measly .213/.259/.319 batting line with just 3 home runs, 1 stolen base, 22 runs, and 11 RBI through the first two months of the season. Eduardo Nunez and Coco Crisp have hit more homers. Renowned speedsters Buster Posey and Mike Napoli have swiped more bags. Backup catchers David Ross and Bobby Wilson have driven in more runs in a fraction of the at-bats. Umm… what in the blue hell is going on here? Is Upton washed up already? Is there any hope for a turnaround?

Let’s take a look at Upton’s profile to see if there’s hope for a rebound. Here are a few observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Felix Hernandez hit the DL with a calf strain.  He could veal it during his last start.  Sounds like a good injury to milk.  Sorry, I was just shaking out the pockets of these jeans I wore last night and I had a bunch of unused cow puns.  What’s a dad cow’s poop called?  Pa-nure!  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours!  So, James Paxton was called up to replace F-Her, who is likely going to only miss a few weeks, but Paxton could continue to get starts if he’s good.  So, can Paxton be good?  Is there’s twelve posts in post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-hype sleeper?  Paxton has shown flashes of brilliance with his 94 MPH fastball but the M’s have wanted Paxton to improve on a bunch of pitches and he’s already 27 years old, so is improvement coming?  Well, he had a 3.97 ERA in Triple-A this year and Steamer projects him as a streamer, so I have no faith whatsoever.   Speaking of faith, yesterday Paxton gave up runs like his character gave out marriage proposals.  Looking at his line is like looking at Chloe Sevigny — 3 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 unearned runs.  Paxton’s like when Picasso stood up from the toilet.  He’d look down and say, “That’s a work in progress.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…

I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winningMatt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!

We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s embarrassment and then there’s having to cover in detail a fantasy baseball league you’re nearly dead last in. So begins our first monthly update on the in house dynasty league “The RazzNasty”. For those of you that are new here, “The RazzNasty” is a Razzball founded dynasty league made up of Razzball writers, readers, commenters, and Methodists! It’s a 16 team roto with semi-weekly adds/drops via blind auction. We have 30 man MLB rosters and 10 man minor league rosters. Since we last updated you in early March there’s been a flurry of activity including trades, wire adds, a second commissioner switch, and a banana or two in the tailpipe. So yes it’s more or less high stakes Mario Kart.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fret not, Razzball nation. The wait is almost over. As of today, we’re now just three short days away before the official start of the MLB regular season. Pretty soon, you won’t be refreshing your fantasy team’s live stats page and wondering why DeShields hasn’t stolen a base yet. They’re coming! In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at one of the most surprising rookies from the 2015 season, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the bear/bull series, here’s the deal. Each week, I’ll be highlighting a different fantasy-relevant player and creating a framework of where that player is trending in fantasy terms. After some background analysis, number crunching, and sometimes even a player comp or two, I’ll reveal whether I’m bearish (pessimistic) or bullish (optimistic) on the near future of the player in question. So essentially a one player buy/sell. Dig it? Awesome. Now let’s take a look at this week’s player under the microscope…

Please, blog, may I have some more?