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:

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Wow. Dot, dot, dot. I mean, WOW. Dot, dot, dot. Pause for reaction. WOW. Wow. WOW. Stunned silence. I mean, we all knew the suspension was coming, but everyone also figured he’d appeal it like Papa Smurf, you know, until he was blue in the face. The only explanation is the MLB had him dead to rights, which isn’t the same as an epitaph for a pigeon you feed instant rice; that’s dead to rice. Ryan Braun probably realized that 1) The Brewers aren’t going anywhere this year. 2) He’s injured. 3) There’s no three. With the suspension of the Jewish Braun by the Jewish Selig, Selig becomes the 1st Jew ever sanctioned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, but Selig received high marks from the Jewish Self-Deprecation League. “As Selig was suspending Braun, Bud also pointed out how he had to bring out his media-friendly toupee,” said Jewish Self-Deprecation League president, Yitz Steinberg. Mr. Steinberg added, “That kind of self-deprecation is hard to pull off.” Obviously, Braun is droppable in all redraft leagues, and, if you’re holding onto an expensive Braun in keepers, I’d look to drop him there too, if I needed the room. The good news is you can find off of waivers what Braun has been giving you thus far this year. The bad news, now they have to add an asterisk to the Famous Jewish Athlete pamphlet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Indians had themselves a good ol’ fashioned hometown community pow-wow in Chicago yesterday, scoring 29 runs off 33 hits in Friday’s double header. The Tribe tallied 19 runs in the first half of the double header, with eight different Indians having multi-hit games including 3-hit games from Asdrubal Cabrera, Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles. And as if the ChiSox weren’t having a bad enough night, the Injians managed to rally to score four runs in the ninth to win with a walk off home run by Nick Swisher in the second game. Jason Kipnis was the real hero going 4-for-7 with four runs, four RBI, four BB and his 18th stolen base. Kip’s got a .473 OBP in the past month, which is definitely worthy of a rain dance. Anyway, this is the second time Cleveland had scored 19 runs in a game this season, and they move within two games of first place in the AL Central. Rough night for ChiSox fans, but hey, Jeff Keppinger (6-for-8, 2 runs, HR, 4 RBI) had a great day, right? Right!? I’m making it worse aren’t I? I better take some happy pills quick before the world starts getting dark.

Sigh, well, here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:

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It’s been a rough month for Ryan Braun, you guys. A top three pick in the preseason, he’s on pace for career lows in home runs and steals, he could be seriously implicated in this biogenesis business depending on what delivery service he decides to use this time (go with USPS, they guarantee to screw it up), and don’t even mention the Game of Thrones “Red Wedding” to Ryan, because he’s taking it all pretty hard. Braun hits the DL for the first time in his career for his thumb injury, but owners knew this was coming. The move is retroactive to Monday so he could return at the end of June. If he comes back with an comically over sized thumb and hits 20 homers and steals 20 bases going forward, we’ll know everything is back to normal. Logan Schafer went 3-for-5 last night and was one of several Logan’s in this weeks BUY/SELL. He’s available everywhere. As long as Braun’s out Schafer should see plenty of playing time. I will call him Weapon X. Berserker! He’s no Hebrew Hammer, but Schafer’s got some below average to decent power and speed and could be a useful fill in if you need an outfielder while Braun’s on the shelf.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:

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The Buysellatops left this message on my answering machine (what, I’m old school), “The earth is fourteen degrees hotter per year than when I freely roamed the countryside. Back then there were T-Rex’s and velociraptors and iguanas the size of houses that we simply called Biguanas. Now, I’m the only dinosaur left and I can get a nice tan while waiting in line for a smoothie. Global warming is awesome! And so is Anthony Rizzo.” So, there you have our buy/sell-out dinosaur’s take. My take is I agree. Who doesn’t love a smoothie and a tan? Rizzo isn’t a Ike Davis head case that gets into the passenger seat to drive. He’s in no danger of falling completely off the map like he’s taking orders from Queen Isabella. He’s A) Getting unlucky B) Keeping his strikeouts and walks in check C) There’s no C, why are you so greedy? With the gusts of wind and heat in Wrigley this summer, he could hit 10 homers in the matter of two weeks. If he hits less than 30 homers this year, I’ll eat my hat (though I’m wearing a fruit basket on my head, so it’s not so bad). To give you a few other names, he’s already better than Pujols and A-Gon on our Player Rater, and I see no reason why that should stop. If you have a Rizzo owner who is worried, take your alligator blood and check raise to the bettor. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I typically don’t delve into any notes on the Next Five section of this feature, but with some intriguing names popping up there this week, and one name in particular being Carlos Martinez. With recent injuries to Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, and John Gast, the Cardinals have already turned to Michael Wacha and Tyler Lyons to fill rotation roles, but they’ve also optioned Martinez to Triple-A, where he’s being stretched out as a starter. Coming into the season, there were plenty who graded the 21-year-old as the best arm in St. Louis farm system — better than Shelby Miller, better than Wacha. It might be a little farsighted right now, but be sure to keep a close eye on Martinez as he gains stamina in Memphis. He could be a hugely valuable commodity for the stretch run of the fantasy season.

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Jesus Montero was sent down and the Mariners called up Jesus Sucre. Jesus for Jesus was the original name of Jews for Jesus when it only had one member. The only thing that I pray is that my Brayan Pena don’t fail me now…Jesus sucks! And I don’t think there is nothing Montero can do now to right my wrongs…Jesus Sucks! I want to talk to Yan Gomes, but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long…Jesus Sucks! To the SAGNOF hustlers, worm burners, lefty murderers, HGH drug dealers especially A-Rod’s cousin… Jesus Sucks for them! To victims of Ron Popeil ‘Set it and Forget It’ catcher management style for we living in hell here hell yeah, Jesus Sucks for them! I.e., good riddance, Montero. With Easter passed, I have no idea when Jesus will be back, but I’d drop him in all leagues. Shoppach will take over full-time now, but this should put Mike Zunino firmly on your radars. On the most recent prospect power rankings, Zunino was honorably mentioned. Last time Scott, our prospect writer, really hooked his chompers into Zunino, he said this, “Zunino will likely surface in Seattle at some point in 2013, but his fantasy value, once up, is tough to gauge. His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues. But most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino. Then again, he’s surpassed expectations at every stop thus far, and it’s within reason to think he could continue to do so at the highest level. A real overachiever, like our very own Grey.” Hey, thanks! A word about that quote. (Actually a few words.) Jesus Montero is mentioned in there, and that’s not a goof by Scott, this just shows you what catcher prospects look like when they come up. Catchers tend to take a while to develop because they’re learning defense as much as offense. They can’t just hit, they need to play defense. Well, except for Mike Piazza. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Baseball’s purest prospect has been called up. Jurickson Profar has surfaced in Texas, and if you’re just learning this now, you’re far too late. Don’t sweat it too much if you didn’t get your hands on Profar — I don’t see much room for him in the Rangers lineup once Kinsler returns. If you did happen to scoop him, though, he’s a wonderful lotto ticket with an even bigger potential payout given 2B eligibility. In other close-to-the bigs news, Houston prospect, Jonathan Singleton, will debut at Low-A next week after serving a 50-game suspension. He’ll join MiLB home run leader, George Springer, at Double-A before long, and proceed to Triple-A where he’ll likely stay for most of the year. In a different organization, Singleton and Springer would find themselves on the cusp of breaking through, but I don’t see the Astros starting their clocks while the team is in rebuilding mode. Until further notice, those two remain outside the scope of these power rankings.

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Brace yourselves for another revision of the prospect power rankings, this time with more turnover! There’s been plenty of movement in the past few weeks, both upward and downward, making room for five fresh faces in the top ten/next five. Nolan Arenado and Dan Straily, both top ten guys last time through, have surfaced in the bigs, while three guys fall from the ranks. Danny Hultzen drops out thanks to a shoulder injury, which has been deemed mild, but it’s concerning nonetheless. Nick Castellanos and Mike Zunino also slip out of the rankings, as both prospects are slumping severely at the dish. We also have a new #1, which is quite exciting — do try to contain your enthusiasm. Let’s get started.

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We’re back for our first revision of the prospect power rankings. For those who are new, or just kinda slow, this is where we’ll take a biweekly look at the best fantasy stashes in Minor League Baseball. To see the inaugural list, click that link. While there’s no change in the top two spots, there was quite a bit of shuffling around the rest of the way through. One notable guy dropping off the list is Travis D’Anaud, who suffered a broken foot. The injury will set him back a couple months — terrible news for the 24-year-old who missed most of last season to a knee injury.

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