Sometimes a news story falls through the cracks, but Lewis Black is there to catch them in a segment we call Back in Black!  Oh wait, got a little carried away there…  I mean:

Sometimes a pitcher falls through the cracks, and Grey is there to catch them!

Now, I have somewhat of an excuse…  Due to the MLB and regional networks wanting to stick it up the rear of their viewers and black out however-the-hell-far their national maps can reach, I can’t watch Orioles or Nationals games live in my region.  It’s so frustrating that I sold high on Adam Jones in my keeper just because I couldn’t see the homers right away!  I’m an instant gratification kinda guy, wink wink.

It’s easy to follow the hitters from these teams and see the highlights, but I never see big samples from either teams’ SP unless it’s on national TV.  Or in this case, in a Pitcher Profile!  Grey has been all about some Miguel Gonzalez on the Podcast, and I guess it’s easy for me to be a little dismissive as he’s never had “huge” numbers and I can’t ever watch him.  Plus, how good could he be anyway, he’s not even the only starting pitcher named Miguel Gonzalez!  Mmmmmm, Alfredo.  But not the Simon kind!  Anyway, since I’ve seen so little of Gonzalez and he had a very under the radar 2.09 ERA in the final 3 months last year and a 2.59 ERA this year with nice Ks, I figured it was a good time to break down his last start hosting the Rays to see how he’s doing pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seems loud and clear that the roof is closing on Adam Wainwright‘s season. If only he had a 3rd Achilles he could sub in! We should be able to have a schadenfreude party since I told everyone not to draft him this year, but there’s always a few people who still draft him against my wishes, so do we ignore these people and still schadenfreude or do we show pity? *thinks for a millisecond* We schadenfreude party! The schadenfreude party is being held in the superiority complex. Put up the pinata of someone’s ego that is smarter, prettier, funnier or richer and we beat it down! Put on some tunes and let’s do the Point and Laugh Dance! That’s not the Point and Laugh Dance, that’s the African Anteater Ritual. So, Wainwright’s done for 2015 and Carlos Villanueva, Tyler Lyons or Tim Cooney could step in at first, but this will likely be Marco Gonzales’s job for the majority of the year once he returns from the minor league DL with a shoulder issue. I like Gonzales for very deep leagues, especially NL-Only ones, so if you have room, I’d grab him. He’s around a 7+ K/9, low-2 BB/9 guy that could have a 3.75 ERA or under with a good WHIP. Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m headed back to the schadenfreude party, hungry for self-satisfaction, eager for some prigs in a blanket! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

People of Planet Earth, please, pay for your aces. On a slate that features quite a few, there is no need to tempt fate by not building around at least one solid top tier arm and a mid-tier to make it happen. Oh sure, there will that voice inside your head that says, “Hey, Kyle Kendrick fooled everyone Opening Day and was a huge bargain!”. That’s the voice that needs to be driven out into the middle of the DFS cornfields and left without cab fare back to where you are rostering players.

Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner and David Price are all on the docket, much like the aforementioned Opening Day (don’t get excited, Kendrick). Kershaw at over 12K may be too pricey to engage, but Bumgarner (9.8K) and Cueto (9.5K) might be excellent targets for your ace itch. Ace itch may not sound good, but to get a good core for your evening roster, especially with so many teams going, you may just need to stop thinking and scratch.

One more thing going into the list below: Whenever teams are in Toronto and Denver, I love the stars where you can fit them in. You’ll be harder pressed to do so if you’ve rostered aces at SP like tonight, but I didn’t want the list to go by and have you wonder, “Gee, doesn’t he like Adam Jones, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Chris Davis, et al.?” The answer is, yes, yes I do. Now onto the other guys.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“For Kris Bryant‘s first game, can we have Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch and have a goat catch it? Or maybe we carry Bartman through the streets like a Muslim funeral and rip the clothes from his body. Yeah, go with the 2nd idea!” That was the recently fired Cubs PR guy. You know the billboard that announces the Cubs World Series win in Back to the Future II? I took a freeze frame and blew it up, noticing something interesting. It’s not exactly the dead ghost girl in the window of Three Men and a Baby, but I could’ve sworn I saw Kris Bryant’s face reflected in the billboard. I’d show you, but I threw it away by accident. Sorry! So, Kris Bryant is being called up and I don’t own him anywhere, but I do get a certain pleasure out of the Cubs calling him up just after the extra year of team control kicked in, er, kicked Boras in the nuts. In my projections, I had him down for 42/19/54/.256/3, but not getting called up until June 1st. Now, 30 homers is a legit possibility. I do think he could have a 30%+ strikeout percentage and hit below .240, but I’ll give him the highest compliment I can, I wish I owned him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Prospects, prospects, and MORE PROSPECTS!!! Plenty of youngsters making noise as their seasons wind down and players scramble for the chance to get their feet wet when organizations call players up at the end of the month to get a taste of “The Show”.  That signals time for Razzball’s Sunday morning look at what’s become the most important commodity in our favorite game – prospects. Our “Prospect Primer” reflects a handful of the prospects I’m keeping a close eye on heading into Week 21 (for both shallow and deep fantasy leagues). Our bi-weekly prospect columns (Sundays and Wednesdays) will continue to focus on the more “well-known” prospects (our Top-50/Top-100) that are likely going to affect shallow to mid-level fantasy teams.

Disclaimer: The bi-weekly lists AREN’T a “re-ranking” of our Top-50/Top-100/Organization Lists. The players mentioned will typically be guys that owners in somewhat regular leagues NEED to be aware of (regardless of their current level) to keep from slipping behind as they want to stay competitive in “keeper leagues”. There may be a sleeper mentioned from time-to-time, but they may be more important to managers in deeper and more long-term leagues. The players listed aren’t in any particular order (you’ll notice they’re listed alphabetically), they’re simply guys you need to keep an eye on and someone you might be interested in targeting when you’re wheeling and dealing.

Now it’s time to refill that cup of coffee or take your lunch break and open your spreadsheets – here’s who I’m tracking over the next few days…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sorry, I was just testing out these new three-ply tissues Cougs bought for me. I wasn’t crying. I was cutting onions while watching Manny Machado get hurt. When you think you’ve had too much of this life, hang on. Everyone hurts…sometimes! Michael Stipe, you are my bald little friend that sits in my glove compartment and waits for me to be sad to come out and sing to me. Sit on my lap, Stipe, and tell me it’s going to be okay. Tell me Machado won’t struggle to be healthy again by next year. Alas… Jesus, what a depressing way to start a sentence. Alas? Alas my ass, Machado’s hurt bad. It’s a shame. Not because I own him this year, but I don’t want anything to stand in the way of me liking him in 2014 and a knee injury is the kind of thing that could deflate my enthusiasm. Oh, well, guess we’ll see how he’s doing next February. For right now, feel free to drop him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (11) | 2011 (3) | 2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [90-72] AL East
AAA: [66-78] International League – Durham
AA: [74-63] Southern League – Montgomery
A+: [55-79] Florida State League – Charlotte
A: [80-60] Midwest League – Bowling Green
A(ss): [52-24] New York-Penn League — Hudson Valley

Arizona Fall League PlayersPhoenix Desert Dogs
Lenny Linsky (RHP); Tim Beckham (2B); Hak-Ju Lee (SS); Richie Shaffer (3B); Kevin Kiermaier (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Matt Moore (RHP); Jake McGee (LHP)

The Run Down
The Rays’ player development systems have always been top-notch, and for the past several years, they’ve maintained one of the better farm systems in the game. As a matter of timing more than anything else — some bad luck, too (see Beckham) — the system was a little lighter than usual in the high-impact department near the end of last season. They were growing older, and more expensive at the big league level. It appeared that they were deviating from Andrew Friedman’s operational model — a patient, bottom-up approach that had discovered and nurtured talent better than just about any other organization — that had made them a year-to-year contender in baseball’s toughest division. And then the James Shields deal happened and the natural order was restored to the baseball universe. All of a sudden, Wil Myers became a Ray, and the once-lacking high-impact department was replenished with one of the more high-impacty dudes in the minors. Beyond Myers, Tampa added MLB-ready pitching depth in Jake Odorizzi. They also nabbed Mike Montgomery on the cheap — sure, he pitched like a pile of hot garbage in 2012, but one year does not ruin a prospect. When considering this top ten back in October, I was kinda worried about having to cover a slew high-upside 18-year-olds who hadn’t yet played outside of instructional league. Thank you, Andrew Friedman, for making this post more interesting.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

By the numbers, Manny Machado struggled through his first two months of Double-A baseball.  It seemed like most nights I looked at Bowie’s box, Machado’s line was 0-fer.  But then I’d read something from the O’s about how his current production was of no concern, that he was tweaking his approach, that scouts are still encouraged.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America

2012 (11) | 2011 (3) | 2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1) | 2007 (1)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [91-71] AL East

AAA: [80-62] International League – Durham

AA: [65-74] Southern League – Montgomery

A+: [64-75] Florida State League – Charlotte

A: [77-63] Midwest League – Bowling Green

A(ss): [37-39] New York-Penn League – Hudson Valley

The Run Down

It’s no secret that the Rays’ player development systems are tremendous.   Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?