Chris Young continues to shock the fantasy baseball world as he held the Yankees to just one run and four hits last night to grab his third win. He struck out two. After coming off a six inning shut out of Detroit last week, Young has now lowered his ratios to a 0.93 ERA and 0.63 WHIP. He has been very good in his three starts and pitching in relief for the Royals. This begs the question. What are the Royals giving their pitchers? And why isn’t Yordano Ventura getting any? The 21/7 K/BB ratio is nothing special and the .132 BABIP is impossible to sustain. In addition, his 4.70 xFIP is real bad and suggest this he can’t keep this charade going for much longer. He gets the Cardinals next week, and I’m not quite ready to recommend him outside AL-Only or deep leagues, but I’m watching him closely, and I think you should, too. Also, very few players were lede-worthy this week, which is why you get 200 words on a 35-year old journeyman. We know now that you don’t doubt the Royals, and if he continues to excel, Chris Young could pitch himself into a rotation spot even after Jason Vargas returns.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Cody Asche was sent down to learn left field (or get lost trying), and the Phils’ GM, Ruin Tomorrow Jr., said they’re calling up Maikel Franco this weekend. Let’s see what October Grey had to say about Franco, “Well, Asche’s opportunity to sneak in and have a surprisingly solid season in 2014 before Franco emerged went swimmingly. If we’re judging swimmingly on a scale established by Natalie Wood getting swimming lessons from Robert Wagner. Too harsh? How about as swimmingly as Whitney Houston in a bathtub? That’s just terrible, why would you force me to give you a second one? Upon his arrival in Philly at the end of last year, Franco’s lack of assault on major league pitching made it seem like he needed more seasoning, i.e., the Franco-American Outside-Of-King-Of-Prussia War on pitching didn’t exactly leave us with shock and awe (.179 in the majors with zero homers in 56 ABs). Shouldn’t have been a surprise, he didn’t exactly look like a breakout waiting to happen last year in Triple-A, where he had 16 homers in 521 ABs, hitting .257. With rookies like that, maybe the Phils are right to invest in more megaphones for the clubhouse, so their veterans can communicate. Franco could be the type that just needs to get comfortable at a new level, which bears itself out when you look at his month-to-month OPS last year in Triple-A (.967, .636 in last two months and .879 this year in Triple-A).” And that’s me quoting me! He’s worth a flyer if you need corner infidel help. I stashed him in one deeper league (15 team) and ignored him in a 12-teamer. He might only have 14-homer power, so, basically, he’s Ryan Zimmerman. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Why does it seem like there’s always more closer situations in flux in the first week than at any other time?  Well, whether that’s true or not, this year was no different.  Don’t even try to think about what that actually means.  Here’s your sumary: By Thursday there were already three new closers, then Sunday we had two old guys getting worked like speed bags at your local gym.

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Leave it to the man living in Oregon, born and raised in Washington to take you to Electric Ladyland in the title. PNW represent *tries showing PNW with flashy gang sign…fails…breaks all fingers*. Fine, I’ll just throw up the West Coast symbol a la 2Pac and be fine with it. Grey originally pinged me with the idea of heading up a league for the NFBC back in February. When I said yes, I assumed we were talking ‘Norwegian Female Bikini Challenge’ and graciously accepted. I mean they’re right next to Sweden; what could possibly go wrong? Well, ALOT could go wrong, let me tell you. Thankfully, I had Rudy‘s recap of his 2013 team and the wherewithal and the guile to forge my own path for my own team. For those interested in only RCL style of play…well, first off that’s the link to sign up for one and second of all, make an about face. This ain’t it. No trades and no FA pickups in season. Nope, you play against 15 other teams in 5×5 roto set up and draft 50 players a team. That’s 750 players. There’s only 30 teams and they only roster 25 players at the major league level at a time. So basically, we’re drafting the entire MLB in one fell swoop. That’s special. And hard. And especially hard. But let’s not talk about bedroom things just yet. Instead, let’s review my NFBC team for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Alex Cobb left his start the other day with forearm tightness, but he’s not concerned. “Not concerned with forearm tightness” is now the number two reason for Tommy John surgery. Number one is “torn UCL.” The number three reason is “I feel great!” If we have one more pitcher say, “I feel great,” without someone else saying they’re “not concerned with forearm tightness,” then it will be a dead heat and could come down to Tanaka’s translator chiming in with how Masahiro feels. A pitcher and manager’s reporting on an arm issue is like reading a Yelp review written by the owner of the restaurant. “I didn’t know scalloped potatoes could be so sublime!” And I didn’t know I had to avoid every other starter in drafts, but here we are. Cobb says he should only miss his Opening Day start, but I’ve lowered Cobb way down in my top 400 and into my top 60 starters to a tier where I would not draft him. There’s enough to worry about when drafting a team, don’t get too cute with “Well, so-and-so fell so far I figured I’d give him a chance even though his arm is dangling at every joint.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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So with the arrival of February comes the arrival, or “un-hibernation” of Smokey.  I was just getting comfy, curled up in my crochet loogy-blanket that my grandma made me, dreaming about what else? Bullpens, of course.  So this first post of the year is to bring you up to speed on my drafting advice for the upcoming year as it relates to the closers/holds and guys who will help you do everything but start the games.  I will be here every week, to update you on the chicanery that is the MLB bullpen picture.  So sit back, relax, and just think, it’s only four more weeks of me talking about bullpens and closers…Can you feel the excitement?  If you hate me now, you will probably wanna hold my hand by week 20 and maybe go see Jared by September 1st.  Here’s my thoughts on draft strategies for saves in the upcoming year of 2015…

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We now get to the ugly step-sister of rankings and the waiver darling position that we all chase.   The relief pitcher is by far the most debated position on who to draft, where, and when.  For the most part, I agree with you (with whatever you think), but the guys you want…if you get them where they are being drafted, usually beat or exceed value.  Injuries suck and do happen, you just can’t prevent them. You just have to be in a position of favor and hope that you land his replacement.  Sucktitude, i.e see Joe Nathan last year, is just a roster burden and usually drags you down all season because he isn’t someone you can just drop, but he makes it awfully hard to roster.  It’s a catch-22, to stat or not to stat.  Last year saw an unforgivable 10 closer changes in the first six weeks. That is not something you can pad your roster with enough save-cuffs for.  So let’s get to the first set of rankings of the year.  I will get into draft strategies for them, and as always, cover holds in the countdown to the season.

Note: Don’t forget to come visit me on the new Razzball Fantasy Soccer home everyday of the week. If you’re not familiar with the format, NBD, relax, you got us. Ralph and I are giving you the best Fantasy Premier League coverage out there. If you haven’t tried fantasy EPL, you’re missing out…

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When Grey contacted me in mid-October about a mock draft, I thought perhaps an email that got caught up in his iPhone draft folder had finally wiggled it’s way out of technological purgatory.  Yo Grey, I fire back, I think you got hacked and the worst part is even your spam is about fantasy baseball.  After some clarification via emails and iPhone emojis, it was clear it was indeed a mock draft for the 2015 season being offered up by Bryan Curley of Baseballprof.com.  And look at that site bio pic…who could say no to that, right?  So I started the long and winding trek that was this pre-pre-pre-season mock draft.  Since we’re nowhere near the start of the season, there was a 24 hour clock for each pick.  All that to say, since the start of this mock draft, the Padres have traded for every player in the league at least once, the football season basically came and went, and we’ve found out that we side with North Korea in the matters of Seth Rogen/James Franco movies.  But after three months’ worth of setup and drafting, 12 teams were made and now we get to talk about them so here it goes.  Let’s take a look at a way too early mock for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Man do I hate the end of the year. People chasing saves are all into it, while the ones that are dead in the water couldn’t care less. And let’s be honest, they were prolly dead in the water all year when it came to saves. The end of the year chase is starting to show casualties, like the fall from grace of Glen Perkins. Glen is the kinda guy that I like, home-grown guy, pitching in his home state, took a nice friendly contract from the team. He can totally date-my-sister type. Unfortunately, he is staggering to the finish with an unimpressive last few weeks. I personally feel bad, because I own Perkins in a lot of places. I have so many teams, that I actually counted and the only closer I don’t own is David Robertson. Yes, every other single closer on this list is owned in some way shape or form by yours truly. So back to Perkins… his ERA and his K/9 rate have seemed to morph into some sort of Jeff Goldblum fly concoction of fantasy uselessness. Overwork and or an injury are the only things I can think that are the problem. He is/was a semi-elite guy until the wheels fell off. So if you’re still chasing, Jared Burton and Casey Fien look to be the guys lost likely to take the helm until Perkins rights the ship…which will prolly be next year. Only two weeks to go and we will get one Bullpen Report and one more Closer Report to end the year. The last will be a souped up version with lot’s of 2015 treats and stuff. So stay tuned or don’t. Your choice.

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This late in the year, Big Head Bochy minus his monsters goes and has to be all “I am changing it back to the way it used to be when all was being drafted and confidence in February Grey was at an all-time high.”  So the news that Santiago Casilla will now be in a co-starring role this late in the season just sucks for all parties involved.  Sergio Romo gets back into the fray as the closer situation is all muddled now in the city by the bay. Whoa, whoa, whoa-o.  Even Steve Perry hates this idea. Don’t believe me? Go ask him, as he seems like he’s over Sheila and prolly all good in the wits department.  Now I can see if Casilla was pitching awfully, which he wasn’t… well not completely, but come on Bruce.  You can’t do this and actually sleep at night knowing you torture fantasy line-ups the way you do, and I for one am writing a letter. No, an email, screw that a petition!  You hear that Bruce? A petition… so get yourself ready, I may even sue you. Smokey smash. So if you saw the writing on the wall from this, you already had Romo stashed. Let’s see what the jumbled up rankings look like with the injuries, demotions, and the rigmarole that is involved in the Saves of Thrones.

Please, blog, may I have some more?