What’s poppin, Razzpimples?

I won’t pretend to know what Dan Pants is up to, but y’all can call me JKJ Pants for this week! Sliding in to take the reins for this week’s Friday roundup, which is simultaneously a little daunting and rather refreshing as the bullpen writer in this neck of the woods.

Anyone who reads me knows I’m a Cardinals fan, so I’d be remiss (if only to myself) if I didn’t take this platform and run with it, giving a shoutout to Nolan Arenado as the NL Player of the Month for August. Nado slashed .365/.410/.729 with 9 HR, 29 RBI, 12 2B, and even sprinkled in 1 SB. If “great defensive plays” was a fantasy category, then the dude would be the easiest #1 overall pick in the history of the game, but alas you’ll just have to continue to make do with his #15 spot on the Player Rater. I keed I keed, but seriously, the man is absolutely killing it in 2022. And y’all were scared he wouldn’t be jack diddly without the thin Denver air to help him out. I say this as one of those who fully expected meh-esque fantasy returns for the price. Oh well, who doesn’t love a pleasant surprise? This doesn’t exactly reach back to the very start of August, but the Last 30 Days page ranks Nado #2 at the time of writing behind only Mookie Betts (and fun fact: Goldy is #3!). Ain’t a bad time to root for the Lou right now, won’t lie to you, folks.

Was it entirely fair of me to spend the intro of a Friday recap post boasting about a monthly accolade? I say yes, cuz the news dropped on a Friday! Read it and weep, suckers!

Here’s the best of the rest, for better or for worse (from Friday only, I promise):

Travis d’Arnaud – 2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI. The double dongs gave TDA #15 and #16 on the year. He hasn’t quite been the fantasy value he’s been in the past, but can’t complain too much at all about a won’t-hurt-you batting average and 16 HR from an afterthought position.

Michael Harris II – 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. So this guy might be pretty good at the baseball? He’s 21 years old and is now hitting over .300 with 15 HR and 16 SB in this first half-season’s-worth of career MLB games. I mean, 15/16 is a decent enough full season from anyone for fantasy purposes, but to have that from just 86 games? Are we looking at a perennial 20/20 player? Or more? Am I too hype on this guy? I’ll admit I focus on bullpens and just about nothing else, but I’m a big fan of what I’m seeing so far. Yes, there are red flags: K% and BB% are bad and his chase rate is even worse. But his defense is great (which bodes well for playing time), his speed is elite, and his power metrics are very encouraging. Watch this kid next year.

Rafael Devers – 2-2, 2 R, 1 RBI. Devers inched closer to .300 with this one, yet he no longer has a nice 69 RBI on the year. It’s at stupid 70 RBI now. Lame. Would like to see him draw more walks on a regular basis, so it’s encouraging to see he drew 2 BB yesterday — his 33rd percentile BB% and 9th percentile chase rate keep him from truly reaching that upper echelon of elite status in my mind. Last year he was at least 57th percentile in BB%, though every other year of his career is an unsightly blue shade on Statcast.

Jeffrey Springs – 5.2 IP, 1 W, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. This outing improved Springs’s record to 7-4 on the year while lowering his ERA to 2.62. Since June started, Springs has allowed 3 ER or fewer in all but two outings. Color me impressed.

Luis Arraez – 2-5. No counting stats but two more hits brings his season average to .319. You know what you’re getting with this guy on your team. Pads that average in roto but he’s useless in all other formats if you ask me.

Luis Castillo – 6.0 IP, 1 W, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Castillo continues his resurrection campaign, and getting out of Cincy has meant even better things coming your way. Since becoming an M, Castillo has a quality start in five of six outings and has 43 K in 37.2 IP. Annoyingly, this is only his second dub.

Jeff McNeil – 3-4, 2 R. Been on the McNeil train for years, through the ups and the downs. We’re all the way back up in 2022, to the tune of a .319 AVG. Okay fine, we’re all the way up in terms of batting average only. There aren’t a lot of runs given his spot in the lineup, and there isn’t much power like we’ve seen hints of in the past…remember that time he raked 23 HR in 2019? Oh right…that ball was a lil bit different, wasn’t it?

Pete Alonso – 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Mr. Alonso blasted HR #32 and drove in run #106. Purty good year.

Luke Voit – 3-4. Three singles, but a three-hit night’s a three-hit night. Voit still sucks though, let’s be real. More like Fluke Voit, amirite? Eh I dunno, probably injuries and stuff. Career .891 OPS and .527 SLG hitter prior to 2021. Mayhap he finds that magic again someday.

Javier Baez – 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Baez cranked just his 12th HR of 2022 and added RBIs #48 and #49. Massively underwhelming year. Freaking 1st percentile in chase rate, 4th in whiff rate, and 8th in xwOBA. On the bright side he’s…30th percentile in K% when he was just 3rd percentile last year??? Lordy. Avoid him forever.

Gregory Soto – 1.o IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Notched his 24th SV on the year, which ranks #10 in the league. Not bad for a closer on a terrible, terrible professional ball club. See? Good closers on bad teams can still kick ass in fantasy.

Gunnar Henderson – 2-4, 1 R. Ups his career BA to .417…in just 12 AB. But let’s have some fun and pace this out. His 1 HR and 1 SB (and .417 AVG) would be akin to 54 HR and 54 SB (and .417 AVG) in a full season. He’s got my vote for 1.01 next year.

Jonathan India – 3-5, 1 RBI. India was maybe the single most popular player amongst us Razzball folk on draft day despite my not landing a single share (thankfully). Seems like we all wanted a piece of those luscious locks. Obvs, injuries have derailed the breakout we all expected. Encouraging that he’s had five multi-hit efforts in his last seven, and he just so happens to be riding a 15-game hit streak, bringing his AVG up to a more respectable .267. India could very well be quite a fantasy steal in 2023.

Spencer Steer – 2-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. The MLB app is telling me this kid went to Oregon and was a 3rd-round pick by Minnesota in 2019. Before that, never heard of the man. He’s now a career 1.000 hitter after a dandy of an MLB debut. First homer was also his first career hit. Steer didn’t strike out, and he drew two walks. Barry Bonds reincarnate, obviously.

Sean Bouchard – 1-1, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. It was a day for firsts! Bouchard also hit his first career HR in this game, so he gets a little love in this here article, too.

Alek Manoah – 7.1 IP, 1 W, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Who cares if this was against the Pirates? More like Alek The-Man-o-yeah! Feels like he should have 23 W instead of just 13, but hey, still been a good year. Who’s gonna complain about a 2.48 ERA (3.58 xERA) and 1.02 WHIP? Especially from a guy in the AL East? Dude churns out quality starts like they’re hot dogs and his name is Oscar.

Bo Bichette – 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. So maybe BoBi hasn’t been the mid-1st-rounder you drafted. He’s still a 20/10 threat, and let’s not forget he’s just 24 years old. He’s gotta fix the excess Ks and lack of BBs, though. Drawing walks has never been a talent (in fact, he’s been pretty putrid in that regard), but he was at least a decent avoider of strikeouts; this year he’s just been plain bad in both areas.

Lars Nootbaar – 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Everyone’s favorite discount candy bar has been hitting leadoff for one of the best offenses in the game of late, so don’t be too fooled by his pedestrian .244 AVG this year. Cherry-picking here, but he’s got 18 R and 16 H in his last 16 G, with 5 HR, 11 RBI, and 15 BB as well. Yeah, that’s almost a walk a game, plus almost a hit a game. And you can see he’s been scoring more than a run per game in that span. Man’s still got an .838 OPS in 2022. You could do worse.

Tyler O’Neill – 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. That’s steal #11 on the year in just 85 games. For simple math’s sake, let’s call that 20 SB in a full season. Then we can call his 12 HR roughly 20 HR in a full season, so that gives you a 20/20 player. I concede that’s a fair step down from the 34/15 year he had in 2021 (in just 138 games), but that’s still a juicy fantasy asset in any format.

Jordan Montgomery – 6.0 IP, 1 W, 7 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. JoMo got back on track, looking like the ace he is, dammit! Just still can’t believe this is real life and not a dream, having gotten him for a surfer bro who runs good. Probably don’t need to tell anyone how good he’s been since donning the birds on the bat across his chest. ELITE!

Rafael Montero – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. He’s the man while Ryan Pressly is on the IL. This was Montero’s 11th SV of 2022. Been absolute gold in SVHD leagues.

Ian Kennedy – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Snagged his 10th SV. He’s committee-ing it up with Joe Mantiply and Mark Melancon.

Joc Pederson – 2-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI. Big ol’ game from Joc! Gives him 21 HR and 58 RBI on the year. Crazy he’s still <60 RBI after a 5-RBI game while Wilmer Flores leads the team with 61 RBI. These ain’t yo Giants of 2021, but they sure put a whoopin on Philly last night.

Alex Cobb – 7.0 IP, 1 W, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Cobb has quietly been quite effective for most of the year. He’s gone at least five innings 18 times, and he’s allowed 3 ER or less in all but three of those. Eight of his last 11 starts have been quality starts.

Dustin May – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 5 K. Not the best stuff from May, who was looking pretty nice in his previous two outings. We’ll see if he can get back on track next time out.

Cody Bellinger – 0-4, 3 K, 6 LOB. Lol.

Manny Machado – 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Smacked homer #25 and brought his AVG to .306. It’s a shame we can’t watch him and Tatis and Soto all do their thang, ain’t it?

Brandon Drury – 1-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Also smacked homer #25. His Statcast isn’t blowing anyone away, but he’s still been a massive fantasy bargain after everyone had basically written him off entirely. And I mean entirely. I never even entertained the possibility of maybe even kind of talking about this guy again. And he’s only 30 years old! I thought he was like 38 by now.

Yu Darvish – 7.0 IP, 1 W, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. Wizardy from Yu last night. Sometimes he just looks like a Cy Young type. Other times he just looks…pretty good. Overall, it’s been a good year. A 3.26 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 9.0 K/9 ain’t nothin to scoff at.

I do some fantasy baseball as well as some fantasy hockey here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.

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5 months ago

I read on fangraphs that Gunnar projects to be real weaksauce against LHP. There’s a lot of helium, as The Itch might say. The Itch had positive things to say about Steere. He may have some Pigeon John in him; I expect that lineup to be much improved as you referenced in your India comment. On a side note, my home league count’s HLD+SV separately, so your bullpen work has helped immensely! I must say I’m not a fan of the razzpimple, but I respect that you do you. Thank you for your work this season. I hope your around next year to help me defend my forthcoming title. (googles to see if forthcoming is a real word)

5 months ago

Love this nugget I heard last night: Since the trade, Montgomery has more wins (5) than all Yankee starters totaled (4).

Reply to  VinWins
5 months ago

Hahaha, OOOOooooOOOoooooOOOF

Reply to  VinWins
5 months ago

That one stings for Yanks fans wowww…have mostly been a Cashman fan but idk what’s going through his head the past few years!

Reply to  VinWins
5 months ago

I’m hoping for a CGSO in Game 7 vs the Yankees.

Reply to  hondo
5 months ago

Yes! Haha