It’s always good to try and see every pitcher that you can.

I’ve never seen Henry Owens pitch, but didn’t think much of him for 2015 with a horrible walk rate in AAA (4.12 per/9).  “Is this strike zone regulation size, or what?!”  But he is a top prospect, reportedly has good stuff, and was decent in his debut against the Yanks.

You never know what you can see at the eye level, and you never know what pitchers might have a fluky bad walk rate in AAA only to find dynamite command in the Majors (cough,  Taylor Jungmann).  So I decided to check out Owens yesterday, to see how he looked on the road against the Tigers in his second MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Michael Brantley went 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with his 7th homer. One big day for a 2nd rounder is more than Ian Desmond owners can say. Yes, everything’s better when compared to Ian Desmond. “Maw, this spinach is still half-frozen and spinach juice is dripping into my Salisbury steak.” “In some countries, all children have is a 2nd round draft pick of Ian Desmond.” “You’re right, maw, you’re right. I’m an ingrate!” That’s a 34-year-old you after coming up from your mom’s basement for dinner. One of my biggest regrets of this season was not labeling Brantley a Noid and telling you to avoid. I didn’t rank him in the preseason crazy high so you would draft him, but I didn’t outright say, “Look elsewhere, prematurely balding man.” Meh, I guess my regrets could be worse. I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan’s last ten years. If you own Brantley, I think at this point you have to hold tight and either go down with the ship or hope some of his cream rises — mixed metaphor points! If you don’t own Brantley like me, well, whew. I’m empathetic though. Kinda. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Cardinals called up their top hitting prospect, Stephen Piscotty, who has a great eye, and could hit .320 with 20+ homers and 15+ steals in his prime. What will he do this year though? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! He could play 1st base for the suddenly old-looking and decrepit Mini Donkey. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty could play some outfield, but where? Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’m wondering something else. The Cardinals make a mountain out of molehill prospects, always. A prospect no one cares about comes up and the Cardinals make them look terrific. So, will Piscotty come up and be the opposite? Like the Law of Inverse Properties, which is in no way related to the douchey guy on HGTV that hosts Income Property. Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! Piscotty Doesn’t Know! I’d grab Piscotty in all leagues since he’s essentially Matt Holliday right before he entered his prime, but I’m guessing Piscotty won’t play enough to be a factor this year in shallower than 15-team mixed leagues. He could though. Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Grey doesn’t know! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This week I’ve got two really ugly recommendations for those of you in need of stolen bases.  The first player has been slumping badly, the second is Public Enemy No. 1 as far as some Rusney Castillo fans are concerned… Adam Eaton or considering how he’s (not) hitting lately, Adam “I haven’t Eaton in days”.  Ok, he’s not exactly old yet and his 59/5/37/14/.264 ROS (Rest Of Season) Steamer projection (R/HR/RBI/SB/AVG) is actually quite good and is in fact better than the projections of some of the younger players I’ve recommended previously.  Secondly, we have Shane Victorino aka Rusney Castillo’s wet blanket (well to be fair, Castillo’s inability to stay healthy has been his own wet blanket, but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story) who is back from injury.  He might not be worth owning if he’s only going to start 4 times a week but if he’s starting 5-6 times a week, well, he’s better than a lot of other players out there.   Before dismissing Eaton and Victorino keep in mind veterans Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan have fared pretty well this year.  And let’s face it, I’m basically making recommendations here for your last roster spot.  These are all players that are fairly expendable, that’s why they are out there in so many leagues.

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Man, name a starting pitcher and there’s a 50% chance he’s hurt!

It’s been a brutal Spring – Tommy J’s, ACLs, dead arms, demotions, sports betting on Twitter…  It never ends!  It feels like we’re just another few injury-plagued Springs away from having pitching machines on the mound.  Would spell a devastating end to Krispie Young, that’s for sure!

So as we’ll update every Monday through the season, below is an update to my first edition of the Top 100 SP Ranks, which you can find through the magic of clickity-click.  Standard in-season-esque green for risers, red for fallers, additional notes at the end, and my principle is usually to not rank pitchers in the bullpen unless it’s highly anticipated they will join the rotation in the immediate future.  So Sayonara Cingrani!  Sounds like an episode title of The Sopranos…  Here’s my updated Top 100 SP:

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This draft was so slow that I lost half my starting rotation before the draft ended. This draft was so slow that when it started Minnie Minoso was still alive. This draft was so slow when it started Tupac was still dead. I didn’t enjoy my time last year in the 15-team NFBC slow draft. I drafted Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin and my only chance was a big year from Nadir Bupkis, who gave me just that. See, there’s no waivers and the league is 50 rounds deep, so if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. So, I was talked into doing the league one more time, but knew I had to draft starters early and often, and, of course, prior to the draft even completing I lost Zack Wheeler and Tony Cingrani. Many will disagree with me, but I’m under the firm belief that it’s a lot harder and more fun to win a league like a Razzball Commenter League, than it is to win a super-deep league. With super-deep leagues, if you’re hit by injuries, you’re done. That’s neither fun nor challenging. That’s just shizzy luck. You can say I should’ve known Wheeler and Cingrani weren’t safe, and I’d say to you that neither are any of the pitchers that are healthy all year. They just happened to stay healthy. It’s not like the guy that drafted Alex Cobb is any smarter than the guy who drafted (insert pitcher that is healthy right now that may not be healthy by the time you read this). How’s dem grapes? Sour! Anyway, here’s my 15-team, 5×5, roto, NFBC slow draft team and thoughts:

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Imagine you are given a perfect list of auction values. Like you walk to the top of Mt. Sinai and instead of the Ten Commandments, God hands you a sheet of perfect dollar values for your upcoming auction. (Relative to burning bushes and other ways God has made his “presence known”, I’d say this would rank about middle of the pack in terms of directness). What would you do with these values?

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I swear to you with the sincerity of someone you’ve never met, I woke up yesterday and saw the news about Zack Wheeler and decided it wasn’t a catastrophe for my already-drafted teams. At least I only drafted him in one of three leagues. I liked him a lot, so things could’ve been worse. I felt downright well-adjusted. Breathe in, breathe out, Grey’s fine. So, I went to my car to go on my morning trip to Starbucks, where I have the pleasure of buying an overpriced coffee and having my name misspelled, but, when I got in my car, it wouldn’t start. The car’s not a clunker, never had problems before. Then I realized something very profound. There was a higher power that would not let me be well-adjusted to Wheeler breaking down. A higher power that insisted I mourn the lose of my Wheeler even if it meant hitting me over the head with sad, sad irony that my four-wheeler wouldn’t start either. That higher power’s name, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord. Now I have no car and no number two starter on one of my teams. As I said in yesterday’s podcast that was taped on Sunday prior to the official Wheeler news breaking, the Mets said Wheeler’s elbow was fine so that meant he’d need Tommy John surgery. I was being facetious at the time, but is there any such thing as being facetious when talking about the Mets? Not to answer, but to ponder. Terry Collins said on Sunday, and I quote to let you absorb fully what teams say vs. what is actually going on, “There is nothing alarming or different from what’s been going on before. I know (Wheeler)’s got some issues with the finger (a blister). Other than that, just a little rest and he’ll be fine.” On Monday, Wheeler’s UCL was fully torn and needed Tommy John surgery. That’s one heckuva blister! Wheeler’s biggest challenge will now be finding time to see Dr. James Andrews. He’s getting booked up quickly! I’ve removed Wheeler from my top 40 starters and my top 400. To add insult to Wheeler’s injury, the Mets will moved Dillon Gee into the rotation and not Noah Syndergaard. Gee, terrific. Gee’s a 4+ ERA, 6+ K-rate guy that I won’t add into the rankings because he’s a streamer in most mixed leagues. Also, he’ll be bumped in June for Syndergaard, assuming no more Mets pitcher injuries– Ha! Damn, almost got through that last sentence without laughing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Everything black was white and white was black. Everything up was down and down was up. I was a Girl Scout and the only cookies I could sell were Rah-Rah Raisins and I couldn’t give away the Samoas. I was an Asian in NASCAR. I was a five-foot, six-and-a-half-inch white boy that could hoop. (Actually, that last one is true.) I zagged when I usually zigged! And it felt okay. I didn’t wake in a puddle of sweat like I was a puppet in the Land of Confusion video, wondering what I had done. I didn’t burn all my old draft manifestos like I was trying to escape Olivia Pope from finding me out. I just went at it a little different. This league is a 15-teamer, OBP league, so I used Rudy’s rankings. I still knew which players I liked and didn’t like, but I decided to lean on Rudy, which makes for an interesting draft when Rudy was using the same rankings. For unstints, when Matt Holliday sat at the top of my board for two rounds, I knew Rudy was going to draft him. When Ian Kennedy sat at the top of my board, I knew Rudy was going to Marilyn Monroe that Kennedy. Though, I also knew if I wanted a guy sitting at the top of my board, I needed to act before Rudy. Okay, you’re primed, let’s start coating your mind with knowledge. (BTW, Our Razzball leagues are signing up still. Go there and sign up now!) Anyway, here’s the 2015 Tout Wars draft and my thoughts:

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This draft was by Yours Trudy. Never understood that, Yours Trudy. Who is this Trudy that everyone is talking about? No, no, I’m not changing the subject before even embarking on the subject simply because I’m not happy with my team. How dare you j’accuse Yours Trudy of that! So, yesterday, on the Not-the-Ides of February, Grey Albright, the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it!) took part in a 12-team NL-Only draft that was commissioned by Scott White of CBS Fantasy. You know, CBS, they brought you such head-scratchers as Viva Laughlin and Travis d’Arnaud as a top 60 overall pick. In fact, I razzed one of the CBS ‘perts about his d’Arnaud love in the beginning of the draft, then the room nominated d’Arnaud and the CBS ‘pert didn’t draft him. I think I might’ve shamed too hard. *shrugs* C’est la. This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and 1,000 of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?