Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Addison Russell was playing some some 2nd base in Triple-A yesterday, minding his own business, when the Cubs management heard something they didn’t like, five full minutes of non-Cubs prospect talk on sports radio. Four minutes is not cool, but five? Nuh-uh, they said, as they wagged their finger. So, the Cubs called him up, and plan to send down Arismendy Alcantara. This offseason I said, “So, the first thing we know about Russell is Billy Beane traded him away. This is obviously a strike against him. The last prospect Beane gave up on was Brett Wallace, and that was partly because Wallace looks like his face is constantly pressed against a window and that’s disconcerting. Right now, it appears Beane got the worst side of this Russell trade. Maybe he shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get back to the gym to pump iron and waited to negotiate a better deal. It’s still early though, and prospects can flame out. Russell, however, doesn’t look headed in that direction. Russell looks like he could be better than Starlin Castro as early as next year. Second thing we know about Russell is he’s got power and speed. Yummers! Third thing we know about Russell is there is no third thing. Russell’s shown solid power in the minors (17 HRs in High-A in 2013 and 12 HRs in only 50 games in Double-A last year after the trade to the Cubs). His speed is a tad below that, which concerns me a bit because speed is the one thing we can always count on translating. He did steal 21 bags in High-A, but, well, that’s High-A. They call it that because everyone’s stoned. Last year in Double-A, he only had five steals all year, and two after the trade. It’s not great, and I think we’re seeing closer to his actual speed level in Double-A. Maybe he’ll reach 15-20 steals at some point, but he’s never going to be a 40-steal guy. He did hit .294 at Double-A after the trade, and I don’t see him hitting much below .280 without some bad luck.” And that’s me quoting me! While drinking Sanka with Lou Avery, I’ve decided Russell should be owned everywhere. Yes, even that league. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 61/12/44/.287/6 with upside from there. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

163 pitches, 16 Ks, 7 BBs, 1 H. That’s what Nolan Ryan used to do before going to chop some wood and bulldog some steer. The only pen Ryan ever needed was to house his horses. Yesterday, that was, how do I say this, an interesting start by Trevor Bauer. He went 6 IP, 0 ER with 11 strikeouts. He didn’t allow any hits, but he gave up five walks in 111 pitches. I feel like I should get half-credit for Bauer’s start on teams where I drafted Danny Salazar. Can I call him Tranny Bauerzar or will that upset my LGBT readers? My new favorite spring training stat that means nothing: Bauer’s 26 to 1 K to BB ratio. Bauer looked unhittable for the whole game. Depending on whether or not the Astros hitters decided to swing, it resulted in a strikeout or walk. It was like Randy Johnson in his early years when if hitters swung, they’d strikeout. If they sat there, they’d walk. The “Do You Feel Lucky…Plunk” approach to pitching. I’ll demonstrate as a hitter’s inner monologue, “I’m feeling lucky…Gonna step into this one and drive it… Jesus…That almost plunked me, I’m gonna swing wildly and get back to the dugout.” This approach can also be found in most Little League games. If Bauer’s unowned in your league, I wish I were in your league! Grab him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball goes to about fiddy. Last year, I said the first base position is going through a transition. The position is still deep in that transition. We’ll come out of the other side this year with a good idea of where we stand. If Pujols continues to fall, if the washed up ones are completely done and if the up-and-comers are still on the move. Hey, that sounds like a commencement speech from a school for porn. Okay, let’s get into it because I can’t count to twenty and this list goes on forever. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2015 fantasy baseball, and all the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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OH-WA-AH-AH-AH! Woah, sorry about that. A little rough for a Saturday morning for you? Well what can I say but toughen up, kiddos. There’s only a little over 60 games left on the season for you to tell your significant others that you’re scouring the waiver wire for decent players at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday morning with that ‘Brown Chicken Brown Cow’ sound in the background playing on your computer and no, you’re not listening to Trace Adkins. You don’t like country and you don’t even know who that is. But you do know who Jason Kipnis is…was that a segue? I’m not even sure. If it was, it was a little weak at best but it’s done and now we’re here so lets get down to the goods of it all. Kip – I can call him that since I have a friend from OH with whom I’m bros with; that’s how these things work – hit 2 bombs from the lead off spot for the Tribe on Friday, finishing the night 2/5 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs. And here’s me telling you to sell on dat chit. He’s had a little hotty toddy, we likes to party July, hitting near .300 with 2 said HRs and 5 stolen bases but let us not forget what he has done for his career in the second half. He loses about 20 points of average, about .040% on Slugging and even finds a way to steal less down the stretch. Obviously, past doesn’t always dictate the future. I mean, look at people who get married a second a third time. The percentages staying together get better right? *Looks at percentages*…oh. History is just not on the side of Kipnis being a second half savior for you and I’d make a move if I can still get a price return on him close to what you had to draft him for. In other news from the All-Star break return to our 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…oooh, on the TLC tip! Just a friendly reminder that myself and some other cool cats (I think Mike might be a Toyger) do this thing called DraftKings for you all every day of the week. That last link takes you away to Daily Fantasy land care of our VIP card but this link shows you all the content we’ve been providing to help you get the game down while you’re with us. BTW, didn’t bring up Mike just cuz. I’m swinging for Dan Pants today because apparently he’s pantsless or something. I told him just to change his name to Dan Assless Chaps for the day but he declined. That said, I’m gonna be away from the good ‘ole ‘puter for the day but Mike will be fielding all your burning questions. No, not those questions. If it burns down there, go see a doctor. Mike is just a cool cat and cats aren’t doctors. Duh. But enough chicanery, let’s really get back to this show…

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I had a hard time trying to come up with a Creeper of the Week for a week that only has three games and no rotations announced. So in a moment of scotch fueled clarity, I decided to create my own All-Star team. I’m going to highlight some of my favorite Creepers of the “not a real half first half”. There is only one voter, myself, and like any list, there will be bias. Hey, it’s my list and the winners are very obvious. It’s not like if I was to rank some of my favorite movies or songs, then I’m sure we could really get into a discussion. Oooooooh that sounds fun! I’m going to throw some out for you. For my favorite movie, it’s Goodfellas and Apocalypse Now (both these clips are NSFW). The movie in third is a tie of about 20 flicks that all make a strong case. For music, I’m not going to make it easy on you. Here is my top three non-corporate underground independent soul songs of the last 5 years. 1) Lee Fields & The Expressions – You’re the Kind of Girl 2) Charles Bradley – The World (Is Going Up In Flames) 3) Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics – My Dear. Do you have any? Actually, the story of Charles Bradley is a really interesting tale of “it’s never too late”. They even made a documentary movie about him. I highly recommend clicking on that link. Have you done it yet? Okay, good, then let’s move on to my all star team… countdown style!

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Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So if you hadn’t noticed, Nelson Cruz has been occupying the top spot (until yesterday) on our Player Rater for quite a while now. For the season, he’s hitting .303/.374/.636 with 21 home runs, 42 runs, and 55 RBI’s. In other news, what is up is down, and I’ve already made an appointment with the Catholic church to seek what our options are for exorcism. Afterall, this isn’t the only strange thing happening in the year of the Tommy John, aka year of Closermageddon, aka year of the Nelson Cruz. I can only surmise that the fantasy baseball gods are trolling us. How do I know this for sure? Anyone see what Lonnie Chisenhall has done? I rest my case.

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Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”.  What does this mean for the Pirates?  Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division.  Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it.  Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.

Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this.  The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery.  Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games.  Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud.  For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since.  For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.

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Yesterday, Felix Hernandez had the best game of the season for fantasy — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 15 Ks. F-Her was the best thing to hit the world since Natalie Portman decided it was a good idea to get naked for a short film. Granted, that short film was by Wes Anderson. In film school, it was always met with a mixture of amusement, bewilderment and excitement when any student filmmaker convinced an actress to take their clothes off for a student film. Invariably, they were a better salesman than auteur if they were able to pull it off. “So, your husband, hungry for approval, just left you for a ham sandwich and now you want to shed your clothes, which is a metaphor for the stripping of your soul. Don’t worry, it’s a locked set.” I’ve talked in the past about how if a pitcher has a difference of six between his K-rate and walk rate, then he’s usable in all leagues. F-Her has a difference of plus-8. That’s glorious. He has 106 Ks to 17 BBs. That’s insane. His ERA is at 2.39. He’s real and he’s magnificent. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?