I am equating this one solely on one thing for the Cubbies… and that term is?  Pseudo-intellectual.  Joe Maddon does everything different and it’s gotta be the glasses.  He makes everyone want, need or have to be involved in his bullpen.  Basically, he is the united colors of Benetton of managers.  His hydra approach at the bullpen is not only bothersome or troubling for the roster-bater in all of us, it’s damn near impossible to roster and guess which guy it will be today.  The trio of Jason Motte, Hector Rondon, and Pedro Strop all seem to play the part of a closer, but get shuffled around like Joe is playing little game in his head.  I get that some situations warrant certain match-ups, but sometimes it doesn’t make any sense to me.  So for those of you that still care about the Cubs and their six save chances combined between all relievers in the last 14 days, I would roster Motte and Rondon equally, and if I had the space, I would roster Rafael Soriano and hold on tight.  Soriano is going to come in like the new city slicker, with a shiny pair of aldo shoes and end up being the cat’s pajamas for about a minute in Maddon’s mind.  Personally, rostering three guys to garner one stat is a crazy, crazy thing to get wrapped up into and is a waste.  If you are rostering one non-closer reliever to help with ratios, where are you making this roster space up from?  Nowhere is the answer, my friends.  So stick to the straight and narrow for saves for now, don’t chase unless a clear situation opens it’s doors and gives out the good candy on Halloween.  Stick around for some tidbits about the world of relief-dom…

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You ever look at a pitcher and just realize that he’s running out of gas much sooner than you expected him too?  Well, that’s what I am noticing from the Mets closer of the moment, Jeurys Familia.  He is pitching like his best friend died or his pet rock was used in a terrarium for a science fair project.  I am not liking the trend of the K’s disappearing, hell he went four appearances without getting one.  For a guy with a 10-plus K/9, that is worrisome.  The BAA is up for the month, walks are triple from what the previous two months were, and he is trying to pull of a mocha shoe with a green suit.  I mean, come on.  So just the other day, Bobby Parnell came in got a nice tidy 5-out save and it made me think, the way the Mets are and what their needs as a team are, is this the solution that they need?  They needed bullpen help, a nice veteran returning who knows the ropes, walks with a pimp skip (no cane on the field though), and has the ability in previous years to get the job done if need be.  I personally just think Jeurys needs a lessened work load to make him bounce back.  Still, it is worth noticing or monitoring that Bobby P is back, and he is rounding up his bottom and top slags from Queens Point and is in waiting.  Lets see what other bits of delusion I have to scour up for ya.  Enjoy the week… cheers!

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Recently, I’ve been struggling with middle infielder availability on my own team.  I was left between, Odubel Herrera off waivers or Brad Miller, so what did I decide to do?  Trade Matt Harvey for Troy Tulowitzki  – that’s right, I’m about as high on either of these guys as John Stewart is on – well, height.  For this post, I’m going to get into why exactly Herrera doesn’t do it for me; we’ll get to Miller another day.

If you’ve read either of my previous columns, you’ll know that I’m not your typical fantasy writer – if you want to base your roster decisions on statistical indicators, this isn’t the place for you.  I like to roll up my sleeves and dig into how guys play; if you’re also enamored with the art of the game, welcome home friend.  As a reminder, when analyzing hitting approaches, I break the swing into three universal components: stance, trigger, and swing path.  I provided a detailed explanation of each component at the bottom of the article in case you aren’t familiar.

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For a few days it’s been all quiet on the closer front.  Usually in the lede, I talk about a change in regime and the pluses/minuses and my opinion on it.  There hasn’t been one for two whole weeks…  It’s crazy.  MLB is putting me outta business in the jibing about fantasy closers market.  Where does the unemployment line start?  I am only half kidding, and I’m also half crazy too. So that makes me half-something.  So believe it or not, the season is officially 3/8 of the way over.  That is just crazy in itself to even fathom.  I think I have rambled on about nothing long enough… let’s talk about someone, anyone, shall we?  I like the rebound to form that Mark Melancon has shown, due to a K/9 of 4.68.  I haven’t seen a true one-outcome reliever before, but if you own him, I would sell for a better product.  You can probably get by on two things in your favor.  One, his name uses letters that can be read in a left-to-right format, which, from what I am understanding, is standard for reading purposes.  Two, he has 6 saves in the last two weeks and when people look to see how he has been doing, they will see that he is tied for the lead during that time frame in saves.  Listen, if you need saves and you own Melancon, I am not saying go out and sell him cause I said so.  I am saying swap him and a extra player and see if you can get an improvement on the K category.  The other owner will be so smitten that he got a closer and another player for just a closer, he won’t realize that he was jobbed.  Side note, make sure he doesn’t read this blurb first or the jig is up.  Stick around more snippets of informative justice are on the way…

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Big changes since last week kibitzed away and lot’s of rankings went up and down.  The regions in the south seem to be upping the border patrol in regards to the save situation, as both Texas and Arizona are forming committees.  For this week, I would rather focus on the desert instead of the burbs of Arlington.  So with the demotion of Addison Reed and a full on committee type approach, I am throwing my sombrero on Enrique Burgos to stay, maintain, and hold the job.  I have touted him on two previous occasions as the “next gunslinger to be” down there, and well, guess what?  He’s here… sorta.  Until Chip Hale realizes that he has a 60’s sitcom name and gets his head out of the Archie comics, we may be stuck withe the veteran preference type thing.  We shouldn’t be, but most likely will be.  We have seen what Zig-Zag has done and Reed?  Well, he’s cooked in my eyes.  Enrique is the goods.  He is the typical high 90’s fastball having nonsense closer that you want.  His minor league numbers suggest a high K rate, an occasional propensity to give up a walk, but he is young and sealing his oats.  Be semi-patient, he has 18 total innings above A-ball.   So far in the majors, he has 20 k’s in 11 plus innings.  That is pretty nasty.

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This week I’ve got two really ugly recommendations for those of you in need of stolen bases.  The first player has been slumping badly, the second is Public Enemy No. 1 as far as some Rusney Castillo fans are concerned… Adam Eaton or considering how he’s (not) hitting lately, Adam “I haven’t Eaton in days”.  Ok, he’s not exactly old yet and his 59/5/37/14/.264 ROS (Rest Of Season) Steamer projection (R/HR/RBI/SB/AVG) is actually quite good and is in fact better than the projections of some of the younger players I’ve recommended previously.  Secondly, we have Shane Victorino aka Rusney Castillo’s wet blanket (well to be fair, Castillo’s inability to stay healthy has been his own wet blanket, but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story) who is back from injury.  He might not be worth owning if he’s only going to start 4 times a week but if he’s starting 5-6 times a week, well, he’s better than a lot of other players out there.   Before dismissing Eaton and Victorino keep in mind veterans Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan have fared pretty well this year.  And let’s face it, I’m basically making recommendations here for your last roster spot.  These are all players that are fairly expendable, that’s why they are out there in so many leagues.

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If you remember (no problems if you don’t, since I don’t remember at all… alcohol folks), last week, I went over the generic “this is April” schtick that many fantasy players love to hate. But it’s true! It is, in fact, April. But to other meaning, it’s still way too early to come away with any profound conclusions. True, a whole week has passed by, a whole week I tell ya! But I’m going to tell you the same thing… and that is the Phillies and Twins are still terrible. Honestly though, don’t throw away Gregory Polanco. Give Shin-soo Choo a chance! (Eh, maybe.) Try not to sell high on Joey Votto… (health is a big deal, whowuddathunk?) Again, I’m probably repeating myself, but just try and stay calm. It’s going to be okay. Unless you’re Mark Melancon. Then yeah… you’re toast. (Hopefully French toast. Because French Toast is Best Toast. Coincidentally, that’s my team’s name in the popular e-Sport of DotA 2. Because I only deal in facts. Also, my pocket protector says hello. We will also be playing in our first tournament starting on this Sunday, so wish us luck!) Anyhow, follow me after the jump to take a look back at what was week three AND a look forward on all things Razzball, including some player suggestions for next week, straight from Razzball’s Streamonator, Hitter-Tron, and DFSBot!

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The Tigers announced that Joe Nathan had a torn UCL and would require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This could be the end of a once-illustrious career. To commemorate all that Nathan has done for baseball, this Fourth of July, at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, they will be eating Nathan’s discarded elbow tendons. Takeru Kobayashi said, “I’ll be training on udon and Brandon Beachy tendons for the next few months, then a week before I will eat nothing but Sabathia’s knee ligaments to widen my gullet.” Gotta love that guy’s ambitious spirit. So, Nathan’s done and Joakim Soria now becomes a top twelve-ish closer with the chance of being top seven-ish by season’s close. As long as -ish don’t kill my vibe! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Apparently, it was never the elevation in Coors. It was because it was cold in Colorado. Or at least that’s what the Yanks/Tigers game looked like last night while it was played in Arctic temps (granted, a hot day in the Arctic) and snow. Other teams may get some ideas that it’s all about the cold. “Let’s get Howard, Utley, Galvis and Asche on that side of the air conditioner, and the outfield on the other side. Now go straight from the AC to the batter’s box. No, don’t stop at the on-deck circle! You’re dropping to room temp!” Yesterday, David Price gave up 8 ER on 13 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. That reminded Yankee fans of their teams from the 1950s, or when most of the current roster was teenagers. Obviously, this is just a blip, but if you can buy Price from a panicked owner, I’d consider it, even if it did seem yesterday like Price was Rocky screaming at Mickey to cut him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Jake Lamb hit the DL with a stress reaction in his foot. Now the Diamondbacks’ defense will go from Lamb to the slaughter with Yasmany Tomas taking over. Yasmany makes Sandoval look like a gazelle. Yasmany has the agility of an extra-wide trailer. Yasmany looks like the genie in Aladdin, which means the D-Backs’s 3rd base shituation was Lamb-or-Genie, which is also a northern Italian farmer’s lamb that he hung a car medallion around its neck and rides around to swap meets. I’d look at Yasmany in all leagues (yesterday, he went 2-for-3, 1 run with only one error!), because he does have power to spare — think 27-homer power — and he could surprise people with some regular playing time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?