Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend. On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem. Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.” I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?” “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.” “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.” Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista. Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats. Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs. So, can Valencia keep it going? It appears so. Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ugh, the smell of my onsies de Mayo is so much worse than a normal day. I reek of sizzlin’ fajitas and am all cotton-mouthed from… well let’s just say alcohol. So attacking the usual Saturday bullpen rundown is a dizzying affair to say the least. Speaking of a dizzying places, let’s look at the Rockies bullpen situation; it’s definitely not all kush, but it’s not charcoal brick pack. The trust in Jake McGee is still there, because to be honest, the talent level behind him isn’t really there, is not ready, or has no experience in the end-of-game thing. Behind Jake are Chad Qualls, who has pitched the majority of the right-handed match-ups in the 8th inning with a smattering of Boone Logan mixed in. Now, I was nervous about McGee’s K-rate until I saw what Qualls’ was. The stout bunch of McGee and Qualls have a combined K/9 over the last 14 games of 5.16. That is combined! I can’t make up this stuff. The role of closer is most likely safe because the next guy up is Qualls, and well, if that last stat statement wasn’t enough to make you bored, I don’t know what else to say. The look of the rest of the pen is very unproven with Scott Oberg, Justin Miller, and Gonzalez Germen. What this bullpen needs is a youth movement to come front and center. They have the guys there, but aren’t utilizing them in a role that is conducive for anything outside of dynasty leagues that count holds. Eddie Butler and Carlos Estevez (no not that one) are a good start to what could be a decent mix. And yes, I see Butler as a bullpen arm. Getting chances are sparser than other teams for the Rockies, but with time, and once they start invigorating the youth into the chain of holds and saves command, progress will be made even above sea level. Let’s see what other gobs of knowledge we have for the closers over the last few weeks…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jose Altuve is on pace for 60 homers. He can’t even reach the cereal in the morning! If an opposing manager were to ask to see Altuve’s bat, they would crack it open to reveal gumballs because he’s the leader of the lollipop guild. If the major leagues were to institute a Daffy Duck ‘You Have To Be This Tall’ sign before getting to the batter’s box, Altuve would need his mother to escort him into the batter’s box every time. That’s assuming she’s tall enough! If she’s not, who does he get? His uncle? Erik Kratz? If might were height, Jose Altuve would be a giant. That much is true. I love that lil’ bugger! I want a Teddy Ruxpin in the shape of Altuve to cuddle at night. Last night, he went 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 9th homer, hitting .330. So, the question is, can he keep it up? Up is not a word I associate with Altuve, and, no, he can’t keep it up. No one could keep up this pace. Of course, he’s still a .315 hitter with an easy 110 runs, 35 steals and 70 RBIs, i.e., a top ten bat. So, keep it up? No, not without four phonebooks under him. Do enough to make you glad you didn’t sell high? As a French dwarf would say, “Wee!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At some point, you look at your roster, then look at yourself in the mirror and the repeat that 31 more times and ask yourself this question… When is chasing saves from the worst possibilities a bad idea? My best advice, as your advocate of bullpen swagger, is never. Realize the talent that is in the bullpen and say: is 1-2 saves really worth a waiver claim, a roster drop of someone else and a complete destruction of your rates and quite possibly your dignity? If you haven’t guessed it, I am discussing the shatuation in the ‘Nati. Just to get everyone up to speed on the demise, their (and keep in mind that it has only been two-plus weeks of games roughly) Hoover sucked. Jumbo is demoted to minors, Hoover back in and bad again, Cingrani more like Cingran-no. Now all the hype is on Caleb Cotham. Who has the time and rosterbatory rituals to have the right frame of mind to roster these guys from change to change? I get that if you are in a NL-only league, it makes sense to be on the ball, but in mixed league… well, these guys are poop. I was searching for a better word, but I can’t, and poop it is. The combined ERA this year of Reds relievers in a save situation is over five. That, my friends, is not worth the stretch for the sexy total of one save as a team. Seriously, one whole save… you could have been rostering Ivan Nova and gotten the same total number so far. So anyone who likes the punishment, keep an eye on the health of Michael Lorenzen, as he could be next up. So what I am saying is: yes it’s cool and swanky to be the first guy on your fantasy block to unlock the new closer somewhere, but use common sense. If a team is a pile of dung and will kill more stats then the assist, then, well, you already know my response because this is the end of the lede and I just went over it. Stick around for some rankings, general chicanery with words on a page, and hell, maybe a whole pack of lies wrapped around stats. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
“It’s an All-Star edition of Chopped! I’m your host, Ted Allen. Let’s meet the competitors. First up, Aaron Sanchez.” *hits fast forward button* “You know, I didn’t think you could put together such a great starter with turkey jerky, kumquats, Mallomars and boxed rice, but this sauce you made is divine.” Alex Guarnaschelli lifts the bowl and slurps. Geoffrey Zakarian, “I thought it could’ve used a bit more spice.” “Okay, GZ.” True Story Alert! My dog’s name is Ted, and the dog walker’s name is Allen, so in my phone I have him listed as Ted Allen. Whenever he calls, I yell out to Cougs, “I finally got on Chopped!” So, I started Aaron Sanchez and he threw a dazzler, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks. His 89th pitch was a 97 MPH fastball. Sign me up for some of that! I grabbed him off waivers in my RCL (no idea why he wasn’t owned), and I plan on starting him every time out, Stream-o-Nator be damned! To keep the runner at first, I’m gonna quick pitch this one. For the cost of four cups of coffee, you get the Stream-o-Nator. To buy stats for all major leaguers that helps the tools run costs us about $8,000. There’s a shizzton of man hours for Rudy to make the tools. A lot of it is a labor of love; we get that. No one is getting rich here; again, it’s all good. I don’t want to pay extra taxes anyway! Now, with that said (here comes a reversal!), I take the Stream-o-Nator with a grain of salt in April. Sample sizes need to grow. Ugh, that’s what she keeps saying! That’s the size of the sample, sweetheart. Please, don’t put me on the DL with a fractured ego. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*takes a long inhale* “You smell that, Roberta? You, with the yellow-stained armpits and sweatpants, I’m calling you Roberta. That’s baseball you smell. In its infinite complexity and finite simplicity. The foul lines whiter than any Lohan mirror. The grass? Manicured better than any Vietnamese lady could. The object of the game? Accumulate the most stats so I win my fantasy league. Simple, yet complex. Like trying to understand Jeff Foxworthy’s appeal. From today forward, this is our Independence Day (from all that other shizz in our life).” The preceding was Bill Pullman visiting the set of Field of Dreams. To that end, Roberta and your long-flowing sideburns, if the idea is to win saves, that difficulty intensifies when you draft Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson becomes the closer. That’s funny, because the Astros beat writer the other day said GILES IS THE CLOSER. Caps his, not mine. I know how to shut off my caps lock. So, now that GILES IS THE SETUP MAN, I would GRAB Gregerson in EVERY league, though, if it’s competitive, he’s likely GONE by NOW. No idea why Giles is NOT the CLOSER. My GUESS is the Astros went OUT and GOT Giles withOUT their manager, A.J. Hinch, agreeing, so Hinch IS now BEING petulANT. I’d prefer if he were petulANT with A closER I DO NOT OWN. Hey, it looks like I’m typing this on a busted Smith-Corona. Fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page. Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom. I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy. It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that. Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either. Add in the fact that I remember my first beer… So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks. The NSVH question… I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it. Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever? That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance. The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know. I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss. So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.Please, blog, may I have some more?
What if I told you that the top-four teams last year in Holds didn’t make the playoffs? I know the obvious answer would be: it’s a made-up stat that does nothing but clog a fantasy roster with fodder and otherwise un-rosterable relievers. Well, if you said that out loud, then I am mad at you and you can not come to the Razzball Winter Dance Carnival. No, but seriously, I get offended when people make such determinations. Listen, you are either in a league that uses Holds or you aren’t. Not all of these guys is basically like having a second doorstop (when one doorstop will do). Many of these guys are usable in most formats as ratio gaps in K/9, looking for cheap wins or for a slow day of waiver wire madness. My theory on any league is to roster any two relievers that are non-closers at all times. At worst, they decimate your rates for one day. At best they give you an inning or two and give you great rates and a few K’s. Now, for Holds leagues, I am a hoarder. I live by this simple motto. Two pairs and a wild, just like five-card poker. It stands for two closers, two stud holds guys, and a streamer. In moves leagues, it’s a little more difficult to do, but in non-move limited league, it’s a fun way to just basically win your Holds category by August, save yourself the innings/starts and then stream the holy hell out of the last seven weeks. So since you have searched around the web and found zero other info on the topic (yeah, I looked, so take that), here are the holds tiers and sleepers for the 2016 year.
“A Hold is credited any time a relief pitcher enters a game in a Save Situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. Note: a pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a Hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save.” ~ The edited out part of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Late season injuries and minor league call-ups are one thing. Just not doing your job is an utter disgrace. Bruce Rondon was sent home, literally, because of lack of effort. Holy stereotypes. Because getting out of bed, traveling first class and then having to pitch one whole inning a game in the oft-chance that your team may be winning. Yeah, that sounds impossible to me to keep up with. For now the Tigers will roll with a combination of Neftali Feliz and Alex Wilson. So anyone looking for 3-4 saves til the end of the year can be rewarded with the plight of Rondon and his poor work effort. I wouldn’t expect a treasure trove of riches, the Tigers rank in the bottom five in saves, save opps., bullpen ERA, blown saves, and believe it or not, balks by the bullpen. I know that last stat is bupkiss, but when is the last time you ever read a balk stat in a reliever post? It just happened for the first time in history and I am officially placing a copyright on it. So this is the final rankings for the year for closers I will do an end of the year wrap up next week with lots of zany stuff.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The original title Rudy suggested was, Love Is To Own Lindor, but Rudy tells me that title only makes sense to people forced to watch Frozen 5+ times. Let it go…Let it go…Let it go… I just sang that in perfect key and it still caused a cat to screech and paint to peel. Luckily, I don’t have a kid, a cat or paint. Let’s count the ways I love Francisco Lindor. *five minutes later, makes farting sound with hand in armpit* And that’s it! Oh, yeah, I should count the ways I love him aloud so you can hear. Fair enough, you nitpicker, you. Yesterday, he hit his 9th homer (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), topping off a week when he was hitting over .400, a month when he’s hitting over .340, a 2nd half when he’s hitting over .350 with 7 homers and 7 steals. He’s only 21 years old. At 21 years old, you fell asleep on a couch outside of your local bar waiting to talk a girl that you think might have been interested, only waking after a passing bus splashed a puddle of your own vomit onto you. Guys and five girl readers, he has 9 homers in 82 games (essentially a half a season) and he has 30-steal speed. I just got goose pimplies. To emphasize them, I’m drawing little goose faces on my pimples like those psychopaths draw on grains of rice. Yes, you should own Lindor on your teams for this year, and I can’t wait to draft him in sixteen after twenty. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?