Just when you thought the hype for Ichiro Suzuki couldn’t get more unwarranted along comes a trade to the Yankees. There’s a short porch! There’s a jet stream! There’s more media scrutiny which will have him more focused! Iron Chef Morimoto will be preparing him pre-game meals! A-Rod’s been learning how to say, “You are a beautiful steel butterfly” in Japanese, so he can pick up female Japanese bodybuilders! New York has a history of taking fading stars and making them productive like Andruw Jones! Okay, Andruw Jones is nothing but a platoon player, but whatever, this is Ichiro! In 2010, a fading superstar went to the Yankees in a trade and everyone started talking about how he was going to have huge value now. He ended up hitting 1 homer, 9 runs, 9 RBIs and .255 in 106 ABs. People said, well, he must be completely gone if he did that with the Yankees. That player was Lance Berkman and he went on to have a huge 2011. With the trade, Ichiro’s value doesn’t take a hit, obviously, but to think everything is going to be fixed now that he’s in New York is shortchanging the logic that says Ichiro still pounds the ball into the ground and New York’s not going to make him any faster, unless he wanders outside of the stadium after 11 PM. Maybe he gets 5 homers, 7 steals and a .290 average in the final two months. That’s barely ownable as a fifth outfielder in shallower mixed leagues. And that’s the best case scenario. I wonder if the New York Post will go with the headline, “From Sultan of Swat to Shogun of Squat.” Eh, probably not. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into today’s roundup, just wanted to quickly announce that our fantasy football leagues are signing up. From what I hear, that’s a sport with kickers and face masks and tackles… Sounds like Mexican wrestling to me, but what do I know? Anyway II, the roundup:
Anibal Sanchez - The Marlins got buyer’s remorse quicker than when I bought a brand new Zune Player. Usually the Marlins wait until they’ve won a championship before they start selling off pieces. I guess Loria needed some money to add to his art collection. Surprised he didn’t just have the city of Miami pay for his Basquiat that he plans on putting in an aqua-orange frame. On June 20th, Loria said this, “This is an excellent team, and I would never bet against them. We’re two games out of the wild card, and we could not have been playing worse for a very short moment. I don’t have any concern. Obviously, I’d like to see more. But I’m not worried long-term about our offense at all. I see nothing but Miami sunshine. It’s going to be one helluva run.” On July 23rd, he couldn’t be reached for comment because he was busy eating caviar out of one of those Dairy Queen MLB helmet sundae cups. Well, Marlins fans, you had a good 90 day run. Hopefully, Loria will sell the club soon when he’s sick of yanking the Marlins’ chain, buy Seattle’s team, move them to Florida and call them the Marliners. First move: Rehire Bill Bavasi. As for Anibal, his value takes a hit. He was beat down in June thanks to interleague. Toronto and Tampa made me glad he was in Crayola Canyon and the NL. His history vs. the AL says 2012 wasn’t an anomaly. Now, he falls down to a number four to five fantasy starter and will need to be benched in certain matchups.
Omar Infante – After he was traded to the Tigers, I tried to think of a situation where Infante’s value would either skyrocket or plunge. I couldn’t think of a scenario. His value is the epitome of sideways movement no matter where he plays. Over the last three years, he has a .305 home average (granted, it was a slightly different park the prior two years, but still not a hitters’ park) and .291 in away games. The Tigers lineup is better and Comerica won’t hurt him, but he’s not suddenly going to be a .350 hitter with power without a lot of luck. He’s still solid though, and I like him better than, say, Chase Utley. No, I never thought I’d type that sentence.
Josh Johnson – 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 0 Walks, 9 Ks as he exited early with a blister on his finger. That’ll teach you to put your finger where it doesn’t belong.
Emilio Bonifacio – 2-for-3 with a homer. With Infante off to Motown, Emily Boneface will get 2nd base eligibility. What? Now that Gaby’s in the minors and Anibal is gone, the Marlins need some dame’s names.
Jacob Turner – He went the other way in the trade with the Marlins. He’s only 21 years old, and I think he should be in the minors longer until he rediscovers his strikeout stuff and command. And the Marlins agreed, sending him down. Have a beer and come back to me when you can walk two less and strike out two more per nine!
Mike Minor – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners (0 walks), 4 Ks. I’ve been kinda daffy for Minor for a while and he’s burned me more times than I care to remember (okay, 17 times; I remember), but he now has 3 straight solid starts in a row and no walks yesterday. Granted, the starts came against the Marlins, Cubs and Giants, so we’re not talking about the 1927 Yankees if they were coached by Dwayne Murphy, but I’d absolutely take a flyer on Minor.
Vinnie Pestano – The Indians are talking about trading Chris Perez — but then Chris’s baby will be displaced! — and it would make sense for the Indians. Pestano is the speculative handcuff and he’s also been a terrific MR — 1.54 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 52 Ks in 42 IP. I’ll fist pump to that, Vinnie.
Ryan Dempster – Was traded to the Braves yesterday, until he found out and tweeted that he wasn’t traded. I’d say the Cubs looked foolish, but, well, 103 years kinda trumps everything.
Jeff Samardzija – 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks. As noted before, sometimes you get Samardzija, sometimes you get some agita.
Erik Bedard – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks. Let’s get Bedarded in here!
Francisco Rodriguez – 2/3 IP, 4 ER. Bring in Erin Brockovich, the Brewers closer role is polluted. I used to drink Cisco aka Bum Wine and it didn’t give me a gas face as bad as owning K-Rod… Actually, forget that. He’ll forever be known as his name in the mirror, Dork. In a 12 team league, he’s the next man off my team when I need to pick someone up. Seriously, man, Vogelsong can help my ratios only so much. In fact, the Brewers may just go back to Axford before that and I’ll just drop Dork for anyone. I’m so done with him.
Carlos Gomez – 2-for-2, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and 2 steals. Right now, there’s one guy in a very deep NL-Only league crazy excited.
Clayton Richard – 5 IP, 7 ER. Never feed a hodgepodge after midnight. Never expose them to direct sunlight. And never, I mean never, start them away from home.
Alexi Amarista – Left yesterday’s game with a jammed thumb. Hopefully he can preserve it. Pun point!
Justin Smoak – The Rangers demoted him to Seattle and now the Mariners have demoted him to Triple-A. Either he hits there or he’s going to get demoted to the Padres.
Jordan Zimmermann – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks and now has 17 Quality Starts, 1.09 WHIP and a 2.31 ERA and only a 7-6 record. When I go to Nepal in the offseason to fix my Win Karma, Zimmermann will be my sherpa.
Bryce Harper – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with a slam (9) and legs (13). ESPN Deharportes has a new highlight!
Ryan Theriot – 3-for-4 with a steal yesterday and 4-for-5 a couple of days ago. I’m not sure he’s ever been hot for longer than a week, but this might be one of those weeks.
David Wright – 1-for-4 with a homer while Ike Davis also went 1-for-4 with a homer. They both now have 15 homers and, I could be remembering it wrong, but I feel like they’ve both gone deep in the same game several times over the last few weeks. Do they have some kind of friendly wager going on? Like the first one to twenty gets their money from Wilpon?
Jordany Valdespin – Finally, the Mets listened! Duda is being optioned to the minors and Valdespin will finally have a job. Here’s what I said back in June, “Oh no, it’s the guy with the evil Harry Potter name! Lord Valdespin has some interesting minor league numbers (15/33 in Double-A last year) if he gets a shot to play (which he should; seriously, Mets, make the right call and go with the rookie for once).” And that’s me proving to me I should’ve been managing the Mets the last month! Valdespin isn’t quite a shallow mixed league guy yet, but in deeper leagues, he’s a must grab.
Colby Lewis - Done for the year with a torn ligament. But that’s the after-Dusty ‘ment! Oh, well. Put on some Sting, shed the necessary tears, and then set him free. He may not even be ready to go at the start of Spring Training next year.
Martin Perez - Will ‘replace’ Colby in the rotation. I peacocked replace with douche-marks because the Rangers are going to trade for someone. Even if they don’t, you shouldn’t be owning Perez outside of AL-Only or keeper leagues.
Roy Oswalt - Said his back is feeling better and should be ready to go in his next start. Guess that last straw he put in his mouth to chew didn’t break his back.
Mike Napoli – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer, raising his average to .233. He now has 3 homers in the last 3 games. Ah fanabla!
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 2-for-4 with his 19th homer and he also is batting .233. This game was only a little over three hours long. That’s surprising, usually you get two Italians behind a plate talking with their hands and it can go on for days.
Josh Rutledge – 2-for-4, 2 runs and a solo homer. This wasn’t at home, but a guy starting at short for the Rockies with some pop and games in Coors coming up isn’t a bad flyer to take.
Luis Cruz – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last 4 games. His minor league track record shows nothing special, and he’s barely a hot schmotato.
Paul Goldschmidt – 1-for-3 with a slam and legs. Now has 13 homers and 9 steals. He’s having a decent season, so don’t want to bag on him too much, but when did he become Mike Aviles? 13 homers and 9 steals and a .297 average from a 25/10/.260 guy is a bizarre season.
Erick Aybar – Gimping around with a walking boot after fouling a pitch off his toe. Sounds like he’ll need a DL stint and a hanger for scratching.
Francisco Liriano – 2 2/3 IP, 7 ER. He didn’t want to pitch well the last few times out. He just wanted to build up trust so you’d pick him up. As soon as he sees his fantasy ownership numbers near 50%. This…THIS is the thanks.
Ryan Doumit – 1-for-4 and his third homer in the last two games. This year Ryan’s homers fell on the week start… Yeah, that doesn’t work.
Adam Dunn – 1-for-4 with his 29th homer. Might whiff some, but Dunn just lost one.
Ryan Howard - 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with his 4th homer. The power isn’t surprising. I imagine he’ll be like Thome, hitting homers and nothing else until late in his career. The nothing else is the problem as he’s only batting .237.