Like typical closenado news and happenings, it comes in spurts. The White Sox, Giants, and the Angels all made changes this past week. All changes were needed, but only one team, the Giants, look like they will try something new and not return to the original status quo. Sergio Romo is a proven and decent closer, but he’s overused, predictable, and doesn’t throw very hard. The change to Santiago Casilla and the cast of Affeldt, Machi or any other Giants RP seems to be temporary. Casilla has done well in the past with 25 saves in 2012, and a shiny ERA that hasn’t eclipsed 3+ since 2010. Consistency makes you reliable as a relief pitcher. I stole that from a German beer ad, or at least I think I did…it was in German and me no sprechen di lingie. So to continue the look down the road, take a look at the SF bullpen picture for next year and you’ll notice that Romo is a free agent. So the point is: either Santiago Casilla is the answer there for a one-year stop gap, or should they look to, what is IMO, the best relief pitching group of prospects in baseball. They have three guys who look to be ready (dynasty leaguers go get a pen!): Stephen Okert, Heath Hembree, and my favorite, Ray Black (public advisory over drop pens). So sit on Casilla if you grabbed him. It could be a long ride, but big head Bochy, and the monsters of the SF bullpen have a proven closer that will, for all intents and purposes, be back…maybe. It’s more fun to leave it suspenseful, like Murder She Wrote.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As many of you know, Bruce Bochy has the biggest head in the major leagues. As a player, when he was traded, he would have to take his helmet with him to his new club because the new team wouldn’t have a helmet big enough for him. It made traveling easier, since everything he needed would fit inside the helmet. We all know the story about how when Giants rookie, Joe Panik, was called up, he forgot to make arrangements to stay somewhere in the San Fran area, so he draped a sheet over Bochy’s cap and slept in there. Lots of good has come of Bochy’s giant melon. Of course, the 27-pound bowling ball has its drawbacks. Like when he went to see Toy Story and blocked half the audience. Lots of angry parents that day. Or the time he was in South Dakota and people starting climbing up his side thinking he was Mount Rushmore. Sometimes what would take a person with a normal-sized head a week or two to figure out, thoughts bounce around in Bochy’s Metrodome much longer. So when Sergio Romo wasn’t good for the month of May, then again in June, it took longer for Bochy to realize a change was needed, but he finally figured it out. Bochy said Santiago Casilla would replace Romo, then he banged the side of his head for 15 minutes waiting for another thought, and finally it came out that Jeremy Affeldt would see some situational saves, as long as Gilbert Gottfried isn’t introducing Affeldt at games. Yesterday, Affeldt got hit, and Casilla looked solid as he has all year. I’d grab Casilla in all leagues if you’re SAGNOF’ing around for saves. Hopefully, even if Bochy thinks about putting Romo back in the role, it takes a few weeks for that thought to land in the right spot in his cavernous whale head. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s just sad when you watch what should be a fluid situation turn out to be a fiery car wreck. That’s what the bullpen situation with the Angels is like. Just awful to think about, watch and….yikes, to even be immersed in their roster purgatory is just dreadful. Their bullpen is like the Swamp of Sadness in The NeverEnding Story. Atreyu (Mike Scoiscia) leads his horse, Artax (Ernesto Frieri) there, and the horse gets swallowed up with despair (your roster). The only bad thing is that Fred Savage isn’t in the Angels pen. Instead, we are stuck with Joe Smith, Ernesto Frieri and the schloo of underachieving or unproven arms that they have to offer. I for one would like them to just settle on a guy, who cares if he fails 5 out of 10 times. I was just informed that this is exactly what has happened already. In all seriousness, roster Joe Smith, bench Ernesto. Monitor everyone else, but don’t hold out hope that a luck dragon is going to come swoop in and save the situation, or your team if you got pot committed to the situation there. Stick around for some random tidbits of mental masturbation…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gregory Polanco broke out Friday night, collecting five hits, scoring two runs, and hitting the go ahead 2-run home run in the 13th inning to win it for the Bucs. Polancopacetic! The Polancomeback (the first of many!) gives his fantasy owners good reason to be excited, too. The home run was his first major league jack and someone better grab that ball and display it at the Carnegie Museum because this kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha! I guess the Fish that Saved Pittsburgh was a Polancod. Oh geez. That was bad, I apologize. After dominating AAA batting .347 with 47 runs, 7 homers, 49 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 62 games, Polanco was off to a slow start in the majors, hitting just 3-for-14 in his first three games. But he busted out in a big way last night, and those who stashed him have got to be feeling real good. Between Giancarlo, George Springer and Mike Trout, I don’t know if have room in my life for another player obsession, you can only stalk so many players in a 24-hour span, and the constant travel and hiding in bushes is exhausting. More importantly I don’t think I have room in my locker for all the Tiger Beat photos I’ll need to cut out and post of him. But I guess I will have to make room for you now Gregory Polanco! Let’s be friends.
Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The job in Tampa isn’t as pretty as it used to be, as the team is super underachieving, and not in a superhero-footed pajamas kinda way. Joe Maddon looks like he needs an executive parachute, even though he is a hoot to listen to during an interview. I think he is waiting for someone to jump and run with the job. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta or even the artist formally known as Leo Nunez may be the most obvious and experienced options, but I have another one for ya: Kirby Yates. I didn’t make that up. He reminds me of what Jim Henderson did two years ago with the Brewers. Career journeyman, decent, but nothing stands out about his minor league numbers… then boom. K -ates in the minors are above 12 for the last 3 seasons, and he has over 50 saves during that same time. Tampa is the place to rehab relievers, and Korean War shrapnel wounds, so crazier things have happened. Kyle Farnsworth, Fernando Rodney, Troy Percival, Danys Baez, Lance Carter, Al Reyes…. you get the point. The rule with closers is: It’s better to be first then not at all. So if time and space are in alignment and Rod Serling is already taken, pounce. Stick around, it’s a good week to speculate on saves and save-nots.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It seems like nothing can go wrong for the Blue Jays right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and last night rookie Marcus Stroman grabbed his third win in just his second MLB start, pitching six innings, allowing just one run while giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Let the Stromania begin! After defeating the Royals last week, Stroman has now given up just two runs in 12 innings, with a 13/2 K/BB ratio. One of Razzball’s top-20 prospects going into 2014, we’ve been mentioning him for a while now. Stroman’s got a mid-nineties fastball, and a filthy slider and cutter in his repertoire. He may have what it takes to hang with the big dogs, and with the way the Jays have been playing he might become a part of something big. (Bring the American League championship back to where it belongs! Canada.) Marcus excelled in the minors this year (35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.36 K/9) before being called up in early May to serve as bullpen help, where he struggled a bit. However, now that he’s likely to see a considerable look in the rotation all those Ks and Ws and possibly other letters (WHIP? ERA?) could be yours. He was a BUY this week although he will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in the perilous AL East, but Marcus has a nice start versus the Twins next week and I’d try to add him in most standard leagues for some serious strikeout upside. And that’s coming from a bonafide Stromaniac.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There is something to be said about doing your job, and then saying “good job but the regular guy is back, and he’s taking your job back.” Mark Melancon filled in swimmingly for the injured Jason Grilli and his line is better than most closers in the F-tier of my rankings. To his dismay, Grilli is back, and is being eased back into his role. Is it fair? Probably. Does it suck for Melancon stat vultures? Most definitely. Going back exactly one year, when Melancon became a fantasy stalwart on our rosters, he has an ERA under 2, 25 Saves and 17 Holds. That’s all after Grilli went down last year. Besides the K factor, which is in Grilli’s favor, Melancon is basically being grounded for getting only an A- in English class… but but but it’s still and A!, I’m sure he’s muttering. But, I’m rooting for Grilli, dat journeyman done good, saved all those kids from dat thang. Whatever that thing was. You know the story. No? Well make one up, tell your friends it happened, and let’s start a rumor. So good luck Jason Grilli, just make sure to look both ways when you cross the street. Oh, we totally forgot about your 3 BS in April. Cause you’re back here forever. Subliminal message: Hold onto Melancon.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This whole opening will be devoted to Trevor Rosenthal. Why? Because you are being put on notice, a notice to cease and desist your sucktitude. Watching you makes me wanna renew my prescription card to the herbal remedy place. The stats are yuck, take your K’s and jump around as he huffs and puffs and blows your WHIP house down. I wanna take a moment and send this note just for Trevor.
Trevor… Hey what’s up man. I don’t know you, don’t know if you read Razzball, but you should, because we are like the Danity Kane of Fantasy Baseball. Take a look over your shoulder my friend, you see that beard having flame thrower getting prepped in the minors? Yeah, that’s basically Wally Pipp coming back, but in this case he will be called Jason Motte. Now, Jason is a level-headed bloke, he stabbed someone in 3rd grade for stealing his apple sauce at snack time, and though all charges were dropped and wall-ball was played after… he is coming. Like the Balrog that Gandalf had to beat up… You have been warned homie. Oh, and say hello to your mother for me.
So if you are reading this and have a DL spot,or a wasted spot you wanna spec on for a week or two, now is the time. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, he comes back and shats the bed on your bench, but who cares? That’s like doing it on someone else’s bed, and they have a maid. Stick around for some tid-bits or bits of tid for the guy who wears a helmet and reads this column.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you cheated and looked ahead before reading, shame on you! But, for those who didn’t, I am attaching my cart to Francisco Rodriguez. Not only has he done nothing wrong (which seems impossible for closers nowadays), but looks in no danger of getting the rug ripped out from under him. The team is winning, the bullpen is toight like a tiger, and Jimbo Hendo looks to be doing a swell job as second fiddle. Not only would I marry K-rod right now, he can also fart in my dinner… tonight. (Ed. Note– Protip: I wait until at least the second date before letting farts in my food.) I mean what he is doing is pretty remarkable– most saves in April, EVER. It reminds me of the good times when I played the jug in the band The Dixie Cups. For a barely drafted guy who wasn’t even the teams first choice for saves… and to also be giving your team a saves boost for basically nothing, you should wanna carry his luggage. So keep reading to see what other closer goodies I got for ya… or just skip to the comments and tell me something awesome.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, everyone can give a complete exhale that two save-category standard bearers were not shut down with shoulder problems. Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara both threw bullpens yesterday, and are all systems go for the rest of the week. Not like any of you have them, because we don’t and shouldn’t overpay for saves on draft day. So if either of these guys fell to ya, good on ya and relax, and stop checking the waiver wire for half a tick. Kimbrel is the tits, regardless of setbacks, his numbers say so, and you should walk around telling people the such as well. Kenley is nice, has all the check marks: winning team, K’s, and the large drink to boot. I just can’t, with good faith, de-commit from Kimbrel unless he actually hits the DL. So with the sighs of relief I hear, let’s touch on some more of this weeks hap’s and slaps. Shall we?Please, blog, may I have some more?