My brain whenever I see Brandon Lowe: “It’s Low, right? No, you idiot, it’s like Lau! LAU! LAU! Say LAU! Which is pronounced like Low, right? NO! It rhymes with chow! It’s Lau!” Then, I compose myself and pronounce it as “Low.” Literally, without fail. I hope you do this too, so I’m not alone. It would make me feel better. Thank you. Yesterday, Lowe–Lau! But spelled Lowe!–went double ding dong, as he led-off (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) with his 27th and 28th homer. Also, in the Hooters-adjacent Tampa Bay-adjacent St. Pete’s Basilica, Kevin Kiermaier (1-for-4) hit his 4th homer; Brett Phillips (2-for-4) boogied his way to his 10th homer and Mike Brosseau (1-for-4) hit his 5th homer. Now I see why Brosseau, “Whoa.” Lowe, though (doesn’t rhyme), is repeating his HR/FB% from last year’s breakout, along with FB%, and HardHit%, but not really his strikeouts. He’s way more aggressive at the plate (O-Swing% and Swing% up), and unfortunately for him, he’s making more contact on junk pitches. Wish the average was higher for Lowe (that’s not a pun, it’s Lau not Low), but he’s established himself as a 32-homer guy with upside for 2022. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ryan Mountcastle – Could be activated from the concussion IL in the next day or so. To test his cognitive functions, when the Baltimore Baseball Club asked Mountcastle where he was, he said, “The BBC.” And they shrugged, close enough.
Matt Harvey – 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 6.25. He had a sub-2 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP since the break and then guess what happened? I grabbed him in an AL-Only league. The rest, as they say, is history best left for my therapy session.
Jake Arrieta – Signed with the Padres. Wanted to see him go to Cleveland so I can say they went back to the Jake, and then we’d all laugh and high-five me. Sadly, Arrieta going to the Padres doesn’t work for an old stadium reference. It wasn’t Jake Murphy Stadium! Guess we’ll have to call him Jake from Stale Arm. Any hoo! Arrieta sucks; not sure why the Padres signed him. Remember how Indiana Jones would grab a relic, but to avoid booby traps, he’d place down a sandbag? That’s the Padres, but with over-the-hill Cubs starters.
Connor Joe – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th homer, hitting .291. Also, in this game, Connor Joe Cron (2-for-3) hit his 20th homer. The Rockies are in Coors, because that team has zero homers on the road. Not 100% sure of this, but I am 100% sure of this, if you catch my drift.
Charlie Blackmon – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .270. Chazz Noir taking back the night by spritzing into the air, then slowly gallivanting through it. I’m reminded that the only month Noir hit in last year was August, but I don’t think he waited more than halfway through it.
Max Kepler – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, hitting leadoff again. He also has two homers in the past three games. These are very bare minimum endorsements.
Ryan Jeffers – 1-for-4 and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in his last two games, but not the club’s. I’d play him over Garver, but I’m not sure the Twins will. They have a special place for Garver after he went down screaming, “My twins!”
Bradley Zimmer – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (5) and legs (9). Hard to be super enthused when a guy takes 60+ games to do what is a good week from Fernando Tatis Jr., but Bradley ain’t Fun. He’s a side vegetable on a super deep team.
Carlos Rodon – Threw from 90 feet and Rodon said he felt “very good” adding “because I was never really injured.”
Luis Robert – 3-for-4, 3 runs and a slam (3) and legs (5). If he took much longer to come fully back, I wouldn’t have held it against him, but now I just want to hold myself against him.
Frankie Montas – 5 IP, 3 ER, 11 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.04 vs. Dallas Keuchel – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 4.48. Frankie Montas and Dallas sounds like wildly poorly casting choices are being made for a new J.R. Ewing. Also, I’d use Streamonator for both of these guys.
Kevin Gausman – 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.40. “Oh, Gausman is just going to steamroll over the Mets” is what I thought before the game. “This is why I don’t bet on baseball,” is what I thought after the game. “You bet, like, your entire life on projecting baseball,” is what I think after that.
Jonathan Villar – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (14) and legs (10), hitting .249. Was a little bit surprised to see he only had 10 steals. Father Time can still hit for power, but he does not steal many bags.
Gio Urshela – Ran at 80% effort. I’m assuming someone asked him to ran at 100%, otherwise this is a weird injury update.
Gerrit Cole – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.04, as he was activated from the IL. He missed three weeks with Covid-19. They should change it to Covid-(number of days you miss). So, you can be like, “I had Covid-4,” and your friend can be like, “Wow, you got lucky. Susan had Covid-15, and I had Covid-26.”
Joey Gallo – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 29th homer, hitting .215. All my relatives in Staten Island are loving this Joey Gallo guy. They’re sending texts like, “Hey, this guy Joey is good,” and “Gabagool.”
Justin Upton – 1-for-4 and his 16th homer. I was thisclose to making Upton my batty call yesterday, but I ended up going with Brett Phillips who homered as well, so I don’t sweat Upton. Either way, Upton’s the type to get crazy hot, so might be a good time to grab him.
Max Muncy – 1-for-2 and his 26th homer, and his 3rd homer in two games. If you had to personify what a home run looked like, I’d choose Muncy. Like an angry barrel.
Steven Brault – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.84 vs. Justin Bruihl – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.86. This pitching matchup was like Michael J. Fox at the prom with two dates and changing his tie to go see different girls, but it was one guy shaving and changing his name only slightly between the first half inning:
Cole Hamels – Hit the 60-day IL and the Dodgers grabbed Neftali Feliz in his place. Don’t check the date on your Casio watch. No reason to think you accidentally fell into a worm hole. You’re safe and sound, right back here in 1955.
Pablo Lopez – Threw a batting practice session on Monday. Cool, he should be up to “throwing in a Home Run Derby” by September.
Braxton Garrett – 3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 5.03. First time I really watched Garrett yesterday, and he’s the type of guy who any of us could face. This isn’t a Glory Days-type scenario either. He’s got the least intimidating stuff I’ve ever seen.
Jazz Chisholm – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. *plays a complex number on a French horn* Jazz!
Isan Diaz – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer, hitting .194. Sometimes I think about how I liked Diaz when he was first called up, then I turn to the mirror and call myself stupid.
Touki Toussaint – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.01. Streamonator liked this start, and doesn’t like his next, so goodbye. At this point in redrafts, I’d do that with 75% of starters in shallower leagues.
Freddie Freeman – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 26th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, hitting .294. He was hitting .260 as late as July, and, if I’m being honest, I almost considered bringing out his 31 years of age as a reason why the decline was starting.
Aledmys Diaz – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .305. Speaking of Bregman on milk cartons, Diaz is hitting .415+ in the last week. The schmotato continues.
Adalberto Mondesi – Dealing with scar tissue in his oblique. You know that form you have to fill out when you go to the doctor? “Do you or anyone in your family have (fill-in ailment)?” Everyone in Mondesi’s family says “Yes” and writes his name down.
Aristides Aquino – 2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .216. Don’t sleep on the GGOATOAT, you don’t want to get that kind of horny.
Jose Barrero – 0-for-1, 1 run, as he came in as a pinch-hitter. With Jesse Winker hitting the IL due to the interstate running up the side of Florida–I’m being told an intercostal is not an interstate. Either way, Winker is out for a few weeks and the Reds called up Jose Barrero, formerly known as Jose Garcia, formerly known as Jose Garces, former Iron Chef–Okay, being told he is not a former Iron Chef. Jose Barrero is a shortstop so trying to figure out how or why the Reds would promote him and not, say, Nick Senzel. My only guess is Senzel’s people claimed the Reds were manipulating his service time in 2019, which they were, and now they seem to like to eff with Senzel. Free Nick Senzel! He’s Senzelational! Any hoo! Jose Barrero looks great: 11/7/.305/.389/.584 in 40 games of Triple-A, and he’s a five-tool guy who I looked to grab in every league, but had no need in the leagues where he was available, and was gone in the deeper ones. Would watch to see how the Reds play him, he could platoon, which takes a little air out of this Cuban raftee.
Jonathan India – 3-for-6, 2 runs, 5 RBIs and his 16th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. And that ball by India got out in a curry.
Joey Votto – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .284, and a milestone hit. With Joey Votto’s 2,000th hit, it was weird seeing official MLB accounts recognize that Pete Rose existed. Of course, those mentions were in between sponsored posts about MLB and Barstool potentially teaming up to create a new type of broadcast with a focus on in-game gambling.