I’m taking questions after my Ted Talks on fantasy baseball. I adjust my headset mic, pull on my turtleneck. Going Steve Jobs today wasn’t the best of ideas. This turtleneck is itchy. “You, in the front row.” “First off, the stuff you said blew my mind. I never knew electromagnetism had anything to do with fantasy baseball. Your square root stuff seemed like it came from a supercomputer. But a supercomputer with a mustache. And older supercomputers fawning over it. Supercomputer Cougars, if you will. So, my question for you is who does Kyle Hendricks remind you of?” “Alex Wood. Next question, you.” The Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl stands up, “Do you know I’m a Cougar?” *shoots up in bed, dripping in sweat* Whoa, I just had the weirdest dream. Left Side of My Brain, “Or was that reality?!” AH!!! So, Hendricks pitched a gem the other day. His 2nd gem in a row, and I took a long hard look at him, then didn’t mention him the other day because I wanted to highlight him here. I agree with Dream Grey, he does look like Alex Wood. Only Alex Wood when he’s on point. Right now, Hendricks has a 7 K-rate, 1.9 BB/9 and a 3.77 xFIP. Wood throws a curve more, but their velocities are very close on the fastball, too. Both have 50%+ ground ball rates, which makes them prone to BABIP. Hendricks is not a potential ace, but he should be owned in far more leagues and looks like a solid fantasy #3 with #2 upside based on luck. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to get back to sleep and see the Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At first, it was reported that Alberto Callaspo rejected the trade to the Dodgers. Leaving Alex Guerrero (1-for-2) to stare at Callaspo’s smugshot-slash-you mad bro? face. Then, later in the evening, Callaspo apparently approved the trade of him going to the Dodgers and Juan Uribe heading the other way. A commenter mentioned how in the preseason, the management didn’t have faith in Mattingly to start Pederson, so they traded away Kemp. It’s a fun theory. One that might have a morsel of truth, but I think this trade might backfire. Here’s a scenario for our five girl readers: imagine you were trying to get your man to change their yellow-pitted t-shirt, so you remove all the stained t-shirts from their hamper and throw them away, even his Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier t-shirt. When he realizes all his stained shirts are gone, what does he do? Does he wear the new shirts you bought him? Or does he scribble an oddly racist-looking Bob Marley on a hand towel and tape it to his chest? Mattingly could play Alex Guerrero at third with Uribe gone, but Justin Turner had started at 3rd base five times in the last week, not Guerrero, even with Uribe still in LA, and Callaspo is a 3rd baseman. So Uribe’s gone, but I think Mattingly just wears a masking-taped, hand towel now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cuban phenom and top prospect Rusney Castillo debuted for the Red Sox last night going 1-for-4 with a run scored and a fielding error on a fly ball that resulted in a few boos from the Sawx Nation. “You ahre nevah gunna be like owah Tawmmy!” Be nice you guys, he’s new. OK, so not the best debut, sure, but Castillo made good strong contact on a few fly balls and showed flashes of that speed we’ve all heard so much about. Russy was slashing .293/.341/.440 with six steals, two homers and 10 RBI in 18 games at Pawtucket, and Boston is in desperate need of an offensive jolt right now. If he’s still available in your league you need to go grab him immediately, he was number one on Prospector Mike’s Power Rankings and Grey told you to BUY. If I’m projecting conservatively, I could see 10-12 homers and 15 steals from Rusney with a .275 AVG, but there is a lot of upside here and the homer in me wants to project 25 jacks, 30 steals and .325 AVG, because that’s way more fun. He also has the same hair cut as David Ortiz so they should be best friends forever in no time, and that’s always a bonus, especially if your league counts “Hugs Received” as a category.
Here’s what else I saw Friday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Jacob deGrom threw 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 11 Ks, screaming at the top of his lungs that Metco will now be known as deGromercy Park, and if you missed deGame, then feast your eyes on deROM, because your underwear is now firmware after what he did to Wong — 2 Ks. Or if you’re Asian, then deNom-Nom-Nom, or into deRom-Com with meGrom Ryan and would be the deBomb dot gov. Okay, okay, deCalm down, deGrey, you sound like you’re trying to teach Gibberish to a foreigner. I was concerned about deGrom in the opening month, but he’s turned on the jets recently (sorry, Sharks). His K-rate is 8.7, walk rate is 2.1 and his xFIP is 3.26. That’s a little less than ace numbers, but not too far less. Solid number two, which is actually a good thing in this example. By the by, can someone get in touch with deGrom for me? I have a chapstick called deGrom Lip Balm and I need an endorsement. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was going to say Shelby Miller looks sensational, but then I Googled sensational to see its definition, even though I know it already. (Al Gore did originally invent the internet as a tool of procrastination.) So, the Oxford Dictionary defines sensational as: causing great public interest and excitement, example “a sensational murder trial.” Wow, even the Oxford Dictionary is trying to get in on the tabloid journalism of our day. Hey, Oxford, why not, “Kim Kardashian’s booty was sensational when she broke the internet that Al Gore had created and now needed to fix.” That gives me a great idea, a mash up of the Urban and Oxford Dictionary! Definition of a flake: A crazy or eccentric person. “Yo, that flake is three crumbs short of a Peek Frean.” Any the hoo! Shelby Miller did look sensational, murdering bats like The Riddler. Yesterday, he went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks to lower his ERA to 1.33. Is he this good? Oh, c’mon. But how bad is he? His K/9 is 7.2, BB/9 is 2.7 and xFIP is 3.79. His BABIP is .203, LOB% is 88.8% and his ground ball rate is 50.4%. Essentially, Miller’s a 3.25-3.60 ERA pitcher with decent, but not great Ks, solid but not terrific control, and one great pitch that he’s figured out how to use, the cutter. He could easily have a month-long spasm of a 5.00 ERA just as easily as he’s done six weeks of a 1.33 ERA. Would I sell him high? Yes, indeed. Or as the Urban-Oxford Dictionary would say, “Does a corgi crap under the Queen’s bed and she calls it a soon-to-be truffle?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You in March, “Well, at least if I draft Carlos Gonzalez, he’ll either produce or be on the DL.” You now, “I wish he would get hurt already. Is he hurt? Could someone tell me what’s wrong with CarGo? Does CarGo even stand for Carlos Gonzalez anymore? Isn’t the other CarGo hurt too? I feel like a Russian mobster wondering what’s happened to my CarGo. If I find emaciated prostitutes inside my CarGo, there’s going to be hell to pay by my friend, Ukrainian Petrov. UP has let me down! Why am I muttering these things about CarGo while standing in the middle of Route 22 in a straitjacket? Is this a dream? Nightmare? Out of body experience? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” There’s a few reasons behind this CarGo buy. Yes, I’m going to try to convince you to buy the hated CarGo. 1) The weather was atrocious in Colorado in April. Hitters can’t get into rhythm when they’re being rained/snowed/sleeted out three times a week. I’d say I’d buy low on any Rockie hitter due to this. 2) CarGo’s always been good when healthy. 3) There’s no 3. 4) He’s only 29. 5) You could be a 17-homer, .275 hitter in Coors. Yes, you, who just this morning confused a dirty Q-tip with a Cheez Doodle. 6) His BABIP is very low for him. He’s not a sub-.200 hitter. 7) His walk rate is up from last year and his strikeout rate is down from his last big season in 2013. 8) 675-3oooooh 9) I think his speed is more or less gone. If we see 7 steals, I’d be shocked. Okay, this isn’t a positive, but it’s worth noting. 10) To buy him right now, it will cost you about the price of admission to see Milli sing Girl, You Know It’s True next to Vanilli’s grave. I’m not paying a lot, but people are talking about dropping CarGo, so the price is right, Drew Carey, and I’d move in. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?