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 start of this series will focus on NL East…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Charlie Morton‘s start yesterday of 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks wasn’t incredible in itself, but other than Lenny from Laverne and Shirley when he was wearing a Lone Wolf jacket and Burgess Meredith when he broke his glasses on The Twilight Zone, nothing in this world is to itself. There’s befores and afters, causes and effects and chewy watermelon Now and Laters. Morton has now strung together six straight starts and nine of his last ten, dropping his ERA to 3.00. His K-rate isn’t particularly inspiring, but his walk rate is more than solid and his xFIP is 3.62, which tells us he’s not that far from a guy you start every time out. With all of that said, I still don’t trust him for his next start vs. the Cardinals, but then he gets the Cubs and Padres, and for those two starts, I’d absolutely gamble that Morton is worth his salt. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have a love/hate relationship with Labor Day. On one hand, I have to say goodbye to all of my white pants and seersucker sportcoats. I’m also not a big football guy, so it pains me to see my baseball mates quietly drift off into the world of fantasy football. There’s also a lot to love, though. It’s a day off from work if you’re lucky. It’s also the start of some really exciting pennant chase baseball. And last but not least, we have the expansion of MLB rosters. September gives us a chance to see some fresh faces and possibly some future stars. While none of them are likely to make a huge fantasy impact, there are a few players who have come up that could help in the steals category. Billy Hamilton is the most obvious name. He’s the guy you want if you’re going to gamble on a September call-up. There are some other names, however, that are worth a look in very deep leagues or NL/AL-only leagues. Guys like Jose Ramirez in Cleveland, Dee Gordon in LA, and Jim Adduci in Texas all have speed to offer. Like Hamilton, they’re not going to see regular playing time, so while they are fun to mix and match, they aren’t players that I would rush to add to my roster. Hamilton is the exception to the rule. His speed warrants a look even if he’s relegated to pinch-running most nights. Here are some of the best bets for stolen bases this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Taijuan Walker will start vs. the Astros on Friday. The Mariners’ front office decided if they were going to sell him for ten cents on the dollar this offseason, then it was best to give him some major league experience. Here’s what Prospect Scott had to say in the preseason, “Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. Still, Taijuan’s greatest asset is his ability to hit Grey in the head with a fastball every time I dream about it.” Hey! That snippet was obviously prior to Bundy’s injury problems. Here’s what I said the other day, “It could be roofie burnout, but I’m not interested in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues, I’d stash Walker to see if you catch a firefly in a bottle, or whatever that yokelism is. He definitely has shown great stuff in the minors (10+ K-rate) if a bit wild (4+ BB/9) in Triple-A. He will be a great pitcher, it probably won’t be this year. Think Wheeler when he was called up.” And that’s me quoting me! Well, I also lied. Kinda. I didn’t intend to lie, but he was just sitting there and I had a free roster spot… Ugh, I’m a glutton for punishment. I need serious help. Why can’t I turn down any high-upside rookie pitcher? Am I an adrenaline junkie like Keanu Reeves in Point Break? Hopefully, Walker doesn’t hang ten earned runs on my pitching line, but I’m expecting him to get Ks and have a relatively unremarkable start on Friday for earned runs and WHIP. For 2014, Taijuan is on the top of the list of guys that could be Matt Harvey 2.0, and I’ll have much more to say about him in the offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Since being traded to the Royals ten days ago, Emilio Bonifacio has seven steals – more than any player in baseball in that span. Obviously, he’s benefited from more playing time in his new home. He’s started all but one game since the trade and while he hasn’t exactly contributed much in the other fantasy categories, he’s been piling up the steals. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since the Royals are near the top of the league in both stolen bases (112) and success rate (83%). Bonifacio has always had the wheels too. Just last year he stole 30 bases in just 64 games played. His dual eligibility at second base and outfield is a huge boost to his fantasy value. This week he’ll draw the Twins and Blue Jays. The Twins are stingy against the stolen base, but Boni should have some success on the base paths against his former team later in the week. Here are some other speedsters worth a look:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Okay, sue me for Safecoexual Erasment, but I need some Erasmo Ramirez right now. Who is stopping him? Joe Saunders, The Harangutan or is it Jeremy Bonderman? Whips and chains excite me, but Bonderman does absolutely nothing for me. The tantric Mariners will eventually succumb to an Erasm. They have to. They are pleasure seekers like all of us fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). Ewww, just got the shudders talking about my mom with all of these double entendres. “Grey, your moostasha is full, but I don’t like this dirty word talk!” That’s my mom fresh off the boat from Sicily. Ramirez has an under 2 BB/9 and over 9 K/9 in Triple-A this year, and he’s not an out of the blue pitcher or without major league seasoning. Last year with the M’s, he threw 59 IP with a 3.36 ERA and an even 1.00 WHIP. There was even talk he’d start the year in the Mariners rotation, until he got injured. He’s fully healthy right now and blowing people away, biding his time for entry into the M’s rotation. Looking for that pitcher that could be this year’s Kris Medlen? Look no further! Unless, of course, you’re looking about 3 inches short of your computer screen, then look a little further. What does the Buysellatops think? It doesn’t think; it’s a dinosaur! I realize Erasmo pronounced backwards is, “I’m sorry,” but he won’t disappoint. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yasiel Puig‘s been lighting up the mainframe on the giant computer out of a bad 1950′s sci-fi movie, but he’s not the only Cuban. Leonys Martin also hails from our neighbor to the south that took up residence in Miami. Last night, he hit two homers, is hitting .417 in the last week and has a hit in each of his last ten games with 4 steals during that time. It’s the year of the Cubans, y’all! In all of their pressed hammy, mustardy, cheesy, pickley goodness. Side note: Do pickles seem like something Cubans would put in their food? Maybe Hyman Roth, but he’s not really Cuban or real, for that matter. Somewhere, ex-Cuban pitcher, El Duque, has a little extra hop in his exaggerated leg-kick that he still does, only now he does it before he cleans up tables at Chipotle. “You’re not going to finish your guac?” *leg kick* Leonys Martin should be owned in all leagues while he’s going well, and is the type of player that could have value all year if you’re patient since he could hit 12-15 homers and get 25-ish steals. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ike Davis could return next weekend. In other words, he’s moved one step closer to the plate in Metco. It only took him three months. He reminds me of myself in Little League. I was a solid .300, top of the order-type. People would marvel at how I would never strikeout. More Placido Polanco than Joey Votto, if those guys weren’t in Little League themselves at the time. Then I got beaned and I lost my nerve. Started standing five feet off the plate, not even able to reach the inside corner, and would bail out of the batter’s box as the pitcher wound up. That led me on a journey of self-discovery through girls, drugs, the falling baseball card market, fro-yo and hip-hop. So, I’m glad to see Ike has figured things out and won’t be joining the already overcrowded fantasy baseball blog market. Since there’s no mention of Ike being a scared little girl (with respect to our four girl readers), I have no idea why he didn’t just move closer to the plate three months ago. But he has now. There’s a chance he’s just as bad on recall, but I’d absolutely take a flyer on Davis if I had room in any league. A .255 hitter that could hit 20 homers (which he did last year in the 2nd half) in 3 months doesn’t grow on trees (except in remote parts of Indonesia). Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
How quickly things change. Last week, it was looking like Adam Eaton was close to returning from an elbow injury and A.J. Pollock would be the odd man out in the Arizona outfield. Well, one setback later, Pollock looks good to go as a part of the four-man Arizona outfield and he’s worth watching in deeper formats. He’ll get starts against lefties and maybe more, so he’s a guy that you’ll have to play the matchups with unless he really catches fire. Meanwhile, Adam Eaton is probably not going to do much in the way of baseball for about three weeks and probably won’t be fantasy relevant until the end of June at the earliest. He was so close to returning too. Kind of like crashing your car with one payment left. We’ll take a look at matchups for all the members of the stolen base leaderboard for Week 9. As always, all players listed are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and Sunday’s stats are not included.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This is not a drill. Eric Young Jr. should actually see steady starts in right field with Michael Cuddyer hitting the disabled list. After Helton went down we were teased by the occasional EY2 start. I may or may not have seen Grey with a Cuddyer voodoo doll in his hand and next thing I know, EY2 is the Rockies leadoff hitter and starting right fielder. He and a few others who are on page one of the steals’ leaderboards may still be available in your league. Juan Pierre, Michael Saunders, and Kelly Johnson all graduated from this list with over 50% ownership now. Hopefully they are able to contribute to their new fantasy owners instead of doing what I did when I graduated, which was sitting in my parents’ basement eating pizza rolls and hoping that today would be “PLINKO” day on The Price Is Right.Please, blog, may I have some more?