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…)

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Entering June, it’s becoming a two-horse race between Hannibal Montana (Csifu) and Razzball’s own J-FOH in our dynasty league – the Razznasty. There’s a group duking it out behind them, but both teams have pretty much dominated the league so far. Since our last update, J-FOH has pulled away from R’azbahl Al Ghul and closed the gap on Csifu’s first-place lead. Csifu’s squad continues to pitch incredibly well with an absurd 2.56 team ERA. J-FOH leads the league in homers (by 18), and has gone toe to toe with Csifu in wins and saves. His 3.04 team ERA is good for second in the league while his WHIP is sitting third. Somehow these two teams managed to avoid the starterpocalypse and forgot to invite the rest of us into their bunker. Read on for a look at the full standings, this month’s trades, and our league’s FAAB report.

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I’m taking questions after my Ted Talks on fantasy baseball. I adjust my headset mic, pull on my turtleneck. Going Steve Jobs today wasn’t the best of ideas. This turtleneck is itchy. “You, in the front row.” “First off, the stuff you said blew my mind. I never knew electromagnetism had anything to do with fantasy baseball. Your square root stuff seemed like it came from a supercomputer. But a supercomputer with a mustache. And older supercomputers fawning over it. Supercomputer Cougars, if you will. So, my question for you is who does Kyle Hendricks remind you of?” “Alex Wood. Next question, you.” The Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl stands up, “Do you know I’m a Cougar?” *shoots up in bed, dripping in sweat* Whoa, I just had the weirdest dream. Left Side of My Brain, “Or was that reality?!” AH!!! So, Hendricks pitched a gem the other day. His 2nd gem in a row, and I took a long hard look at him, then didn’t mention him the other day because I wanted to highlight him here. I agree with Dream Grey, he does look like Alex Wood. Only Alex Wood when he’s on point. Right now, Hendricks has a 7 K-rate, 1.9 BB/9 and a 3.77 xFIP. Wood throws a curve more, but their velocities are very close on the fastball, too. Both have 50%+ ground ball rates, which makes them prone to BABIP. Hendricks is not a potential ace, but he should be owned in far more leagues and looks like a solid fantasy #3 with #2 upside based on luck. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to get back to sleep and see the Sun-Maid Raisin Box Girl. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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At first, it was reported that Alberto Callaspo rejected the trade to the Dodgers. Leaving Alex Guerrero (1-for-2) to stare at Callaspo’s smugshot-slash-you mad bro? face. Then, later in the evening, Callaspo apparently approved the trade of him going to the Dodgers and Juan Uribe heading the other way. A commenter mentioned how in the preseason, the management didn’t have faith in Mattingly to start Pederson, so they traded away Kemp. It’s a fun theory. One that might have a morsel of truth, but I think this trade might backfire. Here’s a scenario for our five girl readers: imagine you were trying to get your man to change their yellow-pitted t-shirt, so you remove all the stained t-shirts from their hamper and throw them away, even his Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier t-shirt. When he realizes all his stained shirts are gone, what does he do? Does he wear the new shirts you bought him? Or does he scribble an oddly racist-looking Bob Marley on a hand towel and tape it to his chest? Mattingly could play Alex Guerrero at third with Uribe gone, but Justin Turner had started at 3rd base five times in the last week, not Guerrero, even with Uribe still in LA, and Callaspo is a 3rd baseman. So Uribe’s gone, but I think Mattingly just wears a masking-taped, hand towel now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This was just announced by the Yankees’ front office. “No Yankee will ever wear the last Monday of May on their jersey. 5/25-5/31 will all be retired. We dedicate this to all the Yankees who served honorably on federal holidays.” When asked why Memorial Day and not Veteran’s Day, the Yankees’ brass said their roster celebrates Veteran’s Day every day. The Yankees exploded for 14 runs yesterday on five home runs as Jeremy Guthrie (1 IP, 11 ER) got Vin Mazzacred! Chase Headley went 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer as Headley helped *pinkie to mouth* Chase! Guthrie. In the 1st inning, Brian McCann got into the action (1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 5th homer as he put up the bangfizzle, Stephen Drew added his one hit in five at-bats, his 5th homer, and, because Guthrie was doing a special Memorial Day giveaway with homers going to the first seven batters in attendance, even Slade Heathcott (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) got into the action, hitting his 1st homer, and Slade Heathcott is merely just a name spit out by the Preppie Name Generator. But the one I really want to talk about after this clunky sentence intro is Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting .285 and has 12 steals). Gardner gives you around the stats you were hoping to get from Jacoby Ellsbury, and at a fraction of the draft day cost. To quote Fonzie’s horse, nay! It’s not just Gardner’s draft day cost, he’s still likely cheap as dog balls to acquire in a trade. Everyone on the Yankees gets overrated, but somehow Gardner never does. Weird and interesting and everything you could want from a novel you find tucked away in someone else’s beach blanket that you steal. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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