Matt Shoemaker, $9,900, AKA The Cobbler, came out of no where and put up some Ace like numbers in the second half of 2014. He went 9-2, striking out 62 batters in 72 innings, all while posting a nice and tidy 1.87 ERA. I was one of the lucky ones that scooped him up and I road that train all the way to multiple Title Towns. In 2015 he was one Grey’s preseason favorites and then he did his best Francisco Liriano impression, but seemingly nose dived 5 times harder. It was tough to watch as he still held a special place in my heart, just like Kris Medlen of 2012, Kendrys Morales and Dallas Keuchel circa 2015. Unfortunately, the long ball absolutely crippled The Cobbler last year, as he coughed up 24 HR’s in just 134 innings of work. In May of 2015, I said my farewells to The Cobbler and bid him adieu. This year started out no different than 2015, as he had a terrible April posting a 9.15 ERA while giving up 6 HR in just 20 innings. With those type of numbers I figured he was going to get sent down to the minors, but the Angels pitching staff was so bad that they actually needed someone to eat up innings. Then halfway through May something magical happened. I can’t explain it as there haven’t been any injury reports, but I do have a theory. Late one May night, amid the thick Anaheim fog, the Disney Pixie’s awoke from their two year slumber and visited The Cobbler, just like they did in 2014. They sprinkled him with some special Pixie Dust shizz and then he went out and pitched an absolute gem against a tough Baltimore offense going 7.1 innings with 12 K’s and 0 ER. The mysterious missing magic was back in his next start vs Houston going 8.1 innings with 11 K’s and 0 ER. He’s returned to the circle of trust as he’s been solid over his last 7 starts, striking out 62 in just 51.2 innings while posting a 2.11 ERA vs some strong AL opponents. I don’t know how long the magic dust is going to last this time, but he’s limiting the long ball and I like him tonight at home. He’s facing a tough offensive Houston Astros team tonight, but they’re also the number 3 in strikeouts vs RHP.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Michael Conforto was demoted to the minors.  Ouch.  Not only did he fall far from preseason expectations, but he seemed to be breaking out in April.  Coming out of April, he had 4 HRs and a .365 average.  In May and June, he hit .169 and .119 and, finally, the Mets threw in the towel just as Conforto’s head was bouncing on the canvas.  Shame, isn’t it?  Not a shame, a product of not being able to hit.  I’m sure he’ll be back at some point, but you can drop him in all but the deepest dynasty leagues.  In his place came, Brandon Nimmo.  Okay, let’s get them out of the way up front.  The Mets are finding Nimmo in a sea of prospects.  The Mets aren’t finding Drury because he’s on a different team.  Is Nimmo the Mets’ outfield fixar?  That’s a clown fish question, bro.  Nimmo’s minor league numbers look dynamite, but that’s because he was playing in the PCL, which is like playing on the moon with an aluminum bat.  He had five homers, five steals and a .331 average.  That seems to be his profile more or let’s be generous, maybe 10/15/.280.  Sounds downright Lagaresque.  Outside of deep mixed leagues and NL-Only, I’d ignore for now.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Trevor Bauer has a long history of not being great like he has long toss, which is to say he has it.  Was that clear?  Good.  I’d hate to start us behind the eight ball for understanding one another.  Unless it’s a Magic Eight Ball, then we’d be finishing each other’s sentences.  But since you didn’t finish that sentence maybe our Magic Eight Ball says ‘Outlook:  Cloudy.’  I feel like I just went into Home Depot, bought the color paint, Persimmon, then painted myself into a logic corner.  Can we start again?  Trevor Bauer’s history is as long as his long toss, which is to say he could throw from here to China, have the ball begin a trade agreement for fortune cookies, with us sending them to China, have fortune cookies become our number export over Kardashians and balance the budget, making Trump announce his running mate is Bauer’s ball from his long toss, the Ball Broker, as it’s colloquially known.  That’s how long Bauer’s toss/history is.  Long story short, Bauer’s been around a while.  Long people short, Altuve.  Bauer came up in 2013 with ‘He can be an ace’ pedigree, and failed.  Then failed for three more years.  Old dude I’m moving on, is what you’re thinking.  Well, you’re thinking wrong.  He’s only 25 years old.  His velocity upticked to 93.3 MPH this year vs. 92.8 last year.  His walks have always been issue.  So far this year, not much of an issue.  His Ks are always around 8.5, still there.  His ground balls have been whatevs in the past.  This year, they’re way up, which is to say down.  Everyone has been burned by Bauer.  Been there, need aloe for that.  But he looks like he’s finally turned a corner, and he wouldn’t be the first pitcher in his third full year at the age of 25 to accomplish that.  If you need a starter, I’d grab him.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Evidently, Corey Kluber made some sort of promise to the city of Cleveland too, and not just to Kl-Uber Drew Carey home any time he sees him drunk-wandering in downtown Cleveland.  Yesterday, Kluber went 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA at 3.59.  So, I’m going to get completely unscientific, then scientific, then mix the two, Grey says sounding like Don Herbert. (If you knew who Don Herbert was, you are old and a nerd.)  Unscientifically, Kluber will have an ERA around 3.60 this year.  He’ll throw a gem, get the ERA down to 3.40, then throw a stinker and the ERA will rise.  It will go on like this all year, because that’s what he’s done so far.  Then he will figure out if he drops his arm angle a little, due to the earth being flat, it will add more spin and he’ll have an ERA under zero in September.  Again, that was unscientific.  Scientifically, his peripherals looks as good as any previous year.  His velocity is a notch off previous seasons, but his 9 K-rate, 1.9 BB/9 and 3.27 xFIP are excellent.  So, he should be better than he has been, and could end up with a 3.20 ERA with 250 Ks.  Now, to mix the two methods, Kluber will match his 3.27 xFIP, and on off days, picket Phil Collins’ house with Carl Everett, with a sign reading, “The Book of Genesis Doesn’t Have Liner Notes.”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time we address the elephant in the room.  Not you, Sandoval.  I mean that one-time absurdist comedian and Red Sox knuckleballer, Steven Wright, has a 2.01 ERA in almost 100 IP after yesterday’s line of 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks.  The Red Sox are so happy with him they are currently combing the minor league rosters for other Boston comic namelgangers, except for any Dane Cooks because people are going to see his Shocker pitch from a mile away.  Denis Leary has some decent pitches he stole from other pitchers, and he keeps trying to smoke his teammates’ chew.  While Lenny Clarke is a Quad-A pitcher, who everyone says is a great teammate, a real pitcher’s pitcher.  None are Steven Wright though.  Christian Vazquez came up to the mound during yesterday’s game and told Steven Wright he could throw a knuckleball at any time, and Steven Wright said, “I decided to throw one during the Renaissance.”  I did some dirty math on my own fantasy team where I have a 4.03 ERA (yup, my pitching is a mess!).  If I had Steven Wright on my team, I’d have a 3.74 ERA — a quarter of a run better — and an extra three points.  So, as a Bostonian would say, fahk me for not picking him up in April.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know how they have pink bats for Mother’s Day?  They should have bats in the shape of penises for Father’s Day.  “Ooh, a swing and a miss.  Damn, he had that schlong just out in front of that ball.”  “You know socialism never worked, but penises have worked for thousands of years, depending on what interpretation of the Bible you ascribe to.”  “Wow, what size bat is David Ortiz using?”  Happy Father’s Day to all of our readers minus five ladies!  Yesterday, for Dad’s Day, Julio Teheran showed us Americans how they do it in Iran on Father’s Day.  Teheran #1 — ptooey everyone us!  His line was 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 7 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.66.  I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that Teheran is worth picking up.  He’s obviously not this good.  His xFIP is 3.97, but his walk rate is down from last year and his ground balls are up, not literally.  Other than last year, he was a consistent low-3, high-2 ERA guy, and he looks like he found his way back there.  By the way, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, agreed, we should not allow any university lacrosse teams access to the penis bats.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hi, I work in the front office for the Twins and I’m ordering lunch.  I was wondering what you have that’s old that you can give us a discount on.  Can you eat old pork?  Hmm, let’s try it with extra sauce.  John Ryan Murphy briefly converted to Judaism, or so he wrote in 6-point font inside his lined notebook where he talked about murder, but he’s back to the gentile side of things.  I’d also like to know if any of your very old or very young employees want to join our pitching staff.  We can’t pay them in money, but Byung ho Park and Kurt Suzuki often wrestle together, reenacting Foxcatcher, and it’s just fun to be around when that happens.  Gotcha, okay, just send the old pork then!”  Incredibly, the Twins reached into their oh-so-deep pockets, pulled out some lint and decided to call up their top pitching prospect, Jose Berrios.  He’s only been ready for about three years now; crazy to start his clock now when they could’ve held him down in Triple-A for another five years.  Never underestimate the Twins’ frugality.  It’s FRU-JOUL-LAY, it’s Italian!  Here’s what I said previously about him, “A team like the Tigers would’ve promoted Berrios about two years ago.  No fear, John Deere, Berrios is still only 21 years old.  I’ve seen people peg Berrios as having #3 fantasy starter upside, but I see him landing eventually with a barely-2 BB/9 and 9 K/9 from his mid-90s MPH fastball and plus-curve.  That makes him a borderline fantasy ace in the making.  Of course, as a rookie, there will be stretches where he doesn’t look like that, but want a guy that could come on and give you a Shelby Miller in 2015-type year?  Berrios has that potential.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Yes, I’d grab him, yes, in your league too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

3rd basemen are the new Dolly Parton.  They are so top heavy they haven’t seen their toes in years.  After the top ten 3rd basemen, the rest are a wing, a prayer and Winger doing a cover of Living on a Prayer, which can’t hold a candle to Bon Jovi, because A) Jersey B) No one can hold a candle to Bon Jovi because of Jersey. C) There’s no C.  D)  Jersey!  I can’t remember a position like this for any other year in recent memory, but I’ve killed my brain for years with hard drugs.  If you don’t have a 3rd baseman by the 100th overall pick, you might be kissing your 3rd baseman position goodbye.  Literally, smooching your computer monitor like you’re in that Spike Jonze movie with Scarlett Johansson robot-talking.  By the way, Johansson is 31 years old, in nine years, she’s gonna be old.  In nine years, I’m gonna be distinguished.  Damn, Hollywood, you’re messed up giving me these ageist ideas!  As always, my projections and tiers are noted.   Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks back, I was on vacation and the Big Magoo covered the creeper. He did one hell of a job by making good calls and changing up the format. This week, I’m feeling inspired by the Big Magoo and will follow in his form. I should literally follow in his form because we are similar in height, but not in weight. I’m always looking at schedules every week to help assist with my creeper, but this week I’m taking it a step further. I’m going all in on home parks. This is my mixed bag of who to grab throughout the week because you should be shuffling players in and out as long as you don’t have restrictions on moves…

Please, blog, may I have some more?