Time to check back in on some winter league action. I mentioned him two weeks ago, but we need to talk about Randall Delgado again. Since our last update, the right-hander has pitched 12 innings with 12 strikeouts, eight hits, two walks, and one earned run allowed. He currently leads the Dominican Winter League in strikeouts with 41. Here’s what I said about him last time “Delgado isn’t a lock for a spot in the rotation this spring, but he’s throwing as a starter this winter after getting only four starts in all of 2014. Two things I like about Delgado are his strikeout numbers and his age/potential for more growth. Last season he posted a 10.0 K/9 in 77+ innings pitched and his FIP was a full run lower than his ERA.” He now has an 11.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 33 innings in the DWL. While he’s currently listed as long relief on the Diamondbacks’ depth chart, I really think he’s going to get his chance to start at some point this year and run with it. Entering 2012, Delgado was listed as Baseball America’s #46 prospect. He was still with the Braves at that point, then was traded in 2013 along with Martin Prado in the Justin Upton deal. The Diamondbacks looked like the losers, but the jury is still out on Delgado at just 24 years old. This has prospect fatigue and breakout written all over it. Here are some other recent highlights from the winter leagues…

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Today, it’s the final Buy of the year. Next week, we’ll be doing one last roundup on Monday and recaps the rest of the month until I start on 2015 rookies that could make an impact. In other words, where the hell did the summer go? And does this mean I have to go back to spending time with Cougs? To paraphrase the Broadway musical Rent (or maybe it was Abe Lincoln), eight thousand, two hundred million seconds, five hundred trillion milliseconds and three fortnights ago, our forefathers had a full head of hair and began on a journey to win their fantasy league. Today, I sit in front of you, a changed man, if we were to count my underwear. No longer do I love unconditionally any man (in redraft leagues). Now I simply like hot schmotatoes. And today’s hot schmotato is Ender Inciarte. So, sneaky good, he’s got CIA in the middle of his name. Ender has six steals this month and is hitting .400 in the last week. There’s no time to worry about the future, only the present. I call this Ender’s Game. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Robert Downey Jr. and Phil Hughes have more in common than you might think. Both dealt with notoriously weak starts to their careers in The Big Apple. Hughes in pinstripes had four straight years of a 4+ ERA, and Downey on SNL. Both had to deal with brace-faced divas, Joe Girardi and Anthony Michael Hall. One was scouted by Gene Michael, the other Lorne Michaels. One wanted to impress Pettitte, one wanted to avoid petting Randy Quaid’s pet squirrel. One had to wait for A-Rod to finish frosting his hair before he could use the bathroom, one made frosting out of cocaine. But once they were out of New York, the world opened up to each. Yesterday, Hughes won his 16th game, going 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, and lowering his ERA to 3.52. His K-rate is 8 and his walk rate is 0.7, as he set the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63. Think about that walk rate for a second. Okay, the second is up. He walked 16 guys in 209 2/3 IP. That’s as terrific as 186 Ks, which is what he had. His ERA doesn’t look amazing in today’s day and age where everyone has a sub-3 ERA, but Hughes was actually unlucky and had a 3.15 xFIP. Everything together has me excited about Hughes for 2015 fantasy baseball. I could see him being relegated to 2nd fiddle status with some other 3rd or 4th fantasy starters, but outperforming his draft spot. Circling back to AMH, any time a guy like Hughes strikes out as much as Anthony Michael Hall and walks less than Uncle Buck, color me excited. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Didja you know The Captain from Captain & Tennille’s real name is Daryl Dragon? Why would this guy have a nickname? Your name’s awesome, you don’t get a nickname. Daryl Dragon has bedtime slippers that are cooler than you. Daryl Dragon washes his hands, then breathes a not-very-intense fire on his hands to dry them. Daryl Dragon can’t get a speeding ticket. “Okay, Mr. Dragon, I’ll let you go this time with a warning because your name is Daryl Dragon.” Any the hoo! Michael Pineda continues to dominate sans pine tar fingers. At least I don’t think he has pine tar on his fingers. Imagine he was really a Caucasian pulling a fast one? His ERA is now down to 1.93 after a 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 8 Ks gem. For 2015, I picture him being overdrafted due to the Yankees thing and the insanely low ERA, but it’s gonna be hard to be as excited about him due to his 6.30 K-rate, and 3.61 xFIP. You, sir, are no Daryl Dragon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The end is here, and the needs of the few take precedence over the many. If you’re playing for the championship in your H2H league, then you need this. If you are in the hunt for your roto title, then this is for you. If you’re playing for fifth place, well… then better luck next year. Your title may come down to one stolen base, one home run or a few extra RBI’s to edge out your opponent. A batty call today is gone tomorrow, and a new one comes in and takes the others place. I’m still going to keep the % owned low, but be aware of who has been dropped as other owners become desperate and have to drop a “stud” who has been cold to the free agent pool. Either way I’m throwing my Creepers out there like the Amigos threw the villagers at El Guapo’s gang at the end of the Three Amigos. I like the music for more dramatic effect.

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I wonder if Jake Smolinski had a sister that put out in high school. I could’ve swore I hooked up with an Eva Smolinski after her friend Dawn rejected me. Were my Cavariccis cuffed a little too high for you, Dawn? My B.U.M. Equipment sweatshirt too faded? I still hate you! Well, enough about me! *smacks self* Get a grip, man! Smolinski is hitting .408, and crushing pink cookies in a plastic bag since his call up, going 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday. The Rangers are like a prisoner with a life sentence (no offense to some of our readers; I believe you’re innocent!). Rangers have nothing but time on their hands to play their guys. Is Smolinski anything but a hot schmotato? God, no, but no one is this late in the year. I’d grab him if you need a hot bat, and who doesn’t? Dawn apparently! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Wilmer Flores went 3-for-4, 2 runs, 6 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homers. With David Wright hurt, Flores has been playing every day. The Mets are thankfully still able to get Ruben Tejada into their lineup. The Mets said, “We’ve wanted to drop Tejada, send down Tejada or trade Tejada for a nickel on a dollar, but since we can’t figure out the paperwork, we’re playing him every day for the last three years.” No Met in particular said that; all of them did. Why do I care about Flores playing? In Triple-A in 2013, he hit 15 homers and .321 in 107 games. That was when he was 22 years old. Maybe he’s not God’s answer to Bac-Os and able to make every game better, but I bet he could’ve been as good as David Wright this year. The reason why baseball people and the media doesn’t like Wilmer is he fields like he has a golden glove. Not that he won a golden glove. Like he’s literally trying to catch grounders with a metal statue. If he gets a job out of spring training in fifteen after twenty, this won’t be the last time you hear me try to convince people Wilmer Flores isn’t bad. For now, he’s only viable in very deep leagues as we watch Flores’s stock bloom. Flores’s stock bloom! Flores’s stock bloom! Springtime for Wilmer, and the Mets… (BTW, when did this site become so pro-Mets? I feel dirty. Though, that could be because I haven’t showered since March.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Recently, Matt Adams and his melon-ball shape has either been dreadful or benched for Daniel Descalso. The only time Descalso should be in front of Adams is in pictures, so the photographer can see him. It’s odd to think Fatt Adams isn’t getting it done at the plate. I do have a useful suggestion for everyone in Missouri. Send a topless Adams into Ferguson. That would lighten the mood for everyone involved. “I hate your guts!” “Speaking of guts…” And everyone smiles and laughs at the naked fat man. Peace brought to you by the ingestion of copious amounts of lard. Now, instead of Descalso, the Cardinals have a real option to move over moobs, Xavier Scruggs. What? No Crockett? How can the Cardinals go with a platoon of Scruggs and Tubbs? It’s crazy talk! Scruggs is A) Old to never be in the majors yet. B) Legit power threat that could hit .190. C) There’s no C. He has Quad-A player written all over him, but sometimes Quad-A players are exactly the kind of hitters that excel in September when they’re facing a bunch of Quad-A pitchers. Too early outside of NL-Only and deep mixed leagues to worry about Scruggs, but this does put the kibosh on any value Tubbs had, not to mention now he’s phantomed-up an oblique injury. Like anyone could even find his oblique! In all but very deep leagues, I’d drop Adams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Breath it all in. That’s it. Can you smell it? That’s the smell of the season winding down and the pastrami Reuben I just ate from the Oinkster. Delicious! I’m writing this with a mouthful of expectations [Jay’s Note: That’s what she said…] for the magic of September that happens every year. This past Tuesday I talked about the amazing month Marlon Anderson put up in 2006, and who can forget the statistical anomaly that Hunter Pence put up last year? I would of loved to do some cool September call-ups that are going to start right away and make a difference, but those that can are here, and the others will be part timers. So, in the spirit of September rookie-nookie I have chosen the delightfully smelling Rougned Odor. Speaking of delightfully smelling things, I will be doing a “East Coast vs West Coast End of Summer BBQ Battle Jams” with Ralph today. I’m taking my West and he gets his east. We’ll put up some tracks and encourage others to insert their favorites jams. Our criteria is just being good jams that can play to groups of peeps chillin together.  You may wonder why were doing this and all I can say is because it’s fun and helps us cope with our disappointments. Every good backyard party needs a theme, a fat sack to keep it tight, a DJ on the 1’s and 2’s, a strong drink mixed up in a pitcher, some Latinos, because it’s So Cal, and when five-O breaks it up we can yell this as we scramble. (NOTE: All of these tracks are not safe for work.)

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Jorge Soler arrived in the majors earlier this week like a gift from the fantasy baseball gods. Last night he went 3-for-3 with two more home runs and three more runs batted in. The 22-year-old from Cuba has come to the plate 12 times and already has seven hits, three homers, six RBIs, and a walk. Those are video game numbers and could carry a fantasy team through September. It hasn’t come out of nowhere either. Soler was always regarded as a good prospect even in the loaded Cubs system. Injuries and some makeup questions put a damper on his value earlier this year, but he quieted all that noise by raking for Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs are absolutely stacked with hitting and even if one or two of their prospects don’t reach their ceiling, they will still have more than enough firepower in that lineup. The scary part is that their players are all still so young. It’s a great time to be a Cubs fan, and a great day to be a Soler owner in fantasy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go too bonkers in September so we can all still draft him on our teams for 2015. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?