For all of today’s news and lineup notes, all with a Canadian/Arizonian accent (if that’s such a thing, I’m assuming it is unless they already deported it) here’s Nick the Podcast Radio Host with today’s HotSheet!

To be fair, Johnny Cueto is good, but that’s not the name of the song. Pitching a complete game, three hit shut-out with eight strikeouts is quite an impressive start, until you realize it was against the Padres. You gave up three hits against them? What is this? Kevin Correia hour? Even though those nine innings struck me as quite pedestrian, his last 63.0 IP have been quite impressive. And seeing as how he’s one of the eighteen pitchers who has survived so far without a tendon exploding, he could be well on his way for a Cy Young caliber year. And while the red flags are few and far between, I would be remiss not to mention them. First, his LOB% is insane at 99.5%. Yes, he’s really great at holding runners, but the league average is 72.8% and his career average 76.6%. Second, his BB% is unchanged, but his K/9 is 9.71, compared to a career number of 7.19, and there’s really no reason why. The velocity has remained the same. There’s been an uptick of two-seamers with less sliders and change-ups… but if it was sequencing, we’d need a bigger sample. If it’s a case of getting called third strikes at a higher rate, that would demand regression. And, of course, there’s always injury-risk. But in the year of the Tommy John, I’ll feel relieved if someone’s arm doesn’t literally just fall off during a game this season. But hey, pitchers have career years. And when good pitchers have career years, well, ahem, they have career years? Uhh… I was in trouble like six words in…

Here’s what else I saw on Thursday (besides yo momma):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Go, go, go, go, go, go. Go, Corey, it is your birthday. We want to party like it is your birthday. *dance like a white man that has on parachute pants* We will sip Bacardi like it is your birthday. And you know we do not give an expletive it is not your birthday. I see Corey Kluber on my iPad and I want to kick him in the ass, but I still can’t make heads or tails of him. “Mr. Kluber, why do you bring anguish to my potluck dinner?” Justin Masterson had RSVP’d already with anguish! Ugh, I really don’t know what to make of Kluber. He’s hella risky and, yes, I still say hella. After his start yesterday — 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks — you obviously have to own him if he’s on your waivers. The good news is his BABIP is obscenely unlucky (.353). The bad news is his velocity is down. He gets the Angels next and the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like it and I’d be lying if I told you I had the utmost confidence in him. In other words, own him, but it could be a rocky road without delicious marshmallows. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Terry Collins announced a change at the top of Mets bullpen system on the down, Jose Valverde would concede the job to Kyle Farnsworth. Valverde handed him the ball, and like a true sportsman said, “You can’t be worse than me, but I know you’ll try.” Terry Collins, or Mr. C as the players call him, told Valverde to sit on it, Farnsy’s cool. Some have speculated on Vic Black, Frank’s little brother. Didja you know when Vic was a young Black he went to his brother Frank and asked if he could play drums in the Pixies and Frank said, “Do drugs for six more years and then we’ll talk.” Rock ‘n roll, doodes and four doodettes! Will Farnsworth do a decent enough job as closer to hold it for the whole year? Seems doubtful, but I like his odds better than Valverde ever had. Farnsworth could get 25 saves and be a Donkeycorn by September. Likely, he gets around 12 saves, has a 4-something ERA and the Mets give Gonzalez Germen a little guten tag a’la vater, which is ‘how’s your father’ in Germen from someone who never took Germen. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Reds manager Bryan Price, who I thought was their catcher, has a long way to go to catch up to ex-manager, Dusty Baker, on the Crazy-Meter, but naming Jonathan Broxton the closer a week before he’s even healthy, is a great start. Now Price needs to throw Latos 147 pitches in his first game back and he’ll be running a dead heat. Apparently, Broxton can’t only fill pants, he can fill shoes too. Dumpster Pants isn’t safe by any means, but when a crazy-as-a-fox manager names someone the closer, and he could be the closer for the next two months, I’d pick him up. Not literally, no one can pick up Broxton literally. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Scott White from CBS hosted this AL-Only draft that started at 10 AM PST, but started around 1 PM PST for me because I refused to draft anyone for the price they were going. Instead of drafting, I watched my favorite cooking show, Celebrity Chef Mr. Hamiham. He’s the only one I know that makes a sandwich like my Eastern European nanny, Viktoria. Everyone that knows anything about sandwich preparation knows there’s no sandwich before adding the white cabbage. Rudy was in Tampa (slogan: We’re no San Diego, but just as classy), so I went it alone with this draft. All the mistakes (none!) and acclaim (some!) can fall fully on my shoulders. I drafted this on February 18th, so don’t say so-and-so may not make the rotation/lineup/team or is now injured, why did you draft him? I drafted him because at the time it seemed like a smart move. Okay, okay, at no point does it seem like a smart move to draft Kurt Suzuki. Point taken. It’s a 12-team AL-Only league and I drafted using that thing I linked to under the link-ma-whosie — seamless linking! Anyway, here’s my 2014 fantasy baseball AL-Only team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As spring training takes off, we, the wonderful people of Razzball, thought it would be a good idea to look into some intra-team rivalries.  What positions are a lock?  What positions are being fought over?  What positions will they hire me to fill-in for (second base Blue Jays, I’m looking at you)? Find out as the second part of this series will focus on AL Central… (You can check out the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I just went over the top 10 for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Last year, Napoli was the top ranked catcher at the end of year. He was the 11th best 1st baseman. The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position. Everyone was crazy about Buster Posey last year (everyone except me). Buster Posey did about as much as Kendrys Morales. Lowercase yay. In the top five catchers last year were Lucroy, V-Mart, Rosario and Molina. One guy was drafted in the top 100, and that was barely. No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers. They’re all hot garbage with a side order of stank. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness. Jarrod Saltymochachino, Jason Castro and Salvador Perez were the 8th, 9th and 10th best catchers last year. All of them were on waivers in shallower leagues as late as July. Only the depth of 2nd basemen is worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Finally, a reason that is new to this current crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity. You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Devin Mesoraco. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2014 fantasy baseball under 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2014 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Scott Boras got Shin-Soo Choo his Christmas present after all. A $130 million contract to play for the Texas Rangers of the American League West. The only stipulation of the contract was Choo will buy the island nation of Bora Bora and change its name to Boras Boras. A small price to pay for Boras getting him the big bucks. I wonder what Boras could do for me. Maybe one-point-two million dollars per page view? A five hundred thousand bonus for every waxed mustache hair? A stipend to feed the monkeys that type up these posts? Ling-Ling wants a banana! (On side side note, my friend from Frazers’ Edge provided the comic at the bottom of the post.) Wikipedia tells me Dallas has the 2nd largest Korean population in the southern United States. Shin-Soo Choo blushes at the thought. Or maybe he’s just been drinking. This doesn’t do a whole lot for his fantasy value. He was already in a great park atop a terrific lineup. He’s really an odd duck because he’s so damn consistent yet has such dramatic splits. He regularly bats .320+ vs. righties and barely .200 vs. lefties. If he has a bad year vs. righties, he’ll be awful. I’m not talking a .250 or lower year either. I mean, a .280 year vs. righties would kill him. Due to his splits, the tightrope he walks is thin but he’s managed to traverse it well thus far, so there’s no reason to think the end is nigh, not to mention no one has any idea what nigh means. Is it really near? It’s not saving letters by writing nigh. Is there a nighby? Who says that? The bigger pickle Choo’s brined with this signing is Leonys Martin will be relegated to batting ninth for another year. There’s no chance he bats 2nd or moves up in the order vs. lefties either because he’s just as bad as Choo vs. them. For 2014, I’ll give Choo the line of 101/20/59/.277/20. Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?