This is the best time of the year, next to when Shark Week is on TV. All the movement in real baseball sends a ripple throughout the fantasy universe and in most position player cases, the player is owned to the moon or already a contributor. Not so much in the realm of baseball’s forgotten warriors: the setup men. As teams scramble for bullpen help, it creates an everlasting (not really forever) waterfall effect that resonates to the new and old team. Take for example the Yankees/White Sox trade it has created job questions for five separate relievers: Betances, Robertson, Kahnle, Clippard and Swarzak. Now with all the hype surrounding trade rumors, it is best to identify the team who gets the bullpen help first, than the trading team second. Because the trading team usually is where the goodies are at. Anthony Swarzak looks to be the biggest beneficiary in the setup options, and yes, Clippard will be closing, but Swarzak will be there when Clippard gets dealt again whether it’s before or after the non-waiver trade deadline. So to summarize here, be speculative but not crazy. Pay attention to the reliever deals in place and realize that some pitchers get moved down a few pegs, but on the reflexive, some move up. Have at some juicy reliever tidbits, Cheers!.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As the sun sets on another month of action in the baddest dynasty league this side of Bangkok. We check in on the happenings of the Razz30. By now the reputation of the Crab Army has reached the farthest corners of the earth scarring everyone from Rudy Poo Giants to Kim Jong Un. While controversy has been lacking the past month or so, the Crabs have been patiently waiting for their next beef. Who wants it? Will a challenger emerge? A question that in all likelihood will remain unanswered. So what have we been up to? The reality is as simple as a pancake but as complex as a transmission. The short answer, a little this, and a little that. We’ve bonded over looming and the softness of a homemade Turkish bath towel. We asked the hard questions like, is the Brewers Jared Hughes a serial killer as his ESPN profile picture implies? We also contemplated polyamory, and discussed its merits and disadvantages. In addition to all these things, the Crab Army General, Nick the Dick, and I engaged in a torrid platonic love affair, only matched by Balki and Cousin Larry. Oh, and as always we battled in a high stakes game of fantasy baseball. A game where life or death will literally lay in the balance. As the bottom two teams in each league face death by cannibalism at the end of the season. This is the only way to maintain strength in our ranks. We must dispose of any weakness, by digesting the weak, and regurgitating their remains for our seeds to feast. This is the Razz30 update for June. Claws Up!!!
Please, blog, may I have some more?
When struggles happen, the fantasy geeks come out of the wood work with words like “decreased velocity”, “contact rate” and “swing strike percentage”. Now I am no geek, but Roberto Osuna is failing the eye test for me. Control is all over the place and he has zero confidence in his pitches. Yes, if you look at all his secondary pitching attributes, they are all down or up for the worse. First, his velocity is down almost two MPH from last year. Granted, he did miss some time this spring though, so there is a reason to have a letter from his mom to explain that. His z-contact rate (pitches in the strike zone) is off the charts bonkers. It currently sits at 91%. If he had pitched more than five innings to date and qualified, he would have the highest such contact rate in baseball among relievers. That is not a good trait to have as a closer, let alone a mammal. Finally, his swing strike percentage has bottomed out at a cool 10%, which would put him outside the top-100 relievers. And surrounded by names like Tommy Hunter and Michael Ynoa, all staples to a flourishing fantasy team. So what do we do? You cuff him. Jason Grilli is the best name there and Ryan Tepera just got the save in extra innings the other day. All we can hope for from Bobby Osuna is that with some more innings and builds back up to the 9-plus K/9 reliever we drafted as our 1A closer. It isn’t time to panic, but do yourself a favor and cover your bases. Here’s what else is going down in the end game… Cheers!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?
Yesterday, Carlos Santana went 0-for-5 with 1 RBI. He could’ve hit six homers yesterday and still only had one RBI, because the guy in front of him said to the media, “By the power vested in me in the state of Cleveland — is this a state? — I now pronounce myself Lonnie Gonnie. I will now release an album that will be critically drubbed, but the masses will enjoy it called, ‘Lonnie Went Gonnie.’ Then the straight-to-DVD movies I star in will be reprisals of the Ernest movies, but with Lonnie in the title. For example, ‘Lonnie Goes To Africa’ or ‘Lonnie Goes to Jail.’ Is there any questions for Lonnie Gonnie? No? Good, because I got homers to hit and ribbies to eat and average to drive up the wazoo like I’m a wazoo driving machine.” Yesterday, Lonnie Chisenhall went H.A.M then damn, then come again, ma’am. Three homers (5, 6, 7), nine RBIs, and raised his average up to .385 while going 5-for-5. That’s a career .265 hitter. Zoinks! He’s probably going to remember who he really is at some point soon, but ride the lightning while Lonnie’s rocking out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wil Myers was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his hand. Experts are saying, “Guess you shouldn’t have drafted him!” Those are experts in schadenfreude. Other experts are saying he should’ve been wearing iron gloves called járngreipr. But those experts are in Norse mythology. Then there’s experts that say when he was injured he should’ve been going for a Chocolate Silk Pie Blizzard, but those are experts in Dairy Queen. Are there any experts on injuries that weighed in?! Oh, here’s one that says he’ll have his cast removed in about 6 weeks and could return in August. Ugh. I think I need a Blizzard. In shallower leagues where DL spots are already filled, I could see dropping him. In one 15-team league, I’m holding him, but Taijuan Walker is about to come off the DL, so I have room. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
King Salomon Brothers, the overseer of the Iron Bank, was mortgaging castles that he shouldn’t have been and fighting to get repaid, so he decided to sell his crown that was bespeckled in quinoa and Boca Burgers. The crown itself was worth more than all castles together. The world could be saved of economic ruin if the crown could get safely to the world’s largest pawn broker, Wei-Yin Chains. Unable to leave the kingdom himself, King Salomon Brothers gave Prince Fielder the crown, entrusting it to his overweight son, knowing if there was one person not interested in the healthy adornments on the crown it would be he. Unfortunately, heavy is the neck that wears Prince’s crown, and he gobbled up the crown like he gobbled up all the fantasy trust I put in him when I drafted this man the size of four horses. Goddammit! Dubya tee eff, doode! You can’t put on a neck brace and get up to bat? Shoot some cortisone is your cellulite! DAH!!! The only positive in this travesty that has befallen the fattest POS in the seven kingdoms? You’ll get to drop him! Fielder exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark, I hate you. Sincerely, Your Drafter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: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?
In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to focus more on rookie hitters than pitchers, but after last year and living through season-after-season of diminishing offense, this is the world we live in. Before you blame anyone, look in the mirror. What do you see? Besides, the blackheads. You see someone that supported baseball ridding itself of PEDs. So, this is what we have. Pitching up the wazoo. I still contend it should be ‘out the wazoo’ and not ‘up the wazoo,’ but I’m playing by your rules now. I’m no longer sticking it to the man and going up the wazoo. Hmm, that sounded wrong, but never the hoo! Kevin Gausman just barely maintained rookie eligibility by only pitching 47 2/3 IP last year. Really showing a thing or two about not knowing what was coming or going either by having a 5.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. It really means nothing. First of all, his xFIP was 3.04, so his ERA shouldn’t have even been that bad. Second of all, he had a 9+ K-rate, which is right in line what you can expect. Third of all, there is no third of all. Why would you think there was a third of all? Gausman isn’t a 5+ ERA pitcher. He could be the best rookie pitcher this year. He has that kind of stuff. With the O’s, you gotta mind your P’s and Q’s. Excuse me, I had Alphabet Soup for lunch and just burped. What I mean is the O’s aren’t in the best division for nurturing along a young starter. You have to be on the top of your game in the AL East. Gausman has the stuff to tame the big offenses. As I’ve tried to beat into your head, a pitcher with great control and strikeout stuff is worth your attention. Gausman is that type of pitcher. The only real question is do the O’s stay with him in the rotation. If today’s game vs. the Tigers is a spot start and back to the minors, it’s not great. Opportunity + Stuff = Fudgie the Whale. Wow, my math is off there. It should’ve equaled “worth a flyer in all fantasy leagues to see if he stays in the rotation.” To give you an idea of this guy’s upside, in Prospect Scott’s top 25 fantasy baseball prospects, the top five are Tanaka, Abreu, Bogaerts, Taijuan and then Gausman. That’s elite company. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The other day I said that I smelled a Disgraceful List stint coming for Tony Cingrani from a dead arm, then yesterday the Reds announced Cingrani had shoulder tendinitis. He said he didn’t think he needed a DL stint. I’ve said this before, but it always surprises me how teams can put players who are not injured on the DL. Before a player can go on the DL, Major League Baseball should require approval from one person: a strict school nurse. “Hey, Nurse Blumenthal, this is the Mets calling and we were wondering if we can DL Bartolo Colon with an inflamed elbow?” Nurse Blumenthal gives out a disapproving groan, yanks up her hosiery and then tells them, “I saw him playing catch and talking to some girls in the parking lot. I’d say he looked fine. Goodbye!” I’d DL Cingrani for now and pray to whoever will hear fantasy baseball prayers — A nerdy priest? An athletic rabbi? Do these things exist? — that Cingrani gets right with himself and the world in two weeks’ time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?