The Rockies made official what seemed inevitable for the last week, Trevor Story will be the starting shortstop in Colorado.  As a visiting dignitary gets a key to the city, Story earned the shortstop job and was handed one of Tulo’s old hamstrings.  “May your hamstrings stay forever young.”  That’s Rod Stewart doing the honors.  No idea why Colorado hired Rod Stewart to handle that ceremony.  I upped Story in my top 20 shortstops, and cranked up his projections.  His Ks have been a problem in the past, but it’s Coors, so how bad could it be?  “Should I answer?”  No, Josh Rutledge, it’s a rhetorical question.  I’m fascinated to see what the Rockies are going to do with Jose Reyes.  He’s owed a lot of money to become a straight bench player.  Maybe the Rockies will just cut him.  Maybe MLB will suspend Reyes for the season.  Maybe the Rockies will hire Mo’nique to throw Reyes threw a glass door.   Maybe if I had dollars instead of maybes I’d be rich.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After Jada Pinkett Smith started the #closerssowhite controversy, boycotting SAGNOF until there were more black closers, because her husband, Will Smith, wasn’t immediately anointed closer of the Brewers, the entire MLB began a well-needed discussion about race.  Our Commissioner Manfred said, “I thought about this for a brief second, then I realized the entire league is Dominican.  I mean, before I was chosen as commissioner I had to vacation in Punta Cana for a long weekend just to ‘feel the vibe’ as Selig said.”  Jada Pinkett Smith said she will not sleep until her husband gets saves or Torii Hunter comes out of retirement and is made closer of one of those real white teams, “Maybe Minnesota.”  Closers So White lives on.  Will Smith’s closer season, however, looks about as promising as an After Earth sequel.  On Saturday, it was reported he tore his LCL.  He tore his 150?  That’s like when Pablo Sandoval’s dyslexic cousin saw Pablo tore his 501’s.  My money’s on Jeremy Jeffress getting the most saves in Milwaukee this year.  My money also has Alfred E. Neuman on it.  Jeffress is the top guy from the Brewers pen in my top 500 with Corey Knebel up next.  The fantasy baseball war room has been updated, as well.  (By the way, some rejected titles for this post were Collateral Ligaments of the World Ain’t Nothing But Trouble and Will Smith Gettin’ Limpy With It.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are so close to the top 20 starters you can almost taste it, and it tastes like limoncello.  I wonder why that is.  From the top 20 outfielders through to this top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball has been like the greatest mini-series ever.  Sorta like what I hope the O.J. Simpson show is.  By the way, don’t Google O.J. Simpson, major spoilers!  In most fantasy leagues, you won’t need to draft guys from this top 100 outfielders, and they’ll be waiver wire pickups.  A few of these guys will be drafted by people saying things like, “I’m really loving (fill-in name from this post) as a late sleeper,” then those same people will get to the middle of April and be saying things like, “I can drop (fill-in player’s name), right?”  As with other rankings posts, I go over where tiers start and stop and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?