It is the time of year where we see daily grind injuries. Sore backs, back stiffness, back discomfort etc. A lot of injuries that just accumulate from playing six games a week in the summer heat. If you thought we’ve had a lot of injuries so far — I have a sneaking suspicion there are going to be more of these type of injuries. Not season ending — just break down injuries. If you have an opportunity to acquire a multi-position player like Brandon Drury, Danny Valencia, Chris Taylor or Taylor Motter you might make it through these injuries better than your opponents. 

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It’s Peacock week here at Razzball, and I for one, have been trying my damnedest to use some of the lessons taught to me by my mentor, the sometimes debonair, but mostly creepy, world-renowned pickup artist Mystery. You might remember this sexual predator from MTV at some point in the last 10 years. MTV, ruining everything since 1981! You might not recall this, particularly if you’ve never been under the spell of a man dressed as the lead singer of Jamiroquai, but Mystery has long preached the word of “Peacocking”. I can’t be sure, but I’m almost certain that this is the act of pretending you’re Brad Peacock to pickup women. I mean how could this not work have you seen “The P-Cock” in all his glory? Gorgeous just like a horse is, to say the least. The 29 year old Peacock has spent parts of 5 seasons in the majors, mostly as a shuttle arm, between AAA and the majors. In 2017 however, the righty has been a bit of a revelation for the Astros, first in the bullpen, and now in the rotation. Grey wrote him up on Friday, and he’s been one of the more interesting streams over the last few weeks. If only due to that heavenly 15 K/9 over his first three starts. So let’s dig into Peacock and see what he’s doing on the mound, when not going into liquor store rages.

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I’m at my computer checking baseball news about six months a year.  Give or take about five hours here and there.  On Saturday, it was one of those times I was away from my computer, due to a family wedding in Cape May.  Closer change, prospect call-up.  Happens when you’re away from the computer, that’s it.  Call it a wrap.  With Prospector Ralph in the league, there’s no chance for me.  Around 6 PM, I got the dreaded text.  “Lewis Brinson was called up.”  Too bad I didn’t see it until about 7 PM.  Had a lavender-flavored champagne in one hand, a lobster claw in the other hand, my mom was like, “You have butter dripping down your chin,” my grandfather was complaining Bruno Mars doesn’t have good choruses in his songs, and there was the text, sitting there on a locked iPhone screen.  Done.  Sigh.  Well, if you got him, or can still get Brinson, you should.  Jonathan Villar hit the DL, and, brucely, he wasn’t playing well and Keon Broxton (1-for-4 and his 7th homer yesterday) moves to a platoon role.  Unless Brinson totally flames out, he’s up, and playing for good in center.  In Triple-A, he had six homers and seven steals in 45 games, which is what I’d expect from him in the majors.  Your basic 25/25/.280 guy.  Yesterday, he hit leadoff went 0-for-2 with two walks and stole his first base. Yes, he should be owned everywhere, and could be the Trea Turner-type call-up of the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Something struck me the other day.  Luckily, not a bus.  No, it was a thought.  Bus-sized thought!  I was looking at Rob Neyer’s Twitter account, and he’s almost completely stopped talking about baseball and it’s all about politics.  It’s like he’s taken “stick to sports” as a directive of what not to do.  Occasionally, I’ll make a joke about Trump, but no more than I joke about being married to a Cougar, being a Jew who thinks he’s black, Mike Napoli’s mom’s breasts, hating C**nt Hurdle or an array of things.  Honestly, I miss baseball Rob Neyer.  His hot takes on politics are fine.  Personally, I agree with his politics, but at a certain point doesn’t he miss baseball?  He was the one person who I read religiously at ESPN.  Might be the last person I’ve ever read at ESPN.  The grand game misses you, buddy, come back from the MSM hot takes.  Any hoo!  Rudy’s title inspired me to talk on that topic, but Joe Ross.  He’s why we’re here.  Yesterday, he went 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (0 BBs), 12 Ks.  Is it a Mirage or is the Circus, Circus back in town and he’s a Treasure Island of Wynn (I don’t know why I’m in Vegas now.)  His peripherals can go either way.  His 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.48 xFIP are gorge, but his velocity is way down.  Down to the point where his Hard Contact is up nearly 10% to just under 40%.  The absolute worst of the worst allow Hard Contact at that rate.  Yesterday was a great sign, and I’d hold or grab him, but I want to see another start before saying he’s back.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week, “Beef” Welington Castillo took a foul ball right to his “beef.” Which made me question — do major league baseball players ever wear cups? Especially catchers? I know they’re awkward, bulky and uncomfortable, but the alternative is genital mutilation. (This has to be the first genital mutilation reference on Razzball, right? Wait…Grey must have written it at least once.) When I was a kid playing baseball it felt like I was always taught that a cup was the most important piece of equipment I had to wear. The older kids would tell horror stories about coaches who would do cup checks by letting a bat pendulum swing into your crotch. While wearing a cup and jock strap as a kid was an uncomfortable experience, the fear of a sadistic sociopath of a coach crushing my manhood was much worse.

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The Astros exploded for 17 runs yesterday, and it was the second game in the last three where they scored at least 16 runs.  Twins pitching, “Hold my beer…”  Am I doing that right?  The hero of the Astros’ offense, and a man that is widely known as George Jefferson Springer led the way with 4-for-4, 4 runs and his 12th homer and 13th homers, hitting .265.  The only thing missing from George Springer‘s game is saving a baby that is stuck in a tree and/or figuring out a way to ensure future babies don’t get stuck in the same tree (and maybe some steals).  Serious question, why is Springer hitting leadoff and Jose Altuve (1-for-4, 2 runs, hitting .319) in the two-hole?  It’s not hurting the Astros, but it is hurting my fantasy teams’ RBI totals!  Evan Gattis (4-for-6, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer) needs to hit cleanup?  How about Alex Bregman (2-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer) hits cleanup, Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer) hits fifth, Gattis sixth and Yulieski Gurriel (1-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) hits eighth or lower?  Is that the most obvious thing I’ve ever said in my life?  Okay, after the time I said, “I’m not going up in any hot air balloon.”  All right, also not as obvious as the time I said, “I’m lost,” after driving around for two hours pretending I knew where I was going.  Fine, also after the time I said, “I can’t bench press 55 pounds.”  After those things, this is the most obvious thing I’ve ever said.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The title is referring to 24.  I never saw 24.  Well, I’ve seen the number.  I never saw the show.  No interest really.  Not my sorta thing.  I do have a Kiefer Sutherland story though.  I think I recapped it in my book, Who Is Grey Albright?  Long story short, at my first job ever in Boston (and really only job ever where I collected a weekly paycheck), I was working in a film production office and someone called for the producer and I asked them who they were.  “Tell him, it’s Kiefer,” and I was like, “Kiefer?  Kiefer who?”  “It’s Kiefer Sutherland, you jackass!”  I wasn’t made for answering phones, apparently.  Y’all gotta admit; you hear the name Kiefer out of context and it’s a bizarre name.  Though, it wasn’t fully out of context, I suppose, since it was a film office.  Any hoo!  Whatever Trevor Bauer did prior to yesterday’s game, do it again!  Was it the pre-game chucking of a softball three-quarters of hectare?  Then do that!  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners with 14 Ks.  Well, hello, there.  Can you stay a while?  Maybe I can make you a Cuba Libre and some Brazilian cheesy bread?  His peripherals are gorge too — 11.5 K/9, 3 BB/9 and a 3.03 xFIP.  Of course, his opponent, Sonny Gray went 4 2/3 IP, 7 ER, and thus illuminates the problem.  Gray was solid too, a game ago, and now look at him.  I’d grab Bauer for some Ks, but the risk is enormous.  He doesn’t just happen to have a 6.00 ERA even after yesterday’s game.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Does anyone remember when Vince Vaughn was funny? It was a time long ago in a land far, far away, your wife was still dating guys wearing Armani Exchange shirts, and George W. Bush was using words like strategrey. It was long before the abortion that was True Detective Season 2, or Couples Retreat, and sometime between Swingers, and The Breakup. In that wrinkle in time Vince Vaughn ruled the box office, and the douchy part of our soul where things like Ed Hardy t-shirts, mirror selfies, and Criss Angel performances still roam free. So where am I going with this awkwardly constructed analogy? I’ll hurry up and get to the point, today’s subject Vince Velasquez has much in common with his big screen brother in initials, way beyond his first name and banal use of the word “Bae-be”. He too started his career with a bang, and universal love during his brief stay in Houston, and then the early season dominance in 2016. And much like Mr. Vaughn, Velasquez took on the task of leading man in the drama that is the Philadelphia Phillies 2017, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to recapture the magic. Maybe Velasquez’s nightmare seems less like a heroin dream, and more like a string of poor performances. But the effect is still the same, you just don’t view their latest release with the same excitement you used to. So when I was tasked with covering Velasquez this week by our fearless leader Grey Albright, it felt like a choir singing to me. Perhaps it was the angelic voice of Mr. Albright, perhaps it was my paycheck. Either way, when Grey Albright comes to you and asks “Can you see what’s happin’ with this young brother”, you A. wonder when he became a member of 5% Nation, B. you profile Vince Velasquez. So to the God Grey Albright this is for you…

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Yesterday, Dirt McGirt, Dirty Nasty, Tha Ol’ Dirty Chinese Restaurant, Big Baby Jesus, Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with 5 Ks.  Last Phillie to do that was Pat Burrell.  Burrell remembers wistfully, “Ah, yes…’Slump Buster September 2008.’  That was Jamie Moyer’s granddaughter’s friend.  She was like a keg with two arms.  She looked like Matt Stairs with longer hair.  I believe Brett Myers introduced us.  Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why she was always flinching.”  Odubel’s average is down to .226 and his OBP is .275.  M-E-T-H-O-D MAN that is bad.  Shame on a Herrera.  Ooh, baby, I like it raw, but that’s filled with salmonella.  He swings at the third most pitches outside the strike zone and his strikeout rate is up 4% while his walk rate has fallen 4%.  Put it all together and you have one of the worst hitters in the majors right now.  So, can he come out of it?  Future:  Cloudy.  He’s more of a .265 hitter, but swinging at balls outside the zone can quickly spiral and shove him further into his slump.  Before last year, he had a full season of 8 HRs and 16 SBs, couple that with .265 and you’re not looking at the guy you thought you were getting in March.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Vince Velasquez will try his best Vaudeville Villain impression on Thursday against the Rockies, flashing more heat than Viktor Vaughn rapping about an armed robbery. At just $7,400 on FanDuel, buying Velasquez is a modern day mugging. I get that he has a 5.98 ERA, but as Viktor Vaughn says, “the roach is never dead.” VV is still rocking a 9.27 K/9 on the season, which he gets from his dominant fastball and his curveball (respect the drop). He’s getting killed by a 21.4% HR/FB rate, and while it hasn’t been purely bad luck, Velasquez is a better pitcher than his results have shown. The Rockies on the road are about league-average, with a .313 wOBA, good for 16th in baseball. They strike out a lot, at 23.8% away from Coors, so VV has major strikeout potential against them. The best part about Velasquez is that everybody else is too afraid to play him, especially since the Rockies have thumped the Phillies three nights in a row. Even if Velasquez has another blow-up start, the strikeouts should buoy him. But if Velasquez can hold it together, he will provide huge numbers at a bargain price.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?