Taijuan Walker will start vs. the Astros on Friday. The Mariners’ front office decided if they were going to sell him for ten cents on the dollar this offseason, then it was best to give him some major league experience. Here’s what Prospect Scott had to say in the preseason, “Walker is my #3 overall SP prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez. He brings legit ace potential, and he should be ready for big league ball this year. Still, Taijuan’s greatest asset is his ability to hit Grey in the head with a fastball every time I dream about it.” Hey! That snippet was obviously prior to Bundy’s injury problems. Here’s what I said the other day, “It could be roofie burnout, but I’m not interested in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues, I’d stash Walker to see if you catch a firefly in a bottle, or whatever that yokelism is. He definitely has shown great stuff in the minors (10+ K-rate) if a bit wild (4+ BB/9) in Triple-A. He will be a great pitcher, it probably won’t be this year. Think Wheeler when he was called up.” And that’s me quoting me! Well, I also lied. Kinda. I didn’t intend to lie, but he was just sitting there and I had a free roster spot… Ugh, I’m a glutton for punishment. I need serious help. Why can’t I turn down any high-upside rookie pitcher? Am I an adrenaline junkie like Keanu Reeves in Point Break? Hopefully, Walker doesn’t hang ten earned runs on my pitching line, but I’m expecting him to get Ks and have a relatively unremarkable start on Friday for earned runs and WHIP. For 2014, Taijuan is on the top of the list of guys that could be Matt Harvey 2.0, and I’ll have much more to say about him in the offseason. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mike Zunino – Started rehab games and he said he could be back within a week; meanwhile, the Mariners said we’ll see how he does. As Aretha would say, who’s Zunino’ing who?
Felix Hernandez – 3 IP, 8 ER, 12 baserunners, 2 Ks. I’ll set the stage for you. Rudy owns F-Her, I streamed his opponent, Martin Perez (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks). F-Her gave up a 3-run homer to Leonys Martin (who Rudy just dropped the day before; Leonys went 2-for-6, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) and I started cackling, then F-Her started giving up more runs and I shot up some insulin, feeling my blood sugar rise, then the neighbors called to complain about my hoots and hollers, then Adrian Beltre hit a homer (who I own; he went 3-for-5, 2 RBIs), tacking on F-Her’s final eighth earned run and I called 911 complaining of euphoria overload, was talked down by a EMT named Brad and now I’m good.
Dustin Ackley – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer. I mentioned him being a hot schmotato on Wednesday and now I will double that down with a side helping of ‘I’d pick him up.’
Kyle Seager – 2-for-3 and his 21st homer. Seager’s homer was a monster shot that got out of there fast like a silver bullet, against the wind.
Mitch Moreland – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 20th homer and 3rd homer this week. I don’t love that Washington platoons him, but at least you know exactly when he’s starting, if you need to platoon him on your fantasy team too. Look at that, you and Washington seeing eye to twitchy eye.
Moises Sierra – 2-for-4 and now is five for his last 7 and has taken over right field. It’s our favorite MLB lovechild of Ruben Sierra and Moises Alou. In the minors this year, he had 11 homers, 12 steals and a .261 average. Like his Mom, Moises Alou, when he’s in the groove, he’s spraying balls all over the place. I’d look at him in very deep mixed and AL-Only leagues.
Hiroki Kuroda – 5 IP, 5 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks. Sometimes the best days are days when none of your pitchers are going.
Mark Reynolds – 3-for-4, 1 RBI. One game of three hits does not make a hot schmotato in most cases, but I could see gambling on Reynolds this quickly, because he doesn’t get multiple hits without seeing the ball well.
Matt Harvey – Will rest for three weeks, then put his elbow through some more tests. When in doubt, always answer C, as in you need curgery.
Wilmer Flores – 1-for-4 as he started at 2nd base. Interesting. Or as Arte Johnson would say, “Verrrrrrry interesting…” This means if Wright returns, Flores may not be without a position. Though, watching the Mets offense makes me miss watching the Padres.
Carlos Ruiz – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 5th homer. This was his third homer in the last ten games, and he’s batting near .400 in the last week. He won’t keep it up, but what concern of that is yours? There’s only a month left, just grab him.
Paul Maholm – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 1 K. After a junky first start back, Maholm looks like he’s got his low-upside, mediocre stuff back. Stream at your own risk.
Dan Uggla – 1-for-3 as he was activated from the DL, and is now batting .333 since his eye operation. Meanwhile, Ted Williams’s frozen head adjusts to its new eyes and wonders why it keeps wanting to wear an Ed Hardy t-shirt.
Jordan Schafer – 3-for-4, 1 run and 2 RBIs. Has been seeing regular playing time, but this is the first game worth noting for him in about ten games. He’s worth watching if you’re desperate for SAGNOF, but I wouldn’t grab him just yet in most mixed leagues.
Ricky Nolasco – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks. I picked up Nolasco to stream him, but ended up going with Martin Perez at the last second. Stream-o-Nator liked Nolasco better, but I didn’t heed its advice. Oh, well, Perez worked out okay, have we talked about that yet?
Yasiel Puig – Was pulled in the 5th inning for not being ready on defense. After what happened earlier this year, I don’t want him on da fence.
Hanley Ramirez – 1-for-4 and the slam (15) and legs (10), which is a whole lot more delicious than his usual moans over my hammy.
Andre Ethier – 2-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting around .300 in the last week. On a related note, member when this guy was a 3rd fantasy outfielder? We were younger then, and you worried about your personal hygiene still. Ethier got old fast, and now looks like a light-hitting middle infielder in the outfield.
Doug Fister – 5 IP, 7 ER, 13 baserunners, 2 Ks. Why is it you go to Fister and you’re the one walking funny?
Chris Davis – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 714th homer. Another 300 until Bonds!
Manny Machado – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 12th homer. Whoever it was in the comments yesterday that asked about dropping Machado, he heard you. His feelings were hurt. No Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa card for you.
Chris Archer – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. With a name like Archer, you’d think he would’ve had ‘bow tightness, but it was his forearm. Now that he has two starts in a row where he’s looked fine, I’d consider him going forward.
Brett Anderson – 3 IP, 3 ER as he was activated from the DL with Tommy Milone sent down. The A’s said, “Our worst pitcher’s first name is T-O-M-M-Y. Our Milone has a second name, it’s M-I-L–Well, you know, we just said it.” Anderson will work out of the bullpen while Sonny Gray will pop boners for fantasy owners for a little while longer.
Brandon Moss – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 6 RBIs and two homers (23, 24). Moss now has 6 homers in the last ten games, and five in the week. I mentioned this before, but it’s incredible how hot he stays while platooning. Usually guys need to keep playing to keep seeing the ball well. Yeah, I’d pick up Moss, but you still need to platoon him.
Jed Lowrie – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 1 RBI. Seems like a different player this year compared to past. His line drive rate is way up, his fly ball rate is down and K-rate is down. He looks lot more like a .285 hitter than the career .260 hitter he was entering this season, but he also doesn’t look like a guy that ‘could hit 20 homers if he just doesn’t miss time,’ which had long been his label.
Dan Straily – 6 IP, 1 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks in Detroit. Terrific start in tough environs, and I’m not just saying that because you need to wear a bulletproof vest when you leave Detroit Airport. Straily gets the Rangers next at home. Not a slam dunk, but in O.co he’s streamable where you really need it. Speaking of Detroit Airport, Cougar and I recently had a layover there. Not a layoff, Detroit residents, you’re okay. So, we had to go from one gate to another and we had our dog with us, Ted. I thought it would be a good idea to go on one of those moving walkways with the dog, and, within about ten seconds of stepping on it, he does number two. Let’s just say when the moving walkway reached the end and turned under to loop back, it didn’t get less messy.
Salvador Perez – 4-for-4, 4 RBIs with two homers (8, 9), which gives him four in as many games. The witch doctor that he hired to raise his abuelita from the dead, obviously mixed up what he was resurrecting and woke Perez’s bat. I’d go back to Perez if I were hurting for a catcher.
Alex Gordon – 2-for-5 and his 15th homer. He was in the leadoff spot, which sucks, but, in reality, no matter where he’s hitting in the Royals lineup there’s a good chance he’ll be up with the bases empty.
Andrew Albers – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, which comes after two games when he was shelled for 5 runs in each, i.e., I wouldn’t shop at Albers, son.
Jarrod Dyson – 1-for-4 and his 7th steal in the last ten games. He’s giving Rajai a run for his SAGNOF crown. Literally.
Danny Duffy – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks. Whoa, Duff Man, likes that. He gets the Mariners next and I’d absolutely give him a whirl. Are you ready to get Duffed? Yes, you are.
Chris Carter – 2-for-4 and his 3rd homer this week. Due to the Hitter-Tron, and the Hitter-Tron alone, I grabbed Carter for this week. So far, it’s worked and I’d take three more homers please and thank you.
Avisail Garcia – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer. He’s off today, so I can understand holding off on grabbing him right now, but I know he will be in this Friday’s Buy and I haven’t even written it yet, assuming you’re reading this today and not tomorrow. Today today, not tomorrow today…Or the following today. Okay, you get the idea.
Chris Sale – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks. If only every pitcher got to face the Astros every day… *wavy lines* Wow, that strikeout by Kyle Lohse was his 350th of the year, only another 700 to match league leader, Yu Darvish. Hey, why am I wearing underwear made from Marshmallow Fluff… * wavy lines* What a weird dream.
Adam Wainwright – 2 IP, 9 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks. I feel like a lot of time in today’s society, we get so wrapped up in whether or not we win our fantasy league we forget about those less fortunate than ourselves. I’m going to take my laptop outside and talk to the first homeless person I come across. Okay, I’m outside…Hmm, the wifi connection isn’t great here so bear with me. Here’s a homeless person now. Hey, I saw you muttering to yourself over there, can I talk to you for a second? Yes? Great. Okay, I run this fantasy baseball blog and I’m trying to reach out to people less fortunate–Hey, c’mon back, don’t run away! I’m sorry! Shoot, turns out that wasn’t a homeless person muttering to themselves, but a person who owned Felix Hernandez, Hiroki Kuroda, Doug Fister and Adam Wainwright yesterday.
Jay Bruce – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs and his 26th homer. They call him…Jay! Wait, that didn’t work.
Homer Bailey – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Say it with me…sonavabench!
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-4 and his 17th homer. One homer for each pair of XO I write on his cards.
Stephen Strasburg – 2 IP, 0 ER vs. the MIA Marlins. There was a rain delay and he didn’t return after. May the wrath of 10,000 fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) who play in Games Started leagues land squarely on the umpire’s shoulders who didn’t think of waiting an hour to start the game. You wasted a perfectly good start and one against the Marlins. *shakes fist* I will find you umpire crew chief!!!
Will Venable – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 20th homer. By the by, he also has 15 steals. Oh, I know what you’re thinking, his average must be miserable. He’s hitting .281 on the year. Will Venable is better than your number two fantasy outfielders!
Jhoulys Chacin – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.08. He’s winning some people NL-Only leagues and confounding mixed league owners. Meaning: in NL-Only leagues, every starter is owned so Chacin is being started and rewarding his owners. In mixed leagues, you have to have a set on you to start him every time out in Coors.
Marlon Byrd – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 22nd homer as he hit clean-up for the Pirates. Yesterday’s home run in PNC would’ve been a fly ball to the pitcher in Metco. In the bullpen. C’mon, it’s not that big.
Jason Grilli – Threw a simulated game and is now about ten days from rejoining the Buccos, as Potsie calls them. That return date is barring a setback and since I own Melancon and not Grilli, c’mon setback!
Jeff Locke – Optioned to Double-A Altoona, the sister city of Albacore.