“‘I need a bouncy C. Not a bouncy castle!’ Billy Beane screams into his headset, when an intern interrupts him and his daughter, practicing her guitar, while they are both on a treadmill. The intern tells Beane that Jesse Hahn has a blister. The intern turns and it’s Jonah Hill. Fat Jonah, not “He doesn’t look right skinny” Jonah. Beane then looks at the camera to establish empathy and says, “Get me Sean Manaea.” Only he adds three extra syllables to Manaea’s naeame. And…scene!” The producer smiles, “That’s a great pitch. If only Manaea looks that good. High-five!” So, Manaea has been called up to start on Friday. He’s looked downright fantastic thus far. Upleft fantastic too. He’s a six-five Samoan, but he doesn’t weight 475 pounds. He could be the Rookie of the Year; his stuff is that TNT with SVU reruns. I also think there’s more downside here than, say, Berrios. He’s had moments where his command leaves him, and he becomes a 5+ IP, 4 ER guy. His delivery looks to me like he could get wild very easily. Wide range of possibility here, could be a #1 or could be a #4-5 that you only own in AL-Only leagues. Of course, I’m taking the flyer in all leagues for the chance he comes up and wows upsides our fantasy heads. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Sonny Gray – 2 IP, 4 ER, ERA up to 3.81. Well, at least now his xFIP is less disproportionate to his ERA.
Khris Davis – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer. This guy’s been so hot I could’ve sworn he had more homers. No, seriously. Ugh, even I’m not sure if I’m being sarcastic.
Justin Upton – 0-for-5 as he was moved to five hole. Hey, an 0-for-1 for each hole! Sounds like me in high school.
J.D. Martinez – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 3rd homer. I mentioned this the first week of the season, but you have the memory of a flip phone. Just Dong just dongs May thru September. Now is time to buy low, not to Joe Panik.
Jose Iglesias – 2-for-3 and his 2nd steal. For what it’s Werth, Joe Church is not related to Raise the Church Roof. Joe isn’t even Pentecostal.
Victor Martinez – 1-for-2, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer. I’ve now said he’s a hot schmotato for three days in a row. I’m done; grab him or don’t. Look at the Fantasy Master Lothario laying down the law! Or is it lying?
Justin Verlander – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.46. Now has three straight Quality Starts. That deserves a selfie in the mirror with the one Upton that excites me.
Michael Fulmer – Will be called up to take Shane Greene’s rotation spot. He was 61st on Prospector Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospect list (Berrios was 10th). From the clips I saw of him, he looked like a bullpen guy, and he delivered a pizza to a group of sorority girls who were in the buff. Hmm, maybe I’m combining a few different videos I watched. He relies on his slider, but only really commands his fastball (mid-90s) and his sausage. Damn, still combining other videos! I could see the flyer in deeper leagues, but I didn’t grab him in my 12-team mixed league and I did grab Berrios and Manaea.
Charlie Morton – Needs hamstring surgery and is done for 2016. Just call him Chazz Hamstringteary.
Jeremy Hellickson – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.81. I’m glad I own him in a very deep NL-Only league. Not because he’s been so good, but because I have no choice to start him, and otherwise I would never start him anywhere.
Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer. That Adderall he’s taking is working wonders, it took him only 16 seconds to get around in his home run trot and he didn’t blink once.
Jeanmar Gomez – 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 K and his 6th save to go with his 2.08 ERA. He’s making a strong case for the SAGNOF Man of the Year award. If you were with us in the preseason, you might remember Pianowski from Yahoo asked me if I was worried about my bullpen in our league (Jake McGee, K-Rod and Vizcaino). Of course, I wasn’t, SAGNOF. But I also picked up Gomez and Jepsen in that league and I’m in first in saves. Not saying you don’t need to draft saves, I’m just saying the basic tenet of SAGNOF is the S ain’t got no face.
Gio Gonzalez – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks and his month full of favorable starts granted to him by the Favorable Start Genie comes to an end for his next start, and we can finally see if Gio is all that and a bag of Sun Chips or a bag of Sun Tzu quotes that make you want to punch someone.
Andrew Cashner – 2 2/3 IP, 3 ER. I was thinking that if the Padres picked today how they’re going to line up their playoff rotation, it would be like someone who is losing every election choosing a running mate.
Matt Kemp – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. It’s funny (not funny) that anyone pitches to Kemp. Wait two batters and you have Brett Wallace, who looks like his face is smushed against glass. If anyone owns Wil Myers (1-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer) due to my rankings, I apologize. I mean, he hasn’t been bad, and I wouldn’t drop him, but I really don’t want any Padres hitter. They look like the sex offender softball team. I.e., the guys that prisoners don’t even want to play with.
Brandon Belt – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs, hitting .307. A poor man’s Goldy. Yeah, I said it. I will call him, 14 Karat.
Matt Duffy – 3-for-4, 3 runs. It was a counting stats dream for the entire Giants team yesterday. They scored 13 runs, and no homers. Bunch of dinks ‘n doinks. Dinks ‘n Doinks also sounds like a name of a Colecovision game.
Jose Berrios – 4 IP, 5 ER. Nice, roofie, right off the bat. Literally. I don’t buy yesterday’s start at all. He looked unhittable at times, then nerves got the best of him. Don’t make me tell you Kershaw’s stats for his first start. If you have Berrios, you should give him one more start, at least.
Byung Ho Park – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .241. Can we get a ruling on whether Korean Ho’s are capped, hyphenated or lowercase? I like to think Ho’s aren’t hyphenated, but they do tend to rely on others. It’s not like someone can be isolated and be a Ho. You don’t think Matt Damon in The Martian was a Ho, do you?
Eduardo Nunez – 1-for-4 and his 5th steal, hitting .392. I wouldn’t defrost Ted Williams’s disembodied head just yet, but I do have to wonder why Nunez doesn’t play every day. Definitely a hot schmotato when he’s out there.
Danny Santana – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI and his 2nd steal as he hits leadoff, hitting .360. Dannys Antana is a hots chmotato!
Josh Tomlin – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 1 K vs. the Twins. Sano is good for three Ks, and this schmohawk gets one. Since I was watching Berrios’s start, I saw most of Tomlin’s. This was the pitcher people were asking why isn’t the Stream-o-Nator higher on? Doode’s the epitome of mediocre.
Jose Abreu – 1-for-5, 1 run, hitting .190. I swear to you, he seems to be 0-for-2 before games even start. Are we sure the scorekeepers aren’t messing with him? Yesterday, Abreu got one whole hit. Should change his name to Juan-Hit Abreu. Is he swinging with a bat that has a cartoon hole in it? Could someone check and not just slough me off? I won’t be sloughed!
Marco Estrada – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.92. Member when the Jays just rehabilitated the bats of castoff 3rd basemen? SAT Question Alert! Jose Bautista is to Edwin Encarnacion as Marco Estrada is to I have no idea. Ugh, I should’ve used Kaplan Prep.
Pablo Sandoval – His shoulder inflammation is fading. Dr. James Andrews will see him on Monday. Luckily, Andrews just expanded his office.
Dustin Pedroia – 3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homers. Kansas sang it best, “All they are are balls Dustin hit in the wind.”
Aledmys Diaz – 2-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting .475. And, yup, he’s still batting eighth in front of the pitcher. Incredible. I swear, if I hear some schmohawk talk — schmotalk? — about how he’s hitting eighth because he’s more comfortable there, I will lose my shizz. Oh, and if you don’t pick him up, you’re just as bad as Matheny.
Stephen Piscotty – 4-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs and his 1st steal. Ya know, maybe Piscotty does know.
Adam Wainwright – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. Patrick Corbin – 5 2/3 IP, 7 ER. One guy I never want to draft, and one guy I never want to see on my teams again. Maybe Corbin can figure his shizz out, but right now he’s unownable. I’m doing The Good Riddance Dance (not a stutterer!).
Paul Goldschmidt – 1-for-3 and his 6th homer. Au Shizz!
Brandon Drury – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Fun fact! You can’t say Drury without sounding drunk. “Where’s the keys, Drury?” “Are you asking Drury something or are you asking if the keys are in the drawer and you’re drunk?” Oh, and Drunk Drawer is hitting over .400 in the last week. Hot schmotato!
Yu Darvish – Will begin rehab on Sunday. 50/50 chance the rehab is Gamblers Anonymous.
Martin Perez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.20. His walk rate and xFIP are higher numbers than his K-rate. That makes me want to put water in my mouth so I can do a spit take.
Alex Rodriguez – 3-for-3 and his 3rd homer. 690 career blasts! Or 17 off PEDs. He could still get to Bonds’s off PEDs mark of 34 homers.
Matt Harvey – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 4.76. After the game, Harvey asked a group of Eskimos to build an igloo around his shoulder, and Terry Collins called him a drama queen.
Zack Cozart – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer, hitting .397 on the year. After the first game of the year, JB asked me who I was eyeing and I mentioned Cozart was hitting leadoff and JB sarcastically said, “Yeah, one whole game.” I never forget like a scorned Puerto Rican chick. I am Rosie Perez.
Jon Moscot – 5 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, but left the game with shoulder soreness. Damn, Moscot, that’s just grape!
Chris Tillman – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.24. Under-2 ERA at home so far, even though this game was not at home. Relevant! His next game is a negative on the Stream-o-Nator but it is at home and the Yankees don’t scare me a ton on the road. Half of their lineup can’t take their tempur-pedic beds with them.
Joey Rickard – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer. He’s still hitting leadoff. Well, hitting is a bit of a stretch. He has three hits in a week. Joey, you couldn’t even punch your way out of a kangaroo’s pouch with that!
Matt Moore – 7 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.66. As I said previously, assuming Moore’s ratios aren’t lying, he’s worth owning everywhere — 9.8 K/9, 2 BB/9, 3.14 xFIP. Give me Moore.
Justin Nicolino – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 2 Ks. This Justin… *newspaper spins out* Zoinks! The Dodgers must not have been able to figure out if he was throwing 88 MPH fastballs or really fast knucklers. I wouldn’t go near Nicolino unless I were trying to quit smoking.
Jose Altuve – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. This guy keeps hitting tape measure shots! In other words, he’ll come up to bat, the umpire will measure him to make sure he’s tall enough to bat, then he’ll hit a home run.
Collin McHugh – 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 6.65 vs. Hisashi Iwakuma – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 4.65. This was a matchup billed by you as, “At least I have some safe pitchers to help my staff of Taijuan, Raisel and Kenta Maeda.” You in March, at least.
Robinson Cano – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer. That homer was only supposed to be released on Tidal, and now I’m suing.
Ketel Marte – 3-for-5, hitting .400 in the last week, and now batting leadoff. Yes, grab him. Yes, right now.
C.J. Wilson – Said he’s eyeing a mid-June return. He then shook his head and dandruff fell in such a way that the reporters said it was like they were in a giant snow globe.
Nicholas Tropeano – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.11. Go to the Tropeano and hit the jackpot! Which, in his case, is avoiding his 5.00 xFIP.
Eric Hosmer – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer. Didn’t take long for that trade I made to bite me in the ass. Oh, wait a second, I was the one that got Hosmer. That’s right. Dur!
Jarrod Dyson – 1-for-3, and his 3rd steal, hitting .333. You don’t want SAGNOF? I don’t know you. No, seriously, why are you standing in my bathtub with the lights off, I don’t know you.
Andrelton Simmons – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer. This guy is out of this world! On off days, he heads home to his planet that he’s named after. In the UZR Galaxy.
Joe Smith – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 1st save, because Huston Street had an issue with his side. That sounds very oblique! Next thing you know, Street will be closed, and everyone will be detoured through Smith. If you need saves, and who doesn’t? Grab Smith.
Gregory Polanco – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. He’s lost about 12 at-bats this year from poor lineup placement. All twelve of those at-bats would’ve been homers. My angel, Clarence, showed me!
Nolan Arenado – 3-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. *sprays Aqua Net on my hair for ten minutes, sprays my dog with hair spray for ten minutes, tosses the bottle to Cougs* Torenado — incoming!!! Protect your coif!!!
Trevor Story – 1-for-6 and his 9th homer, hitting .241, which is down about hundred points since I told you to sell him. Some people have actually started asking if they should drop him. That’s a bit much, you can sell him still or hold him. A number two hitter with the occasional homer and steal in Colorado is worth owning.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-7 and his 2nd homer. There’s gonna be months in the summer when the ball is flying out of Coors that you think Parra is a top 20 outfielder because he will be.
Jorge de la Rosa – Headed to the DL with a groin strain. Jorge said, “Me not so la Rosa.”
Charlie Blackmon – Played nine innings yesterday in High-A Modesto. He’s the first Blackmon in Modesto ever.