So, I hadn’t realized this, but its been a while since I’ve focused my Bear or Bull spotlight on a pitcher. Maybe it’s because some of my pitcher posts haven’t looked too zesty. And when I say zesty, I’m thinking of you, R.A. Dickey. But I’m still sticking with him, because, well, c’mon man. He does Dickeyface. At least Matt Harvey is still living up to what I said, so there is that. So, I’m going to dabble back towards baseball players who throw off the mound for a living today. Furthermore, the pitcher we’ll be taking an intimate look at will be, non-other-than, the Walrus. You may also know him as Carsten Charles. And, you may also know him as a Tomato. Well, that’s more mine than anyone else’s. Anyhow, last, but not least, you may also know him as CC Sabathia. Not only do we know him by all these various names, we also know him as a stable force in our fantasy rotations, giving us quality production year after year. But times are a changing, and now two months into the season, we are not receiving what was expected. Is this going to continue? Is all hope lost? AM I FREAKING OUT HERE? Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s get through this together.

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On a scale of one to ten for most surprising starters, Patrick Corbin is a one. One being the best. When you beat your high score in Mario Kart you never scream out, “I’m number ten,” do you? Okay, so don’t question my numbering. On a scale of one to ten for how likely it is Corbin keeps this up, it’s around a 5, the number made famous by Short Circuit. Didja know before Short Circuit people would count 1, 2, 3, 4, 6? It’s also why Marilyn Monroe left Joe DiMaggio. Corbin’s not a 1.44 ERA pitcher, but he’s not what he seemed like coming into the year either. His fastball has jumped in velocity, which has helped all of his pitches. I don’t own him, which butters my grr’s. I know most of you must’ve benched him in Coors yesterday for his 10 K, 9-inning, three-hitter gizzem, so I’ll say it for you, sonavabench! Luckily, you own him for the whole season and he looks like he can be a mid-3 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7 K-rate guy, i.e., a fantasy two to three. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Kazmir’s career sunk like a lead zeppelin, but get ten Ks against anyone and I sit up and take notice and I’m not just talking above my waist. Hey now! Yesterday, Scott Kazmir‘s line was 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners with 10 Ks. Okay, I have to be a cyclops with a monocle for this guy. To refresh everyone, a cyclops only has one eye so it’s particularly sharp. Like how a blind person’s hearing is enhanced. So you put a monocle on a cyclops and you have creature that sees everything. That’ll be me. Let’s see, his fastball speed has returned to his 2008 levels. The last time he was good. His walk rate went to atrocious after that year, but that too has returned and he has a 25:6 K:BB ratio. The only start where he was hit was his first. Maybe that was nerves — or noive if you’re in Brooklyn. Everything else from Kazmir has been like butter, so he’s no longer toast? That’s what I’m seeing. Okay, now for whether or not you should pick him. He gets the Yankees, Mariners and Red Sox next. Two out of three isn’t good. Sorry, Meatloaf. I wanted to pick him up so badly, I counted each start of his for the next two months. It doesn’t get better. He gets the Reds, Yanks again, Tigers then Nats. I like him more than I have in five years, but I’m still not picking him up. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Sure, these aren’t your slightly older brother’s Yankees. Even Mel Hall would roll over in his Aryan cellmate’s arms if you were to compare these Yankees with the early-90′s Yankees. Still… Again and this time put a little sting on it… STILL! Mr. DeMille, Matt Moore looks ready for his close-up as he announced, “I am big. It’s the other pitchers that got small.” The Yankees can usually take a walk, and Moore’s on the wild side when the guys and four girl readers go, ‘Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo.’ Yesterday, Moore only gave up two hits and three walks through eight innings while chipping in nine Ks. His season ERA now sits at 1.04. Sure, that’s gonna come up a bit, but I ranked him 16th overall for all starters for a reason. That reason is his stuff is nasty. Nasty as in good not nasty as in bad with that bad not being bad bad, he’s good bad. Kapeesh? Looking for a pitcher then can give you 200 Ks and a 2-something ERA then look at Strasburg. Looking for a guy that can get you the same amount of Ks and a low-three ERA, but will come a lot cheaper in a trade? That’s all the Moore reason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“The Nats Don’t Play,” was almost the title, but that’s too raw for all you suckas. It’s too cutting. It cuts the quick and bleeds ever-so-slightly that irritates you when you cut a lemon for your Arnold Palmer. Y’all can’t hang with my chinchilla fur that I’m wearing in my picture. (It’s just off my shoulder; you can’t see it.) B-Real said it best, “You don’t know where I’m going cause you haven’t been where I’ve been, understand where I’m coming from?” The Nationals know where I’ve been. They’ve dealt with the same thing as me, only they had to pay Zimmerman millions of dollars to get what I got. Which is an ulcer. Thanks, doode! I’ll send you the bill for the Zantac I’ve had to take for the last two years. The Nats called Zimmerman into their office and said, “You only have a hamstring issue, but if it’s anything like the injuries you’ve had in the past that have lasted about 60 days past when they were supposed to, we’re bringing up our best prospect, Anthony Rendon. We’re gonna tell everyone that it’s only for a few weeks while you heal, but we hope you don’t come back until July and we can trade you to the highest bidder. What? No, we don’t validate!” Rendon is gonna be a great one…some day. Damn, the fantasy baseball fortune cookie ending! Yeah, I’m not sure he’s ready just yet, but he’s worth a flyer in all leagues. I grabbed him in one league where I have Moustakas, because I’m tired of seeing that gyro-eating-motherfu– Let’s just say I’m tired of Moustakas. Best case scenario, Zimmerman has a set back and Rendon stays up and hits for a solid average and gives high-teen power with some very light speed. Another scenario, Rendon hits, Zimmerman returns and the Nats gutter ball Espinosa’s value and move Rendon to 2nd. Most likely scenario, Zimmerman returns and Rendon is demoted. Worst case scenario, Rendon shows up at your house at 3 AM and asks to sleep on your couch, seems fine at first then he tells you he has no place to live, stays for months, doesn’t ever flush the toilet or fill up the Tang in the fridge then starts dating your aunt, eventually marries her, making him your uncle, a title he insists you call him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yost would tell you that Holland is still the closer, but Kelvin Herrera should be the closer in KC. No, there’s no official closer change, but it’s obvious. You really only had to watch the last two games for confirmation, and Malcolm Gladwell would tell you to Blink. In his last game, Holland took the save to the very brink. Herrera had opposing hitters’ bats in the clink. In my daily diet, I eat mutton, it’s high in zinc. I call my therapist, Saran, and this is my shrink…rap! Sorry, I just mentally transported back to my days of Bum wine and roses when I thought I was black and I’d start freestyling. Every teenager who thinks they’re cool right now, so did I and now I’m a fantasy baseball blogger. Muahahahahaha… So, what I began saying was Yost can say whatever he wants on the Royals closer situation, but Herrera is the better pitcher right now, and he could be a Donkeycorn by the middle of May. I would continue to hold Holland, but Kelvin should be owned, as well. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Jedd Gyorko wins 2nd base job, yay says fantasy baseballers and Richard Kelly. The next thing you know, ol’ Jedd will head off to Beverly, Hills that is. On road trips to Los Angeles. Or Magic Johnson will just give him $100 million to sit next to Dee Gordon and Ryu. “You use your free tickets yet to see Jack the Giant Slayer at Magic Johnson theaters?” That’s Ryu talking to Gordon. They’re good friends. So, Gyorko is reportedly the new 2nd baseman in San Diego. I say bravo to the Friars. In one week, a new Pope and a new 2nd baseman. What did you do this week? Stretch your Sunday meal out into Thursday? Nice work! This might be the Year of the Snake, but it’s the week of the Gyorko, after mentioning him already three times. The hype’s been building in my pants for a while. Did I just say in my pants? No, I don’t think I did, but this post is a locomotive that can’t be stopped. In November, I wrote a Jedd Gyorko fantasy. There, I said I’d be surprised if he didn’t start the year in the majors. *shrugs, combs mustache, waits for balloons to fall from ceiling* I wrote that shizz in November! Okay, no ceiling balloons, fine. Blowing a frickin’ noisemaker wouldn’t hurt you. Gyorko has been a beast through the minors, and should hit in the majors + Petco = Linda Ronstadt. Wow, my math was way off there. It was supposed to equal a 2nd baseman with upside. Since I figured Gyorko would be in the majors to start the year, his projections were already in my top 400 for 2013 fantasy baseball, but I did move him up in the top 20 2nd basemen and top 20 3rd basemen posts. I almost moved Jedd up even further, but Petco and cold sores from previous bouts of rookie nookie kept him in the early 200′s overall range. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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So this is weird, but the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball are deeper than the top 20 2nd basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball. Here, my new favorite BFF, Josh Rutledge, is ranked 10th. On the 2nd basemen post he was ranked 8th. The middle tiers for the shortstops goes on forever, then it falls off a cliff, ending with a Cliff. (Symmetry points!) For those in leagues with a middle infidel, you have the answer to where you are drafting that slot from. Up until last year, I usually gave shortstops the short end of the stick with my drafting. I’d grab one late and that was that. I still don’t see any way I’m drafting a top shortstop. I honestly can’t remember the last time I drafted a 1st or 2nd round shortstop, and I play in about ten leagues per year. I could see grabbing one or even two from the 4th ranked guy here until the 19th ranked guy, where I’ll probably only have one 2nd baseman. Last year it was the opposite. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where I think tiers start and stop and my projections. All the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2013 fantasy baseball rankings. Unsuccinct! Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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So all the exciting Winter Meetings deals are gonna come on the last day? It’s like Frank and Zach from MTV’s Challenge have taken over the Winter Meetings and ruined them too. Give me back Evan and Kenny and CT! In the words of T.J. Lavin, they killed it! Sorry, I didn’t have any balloons set up to fall when Sean Burnett signed a deal. Maybe Greinke will finally sign somewhere today, or, dare to dream, Josh Hamilton. So far the Winter Meetings have given a run to your co-worker’s PowerPoint presentations on the Yawn-o-Meter. The biggest value change for fantasy thus far would have to go to Dan Haren. A guy who’s got a bad hip (or is it back?). He signed with the Nats. Solid deal for them. If Haren does nothing, whatever. They have plenty of pitching in place. If he does something, then score, or, ya know, no score vs. him. It’s the equivalent to a late-round gamble in fantasy, which appropriately enough is what Haren is. If he’s drafted prior to that, then people are looking at his name-value more than reality. I don’t trust him at all to stay healthy. One trade to the Cubs already fell through, due to his hip (back?; I don’t know — he’s injured in some way.) Sure, he’s only missed three starts in nine years, but presumably his health caused his fastball to bottom out at 88 MPH last year, and the hip (back, whatever) injury sounds like it’s still an issue. I can almost guarantee someone will draft him before I do. I’m guessing at best he misses at least a month of the season, and at worst he gets shut down for a few months. I’ll put his 2013 line at 7-6/3.95/1.27/120 in 150 innings. I’m sure there will be points during the season he is usable, and I will quote that line verbatim the day after he pitches a gem. And that’s me quoting future me! Anyway, here’s some more offseason moves for 2013 fantasy baseball:

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I went into TurboTax and entered the Marlins $100 million payroll going into last season, subtracted Jose Reyes, Hanley, Josh Johnson, Buehrle, Bonifacio, Buck, Infante, Gaby, Anibal, Heath Bell and Ozzie Guillen’s salary, then I added in Gorkys, Ruggiano, Giancarlo, Wade LeBlanc, Eovaldi, Jacob Turner, Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel’s salary and it says the Marlins can get an EBT card for their cash assistance benefits.

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