The Colorado Rockies have not had an easy go of it this season.  After beginning the year in tremendous fashion, injuries have contributed to a pretty steady drop in the standings.  Once 22-14, the Rockies have fallen one game below .500, to 34-35. Pitching is always to blame when it comes to the blemishes of the Blake Street Bombers, and this year has been no exception, with the team placing last in the majors with a 4.61 ERA.  However, mounting injuries have put an even bigger dent into the psyche of the good spirited people of Denver. First, Nolan Arenado hit the DL.  Then it was Michael Cuddyer (twice) and Carlos Gonzalez.  Pitcher Jordan Lyles, who had been their best starter to date, broke his non-pitching hand on a freak play.  Wilin Rosario even had a stint on the sidelines with a stomach bug.  Presumably, he’s been using that as his excuse for his poor hitting all season long.  The only player who hasn’t been hurt is human house-of-straw, Justin Morneau.  Go figure.

Good news for the Rockies, and for fantasy owners, is that Arenado (finger) could be back by the All-Star break, or perhaps even sooner if he can progress quickly through rehab games. While any possible cancer scare is nothing to dismiss, the fact that CarGo’s injury was “only” a benign foreign mass — and not a torn ligament — was the best possible news his owners could hear.  His original five-week timetable would have him back around the All-Star break.

Now all the Rockies need to do is get superz-sized sheets of bubble wrap for Troy Tulowitzki.

Here are some other injury notes that caught my eye this week…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I see you back there. Yes I’m talking to you. You love risk and I know you do. How can I tell? Well for starters you’re reading my column here at the ‘ole Razzball rag. You don’t know what a ‘rag’ is do you? It’s ok, you’re the internet generation, we’ll let it slide. I can’t wait for the days when my walk up to the check out at the grocery store has touch computer screens of ‘The Sun’ and ‘People’ rather than actual magazines. I’ll swipe my iPhone past Vibe E-zine to get the latest copy and read about 2Pac’s hologram tour across Europe with the Notorious B.I.G. after their rights have been bought out by Apple. It’s gonna be crazy in 2015 y’all! But of course, you didn’t come here for a glimpse of the future…well you did, just not that far so let’s talk Tom Koehler or better yet, let’s talk Chicago Cubs. We know the drill: Cubs offense = teh suck. Team SLG%? Bottom ten. Team wOBA? Bottom five. Team K%? Bottom three. Admittedly, Koehler has been middling at best on the year but given the spacious confines of his home ballpark and the team he gets to take the mound against, I’d say he’s a solid SP2 for your GPP games over on DraftKings today. Don’t like my take? Well how about the DFSBot saying he’s worth about $8K on the day which is what Weaver goes for. As long as he isn’t needled with singles and walks all game, this should be a 20 point start in my book and it’ll free up some dough to buy a high end pitcher and not kill your batting budget. BTW, if you’re used to our resident stock symbol BTXJ on your Mondays, I have a special surprise for you…he’s dead and buried under my gardenias in the back yard. Woah, wrong surprise and dead body! No, my Thursday nights have become too hectic to handle the rigors of DFS writing so we’ve done a perma-swap. Just keep that in mind if you’re looking for me later in the week before you have a Freaky Friday. And with that, it’s time to move on. Here are some other Razzball picks for June 16th contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hold onto your Taco Bell-made Doritos hat because yesterday Eric Hosmer hit a homer. Sung like J.J. Fad, “The S is for super, the Homer is for about freakin’ time!” More of an 80′s rock kid? Hosmer’s been Poison so far this year, but look what the cat dragged in! Prefer the punk scene? After Billy Butler goes to the bathroom, they say the john’s rotten. Okay, that had nothing to do with Hosmer, but I’m a man of the people and the people in my head demanded a punk reference. The Royals power has been so bad this year, Lorde released a remix titled, “Blue Jays.” At the forefront of the Royals abomination has been Hosmer. Entering today he had two homers. Who do you think you are, Robinson Cano? His homers per fly ball is abysmal, but his ground ball to fly ball ratio is about the same as previous years, his line drive percentage is fine, his at-bats per homer was around 30 for every year, except this year where it’s at 129. The only true red flag in his numbers is he’s hitting a ton of infield flies. I think that might’ve been him pressing due to the homer drought and now that cloud of doom can lift. I don’t think he’s suddenly going to jack 30 homers and start walking around in a crown like Jerry “The King” Lawler, but I also don’t think Hosmer will stay this terrible forever. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had it all setup, I was going to come on here and advocate you buying my favorite breakout player of 2014, Dallas Keuchel. I compared him to my favorite 90s wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. I even nicknamed Keuchel’s slider the diamondcutter after Page’s famous finishing move. There were fireworks, boobs, and jokes about the Mariners inability to hit lefties. I even fit in a jab at Teen Mom turned Pornstar Farrah Abraham’s lack of understanding of Memorial Day. Well I guess I still got that! Then Bo Porter decided sometime between my bedtime and wakeup that he was going to push back my Southpaw Sweetheart. Well that’s fine Bo Porter, I already thought you were a dink. In fact if I ever see you in person, I’m going to walk by you, wait until you are a safe distance away, and then say terrible things and run.

I all seriousness I can’t blame you for this move Keuchel did throw 128 pitches on Monday. So it makes sense. Well anyway I’ll just move on to another one of my favorite Aces in the making in Corey Kluber. His Manager is Terry Francona and he and I have an understanding because we both resemble personified turtles. He’d never do this to me!

Starting Kluber today will take some balls. He’s going against the Orioles who have been scoring runs in bunches the last week or so. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Chris Davis won’t play to be with his wife, who’s scheduled to give birth tomorrow. Even if Davis is in the lineup fear not; Corey K’s is getting to the point of being matchup proof. With a K rate of 10.13 and a walk rate of 2.06 on the season he’s pitching like an ace. He get’s strikeouts in bunches and in his last 4 starts his k/9 is 12.4, that’s a number that’s tough to ignore. With a price of $10,300 he’s not cheap but well worth the coin.

Before we proceed any further with this madness, let me get in a quick shameless plug. Did you start the season with a roster than included Prince Fielder? Jose Fernandez? Did you not listen to Grey and drafted Matt Moore? Have you been in a coma and completely forgot to change your roster and Mike Moustakas is your 3rd baseman? Well, get on over to Draftkings, sign up, and let good old Doctor Lifshitz be your guide. Bonus! I don’t charge for prostate exams.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Four teams were showing interest in Stephen Drew. No official word on which four teams, but I’m guessing the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox and whoever didn’t want the Yankees, Tigers or Red Sox to get him. Probably the Giants. That Sabean is a real party pooper! “Stephen Drew is under 40 years old, but he comes across as a guy that is aging twice the speed of the average human.” That’s Sabean weighing Drew’s pros and cons. Well, tough noogs, Sabean, the Red Sox secured their long-coveted, barely above replacement level shortstop. In a news conference, the Red Sox said they hadn’t had a news conference in a while and felt like now was as good a time as any. “We were gonna hold a presser to say Jerry Remy was down to a pack and a half of smokes a day, but this is so much better!” Drew hasn’t been worth owning in fantasy in about six years, so I wouldn’t expect you picking him up will work as a Viagra substitute. He’s around that of a 12-homer, 5-steal, .250 hitter. Lowercase yay. This will move Xander Bogaerts to third base and Will Middlebrooks to an outside chance of being a deep league sleeper in 2015, if he gets a few good at-bats off the bench when he returns because he’s now out of a job. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Earlier this week, I played guarantee fairy by marking guys likely to rebound or drop-off based on their BABIP differentials (actual vs. expected). Justin Morneau was a red flag because his expected BABIP is 34+ points lower than his actual BABIP, however this is the case for other Rockies, Brandon Barnes and Troy Tulowitzki even more-so. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are just behind Morneau as well. What I’m saying is that it’s a generalizable (Colorado) effect, and isn’t too much of a concern in Morneau’s case. The lineup stack probably exacerbates the effect as well.

On the other hand, while Prince Fielder is likely to rebound based on expected BABIP, the ground ball increase and hitting into the defensive shift is really hurting him, meaning I think his issues will somewhat sustain all year.

For this post (using this same matrix), let’s look at some MLB catchers and corner infielders to replace Matt Wieters and Brandon Belt long-term, and who should rebound at least from an expected BABIP perspective (<10% ownership on ESPN as of 5/12). Here is how I have them ranked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I do every week, I’ll be covering all the bumps and bruises in the would of fantasy baseball.  It’d be nice if some of these guys could get their acts together, but hey, then I’d be out of a job.

There were a few notable injuries in the baseball world over the past week, mostly on the hitting side of the spectrum, and I’ll be focusing on those, as well as some other players who just can’t stay away from the trainer’s room in my latest edition of Ambulance Chasers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not here to tell you that Giancarlo Stanton is a great player because I’ve already done that. However, his hot start has me questioning just how good he really is. I understand that you never want to overrate the first month of a season (I’m looking at you, Jose Abreu), but Stanton has had many stretches like this before. He currently has a .294/.385/.610 line and the crazy thing is that there aren’t any red flags. Sure, his average is a little higher than you’d expect, but he’s hitting more line drives and, with as hard as he hits the ball, you’d expect a higher batting average as a result. It’s always difficult to make the case for taking anybody above Mike Trout, regardless of the format. Still, I believe there’s a reasonable argument for taking Stanton with the first pick in a keeper or redraft league, where slugging is heavily weighted, batting average is replaced with OBP, and steals aren’t valued highly. Feel free to chime in – I’m curious where you would rank him in an OPS league if a draft was held today. Anyway, here are some other guys on my mind and their impact on OPS leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know I’ve had some requests for more fun pitchers, but Dillon Gee was a guy I ranked high and a guy I kept high.  And very early on “I tried to figure out why… I had him so high!”, but lately dude has been tossin’ gas!

The very under-appreciated Gee ended 2013 on a tear, pitching with a 2.41 ERA from May 30 to September 15 – with 100 Ks in 137.1 IP in 20 starts.  So ridiculously under the radar that Lord Helmet must’ve jammed it!

As a non-Mets fan and non-Gee owner in any leagues at the current present, I haven’t buckled down to watch any of his starts as of late.  And with three scoreless outings out of his past four – giving up two runs total in those four – I decided to break down his start yesterday at the Rockies and if Gee should be owned in a lot more than 38% of leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?