No worries, fantasy owners: Alejandro De Aza may not speak Swahili*, but this past month his numbers have been music to fantasy owners’ ears. With a .350/.418/.567 line in July, a strikeout rate that has decreased every month of this season, and already reaching a career high in home runs, there are many reasons for optimism. Yes, he struggled early on this season, but he seems to be rounding into form with an approach that attempts to hit for more power. And why not? After all, he plays in a park where Adam Dunn bunted for a home run** last year. I, for one (unless I can speak for more than one?), am embracing the slightly more homer-friendly De Aza. If he continues to steal bases, then he will add to the scarcity of players who steal bases, but don’t destroy your OPS (you know who you are). For the rest of the season, I believe that he will be able to maintain his current .278/.336/.444 line, which represents a slight dip in OBP with a nice bump in slugging. Anyway, here are some other guys I’m dreaming about in OPS leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the latest Cuban raftee, is set to sign with the Dodgers. Hey, I’m no Quicken magician, but with the money the Dodgers spent on Yasiel Puig and Gonzalez, couldn’t they just have bought the island nation of Cuba and had all of their baseball players? Shoot, for an extra million in designer green camo fatigues, they could have Castro too. “I like the green camo fatigues that Heidi Klum wears in Munich. But no fur hood! If it has fur hood, you Marxist down the price.” That’s Castro consulting with his fashion police. Gonzalez’s repertoire consists of a mid-90′s fastball, changeup, curveball and forkball. Anyone that’s seen him believes he’s major-league ready now, but M.A.G.’s will probably be sent to the minors for at least a few weeks, so it’s doubtful he makes any real impact this year for fantasy. Maybe we’ll see him start two, three or six times in September, depending on how bad the Dodgers need a starter. If nothing else, this signing will give Puig someone to commiserate with on why there’s so much Gulden’s on Cuban sandwiches made here. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy Fourth of July, unless you own Yasiel Puig, then you’re wondering if A) He’s healthy B) Where was Carlos Quentin during this? If you haven’t seen it, here’s another look of Puig crashing into the wall. Why do I suddenly want to buy a Subaru? This comes the same day he won Player and Rookie of the Month honors. That’s the first time a player has won Player of the Month honors their first month in the majors. It’s not the first time a player has won Rookie of the Month honors in their first month. If that’s surprising, you should take your medication. After crashing into the wall, Puig originally stayed in the game and he’s a cyborg, so I think he escaped without anything serious happening. Right now, he’s listed as day-to-day with a bruised hip and thigh. Let’s hope it heals quickly because I just sold my Cougar’s engagement ring for 3,000 Yasiel Puig rookie cards. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You wanted to sell R.A. Dickey, but no one was buying. Seeing last year as a fluke. Said he couldn’t do it again. Said you had too much fruit in your tapioca for even drafting him. They told you go fly a kite with Dickey, but not around children or it would be weird. Then Dickey throws a two-hit shutout yesterday with 6 Ks and you showed them that the only good thing that ever came out of being a naysayer is horse whispering. Or did you? Do you know anything more about Dickey than you did two days ago? He says he’s been dealing with cold weather and a sore back and he’s blaming the WBC. Excuses are like Alcides Escobar, everyone has one and they all smell. Did Dickey’s back suddenly clear up? Because he gave up six earned in his last start. Was the weather in his last start cold and Dickey shrunk up? This shutout was against the Rays, who are now 10 for their last 99 against him. They see Dickey and immediately go limp. Finally, your Dickey looks to be pointing in the right direction, but I wouldn’t start writing his name on your underpants just yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nick Swisher is one of those guys we love in OPS leagues. Yes, I will be referring to myself in the plural form. It’s easier to win arguments that way, no? Swisher’s been a flop so far this year, but the great thing is, like most politicians, he’s a flip-flopper. To put it less confusingly, I fully expect him to rebound. To put it more confusingly, read this while trying to spell Jeff Samardzija’s name aloud. Swisher has been one of the most consistent guys in OPS leagues and is a sure bet to produce an .800 OPS in a given year. He’s been slowed a bit by injury, but I expect around a .260/.360/.470 going forward. He’s been dropped in some leagues and, if he’s owned, his owner is likely willing to sell him at a discount. Let’s just say that I (we?) don’t think this is the year he collapses. Did I mention that the Chicago Blackhawks are awesome? Now I did. Anyway, here are some guys who have my attention in OPS leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I told you to pick up Joaquin Benoit yesterday, I was 85% sure he would close games until the Tigers traded for Papelbon, who will be known in Detroit as a Papelbonneville. Then, because Leyland reads Razzball between smokes, he named Benoit closer by not naming him the closer. He said, “I’m not naming anybody closer. I’m just saying if Benoit was available right now, I would try to close with him.” Thanks for clarifying! Managers deciding on a closer is like debating euthanasia. Valverde’s done, pull the plug! The Yelp reviews for Benoit are through the roof, but there’s a lot of five star reviews from fantasy baseballers with only one other closer. I’d grab Benoit in all leagues and hope he can hold the job and make the thought of trading for Papelbonneville absurd. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The afternoon started with Matt Harvey. He pitched a stellar 7 innings with 13 Ks, but Terry Collins sent him out there in the 8th after throwing 110 pitches, which lead to two singles and a walk, three runners that the bullpen let in. After the game, Collins said, “I felt bad for Duda (who blew a chance for a Harvey no-hitter by not covering first base on Heyward’s infield single). I couldn’t let Duda make the only Metsake of the game. I was going to keep pitching Harvey until he screwed up. He’d have started the nightcap, if necessary.” Fortch, it wasn’t necessary, as the nightcap brought on Zack Wheeler‘s debut with a line of 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 7 Ks. To summarize, it was shaky as all get-out at first. He looked like he couldn’t hit the broadside of Precious. Then he either calmed, or realized something — if he could locate, no one could hit him. He can easily be as good as Harvey, but I’m guessing it won’t be until next year. Last night was the best you could’ve hoped for. To summarize that summary, he was shaky, then solid. To summarize the summary’s summary, Zack good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I am Tehol Beddict! And I see a whole army of my fantasy men/women, here in defiance of less knowledgeable and dreadfully boring fantasy websites! Read these other sites and you may win. Run to them and you may stay afloat, at least for a while. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell these underachieving fantasy advice sites that they can take your wives but they will never take your loyalty from Razzball and the Freeeeeeeedom it gives you from never having to go to any other site for sound information. You’ve bled with Grey and Rudy! Now bleed with me!

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Curtis Granderson left last night’s game in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch on the hand and fracturing his knuckle. The Yankees expect Grandy to miss at least four weeks so obviously this is a big blow to fantasy owners who just got him back a little over a week ago. Some luck, if you remember correctly it was a HBP in the forearm that sent him to the DL back in March. Someone has to invest in some new armor for Granderson, I recommended Barry Bonds’ metal-plated sleeve, but chainmail is always nice as well. Anyway, these are the breaks. Curtis Blow said that, and Curtis Granderson is living it. He was batting .269 through eight games but already had a home run, a stolen base and a couple of three hit games so the outlook was promising. Thems the breaks, right Curtis!? In the interim, I guess we can expect Ichiro or Vernon Wells to continue to see plenty of playing time, and Brennan Boesch should see plenty of burn as well, but I don’t see much value with Boesch outside AL-Only. Don’t be too sad, Yankee fans, you were doing just fine without him. Maybe Curtis Mayfield said it even better, “you’re gonna make your fortune by and by, but if you lose don’t ask no questions why.” Superfly! In other words, I’m sure there’s a deal-with-it gif on the googles or the tumblrs out there for you to look at (here, here and here), but the three Curtis’ have already moved on so hopefully you can, too.

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

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Why hello there. It seems like only yesterday when we were drafting our fantasy baseball teams and were guaranteed to breeze to first place. But then baseball happened. An injury (or two or three…) here and an underperforming guy there can really dampen your early season enthusiasm. Fortunately, there are always opportunities to grab guys off waivers or to buy low. Enter Brian McCann. A few months ago, I said, “I strongly dislike recommending people draft an injured player, but I’m going to do it this time. The last I saw, he’s expected to miss the first couple weeks of the season. Even if the injury reduces his production, I could still see him producing a high .700s OPS, with solid counting stats. Considering that you would only have to use a late round pick, it may be worth the gamble.” Well, considering that he’s still largely available, I suggest you close your eyes and fall back into McCann’s arms (gently, of course). Like Scott Weiland, he’s half the man he used to be, but there’s no reason why he can’t be a top 10 catcher for the rest of 2013. Anyway, here are some other players that have me crossing my fingers in OPS leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?