Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment.  Outfielders in the tier of guys in the preseason I told you not to draft:  Pence, Kemp, Gomez, Schwarber, Hanley, Corey Dickerson, Ellsbury, Brantley, Adam Jones and Carlos Gonzalez.  I’ll take a 7-for-10.  You believed still in the preseason about Carlos Gomez, didn’t you?  *touches finger to nose but not for a sobriety test*  I’m more surprised by the people shocked by Gomez’s fall from grace.  *makes crazy, rolly finger motion by ear*  Anyone who saw him in his prime knew he was gonna find a steep cliff.  Even when he broke out, the underlying stats told you something had to change or he wasn’t going to have continued success.  *sticks finger in nose, smiles*  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s time for the Dodgers’ mailbag with your host, Grey Albright and I’m here with Dave Roberts.  First question up, Billy from Toluca Lake asks, “Why didn’t we sign Johnny Cueto?”  Dave Roberts runs full-speed towards 2nd and slides head-first…safe!  Well, that doesn’t exactly answer the question, but he is still quick.  Okay, next question, “Was there ever a chance of re-signing Greinke?”  Dave Roberts brushes dirt from his uniform and motions for the ump to call him safe, and he likely would’ve been safe if we were in a game and not just taking questions from Dodger fans.  Okay, next, “What exactly is Brandon Beachy doing as a Dodger?”  Dave Roberts takes off for third, what a speed demon, though we’re not sure what that has to do with the Dodgers losing pitchers one per hour.  Early yesterday, the Dodgers announced Hyun-Jin Ryu hit the DL with elbow tendinitis.  There’s no clear timetable for his return, but I’d guess sometime in the future.  Him returning in the past seems to be a long shot, at best.  Ryu didn’t look good after he returned from injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return until next season.  If you have no DL room, you should look on Redfin.  Might be time to get in a bigger place.  For now, I’d drop Ryu.  Next up for the Dodgers was Clayton Kershaw would be shut down indefinitely.  Ouch.  I hate to see the top guys in the game get shut down.  It hurts the game that we all love.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I don’t own him, and am pumped about the teams that do have him, losing him.  Schadenfreude!  If he’s shut down now, I’d say the earliest he could possibly return is mid-August.  Filling in will be Julio Urias and his special brand of 5 IP, 3 ERA, blink-and-you-miss-it starts, which makes me wonder if he’s seen himself pitch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The day before our Independence Day, the Nationals exploded for six home runs, a fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous.   The Grucci fireworks family has a fascinating history.  Giuseppe Grucci in 1923 said to his momma, “I don’t want to be a two-bit gangster, cutting peoples’ fingers off for debt payment, I want to blow up thousands of fingers all across this great nation.”  Then his mother smacked him and told him to finish his lasagna.  Yesterday, Bryce Harper (2-for-4) hit his 17th homer, Wilson Ramos (3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th, Anthony Rendon (2-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 8th, but at the heart of the fireworks celebration was Danny Espinosa (4-for-5, 6 RBIs) with his 17th and 18th home run, and his 4th and 5th homers in the last four games.  For those of you who think he’s a weekend hot bat, he hit .309 with nine homers in June.  He’s only 29 years old and he is a guy that has seasons of 20+ homers and 20 steals.  So, yes, you should own him.  Fun fact!  Did you know what they call a fireworks display on July 3rd?  A premature ejacu-elation.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s what I said this offseason, “Before watching the video on Lucas Giolito, I looked at his vitals.  This is something I don’t usually do.  Doesn’t really matter to me if a guy is six-foot-one or five-ten.  But, dizzamn, Giolito is a strapping young man, huh?  He’s listed at six-six and 230.  He’s only 21 years old, but I think he’s done growing.  Hopefully, cause his mom tells CBS Sports that his “feet already hang off the bed.”  With a six-six frame, as you can imagine, he throws fast.  (Christall Young is the exception that proves the rule, an idiom that never made any sense to me.  If it’s an exception, how does it prove anything?  It proves that there’s exceptions, but that’s about it, right?  I’m gonna move on before my brain hurts in my thought-nodes.)  Giolito hits 97 MPH on his fastball, which is actually up a tick from the previous year.  If he keeps steadily increasing his fastball every year, by the time he’s 40 years old, he’s going to be throwing 117 MPH.  He throws from nearly right over the top, so the ball fires downhill and hitters have about no chance of hitting it.  A 9+ K/9 seems to be a given once he gets settled in the majors.  With speed comes no control, to sound like a drunk Yoda.  Or does it?!  Snap, reversed on that.  No, Giolito has control too.  97 MPH with command?  I’ll say it for you, hummna-hummna.  Oh, and his strikeout pitch is his hard breaking curve.  In 20 years, Al Pacino could be playing the role of a Hall of Fame pitcher in the film, Giolito’s Way.  Assuming Pacino has eighteen-inch stilettos.  He could be special, and TMZ spotted Pacino shopping for eighteen-inch stilettos, so that could be a good sign.”  And that’s me quoting me!  He should be added in all leagues, like yesterday.  To put just the tiniest bit of dampers in these happiness diapers, Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA his rookie year in 107 2/3 IP.  Rookies give roofies and take your kidneys.  Hashtag truth.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just Damn.  Just Doh.  Just Don’t-tell-me-he’s-out-for-the-year.  Just Depression.  Just Difficulty-feeling-happiness.  Just Dis-stress-is-stressing-me-out.  Just D-negative-words-in-the-thesaurus.  Just Dissolvent.  Just Did-you-say-dissolvent?  Just Don’t-stop-hugging-me-with-your-eyes-Ted-I-can’t-be-alone-right-now.  A fractured elbow for J.D. Martinez.  It happened when he ran into a wall.  Apparently, the wall doesn’t own him.  I hate you, wall!  “If he dies, he dies.”  Oh my God, the wall is imitating Ivan Drago!  I knew it!  The wall is a Russian super-villain.  Martinez will head for a CT scan.  I don’t know how long he’ll be out with a fractured elbow, but it sounds like it will be a while.  Let’s join in the shape of a parallelogram and pray.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Ree,” opens the front door, walks down the driveway, says hello to my Polish neighbor, Stash, walks to the DQ, gets a Blizzard, eats said Blizzard, walks home, opens the door, says “Dick,” hits the head, not like that, comes back feeling a Blizzard lighter, does some Netflix and chill, shuts it off, says, “You,” brushes teeth, gets into bed, moves arm over Cougs, hears about her splitting headache, rolls over and says, “Lus.”  That’s right, in honor of Mookie Betts, I just did the most ridiculous ridiculous call ever.  You earned that shizz, you madman!  I’d count the ways I love this man, but like a savant Blackjack dealer I can only count up to 21.  After his three-homer game yesterday, Betts (3-for-5, 5 RBIs, 10th, 11th, 12th homers) now has those twelve homers to go with eight steals, a .283 average and is on pace for 115 runs and 85 RBIs.  Don’t make me do another ridiculous ridiculous call, cause if you want me to, I will.  Oh, and with what he’s doing, it’s not even inconceivable that he keeps up this pace.  His BABIP (.290) is actually below his career average (he’s getting unlucky!), his fly ball percentage is down (he could be hitting more homers!) and he hasn’t been caught stealing once (so steal more!).  You are witnessing the emergence of a perennial first rounder.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend.  On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem.   Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.”  I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?”  “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.”  “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.”  Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista.  Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats.  Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs.  So, can Valencia keep it going?  It appears so.  Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It might surprise you to learn that a catcher was the most added player in ESPN leagues last week. That’s right. A catcher. You’re probably thinking that it’s some hot prospect who looks like the next coming of Mike Piazza. In that case, you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s actually 30-year-old journeyman catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty’s smacked 6 homers in just 48 plate appearances this season, which has some fantasy owners dreaming of a cheap 20 homers from their recent waiver wire find. He has hit 25 homers in a season before (2012), and power has never been an issue for Salty. What has been an issue is making consistent contact. He’s one of 11 players in MLB history (min 2000 PA) with a 30+% K% in his career, and his 32.4% K% since the beginning of the 2014 season is the 3rd highest in MLB over that span (min 600 PA) behind only Mike Zunino and Tyler Flowers. This season, he has a 37.5% K% and his early power outburst is largely due to a 33.3% HR/FB (career 13.8%). Same old Salty. Enjoy the hot streak but don’t get too attached. Too much Salty will give you high blood pressure.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?