Jorge Soler is likely done for the year with a strained oblique.  This is one of those injuries that comes with a sigh of relief.  Yay, I don’t have to keep running Soler out there and being disappointed.  Disappointment, you are the mistress of expectation, aren’t you?  Soler fascinates me in a car crash that you rubber neck while you pass sorta way.  Here’s a preseason tweet from Peter Gammons, “John Mallee (Cubs hitting coach) says Jorge Soler hasn’t swung at a pitch out of the strike zone all spring.  Scary good.  May be best of Cubs lot right now.”  Cubs committed to playing him, and, by the end of the year, you had to wonder if they should’ve just been committed.  If his year is over, he ends with 7 HRs, 3 SBs and a .265 average in 278 plate appearances.  Worse (yeah, it can get worse), his strikeout rate zoomed, and not in the fun way like Aretha Franklin’s zooming.  On our Player Rater, he was about as valuable as Will Venable, Brandon Moss and Jeff Francoeur.  Or make that, as craptastic as those guys.  In 2016, Soler will be one of those guys that goes in the 150 range that could be as valuable as Pollock this year, or as valuable as the Pollock that parked so close to your car you couldn’t get in your door and needed to climb through the trunk, knock down the backseat and crawl through to the steering wheel.  Time, not the magazine, will tell.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Google defines disappointment as “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations”. So far in 2015, I define disappointment as Ian Desmond, Victor Martinez, Jonathan Lucroy, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Soler.

In 447 plate appearances Ian Desmond might have 14 home runs and 9 stolen bases, but he also has 128 strikeouts, a .223 batting average and a pathetic 135 points. Spread over 19 weeks, that’s an average of 7.1 points per week. That’s shit! There’s just no sugar coating it. His points per plate appearance is 0.308, which among batters with at least 300 plate appearances, is the third worst. Only Michael Bourn (0.279) and Addison Russell (0.296) are lower. So aside form this, what makes Desmond such a disappointment? In points leagues he had an average draft position (ADP) of 61 as the fourth shortstop to be taken. I would say the fact that he is the 28th ranked shortstop and most certainly should not be owned is more than enough reason.

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For the third time in his brief but illustrious career, Mike Trout, the one they call the fish, has produced dongage [Jay’s Note: What word is that Tehol?] on his born day. He’s still well short of my record, as I’ve now delivered dongage on 25 consecutive birthdays, including a quad-donging back in 1999. Maaaaan, you really should have seen me in my prime, downing two dozen raw oysters a day, along with a set of steel flutes that would make Van Damme do splits, and had me delivering dongage like Barry Bonds on the juice… But enough about me, I’m just filling in for Dan Pants and Grey the Elder God, and since Grey titled my first ever Razzball post “The One They Call the Fish,” I thought it only right to pay homage to my one true savior and favorite writer. Grey must be busy trying to track Domonic Brown down for an interview for the podcast he’s never invited me on. Laaaaawd, that boy is hotter than fish grease and carrying me on his broad shoulders as we speak (write?). Anyway, here’s what else I witnessed yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I went out on my annual mid-season man-date with Grey this past Friday. What a day! Sandwiches at the wine shop, facial hair products at the beauty supply store, and coffee at some weird fancy hipsteresque spot. I think the guy at the coffee spot wanted to kill the two of us because we were harassing him for not having any alternative sweeteners for my diabetic arse. No matter what we said to him, he just kept responding with, we only have our raw organic fair trade artisanal sugar syrup. He was Mets-front-office annoying. You might be asking yourself why am I telling you all this. Well, at Grey’s suggestion, I have added in the DL players to gain some perspective into what they are worth compared to the healthy players for the rest of the season. Earlier in the year I left them out to get more players on the list, as I was figuring out how I wanted to take on the rankings. Like many of you know, this list got dropped on my lap right before the season started and I have been learning on the fly how to approach this. This is FOH’s list!

Note: I mentioned in the RCL Update this week that I would be out on vacation. The Big Magoo handled the Creeper of the Week, and I will be in and out of the comments today. I’ll also be getting some help from my co-workers so we don’t leave you guys… and girls hanging. VinWins! will be covering the RCL Update for me on Tuesday. Thanks guys for helping me while I’m out. *hugs screen*

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Here’s a prospect post that even a redraft leaguer can love. At Razzball there are a lot of great tools, but the one I use the most when looking at potential trades or player acquisitions is the player rater. It’s basically a way to evaluate players based on Steamer’s projections for the rest of the year. What makes it particularly useful is the fact that it’s also updated daily by Rudy to account for playing time changes, lineup changes, injuries, etc. I thought it would be fun to look at how our rookies are faring in the machine. I found 54 players in the rater who were under the 130 AB/50 IP cutoff to start the year. Then I sorted into three subcategories for the hell of it. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of names (hopefully no big ones) and there’s probably nothing incredibly enlightening to glean from this (Correa is good at baseball and projects to be good at baseball in the second half…thanks Mike!). But…there were some surprises for me when I gathered it together. At any rate, hopefully it spurs some discussion and provides a snapshot for the massive wave of quality prospects we’re seeing reach the majors in 2015.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Who is the Dodgers ace?” asks the Fox Sports newscaster in Los Angeles, after the special report on “Where are the stars shopping for their Emmy gowns?” and “Juicing? Is it good for you?” and “A high-speed pursuit ends in an In-N-Out drive-thru,” and “Actresses over 24 years old may not be washed up after all,” and “Shopkeeper puts up sign to ‘Vote Republican’ and gets looted.” So, who is the Dodgers ace? On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners with 14 Ks, ERA down to 2.68. My Magic Eight Ball says this is the year the Dodgers hop on Kershaw’s back, march through the playoffs and justify every crackers move Mattingly’s done in his managerial career. Sometimes knowing the future really bums me out. Not to be outdone, on Sunday, Zack Greinke went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners with 11 Ks, and lowered his ERA to 1.30. Soon he won’t be able to lower his ERA anymore (math is my strong suit). I’m totally done doubting Greinke…or am I?! No, not the ellipsis reversal! Ah! As I ranked in the top 100 for the 2nd half, Kershaw is way above Greinke in terms of, well, everything. Greinke is also not a 1.30 ERA pitcher, but no one really is, except maybe Kershaw. Greinke is definitely a number one though; this isn’t all luck. He has a 8+ K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 3.05 xFIP, which is essentially nice, aw sooky, nice. A “nice aw sooky” sandwich, if you will. Then there’s the fact that Greinke hasn’t allowed a run in 43 2/3 IP. Orel Hershiser doesn’t scoff at that, maybe he yawns, then does a small double take when no one is looking. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I sat down Friday night and started watching Shark Tank for the first time. Wow, have I been missing out on a beautiful reality show. No B.S., I have been binge watching it all weekend. I know, I know, Grey has been pimping this reality masterpiece for years. Grey, you were right and I won’t doubt your reality lotharioness ever again. This show got me thinking about how I choose my creeper and how in some ways that I am the shark. I’m looking at numbers and schedules every week to buy the creeper. Based on the arguments in my head, I choose my player to invest in. Pretty easy. Now, what would you guys… and girls think of this new concept I thought of yesterday while chatting with Grey? Each week next season, instead of one contributor picking a creeper, we have several contributors each make one sell for a creeper? Take all those sells and combine them into one post and you peeps can decide what creeper you believe in. Just a thought.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s a look at the best prospects for fantasy baseball right now. It’s a fluid list, and you’ll see some big changes as well as some new faces from the preseason Top 50. I’m sticking to a cap of 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues when determining who is still eligible for this list. So while some of the names have already been promoted this year and are expected to graduate, I’m still going to rank them. If Miguel Sano drinks too much nerve tonic with only 100 MLB at bats, he’d still qualify for prospect lists heading into next year, so he’s included on this one. This list does not include any 2015 draftees or J2 signees. The +/- column on the right shows how much each prospect rose or fell from my preseason list. I wouldn’t sweat players who moved just a few slots. Instead, I’d focus on the double-digit changes and the new additions. For lengthier notes on some of the biggest movers, you should check out last week’s post. Personally I skew towards hitters and rank only a handful of pitchers that I really like. Keep in mind that I’m coming at you from the perspective of our fantasy game, so it may differ from a traditional prospect list when it comes to certain players. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, here is this year’s midseason Top 50 prospects for fantasy baseball…

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Hey look, it’s all-star week. Wonderful… stupendous… greaaaaat *said in sarcastic monotone voice* Real baseball? Blah! Give me games so I can play my game. I can’t even go to Draftkings… or can I? *writes note to text Sky* From my many years of watching movies and television shows I have gathered that a play is in two acts. I could look this up, but I don’t want the government thinking I’m going to plays. Speaking of the theater, I was watching Little Nikita the other night while I fought with my insomnia and was surprised when I found out that it was directed by the same guy that directed my Week 14th Update and this all star cast classic. Sorry guys… and girls, that was a whole lot of unnecessary, here is a good baseball fight clip for you, for putting up with me. Prior to the break, I had been ranking players by combining what they had done, what they will do, and to a small degree, their trade value. All in all, it was always looking forward. Today, I am traveling in time (but not really), to give you my top-100 ROS. Think of it as a clean slate for some, an endorsement of others, and a dumping on of those that I don’t like for the second half. So put on your head band on and let’s go to the future. Oh, wait, before moving on to the list I want you to know there is no creeper this week nor a frankencatcher. They will return next Sunday when we have full week ahead of us!

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Yesterday, Carlos Gomez went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homers. Only took until the 87th game of the year for a big game. Maybe I’m a goofy chicken. Maybe I’m a guy that puts feety pajamas on over his head. Maybe I walk into a Subway and ask a sandwich artist, “Do you smell onion?” Maybe I stare at people playing Jenga and try to move the pieces with telekinesis. Maybe I pronounce the D in Django. Maybe I call diner waitresses “Sweetheart” and old guys “Sonny.” Maybe I could be wrong, but — here it comes, Razzball nation — I wouldn’t be shocked by a huge 2nd half from Gomez. Can’t be much worse than his 1st half, could it? Don’t answer. Let’s hold hands and ruminate. Figuratively! Let go of my hand! Last year, his 2nd half was much worse than his 1st half and in 2013 it wasn’t that different, so there’s nothing here historically. What Gomez does have is a track record that had him drafted in the first round in most leagues, and showing next to nothing so far. His ground balls are up (not literally) and his fly balls are down (literally) and he’s making lousy contact. Again, there’s no reason to think he bounces back, but he was nursing injuries in the 1st half, and hopefully he stays healthy. If you have to take a hard way bet and can get him cheap enough, I could see it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?