To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole has an injured arm, possibly elbow spurs.  I love this scenario:  a pitcher throws like garbage for weeks then the team announces he’s hurt.  Love, love, love.  This is my favorite.  Five innings, five runs, but it’s likely nothing, just a bad start.  Cut to five weeks later of terrible starts.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got a torn tendon/elbow spur/missing forearm due to lost baggage.  Oops!  We should’ve sent him to a doctor six starts ago.  Our bad!”  Here’s what I said after his last start, “I don’t know what’s going on with Cole, but I’d guess injury or dead arm.”  And that’s me quoting me!  How is it that I can guess there’s a problem but a major league team can’t figure shizz out?  That should never be possible.  I couldn’t even pass Bio 101, and a MLB team has a staff of doctors.  Seriously, how does this happen?  I want answers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Salutations my loyal Razzscalians, and welcome to the latest installment of The Minor League update. I’m your Prospector and Chief Ralph Lifshitz and today I’d like to discuss a mighty slugger from The Great White North. A man with the forearms of a spinach swigging Popeye. A hitter with a swing so strong, that balls explode off his bat head like forgotten land mines in former war zones. The thunderous prospect I speak of is none other than the Mariners Tyler O’neill. The outfielder was a player that popped into many managers favorite prospects lists over the past few months, including yours truly. I mean what’s not to like about Tyler O’Neill “Prospect Power King of the North.”

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I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snell within my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.

And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.

Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:

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The White Sox were due to wear throwback jerseys on Saturday, and Chris Sale didn’t want to wear them.  The White Sox refused to relent, so Sale took it upon himself to do something.  Cut to, ahem, ten minutes later and Sale was sent home for throwing a temper tantrum and cutting up all the throwback uniforms.  The most surprising thing in this story:  the White Sox clubhouse had a pair of lefty scissors.  After Sale cut up the White Sox 1976 uniforms, Chet Lemon weighed in, saying, “It was a tough uniform to rock.  The guys on the 1983 team thought they had a reviled uniform.  At least in 1983, you could strut around like a peacock, which they called Paciorek’ing, due to the grace of teammate Tom Paciorek.  In 1976, they dressed me up like a lawn jockey.  That shizz was offensive!”  For his antics, Chris Sale was suspended for five games by the White Sox.  That’s the last time he tries to introduce a cutter without talking to the pitching coach.  Now, if the Red Sox trade for Sale, their top two starters could help win back the casual Jewish Red Sox fan who checked out after Youk and Theo left. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If only baseball were as easy as the surface stats tell us. Player A has great peripherals and a pretty ERA. Player B has numbers more hideous than the elephant man, lock him away in the dungeon and let us never speak of him again. It’s all too easy to look at the season long numbers on a player and simply throw him out the proverbial window…or literal window if they really screwed you in your league. But of course, you’re here because baseball isn’t that easy and you’re a straight masochist. With that, enter Anibal Sanchez. Come in close and get a whiff of that stat line…whew! You don’t put up a 6.60 ERA over nearly 90 innings without doing a lot wrong. But even the worst pitchers can put things together for a good stretch and Anibal is far and away not the worst pitcher in baseball so he has that going for him. Know what else he has going for him? He just came off of a 10 K, 2 BB performance against the Twins. I know, I know, they’re the Twins, but its more common for a nice little groove of good pitching than it is to have an ace-like outing and then completely fade the next go. I’m not stumping for Sanchez for anything outside of tourneys but at $4,800, he’ll sure make your dollar stretch for a Coors day. But enough about bad pitchers have good days, let’s talk about good players and good plays. Here’s my Sunday fun day hot taeks for this Sunday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday July 25th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Earlier this week, we looked at some lightly owned hitters in ESPN leagues who could be potential difference makers in fantasy baseball over the second half of the season. Today, it’s time to focus on some pitchers who can give your fake teams a boost down the stretch. Even if your team’s ratios look more unsightly than a Meg Ryan facelift, there’s still plenty of time remaining to fix those issues. So put down those Francisco Liriano and James Shields voodoo dolls people, and let’s go to work.

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Whatta day, here’s how it started. I woke up around 5 am, drank lots of coffee, did work stuff, got word around 8:15 that Alex Bregman would get the call this weekend and was set to join the surging Astros in Seattle. I then proceeded to pat myself on the back, throw a finger to the haters, and all the people who lived in the buildings I was prospecting in front of that called the cops on me when I was trying to make some money to feed my daughter. It was show and prove time for mi numero uno perspectiva fantasia. No longer would readers lament my existence while they starred down a dead spot on their rosters. For it was Bregman day and it was glorious. Then POOF it wasn’t, as A.J. Hinch decided to open his fat mouth and tell everyone that numero uno perspectiva fantasia Alex Bregman , would NOT be joining the team in Seattle. He did offer one assurance, Bregman could help the team down the stretch. Ahhhhh, hi A.J., my name’s Ralph, NO SH**. I’ve only been saying that forever. Doesn’t matter, he’s coming up. Maybe not this weekend, but maybe next week. Hell, maybe Monday! I’m the captain of the SS prospector, and I will sink this ship before I change course! Knowing I was writing this post for today, I thought “how appropriate everything is coming together for Ralph, The Summer of Ralph!!!”. Meh, enough of that let’s talk about the rookies that will give your redraft team a boost in the second half.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The sexy prospects are finally making it baby!

It’s good to be back to the Pitcher Profile, with so many hot options out there to break down as we head into the ASB. While Lucas Giolito (who I was always spell wrong with two T’s the first time I type his name) has more “overall” prospect buzz, I think I might have been more excited that we finally got the Tyler Glasnow callup. I had continually been ranking him very favorably in my ranks in the 60s, and I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Steven Brault got the call before him (and this is even after Chad Kuhl too), I was dismayed. But alas! Glasnow made his debut last Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals with a lot of encouraging stuff coming out of it. Not too surprisingly, he was sent back down as he wasn’t needed for another start before the All-Star Break, but will he be back soon sooner or later? Well, here’s how he looked in his MLB debut, and an analysis on if you should be holding onto him on redraft rosters:

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Yesterday, Matt Harvey met with the Mets’ front office and told them, “You ruined my shoulder!  I was the Dark Knight!  Now I’m 1960s Batman in hard-to-watch Technicolor unable to move my arms to do the Batusi!”  Matt Harvey asked Bartolo if this ever happened to him and he said, “Nah, I am 90% jelly and custard.  My nerves are coated in more sugar than a churro.”  Harvey needs shoulder surgery due to thoracic outlet syndrome.  Sandy Alderson said it’s inevitable.  Pitchers who have had this surgery take at least a year to recover and sometimes never regain past form.  It could not only be a season killer, it could be the end of Harvey as we know him.  He could opt to rehab his shoulder without surgery, but rehabbing it won’t magically make his pitching better than he’s been all year, which is atrocious.  If you don’t have DL room, I could see dropping him.  Fun fact!  You know who suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome?  The Lispasaurus.  Tiny arms, big body.  Other dinosaurs pickin’ on ’em because of their lisp — why’d every dinosaur have to have an S sound in its name?!  Total recipe for messed-up shoulders.  “I hate Thoracic Park!”  Spielberg can make a Thoracic Park movie where an injured pitcher tries to repair his relationship with his pre-teen son while genetically-modified dinosaurs chase after them.  “I know I wasn’t there for you when you were growing up or for your keeper league team in 2014 or for that velociraptor attack 15 minutes ago, but I’m here for you now.”  The boy looks up, “How did that velociraptor throw a Warthen slider?”  The father responds, “He’s learning!”  Seth Smith is working on the script.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?