Tomorrow is September 1st which means:  Hooray for September roster expansions and the many interesting players likely to be called up.  My recent focus for Steals Ain’t Got No Face advice has been a weekly reminder to use our SAGNOF stolen base success rates versus starting pitchers tool.  This goes hand in hand with the September call ups because most of these players won’t play anywhere near everyday, but some of them might make great ‘streaming for steals’ options.And guess which type of players are among those getting called up?  Some of the trendy SAGNOF sleeper types from earlier in the year, including one of my favorites, Dalton Pompey (bats Both, plays OF) of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Eric Young Jr. (B, OF, New York Mets) is on the way up as well and I think we all know what he can do.  James Jones (L, OF, Seattle), he of the 27 stolen bases in only 108 big league games last year, could be called upon as well.

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Domingo Santana homered again last night going 1-for-3 with his fifth dinger, his third homer in six games since debuting with Milwaukee. Domingoes deep–again! In the minors, they called him Domingo the Flamingo, because he could hit homers standing on just one leg. OK, I made that up, but it sounds cool, and clearly Santana has some serious power. That much I promise you I’m not making up. In AAA this year, Sunday Santana hit 18 homers with 77 RBI, batting .333 and slugging .573. His .426 OBP was also real nice. Domingo was the major return in the Carlos Gomez trade, and who are we to doubt those delicious Houston prospects at this point. Santana has been real smooth since joining the Brewers, and those in need of some power should definitely take a look. Grey told you to BUY, and now I’m telling you. Three home runs in six days?! Get outta here! Extrapolate that! Calculating…calculating…calculating…he could hit you 20 home runs from now until the end of September. Wait. No, math. That seems high. But still, if he continues at this pace, 8-10 home runs from Santana the rest of the way is not as crazy as it sounds. Don’t get stuck standing on one leg! If you need pop, I’d take a flier on Domingo the Flamingo before he’s Domingoing, going, gone!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Let’s start on Jose Berrios with what Prospect Mike said, “Berrios has a great starter’s arsenal with a plus fastball (sits mid-90s) and a plus curveball coupled with an above average slider and changeup.  The ceiling is a #3 starter with good ratios and decent strikeout totals.  Most reports rave about his maturity and ability to make adjustments, which could give him a better shot at making it in a big league rotation.  Imagine a scale of good and evil with Maikel Franco on the good side and that Albright fella on the evil side, Berrios is more on the Franco side.”  Why am I a part of this example?  If I could quickly evaluate the Twins current crop of starters that are prospblocking Berrios:  Garbage, More Garbage, Utter Garbage, Shirley Manson in Garbage, Magic Garbage.  (Magic Garbage is Utah garbage where you find soiled magic underpants.)  I haven’t even started talking about how Berrios was bred in a lab in Knott’s Berry Farm by founder of the boysenberry, Rudolph Boysen, whose grandchild killed his parents and is currently behind bars (true story; yes, you’re dropping the ball, Dateline, by not featuring this).  The only thing that’s been stopping me from adding Berrios in every league is I have no idea when he’ll be called up.  I would add him now to see if he’s called up when rosters expand on September 1st, then drop him soon after in redraft leagues if he’s not called up.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Mike Fiers threw the first Astros no-hitter by a single pitcher in over 20 years last night and the very first no-no in Minute Maid Park to make his way into the Houston record books, alongside Houston greats such as Beyonce, Dennis Quaid….uh, Rory Gilmore…did I say, Beyonce already? Anyway, even more impressive, the 30-year old Fiers did it against one of the leagues top offenses in the LA Dodgers. You probably wouldn’t have started Michael Fiers unless you owned @#$%ing Michael Fiers! Fiers walked just three batters and struck out 10 in what was also his first career complete game. It took Mike 134 pitches to get through this one, but his stuff seemed to get better as he got deeper into the game. It was his first win with his new team. After struggling in relief in his first appearance with Houston, Fiers settled nicely into a starting role that he will be unlikely to relinquish after last night’s dominating performance. He’s allowed just one earned run in three starts with Houston, with a 19/6 K/BB rate. Fiers struggles with control at times but when he’s on the strikeouts numbers are nice and he can be a very useful fantasy starter. He’s available in over half of leagues and gets the Yankees next week, I’d grab him if he’s out there, he could be a helpful guy to own as the Astros make their run for a pennant.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Give me a buy, a bouncy buy!  Wait, might have my Martin Short characters mixed up.  *Googling*  Damn, that was from his Irving Berlin.  Jackie Rogers Jr. didn’t have much of a catchphrase.  Last Saturday, JBJ was sworn in as the hottest schmotato in the land as Jackie O., his mother and who he was named after, held the Bible.  After the ceremony, JBJ stated, “Compared to taking a free pass, hitting is a cakewalk.”  Then he high-fived himself.  Jackie Bradley Jr.  is more or less a hot platoon player, but Cousin Sizzlechest is about as hot as they come right now.  JBJ will cool off at some point, he strikes out a bit too much, but he’s worth owning in all leagues where you’re hurting for that little extra spark.  Plus, to get JBJ on your team, you don’t need the assistance of the Cubans, the FBI, Frank Sinatra, Joe Pesci in a bad wig, a vast right wing conspiracy, Joe DiMaggio and some dude named Zapruder.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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When your team is battling for a playoff spot, what’s the most important thing?  Winning.  Winning out of the bullpen is a thing that is not predictable, I get it, but when your team goes 7-0 from the bullpen in the last 14 games, that is just a damn near beautiful thing if you love bullpens as much as I… I mean, you may not, but that’s cool (maybe).  You have your love interests… invested in beanie babies or all your Gregg Jefferies’ rookie cards that your whole childhood fortune is invested in… Just saying, you should probably move out of your mom’s basement or branch out from the family business for a bit.  As a whole, the Pirates are a top-3 club for bullpen ERA, and are led by the king of Holds currently: Tony Watson.  Him and his merry men of “set-uphood” have completely just wrecked shop out of the pen lately, their ERA is 1.21 and they have allowed just a measly 34 hits in 52 innings.  Take it from me, that is getting the job done.  The addition of Joakim Soria has lengthened their bullpen to the point where Jared HughesJoe Blanton, and Arquimedes Caminero are in prime win plucking spots.  Yeah, I just used Joe Blanton in a fantasy write-up, and no it’s not 2000-never.  So stick around as I wax symbolic about other bullpen situations arising as we stream towards the fantasy baseball playoffs.

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Guess who’s back?  Back again!  No, that’s not The Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis, sufferer of chronic back pain, singing.  Besides, it’s “who’s back,” not “whose back.”  We’re not trying to identify a back!  Byron Buxton‘s back, baby, yeah.  With every positive reaction, there’s an equal opposite negative reaction, or so said Einstein when he was fiddling with refrigerator magnets.   And the negative reaction to Buxton coming back is Aaron Hicks hit the DL.  Too bad, so sad.  Buxton didn’t do much in his first stint in the majors, but he could be easily as good as Schwarber, Sano or any other rookie nookie that’s got your cookie all melty.  I would grab Buxton in every league.  I’m excited.  Uppercase yay!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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All this talk about the Blue Jays offense is completely detracting from the fact that their bullpen to date has been mediocre-to-awful for most of the year.  The additions they have made, namely Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins, are a future holds market band-aid.  The one true positive addition for the back-end of the pen is Aaron Sanchez.  He comes in with filthy stuff, isn’t afraid to pitch inside, and gives them a hard throwing right-hander, which they’ve been lacking.  The Blue Jays, to date, have the fewest saves (19) namely because they do one of two things that both involving blowing.  (It’s either a blow-out or a blown save.)  It’s a miracle that they are where they are record-wise with the amount of blown saves they have (it’s 17 and counting).  But the team is setup to win, and they are going to score a ton of runs, so from a fantasy holds perspective, anyone outside of Sanchez is a fool’s chance at holds gold.  With 13 games remaining against front-running New York, the schedule isn’t on their side as the slugging they do takes away from the bullpen allure.

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Here I thought the Brew Crew were a dying entity this year with all this talk of punting and trading all their mid-level talent.  For soothe, they have had an impressive last 30 days in the Holds department.  It isn’t just one guy garnering them either…  It is a multi-syllabic hold dragon with three heads.  Each head is completely different and has a really cool story.  The first is the Fresh Prince of Holds, Will Smith. He has basically been what we all thought Jonathan Broxton would be this year, but probably with more success. Over the last 30 days he has 5 holds, 2 Wins, and a K/9 rate over pushing 14.  That is sassy with a Jor and extra emphasis on the dache.  The next is Michael Blazek, who in some weird way is basically Jeremy Jeffress‘s boy by name only.  I will call them Smoke, and yes please.   Common sense is there for anyone who knows dudes history.  He is my honorary hero and on the Smokey hall of fame wall with Lincecum, Chris Perez, and Dock Ellis.  So to their stats before I teeter out from pure excitement…  Blazek and Jeremy have both garnered 4 holds over the last 30 and form a power/finesse RH combo in front or beside Smith, and in front of K-Rod.  With all the trade talk surrounding basically everyone in baseball, it seems if K-Rod gets bounced out I have them Smith and Jeffress in a tie, then Blazek for saves, with Broxton on ready for that veteran preference.   So let’s see what other  bags of factoidal goodness I can come up with and of course the Holds chart for some good toilet reading…

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The ESPYS are coming soon, so I decided it might be time to nominate some relief pitchers for mid-season hardware and steal a little bit of ESPN’s ESPYS thunder (that’s just wrong on more than one level) in the process.  Anyway, I’ll soon be handing an award to one of the relief pitchers with a chance to regress in a bad way and I’m calling these awards the Jurrjy’s because Jair Jurrjens was a pitcher that was as up and down as I can recall a pitcher being.  He was (is, I could say, after all he still exists, somewhere) a BABIP dependent* pitcher because of a low strikeout rate.  For instance, here are his 2011 1st half/2nd half  ERA splits: 1.87 in 110.2 1st half innings vs 5.88 in a small sample of 41.1 second half innings.  While it might have been better to pick a reliever to name this after, I can’t think of anyone that fits the description better than Jair Jurrjens.  The only problem is, I’m not sure if the “winner” is the one whose ERA regresses the most or the one who maintains the mirage.  I guess that’s up to the Academy to decide.  So without further ado, your 2015 Jurrjy nominees in the “rising ERA” category are:  Steve Delabar, middle reliever, Toronto Blue Jays (1.42 ERA /4.05 FIP).  Bryan Shaw, middle reliever, Cleveland Indians (2.10 ERA /4.62 FIP).  Joakim Soria, closer, Detroit Tigers (2.73 ERA /5.09 FIP).  Brad Ziegler, closer, Arizona Diamondbacks (1.45 ERA /3.78 FIP), Darren O’Day, middle reliever, Baltimore Orioles (1.21 ERA /3.17 FIP), and JJ Hoover, middle reliever, Cincinnati Reds (1.31 ERA / 3.10 FIP).  (*This article basically claims that pitcher BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is 75% luck, 13% defense, and 12% pitcher’s skill).

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