So I’m taking us down yet another rabbit hole, into yet another JB’s-vanity-project-abyss. Although, since the last time this happened only two weeks ago, Alex Reyes made it into the rotation! He was only “OK”, and we’re not sure if he’ll be starting again for the next turn, but at least we were put on readiness!
Of course since I added this guy in the REL, I’ve been following Brock Stewart pretty intently this season. Maybe it’s because Brock is a common name we share! But really, it has to do with his under-the-radar ascension through the Minors this season. He’s dominated in the minor leagues with a 9+ K-rate, a BB-rate well under 2, including a 2.49 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 50.2 PCL innings, with a 9.59:1.07 K:BB in OKC. Overall, his MiLB numbers are a 1.68 ERA 0.86 WHIP in 20 starts, with 126:18 K:BB in 118 innings. And yet, no one seems to care about this guy since they want Jose De Leon! While many may be surprised Brock got the call yet again to spot start over De Leon with an opening in the rotation, logistically he’s on the 40-man while De Leon isn’t and there’s a roster crunch. But it’s not like Brock isn’t deserving! And he’s got pretty good stuff – 93-95 MPH fastball, hard slider, and a change-up that is oddly WAY slower than the heater at 81ish MPH.
Obviously, at the Major League level, things couldn’t be more of a polar opposite. Going into yesterday afternoon, his ERA was over 11 in two spot starts and one relief appearance. In that 3 innings of relief his last MLB appearance, he walked 4, or what would’ve been 22.2% of all the walks he’s thrown in the minors all year. Someone isn’t suited for the bullpen! And the two awful starts? One was a little unlucky with some BABIP hits @MIL, then a murdering @COL. Way to make a guy who progressed all the way from A-ball pitch in the two worst parks in the NL! So the start this afternoon, hosting the Cubs, is BY FAR his best matchup. Man, trial by fire! With Stewart so far off the radar, I am hoping that being pot committed and writing this open before the first pitch will cause some cosmic karma and help Brock throw a breakthrough game. Here’s how he looked:
In my preseason Randal Grichuk sleeper post (hey, they’re not all Delino DeShields sleepers, which is to say God awful vs. just merely bad), I said, “How much Grichuk can Grichuk chuck if Grichuk strikes out 30% of the time? Now, I’m no gypsy; I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl that was born in a manger in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Let’s look at some comp hitters, shall we? Not to answer, but to keep reading. Last year, Grichuk struck out 31% of the time after striking out 23% of the time in Triple-A. His minor league strike out rate makes me think he’ll be closer to a 27-28% strikeout guy. Brandon Moss is also around a 27-28% strikeout guy, which Grichuk should be. Grichuk won’t walk as much as Moss, but, okay, they’re close enough for me. Grichuk is a young Moss. I shall call him Pete Moss.” And that’s me quoting me! Maybe old fools die hard with a vengeance while Samuel Jackson screams at them, but Grichuk was just some bad luck with his BABIP away from being exactly what I thought he’d be. His strikeout rate is 27.8% (vs. Moss’ 30%), and he’s only 25 years old. I’m still jazzed on Grichuk like Coltrane with a needle in my vein. Of course, none of this matters if he didn’t hit a bunch of homers this week, and was available in about 75% of leagues. Plant Pete Moss on your team and watch the growth! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s). There was four of us. The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever. It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s. I had no intention of keeping the job. Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving. I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed. The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s. I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?” This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel. The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me. The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.” Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost. He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222. I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked. They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Rough year to be a Prince. Watch yourself William, Henry and the kid who played Fred in the atrocious Scooby-Doo movies. Prince Fielder is done from baseball with 319 homers. Of the tens of thousands of other baseball players that have played the game, the only other person retired with exactly 319 homers is Cecil Fielder. They are also the only two members of the 300-300 club — 300 HR/LB. This also leads me to believe we’re on an 18-year loop with 1998. Wait until Hillary Clinton meets a young Jewish intern in the White House who is just back from Cuba with some cigars. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Steve Cishek hit the DL with the same injury that sounds like it once affected Nadia Comaneci –a torn labrum. Grey’s got Olympics fever! Which this year sounds like it can be transmitted by a mosquito. “I’m not wearing my Brazilian national flag t-shirt to sit in the room all day! Actually, I feel a little woozy too.” That’s a family of four coming down with the Zika Virus at this year’s Olympics. With Cishek likely out for the year, grab Edwin Diaz in all leagues. On a related note, I’ll leave you with the Double Dutch Bus, a song that Missy Elliott later made famous on Gossip Folks. The chorus for Double Dutch Bus sounds like it’s just me trying to say the name Steve Cishek. Fast forward to 2:15 if you’re not feeling early 80s funk and just want the guy to say Steve Cishek repeatedly.
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…
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“But I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do). No, I can’t Jo-Fer that, (Jo can do). Oh, I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do), I can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, but Jo can do!” I can do this all day. Seriously. That yin vs. yang, angel vs. devil, Ho-Hos vs. Yodels constant battle wrecks havoc on me. Jose Fernandez showed why he’s one of my favorite pitchers yesterday. I mean, goddamn, he made that pitch famous, he made that pitch famous! His line: 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 14 Ks. So, what’s the problem? What is the yang, devil, Yodel? That he will be shut down barely into September. If the Marlins stay in the pennant race, Jo-Fer may even be shut down earlier to give him a chance to pitch in October. I love him, but if you can get anything close to equal in value for him, I could see trading him in redraft leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Welcome back Y’all, I hope everyone enjoyed the All-Star break. I don’t know about you, but I dread the break, then it comes and I’m actually thankful for it. I feel revived and ready for the second half push, but part of me is still on break until today. So now it’s time to shake off that DK rust, take a deep whiff of some Nitro and get this biatch started. If you’re a little confused about the lead, let me help clear it up. The two L’s I’m referring to are Jon Lester, $9,400 vs the Mets and Mike Leake, $8,200 vs the Padres. Lester had a rough end to the first half pitching 6 of his last 7 games on the road and he got absolutely hammered for 8 ER at NYM two weeks ago, so why would I roll with him today? He’s a veteran who got some much needed rest over the break. Granted, he threw one inning at Petco last Tuesday but I think he’ll be extremely under owned across the board with J-Fer, Sale and Kluber all going tonight. Lester has been great at home this year with a 2.32 ERA while striking out 62 batters over 54 innings and the Mets are second to last in runs scored vs LHP. Wrigley Field is just what the doctor ordered for Lester’s recent road ails as he’s due to get back on track vs a depleted Mets lineup. Mike Leake turns into Mike Stopper when July 1st rolls around. There’s just something that happens to him when the calendar turns on June 30th as he goes lights out on the mound. It’s time to own him in daily and RCL, at least for the next 3 weeks. He went into the break on a high note striking out 10 in Milwaukee over 7 innings. He’s got a solid matchup at home tonight against the Padres who probably didn’t got into St. Louis at a cushy 4 AM Central this morning. I’m counting on Sneaky Leaky to put up a solid line of at least 8 K’s while he puts it to a weary San Diego team that’s still in vacation mode.
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*nervous finger tap* How many days without baseball? So, I can close my fantasy baseball team browser window without missing anything? Okay. *throws computer out window* What? Was there another way to close my fantasy team page? I hadn’t in so long I forgot. What do you mean I can go outside without worrying about missing anything in baseball? But there’s real people out there! I’m staying right here, thank you very much! So, we’re headed to the break, but Craig Kimbrel just has a tear, no break. He hit the DL with a medial meniscus tear in his knee. Oddly enough, a remedial mend-iscus Band-Aid is not used to fix this. I think you messed up modern medicine, but I’ll reserve judgment. This will sideline Kimbrel for about four weeks. In his place will be Koji Uehara. Koji is famous for his food truck and 41-year-old junk pitches. The newly-acquired Brad Ziegler, who should put a Z like Zorro on the mound after every strikeout, will back up Uehara, because Ziegler’s kinda bleh (1.40+ WHIP, 6-ish K/9) and Koji’s been in Boston a while. Since Boston’s colors are red, they should call him Scarlett Uehara. As for over in Arizona, I agree with Dan Pants in Saturday’s roundup. The non-Yankee Clippard is the one to own. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
The sixth inning of every home Clayton Kershaw start isn’t going to be the same. No longer will Angelenos be filing in as if it’s the first, suddenly realizing that Kershaw is pitching, but now they will be stuck talking about everything but baseball for the entirety of the game and not simply 95% of it. “Ma, can I keep score on the back of my headshot?” “We’re not here to see the game, Timmy, we’re here to run into commercial directors. This is where Stew’s mom got him that Tropicana commercial. You want to pay my bills, don’t you?” “Sorry, ma.” Like the oral sex scene in The World According to Garp, it’s a devastating blow losing Kershaw for any amount of time. He was diagnosed with a herniated disc, but won’t require surgery. The Dodgers are hoping he’s back (poor choice of words) from the DL right after the All-Star Game. I’d pray with you, but I’m using my hands to clap for not drafting a pitcher in the 1st round. The Dodgers did pick up Bud Norris in a trade to fill in. Won’t see any fall off there! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: