Mark Ellis is considered a clubhouse leader. Listen, I’m gonna be real with you, there is no substitute for a leader in the clubhouse. These are real world intangibles you can’t quantify. Unfortch, no one has Clubhouse Leader as a fantasy category in their league, so good riddance as Kolten Wong was recalled. As Pitbull kinda says, “Hey, Mark Ellis, you’re going down, I’m yelling timber! Swing your butt, Mark Ellis is going down, he’s going down. I’m yelling timber!” Hopefully, the Cards give Wong a legit chance to play, but that’s not entirely clear yet. They should, since he could be Pedroia-like. For whatever reason the Cards seem to have a hard time going with a rookie in any kind of substantial role, but I’d still grab him in deeper mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Darren O’Day – Buck Showalter said he didn’t know who would close, adding, “Joe Torre wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame if he had this sh*t bullpen to deal with.”
Kevin Gausman – 4 IP, 5 ER. As a commenter pointed out yesterday, this was an entirely curious situation. Gausman had pneumonia last week and was pitching four days after his last minor league start when he was on a strict 75 pitch count. I guess Showalter misheard Lady Gaga’s lyrics on the O’s GM’s ringtone, “Do what you want with my rookie.” Prior to the 4th inning when Gausman looked, well, gaussed, he looked better than his opposing pitcher, Justin Verlander (6 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks). As for Gausman, Showalter said Gausman will travel with the team to Kansas City, then he’ll decide what to do. Maybe he’ll throw him in middle relief for two months then call for him to do a random spot start against a top offense. That sounds about right.
Nelson Cruz – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer. In my RCL team, I’m power deprived and made a run at a Cruz trade for Rafael Soriano, but was quickly rebuked. Not to fear Grey Lovers, I was able to pull off a trade with resident heartthrob, Tehol. I sent him Jay Bruce, K-Rod and Middlebrooks for Longoria. In an RCL, Middlebrooks is a waiver wire guy, Bruce is currently hurt so who knows how that will turn out, K-Rod has been terrific until yesterday, but SAGNOF! I like it for me, but do think it could go either way.
Rajai Davis – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer. When The King of SAGNOF touched home, he had a midget in an Altuve jersey throw rose petals at his feet.
Michael Brantley – 1-for-3, 1 run as he left with mid-back tightness. It sounds like a day-to-day thing. Or day-o-to-day-o if you’re Jamaican.
Carlos Santana – 1-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam & legs. Oye como yay!
Nick Swisher – 0-for-4 as the Indians scored 15 runs. Holy ticker tease! It almost seems mathematically impossible for a team to score 15 runs and the number two hitter goes 0-for-4. Almost.
Lonnie Chisenhall – 5-for-6, 1 RBI as the bottom of the Indians lineup did work. Chief Wahoo’s fantasy team, “Leave Scalping For Tickets,” had a great day.
Corey Kluber – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks in Toronto, his ERA is down to 3.38. Interesting that there’s so many people wondering if they should own and/or start him. You realize he has more Ks than innings and his ERA is better than most of your pitchers?
Alex Cobb – Aiming for a May 22nd return. That’s a week. Seven days. But who’s counting? Hehe. What? I’m giddy.
Ben Zobrist – Likely headed to the DL after leaving yesterday’s game with a dislocated thumb. I’d check next to his index finger, but what do I know? I only wrote 85% of all WebMD entries. Ganglion cyst? That’s mine!
Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks. No relation to Rougned Odor, though they have been hearing ‘pee-yew’ their whole lives. Odorizzi has now put terrific starts back-to-back on my NFBC bench. Yay, weekly leagues! His K-rate is insane right now and not insane like Donald Sterling asking Anderson Cooper if he’s ever been made to feel jealous by a girl, but insanely good. On the other hand, his walk rate is the bad insane. He basically looks nothing like he’s looked like in the past. It might be small sample size noise, so I’m hesitant to recommend him.
Joe Smith – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save as Ernesto Frieri came in for the eighth. Oh. Kay. Now, The Sciosciapath is just off the rails, ghost riding his whip down Mental Patient Drive. Smith and Frieri are both righties and they faced the exact same team the other day when Frieri got the save, so unless The Sciosciapath is playing an owner of Frieri in a H2H league, I honestly have no idea what he’s thinking. For now, you have to own Smith and Frieri.
Garrett Richards – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (0 BBs), 8 Ks. Obviously, he’s not a 2.42 ERA pitcher, but yesterday’s no walk performance helped stabilize his peripherals and he looks like a solid number four that could have a speed bump here and there, but ownable in all leagues, especially for his next start vs. the Asstros, and the Stream-o-Nator concurs. By the by, as you see at SON, Richards is owned in 95% of RCL leagues, but only 75% of ESPN leagues, so kudos to you. Not the candy bar, sorry.
Raul Ibanez – 1-for-2 and a steal, which is kinda whatevs except he hasn’t stolen a base in over a year. Carlos Ruiz might think about popping an Adderall prior to taking the field. I’m sure opposing batters would appreciate it rather than his constant fidgeting.
Tony Cingrani – Due back on Saturday after hitting the DL with “Can’t pitch effectively.” Hopefully, he’s cured.
Jeff Keppinger – Designated for assignment. Blanco Polanco may not catch on anywhere else, but he’s making $4 million this year and $4.5 million next year, so I’m not crying for him; I’m crying for me.
Gordon Beckham – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, his third in his last ten games. I’m actually annoyed I don’t have him over some other schmohawks I do own, which is about as positive as I’ve been on him in a while.
Luke Gregerson – 1 2/3 IP, 1 ER. The tangled web of mystery in the A’s bullpen continues to be haunted with ghosts. Or maybe there’s another reason I hear boo every time an A’s reliever enters the game. Who’s up next? Saturday Night Fever’s Danny Otero? I’d put the bullpen at Doolittle, Gregerson, Johnson today, but that could change by tomorrow.
Josh Donaldson – 2-for-4 and his 9th homer and 2nd in as many games, hitting .267. As I tell my Cougar, beware the small sample size, but Donaldson has been striking out more this year and looks more like the .260 hitter he always was rather than the .300+ guy he showed last year.
Charlie Blackmon – 0-for-4. Since I told you to sell him, his average has dropped almost forty points (though he does have 4 HRs, 11 runs and 11 RBIs — okay, so that’s a pretty big ‘though’).
Jason Vargas – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.00. His peripherals look pretty bleh, and the only gas he’s throwing is burps. Won’t be too long until The Fangraphs Database dials up The Regression Fairies.
Archie Bradley – Could resume throwing soon, which is terrific, since, ya know, he’s a pitcher.
Randy Wolf – Was released by the Diamondbacks and signed by the Marlins. Randy will now go to an airport bar that is playing CNN in the early afternoon and celebrate by yelling at people, “I’m Wolf blitzed!”
Giancarlo Stanton – 3-for-3, 1 run, hitting .325. In this game, Ed Lucas, Reed Johnson and Jeff Mathis homered as the Dodgers hosted free ticket night for fans who brought in a canned good or a recently released player.
Brandon McCarthy – 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 5.01 and his win-loss record is 1-6. And moving on…Or are we?! Well, some of you might be; the ones that are tripped up by a well-placed ellipsis. There’s been no pitchers that have been more unlucky. Opposing hitters are hitting dribblers at his fielders and the ball is being picked up by an errant squirrel and carried into the outfield for hits. He’s seen more gopher balls than Bill Murray in Caddyshack. And he’s doing everything else right. His K and walk rate are beautiful, yielding a 2.75 xFIP. He doesn’t have a great next start per the Stream-o-Nator, but gets the Mets after that. I’d look at him if you need to reinvigorate the ol’ staff.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-4. Looked like he was getting cold there for a minute (not an Urban Dictionary minute which is actually a long time), but he was Red Hot Lover Tone prior.
Doug Fister – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Looks like he finally finished extended Spring Training.
Danny Espinosa – 0-for-4, hitting .228. Hopefully he’s wearing parachute pants because the bottom is dropping out.
David Ortiz – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and two solo homers (10, 11). This is the 2nd game in a row he’s homered twice against the Twins. Before the game, the Twins asked Ortiz to say a few words over the PA system and he said, “Minnesota, your pitching is f**king sh*tty.”
Trevor Plouffe – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. He’s been batting third and he’s way low on the power for where he should be, so he’s overdue. With that in mind, I grabbed him for today’s batty call. Hopefully he makes sweet love to my team.
Kyle Farnsworth – The Mets gave him his walking papers, releasing him. After the Mets released him, he rubbed his forearm saying, “I’m too old for this.” Since he got the Mets last save — two days ago! — the Mets essentially released their closer. That’s comical. Oh, Mets, you’re always good for a laugh. Now, I’d definitely pick up Jeurys Familia. Sure, it could be Dice-K or Valverde that gets the next save, but do you seriously want them on your fantasy team?
Rafael Montero – 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. The Mess and Yanks put up about 12 runs apiece in two games in New York than they suddenly can’t score. What’s up with that? Oh, they moved to Metco. As for Montero, he looked decent. Not the best pitcher I’ve ever seen, not the worst. He gets another decent matchup next and I could see starting him.
CC Sabathia – No structural damage was found on Sabathia’s knee. I’d say that’s probably accurate since, with his weight loss, you can actually see his structure.
Yangervis Solarte – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 4th homer. I picked him up three days ago. On my team, 6-for-11, 2 homers, 6 runs and 3 RBIs. Yup.
Masahiro Tanaka – 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks. Okay, so he kinda looks better than Darvish. Yeah, I said it. Somewhere, Darvish is making a Tanaka origami figure and ripping out its elbow tendon.
Jason Grilli – Threw two 12-pitch simulated innings. Damn, even in a simulated game he can’t get guys out on three pitches.
Francisco Liriano – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 4.25. He’s now about four starts from being a 3.50 ERA pitcher as his xFIP says. Seriously, if owning Liriano is your biggest concern, I want your team.
Wily Peralta – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks. You know a guy is having a nice season thus far when I have to open his player page to see if his ERA went up or down after a seven inning, one-run game. Wily’s went down, but barely to 2.05.
Alex Wood – 2 2/3 IP, 3 ER. Will remain in the bullpen and not start on Saturday. This actually makes sense at this point. Better than moving him back and forth, unless the goal is to injure him, which it totally could be knowing Fredi Gonzalez.
Julio Teheran – 3 1/3 IP, 4 ER. He called the trainer out in the first inning, telling the coaches that he had a blister that was affecting his pitching, so, of course, Fredi leaves him in the game. I was yelling at the game like I was Paulie yelling at Rocky to throw in the towel before Drago killed Apollo. Instead, Fredi let the Giants kill Teheran’s, and in turn my, ratios. You couldn’t even give him Blistex?! I hate you, Fredi, with every fiber of my bran cereal.
Tyler Pastronicky – 2-for-4, 1 run. Has now played a few games in a row, replacing Uggla so it’s worth taking a look. *looking at his minor league stats* Well, maybe he’s not worth taking a look at, since he has 5-ish homer-power and 7-ish steal-speed. Why he’s batting leadoff and Andrelton is batting eighth, I have no idea. Maybe Fredi is like Donald Sterling only he race-hates aliens.
Hunter Pence – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer. Since most of the damage came against my novio, Teheran, I’m not happy with Pence. Picking on a guy with a blister is not cool.
Mike Morse – 1-for-4 and a homer. Guess how many homers he has. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Nope, higher. Keep going. No, he doesn’t have 400. Are you even trying? He has nine homers. Zoinks! I think he has more homers than the entire Royals team combined.
Brandon Crawford – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. Shoot, he has more homers than the Royals team. Bad year to draft Mostsuckass, Alex Gordon, Hosmer and Aoki on multiple teams. *walks into The Octagon* “So, is this UFC thing fake?”
Pablo Sandoval – 2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, but left the game with a sore big toe. Sandoval was quick to point out his toe was not as big as it used to be.
Gregor Blanco – 1-for-3, 3 runs, 1 RBI and 3 steals. Geez, it’s not even Pagan, it’s whoever the Giants put in the leadoff slot in center field.
Nick Tepesch – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks vs. the Asstros. Tepesch actually had nice numbers in Triple-A this year (8+ K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.58 ERA), but he still hasn’t faced a major league offense, so I’d wait to see more before not wanting to passover Tepesch.
George Springer – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, which is also known in Houston as the two minutes of the Astros game worth watching.
Matt Harrison – The news report said he’s facing spinal fusion surgery. Sounds bad about his back, but I’d be more concerned about his head being able to face his back during surgery.