Immortality smells of Chucky Cheese because that’s what Carlos Rodon was throwing last night. *wavy lines* Chyron: A Few Days Ago. “Skip, I don’t think I can go. I mean, I can go…But not like that.” It was Tuesday, and Carlos Rodon had an upset stomach, unable to pitch, but what he was really doing, what no one knew at the time, he was getting out all the runs he had in him. *wavy lines* Chyron: Present Time, uh, Yesterday. Early in the game, Rodon was working a slider, but not darting it hard and high and past people. The Clevelanders were making contact. Struggling, weak contact, but it was there. Then, as the game progressed, Rodon began to get as loose as the buttons on his jersey, and the high Chucky Cheese began to whip past hitters. He was feeling it. By the end of the 8th, a perfect game within his grasp. Strikeouts began to pile up, and 98 MPH Chucky Cheese hitting the upper quadrant of the zone. One out in the ninth on a close play at first, then Roberto Perez dug his left foot in, but he dug it in too much! An offspeed pitch in the dirt hit him. How is it not in the unwritten rules rulebook for Perfect Games that a guy can be hit in the 9th to break one up? So, Rodon’s final line:  9 IP, 0 ER, 0 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at zero, and give him the AL Cy and let’s stop playing games. He’s always struggled with command in previous years, and I don’t think we can say those problems are completely in the rearview, but you never know when a guy turns the corner. The stuff, as they say, is there, so, yes, I’d pick him up in all leagues just to see if this isn’t a complete fluke. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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You could help us both a bit here by imagining the standard intro about 2020 being weird for minor leaguers. Unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. Well, I guess I was in grade school during the strike that stopped the Expos’ title run. I remember sitting in music class thinking about Steve “The Scab” Reed. That’s when I learned what a scab was. But you couldn’t just scrape ole Steve Reed off that wound and fling it in the garbage. On no, he hung around for a little longer than anyone wanted, a coagulated reminder of the strife that brought on the steroid era. Though that shutdown was much shorter on the minor league side, young players’ timelines were similarly wonked up back then, I suspect, but they persevered, and so will some among this covid-complicated crop.

Here’s a refresher link to the Top 100 Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball.

In this space, I’ll bid farewell to the prospects on their way off the lists as we head into mid April and discuss my thoughts in building a new list for May.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome back, Razz faithful. We have the first week plus in the books. And of course, there’s a LOT to talk about and a lot to overreact to… as well as gloss over. Yes, all the things. There is nothing quite like the drug that is April baseball. I call this the NyQuil and Naquin update because there are many well-known and well-thought-of bats that are still asleep *glares at Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on my bench* and other lesser-known bats starting the season loudly, like Tyler Naquin (Raise your hand if you saw that coming. No you didn’t, put it down!). So rather than freak out let’s relax like Frankie. Pull up a chair, breathe, and take a dose of the no-playtime, slow-start, whiffing, choking, groundout, hit-into-double-play, bad BABIP, so you can roster medicine.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ramon Laureano is running angry about his 2020 season. After an .853 OPS over his first two seasons with the Athletics with 20 total SBs, Laureano saw his OPS plummet to .704 and accumulated only 2 SBs in 2020. He’s already more than halfway to his season-high 13 SBs. 

Is this for real? Yes, to an extent. He’s projected for 131 SBs if he plays 150 games this season. Thems Rickey numbers! The (current) Athletics organization is notorious for not stealing bases, but Laureano has the speed and while he doesn’t have an elite walk-rate — his 81% contract rate paired with his legs can help him get on base at a decent rate. The only thing that could stop Laureano is an injury. In his young career, he does seem to be slightly injury prone — already dealing with a jammed wrist early this season. 

Below you will find the stolen base leaders so far this season. For each of the players included, I’ve highlighted their sprint speeds and their xwOBA. xwOBA is an indicator of a batter’s skill based on the quality of contact (incorporating exit velocity and launch angle,) the number of times they made contact while excluding the fielding result. There are 22 players who have stolen 2 bases, but I’ve chosen to highlight 7 of the interesting players that popped out to me. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome everyone, hoping the first two weeks of the baseball season has treated you well. I for one am excited for the first evening Wednesday main slate. It is currently slated for 7 games but the Baltimore game looks bleak.


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Please, blog, may I have some more?

The bomb to right-center, his fourth homer of the year, wasn’t even the most impressive thing Shohei Ohtani (3-for-5, hitting .364) did yesterday. He beat out a single to short with a sprint speed of 29.5 ft/sec. That’s the 5th best Sprint Speed this year, just a bit better than Ronald Acuña Jr. Uh…*looks around for forty-five minutes, looks back*…Is anyone else seeing this? Can Acuña, serious question, also throw 101 MPH and have an under 2.00 ERA? Yo, is Shohei Ohtani really Roy Hobbs? ACKCHYUALLY If you had Roy Hobbs hit a 460-foot homer, beat out a grounder to short and pitch 101 MPH speedballs, you’d be like, “I appreciate the love story, and the friendship he built with the cross-eyed bat boy that he saved from a burning supermarket, but the baseball stuff isn’t believable in this movie.” Ohtani is not believable. That’s it. He’s one of the best baseball players ever, tools-wise. Truly not believable how good he is at each tool. Unfortch for fantasy, the Angels insistence on him pitching is hurting his overall fantasy value. Sorry, I’m not being a giant idiot. I mean, I might be a giant idiot, but not in this case. You miss a game or two each week as a hitter, and your stats are going to suffer. Hopefully, he has three months’ worth of Rich Hill blisters and can’t pitch all year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re less than two weeks in to the 2021 baseball season, and already player values have been changing all over the place.  Deep-league names that we were talking about weeks ago — and who were completely off the radar for most fantasy owners then — have shot up ownership charts.  Guys that weren’t even drafted in many or even most NL or AL-only leagues suddenly have medium/mixed-league numbers.  In CBS leagues, Yermin Mercedes is now an 80% owned player.  Akil Baddoo went from 18 to 68 percent in one week, Cedric Mullins from 20 to 60%.   And in perhaps in the most extreme deep-league rags to standard-league riches story of the young season, Tyler Naquin’s ownership went from 1% to 82% in one week.

So, what’s a deep-leaguer in need of lineup reinforcements but facing a picked-clean waiver wire to do?  I’d say re-group to the changed landscape, and keep looking in case more hidden gems emerge.  There may not be anyone out there who’s going to give you a first-week Tyler Naquin level of production (he’s on pace for 90 homers, 252 RBI, and 18 stolen bases, by the way… so, uh, pretty sure there’s a bit of a cool-down coming at some point), but let’s look at a few names to see if there may be someone who can fill a temporary hole or give you a small deep-league boost.  We’ll go from most to least owned, starting with those that may be available in medium-deep leagues and finishing with some ultra-deep league 1-percenters.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man. It’s bad out here guys.

Oh Jesus, what even is an oblique?!

It’s okay little buddy, relax. Nobody knows what an oblique really is. Some kind of triangle I think. But damn they love to get injured lately, huh? I mean, c’mon we’re talking dynasty here, we’ll just wait until our competitive window opens in 2025, right? WRONG! But you better be prepared, son.

Do you think it’s bad now? Wait until AA and A ball get rolling. Not to be the bearer of bad news, predicting some massive bloodbath across the league but… I’ve seen Nicky Lopez starting in shallow redraft leagues. Poor, poor souls. Please say a prayer for your local Middle Infielder. Or better yet-

Buckle up and hit that waiver wire bucko, we’ve got leagues to win!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We all thought things would be better in 2021, and if you drafted Just Dong, Zombino Overlord, you might be right. However, for the rest of us, our pets heads are falling off. First Eloy, then Tatis, who’s next Old Testament Baseball God? Why must you steal our joy day after day? We turn our weary eyes to you oh Akil Baddoo, can you be our 2021 Chris Shelton savior, or am I mixing up Tyler Naquin and Baddoo? Yeah, I definitely am, but it’s okay because Grey and Ralph….errr I mean Geoff are back with more weekly fantasy insights to help you finish a strong third in your league! It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Podcast!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last week wasn’t really enough to call a week, at just four days, with a couple of those being partial days.  This week, we’ve got an actual week’s worth of data to work with and it’s starting to feel like the grind of the season is upon us here in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  That means maximizing those empty roster spots at every opportunity, hoarding all the potential closers (and racing to the waiver wire when one gets injured or demoted) and streaming starters like it’s your job.  Even still, you may be sitting near the bottom of the league standings.  It’s OK, we can all take a deep breath and repeat the mantra, “It’s still early”.  Everyone wants to be leading their league after the first week, but only one team can.  I always dream of going wire to wire, but it’s a long season, there is plenty of time to win these things.  Marcell Ozuna won’t hit .125 all season, he has to hit a HR eventually, right?  Just in case, let’s form a prayer decagon, shall we?  Let’s take a look at which RCL teams are getting an early jump on their league standings thanks, in part, to streaming and batty-calling their butts off:

Please, blog, may I have some more?