True story: in a 15-team league last year, I toyed with dropping Corey Kluber in April. He was being dropped in multiple leagues, most shallower than mine. If you think I’m crazy as a loon wearing a “I’m crazier than a loon” t-shirt, you have selective memory about him from last year. I decided to stick it out with Kluber and he ended up winning the Cy Young last year. This true story, of course, makes me sound even more moronic than usual. It also highlights a point, Kluber likes the cold weather about as much as a chapped nipple. Or maybe he just takes some time to get going. Either way, his Aprils have been forgettable for the last two years. This year, his April is actually better than last year’s by any measure that means anything. His K-rate is up, ground balls are up (not literally), fly balls are down (literally), xFIP is way down, walks are down and his K/BB is up. You have to do some serious digging to find something that is negative for him this past month other than his ERA. His velocity is down a hair (0.5 MPH on his fastball) and his line drive rate is up (people are making better contact). Everything else is nails, and not as in Lenny “Nails” Dykstra just invested me in this mutual fund and I lost my retirement savings. There’s some worry to some that Kluber threw too many innings last year. That’s not a worry. He’s 29 years old; a jump in IP from one year to the next is for pitchers 25 years and younger. Also, plenty of great analysis here and elsewhere has shown that jump in innings isn’t the end all/be all, even if it applied, which it does not. As the weather warms up, his sensitive nips will be less dry and he’ll likely have months of a sub-2 ERA. If you can buy him now, do it. Quickly! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Brandon Morrow – Like Morrow was a gift and you’ve got eternity to think about what you do with him. What could you do with him? What can you do with him? What could you do with him? I went waiver divin’! I went rocky mountain batty callin’! I went 2.7 seconds on a streamer named Matt Shoemaker! And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter (about Devon Travis), and I watched Billy Hamilton as he was flyin’. And Hanley said someday I hope you get a chance to trot around the bases like you’re not even tryin’! To run like you weren’t even tryin’! To run like you weren’t even tryin’! Waiver divin’! Batty callin’! Devon Travis! And Hanley said someday I hope you get a chance to trot around the bases like you’re not even tryin’!
Mike Foltynewicz – Here’s what I said the other day, “Just as my fingers were starting to recuperate from typing Samardzija, here comes his brother from another Scrabble board. Foltynewicz is interesting mostly because he throws hard. Like hard hard. Like hard hard hard. Last year, he averaged 96.7 MPH on his fastball. That would lead the majors for starters this year. So, yeah, hard, ya heard? Last year that velocity led to a 5.30 ERA. Lowercase yay. So, in deep mixed and NL-Only leagues, he’s worth a flyer, but I’d like to see more in most leagues. Oh, and for those wondering how to pronounce his name, it’s like Voltynewicz but with an F.” And that’s me quoting me!
Travis Wood – Ya know, by the time you finally listen to me and pick him up, his shizz will go pear-shaped. So, let’s get everyone on board and grab him, so he can regress already.
Jesse Chavez – I was at a Radisson recently thinking about how the nicer the adjective in a hotel’s name the worst the hotel. Best Western? Bleh. Super 8? Awful. Radisson? Okay. Does this have anything to do with Chavez? No, but I just went over him this morning.
J.A. Happ – He feels like a Greene, Paxton, Taijuan, (insert preseason sleeper) that just hasn’t had the bottom fall out yet. Which is to say I’d own him while waiting for the bottom to drop out.
Jason Hammel – It’s hard to find a more exciting name on waivers than Hammel. (Assuming you’re in a 15-team or deeper league or just like hummels and he reminds you of that.)
Carlos Frias – A true test to how much you trust the Stream-o-Nator will be whether you stream Frias tonight. Usually SON is hella conservative with youngsters, but it loves Frias today. Like an unnatural love, like when the Hitter-Tron was putting a brand-new screwdriver in its nether regions in public.
Marco Gonzales – Wainwright went down so where’s the Cards next great pitching prospect? Marco….YOLO! He’s rehabbing an injury in the minors. I imagine it’ll be at least a few weeks before we see him, maybe a month.
Brett Cecil – He’s the closer in Toronto, or as they say in Canada, “He’s the closer, eh.”
A.J. Pierzynski – Knock, knock. Who’s there? Pierzynski. Pierzynski who? A.J. Are you dumb? Do you know another Pierzynski?
Nick Hundley – Marshmallow Peep these stats from Hundley: 13 HRs in 114 games while playing his home games in Petco. This summer he’s gonna be in Coors. But, you have to promise me, if you pick up Hundley, you can’t ask if you should drop him in a week. It was 13 HRs in 114 games, not in the next 5 games.
Adam Lind – I think people think I’m joshing when I say it’ll be a race between Braun and Lind for fantasy value this year. Last year, Braun had 19 homers, 11 steals and a .266 average. That was while staying relatively healthy (135 games). In 2013, Lind hit 23 homers and .288. Last year, Lind hit 6 homers and .333. No idea what happened with his power last year, but he already has 4 homers and should easily get more than 20 HRs this year.
C.J. Cron – Here’s what I said this offseason when Cron had a full-time job (before losing it and since regaining it), “Cron has power potential that shows in his 27 homers in High-A in 2012. Then in 2013 *covers mouth so you can’t hear* and, in 2014, he hit 18 homers between Triple-A and the majors (11 in MLB in 242 ABs). No idea what happened in 2013, perhaps he thought his first initials stood for Custom Juice and he got roped into this stupid custom juice craze. I miss the salad days of fro-yo. Now everywhere I go it’s kale juice this, beet juice that. What about orange juice’s feelings?! Are you people that unsympathetic?! Cron is capable of 25 homers.” And that’s me quoting me!
Chris Owings – Has 12-homer power and 20+ steal speed, and shouldn’t kill you in average. Any of that shizz apparent so far? No, not a whole lot, but it’s still early, said the calendar to the man. Is that a line from a 70’s folk song? It sounds like it, don’t it?
Luis Valbuena – I wish I was in one of those leagues where Valbuena was available. *goes to waiver wire to make sure I’m not* Okay, so I hadn’t looked before, fair enough.
Dilson Herrera – The Mets called him up and said he won’t sit on the bench while he’s up. Why do we care that Dilson’s on his way to the land of “Why Don’t You Just Like The Yanks?” and young pitcher injuries? Cause he’s got some talent. Here’s what Prospect Mike said, “Herrera already saw the majors last year – hitting .220 in 66 plate appearances but also popping three homers. The low batting average from that small sample is deceiving since Herrera actually has an above average hit tool with the potential to hit .270+ in the majors one day. Couple that with 12-15 homer power and double-digit speed for a solid option in your middle infield slot. Now if he hated Grey as much as me, we’d be kindred spirits.” Hey, c’mon! I took a gamble on Dilson in one league and would’ve added him in a few leagues if he were available. I mean, I dropped Cozart; he’ll be there again if I want to re-pick him up. He always is. Sorry, Cozart, no one really wants you. Salieri exclaims, “Yes! Oh, crap, my wig slid off. Don’t look at me!”
Odubel Herrera – I have a fever and the only cure is more Odubel!
Freddy Galvis – Literally just a hot schmotato. Like, literally his temperature in 99 degrees and he has underground stems and is high in potassium.
Carlos Correa – I don’t think he’ll be called up in the next 6 weeks, but, if I don’t list him in the Buys and he is called up, I’ll look foolish. Now I’ll just never mention what I wrote about him.
Juan Lagares – Apples and …uh…What’s a non-apple fruit? Okay, it’s apples and non-apples, but Lagares is cemented in the top of a lineup that is doing well, and is owned in 27% of leagues. Then you have Jimmy Paredes owned in 70% of leagues and is a one-dimensional platoon player. I love Paredes as much as the next contestant in an Ethel Merman Lookalike Contest, but c’mon.
Justin Maxwell – Would you believe Maxwell is starting over Belt? Get smart, Bochy!
Colby Rasmus – Geiger…let’s go!
Scott Van Slyke – Here’s the thing with Van Slyke. In order for Mattingly to move Pederson up in the order and use Yimi late in games, as he should be, Mattingly needs to figure out new way to look daft. Look no dafter –> Van Slyke as starting outfielder over Guerrero.
Josh Reddick – Go ahead, grab Reddick — that’s what she never said! Stop lying to yourself! It’s sad. You’re making your mother cry. Find a nice girl to marry.
Dallas Keuchel – For those wondering what I have against guys that don’t strikeout anyone, look no further than Greene turning to mold. If a guy doesn’t strikeout hitters, they must rely on the batter hitting balls to fielders. The problem with that is when the ball goes between fielders and becomes runs. Right now, Keuchel’s K-rate is 5.35, walk rate is 2.7 and his xFIP 3.53 vs. his 0.73 ERA. That’s obscenely lucky. He’s left 88.9% of men on base. That’s a higher percentage than that girl you dated in high school that went on to be a nun. His BABIP is .157. Basically, that says that a grounder is being hit right up the middle, being caught by a feral squirrel and said squirrel is throwing it to first to get the runner by a step. The Regression Fairies are rubbing their hands together as they watch an Ethel Merman Lookalike Contest, just waiting to pounce.
Adrian Gonzalez – I hate to repeat myself — And that’s me quoting me! Hot schmotato alert! Cyclops with a monocle! — since I did mention this the other day about A-Gon, but it was just in a sea of other blurbs, and here I can really highlight it, then point back to this in two months while using my other hand to point and laugh at everyone that held onto him. A-Gon’s stats this April: 8 HRs, .383. His April stats last year: 8 HRs, .337. His May stats: 4 HRs, .231. His June stats: 1 HR, .222. By July he was playing in a coed softball league, taking a hanging slider for a strike from Daisy Fuentes. I’m not saying I’d trade A-Gon for a baby Tylenol with “Xtasy” scratched onto it, but I’d explore options.