You’re about to get busted. Do you go harder, become more brazen, with the illegal activity or attempt to clean up your act quickly so you don’t get punished more severely? I don’t know. This is where fantasy baseball meets a PBS Frontline special. I think different people react in different ways. Not to get all philosophical on you like your college philosophy prof who would invite you over for lavash and hummus and marijuana, then try to feel up your girlfriend, but last year’s Ryan Braun — 9 homers in 61 games — could be exactly what he is off of PEDs. There’s no way of knowing when he was or wasn’t using. If he knew he was about to get suspended last year, he might’ve laid off of everything and been totally clean for that decent but not spectacular partial season, even while he battled a thumb issue. The same thumb issue that has resurfaced this year. I should’ve been more aggressive in the preseason about pointing that Braun wasn’t healthy last year. The kind of unhealthy that has lingered into this year. He admitted the other day that he was unable to take a normal swing due to battling a nerve issue. Or if you’re reading in your best Curly voice, a noive issue. That’s hella bad with hella having a hashtag that says 2004. I wouldn’t sell him for fifty cents on the dollar, but I’d be interested to see if someone would give me 85 or 90 cents on the dollar. Or if someone would give me the Euro exchange rate. Why are they still making pennies?! Tell me Yahoo! Answers! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Yovani Gallardo – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. Now has 12 2/3 scoreless innings vs. the Red Sox and Braves. Yoga may be used as a calming influence, but YoGa is the most stressful player to evaluate. When he’s going well, I feel like he’s trying to get me to fall for the ol’ banana-in-the-tailpipe. When he’s going poorly, I think he’s going to turn it around. I’m going to let someone else with bigger groin-grapes than I pick him up and either reap his rewards or go down in a blaze.
Will Middlebrooks – Hits the DL with a strained calf. Don’t know why I drafted him that night. I had a feeling that something wasn’t right. Clowns to the left of him, jokers to the right, now I’m stuck with Middlebrooks and Colabello (replacement).
Rick Porcello – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks. Yeah, those terrible spring stats meant a whole lot. Also, how about how well Mostsuckass hit in March? Paying attention to spring stats is the real March Madness.
Chris Tillman – 8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. Justin Verlander (8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks). I’m glad Tillman went against Verlander, and beat him, not simply because I own Tillman on multiple teams and not Verlander, but because…Well, actually that is the reason.
Torii Hunter – 1-for-4 with his third homer in as many games. I mentioned this the other day for Haren, but I think it might apply for all vets, hitters included. While they are still fresh in the beginning of the year, they seem to play better. Maybe it’s confirmation bias, maybe I have no idea what confirmation bias is. Is that cutting confirmation on a slant?
Jameson Taillon – Will undergo Tommy John surgery. Or as they call it in Tommy John’s household, “Hey, we got another check for a nickel!”
Edinson Volquez – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (1 BB), 4 Ks. For his next trick, Ray Searage is going to convince the public John Travolta and Kelly Preston are really married.
Nate Eovaldi – 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks. Pitched excellent until the final out of his day when he gave up a junky home run to Alexi Omarosa, who was doing it in honor of Michael Clarke Duncan. R.I.P. M.C.D. One love. My Friday Buy still stands for Eovaldi. That shizz was written with a little extra passion and multiple exclamation marks.
Ian Kennedy – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks. The Stream-o-Nator actually likes his next start vs. the Tigers better than yesterday’s vs. the Marlins because it’s at home and the Stream-o-Nator is smoking crack rock.
Sergio Santos – The other day he came in for the save, threw six pitches in the ninth and was lifted for Cecil. Then on Saturday he went an inning and a third for the save. *throws up hands* And I’m not dancing.
Drew Hutchinson – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER. I don’t wish ill on anyone (yet, but Ryan Zimmerman is headed that way), but I was kinda glad to see this start from Hutchison since I don’t own him anywhere and was sick of people asking about him. Ask about Eovaldi! We’re BFFs.
Melky Cabrera – 1-for-5 and his 3rd straight game with a home run. Don’t worry, I double checked that that (stutterer!) info was from a site that Melky wasn’t the webmaster of. Definitely would pick him up if he were available. That’s right, I’m drinking my Melk. He could be more than a hot schmotato due to his lineup position on a good offense.
Mark Teixeira – To the DL with a hamstring strain. Has he been mentioned with steroids allegations at all? Is me asking that question mentioning him? Did he get crazy old, crazy fast and debilitated by injuries make him susceptible to me asking if he ever was mentioned with steroids allegations without actually alleging anything? Would any of these non-exact allegations hold up in a court of law if being sued for defamation of character? I got questions, y’all!
Brett Gardner – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam & legs. Anyone who has followed Razzball for a minute (that’s an Urbandictionary minute, which is actually a long time) knows that I’m a big fan of Gardner. This isn’t your slightly older brother’s Yankee lineup, but if Gardner stays atop it, he could be in for a nice season.
Chris Sale – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Sale on pitching, “Supply is up and demand is down.” Oh, I didn’t mean that was what Chris Sale had to say about pitching. I meant that’s what’s going on in the major leagues. There’s a giant sale on pitching because there’s so much of it.
Alexei Ramirez – 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs and hitting .455 on the year as he hits 8th. Scenario: Alexei discovers a cure for cancer, Adam Dunn burps the Growing Pains theme song. Robin Ventura ignores Alexei and makes a Vine video of Adam Dunn.
Conor Gillaspie – 2-for-4, 1 run, hitting .429 on the year. Alexei/Gillaspie is like DiMaggio/Williams in 1941 through the prism of a public urinal.
Yasiel Puig – Went for X-rays on his thumb but they came back negative. He’s now headed for an MRI. Is it me of does this cat go for an MRI every day? I’m changing his nickname from uPig to hyPuigchondriac.
Matt Kemp – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and two home runs. After a huge show on a nationally televised game, there’s not going to be many opportunities this good to sell him. As I said on Friday, don’t sell him for two Tonka trucks and a case of the clap, but I’d be actively exploring options.
Hanley Ramirez – 3-for-4, 3 runs and two solo home runs. When the Dodgers traded for Hanley two years ago, everyone was like, “Imagine what Hanley and Kemp can do together in that lineup.” Only took about 200 games to find out. Funny game this baseball. Not haha funny unless we’re talking about Max Patkin, and he was more scary funny than funny funny.
Brandon Belt – 2-for-4 and his 4th home run. Sign that it’s crazy early in the year: Belt has the 2nd most home runs in baseball.
Scott Feldman – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners (2 BBs), 1 K. When a pitcher’s K/9 is lower than his xFIP, it’s not a buying opportunity.
Jason Castro – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st home run, and the only home run hit yesterday. Or maybe it just feels that way. Bring back steroids! At least for Teixeira’s sake.
Jonathan Villar – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam and legs. Jonathan’s good for SAGNOF, then you get steals. That’s how to use Jonathan vs. then.
Jesus Guzman – 2-for-4 and his 2nd home run. I’m seriously considering picking him up to replace Middlebrooks, then again I now have Colabello. *sticks head in oven, reads from The Bell Jar*
Chad Qualls – 2/3 IP, 0 ER and the save. Fields is still the primary option at closer. At best, Qualls is in a timeshare with Josh Fields. Hopefully you don’t need to go on a three hour tour of said timeshare while getting a hard sell just for two rolls of quarters.
Tyler Skaggs – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Astros. Sorry, to qualify it with ‘vs. Astros,’ because I do like the CMA Award nominee Skaggs, own him in a few leagues, and would suggest the same for you.
Howie Kendrick – 2-for-3, 1 run and 2 steals. No joke, I think this is the first time he’s ever given more than one counting stat in one game.
Chris Colabello – 2-for-5, 1 run, 4 RBIs, hitting .391 and leading the AL in RBIs with 11. Your Chris Shelton award goes to…Chris Colabello! Or he stays hot. Hopefully since he’s now replacing Middlebrooks on my team. Have I mentioned that yet? Five times? Cool. Colabello’s production last year in the minors shows he does have pop — excuse me, Cola — but he’s also way too old to be considered anything resembling a prospect. Best case scenario, a Ryan Ludwick-type year.
Michael Brantley – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .375 on the year. I’d be over the frickin’ moon if this guy starts hitting homers and stealing bases. Over the frickin’ moon! What? It’s positive reinforcement.
David Murphy – 4-for-5, 1 RBI. He’s a guy that tends to get hot for short periods of time and this is his first multi-hit game of the year, so there’s that.
Cody Ross – Seven to 10 days away from returning. If he were an explorer in the 1700’s, he’d be 120 miles away. Depending on the shape of his horse.
Mark Trumbo – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 5th home run. What does a happy Trumbone sound like? That’s me right now.
Cliff Lee – 7 IP, 0 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks. Cliff Lee isn’t done after all. Now, let’s see you start and end a sentence with an adverb.
Chase Utley – 1-for-3, 1 RBI, hitting .458 on the year and his 2nd home run on Saturday. See what I said for Torii Hunter or 12 inches above. Or fifteen inches above if you’re trying to impress a girl.
Jeff Samardzija – 7 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners (3 BBs), 8 Ks. Some BBs, some ERs, some Ks, some IPs. Typical day for Alphabet Soup.
Ryan Kalish – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs as he continues to start in front of Junior Lake vs. righties. I love a nosh as much as the next Jew, but Kalish is no Kipnis, and Junior should play. Poor Lake, which only sounds like it would be a body of water near Detroit.
Taijuan Walker – Could return in a little over a week. In related news, I could need my inseam taken out in little over a week.
Erasmo Ramirez – 4 IP, 5 ER. The good thing about a flyer, they glide far away from your team when you throw them. Too many great pitchers around to hold too tightly to anyone in shallower leagues, so I’d consider options if I owned Erasmo.
Sonny Gray – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks. Hey, my boy! If you strikeout more guys next time, I won’t cut down your self-esteem in front of other family members. What do you say, Sonny?
Yoenis Cespedes – 1-for-3 and his 1st home run. He hit the homer off Medina, who is obviously is more concerned with managing J. Lo’s career than pitching.
Yu Darvish – 7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks as he returned from the DL. Seemed like he didn’t miss a beat, and the Japanese sometimes are a little goofy on the dance floor. Cust kayin’.
Alex Cobb – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks. Yu would return to face Cobb, right? *sticks hands in pockets, kicks rock* Super.
Doug Fister – Played catch with no issues. Thankfully. If he couldn’t play catch after playing baseball for the last 25 years of his life, I’d think he had the Memento man disease.
Ryan Zimmerman – On Saturday, a grounder was hit to him and he threw to first like Bill Bellamy, the coach for the 1998 Rock n Jock softball team, was in the crowd and Zimmerman was trying to impress Bill to hopefully replace Cindy Crawford. To say I’m not surprised Zimmerman’s shoulder is hurt is an understatement like saying it’s probably not a good idea to have state-run daycare program operate out of a prison. “Today, Floyd taught your kid how to open a lock with a sharpened toothbrush.” Zimmerman pinch-hit yesterday so he’s probably not gonna need a DL stint. The bad news, how is he going to hit if his shoulder isn’t strong enough to throw to first. Bring on the cortisone!
Bryce Harper – Took a day off to clear his head. He needs a whole day for that? He seems to have the attention span of my dog. Toss Harper a tennis ball and his head will be clear.
Taylor Jordan – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks. Seriously, if you can’t find six starters for your fantasy team, you need to start considering a different pastime’s pastime.
Ian Desmond – 1-for-3 and his 2nd home run. Of course with Zimmerman and Harper out of the lineup, Matt Williams didn’t move Desmond up, but put Kevin Frandsen in the two hole. Matt Williams: Where Brain Cells Think It’s Spelled Brian Cells.
Alex Wood – 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks. Wish I drafted him on every team. Oh, wait, I did.
Bobby Parnell – Will undergo Tommy John surgery. Hey, that’s a dime for Tommy John!
Jon Niese – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks as he returned from the DL. Niese is always a tough matchup in day games due to the long, hook-shaped shadows near the mound.
Billy Hamilton – In the preseason, when I had his projected ABs down for 350, people kept commenting that he had the full-time job, wasn’t I gonna up his projected ABs? And I was like, “No.” And they were like, “You dumb.” And I was like, “…” And they were like, “What does dot dot dot mean?” And I was like, “Dot dot dot.” And they were like, “I wish Matthew Berry wouldn’t quit fantasy baseball, he’s my favorite Fantasy Sports Writer Association Lifetime Achievement award winner. Best speech since Halle Berry at the Oscars.” Any the hoo! Hamilton’s due back on Monday.
J.J. Hoover – 0 IP, 4 ER on Saturday when he came in for the save. That proves one thing, Broxton’s voodoo doll works.
Manny Parra – Recorded the two-inning save. Due to Hoover sucking, the Reds let Parra clean up. I doubt the Reds go back to Parra, and, if they do, they’ll choose a better way to ask him because after the game Manny walked around for two hours repeating the manager’s last line to him, “Parra, wanna crack at it?”