Taijuan Walker will start vs. the Astros on Friday. The Mariners’ front office decided if they were going to sell him for ten cents on the dollar this offseason, then it was best to give him some major league experience. Here’s what Prospect Scott had to say in the preseason, “Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. Still, Taijuan’s greatest asset is his ability to hit Grey in the head with a fastball every time I dream about it.” Hey! That snippet was obviously prior to Bundy’s injury problems. Here’s what I said the other day, “It could be roofie burnout, but I’m not interested in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues, I’d stash Walker to see if you catch a firefly in a bottle, or whatever that yokelism is. He definitely has shown great stuff in the minors (10+ K-rate) if a bit wild (4+ BB/9) in Triple-A. He will be a great pitcher, it probably won’t be this year. Think Wheeler when he was called up.” And that’s me quoting me! Well, I also lied. Kinda. I didn’t intend to lie, but he was just sitting there and I had a free roster spot… Ugh, I’m a glutton for punishment. I need serious help. Why can’t I turn down any high-upside rookie pitcher? Am I an adrenaline junkie like Keanu Reeves in Point Break? Hopefully, Walker doesn’t hang ten earned runs on my pitching line, but I’m expecting him to get Ks and have a relatively unremarkable start on Friday for earned runs and WHIP. For 2014, Taijuan is on the top of the list of guys that could be Matt Harvey 2.0, and I’ll have much more to say about him in the offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Pirates are having a very fine season. There is no knocking on wood required here, no jinxers, no late-season collapse to ruin the party. They will, at the very least, clinch one of the two wild card spots, and as it stands right now, they have a 95.7% chance to do so. It’s been over 20 years since the last time they were there. As a baseball story, I think we can all appreciate the idea of a good Pirates baseball team. And as such, the journey of this baseball team has, in turn, illuminated several individual performances that have not just come as a surprise in the world of ‘real’ baseball, but that of fantasy as well. In an effort to choose which player to spotlight, and ultimately narrowing my focus to a few performances, I stumbled upon something very interesting. It wasn’t just the fact that both of the players in question had improved substantially from their career norms. And it wasn’t just the fact that both of these players were producing career years or near-career years. It was the fact that both of these players shared the same exact process for these improvements. That is to say, A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano changed in the exact same way, and in effect, share the exact same result. Because of this, we’re going to scrap the normal ‘single’ player spotlight and go over both of these guys. And since they’re Pirates, I get to have a little fun. ARRRRRGH you ready?
Booty, booty, booty. I couldn’t help myself. Okay, now I’m ready. Booty.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have a team building exercise for the Mets. Get Kevin Mitchell on the horn. He has at least five baby mamas that are flight attendants. Scrounge up the plane Lenny Dykstra owned for a minute before filing for bankruptcy. You’re going to Hawaii. All you need to do is recover the tiki doll that was lost in Maui and return it to the grave of Vincent Price. Otherwise, your team will remain cursed forever. What a terrible blow to Matt Harvey keeper owners. And not what terrible blow, as was heard around the Mets clubhouse in the 80′s. Harvey’s done for at least 15 months if he needs Tommy John surgery, and that’s what it sounds like, while Tommy John Surgery sounds like, “I don’t want to rob the world of greatness, yet I do. Repeatedly.” Poor Tommy John Surgery. No one wins here! In redraft leagues, you can obviously drop Harvey. His innings count came slightly earlier than expected. 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?
WHO ARE YOU BRUCE CHEN?! I demand answers immediately. I know, yesterday was just against the Marlins, so we can write off the 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks game. But when I put into my supercomputer (that has a mustache too) that Chen has a 1.62 ERA in 72 1/3 IP, my supercomputer walks out the door…And it doesn’t even have legs! If you woke from a season-long coma and saw Chen’s ERA, you’re liable to have a sudden case of Toxic Shock Syndrome (I might be confusing diseases here). So, can the Chen man keep wokking and rolling like he’s Martin Yan? No way in this giant-lush-covered-in-water-thanks-to-Al-Gore planet. He’s not a sub-2 ERA pitcher. He’s barely a 4-ERA pitcher. As a sabermetrician altered license plate in New Hampshire reads, Regress or Die. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A Hill O’ Beans is back on top after a couple of weeks in 4th place, nudging MasterofGrond down to second. They hit .311 and scored an RCL-best 60 runs, and also had an ERA under 3. There are still many teams in contention with seven weeks to go, so it should be a fun stretch run.
Check out the Master Standings (you can also access them via the Leagues menu up top) to see where your team ranks in comparison to the other 767 teams through Sunday. The page now includes sortable stats.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Your regular Creeper columnist, Sky, is taking the week off as things start to heat up over on the football side of things here at Razzball. I know, I miss him too. Turn that frown upside down, though, because I’ve got a nice Creeper for you this week in Will Venable. When I went to write this post, I looked for four things: nice matchup(s), a player who is widely available, somebody who’s actually hitting right now, and a player who can contribute in multiple categories for your fantasy team. Venable fits the bill this week. He’s always been the poor man’s power/speed combo player, but he’s frustrating to own long term due to a crowded San Diego outfield cutting into his playing time and an inability to really hit for average. Even so, I think he’s a good bet this week for some power and speed. As an added bonus, he’s one of a handful of players that wasn’t accused of taking PED’s by Jack Clark…so there’s that.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a new love of my life. No, it’s not the Georgia girl on MasterChef, though she’s all right. His name is Danny Salazar, and he’s a sexy beast that makes me want to get all flirty and shizz. I call him K-zar. It’s pronounced like czar, so it’s a soft K like his touch, but that’s where the softness ends. He was regularly hitting 99 MPH on the speed gun-measuring-MPH-thingie and even topped out at triple digits. Swoon. He made the Tigers looks like the Mariners until Miggy got a hold of one on his last pitch of the game — 7 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks. Doesn’t matter, he gets the Twins next then the A’s in Oakland. I know, what about Corey Kluber? Who’s going to sell energy drinks and tell all the ravey Asian kids where the after-hours party is without Kluber?! Sigh, I know. We’re over him now. He’s going to be out until late-September and Salazar is taking his place in the rotation. I want Salazar in every single league. Yeah, that one. Yup, that one too. Go to it, young prematurely balding man! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, here we are again. You could say it’s been a long time. Or, you could be like me, and say it hasn’t been long enough. This series obviously is not one that touches on hot button issues. There are no Mike Trout or Matt Harvey sightings. Simply put, this series is more a labor of love than anything. I get tired of reading pieces that are supposed to be on deep leagues, and they spend time talking about Lucas Duda. NOT DEEP ENOUGH. And while I moan and groan about discussing the likes of Luke Montz or Chris Rusin, I want to make sure that someone does. Because, first of all, Luke Montz and Chris Rusin deserve to be known by somebody… anybody. Not just their mothers. And second of all, well, simply put, you deep leaguers understand what’s going on here. And if you don’t understand, imagine if your starting lineup consists of names like Nick Punto and Brendan Ryan and Joe Thatcher… then you will know what it is like to be us. And you will wonder why we do what we do. Which, to be perfectly honest, is what we wonder about too. So, with all the time off from this series, I’m sure there is plenty to talk about. [Looks at player list] UGHHHHH.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?