We started this thing like boys and four girls (but, let’s be honest, one or two of the girls are kinda manly), and we leave this season as men and four women. In March, we dazzled each other with our drafted lineups in the comments. Today, most of those people are playing fantasy football, fantasy basketball or fantasy hockey and forgetting all about their one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton, that, in their words, they were just shocked to be able to draft both. Fantasy baseball isn’t made for the water cooler like the Breaking Bad finale — holy crap! — it’s made for the vending machine, because you don’t walk away from your team to talk. You rush away to get snacks and run those snacks back to your team, so you can watch as your team accrues stats or just ‘a-screws’ you. Some of you will sit with your fantasy team’s lineup open on your desktop through November like it has been for the last six months, hoping for one more day to save your season. Some of you will just close that team lineup browser window, ripping off the Band-Aid. But even if the lineup isn’t open, the player’s names will be burned into your screen because you shut off your screensaver six months ago. You should go ahead and turn that back on, or buy a new monitor. If you won your league, the salary hours you put into your teams could’ve saved the economy. Well, eff the economy, you won bragging rights! If you won your league with Henderson Alvarez and his no-hitter, then God bless your foresight, but I wouldn’t be shocked if you were really a witch. Conspiracy Theory Alert! The Tigers are securely in the playoffs and Henderson Alvarez is in the on-deck circle. Bases are juiced with two outs. The Tigers don’t want extra innings right before the playoffs and the Marlins can’t score with a prostitute and a roofie. Leyland sends the pitching coach out and tells Putkonen throw a breaking ball to the backstop and give the kid the no hitter. Either way, what a great way to end the baseball season. A sport that you just can’t ever predict gives a guy no one would’ve predicted a no hitter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the summer of 1937, a woman went into labor. This woman’s name was Alfonsa Soriano. She was 78 years old at the time and the doctors worried she wouldn’t be able to deliver a healthy baby and she risked her own safety. The baby and the mother made it through. Unfortunately, due to her age, her skin wasn’t as elastic as a woman half her age and she walked the rest of her life like she was just jumping hurdles. Her son, Alfonso Soriano, adopted her long gait — a way to pay homage? — and it helped him later in life. He said because of his long strides, he made sneakers last twice as long because he used half the number of steps as most people. Heartwarming. Also, heartwarming is his insane season. Yesterday, he hit two more homers to bring his season total up to 32 and he now sits at 98 RBIs and 79 runs. Yeah, you were counting on that when you drafted him in the last round of your drafts, or as a late $1 flyer. Look away for the next moment if you don’t own him: on our Player Rater, he’s the 6th best outfielder! In front of him, Chris Davis, Mike Trout, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen and Jacoby Ellsbury. Right after Soriano? Carlos Gonzalez! Absolute-Lee-Eff-In-Cray-Zee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I remember as a kid trying to watch Kelly’s Heroes with my dad, and not understanding any of it. I mean, it didn’t have a Wookie. Reading over that Wikipedia synopsis, sounds a lot like Three Kings that came out almost 3 decades later. Nothing original in Hollywood anymore!
But to baseball, Joe Kelly has some heroes of his own. First there’s the Cardinals developmental system that seems to churn out pitching prospects that can throw upper 90′s faster than Hollywood sequel greenlights. Then there’s the Cardinals offense that leads the NL in runs scored by 53. Using his rag-tag unit of pitching coaches, arguably the best catcher in the game Yadier Molina, and an offense ready to give him a lead every game out, can Joe Kelly help you steal the gold in a fantasy title? I tuned into his start yesterday in Pittsburgh to break down how he looks and if he can be a wildcard contributor to your final fantasy push:Please, blog, may I have some more?
First Heyward, and now Brandon Beachy is headed to see Dr. Freeze. This is the worst back-to-back days in Atlanta since Sherman burnt Atlanta and then Home Depot decided to push back their grand opening by 100 years. If the Braves keep going like this, TBS might have to show repeats of The George Lopez Show. NOOOOOOOO!!! The caps were for emphasis, you know, in case it was lost on anyone. The last pitcher to see Dr. James Andrews and pitch again within 6 months was Lee Majors during a Battle of the Network Stars tourney, but he was bionic. I’d put five internet dollars on Beachy missing the season, but I’d hold him for now. This would obviously clear up the confusion in the rotation between Alex Wood, Paul Maholm and Kris Medlen. Or Alis Moodlen, for short, though that sounds like a guitarist for Deep Purple. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In mythology, Hector was the Trojan prince and the greatest warrior in the Trojan war. So step aside Brad Pitt, while you were fighting the undead in World War Z, Hector Santiago was in warrior mode last night as he dominated the Royals, pitching 8.0 innings, surrendering just 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 ER and striking out five for his third win. Hector could be seen rallying his team in the dugout, “Troy is mother to all of us. Fight for her!” An unorthodox approach for sure, but it worked as the ChiSox managed to score nine runs of support for Santiago. The eight innings was his longest outing of the year, and it was certainly his best, the only blip being the solo home run to Eric Hosmer in the sixth inning. Even if it was only the Royals, Hector seems to have figured things out. Since taking over for the injured Jake Peavy, Sanitago has given up just 5 ER in 19.2 IP, with 2 wins and a 19/7 K/BB ratio. Not bad for the Prince of Troy. Hector is owned in just over 30% of RCL leagues and gets the Cleveland Indians next Friday. If you’re feeling brave like a Trojan warrior I’d start him, but he’s worth the add either way. As long as Peavy is sidelined, Prince Hector should see plenty of opportunities to succeed going forward, and he will fight for your fantasy team.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On this Memorial Day, I’m left thinking about things as American as apple pie and fake-breasted women, but mostly I’m left contemplating how similar Memorial Day sounds to Michael Bay. What better way to think of our country’s great holiday, than our real-life Uncle Sam of excessive special effects-laden movies. You can make cars better than us Asia, but can you blow crap up on celluloid and make apocalyptic tripe like World War Z? So, today, go outside and wish someone a Happy Michael Bay, he’s ours. Also, ours is baseball, and a branch off of that is fantasy baseball, and a sub-section of that sub-section is hoarding prospect pitchers that are called up like Michael Wacha. First (immediately after all that other first shizz), let’s see what our prospect writer, Scott, has said about him, “Wacha’s 2012 numbers were just plain silly: 0.86 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 17.1 K/9 in 11 appearances across three levels (Rookie, High-A, Double-A). Those 11 outings, however, only tallied up to 21 IP. The Cardinals were keeping his workload light, and Wacha never worked through a batting order more than one time through. That was the only criticism, the only reason to expect regression as he stepped up to Triple-A ball this season. Well, Wacha’s done a fine job of quelling those concerns so far. If only we could quell Grey as easily.” Hey, what’s the big idea!? I’m not sure where Wacha’s Ks have been thus far in Triple-A (under a 6 K/9), but his walks have been in check (~2.5 BB/9) and he has an ERA of 2.05 in 52 2/3 IP. If he keeps his K-rate around there in the majors, he’s going to be strictly an NL-Only or 15-team mixed leagues and deeper play. But he looks closer to a 7+ K-rate guy and someone I’d grab in all mixed leagues. The upside is here for greatness; of course the downside of any rookie pitcher is here, as well. All of this is assuming the Cards officially call him up, but the word around town is they’re about to. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the words of one Champ Kind, “That’s a whaaammy!” Hanley Ramirez left the game last night with a hamstring injury in just his fourth game back from the DL with a torn ligament in his thumb. HanRam will have tests done this weekend but early signs are not good. He did that “Oww! PAIN!”-grab-the-back-of-the-leg move that Giancarlo Stanton owners are no doubt familiar with, and he needed the help of two trainers to get off the field. Manager Don Mattingly said it looked like he’ll miss “…a good amount of time,” and wouldn’t expect him back anytime soon. Don also added, “Hot damn-ley! This screws up all my plan-leys!” That makes two of us, Donny. Ramirez’s rehab for his thumb went so smoothly we should have known some doom and gloom was on the way. In addition to returning ahead of schedule and bursting with confidence (I don’t think I ever heard HanRam speaking so enthusiastically about playing, I guess leaving the Marlins can do wondrous things for morale), Hanley started out mashing right out of the gate, batting .455 with a homer and stolen base. It was too good to be true. Sure, no one thought he was Ironman-ley (III: Gandhi’s Revenge!), but this is tough luck for anyone. Hopefully owners haven’t dropped their Josh Donaldsons, Brandon Crawfords or various other replacements just yet because they could likely be without HanRam for the next 3-5 weeks, if not more.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pittsburgh Pirates 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (19) | 2010 (15) | 2009 (18) | 2008 (26) | 2007 (19) | 2006 (19)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [72-90] NL Central
AAA: [76-68] International League – Indianapolis
AA: [64-77] Eastern League – Altoona
A+: [74-63] Florida State League – Bradenton
A: [69-69] South Atlantic League – West Virginia
A(ss): [31-44] New York-Penn League – State College
The Run Down
With the first overall pick in the June draft, the Pirates selected Gerrit Cole and gave him $8 million upon signing. Although I’m partial toward Trevor Bauer – Cole’s teammate at UCLA and third overall pick in June – Cole is probably a safer option, given his projectable frame and mechanics. And while I doubt he’ll arrive before 2013, it’ll be fun to watch him destroy batters in Double-A (Cole was clocked at 102 MPH a month ago in the Arizona Fall League). In addition to Cole, the Pirates’ system has quite a few high-ceiling arms: James Taillon, Luis Heredia, and Stetson Allie all profile as frontline starters. Unfortunately, though, they’re rather far from arriving in Pittsburgh. Offensively, the Pirates’ system doesn’t have too much to be excited about for 2012. Starling Marte has great potential and could yield some fantasy value, but I’m afraid we’re still a year or two away from him being viable option. Josh Bell is probably Pittsburgh’s most promising offensive prospect, but the 19-year-old switch-hitting outfielder is a long ways off. Until Cole arrives, there’s no one draft-worthy here.Please, blog, may I have some more?