Alex Cobb woke up in the middle of October and told his significant other that he was happy to be moving on from the Rays.  It was time to get out of the AL East.  Sure, Tropicana Field wasn’t unfriendly to his needs as a pitcher.  Over his career, he had a home ERA of 3.10.  But, ya know what?  It was time to move on.  Then, he woke one day in December, and told his significant other that at the Winter Meetings, NL teams would be ‘chomping on the Cobb.’  Then, off her reaction, he asked if she’d excuse the pun.  Then, one day in January, as he scratched his flip-flopped feet on the deck of his boat in the Gulf, he thought about how maybe the Rays weren’t a bad club to pitch for.  Then, in February, he called the Mariners’ front office with a voice modulator asking them if they needed a veteran starter.  Then, in early March, he bought a Korean language Rosetta Stone as he prepped to play overseas.  So, Alex Cobb signed with the Orioles, and *sighs* starts against the Yankees and Red Sox still, but now in Camden.  His starts are gonna be like this:  pitch is thrown, batter swings bat and screams, “Nailed it!”  This feels like a move that could lead to a 4.05 ERA or a 4.85 ERA.  I’m no longer interested in owning Cobb and have moved him into my top 100 starters and down the ol’ top 500 overall.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Mark Trumbo – Out for a month with a Grade 2 quad strain.  That’s the grade when all strains enjoy poop jokes and start to inherit their parents’ casual racism.  I’ve moved him in my top 80 outfielders.

Martin Prado – Won’t be ready for Opening Day.  Backdate this news to 2012.  Don Mattingly said Brian Anderson would start at 3rd base for the time being, adding, “Why did I ever shave my mustache?”  We’ll never know, Don.  I just went over Brian Anderson in my 3rd basemen to target.

Dan Straily – Won’t throw for about a week due to a tight forearm.  Everything sounds fine here:  insert room burning meme with dog saying “I’m fine.”  I haven’t moved Straily in my top 80 starters yet, but I’d be lying if I said this instilled mucho confidamente en moi.

Zack Greinke – In his last game, he “departed with a tight groin.”  That sounds like a man who had a heart attack from too much Viagra.  To clarify, Greinke departed a spring start with a tight groin.  TMI! His velocity was up in the 1st inning from his previous spring starts, but now he might miss a start or two to start the year.  Getting harder to own Greinke right now.  Hey, sounds like I have a tight groin too!

Miguel Andujar – Optioned to Triple-A to start the year.  Once Drury was acquired, Andujar was ticketed for Wilkes-Barre, who I believe also coached the Hawks.  Andujar was moved down in the top 20 3rd basemen.

Michael Lorenzen – Strained his teres major muscle near his shoulder.   The teres major muscle is the very model of a modern major general shoulder injury.  This puts the setup man job in the Reds’ bullpen firmly on the shoulders of *flips coin* David Hernandez!  Unless he chooses to punt.

Jose Peraza – Don’t wanna start giving each other sex-eyes and back rubs, but Billy Hamilton is thisclose to getting removed from the leadoff spot, and Peraza would be the logical replacement.  (Though, Jesse “The Fonz” Winker could too.)

Ryan Zimmerman – Says he’ll be fine to start the year, even though he’s going to have about a week’s worth of spring at-bats to start the year.  There’s writing on the wall here and it’s not a Banksy, it’s a giant flashing caution sign.  Don’t ask me how writing is flashing, you’re being too literal.

Ronald Acuna – Sent down to start the year.  I haven’t moved him from my very aggressive ranking in my top 100.  I see no reason why ¡Acuna! can’t obliterate all we know about how baseball is played, and change how we and future generations wear our hats.  No pressure!

Tommy JosephRangers claimed him off waivers.  To-Jo will pinch-hit and be in charge of answering the phone when Ron Washington calls at 3 AM to talk.

Jose Abreu – Left yesterday’s game with what I think was hamstring tightness, though it could be a strain because there’s conflicting reports.  Be safe, I hear conflicting reports can be dangerous this time of year.

Ryan McMahon – Doubtful to make Opening Day roster.  So, I got this bread that I call OH, and I got this meat I call EL, and I’m going on a picnic with Ryan McMahon and feeding him some EL OH EL’s.  Yo, seriously, the Rockies are stupid, yo.  Why can’t they ever play a rookie 1st baseman?  They put their hand on the Bible and swear to Todd Helton they’d only play old doodes at 1st?  I need to know!  Any hoo!  I updated the top 20 1st basemen for McMahon’s new projections.

Jorge Polanco – Suspended 80 games, and updated him in top 20 shortstops.  It is ironic that an Escobar is going to benefit from a drug bust.

Jason Vargas – Non-displaced fracture of his hamate bone on his glove hand.  Mets trainers now just need to look at their pitchers to cause harm.  Vargas had surgery, and sounds like he might miss a start or three, but should return shortly.  “Watch your modifiers!”  That’s Altuve upset at “shortly.”

Michael Conforto – Seems to be progressing quicker than anticipated from shoulder surgery.  I wanna believe in rainbows, unicorns and the Mets having positive news, but, man, this is a tough one to get fully behind.  Rushing a guy after shoulder surgery does not seem to best protocol.  Plus, everyone knows the best Protocol is with Goldie Hawn!  72 years young!  Go ‘head, wanna be cougar girlfriend!

Jharel Cotton – Diagnosed with a strained UCL.  Sounds like Cotton’s done for the season.  Damn, we didn’t see him for one Cotton pickin’ minute.  I’ve updated the top 100 starters.

Brett Anderson – Signed a minor league deal with the A’s.  Weird, usually the A’s bring in big-money free agents.  Huh.

Justin Turner – Out for six to eight weeks with a broken wrist.   Or maybe it’s seven to nine weeks.  Or perhaps four to six weeks.  Depends who you’re asking.  I’d ask a doctor, but what do I know?  This pushes Logan Forsythe into a starting role, which is good for my Tout Wars team, but bad for–Oh, why focus on the negative, right?  Okay, if we must, not only is Turner out through mid-May, when he returns, his left wrist may not be right, like an anatomical Freaky Friday.  I’ve moved him in my top 20 3rd basemen and out of my top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Also, my Fantasy Baseball War Room has been updated.

 
  1. jose says:
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    Grey,
    Coming down to my last couple picks. I need to pick two of this three junk pitchers:

    Ben Lively PHI
    Luis Perdomo SD
    Nick Pivetta PHI

    For Scoresheet we prioritize ERA and WHIP. Who do you see as the best two for 2018?

    • Moneyball says:
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      Take the Phillies. Spot start ’em against NL Easties except the Natty Nats.

      • jose says:
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        @Moneyball:

        Good point. Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @jose: Agree with Moneyball

  2. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!

    Loved the write-up!

    a. Love that Got Melk? pseudonym website!! Porge Jolanco indeed! So inconspicuous!

    b. Day 2 of the three day meetings and if day 1 was a yawner day 2=’second verse, same as the first’.

    c. My RCL draft is tonight (i.e., 03h00 AM Central European Time or CET). Anyway, it’ll be 05h00 for me where I am and suits my needs. War room prepped and ready to go.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante Galic: A. Haha B. I hear ya C. Awesome! Good luck!

      • Ante Galic says:
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        @Grey: Grey!

        Actually, there was some news to report from Kampala.

        a. In the lobby on Monday night, there was a duo (man and woman) who sang (I sh*t you not) a Phil Collins medley of all the songs from the Against All Odds soundtrack (!!) – back-to-back-to-back!!! You heard it, three times in a row the same medley! Unfortunately for me, I was only about half way through my meal so I had to grin and bear it (I know, I know #firstworldproblems).

        b. So, the news right? The same duo appeared this evening to sing….of course, the same back-to-back-to-back medley! Against all odds and against all laws of humanity they repeated the same medley (X3). ‘How could you just walk away from me, when all I can do is watch you leave!!’

        c. Then last night, an obvious prostitute walks through the restaurant where I’m waiting for my order (goat meat off the grill and french fries), scoping out the joint. And of course the only person who more or less fits her job description is me. So she sits with her legs facing me and using only my peripheral vision I notice that she’s staring at me in the hopes I look at her. I ate the rest of my meal really fast, just looking at my plate. I also made a protest to the owner of the restaurant that it’s inappropriate to have prostitutes in a such a fine establishment. So there’s that.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. Here they call them a lounge act…Are you sure the hotel wasn’t paying them? B. This sounds rehearsed. C. Hahahaha

          • Ante Galic says:
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            @Grey: Grey!

            Exactly a lounge act but really bad with vocals on top of the soundtrack. On a scale of 1 to 10 of awfulness with 10 being the worst, they were a 10, so together a 20!

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              HA!

        • regan says:
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          @Ante Galic: Shoulda took that ho down bro!

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Peraza’s outcomes seem to be all over the place depending on who you ask….either likely to be replaced by Senzel any day (if you read other sites) or primed for breakout and potential leadoff (Razz nation!). I’m with you Grey, but it’s interesting to see the range of expectations. I have a feeling it depends how Peraza starts the year. Either way, it should be pretty cheap to buy him and find out.

    • Duda want to Build a Snowman? says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: speaking of, any concern that Peraza is 0-3 in steals this spring?

        • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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          @Cram It: works for me! Didn’t know his success rate – thanks for that.

          • Cram It says:
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            @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: I don’t think he gets more than 25 SB’s and he sucks for everything else, but hey.

            • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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              @Cram It: hah! Yeah, Senzel has me worried about drafting Peraza in a situation where I rely on him to play all year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Forget me, he’s projected by others to hit .275-80 with 5-7 HRs and 24-28 SBs — doesn’t that sound more enticing to the Reds to hit at the top of the order than Hamilton?

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: oh absolutely. I love the projections. What do you think the Reds do with Senzel if Peraza gets off to a solid start?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Comes up in June/July and plays a little 2B and 3B, Peraza moves around, I think they can all get their PT

  4. Ball_Boy says:
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    Grey,
    Steven Matz k’s 9 Astro’s and they had most of their lineup in against him. Any sleeper potential or just far too fragile to bother with it? I know one game isn’t enough sample to be sold but it’s a good 1st step

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ball_Boy: I doubt he makes it out of May healthy, but always has potential

      • Cram It says:
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        @Grey:I hate you.

  5. Chris D says:
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    Dynasty trade question:

    My Tanaka, Billy Ham, and 2nd rd pick

    For his

    Puig and Samardzija

    Yay? Nay? Just right?

    Thanks in advance

    • Justin says:
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      @Chris D:

      Nay, you already have the 2 best players in the deal.

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Chris D: I’d want the Tanaka and Hamilton side even without the pick

      • Chris D says:
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        @Slappy Jack: We have re-negotiated some to this possible deal. I’m still not sure how I feel about this

        Tanaka+Mejia

        for

        Puig+Samarj+Sixto

        for the record, I like Billy but he scares me this year. I grabbed DeShields as FA in case I were to sell him, so I have a backup in place

          • Chris D says:
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            @Grey: pulled the the trigger on on that one. Thanks Grey!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Awesome!

            • @Chris D: As an added kicker to ensure you made the right deal, you get to own a guy named Sixto, now. How awesome is that?!

  6. Cheese says:
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    Grey, I know you’ve been hyping peraza a little bit this offseason, and i know it’s only spring, but any worry about 0 steals so far and 3 times caught stealing?

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      @Cheese: His success rate on SB hasn’t been stellar in the past, I wouldn’t worry about that.
      I would worry about him hitting well enough to keep a starting job all year.
      He can’t hit fastballs, changeups, sliders, or cutters, and even when he makes contact it’s pretty weak, and he really doesn’t walk much either.
      He is only 23 though so hopefully he can still make improvements

    • Justin says:
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      @Cheese:

      I’m not Grey but my opinion is solid gold. Long story, short…Peraza is a scrub. And I don’t want no scrubs also known as a busta. RIP Left eye.

  7. Buster Moon says:
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    Good time for the day Ryan Zimmerman hits the DL predictions?

    • Justin says:
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      @Buster Moon:

      Right after you draft him

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Grey: doubling down – NO Ryan Zimmerman DL in 2018! Get that Razzball T-shirt ready!

        • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: actually, RotoWear should make one of those facial hair silhouette tees (like J. Turner, Brian WIlson back in the day) of you, Grey! Mustache + IN GREY WE TRUST

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Not sure why they haven’t already!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          HA!

  8. ADAM says:
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    Need help with last keeper.
    10 team, yahoo, 5×5 (ops vs avg), 3 keeper
    1. Trout
    2. Arenado
    3. Rendon, Marte, Boegarts?

    Is gap between Rendon and marte enough to take another 3B and have a guy locked into auto spot?

  9. O says:
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    I’m in a 16 team 6×6 Yahoo league where we can keep 4 players plus a rookie with our last pick. This year I kept Machado and Goldschmidt, and Benintendi as my last player. Out of the following players, who would you target with the 2nd pick overall of the players remaining? I’m trying to combine your keeper rankings as well as your overall rankings but it isn’t so easy… Thank you for all the fine work you do.

    Buxton
    Robbie Ray
    Darvish
    Acuna
    Ohtani
    Carlos Martinez

    • FrankGrimes says:
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      @O:
      Acuna!

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @FrankGrimes: Moncada!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @O: What, you don’t like Acuna!?

      • O says:
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        @Grey:

        I thought it’d be a bit of a reach in the 3rd round but you guys have never steered me wrong.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You are my density

          • FrankGrimes says:
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            @Grey:
            Speaking of failures.
            Your boy Josh Rutledge is trying to make the Giants.
            He may suck at pro ball but his wife is Smokin Hot.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              He’d make a fine Panik backup, a Panik panic button, so to speak

          • Dubs23 says:
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            @Grey: So is this spelling mistake or a Back to The Future George McFly reference. I am desperately rooting for the latter.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Latter!

              • Dubs23 says:
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                @Grey: Boom!!! Yes!!!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha

        • FrankGrimes says:
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          @O:
          Never?? Hahha.

  10. LG Baseball says:
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    Great write up Grey!

    10 team 10 keeper H2H league and need some help with my last few keepers. I’ve locked in the following keepers:

    Trea
    Arenado
    Bellinger
    Jose Ramirez
    Rendon
    Robbie Ray
    Hoskins
    Acuna

    Need 2 more keepers from the following:
    Ian Happ, Olson, Conforto, Eloy, Calhoun

    Thanks!