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Trying to think of a title usually takes me an hour. This one took about a month. To be totally honest with you, because I lie all the time, I’m not sure where the hiccup occurred. Usually step 1 is drink. Step 2 is smashturbate. Step 3 is begin word vomit, complete with an all-encompassing, all-knowing title to catch your eye and get you to scroll down two more inches. That’s what she said.

Admittedly so, you can’t really do a play of words on Jon Niese. There’s just nothing there. What kind of puns that don’t involve niece are you going to use? And before you say “just involve something with niece,” you shut your mouth when you’re talking to me. This is my blog post. I do what I want! But no, I don’t have anything close to witty that I can associate with your niece. In fact, it’s creepy that we’re talking about your niece. #8yearoldsdude

But during my research I stumbled on a report that Jon Niese had cosmetic surgery at the suggestion of Carlos Beltran. No, this isn’t a Priest, a Rabbi, and a Puerto Rican walk into bar type of joke. This really happened. Beltran even offered to pay.

Niese: Me ugs. FML!

Beltran: Hola senor feo!

Niese: I’m going to have to reproduce through mitosis…

Beltran: Chill, ahem, excuse me, frio mi hermano. I got this.

Look, I’m not against people who get plastic surgery. I frankly don’t care. It isn’t all that surprising that vanity is present in entertainment. And however you feel about sports and baseball in general, it is entertainment. But I will make fun of you with friends and family. Especially if another man peer pressures you into it. I mean, you can’t find another way to waste money on girls that aren’t making out with you this month?

Anyhow, that’s the title, so there.

God, 300 words in and baseball talk just started. I feel like Chris Berman.

So, Jon Niese. Totally not in the top 67 tiers you’ll have while drafting. As even evidenced by Grey’s refusal to even acknowledge his existence. Or my terrible google skills. Flip a coin I guess. But we all know that late round pick-ups *can* be a factor in your fantasy season if done well.

If you’re asking me to pick between Johan Santana, Tim Hudson, Phil Hughes, Homer Bailey, or Niese, you know what’s up. And let’s get to the why.

First, he’s 26 years old. And a Libra. Loosely (or tightly, its subjective) there still might be some projection left. When you buy, you always want there to be some of that. For example, we already know what Johan Santana is going to do. He could be mediocre. Or he could get injured. Those are pretty much his set outcomes. Which leads to the second point. Jon Niese is already a steady play. He’ll give you a 170+ innings of decent value with a pu-pu platter of skills across the board. And of course, he could be better. And yes, you are right, Niese could get injured too. Any pitcher can get injured at any time and any place. It could be when cutting meat. It could be playing guitar hero. Or it could actually happen when they are doing what they are paid to do — pitching. But there is a direct correlation with age and injury. I mean, it’s a fact. If you don’t believe me, go hug your grandma and then promptly body slam yourselves to the ground, see whose hip wins.

Basically, you are buying consistency. Using a 90ish fastball, a cutter, and a curveball, he’s managed to get average swinging strikes and an average ground-ball rate. And over the last two seasons, Niese has been a perfect picture of stability. The three most important events that a pitcher has the most control over — K%, BB% and HR/9 — have eerily stayed exactly the same.

The only injuries he’s had are a torn right hamstring in 2009, strained right hamstring in 2010, and a strained right intercostal in 2011. If you notice something, these are all unrelated to his arm. There aren’t any variations in his fastball speed either, so he can be labeled a safe bet. At least as far as safe bets go with pitchers.

Not every pitcher on your roster can be Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw. This is where Jon Niese comes into play. Draft him on the back-end and expect… 12-9/3.65/1.21/160.

  1. attgig says:
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    Love Niese, and he claims that his nose job helps him breathe easier too…

    BUT, the one thing against him is that Dickey is gone. Look at his stats when pitching the day after Dickey…. pushes his numbers up quite a bit…

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @attgig: Interesting. You seem to have a nose for detail. See what I did there?

    • kyle says:
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      @attgig: my sister says the same about hers….breathe easier my ass

      • Jay

        jaywrong says:
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        @kyle: Yes, a family’s bond. Stronger than… err, tin foil?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          No matter what you do, you’ll always have family. Ever noticed how much family and herpes have in common?

  2. Kangaroo Hops says:
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    Dirty Niese? You know, dirty, but not quite filthy.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Kangaroo Hops: How dirty is he though? Like, should we put him in the laundry or play adult ad-libs with him and friends?

  3. royce! says:
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    No More Mister Niese Guy?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @royce!: That’s a Niese suggestion.

      • fri-guy says:
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        @jaywrong: he stole a game from me in a H2H league last April…ever since I’ve called him the Niese-ster Bunny. :(

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @fri-guy: It’s only getting better.

  4. Sky

    Sky says:
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    I touted Niese last year and loved getting an SP3 from the abyss. Got him in the 22nd round of a keeper league. So you seeing any room for advancements this year? His first and second half splits were interesting. 6.6 K/9 in the second half despite the better ERA/WHIP. Overall, I agree his baseline is established and for that reason I don’t mind where he’s going in drafts.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Sky: Niese puns or GTFO.

      He’s a guy who has constantly under-performed his FIP, minus last year from an inflated HR rate. He’s a number 3/4 guy, for certain. But I want to buy his possible upside, in that the regression is going the right way, with that baseline you mentioned, more than other guys in the same tier.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Of all my pitching family, Jon is easily my favorite Niese. There, you happy?

        And agree w/you on him. If I didn’t pick up Matt Moore late, he’d be my second SP keep this year.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Sky: I like Moore just as much, but for different reasons. The control concerns me a tad though.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Yeah, I hear ya. But there’s 200K upside in that arm and for a 25th round pick, I’m willing to stay around and find out.

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Sky: True Dat.

        • Jack Full of Donuts says:
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          @Sky: If its close i always go NL over AL

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Yeah, 100% agree. Though 25th round for 200K upside is just hard to pass up. I don’t think Niese is more than what he did last year and he’s going as the 31st arm off the board in drafts so I think he’s fairly valued. I have MadBum as my ace in the 7th and there’s always a good amount of arms that get tossed back each year. Moore is priced to be what would be my SP6 and guys like Latos, Zimmermann, Gallardo, Grienke, Fister will all be available in the draft along with Niese. The value is in favor of Moore for that reason.

  5. harb says:
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    Keeping him round 22 this year. He’s the Bees Niese.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @harb: Awesome saucem.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Jack Full of Donuts: I just got a hard-on. Or diabetes. Hard to tell.

      • Jack Full of Donuts says:
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        @jaywrong: one makes you pee a lot and the other makes you…well you know what comes next

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Jack Full of Donuts: Well, whatever it is, its highly contagious.

          • Jack Full of Donuts says:
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            @jaywrong: like HIV?

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Jack Full of Donuts: Sounds so morbid and depressing though. Maybe just herpes?

              • Jack Full of Donuts says:
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                @jaywrong: fair enough, sorry I come form LA and magic ain’t dead so not so morbid

                • Jay

                  jaywrong says:
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                  @Jack Full of Donuts: I used to live in Westwood, so yeah. Maybe I love life more now that I’ve escaped.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @jaywrong: it’s not depressing, it’s just cynical inducing madness

                    did you go to UCLA?

                    • Jay

                      jaywrong says:
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                      @Jack Full of Hate: Naw, moved there from Seattle in my mid-twenties for a bit. Was in charge of accounting and audit stuff for the Hilton in BevHills.

                      I liked living in Pasadena much better. Glad I’m outta there though. Hated the 2 year experience.

                      Maybe because I grew up in San Diego.

                      Either you have friends who own no pants, or friends who own no shirts.

                      But yeah, I’ve been all over the west coast for extended period. Sometimes I wonder how I ended up in DC.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @jaywrong: San Diego, the home of pedophiles and good beaches. Use to go to street scene quite often many years ago and grew up going to PB every summer or working parties in Mission Beach in the late 90′s

                    • Jay

                      jaywrong says:
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                      @Jack Full of Hate: Hah. Good point. Yeah, I miss the area. Loved SLO too. Driven HWY 1 many times. Good memories.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @jaywrong: blaring Christopher Cross’s “ride like the wind”

                    spent a lot of time in SLO too, we went riding 4,5 times a year at pismo beach

                    • Jay

                      jaywrong says:
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                      @Jack Full of Hate: Great to find a fellow west coast compatriot.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Wake Up: HA HA HA!!!!! I think so if he had the transformation operation

  6. Big AL says:
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    I’m thinking Jon is not niesesary on my team. Rather go with Homer Bailey,but Niese is nice.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Big AL: I’m *okay* with Bailey, but the home splits concern me a bit, and he over-performed his FIP a bit in his first full season. The history of injuries combined with so much variation in his production are a risk I’m willing to let other people take.

  7. TheNewGuy says:
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    Natasha Ni(e)ce. Check her out.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @TheNewGuy: I’m more of a Faye Reagan kind of guy. But, you know, bewbs, so no complaints here.

  8. Paddyman says:
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    I like Bailey over Niese but agree with you on the others. Aren’t there other upside pitchers out there that I can be excited about? Ryu is a fatass and will probably lose out to Lilly. Just noticed Teheran is on a farm roster in our league( just as i was starting to pay attention to his nice k’s. Of the Oakland pitchers who is the best value? On another note-Re: Cosmetic Surgery for athletes: Here’s a british footballer who’s had his ears pinned back as he used to look like a monkey before. Anyone on here heard of Gareth Bale? http://w.ww.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/has-gareth-bale-had-his-ears-pinned-back-1168431

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Paddyman: You have some crazy mind powers. Tune in tuesday for the next podcast. I’ll be discussing Niese and those very same upside pitchers on the back-end you can use.

      Not just that, but I’ll be covering Ryu in a Greydar post coming out soon. Suffice to say, I’m still bullish on him. He appeared to be over-priced for a while with the hype, but I think he’s a good bet to over-perform where he is now. I’ll be going over all of that in the post. And he will start the year in the rotation. The Lilly thing is overblown. My grand-mother could beat Lilly for the fifth starter spot, and she’s been dead for 10 years.

      Hmm, Gareth Bale, not sure I know him. Is he related to the Batman?

      • Dan says:
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        @jaywrong:

        Bale has been quite well known in the Uk for a number of years. He is having an incredible season where he seems to be winning games on his own for Tottenham. They are challenging for Top 4 in the premier League. Bale has been linked consistently with a big money transfer to Real Madrid (among others).

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Dan: Maybe I should pin back my ears then.

  9. Robert says:
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    Got a real quandry here, besides the fact that I don’t know what quandry means, I need help with a first round pick (read seventh round pick) in my H2H 10 team 6 keeper league. Stats are 8X8 custom picks with OBP, XBH, Hits are the extra stats in hitting, WHIP, K/9, QS are the extras in pitching.

    I am keeping:
    Pujols
    Stanton
    Cargo
    Tulo
    Zobrist
    Bruce

    I feel like I have the best keepers, but some of the players not being kept make the 7th and 8th round a chance to cleanup something fierce. Won the league regular season last year, so I have the 10th and 11th (read 70th, 71st picks)

    The best players available are as follows:
    Pedroia, Encarnacion, Choo, Phillips, Sandoval, Headley, Upton, Rollins, Jennings, Ellsbury, Cespedes, Bumgarner, Kimbrel, Wainwright, Billy Butler

    I know my friend who drafts ahead of me won’t let Headley get to me, and I have to assume Pedroia, Encarnacion and Phillips are gone before it gets to me. Given the custom hitting stats, I’m leaning towards Sandoval and/or Cespedes if I can, although would it be insane to get Kimbrel if he’s still available because of his ability to help me in K’s, K/9, WHIP, and Saves?

    I’m also wondering if I forgo a great hitter that is available to take a pitcher that is a value at that point because I am keeping all hitters. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Robert: Hah, on the quandary. I think it has something to do with ore mines or maybe it was my ex-wifes middle name. Hard to remember.

      I just want to start by saying that I believe E5 will out-perform Pujols this year.

      That being said, with the hitters you are keeping, I agree that pitching might be the way to go depending on whats available.

      In regards to Cespedes, I’m taking him over Sandoval and it’s not that close.

      Kimbrel is nice in a K/9 league, but QS neutralizes that a bit if you are going for a reliever. If he does drop, I might consider it, but I would be weary. More a personal strat then anything else.

      • Robert says:
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        @jaywrong: fair enough Checkov, I like Cespedes also, but with 3 OF and Zobrist who qualifies also, I thought locking up 3B and getting a high OBP-AVG guy might be nice at that spot also. I agree on the QS negating the K/9, but given the list I showed you, my best bet at a pitcher at that point is Bumgarner or Wainwright.

        I agree that Encarnacion would be my no-brainer if he fell to me, but he’s probably not, which is why I excluded him from my options. Also I did’t have Encarnacion, so that’s why he’s not being kept.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Robert: I hear ya on E5. I was just laying down pipe.

          I’m assuming you are keeping Zobrist at 2B since you’ll most likely miss out on Phillips.

          Does 3B drop off that badly? I’m usually not into positional scarcity as others are. I just want the best production period. Exclamation point. And, you know, other punctuation marks. I just don’t like Sandoval that much. He will offer you OBP-AVG for sure, but I always think he’s a risk for injuries. And eating me.

          Granted, most players have their power return a year after hamate injuries, but man, I just feel like he’s going to pull something, even when he gets a BB.

          Bumgarner and Wainwright seem like acceptable alternatives to me over Kimbrel, but if your bullpen needs it, I can’t argue it.

          • Robert says:
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            @jaywrong: I get you on positional scarcity and I’d keep 5 OF if they were Braun, McCutch, Cargo, Stanton, and Upton. I hadn’t thought of the injury risk of Sandoval. I don’t need Kimbrel, but I love the rate stats. My Ideal world would be me getting Pedroia and Headley, or just getting Headley twice, with a reasonable amount of time between for recovery, but I think the legitimate option I have is getting Cespedes and Bumgarner, which would be great. I’d be happy if Choo fell to me also. Either way, I don’t think I can really go wrong with any two of those listed above at picks 70 and 71.

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Robert: Yeah, truth be told, I think you are just fine with any of the options you’ve put forth.

              And as a homer, I’m all for Chase Headley. I’m irrationally higher than anyone else on razzball. I’m sure Grey would scold me if I typed the slash I’m expecting Or at least direct me to AA.

              • Robert says:
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                @jaywrong: The only problem with getting Headley in the first round is that I probably would fall asleep before the end of the draft… Just ask my wife…

                • Jay

                  jaywrong says:
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                  @Robert: Yeah, the long runs are long.

                  That’s what she said last night!

  10. MessyF says:
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    Who would you rather have in an OPS i/o AVG league – Utley or Uggla?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @MessyF: Utley. But we’re in the dangerzone.

      • MessyF says:
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        @jaywrong: True. But to be honest – I prefer having a sniff at one of them than the Seagers, Kendricks or Prados of the world (assuming Kinsler and Cano are off the board). I was thinking you would go with Uggla just because he’s healthier and his sucky AVG wont count..

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @MessyF: Yeah, its on the margins for me. I just have this feeling that Utley has 450+ PAs this year. And he’s just as helpful in OBP leagues.

          If you went Uggla, I couldn’t argue though.

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