James Shields was traded to the White Sox for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr. I remember well his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. (yes, they are both juniors; not at all confusing). I remember Tatis because he was the reason back in 2000, I said on my Geocities site, Fantasy Baseball and Neon Green Backgrounds, the following, “The Cardinals won’t bring up Albert Pujols because they have Fernando Tatis. Let’s just be grateful we made it through Y2K with all of our AOL emails intact. I got this forward from my uncle that is hilarious! Also, I think JC Chasez is easily the best singer in NSYNC. Justin Timberlake? More like Give-Me-A-Timberbreak!” Wow, that didn’t age well at all. So, the Padres finally listened to me and attempted to get younger. No idea about this Tatis; he’s so young he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet — and Carson Cistulli has a Wiki page longer than Harriet Tubman! Elsewhere, Erik Johnson becomes an NL-Only add, but his wonky control leaves him a streamer for now in mixed leagues. As for Shields, leaving Petco + aging pitcher who hasn’t looked great for over a year now = Aged Balsamic. Hmm, math’s off there, was supposed to equal risky bet for mixed leagues with increased win potential and decreased ratios. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Jose Abreu – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer. I feel like I’m a 6-year-old and was just told Santa is real, as in a real person who I watched leave Macy’s and sit in his Toyota Tercel for twenty minutes, crying. Only realizing later that he was crying from joy that he won $20 on a scratch-off ticket. See, there’s a mild happy ending with Abreu, but it’s been thoroughly depressing getting there.
Jose Quintana – 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 2.58. The Regression Fairies know someone who went to visit Richard Simmons in the hospital, their motto in life is “Eat, Pray, Love with Pride,” and they will trounce your ratios.
Todd Frazier – 1-for-4 and his 18th homer. He left the city that made him famous this offseason, and it didn’t seem like he could succeed elsewhere, but then Frazier put up some witty title cards between segments, and you need to Crane your neck to watch his homers.
Justin Verlander – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.97. He had an ERA of 3.16 in May, and his K-rate is 9.6 with a 2.6 BB/9 and a 3.84 xFIP. In other words, he’s a solid number three fantasy starter with a hot wife-to-be. He’s like a modern-day Chuck Finley. Hopefully, Kate doesn’t start taking krav maga classes.
Cameron Maybin – 1-for-3, 2 runs, hitting .414. Isn’t he overdue for an injury?
Mark Teixeira – Hit the DL with articular cartilage tear, which sounds like it could knock him out for months if not the year. Chris Parmelee, which is Chris with cheese in Italian, was called up, but Rob Refsnyder stands to gain the most playing time. Refsnyder is your standard Yankee prospect. Not very good, but you’ve heard of him because of the Yankees. In 300 ABs, he’d be looking at around 8 HRs, 6 SBs and…What did I miss? I totally fell asleep. Nothing? Cool.
CC Sabathia – 5 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners (6 BBs), 5 Ks, ERA down to 2.58. His cutter usage prior to this year never exceeded 3%. This year, he’s thrown it 28% of the time. His fastball has gone from overpowering to batting practice, but he’s reduced its usage from 56% to 36%. This correlates to effectiveness. It doesn’t correlate to a 2.58 ERA. He’s likely around a 3.75 ERA pitcher who’s getting lucky on homers. So, am I buying? Not really in 12 team mixed leagues and shallower outside of streaming. The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, and I wouldn’t go near him. Now, ignoring everything I just wrote, here come the Sabathia questions.
Brett Gardner – 3-for-4, and 7 for his last 12, hitting .237. Has been pretty meh for the season, but could be finally coming out of it. He does have five homers and 10 steals on the year. If he gets to 15 HRs and 25 steals, it wouldn’t be a bad season, and he’s not that far from that pace.
Kevin Gausman – 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.52. Solid start, but ask his owners how much fun it is to start him game after game with bad matchups. Ooh, that gives me an idea. A fantasy baseball hotline where you can call guys who own a player you’re interested in. “Hey, I’m thinking about trading for Chris Archer. How’s it been owning him?” “Do you have five hours?” “You need that long to explain?” “No, but I’m looking for a friend to watch the game with me. Bumble Friends suck.”
Jonathan Villar – 0-for-3 and his 21st steal, after a slam (5) and legs on Saturday. I love this guy so much I’m about to buy on eBay a jersey of ex-Brewers pitcher, Carlos Villanueva, and alter the last name on the back! Well, I love Villar, but I’m also cheap and no one wants a Villanueva jersey. When I’m not wearing it, I know where I can hang my Villan- jersey! Millionaire Dollar Idea Alert! I was carrying laundry the other day and it dawned on me, there should be a coat rack that plugs into your navel that you can hang clothes from. A navel plug, if you will.
Tommy Joseph – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI and his 4th homer on Saturday. Hey, Tommy, that deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean 1st base, just please don’t sign him to a 10-year, $250 million contract.
Aaron Nola – 6 IP, 0 ER, 10 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.65. Dudes and five girl dudes, don’t ask about pitchers getting shut down early when we’re in June. So many things can happen between now and September. This isn’t fantasy football where there’s ten games a year.
Jimmy Paredes – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Time for my annual rant that is more of a bi-monthly rant. Why don’t we have players’ stats carry over in the box scores? There’s interleague games now. The Cubs and White Sox can play each other but stats don’t carry over if a player moves to a new league? This is so unnecessarily confusing. It’s like if every time a car was sold, the odometer went back to zero. Nice, Hyundai, but that shizz does not have twelve hundred miles.
Sonny Gray – 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 5.77 as he was activated from the DL. Not an easy assignment returning in Houston, but he looked solid, inducing seven ground ball outs to three fly ball, and 16 first-pitch strikes to 21 batters. Even as I thought he’d regress this year, I didn’t think near-6 ERA, so he can come down a bit.
Henderson Alvarez – Threw off the mound on Saturday and is considering his next step now. Hopefully he’s not standing on an escalator, because you only have so much time to consider a next step before you fall over like the Yodeler on The Price is Right.
Luke Gregerson – 1/3 IP, 1 ER and blew yet another save on Saturday, and the Astros were just being stubborn for stubborn’s sake. They should’ve let Ken Giles be the closer about a month ago. You traded for him so he could close! You remember that, right? Velasquez? Hello, not sang like Adele! Yesterday, Will Harris (1 IP, 0 ER) got the save, and has been insane all year (0.34 ERA), but I don’t think he gets the closer job. Giles threw two innings on Saturday and was likely unavailable. Of course, sometimes all it takes is a guy to get a save on 11 pitches like Harris did. The closerousel begins, shituation developing.
Lance McCullers – 7 IP, 2 ER, 11 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.23. His walk rate has been off-the-charts terrible (6+ BB/9) but he’s likely just rusty like kuntz.
Evan Gattis – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer. I keep saying he’s a top 5 catcher when he gets the eligibility, but he might be more like a top three.
Carlos Gomez – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 1st homer. I knew he had been bad, but didn’t want to draft him in the preseason, so didn’t own him, and had no real concept that he only had zero homers going into yesterday. More like Carlos Gomess. With that said (Grey’s making a U-turn!), just that one homer could help get him going. For how cheap he likely is to acquire (in my RCL, he’s on waivers), could be worth the flyer.
Adam Duvall – 1-for-5, 1 run, and his 16th homer on Saturday. This is funny (not funny). He’s in 2nd place for most homers in the National League. Yet, Duvall’s not owned in 50% of leagues. Lot of people disliked Tender Mercies this much?
Raisel Iglesias – Reds said he will return as a reliever to prolong his inevitable shoulder injury, but it seems like it would just expedite it. Does it really help a pitcher to have him dial it up every other day rather than resting five days between starts? Since the Reds bullpen is such an effin’ fiasco — a effinasco? — I guess Raisel could see the occasional save, but it seems unlikely and he’s still about a month away from returning.
Anthony DeSclafani – Will return on Friday. Jon Moscot will likely be bumped from the rotation. To that news, Moscot sarcastically replied, “Grape.”
Dan Straily – 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.34. Fun fact! He puts granola with bird seed and coconut flakes and calls it Dan’s Traily Mix. Straily could barely keep his ERA under 5 in the AL. In the NL? He’s a 3.34 ERA pitcher. So it goes, so it goes. The Stream-o-Nator is meh on his next start, but I could see streaming him there.
Jay Bruce – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, hitting .280 and his 13th homer. Last year, his 1st half was 13 HRs and a .251 average. 2nd half was 13 HRs with a .199 average. Bruce, doode, you a Romanian witch? 13’s not a lucky number.
Stephen Strasburg – Left Saturday’s game with a limp, but said he just cramped up during the rain delay. Where she owns Strasburg, Shirley Manson’s conflicted about her fantasy team.
Daniel Murphy – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .384. Apparently, the hypnotherapy worked to get him to believe he’s in a 162-game playoff series. “What if we tie at 81 games each?” Shh, Murphy, it’ll be okay.
Wilson Ramos – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .350. Officially moved past Buster Posey for catchers on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. His prize is proving that you should punt catchers. Yes, it’s a lame prize.
Albert Pujols – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .238. Difference between .238 and .250 is, like, one extra hit every two weeks. No actual math done here, but it’s likely accurate because I can figure out a gratuity by just doubling the tax, no matter the state. My apologies to Delaware waitresses.
Matt Harvey – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.95. Now has two quality starts in a row, or Quality Starts as they call them in baseball. I wonder if he attributes his turnaround to Dallas Diamond Page yoga like Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
Jose Fernandez – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 2.29. I’m not saying he could be even better, but I am saying that when you consider he’s still moving further away from Tommy John surgery. Move over, Fred the Furrier, Jo-Fer is the best Fer in the business.
Jeff Samardzija – 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 3.33. Can we get Samardzija back to the NL West where he excels? Samardzija is Jeff who lives at home.
Jarrett Parker – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .205. Not much here yet, outside of deep leagues, but with the Gangly Manbird sidelined for two months, Parker should see most ABs from the strong side of the platoon. Okay, the other side is Mac Williamson, so anyone on the other side would be the power side.
Michael Wacha – 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 5.16. For a guy whose last name sounds like what Pac-Man would say, Wacha’s not exactly eating up the competition.
Marcus Stroman – 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 4.82. I guess you could convince yourself that, while this was a bad start, you wouldn’t have started him against the Red Sox. Cool story, brah. He gave up 7 ER to Tampa too.
Jose Bautista – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer, hitting .229. Oh, c’mon, with the leadoff man experiment! It’s so stupid! Hey, Gibbons, a baboon would know better, said the zookeeper to no one.
Russell Martin – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer. Not totally interested in more catcher questions, but Martin’s four homers all came in the last ten games, and is likely better than that other schmohawk you’re trotting out there in your C slot. That’s catcher slot, not the probable UrbanDictionary definition of a C slot.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER. Um, yeah, see what I said for Gausman and the last fifteen AL East starters. Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox…The Rays have scored 224 runs on the year. The 2nd best team in the NL East has only 219 runs scored (Marlins).
Mike Napoli – 1-for-4 and his 14th homer, and, like, 10th homer in the past five games. Wow, he’s on another level right now. Like right above the waist, but below the chin. That kind of level.
Francisco Lindor – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. Member when Christall Young only used to give up steals? Now he’s like a charitable organization for neutering rodents, as he’s all about the gopher balls.
Tyler Naquin – 2-for-2 and his 3rd homer, and 3rd homer this weekend. Hot schmotato alert!
Corey Kluber – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.84. Just my luck that he’s cruising, and then the game goes into a rain delay. Stupid Chief Wahoo did the wrong dance.
Logan Morrison – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homers after hitting a homer on Friday and Saturday, after appearing in my Buy column on Friday. Oh, he will cool off at some point, but you should absolutely own him right now everywhere.
Evan Longoria – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers, hitting .281. Longoria, man, you’re going to ruin your reputation for being a boring guy to own in fantasy.
Drew Smyly – 5 IP, 4 ER vs. Twins, ERA up to 4.94. I had high hopes for him in March too, but what are you doing right now? You trying to prove something by starting him while he’s struggling? There’s no Purple Hearts for showing bravery in fantasy baseball.
Brandon Guyer – Hit the DL with a hamstring strain. Who’s hurting? This Guyer with two thumbs and one working hamstring!
Eduardo Nunez – 2-for-4, 2 runs and a slam (7) and legs (12). Nunez is quietly a top ten 3B this year. Not quiet if you own him. Well, quiet if you own him and you’re reading this in a library.
Byron Buxton – 3-for-4, 1 RBI, now has three straight games with multiple hits. Next up, power and speed. Wouldn’t be the first player to go to the minors, build up some confidence and return looking renewed like a your Columbia House subscription.
Kevin Jepsen – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA up to 6.26. Sigh.
Jake Arrieta – 5 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.80. Well, that’s one way to lessen the difference between your ERA and xFIP while upping your K-rate.
Javier Baez – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer. Now has two homers in his past four games (three games started), and is worth a flyer in leagues where he’s available, well, dur, of course.
Patrick Corbin – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.73. Not a terrible start, but the Cubs did have out there their (stutterer!) B lineup. Though, their B lineup is better than most A’s, including the A’s.
Jurickson Profar – 2-for-4, 1 RBI, leading off, as he played Saturday and Sunday after Odor returned. Turned out the Rangers had a different odor in mind to get rid of to play Profar. A large, odious Prince Fielder.
Edwin Diaz – Called up on Saturday. Diaz was named the Mariners top starting pitcher in the minors two years in a row (2014-15), so they converted him to a middle reliever. Um, yeah. Club decisions are like assholes…. Sorry, that should be club decisions are made by.
Nelson Cruz – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, and 2nd in as many games. Finally, the inevitable home run streak.
Jon Gray – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 5.33. I think his only bad start of his season is the one where I started, but for that to be true, he would’ve had to given up like 17 runs in 2/3 IP. Hmm, maybe that is true.
Carlos Gonzalez – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs, and two more homers (12, 13), hitting .308. Incredibly (depending on your definition of incredible), CarGo didn’t even really get started hitting homers until July of last year.
Nolan Arenado – 3-for-3, 4 runs, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer, hitting .291. Are you sure you don’t want the Torenado insurance on your home? Cause I think it might be wise. Unless you don’t care about your Hummel figurines.
Wil Myers – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. Never underestimate the 14th post on the post-hype sleeper.
Andrew Cashner – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 11 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA ay 4.78. In Cashner’s last six starts, he’s given up three runs in every start. Elias Sports Bureau said the last guy to have three runs in more starts in a row (98 starts) was “Three-Earned” McPhee in 1934, but he suffered from OCD and when he couldn’t touch the clubhouse doorknob three times between batters, he declared himself insane and retired to raise three-toed sloths.
Matthew Wisler – 4 IP, 8 ER, ERA up to 3.98. I’m going to leave my Kool-Aid on the table of this Al-Qaeda-hosted BBQ while I go to the bathroom. I’m sure no one will touch it. *five hours later* Hey, why are my legs being fashioned into military boots? AH!!!!! ROOFIE!!!!
Corey Seager – 3-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers, and 7th homer this week. The Owner Of Seager Who Was Angry At Him In April said, “Okay, my bad.”
Yasmani Grandal – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .193. Still more than I got from Mesoraco!
Trayce Thompson – 1-for-3, 2 runs, and now batting third, as he hit two homers on Thursday and Friday, then three steals on Saturday. Trayce went tres? Okay, where do I sign up? Tell me the line to get in so I can get a piece, because I’m feeling Trayce lecherous.
Clayton Kershaw – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.46. Yeah, yeah, but he walked a guy and only went six innings vs. the Braves. If there were over/unders prior to this game of zero walks and nine innings, I would’ve taken the under and over, betting my life savings that is going towards my navel plug.