Julio Urias is this week’s gut-punch injury of the week. The 20-year-old uber-prospect is about to miss a year and a half (at least) after undergoing anterior capsule surgery in his throwing shoulder. Urias has had some bad luck throughout his life. As a kid in Mexico, Urias underwent three surgeries on his eye to remove a non-cancerous mass. In 2015 he had cosmetic surgery to repair the drooping eyelid caused by this mass. Hopefully Urias will come back strong from this current surgery, but there is cause for concern any time there is a major surgery on a pitcher’s throwing shoulder. I’d recommend dropping him even in dynasty leagues as his successful return is not a given. As for his replacement you can trade one J-U for another: Jose Urena (17.7%.) Over his last 4 starts Urena has 3 quality starts and 16 K’s in 23 IP. He’s allowed 23 base runners which isn’t phenomenal, but Urena’s throwing shoulder is in one piece so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

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Technical difficulties forced us to re-record the final 45 minutes of the podcast, and Grey came out extra punchy for the second take. One second he is threatening to strangle me, and the next he is professing his love for me. Speaking of love, Grey also reveals that he was actually trying to get a job the first time he accidently hit on Cougs at the Chiropractor’s office (he still struggles to get her to read his scripts). On the fantasy baseball side, we cover a lot of ground, starting with Starling Marte, Carlos Rodon, Franklin Barreto, and Blake Snell, before moving on to some players on the rise, including Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini, Mike Montgomery, and Travis Shaw. Finally, I congratulate MattTruss for absolutely dominating the Razzball Only FantasyDraft Contest last week, and look forward to attempt to take him down in tonight’s contest. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

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One of the things I love most about baseball, but particularly covering prospects, is when a guy I totally missed on pops up, and exceeds expectations. Sure, I could become obsessed with my own reputation, and shoot down any suggestion that I missed on a player. But what fun is that? So, when it comes to Nick Pivetta, I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t see this coming. Hell, I wrote up 15+ Phillies prospects, and name dropped another 7-8, and didn’t even mention Pivetta. Fangraphs covered 33 Phillies prospects, and Pivetta ranked in at 27! All this to say, that the “out of nowhere” label is somewhat appropriate when it comes to the Phil’s righthander. After an outstanding outing vs the Red Sox at home a few weeks ago, the strikeouts, and numbers in general seem to be trending in the right direction. So why not check him out, and see if we in fact have a breakout bubbling. Before we begin, big shouts to Oaktown Steve, who’s been hyping up Pivetta in the comments the past few weeks like a Sabermetrics Flavor Flav. Only he turned in his giant clock (read that fast), for an abacus, which I’ve heard can get a bit bulky when worn as a necklace. Anyway, let’s get into Pivetta’s last start vs the Cardinals at home, the second time he’s faced the Redbirds in four starts. He’s going today in Arizona, so maybe we’ll see if he’s worth rolling out… Actually no rookie pitcher with a heavy fly-ball approach should be started in Arizona, but that’s just common sense. On to the profile!

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Oakland promoted Franklin Barreto this weekend, and a friend of mine who I only see when he’s mowing my lawn said, “You got to go to The Mission if you really want a Barreto.”  Recalling my 1600 Yelp reviews of every Chipotle in Los Angeles county, I exclaimed, “No way, Jose!”  But he replied, “Mr. Grey, my name is Julio.”  Then we laughed, and, even though he laughed with jajajajaja and I laughed with hahahaha, we found a common ground.  As for fantasy, Prospector Ralph said, “Barreto offers hard contact, some speed.  Gets caught a lot, and who knows how much the A’s send him.  He’s exciting though.  Upside guy with a low floor this season.  Now can I go back to bitching about Tanaka?”  There ya go!  Right from the prospect whore’s mouth!  I tried to get Barreto in all of my leagues, but, alas, he was gone.  Yesterday, he went 2-for-5, 1 run, after homering in his first game on Saturday.  He’s worth a flyer in all leagues in case he sticks with Semien.  Ew.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I had this lede in my back pocket.  In the fantasy baseball writing world, it’s called ‘the early lede.’  It’s a form of sandbagging.  You know everyone wanted Mike Montgomery in the preseason, but his rotation spot wasn’t confirmed.  So, in March, you write a Mike Montgomery Buy lede like you’re filling in a Mad Libs.  You say how he’s been great/solid/surprisingly awful but will come around.    You can’t believe the Cubs took this long/moved this fast with him.  His rotation spot was all but guaranteed once (pitcher’s name) got injured.  That (same pitcher’s name) wasn’t good anyway and now Montgomery is here to stay for the season/the month/this next start.  So far this year, he has a 61% ground ball rate, which would be the 3rd best in the majors if he qualified, and has a 8.6% swinging strike rate, which would be around the top 40.  Those two numbers give the promise that his strikeout and walk rate aren’t giving yet.  His 2.26 ERA is a bit of a fairy tale in unicorn clothes, but there’s still enough to be encouraged by.  You better get him/have to get him/maybe should get him!  This could be the pickup of the year/maybe a streamer and you better act fast/moderately quick/sometime while you’re still drawing breath.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Our Commissioner Manfred presses his intercom, “Please escort in the Guatemalan baseball stitchers.”  Manfred’s secretary brings six men dressed in blanket ponchos and straw hats.  Their leader steps forward, “Mr. Manfred, the Capri Suns you have us using to juice the balls is not working.”  Their leader pulls out a baseball that is dripping with Ecto Cooler.  Manfred turns in his seat, silhouetted with the setting sun.  He lights a Virginia Slim 120 and pulls, coughing slightly.  “I no longer want the balls juiced.  Now….I want you and your friends to go to Dodger Stadium and blow.”  “Mr. Manfred, we are not sex workers!”  “Not blow like that!  Put your lips together and blow.”  “Like Bogey and Bacall?”  “Yes!  Now go!”  …And this was how Dodger Stadium became a launching pad.  Yesterday, Corey Seager (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) hit three homers (10, 11, 12), Yasmani Grandal (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 7th homer and Cody Launchangler (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) did it again, hitting his 22nd.  Granted, someone needs to put Cody Launchangler in carbonite for Cooperstown — we can’t risk something happening to him playing baseball! — but this Seager guy is pretty good too, huh?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Mike Montgomery ($10,800) is finally getting his chance in the rotation after being in the hybrid role of starter and reliever. He has a great matchup tonight versus the San Diego Padres as they rank dead last in hitting against LHP (.215 AVG .613OPS). They also rank in the top three in strike outs so Montgomery should be able to feast on the weak hitting line up. We also have Chris Sale ($25,600) on the slate and he has a fantastic matchup vs. the Kansas City Royals. He is very expensive but with Montgomery’s low price, he is very affordable and you can still mix in some quality bats. Lets take a look at the picks…right after the editor comes in and steals my thunder.  [EDITOR’S NOTE]: Sorry bro, we didn’t get a chance to play last week so I definitely have to hop in and give the Razzball Listener’s League link care of FantasyDraft.  Five bucks per person, twenty people may play but only five can win.  Welcome to Thunderdome, beechnuts!  Now back to the writeup…

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Another week, another Clayton Kershaw start pushed to Monday. At least this week they moved the start before I wrote and submitted this article. If they move it again Saturday morning, then I will be convinced that Dave Roberts is just doing this to troll me every week. As of now, he is your top two-start starter for Week 12. He might even deserve his own tier.

For Week 12, there aren’t a ton of attractive options after our first two tiers. In previous weeks, we have had middle-of-the-road arms with some good peripherals or some recent success that were available in the majority of leagues. This week, though, I’m not crazy about any of the starters on this list that are going to be available in most leagues. Just look at the numbers in the chart below.

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Much like in real baseball, in fantasy, timing can be everything. On Monday, Grey mentioned that he’d like to find a term for a guy who does what Tommy Pham did this past Sunday – that is, a guy who goes off on Sunday afternoon, driving up his Sunday night FAAB price. I need a slightly different way to describe this phenomenon in my deepest NL and AL-only leagues, as both have weekly waivers that get processed on Saturday night. I’ve been in one of the leagues for years now, and I’m still not used to it. I don’t know why the founding fathers of this league thought it was a good idea to run waivers on Saturday when everyone and their dog knows that Sunday evening is the proper time to be thinking about one’s FAAB budget (hell, I half expected my computer to auto-correct when I typed the phrase “waivers on Saturday.”) I can only assume it’s to put those of us who might be extra busy/drunk/etc. on Saturday at a disadvantage, and I’m afraid that this particular strategy works on occasion. The week in 2014 that Jacob DeGrom and Anthony DeSclafani were called up, it was hardly my fault that I wasn’t sober enough to rank DeGrom ahead of Disco in my waiver claim list! It haunts me to this day, as it’s a keeper league where I would still have DeGrom at a bargain-basement price… as opposed to the three weeks of bargain-basement pitching I received before I unceremoniously dropped DeSclafani.

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Raisel Iglesias slipped in the shower and hurt his elbow and hip, which could cause him to miss Opening Day.  This has to be the nastiest Reds locker room incident since Aaron Harang dropped the soap and fell on Dick Pole while showering.  Previously, Harang had only slipped on a banana peel, ya know, a by-product of being The Harangutan.  The 2nd nastiest Reds locker room incident happened when Johnny Cueto swept Bronson Arroyo’s leg and he fell into Dick Pole.  Now that I think about it, all Reds locker room incidents involved Dick Pole.  So, Church’s elbow and hip sound like they will be fine, but Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen and Tony Cingrani, likely in that order, could sneak into the closer’s role, and steal the job, since I get the feeling Reds manager, Bryan Price, doesn’t really want Raisel in the closer role indefinitely.  This will likely be a shituation where Raisel, Storen and others share 30 saves, say, 17 saves for Raisel, 9 for Storen and the rest for others.  I’ve updated my fantasy baseball rankings, namely the top 500.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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