All the fantasy world was hoping that Jonathan Papelbon would be traded to a team without a reliable closer.  Instead, he goes to a team and kicks in the door swinging with the “I make more money than you” swagger that only comes with wearing Jordache jeans. And then he takes Drew Storen‘s job.  From a relief pitcher standpoint, Papelbon jumps from the worst save-driven team to top 10 overall.  The Phillies generated only 26 save opportunities to the date of his trade.  The Nationals were a far better team, and their record says so with 43 save opportunities.  The Nationals have also had a lead 32 more times than the Phillies, so Storen isn’t a completely wasted roster spot. If you got skunked by this, you need to keep him rostered.  He will still get the off-day save chances, and should pitch in a ton of high-leverage situations based on the bullpen shape of the Nationals, which isn’t a blue ribbon. Papelbon immediately jumps to elite status for me because of his history, and the whole contending team thing. He will easily double his saves total (in less games) to date, which stands at 17.  On the flip side of this trade, it opens up the gates to wunderkid Ken Giles to close in the land of steaks covered in cheese.  Giles immediate value is that of a closer, but with the Phil’s, he’s going to basically have a worse representation of what Papelbon had, but he still has moderate save appeal.  I can see him getting 10 saves the rest of the way.  This is posting a day before the deadline, so things could be in flux. And make sure to check out Ralph and myself over on Razzball Soccer, as the FPL is in full go.

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Late last night, Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Blue Jays. Both hammys, his quads, his obliques, his elbow tendons, both groins. Why does he have two groins again? Maybe we don’t need to know. The Rockies getting rid of Tulo makes me think of when a kid is dropped off at the airport to fly alone. A flight attendant walks with the kid, trying to make conversation, waits with them at the gate, helps them into their seat, watches after them on the flight, escorts them off the plane and walks them to their uncle. Once the Rockies representative handed Tulo off to his uncle, Alex Anthopoulos, the Rockies representative went into the bathroom, did a line of blow and dialed the Rockies, “We got rid of him!!!” The Blue Jays longed to have a shortstop with two good legs. Sadly, they traded Jose Reyes to the Rockies, so now they still have a shortstop with one good leg, unless the deal includes Reyes leaving behind a hammy. Obviously, leaving Coors isn’t going to help anyone, but Tulo’s big problem has always been his health. If he stays healthy, the Blue Jays aren’t exactly the Kalamazoo Fightin’ Zebras playing in Petco. The lineup around him will be better, and he’ll get to face a junkload of terrible pitchers in the AL East. As for Reyes, he might not be long in Colorado, and if he is, then he gets a boost in value, until the Mile High air creeps into his hammys and does its worst. Reyes could now get back those extra five homers that seem to have disappeared from his usual batting line. Also, in this deal, LaTroy Hawkins went to the Jays. He was the flight attendant in the above scenario. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So with the festivities of All-Stardom concluding, thus comes the second half.  It’s an inevitable thing, you eat half a cookie the other half remains.  So this week I am going to run down a list of the closers for the remainder of season.  So sorry for not doing salads with donkeys this week, I felt this was more noteworthy since we are about two weeks from the trade deadline in real and fake baseball life (in some leagues).  The closer rankings that I came up with will be based off of a few things: saves (no durrr), team success, likely hood to remain a closer, and peripheral stats.  So we lump all those together and we get the ROS STSLRCPS.  Which basically looks like a pretty good scrabble deck.  Bare with me, it’s a busy time of year, and for those in the know, Fantasy Soccer is live and in full effect.  Go check it out, it’s fantasy baseball with an accent.  So now onto the closer ranks for the rest of the 2015 campaign…

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For a few days it’s been all quiet on the closer front.  Usually in the lede, I talk about a change in regime and the pluses/minuses and my opinion on it.  There hasn’t been one for two whole weeks…  It’s crazy.  MLB is putting me outta business in the jibing about fantasy closers market.  Where does the unemployment line start?  I am only half kidding, and I’m also half crazy too. So that makes me half-something.  So believe it or not, the season is officially 3/8 of the way over.  That is just crazy in itself to even fathom.  I think I have rambled on about nothing long enough… let’s talk about someone, anyone, shall we?  I like the rebound to form that Mark Melancon has shown, due to a K/9 of 4.68.  I haven’t seen a true one-outcome reliever before, but if you own him, I would sell for a better product.  You can probably get by on two things in your favor.  One, his name uses letters that can be read in a left-to-right format, which, from what I am understanding, is standard for reading purposes.  Two, he has 6 saves in the last two weeks and when people look to see how he has been doing, they will see that he is tied for the lead during that time frame in saves.  Listen, if you need saves and you own Melancon, I am not saying go out and sell him cause I said so.  I am saying swap him and a extra player and see if you can get an improvement on the K category.  The other owner will be so smitten that he got a closer and another player for just a closer, he won’t realize that he was jobbed.  Side note, make sure he doesn’t read this blurb first or the jig is up.  Stick around more snippets of informative justice are on the way…

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Entering June, it’s becoming a two-horse race between Hannibal Montana (Csifu) and Razzball’s own J-FOH in our dynasty league – the Razznasty. There’s a group duking it out behind them, but both teams have pretty much dominated the league so far. Since our last update, J-FOH has pulled away from R’azbahl Al Ghul and closed the gap on Csifu’s first-place lead. Csifu’s squad continues to pitch incredibly well with an absurd 2.56 team ERA. J-FOH leads the league in homers (by 18), and has gone toe to toe with Csifu in wins and saves. His 3.04 team ERA is good for second in the league while his WHIP is sitting third. Somehow these two teams managed to avoid the starterpocalypse and forgot to invite the rest of us into their bunker. Read on for a look at the full standings, this month’s trades, and our league’s FAAB report.

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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:

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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:

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This was just announced by the Yankees’ front office. “No Yankee will ever wear the last Monday of May on their jersey. 5/25-5/31 will all be retired. We dedicate this to all the Yankees who served honorably on federal holidays.” When asked why Memorial Day and not Veteran’s Day, the Yankees’ brass said their roster celebrates Veteran’s Day every day. The Yankees exploded for 14 runs yesterday on five home runs as Jeremy Guthrie (1 IP, 11 ER) got Vin Mazzacred! Chase Headley went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer as Headley helped *pinkie to mouth* Chase! Guthrie. In the 1st inning, Brian McCann got into the action (1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 5th homer as he put up the bangfizzle, Stephen Drew added his one hit in five at-bats, his 5th homer, and, because Guthrie was doing a special Memorial Day giveaway with homers going to the first seven batters in attendance, even Slade Heathcott (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) got into the action, hitting his 1st homer, and Slade Heathcott is merely just a name spit out by the Preppie Name Generator. But the one I really want to talk about after this clunky sentence intro is Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting .285 and has 12 steals). Gardner gives you around the stats you were hoping to get from Jacoby Ellsbury, and at a fraction of the draft day cost. To quote Fonzie’s horse, nay! It’s not just Gardner’s draft day cost, he’s still likely cheap as dog balls to acquire in a trade. Everyone on the Yankees gets overrated, but somehow Gardner never does. Weird and interesting and everything you could want from a novel you find tucked away in someone else’s beach blanket that you steal. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Last week I recommended Shawn Tolleson, a player that seemed on the cusp of closerdom.  The closer’s role is now his and even though they have a player in Keone Kela that is being groomed for the role (thanks for the tip, Smokey!), it is my belief that Tolleson will stay the closer until he loses the job by blowing saves, but that could be said of just about any closer.  This week it’s time to turn our attention to the happenings in Seattle, where Fernando Rodney has an ERA of 6.23 so far this year.  I’ve previously recommended Danny Farquhar but he’s been almost as bad as Rodney. Both of them sport BABIPs of about .350 so it’s been some bad luck in addition to bad pitching.  Your answer:  Carson Smith.  Some of you have caught on already because his RCL ownership is up to 39% but it should probably be near 100%.  His ERA is 0.90 but his FIP and xFIP are 2.40 and 2.36 because his BABIP (.182) and LOB% (95.6%) are unsustainable.  So now you know where all of Rodney and Farquhar’s luck went.  The sustainable part is the solid 23:5 K:BB in 20 innings.  That’s closer material.  He could, in theory, be named the closer any day now, but unfortunately Rodney has been given a long leash so it’s not likely to happen until after the next blown save or two.

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With the time when prospects are called up and Memorial Day upon us, it’s appropriate for us to take this time to walk past the fallen rookies of the past. Sorta like the Rites of Passage walk on Survivor when they burn all of the Survivors’ belongings that didn’t make it to the end. When I write it out, it sounds like something Germany did in the 1940s. Any the hoo! Here we have the number one pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Tim Beckham. Actual Keith Law quote, “(Beckham has) the best chance of anybody in this draft pool to be a superstar.” Not Buster Posey (drafted a few picks after him), but Beckham. Next up, Jesus Montero and Zach McAllister. Actual Keith Law quote from a chatscript: Question, “Could Montero be an All-Star level 1B?” Answer from Law, “Yes.” Question, “How do you project McAllister?” Law answer, “At least a #3.” At least! These are fun, let’s do more! Another question posed to him, “I’ve heard contrasting things about Dustin Ackley’s power. Based on what you’ve seen what is Ackley’s ceiling in terms of HR/year?” Keith, or Klaw as he calls himself, said, “I could see 20-25. I’d say Ackley’s chance for 30 HR power is 20%.” Okay, one more (though I could do this all day) actual Keith Law quote, and this one is classic because he name drops his alma mater. In 2009, someone asked him, “Shouldn’t Teheran be higher on (Law’s prospect) list than Jeff Locke?” Keith said, “Are you asking me or telling me? When I first got to Harvard, there was this variety show that some upperclassmen put on during freshman week, and one guy had a funny routine about “flexers” — students who would ask bogus questions that were really designed to state opinions or try to show off knowledge. (Grey comment, “Sounds like a riot!”) Obviously, the answer is “no,” since I ranked Locke over Teheran. It’s incredibly naive to ignore probability when ranking prospects.” I do enjoy a pompous ass. I wonder if he has a post.harvard.edu email address. Of course, he does! Shoot, his email is likely harvardgrad@post.harvard.edu. So, what in the Hans Christian Anderson does this have to do with Carlos Correa? He’s a sure thing right now. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing. A lot of shizz happens between Matt Bush signing a contract and having his tiki torch snuffed out with his 4th DUI while singing Free Bird. Just like it’s also true that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. I’m reminded of the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, no one knows anything. What we do know is the Astros are winning and have no reason to keep down the hitting Correa. He looks like a young Hanley. Just remember, so did Xander Bogaerts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?