Reds announced that Joey Votto is able to return. Crickets, pin dropping, echo…echo…echo… “God? It’s me, Dusty Baker. If I need him, is Votto ready to pitch?” ”I’m afraid not, Dusty. He’s not a pitcher.” ”In the traditional sense?” ”In every sense.” ”How about as a reliever?” ”No, Dusty.” ”As a LOOGY?” ”Fine, Dusty.” ”Thanks! Oh, and good job on creating toothpicks.” ”I didn’t.” ”Sure, and I didn’t ruin Kerry Wood and Mark Prior’s careers.” The Reds said Votto could return today, but because they don’t need him and want to make sure he’s okay for the playoffs, they’re going to ease him back into the lineup. It could mean he returns today. It could mean Friday. In weekly leagues, it’s probably too late for this to make a difference, and in daily leagues you can probably figure when to play him. Here’s hoping that not only does he return soon, but that he also plays every day, from my mouth to Dusty’s toothpick-creating God. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
J.P. Arencibia – Could return this weekend from his injury, making good on his full name, Just Peachy.
Oscar Taveras – The Cards are talking about calling up their top hitting prospect — maybe the top hitting prospect in the minors — when the Double-A season ends. Here’s what Scott, our prospect writer, said about him, “Word is, St. Louis might use him as a bat off the bench down the stretch, but there’s no real channel for immediate regular play, and thus, not a whole lot of immediate fantasy value. Still, if you haven’t done so already, take note of Taveras as an impact outfielder for the next decade or so. He’s gonna be great, like a kilt made of Grey’s skin.” Didn’t remember that last part at all. I agree with Scott (hence, me copying and pasting it). He could also break camp next year, but more likely he’ll be the big June 1st call-up. In keepers and very deep mixed leagues, I’d grab him now. He’s a 25 homer, 15 steal, .315 hitter over the course of a full season.
Michael Morse – Left after one at-bat with renewed soreness in his thumb. I can empathize, that used to happen to me all the time from too much Atari.
Carlos Gomez – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer. Okay, if steals and power are the key, then CarGo is the lock.
Chris Perez – Pestano recorded the save yesterday as Chris Perez was away from the team on personal reasons. Anyone that ever went to high school knows that when someone is out for “personal reasons” it means, well, Chris Perez is pregnant.
Michael Fiers – 3 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks. Not sure why teams can’t shut players down on a positive note. Now Fiers’s ERA is over 3 and he has this terrible start to think about all winter. Unless the Brewers do the unthinkable and send him out there again, so they can throw more good money after bad.
Ross Detwiler – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.15. Impressive season while being unsung. The lack of Ks accounts for a lot of that unsungness (Made Up Word of the Day!), but his ratios (1.16 WHIP) more than make up for it. Next year, I imagine he won’t be drafted until the final rounds of most mixed leagues, and I can’t say I disagree. Without Ks, he’ll need to be a tightrope artist to keep his fantasy value where it was this year.
Adam LaRoche – 1-for-4 with his 2nd homer in his last two games (he sat out Sunday). The usually strong second half performer has been solid, if unspectacular. A strong September though could quiet all of those critics, and by all of those critics I mean the two or three people who are actually impassioned enough to have a view on LaRoche one way or the other.
Jeff Niemann – Has a slight strain of his rotator cuff. I think the Rays added the slight part for the Dr. James Andrews “slight” discount.
B.J. Upton – 1-for-3, 2 runs and a slam (17) and legs (27). He’s now batting .250 on the year. I gotta be honest, I’m one of the few fantasy baseball ‘perts that doesn’t hate B.J. Upton, but I also have never owned him in any league ever. For a guy with ten leagues a year, that’s no small feat, as they say in a bowling alley that doesn’t cater to dwarfs.
Fernando Rodney – Recorded his 41st save and lowered his ERA to 0.72. Hahahahahahahaha *breathe, Grey, breathe* Hahahahahahaha…
Jeff Samardzija – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.91 vs. Detwiler. Tale of two fringe mixed league starters. Samardzija should be more coveted next year than Detwiler. If Samardzija takes a small step forward, he could be a a top 30 starter next year. There’s a chance he’s my go-to starter for all of my teams as a fantasy number four. I might even register Razzijaball.com.
Kris Medlen – 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks. I typed that pitching line without wearing any pants, and without the use of my fingers. Infer what you want.
Tony Abreu – 2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs. Now 5 for his last 8…And that’s all I got for him. He’s hitting and has eligibility everywhere you could want, if you’re very desperate.
Geovany Soto – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer for the Rangers. You’re probably just glad I didn’t mention David Murphy’s 2-for-4 day. Doh!
Michael Young – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer in 509 at-bats. Imagine the damage he could’ve done if the Rangers hit him leadoff. I’m using damage in its traditional sense, you know, as in to harm something in such a way as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function.
Tommy Milone – 3 IP, 5 ER. Stream-o-Nator didn’t look so solid on this one. Milone’s another guy that should probably be shut down. In general, you’re gonna find more value in September from pitchers who have more experience (Nolasco, for instance), then starters who are pitching more innings than they have before.
Josh Donaldson – 2-for-4 with his 4th homer in the last five games. Oh, bee tee dubya, he has catcher eligibility. Make every Jewish mother proud and get your JD.
Chris Carter – 2-for-4 with his 4th homer in the last ten games. Make every sci-fi nerd happy and friend Chris Carter.
Robinson Cano – 1-for-4, but could sit out today with hip tightness. Thanks to my C-minus in Bio 101, I can tell you hip tightness is also known as “being square.”
Alex Rodriguez – 1-for-4 as he returned to the lineup. One small step for A-Rod, one giant leap for muscular women who want to feel special.
Daniel Murphy – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer as someone who mistaken thought I’ve been touting Daniel Murphy rather than David Murphy steps in shizz.
Jason Vargas – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Sawx. Eyeing both the Mariners and Red Sox lineups and you see they look equally matched. Somewhere in Saugus, Massachusetts, a woman with a mullet is crying.
Patrick Corbin – 5 IP, 4 ER. See Tommy Milone and Fiers’s blurbs. It’s the young pitcher swan song.
Brandon League – Another day, another look at the Dodgers closing shituation. Yesterday, Belisario entered a tied game in the 7th inning for one out and gave up the tying run, but Brandon League didn’t come in until the 10th, then pitched two innings, so he’s probably unavailable for today. I’d still give the edge to League; I wouldn’t sweat it though. Let’s just say yesterday I looked at the box score and saw the game in extra innings, so I was half expecting League had either pitched the eighth inning or had coughed up the lead in the ninth. It’s a total closerf*ck.
Luis Cruz – 4-for-5, 1 run. He has absolutely no value beyond the fact that he’s got a hot bat. In some leagues, that’s all you need, so there ya go.
Tyler Cloyd – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks vs. the Reds. Impressive start from the (relatively) young Philly starter. What’s less impressive are his Triple-A strikeouts. The ERA was solid (2.35), but his K-rate was under 6 and he didn’t crack the Phillies top 30 prospects prior to this season. Cloyd banks on his defense and the G-Unit to stay on fire, so I’d be real careful about using him in the final month.
John Mayberry Jr. – 1-for-4 with his 14th homer. Yesterday, I pointed out Mayberry, BFD is a hot schmotato. Pick him up. Today, I will talk about something else, something a bit weighty: nepotism. Deep thoughts with Grey Albright! There’s a crapton of baseball players in the majors that had relatives in the majors. They are obviously not in the majors due to nepotism. Someone’s not starting at first because their dad did. Genetics plays into it. They had a natural inclination, they were around the game 24/7 growing up, which helped them, and they always knew making the majors was a real possibility because their uncle, dad, brother did, so they were never discouraged by setbacks. Maybe it’s the same in other fields of life and nepotism is thrown around by those without the natural skills. Could be that the word nepotism is an easy way for those without the natural gifts to sluff off those that have it. Then I see a Kate Hudson film and I think nepotism does exist.
Phillippe Aumont – Got the save yesterday after Paps’ Sunday mishaps. This is a sign of things to come for Phillippe, probably in a year’s time. For now, he’s a set-up man, giving me time to come up with a solid mnemonic to spell his first name. PH-balanced I double hockey sticks, I Play PE… Hmm, I have time.
Vernon Wells – 2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam & legs. Only 27 more games out of a possible 27 exactly like this and his 2012 salary will only seem slightly obscene.
Mike Trout - 1-for-4 with his 43rd steal. I thought of Trout the other day when Young MC’s Bust A Move was playing on my radio (yes, I have a radio that plays one hit wonders from twenty years ago). You know how in the last verse he says, “Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry… In five days from now, he’s gonna marry… He’s hopin you can make it there if you can… Cause in the ceremony, you’ll be the best man…” Larry’s gonna marry and he’s choosing his brother’s best friend? Why not Harry? Or his own best friend? I mean, it’s not even guaranteed that this guy is gonna make it to the ceremony. To me, the guy who they’re reserving the best man spot for has to be some kind of special man. That would be Mike Trout. Mike Trout is so good he’s everyone’s best man.