After the first two homer-game, I was like, “Yo, Grey, stop twirling your mustache and trying to squeeze into your Z. Cavariccis from high school and check out Travis Shaw.”  And I did.  Only, I wasn’t that impressed.  He had five homers in 77 games in Triple-A.  Then, a week or so later, he had his 2nd two-homer game and I was like, “Yo, Sir Hairlip-A-Lot, those Zubaz look awful on you, and maybe you look at Shaw’s numbers again.”  And I did.  His ‘big’ year in Double-A saw him hit 16 homers with a .221 average and again I came away yawnstipated; must be he’s showing some Maas appeal.  Then, yesterday, he went 4-for-4 with two runs and is hitting .371 in 22 games, and I was like, “Yo, Fantasy Master Lothario, just let Cougs clean out your closet for you and really delve into Shaw’s numbers!”  No, I don’t know what delve means but it sounds smart when I’m talking to myself.  I’ve said it before, but Shaw feels exactly like a Maas appeal-type player.  I bet after September he never even plays regularly on the Sawx again.  But now suddenly you’re worried about the future?  You weren’t when you were writing to the National Institute of Health about having nacho cheese classified as a vegetable.  Get a 401K and grab Shaw until he stops hitting.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*Grey adjusts his chiseled body, places himself on a seat, props his chin up with his hand, makes sure that he’s not covering his mustache.* “Welcome to today’s symposium on the intersection of art, science and fantasy baseball. Thank you for joining me at the New Brunswick Holiday Inn. For those arriving late, please fill in the front seats. Don’t groan, my handsome will distract you from wherever you’re sitting if you allow it. Carlos Rodon showed yesterday what he’s capable of — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks — but his 4.61 ERA shows everything else. Yes, he will be a 2016 sleeper; his stuff is just so nasty. He has a 10 K/9 in 91 2/3 IP this year (good for sixth best in the majors if he qualified). Yo, Prince, what you say to that? He’s a sexy M.F. Unfortunately, his walk rate is 5, which is as awful as his K-rate is good (would be the worst qualified starter’s BB/9). You know who that reminds me of? Just about every hard thrower when they first came up: Scherzer, Randy Johnson, Sale, Carrasco…. Even Kershaw’s first full year’s BB/9 was 4.79. I’m not saying Rodon will be that good next year, but he’s 22 years old and by the age of 24 he could be a top ten starter. Okay, that should be enough for you to digest for now. For the five ladies joining us, I will continue this in the hotel bar, The Cheeky Monkey, for refreshments and chicken fingers.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m picturing Droopy Dog saying, “Going down,” to my Excitement for Jose Fernandez. My Excitement for J-Fer is hooking up with a strobe light honey at a club, and my Excitement for J-Fer’s friend later tells my Excitement for J-Fer, “She was cute, except for that protruding Adam’s apple.” My Excitement for J-Fer just got a $300 red light camera ticket. My Excitement for J-Fer put the green trash can at the curb the day it was supposed to put the blue can and then puts the black can at the curb the day the green can was supposed to go out. My Excitement for J-Fer exclaims, “Why can’t I even throw out the trash right?!” My Excitement for J-Fer sighs and puts an emoji in its text messages that symbolizes its childhood hero Hulk Hogan being a racist. As you’ve likely heard, Fernandez is out indefinitely with a bicep strain. Hopefully, he can be fine for next spring, i.e., I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return this year. Otherwise, as the old beer jingle will tell you, J-Fer, the pitcher to draft when you’re DL’ing more than one. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After blowing his fifth save Thursday night, giving up three walks and two runs in the ninth, John Axford has now blown four save chances in his past five appearances. Colorado Rockies Manager Walt Weiss said Friday that John Axford would be removed from the closer role. But from the looks of the quote, it sounds like Axford could potentially gain the job back, especially if the replacement candidates don’t prove to be worthy. Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle and Justin Miller are the three possibly unworthy candidates, and names you should consider adding if you are searching for saves. Rafael Betancourt would seem like the obvious choice if not for his 4.88 ERA. He does have that much sought after closer-experience, though. Kahnle, on the other hand, is rocking a much nicer 2.96 ERA, and a 1.80 ERA for the month of July and seems like a more suitable candidate. Justin Miller has the best numbers of the bunch (0.90 ERA, 0.60 WHIP in just 10 IP), but also holds the least experience. The situation will certainly be worth monitoring over the next few days, but one thing is for sure, you probably won’t really be happy owning any one of these guys. However, if you need saves I’d add Betancourt, Kahle and Miller in that order until we see how this shakes out.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the Saves Ain’t Got No Face “eff the team managers” edition which will give me a chance to both vent and try to deflect blame for bad calls I’ve made.  Joe Maddon of the Cubs decided to go a different route on his closer situation by removing Hector Rondon from the role.  For like three days.  And I make the call that Pedro Strop had a good chance to take over as closer.  Eff Joe Maddon.  Then in Tampa (Joe Maddon’s old team.. coincidence??) the following sequence happened:  1. Brad Boxberger gets dinged, Kevin Jepsen becomes the interim closer, (arguably) leapfrogging Jake McGee in the process.  2. Boxberger came back, blew a save.  3. Jake McGee (seemingly) takes over as closer.  4. Kevin Jepsen notches a (random) save.  5. Brad Boxberger (seemingly) regains closer role.  As of Sunday, the last 15/30 days for Rays Saves is 2/4 for Jepsen, 3/3 for McGee, 3/6 for Boxberger.  Last week I claimed Jake McGee was the new closer.  He gets zero save attempts this week.  Keep reading folks because this is really just the beginning of the latest twist and turns which will leave you wanting to pull out your hair.  (Plus recommendations to follow…)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Are you all like me? Do you spend hours and hours contemplating how to maximize the value out of that last roster spot currently occupied by a fringe player you aren’t sure about?  It’s crazy, we spend all this time leading up to the draft analyzing everyone, then, for me at least, once the season begins, it’s all about contemplating guys on waivers in bottom 20% ownership range.  I know that if I can figure who, among these guys will climb up the ladder in value/ownership, he can either make my team’s season, allow me deal him to someone else in the league for an underperforming proven commodity, or potentially for an elite player as part of a package deal with a medium-value player.  Thus, really understanding the bottom 20% of available players can actually allow you to drastically improve your roster if you know to leverage it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Chris Heston entered the 1st inning and said, “Keep your stupid bats off my pitches, you damn dirty Mets,” we should’ve known we were in for a historic night. Or at least a histrionic one. I was between Mike Foltynewicz (5 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and Heston to stream yesterday, and, well, you can imagine who I went with. What’s wrong with me, Dr. Zaius? Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius, ooooooooh, Dr. Zaius. Help me, Dr. Zaius! Yesterday, Heston pitched a no hitter against the Mets, striking out eleven, and just missed a perfect game, due to hitting three batters. Those batters Heston plunked likely critiqued his acting in Soylent Green or supported the Brady Handgun Bill. After this game, Heston’s numbers look like a fantasy #2 (8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.21 xFIP), but, since he throws around 89 MPH, I’d limit his exposure against tougher hitting teams on the road. Obviously, he’s worth owning. On a concluding note, I hate every streamer I see, from streamer A to Chumpanzee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

His name is Bills because his parents were told at the hospital that you can’t put an apostrophe in a name, and got mixed up when the nurse asked, “Whose birth certificate will this be?” and they said, “Bills.” Bills is now 34 and wears jorts and an American flag tie-dyed t-shirt all year. Same ones. Doesn’t have five dozen of the same shirt and jorts, but Bills sometimes tells people he does. Bills’s jorts remain fresh because he washes them every night, though this has caused them to fray. Bills has one love, fireworks on July 4th. Bills travels all around the Midwest, picking up fireworks at 24-hour fireworks stores. Bills laughs when people question why a fireworks store would be open 24 hours a day. Bills says, “For when you can’t sleep.” Now, if Bills were to set up all his fireworks on July 3rd and fire them off at midnight on July 4th, Bills would be Jeff Luhnow. On Sunday, Carlos Correa was called up, and wasting no time, he followed that up with Vincent Velasquez, the Astros prized pitching prospect. His fireworks cannon was filled, and he’s firing! Prospector Mike said this offseason, “While Mark Appel pushes into #2 starter territory, Velasquez sits comfortably with #3 starter upside and shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s got Tommy John on the books already and missed some time this past year with a groin issue, so his development has been slowed a bit, but he’s got two plus pitches in his fastball/changeup and he survived a 55 inning stint at High-A Lancaster. Despite the missed time, Velasquez could see the majors quickly thanks to above average command of his fastball. To give you an idea of a different above-average command, ‘Die, Grey, die.'” Hey, what’s the big idea?! This year in Double-A, Velasquez had a 12.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 1.37 ERA. Basically, drool, drool and more drool. I tried to grab him in every league, but I was too slow. He’s worth the flyer to see if he surprises hitters with his 95 MPH fastball and devastating change. There’s a real chance here for some fireworks for Bills. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After beginning his career almost no-hitting the Red Sox through six innings last Saturday, the legend of Chi Chi Gonzalez, whether I mean that ironically or not, continued Friday night with a complete game 3-hit shutout of the Kansas City Royals for his second win. He allowed just five base runners in all, striking out two. Oh, hello there. I am now intrigued. *Raises eyebrow, googles stats* Err. O…k. Despite my intriguement, in 43.1 innings at AAA, Chi Chi posted a 4.15 ERA with a 26/19 K/BB rate. Hmm. Well, that’s not very good at all. Still, I am not one to stare a gift horse in the butt. That’s how you get kicked in the teeth. Gonzalez has now pitched 14.2 scoreless innings to start his MLB career, allowing just five hits. Let’s focus on that. So maybe he’s almost walked twice as many batters as he’s struck out. Fair enough. I’m not saying he’s here to save your team, but he gets the Oakland A’s next week and should certainly be worthy of a ping on your fantasy radar at this point.

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To paraphrase Collective Soul, “Diamondbacks, your cup runneth over with outfielders. Don’t scream about! Don’t think aloud! Trade an outfielder now, baby! Just spit him out! Don’t worry about! Don’t speak of doubt! Turn your organization’s head and spit Trumbo out!” From Collective Soul’s website (that was surprisingly not a Geocities site or Myspace), they’re still touring. Coming to a church bingo hall near you! So, the Mariners acquired Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno for Welington Castillo, Dominic Leone, Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero. During one of the games I took in at spring training this year, I screamed at Guerrero, “Hey, number ninety-two,” because I had no idea who he was and the media guide only went up to ninety-one. Then I jawed at Guerrero for about ten minutes, giving him a little taste of some major league heckling. Now that I realize who he was, it turns out we were both Gabby. This doesn’t do anything major to anyone’s value. Diamondbacks were one of the best team offenses in this little thing we call reality, so if anything, Trumbo takes the smallest of hits. Park-wise, Mark can be Trumbomb or Trumboner anywhere, so I’m not concerned. The ones that get the biggest value boost here are David Peralta (2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) and Castillo. Welington relocates his boeuf to the desert and becomes an everyday catcher with 15-homer power and a .270 average. Definitely grab him in NL-Only and two-catcher leagues. Peralta will have a chance to prove himself, but he’s more of a 14-homer, 8-steal guy, so nothing huge. This does stop the Diamondbacks from benching A.J. Pollock (2-for-4, 2 runs, 7th homer, and 2nd in as many games; grab him!), Ender Inciarte (0-for-5) and Yasmany Tomas (3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) when Jake Lamb returns. Or as Lamb would say, “Not baaaaah for either team.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?