Tsuyoshi Wada hit the majors leagues yesterday, so let’s talk about the new Yu Darvish! Actually, that’s Masahiro Tanaka. Okay, let’s talk about the new Hiroki Kuroda! That’s Ryu. Uh, the new Cubs pitcher that I’m excited about? That’s Arrieta. The new pitcher that autocorrect tries to change his first name to tsuris? By the by, is my autocorrect anti-Semitic? Why does it suggest tsuris? Because I’m half-Heb? And why did autocorrect just change Jew to Heb. Siri, dial the Anti-Defamation League and apologize. “Dialing your mother now.” Siri, not cool! Any pitcher that does compare to Wada? Yes, the new Bruce Chen. So, Wada is a rookie in name only. He’s 33 years old, and the first rookie with salt and pepper hair to throw five shutout innings since Satchel Paige. He’s also a soft-tossing lefty. Yawn. He might catch some hitters off-balance, but he’s probably around a high-6 K/9 and a 4 ERA pitcher. Yesterday’s line of 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks is okay, but not much to flap your gums about outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Speaking generally, more than just to help you maximize your lineup’s potential, my plan for this column is also to use it to start discussions over whatever enters my mind about fantasy baseball. Things like the pros and cons of Yahoo vs Espn vs other fantasy service providers, developing a model to predict which relievers will pitch on a given day, or which players will benefit from upcoming interleague play like Corey Dickerson is right now. I got things on my mind is all I’m saying, but for now those will stay there since I’ve got an hour before a friends grad party and this has to be submitted. Down to business!

Last Time & Season Results

Last Article: 21 AB, 1 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .333 AVG

Overall (per game): 0.3 R, 0.0 HR, 0.2 RBI, 0.0 SB, .270 AVG

Although my recs are still light on the counting stats, at least they picked up  plenty of hits, led by Oswaldo Arcia‘s 3-for-5 night. I can’t control whether people are on base, at least not yet! Hopefully a few of you gave Arcia the ol’ scoop in your leagues; he looks like he’ll be productive fruit going forward. Overall on the season my guys are batting a smooth .270, higher than most of your regular’s averages I’d presume.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy early Cinco de Mayo, my tequila-fueled Razzaholics, and welcome back to the Razzball Lounge. We men of letters have donned our sombreros and gathered to celebrate whatever the hell Cinco de Mayo is – hey, I went to a school for dysfunctional teachers in Maine and the only Mexicans we ever saw were picking blueberries and turning John Deere’s into lowriders. We are also celebrating the Razzball revolucian! Yes, Razzball Radio launches this week with Señor Nick, who is currently transporting illegal video equipment across the border as we speak. Good stuff! As we gather in the lounge downing shots of Patron we look back at the first month of the season. There have been hot starts from new meat – Jose Abreu, Charlie Blackmon and Chris Colabello. There have been early season slumps – Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Adam Jones. And every team is battered and broken with Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis and 422 other players on the disabled list. There’s plenty to celebrate and plenty to berate in the lounge today. Bellying up to the bar we find Sky wondering why he drafted a team that is completely on the disabled list. “Hey, at least Nick Punto is healthy!” *throws up on floor* At the jukebox we find Jay Wrong playing “Mexican Radio” for the 23rd time. “I’m on a Mexican radio, whoa! I just picked up  Bobby LaFromboise on waivers!” *bottle smashes above head* New to the Razzball Lounge is stat-boy Dano and his big book of facts who we have strung up from the ceiling for some human piñata-style hazing. “Did you fellas know Babe Ruth’s career wOBA was .510?” *WHACK!* Coming out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict clad in just his Sears poncho. “Hey, guys I’ve set up a cock fight out back.”  Tehol, where are the roosters? “Whaddya mean roosters?” And here at the pool table is your-humble-but-nontheless-guapo Guru. *adjusts turban, closes eye, aims cue, banks eight-ball off three rails, licks salt, downs tequila, sucks lime,* Viva la Jam or Cram!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Marcus Stroman has a slide piece that would make John Popper jealous. Last year, he was just as dominating, so it’s not like this came out of nowhere. Well, last year after he returned from his suspension for testing positive for methylhexaneamine. Did you know that no one connected to the commissioner’s office was able to pronounce what he was suspended for nor anyone directly connected to Stroman? His grandma said, “My grandy-son was suspended for menthol cigarettes?” A coach familiar with Stroman said, “It was really frustrating when people kept asking, ‘What’s he suspended for?’ After a while, when people asked during his suspension where Stroman was, we’d just say he was in the bathroom. No one wanted to try to pronounce the drug he was banned for.” Last week, he threw six no-hit innings. Here’s what Prospect Scott said in the offseason, “The 22-year-old made 20 Double-A starts on the season, posting a 3.30 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and K/9 at 10.4. Those of you who read my posts throughout the regular season know that I’m intrigued by Stroman — he brings a fastball/slider combo that’s as good as any in the minors, and that skill set makes for some exciting performances (he whiffed 11+ batters in four of his 20 starts). Stroman was probably ready for a big league look this past September, but the Jays opted to send him to the Arizona Fall League instead. Big time whiff potential will make him a coveted piece in the fantasy game as soon as he surfaces. Speaking of faces, I hate Grey’s.” Hey! The Jays will be finished with McGowan in the landmark case of sooner vs. later, as well they should be. Stroman could be up any day now, Annie Potts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Carlos Carrasco was bumped from the rotation. Do I smell a 400-foot, long-tossing fool from Columbus, Ohio that has a rap group that plays to sell-out shows in the furnished basement of his parents’ house? Trevor Bauer, your time is near. I said that last line in a Darth Vader voice. Trevor, I am your father. I said that in the voice of someone who has a son named Trevor. Am I confusing you? How about now? Trevor Bauer may have overcome his past WHIPping post issues and could be usable in all mixed leagues. They worked with Trevor in Triple-A. They taught him to pitch from the rubber instead of short center. I would speculate on him, as I said in Friday’s Buy column, I wouldn’t go and drop anyone too crazy valuable. Josh Tomlin may instead be called up to replace Carrasco. Tomlin can’t pitch out of the bullpen because it takes him like 2 innings to get out of his oversized chair. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the most part, there is general theme that I try to cover in this series. Usually, I like to concentrate on the heavily owned guys, say, in the top-100. And within that 100-or-so range, I try to focus on ones that scare the shittake mushroom out of us. Or, players who show us something that is unexpected. A new skill or the deterioration of production are prodded, shaken (not stirred) until we find a suitable conclusion. This is what I do. And while Jhoulys Chacin definitely does not fit the former of what I cover, he does fit the latter quite well. And while he won’t get confused as a player in the top-100, there was a time and a place not too long ago when he was considered a guy with potential, and a pitcher, who, if everything came together, could be a lot more. Plus, you know, this is my series, I do what I want.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a scale of one to ten for most surprising starters, Patrick Corbin is a one. One being the best. When you beat your high score in Mario Kart you never scream out, “I’m number ten,” do you? Okay, so don’t question my numbering. On a scale of one to ten for how likely it is Corbin keeps this up, it’s around a 5, the number made famous by Short Circuit. Didja know before Short Circuit people would count 1, 2, 3, 4, 6? It’s also why Marilyn Monroe left Joe DiMaggio. Corbin’s not a 1.44 ERA pitcher, but he’s not what he seemed like coming into the year either. His fastball has jumped in velocity, which has helped all of his pitches. I don’t own him, which butters my grr’s. I know most of you must’ve benched him in Coors yesterday for his 10 K, 9-inning, three-hitter gizzem, so I’ll say it for you, sonavabench! Luckily, you own him for the whole season and he looks like he can be a mid-3 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7 K-rate guy, i.e., a fantasy two to three. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shelby Miller is living the high life. Major league success, fame, fortune… and twins! Everything’s coming up Shelby. He was masterful last night, tapping the Rockies in a complete game, 1-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. The 13 Ks was a career high and Miller time is now. It’s been an amazing start for the rookie, but this was easily his best performance so far. He gave up a hit to Eric Young Jr. to start the game and then proceeded to retire the next, oh I don’t know…27 batters! Sweet sassy molassy! That’s called dominance, folks. That’s not just a “Shelbyville” idea either, that’s what aces do, and Miller may well have proven himself last night as a legit fantasy ace. He was painting the corners with his fastball yesterday, showing pin point control and throwing serious cheese between 94-96 mph, dude was untouchable. Shelbs grabbed his fifth win and now has a 1.58 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP. The player rater has him as a top five overall pitcher. Yeah, he’s been that good, and it’s the 51/11 K/BB ratio that keeps me up at night thinking about him. He’s the champagne of pitchers and looks like the early favorite for rookie of the year honors. I had my own Shelby Miller fantasy last week and here’s what I said about him, “I believe the best is yet to come for Shelby Miller and have made some substantial offers for him in redraft leagues. I’m buying Miller if I can, even though I prefer Budweiser.” There may be some regression coming, but I expect Miller to continue his success going forward. No matter what beer you prefer to drink, or whether its Miller’s great taste, or the fact that he’s less filling that makes him so good, either way fantasy owners can agree that Shelby Miller has arrived and he’s here to stay.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jered Weaver owners just found another reason to get down on one knee (although shelling out for a ring causes a similar sensation). Weaver will be going to renowned SoCal ‘Doctor of the Skateboarders’ Ollie Ramp. “I usually see these occur when some knucklehead tries to ride a railing and takes a header…or I guess an elbower.” Well, thank God for my Jered Weaver overrated post that helped all of you avoid Weaver in the preseason. Right? *crickets, birds chirping, a little fat kid running through a sprinkler* So, some of you drafted him anyway? Show yourselves for the world to see. You will not be mocked. You will be pointed at derisively. Okay, that’s mocked. The Weaver Drafter, “Everyone was down on Weaver, in the non-sexual way, so he came at such a discount… Besides, you were worried about his decreased velocity, falling K-rate, lucky ERA… You never said anything about him breaking his non-throwing elbow.” Hopefully, kind sir, they have an Excuses For Drafting Weaver category in your league. He’ll be back in 6 weeks. I look forward to others putting him on their DL until then. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rick Porcello won the 5th starter spot in Detroit over Smyly. Or Frownly, as the case may now be. Yawn. This is most unexciting news ever. This is like reading a Yelp review for The Cheesecake Factory. They have big portions. Yay. Who even writes Yelp reviews for The Cheesecake Factory? I want some of your free time, Cheesecake Factory reviewer. I don’t like Porcello and wouldn’t draft him in any leagues. He has a 5-ish K/9, which is atrocious. Which II, The Return of Which Mountain, leads Porcello to need good luck on balls hit into play. Though, no matter what I say, Porcello is invariably asked about in the comments for whether or not to pick him up, so y’all ain’t reading this anyway, and, since you’re not reading, I was the one who made heaving noises from the movie theater balcony and dropped cream of corn soup on your head. (Spoiler Alert for Game of Thrones: Was I the only one who was reminded of Chunk from The Goonies when Tyrion was confessing to the weird breastfeeding lady? Any the hoo!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?