You literally can’t find a middle infielder with less than 20 homers. You can’t. Try it. See? This year there are more players with 20 homers than any other season in the history of baseball. Some conspiracy theorists have said the new commissioner, Our Manfred, is sticking Capri Sun straws into baseballs and juicing them, but this year is odder than that and deserves a better conspiracy theory. No one is hitting 50+ homers like during the Steroid Era. Only one guy is even close to 50 homers. Instead of a few guys doing insane damage in the power department, everyone is doing better, moderately. It’s the trickle down theory. If you’re not familiar with that, I’ll explain it. When Kim Kardashian first appeared on the scene, only she was smoking hot, but rather than Kim hogging the hotness to herself, it trickled down. Khloe went from a 3 to a 5, Kourtney went from a 5 to a 7, Kris went from a 6 to a 8, the two Jenner girls came of age, going from untouchable to 8’s, and even Bruce went from a zero to a three, becoming a woman that you’d throw one if you were drunk enough. This is also what’s happened in the majors. Jean Segura, and all middle infielders, went from fours or fives to 20s. Yesterday, Segura went 1-for-4 with his 20th homer, hitting .316, to go with his 30 steals. It’s going to be hard in 2017 to know if these are legitimate gains in power, for Segura and a whole slew of other players, or if half the league is going to regress. Kinda like Brody Jenner, who was so popular before Kim, ahem, came on the scene. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees. This Ray Searage guy can do miracles. People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise. “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’ So, what is the point, Searage?” “Sounds like you should use the change more.” By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark. Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker. Move over, Anne Sullivan! This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross. Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy. No relation to Tom Hardy. I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues. Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
True or false: A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.” C) There’s no C. D) All the above. E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher. If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E? Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?! So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks. Dayum. Hello, wounds, here’s your salt. In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign. Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games). That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yeah, I did already use this title, didn’t I?! Manaea? Maeda? Tomato? Tomatto?! Let’s call the whole thing off! What’s funny is Sean Manaea and Kenta Maeda couldn’t be more different either, with the former is a lefty hard-thrower, and the other a righty craftsman…
I got a good amount of flack the first few weeks of the Pitcher Profile ranks for not moving Maeda way up, but I think he’s going to end up a pretty average pitcher in fantasy terms – something akin to a standard league SP4. Like Grey’s Pulitzer-winning “Matt Harvey is sucking because of the playoff workload last year” advice on the Podcast, I’ve always maintained the entirely unique and previously un-thought “Maeda could start strong, but will fade as the league sees him more.” We’re all about the hard-hitting advice here at Razzball!
We’ve begun to see the cracks in the armor from Maeda (can’t use a different phrase because of Jeremy Lin, thanks ESPN). After a 0.36 ERA through his first 4 starts, he sported a 5.82 the next 4 heading into yesterday afternoon. Didn’t expect it to regress this fast! Comments exclaiming for a Maeda move-up in my ranks certainly went away! But within this 8-start microcosm, I indeed think Maeda is somewhere in that law of averages. So after a few requests for a Maeda profile, I decided to break down his start yesterday afternoon in a saucy matchup at Petco to see how he looks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So I’m watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my dad and following Tanner Roark strike out 15 Saturday afternoon, and all primed to write my “Raiders of the Lost Roark” pitcher profile. But then I was like, “Ya know what?! I already wrote on Joe Ross and the Nationals don’t need ANY MORE press! I’m not writing two of my first three 2016 profiles on Nats, get outta here!”
Option B: An argument I had with myself the other day: “Is Robbie Ray really that different than Carlos Rodon?” Think about it – both are lefties with mid-90s heat, plus off-speed pitchers, and are near unhittable. But they’re also two of the most frustrating pitchers to own with their control issues. So why would I love Rodon and bank on him figuring it out in my ranks and not have similar optimism for the also young (just turned 24) Ray? Mayyyyyyybe I shouldn’t broadcast to ALL of Razzball Nation my inner monologues… “What was that dream last night about? I think I was taking off my clothes in Miller Park with – – – -” Yeah, bad idea.
With Ray one of my two decent SP in REL, I decided to megalomaniacally (made up word?!) take the pitcher profile to Arizona and break down how Ray looked again the Pirates yesterday afternoon:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Bryan Price, always one for colorful language, should go full Tony Montana about his relievers, “Look at that, I got a junkie bullpen, mang. My bullpen is so polluted! I can’t even have a save with that bullpen. It’s so polluted!” After his Montana rant, Price could clarify who will save games in his bullpen through a string of curse words and em-effers. Yesterday, Price said they’d go to a committee. Great, maybe they can make a camel. Hoover’s out, Jumbo’s gone because his physique reminded them too much of their ERA. Caleb Cotham could see some saves, and he’s been good vs. minor leaguers, but he’s been honing his craft in the minor leagues for a while. This isn’t like a potter who needs time to hone his ashtray-making skills before hitting the big-time flea markets. Being in the minors long just means you might never achieve success in the majors. Going for Cotham is that he throws righty and he hasn’t failed yet. Then there’s Tony Cingrani, who I grabbed on Tuesday. He has been decent enough in the bullpen this year, but he’s a lefty and he blew the save yesterday in the 8th inning. Oh, and there’s Blake Wood, who is reminiscent of Jeanmar Gomez, and we know how well that turned out. *intern whispers in my ear* Seems that so far Jeanmar has worked out okay. For now, I’d own Cingrani then Cotham, but this is nigh-thurr pretty nor set in stone. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We’re finally starting to settle into the season! The Opening Week jitters are gone, and while we still say “small sample size” on everything – it’s not the size of the data but how you use it!
With starting pitching, most guys have only made their first start on the year – a few top-of-the-rotation guys have made two – so unless you see something drastic, you’re not panicking. And full disclosure, I wrote this intro before Joe Ross‘s first start, so admittedly I am a little nervous… I have several shares of Ross – on all my redrafts teams, I ranked him crazy high, he’s going to have my first born child… But whatever happens, it’s still only one start! This is one of the most nerve-racking Pitcher Profiles I’ve done!
My heavy investment in Ross made him an easy choice to break down for the first Profile on the young season, so here’s how he looked on Sunday afternoon hosting the Marlins, after having his start Saturday night postponed:Please, blog, may I have some more?
My pain is self-chosen
At least, so the prophet says
I could either burn
Or cut off my pride and buy some time
A head full of lies is the weight, tied to my waist
That is quite the downer, isn’t it? Makes you want to jump out of the nearest window. Welcome to the saves game! It is the river of deceit. I can’t believe I went with a “grunge” title today, but I missed Sky this offseason. [Jay’s Note: The Emo King, to rule them all!] Mad Season is the inspiration today, as the saves game is the most emotionally painful part of the fantasy season. Well maybe “can be” the most painful would be more apt for this discussion. So in the spirit of classic me and using the song titles of Mad Season’s other bands, I will say this in hyper link glory. The closer game in the shadow of the season is a state of love and trust that hopefully signals it’s over now… in a good way. I went almost full unplugged there. So friggin’ 90’s. Enough of that decade, let’s move into today.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Rangers called up their super-prospect, Nomar Mazara (3-for-4 and a solo homer). That’s super *prospect*, Hillary Clinton fans. Don’t worry, not the word that is also a title of an Arnie, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura movie. How is that trifecta not in more movies? I wanna see ACJ in everything! This Mazara call up is happening a lot faster than I thought it would. As the Story one did and the Max Kepler one and the Mallex Smith one (which I’ll go over in the post) and others. Maybe clubs read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I started to read it, got to the first chapter, “Put first things first,” skipped to the third chapter about being proactive, grew bored and never finished it. Feels like the days of Super Twos and June call-ups are behind us, right? Not answer, but to ruminate. I gave you a Nomar Mazara prospect post back in November of last year where I said, “He won’t struggle to hit .220. He won’t be a liability anywhere. He kinda reminds me of a young Matt Holliday, though from the other side of the dish. I watched some of his YouTube highlights and he doesn’t struggle to hit balls a long way, but also doesn’t look like a fat turd that can’t make it to first. I’m no scout, but watching him makes me think this is what scouts call sexy. I’ve seen him compared to Miguel Cabrera. Okay, no one is Miguel Cabrera until they are Miguel Cabrera, if you catch my drift, but Mazara doesn’t look like a guy that is going to disappoint. .280 with 30 homers a season for many years, that’s what he profiles as.” And that’s me quoting me! I grabbed him in every league where he was available. For now, he’s just filling in for Shin-Soo Choo, who is out four to six weeks with a strained calf, but I could see Mazara staying up and producing. Think Stephen Piscotty-type numbers, 20 HRs, .275, and a few steals. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*takes a long inhale* “You smell that, Roberta? You, with the yellow-stained armpits and sweatpants, I’m calling you Roberta. That’s baseball you smell. In its infinite complexity and finite simplicity. The foul lines whiter than any Lohan mirror. The grass? Manicured better than any Vietnamese lady could. The object of the game? Accumulate the most stats so I win my fantasy league. Simple, yet complex. Like trying to understand Jeff Foxworthy’s appeal. From today forward, this is our Independence Day (from all that other shizz in our life).” The preceding was Bill Pullman visiting the set of Field of Dreams. To that end, Roberta and your long-flowing sideburns, if the idea is to win saves, that difficulty intensifies when you draft Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson becomes the closer. That’s funny, because the Astros beat writer the other day said GILES IS THE CLOSER. Caps his, not mine. I know how to shut off my caps lock. So, now that GILES IS THE SETUP MAN, I would GRAB Gregerson in EVERY league, though, if it’s competitive, he’s likely GONE by NOW. No idea why Giles is NOT the CLOSER. My GUESS is the Astros went OUT and GOT Giles withOUT their manager, A.J. Hinch, agreeing, so Hinch IS now BEING petulANT. I’d prefer if he were petulANT with A closER I DO NOT OWN. Hey, it looks like I’m typing this on a busted Smith-Corona. Fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?