I have returned from my much needed and financially reasonable vacation. I went to San Diego for five days and four nights with the family, and enjoyed almost every damn second of it. I learned one thing while I was away, and that’s the closer I got to Mexico, the browner I got. Seriously, I need to go by Juan Lleno de Odio until I kick this tan. I’m going to cut to the chase today, as I have lots to go over and little time for small talk… unless you want to chat it up in the comments about whatever is on your mind, I don’t mind that. Oh wait, before I move on to the good stuff, I would like to self-celebrate today. Today is my 100th post for Razzball baseball. As some of you may know, I started on the football side when Sky took a chance on me. After I went to Oregon and passed the Sky test/initiation, Grey hit me up and invited me to come over to the baseball side. Then came my first Razzball baseball post and the rest is history. Thanks you two for allowing me to be a part of this.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After blowing his fifth save Thursday night, giving up three walks and two runs in the ninth, John Axford has now blown four save chances in his past five appearances. Colorado Rockies Manager Walt Weiss said Friday that John Axford would be removed from the closer role. But from the looks of the quote, it sounds like Axford could potentially gain the job back, especially if the replacement candidates don’t prove to be worthy. Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle and Justin Miller are the three possibly unworthy candidates, and names you should consider adding if you are searching for saves. Rafael Betancourt would seem like the obvious choice if not for his 4.88 ERA. He does have that much sought after closer-experience, though. Kahnle, on the other hand, is rocking a much nicer 2.96 ERA, and a 1.80 ERA for the month of July and seems like a more suitable candidate. Justin Miller has the best numbers of the bunch (0.90 ERA, 0.60 WHIP in just 10 IP), but also holds the least experience. The situation will certainly be worth monitoring over the next few days, but one thing is for sure, you probably won’t really be happy owning any one of these guys. However, if you need saves I’d add Betancourt, Kahle and Miller in that order until we see how this shakes out.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jonathan Papelbon has a contract that insures that he remains the closer if he’s traded. He would likely be the closer in Washington even without that stipulation, but it’s so like Papelbon to have that in his contract. Should just call that the douche clause. To fix him, the Nationals should bring him into games where they’re up one run in the seventh and run him out there for three innings every night until his arm falls off. Sure, they’d cost themselves a closer and games, but isn’t spite worth it? I know it is when Cougs says she has a headache and I say, “Fine, I’m gonna sleep in the bathtub!” Sure, I could stay in the bed, or even opt for a couch, but the spite wouldn’t be driven home as well. Papelbon’s trade obviously kills all value for Drew Storen. Shame, his career feels like the exact opposite of Fernando Rodney. No matter how well Storen pitches every year he seems to lose the job for some unforeseen reason. Maybe he can figure out a way to work into his contract, “Must pitch after any white guy that is a terrible dancer whether that is Mark Madsen, Grey Albright or Papelbon.” Of course, in Philly, this means that Ken Giles gets his long-deserved chance to close for the Phils. All three games where they’re leading. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Michael Conforto (+29%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The New York Mets have been staggering along on offense this season (29th in MLB in runs scored), which hasn’t exactly made life easy for their impressive trio of starting pitchers (Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard) thus far. Despite this offensive ineptitude, they are currently just two games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals in the standings. Ownership doesn’t seem to be interested in significantly adding to the team payroll in order to improve the offense, so what’s a playoff contending team to do? Why not call on your stud prospect for a boost down the stretch? Sounds nice and cheap to me!

Enter Conforto. The 22-year-old former first round draft pick has been successful at each stop in the minor leagues, but logged just 197 plate appearances above single-A ball prior to his MLB promotion. However, he’s certainly hit the ground running in the very early going, producing a .444/.583/.667 triple slash line in his first three MLB games, including an impressive 4 hit outing against the Dodgers in just his second career big league game. Unfortunately, Steamer isn’t terribly impressed, projecting a .243/.297/.383 line with 4 homers and 1 steal in 143 plate appearances for the rest of the 2015 season. The early book on him seems to be that he has plus power and plate discipline for his age, but offspeed stuff, particularly breaking balls, can give him problems. He’s definitely worth a lottery ticket, but you probably shouldn’t expect Conforto to be a fantasy stud immediately.

Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I went out on my annual mid-season man-date with Grey this past Friday. What a day! Sandwiches at the wine shop, facial hair products at the beauty supply store, and coffee at some weird fancy hipsteresque spot. I think the guy at the coffee spot wanted to kill the two of us because we were harassing him for not having any alternative sweeteners for my diabetic arse. No matter what we said to him, he just kept responding with, we only have our raw organic fair trade artisanal sugar syrup. He was Mets-front-office annoying. You might be asking yourself why am I telling you all this. Well, at Grey’s suggestion, I have added in the DL players to gain some perspective into what they are worth compared to the healthy players for the rest of the season. Earlier in the year I left them out to get more players on the list, as I was figuring out how I wanted to take on the rankings. Like many of you know, this list got dropped on my lap right before the season started and I have been learning on the fly how to approach this. This is FOH’s list!

Note: I mentioned in the RCL Update this week that I would be out on vacation. The Big Magoo handled the Creeper of the Week, and I will be in and out of the comments today. I’ll also be getting some help from my co-workers so we don’t leave you guys… and girls hanging. VinWins! will be covering the RCL Update for me on Tuesday. Thanks guys for helping me while I’m out. *hugs screen*

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk continued to hit all the baseballs last night chipping in two hits and a two-run home run to help beat the Braves. Randy! Randy! Randy! Randy has been quite randy indeed lately, he’s now homered in back to back games and he’s hitting .346 with six runs, four home runs, ten RBI and a stolen base in the past week. Yes! More please! He’s slashing .283/.333/.566 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI on the year, and the .900 OPS ain’t too shabby either. But it’s the 11 homers in 219 at-bats that raises my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. That’s a 25-30 homer hitter over a full season, folks! If we take a peep at the next level stats we can see Randy and his .375 BABIP may be getting a bit lucky. Let’s not even talk about 30.8 K% and 5.8 BB% because they are downright awful. And sure Stephen Piscotty could threaten to steal some of Grichuk’s ABs down the line. However, the fact is Grichuk is hitting hot fire right now and is still under 50% owned in most leagues, a number that will undoubtedly grow over the next few hours as the legend of his four homer week spreads throughout the land. Time to Buy-chuk, Grichuk! I’d add him in all leagues while he’s still hitting everything he sees into the bleachers. Randy! Randy! Randy!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the All-Star break now a distant memory… which I guess doesn’t make much sense, seeing as how it just happened roughly a week ago. Well, it could make a lot of sense if I have a terrible memory, which certainly could be the case. Because alcohol. The lesson here? Idiom’s are just as dangerous as alcohol consumption. And also having terrible recall. What were we talking about again? Regardless, we have now entered into full trade season pandemonium, PANDEMONIUM I TELL YA! Conor Gillaspie never saw it coming folks. Never. Saw. It. Coming. Scott Kazmir might have though, but I can’t confirm this. I also can confirm that if you are lagging in the standings, there is still some time left to inject something into your roster. I’d prefer it not be illegal substances, but rather try brainstorming some crazy trade ideas and go for it. In all redraft leagues, you should be going all in right now, and hey, if those wild roster changes don’t work, at least you gave it your best effort and didn’t go out quietly. And then you can do those illegal substances. And then play some fantasy football! Wait, what were we talking about again?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who was actually good…

Last time, I used ADP data and player values to determine Kyle Lohse was the most under-drafted player of the last five years. Turns out, there are some assumptions in the calculation that could be tweaked, and the result could be a totally different most under-drafted player. Go figure! The methodology was to take the difference between a player’s preseason ADP and his end-of-season rank to determine  “undervalued-ness”. This time we’re still going to take the difference, but it’ll be between the square root of his ADP and the square root of his EOS rank.

Why the square rooting? The reason is to give more weight to better players, which square rooting accomplishes.

For reference, here’s the list from last time (that won one lucky man a Razzball T-Shirt):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I don’t know what my face is doing right now.” “It looks like you ate a full Tony Luke’s cheesesteak and forgot to swallow.” “No. I mean, I did, but I took the sub out of mouth and put it in my glove compartment for later. But this is something else. Feel my cheeks, they’re, like, pushed up.” “You get that f**kin’ Botox?” “No! I’m a 45-year-old construction worker with bad knees. Why would I get Botox?” “Then what’s wrong with your cheeks? You’re freaking me out!” “Wait, I know what it is. I’m…I’m smiling and I’m a Phillies fan. This is better than the day Charlie Manuel stopped at our job site to use our Porta-Potty!” Yesterday, Aaron Nola looked great — 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, and Phillies fans, or Phans, have something to smile about. I watched a portion of the game and he looked like he could be an ace. Love, love, lurve the control and mid-90’s fastball. At worst, he’s a number three. I was pretty jazzed at what I saw. Whenever you have a guy that has great command and can strike out people, there’s a chance for wonderful. With that said (hold on to the starboard, Grey’s turning around!), he’s a rookie and there will be some Growing Pains, and not the good kind of boners. I would absolutely own him, but in shallower leagues I’d be careful of roofies. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?