Odrisamer Despaigne almost threw a no-hitter yesterday (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks) in his Padres camo fatigues, which had Fidel completely uncertain how to react. “I love to wear camo too, but now he’s doing it for the American Baseball Organization and representing their military? I am torn like Natalie Imbruglia.” Luckily, Fidel had someone who burped too loud to assassinate to take his mind off things. Odrisamer Despaigne, or Otis Spunkmeyer as I always want to call him, now has a 1.31 ERA on the year (34 1/3 IP) and a laughable K-rate (4.46). Speaking of communists, that’s even laughable for Correia. Maybe the Mets couldn’t see Spunkmeyer’s pitches because the Padres were also using their trademark camo-painted baseball? Oh, wait, this is the Mets we’re yakking up. How silly of me. Spunkmeyer is definitely worth riding when in home starts, and even favorable road matchups while throwing well, but I wouldn’t trust him long-term. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, the world we live in today.  Computers.  Phones.  Internet.  Baseball followed so adroitly that even the deepest of prospects are owned in NL/AL-only dynasty leagues.  It’s a wonder any of the farm kids even have and fun with this kind of scrutiny!

But even with all the stats, all the Moneyballs, all the Jonah Hills… We still get a 27-year-old Cuban starter, who had a 6.85 ERA and unreal 2.03 WHIP in 23.2 AAA innings, allow only 1 ER in his first two MLB starts (with a 70 then 58 Gamescore – see what I did with the title there?!).  Part of the fun of baseball – on any given day you just never know!  Remember when Phil Humber had a perfect game?  Exactly.

For just as hard Odrisamer Despaigne has thrust himself into the fantasy baseball lexicon, just as little is known.  I remember seeing his name when he was signed, but that’s about it.  Only 3 Ks in these two great starts, but hey – can’t hurt to take a deeper look.  Just look at what fellow countryman Roenis Elias is doing, and he had virtually no buzz either.  Cubans know what they’re doing on the bump!  So I picked Despaigne for this glorious Monday’s PP and broke down how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There aren’t many things you need to know about me. However, when something in my personal life conflicts with my ability to provide you with unrivaled fantasy advice, then what’s my business becomes our business. Our business is that I’m in that glorious for some, and miserable for others abeyance between graduating college and commencing my tenure as an employed person. Instead of lamenting during this transitional phase, I’ll be spending the next few weeks on a Euro-trip beginning in Copenhagen and continuing through Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, and Amsterdam [Jay's Note: Niiiiiiiiiiice.] before finally flying out of Paris July 9th. Needless to say, I likely won’t find the time to sit down and write one of these articles during this prolonged muck-fest. Hopefully you’ve gained the tools to maximize you’re lineups yourselves, because you are own your own the next month or so. If anyone has any advice for such a journey or any hotspots I should check out, feel free to share in the comments. [Jay's Note: Red Light District.]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nolan Arenado left last night’s game with a left mallet finger fracture. Despite how it sounds, he suffered the injury sliding head first into second base, and not from a giant sledge hammer. That’s a broken middle finger for the laymans. The team is saying Arenado could be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, but likely more if he opts for surgery. Oh Nolan, you could really use that middle finger right about now. Arenado has been every bit the dream Coors third baseman we all thought he could be this year, triple slashing a mean .305/.333/.489, with six home runs and 28 RBI. This is just bad news. The good news? Razzball favorite and general disappointment to fantasy owners, Josh Rutledge will be called up to replace Arenado on the roster. I like to think anyone playing in Colorado is worth a look and JR is no exception, especially if you’re hurting at the hot corner. Rutledge did well in limited time with the Rockies in April, batting .318 with a home run in 22 ABs. He played 88 games in 2013, but struggled to hit for average despite flashing some speed and power, and was eventually sent down. In 12 team leagues, I might hold off on grabbing Rutledge until he shows us something, but I’ll be watching him as intensely as the last three episodes of Breaking Bad. Here’s hoping he can fill the Nolan Arenado-sized hole in our hearts until that finger fully heals.

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

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?

Matt Wieters is headed to see Dr. Freeze about his elbow and likely to the DL. Stop throwing curveballs to 2nd base! Dr. Freeze has never seen an elbow he can’t sideline for six months. Can’t we have anything nice this year? The only player that is healthy in the entire league is Nick Punto. Now starting at 1st base for the Orioles…Nick Punto! Now starting at catcher for the Reds…Nick Punto! Now starting in right field for the Angels…Nick Punto! It’s Nick Punto’s world and we’re just trying to play fantasy baseball! The only ones doing well this year are Dr. James Andrews and Nick Punto! “Wanna go to Friendly’s?” “Sure, your treat!” And then Dr. James Andrews and Nick Punto laughed evilly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m all about the win-now. This means I will rarely own a top prospect, because I’ll trade them for short term MLB value and/or I just won’t spend the dough on those guys, because I can look a bit deeper for translatable prospects that don’t have as much associated hype. Therefore, I’m not going to whine about not owning and emphasizing the obvious: Oscar Tavares, George Springer, Gregory Polanco or even Jackie Bradley Jr. Instead I’ll draft sure-thing offense so long as they’re healthy (Michael Morse and Yasmani Grandal), and then go with upside starters/or solid veterans like Marco Estrada, Alex Wood, Corey Kluber, Tyson Ross, Kyle Lohse and Tim Hudson (all were available around the same time as these prospects in deep leagues). I literally own all of these guys, and the following ESPN’ers <10% owned as of 4/14:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, we’re back baby!  I just wet my pants a little bit.

The first Pitcher Profile is here!  I haven’t been this nervous since Grey had me wax his mustache my first day as an intern.

So if you’re new to Pitcher Profiles, where ya been?!  Well glad to have you, and below is a gargantuan post that I think will break your browser.  But hey!  It’s your one-stop shop (cliche boner) for all pitching questions, rankings, and GIFfing.  I just learned how to GIF, and man, it’s sorta close to learning how to Dougie except less people point and laugh at you (hopefully – but that’d be a bad GIF!).

As always, I tend to select my profiling on a pitcher who is widely available in most 10 and 12ers for owners to gauge their pickup or streaming interest.  I know these was a hope for a Taylor Jordan (sorry Long Beach!) profile, but I wanted to go for a guy who I think can have a bigger impact.  A guy that “Oh my god throws a fire!  Sale.”

We’ve all heard about Nathan Eovaldi‘s stuff.  Huge velocity – the fastest heater in baseball for a starter – but it’s been a while since I’ve really broken down one of his starts.  Plus his name sounds like an Italian deity of fornication.  Now with two solid, you could even say “quality”, starts under his belt (plus he’s still only 24 even though it feels like he’s been around for a while) I decided to tune into his game against the lowly Padres and see if the hurler from Crayola Canyon deserves more love:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Make sure you check out Scott Evans’ Prospect ETA’s for a sense of potential high impact call-ups. I’m going to focus on prospects and MLB sleepers beyond the obvious list of prospects. If I list a prospect, that said prospect should have the opportunity to make an impact this year, and in my opinion, have the minor league numbers/skill to translate well enough.

My ‘translate’ for fantasy purposes is simple: do they make enough contact (how often they put the ball in play); what is their approach to putting the ball in play (balls in play mix i.e. linedrives, flyballs, groundballs, HR/FB, infield flyballs, etc.); and what power/speed potential do they have from a fantasy counting stats perspective. Speed won’t have much of a weight in this post though.

Please, blog, may I have some more?