In 2010, the Diamondbacks traded Dan Haren to the Angels for Joe Saunders (and Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs). Turned out in that parenthetical lied the rub. At the time of the trade, ESPN Fantasy said, “…this looks like highway robbery for the Angels, and a salary dump for the Diamondbacks. …it’s actually hard to imagine this was the best package the Diamondbacks could’ve gotten.” Sure, I never miss an opportunity to mock ESPN, but in reality it’s always too early to judge most trades with prospects when they first happen. That doesn’t mean people don’t try. Really, as William Goldman said about Hollywood, no one knows anything. Even the teams themselves. Maybe they received Corbin and Skaggs and thought they traded for Carrie Bradshaw’s ex-boyfriend and Boz Scaggs’s son who wrote the song, “Ride a Morse, Save a LaRoche.” It’s fun sometimes to sort sports stories from old to new. Yankees can’t believe they got Michael Pineda, what a coup! Mariners may have lost Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, but they got Erik Bedard! Astros fans ecstatic to get Brett Wallace! Okay, I made the last one up; there are no Astros fans. Yesterday, the Diamondbacks said Skaggs would start one game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. In the minors this year, a 8+ K-rate and an under 3 walk rate. He’s very reliant on his curveball, and needs it to be effective. On the low side, he’s been compared to The Wandwagon. On the high side, Gio Gonzalez. You could drive a truck filled with Biggest Loser contestants through that high and low comparison. For Wednesday’s start, I’d grab him if I needed the stream. In keepers, I’d pursue aggressively in case he becomes a fantasy one or two starter. Though, he looks like he will settle in around a number three. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Carl Crawford – As expected, he’s opting for Tommy John surgery and will be done for the year. Doctors are saying his elbow got screwed up by throwing so many curveballs over the last few years to his fantasy owners.
Roger Clemens – The 50-year-old Clemens signed on with the Sugar Land Skeeters. Proof that all retired athletes end up pitching for something involving erectile function or dysfunction.
Denard Span – Missed another game yesterday and went for two MRIs. Don’t worry, he had a Groupon.
Brett Anderson – Will start on Tuesday for the A’s for the first time since he had Tommy John surgery. To give you something to expect: look at Wainwright’s numbers the first two months. Now look at how much time is left in the season. If you need to take a gamble somewhere, send an Evite to Rudy. If you’re desperate for a starter, then I could see it, but I’m not rushing to start Anderson in any leagues. To get Anderson in the rotation, it bumps out…
Daniel Straily – Sent to the minors. He’ll be back when the rosters expand, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be starting in September. He could be used as a long man out of the bullpen. If you want to start a letter-writing campaign to get Straily back in the rotation, I’ll take the letter Q. Now find 25 other people.
Stephen Drew – The A’s acquired him late last night because Billy Beane is always the fan of OBP and he’s hoping Stephen invites him by for the holidays so he can meet JD. There’s nothing to see here for fantasy outside of leagues that have a slot on rosters for a Career Underperformer.
Mike Leake – 4 1/3 IP, 7 ER vs. Roy Halladay (7 IP, 5 ER, 11 baserunners, 3 Ks). When you’re going against Halladay, you’re gonna have to do better than seven earned in less than five innings. Like 4 earned in five innings would’ve been better. This is Leake’s blurb, but let’s talk about Halladay. Or at least read what my typees got to say about Halladay. He’s lost 2 miles per hour off his fastball and cutter. His fly ball rate is up (literally!) and his ground ball rate is down (not literally!). He’s been a tad unlucky, but he’s nowhere near the pitcher we’ve been used to in the past decade. Unless he magically finds the lost velocity, we’re never going to see the Halladay that we grew accustomed to.
Shaun Marcum – Set to return to the rotation this weekend, so get him in your lineups (in five days). The Brewers said they aren’t sure what they’re going to do with their rotation to move Marcum in. If they were in a pennant race, I’d say they’d move Wolf to the bullpen, but I think Fiers will be the one bumped to save his innings.
Jonathan Lucroy – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with 2 homers. He only had one homer since he returned from the DL on July 26th. He’s never been much of a power threat, but Lucroy can get you out of the French Quarter at 5 AM with nothing but a penlight and Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane mix.
Joe Saunders – 3 2/3 IP, 9 ER. Usually able to scrap out a mediocre start. Yesterday, he misplaced his S.
Michael Saunders – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and 2 homers. Sticking with the newly established Saunders theme, Michael hit 2 homers last night and has three in the last two games and is 7 for his last 12. You say hot, I say schmotato. Hot…Schmotato…Hot…Schmotato…Hot…Pockets…. Ah, you got me.
David DeJesus – 1-for-3, a run, 2 RBIs and a steal. Still hitting over .400 in the last week as DeJesus makes believers out of the most agnostic.
Derek Jeter – 4-for-5, 2 runs, an RBI with a homer. Live with Rudy and I for second. We joined one of those big money leagues and I haven’t been this invested in Jeter ever. Right now, we’re in first and stand to win like $6,000 if Jeter (Longoria, Trout, Grandy and Beckham) keeps on keeping on in an AL-Only league. We didn’t draft Jeter, but traded Milone for him. Doesn’t matter, I love him like he’s been with us all year. C’mon, Pasta Diving Jeter!
Dewayne Wise – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and a slam (6) & legs (9). If I were his folks, I would’ve went full-Fudd and named him Wewayne. Oh, and please feel free to use “full-fudd” the next time you’re freestyling with your homeys. “Yo, I’m goin’ full-Fudd with my online weegree from Uniweristy of Weenix, while you do nothin’ but pull pud with your witty, witty weenis.” I mentioned Wise last week after he hit two homers that he could be a hot schmotato. That’s worth gambling on for a few to see if he can continue.
Gordon Beckham – 2-for-3, 2 runs and a solo homer. As I mentioned above briefly in Jeter’s blurb, we own Beckham, so you can trust me, he’s like watching never-dry paint dry.
Alejandro De Aza – To the DL with stiffness in his back that moved to his oblique. What’s that dance move that’s sweeping fantasy waiver wires? The Alejandrop.
Giancarlo Stanton – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and two homers. He dedicated the 2nd home run to every grown man with a mustache who’s ever stayed up late at night decorating a Mr. Potato Head in a construction paper Stanton jersey. I’m not saying that’s me, but it’s me.
Jose Reyes – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and now batting .288. Only .012 more and he can take a seat!
Edinson Volquez – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, and I will see you again next time you’re pitching at home.
Ian Desmond – 2-for-5 and his first homer (and hit for that matter) since he was activated from the DL. Shine on you crazy Desmond!
Luis Cruz – 2-for-3 as he stays hot (.450+ in the last week). While not the most exciting name and even less exciting when I point out how unexciting he is, he is definitely hot.
Jeremy Hellickson – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.28 to go with a 1.29 WHIP and a terrible K-rate. Once again, his ERA is way below what his xFIP is telling us. He’s basically the AL’s version of Matt Cain, but his brother from another league has a big K-rate and puny hitting division. In short, I won’t trust Hellickson again next year unless someone can give a non-ancedotal reason to. Anecdotal reasons include, “He pitches well under pressure,” “He’s an Aries and the majority of the AL East are water signs,” and “He knows telekinesis and he’s moving the ball into fielders’ gloves.”
Juan Pierre – 3-for-4, 3 runs, an RBI and 2 steals. Dah! I was gonna pick him up for a batty call but my roster was filled. Oh well, at least I won’t have him giving me eyes in the morning trying to stay on my team.
Ryan Howard – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. He’s doing a lot more since he was activated than I thought he would. He’s on around a 35+ homer pace for an entire season. Gah, I feel myself getting suckered in for next year.
John Mayberry Jr. – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last three games. Look at Mayberry BFD! He’s starting every day now that Nate Surehurtz his toe. If you’re in need of power, I could see grabbing Junior before his dementia causes him to forget how to hit.
Phillippe Aumont – Phils recalled him for bullpen work. He’s the first Quebecer to be drafted in the first round of the MLB draft and his grandfather claims to have invented the French Dip sandwich, but some say it was invented by a different Philly pitcher, Cole. You’re welcome, twenty Los Angeles readers who understood that tangent. Aumont has filthy stuff, which is to say it’s a lot like Filthy Sanchez. He will either strike guys out by the boatload or walk them with the same intensity. In a couple of years, he could be the Phils closer. For now, he’s a middle man.
Jose Tabata – 3-for-5 as he hit leadoff, taking over for the injured Marte. In NL-Only leagues, you realize the value here. In mixed leagues, I’d wait to see another few games before even thinking about it.
Ryan Dempster – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. If you started him after he took multiple dumps in the AL, aurally jarring praise to your nuts. That sentence sure is homophonic.
Johan Santana – Mets announced they would send him for an MRI on Tuesday. Mysterious and probably just an excuse for a DL stint. The writing on the wall says for a good time call– Wait, wrong writing. The writing on the wall says Johan’s going to be shutdown.
Melky Cabrera – Might have more punishment coming his way. In trying to avoid a 50-game suspension, he started up a fake website featuring a nonexistent sports cream in an attempt to beat his positive test. Not sure if I should still be flattered that Melky asked us to link to him in our blogroll.
Michael Pineda – Arrested for a DUI. The cops trailed Pineda for 160 miles. He initially was going so fast that they couldn’t keep up, but his car eventually lost speed and broke down at the end before he could trade it in for a Mitsubishi Montero.