“Richards is talking to trainers but remains on back. Injury appears to be serious.” That’s how the news was tweeted out yesterday by the Angels beat writer. If Agatha Christie were around today, she’d adapt that tweet and name the novel, 140 Characters On A Train Wreck. Then it would be re-released after a train disaster with its new title, The Pitcher’s Trap. No matter the title, there was and will only be one antagonist, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, who gets his jollies from the misery of fantasy baseballers. You sit on his lap; he says, “What do you want this season?” “A healthy pitcher.” “Ho, ho, ho, no.” Arm injury, oblique, hip impingement, parallel parking impingement because of a stupid cone, broken toe, Tommy John surgery, Tomas Juan surgery in Mexico, forearm strain and now a knee. The Angels best options are Wade “Joey” LeBlanc, Randy “Team Jacob” Wolf and Chris “Lord” Volstad. They are all horror shows. Mean’s while, it sounds like Garrett Richards will miss the remainder of the season, but hopefully will be fine for next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Josh Hamilton – 2-for-3, 1 run, 3 RBIs. Best return from a mental health break since Margot Kidder!
Howie Kendrick – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 13th steal. Too bad his name isn’t Howie Chappaquidkendrick. That would be cool. Alas…
Jason Hammel – Having his start skipped. “Okay, I’m going to blow this on you, don’t sneeze.” Hammel sneezes. Since Hammel is allergic to Billy Beane’s Magic Pixie Dust that turns everything into wonderful, he’ll have probably one more shot to stay in the rotation next week vs. the Astros. After that, Jesse Chavez could return to the rotation. I want to see Jesse’s hurl! Where can I find a pitcher like that?
Jeff Samardzija – 3 2/3 IP, 7 ER. Billy Beane’s discovered a new curse word, FuSAMARDZIJAck!
Zack Wheeler – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. The Mess jumped out to a huge, early lead and Wheeler got a little too comfortable in his suite at the W.
Lucas Duda – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 23rd homer. Every time he homers, a hamster dies. Wet tail!
David Wright – 0-for-4, 1 run. Watching him hit is like watching Apollo vs. Drago. Throw in the towel, Rock!
Jeurys Familia – 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER and his 4th save. I’m all for letting him close games while Mejia’s nethers are getting the cough test, but I don’t understand the nearly two-inning save, unless Collins not only has replaced Mejia, but he also doesn’t trust him to even throw in the 8th inning. Unless Part II: More Unless Information, Mejia is still the closer and because Familia entered the game with a four-run lead, Collins just stuck with him. Mejia definitely hadn’t pitched recently. Well, either way, I’d own Familia and Mejia if chasing saves.
Zack Greinke – Due to a sore elbow, had his start only pushed back to Saturday. For now. The ‘for now’ was my addition. You like it? It didn’t cost me anything.
Alexi Amarista – 2-for-3, 1 RBI and 2 steals, his 10th and 11th. So, basically, if you didn’t draft EverCab and just picked up Amarista, and held him all year, even when he wasn’t playing, you would’ve got more fantasy value in one night.
Kevin Quackenbush – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 1st save. Besides having a name that sounds like a Fletch alias, he also could be getting saves for the next month. Or day. Or week. Hard to say, but Benoit has complained of a cranky shoulder — aw, did it not get enough sleep? — and the Padres definitely went with The Quackenbush over Thayer
Starlin Castro – Could miss a week on the bereavement list. You heard it here first, Fidel’s finally dead!
Buster Posey – Day-to-day with a flared-up hip. I’ve heard of flares on the shoulder, but never on a hip.
Brandon Belt – Due to his concussion, he’s 2-3 weeks away from any physical activity. Bad month for Belts after Robin Williams.
Andrew Susac – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Andrew Susac? Didn’t he kill Versace? Oh, no, he’s the Giants catching prospect. He has some power, but he’ll work primarily in a backup role, so outside of NL-Only leagues, not much here for now.
Hunter Pence – 2-for-5, 2 runs and a slam (17) and legs (11). If Marvel doesn’t do a comic about The Gangly Manbird that is Pence, then opportunity missed.
Luis Valbuena – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 11th homer. If I want to hold onto my diploma from the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston, I can’t recommend you picking up Valbuena.
Zach Walters – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer. That’s three homers in his last week of games. The power isn’t a fluke either. Neither is his .200 average. But if you need power, I’d grab him in deep leagues.
Mike Aviles – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (5) and legs (12). He’s A Lives! As my autocorrect wanted to write. My autocorrect really is excited, too. My favorite is when you type OMW into text and it immediately puts On my way! with the exclamation mark. Chill on the enthusiasm, autocorrect, I’m not that excited about where I’m going. Aviles has been playing most days, but not that well. He could get hot after yesterday, so I’d watch him like a cyclops with a monocle.
Dustin Ackley – Missed yesterday’s game with a sore back. So that’s what Ackley’s short for!
James Paxton – 4 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks. I was hoping early on that he’d rope in the WHIP (pun point!), but ended up Paxton left me needing Paxil (not pun; just sad). Obviously, you want better from him, but the Stream-o-Nator likes his next start, and I’d try to hold him.
Kendrys Morales – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer. Fun fact! When he comes in from a heavy downpour, he doesn’t towel off the wetness, instead he says, “Kendrys.” It drives his wife crazy who tells him to Kendrys off the sofa.
Jesus Sucre – 2-for-4. Sweet!
Logan Morrison – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, has hit in nine of his past ten games and is hitting over .320 in August. He only has one homer in that time though, so Morrison hasn’t fully broken through. Better go for another visit with the Native American shaman.
Wil Nieves – 3-for-4, 1 run. As his financial ledger is engraved with, “Nieves underestimate me.”
Justin Verlander – Expects to start on Saturday. I can’t get my font small enough to properly express my enthusiasm.
Rick Porcello – 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks. This game was very fast. I went to walk my dog, Ted, and the next thing I know it was like the 7th inning. Guess that’s why his Garbage Pail Kid is Make Quick Rick, with him sitting on a toilet that is wired with explosives.
Victor Martinez – 2-for-3, 5 RBIs and his 24th homer. It’s gonna be super fun for some sucker next year who drafts Martinez and gets the 12-homer, always hurt hitter.
Jake Odorizzi – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. He only gave up one run through six innings, then Kirby Yates (if that’s his real name) relieved him and gave up another run. Excuses are like Matthew Berry’s advice, they both stink, but this start wasn’t that bad.
Wil Myers – 0-for-3 as he was activated from the DL. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department was found in the office kitchen removing lunch meat from five different people’s sandwiches and building one monster hoagie for himself. After he took a bite, he said, “Get him *garbled* lineup.”
Nathan Eovaldi – 5 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA up to 4.06 vs. the RAAAngers. Rachel Ray couldn’t even get excited about that E.O.V.A.
Marcell Ozuna – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. OZUNA hit ball over fence. OZUNA apologize to fan who lost nachos catching home run ball. OZUNA not intend to fight obesity.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 1-for-1 and his 11th homer. The Salty dong! Easy, Cougs, I’m talking about baseball.
Nick Martinez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. I wonder if he’s related to J.D…or Victor…or Angie. Prolly!
Leonys Martin – 3-for-4, 1 RBI and his 22nd steal. As mentioned yesterday on the aforementioned tip, Leonys is the hottest man in the history of men, aside from Travis Snider and that other guy from that other team. Either the hoo! Leonys is hot, and that’s all you should concern yourself with. In my RCL, I dropped Ackley (peace!) for Leonys.
Alex Rios – 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs. I almost wish he’d suck when he played so at least when he misses multiple games with a sore (Mad Libs in body part), it wouldn’t seem like he’s a liar. I hate your stupid face, Rios!
Charlie Morton – Diagnosed with a sports hernia. This is like a regular hernia, but the testicles appear to be wearing Kareem goggles.
Gerrit Cole – 7 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners (4 BBs), 6 Ks as he was activated from the DL. Battled his control a bit, but he looked better than I had see him look all year. Maybe the two months of rehab starts did him well. Still think his name this year will probably mean more than his actual starts, but you have to be encouraged by his first start back. Well, you don’t have to be, but you should.
Travis Snider – 2-for-3, 1 run. He’s hot. He’s hot. He’s–Sorry, I think this record is broken. Who wants to hear The Monster Mash instead?
Alex Wood – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks and a no decision. It felt like the Braves bats, while not terrific all year, always went especially putrid when Wood was on the mound. I wasn’t sure if the stats would bear that out, but it felt that way. So, I went to the Average Run Support for all starters, and Wood is the 2nd worst amongst qualifying starters just barely behind Eric Stults. That is not some kind of wonderful.
Michael Cuddyer – Expected back on Friday. That means he’ll be day-to-day again on Sunday. Will return again next Wednesday. Then on the DL the following Saturday. You can set your watch to it, assuming you have a watch with a 15-day DL hand.
Matt McBride – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer as he played in place of Cuddyer. I wonder if McBride wants to one day live in a McMansion.
Johnny Cueto – 5 IP, 5 ER. Somewhere, Jason LaRue is smiling.
Michael Wacha – Closer to rehab assignment. If anyone sees him in the vicinity, would ya point him in the right direction?
Yadier Molina – Did some swinging. Did he also put his car keys in a fish bowl?
Lance Lynn – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 2.78. He’s been a streamer in my RCL league for the past two months. For serious. A guy with a 2.78 ERA and a 8+ K/9. And you don’t think there’s a lot of pitching.
Jon Jay – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI, hitting near-.500 in the last week. As any pro-marijuana person would tell you when they remembered what to tell you, our forefathers smoked a ton of cannabis. To carry on that tradition, The Federalist is hot-boxing every box score he comes near.
Trevor Rosenthal – 2/3 IP, 0 ER and the save. I’d still continue to hold Neshek. Rosenthal’s not out of the woods yet and he can’t find any moss on trees to help him.
Steve Pearce – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer. Pearce cooled off like a witch’s areola, but he’s now hitting near-.400 in the last week with two homers, so that witch’s areola rubbed against a goblin that looks like Antonio Sabato Jr.
Nelson Cruz – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 33rd homer and 2nd in three games, and fourth homer in ten games. His average has really bottomed out, but obviously he’s mollywhopping again with the best of them. Cover your eyes if you own him. C’mon, get hurt, Cruz. Okay, you can uncover your eyes now. Hello. Oh, well, we lost them.
Adam Jones – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 24th homer. It sure is nice to have someone that plays and produces every single day. Ugh, I just jinxed him, didn’t I? Please don’t smite me, FBO.
Conor Gillaspie – 0-for-3. White Sox announced that Gillaspie could get some time in the outfield moving forward. Obviously Gillaspie’s special brand of ‘Hmm, well, I don’t know’ just needs some more versatility.
Avisail Garcia – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer. You can’t afford to not own him! Unless he’s on waivers and you have no FAAB dollars left, then you can’t afford to own him.
Jose Reyes – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 23rd steal, hitting .294. Only another .006 until his offseason.
Melky Cabrera – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 6th steal, hitting .314. Last year, Coco Crisp was the name you wanted with Fantasy Baseball Scattergories with the category of breakfast, this year it’s Melky. Next year, Eggward McMuffin (Padres prospect).
Jose Bautista – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 24th homer. If six homers jumped out of the closet and onto Bautista’s homer total, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Colby Rasmus – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer. Since I’m the only one that owns him in any league, yay for me. Since he’s hitting .224, lowercase yay for me.
Jimmy Nelson – 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 4 Ks. Jimmy can’t crack a 4 ERA so I don’t care.
Carlos Gomez – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 21st homer. Will the real CarGo please stand up? Hey, what do you know? Only one CarGo can stand up.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-4, 2 runs as he started in place of Khris Davis (0-for-1 as a pinch hitter). Roenicke started Parra because he doesn’t like my beautiful, luscious, Michael Sheen-thick, feathered hair and wants me to pull it out.
Carlos Beltran – Aggravated his elbow injury on Tuesday. It’s not easy having tendons that turn to dust when hit by sunlight.
Masahiro Tanaka – Threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session. He said through his interpreter, “It went well, but it was actually my first time throwing breaking balls –- something other than fastballs –- in the bullpen, so I felt it was a little bit rusty. For more info, give my interpreter money.” Not sure what the Yankees are trying to prove with this, but I highly doubt Tanaka returns this year. If he does, maybe it’s for a start or two.
Michael Pineda – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks in 89 pitches. If Pineda were a piñata, Girardi would be standing in front of the children swinging their bats and tossing chiclets on the ground, so no one got near Pineda.
Stephen Drew – 1-for-3 and his 5th homer, raising his average to .173. In related news, he’s just about to give his autobiography’s ghostwriter the green light to start the final chapter.
Jose Veras – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save as Chad Qualls worked on Tuesday and, uh, two days before that and, uh, once the week before. Astros probably want to see what else they have in their pen since they’re going nowhere fast. Hey, we’re here! Where? Nowhere! That was fast. This is more a comment on how desperate I need saves, but I grabbed Veras. Don’t look at me, I’m ugly!
Jake Marisnick – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. First time Marisnick was back in the Bronx since the 1960’s. The classiest fans in baseball according to them gave him a Bronx cheer to remember.
Trevor Cahill 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 5 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.54. He’s also lowered his ERA more than a full run in his last month of starts. Granted, his shizz was so pear-shaped it was hard for things to get worse.
Ender Inciarte – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer. Has stolen three bags in the last nine games and is hitting near-.300 in the last week. Could be a very light schmotato.
Tanner Roark – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks. Ricardo Montalban and George Hamilton had a lovechild and that’s Tanner Roark. They’d be very happy since his ERA is at 2.80 with a 1.09 WHIP. They’d, of course, be happier if he was striking out guys more than his 6.6 K/9 or if he were bedding Latin women, two or three a night.
Bryce Harper – 3-for-4, 1 run. Only another 40 straight games like that and I will accept you back into the Temple of Grey.
Ryan Zimmerman – Expected back in September. Right now, he’s working on an underwater treadmill. Maybe he’s expecting to get traded to the Cubs. If it downpours, there is no one you want on your team more than Ryan Zimmerman! Well, maybe Max Patkin. “There’s a tsunami headed for the coast!” “There’s only one man that can save us…He can jog underwater!” That’s Obama, addressing the nation.