The title comes from Rudyard Gamble’s novel about a young Astros prospect named Carlos Correa that is saved by a non-Portuguese man named Jeff. Jeff Luhnow is his full name, and he’s the only straight man named Jeff in the northern hemisphere. A point that Rudyard only alludes to in the 4th chapter, when he says, “As he read the Doppler radar outputs that track the ball in three dimensions, Jeff chewed corn from the cob, careful to not disturb his mustache that still had the fragrance of a dame.” The adventure novel is full of twists and turns. Correa is signed as a 17-year-old in 2012 and hits, then is called up to Single-A and hits, then is called up to High-A and hits, then is called up to Double-A–Now that I think about it, it’s pretty straightforward. Not too many twists. Correa hits everywhere he goes. According to the novel, Correa even succeeds when he comes upon a fellmonger on the Appalachian plain. Rudyard’s adventure novel first appeared in serialisation form in SABReader’s Digest underneath the horoscope. A fact that once disturbed Rudyard, but when his horoscope read, “The two-plus months of waiting are over, Correa’s being called up,” even he took pause. Any the hoo! I already went over my Carlos Correa fantasy about two weeks ago. I told everyone to grab him then, so the same holds true now. If you don’t think you have room, think of the trouble Jeff, Rudyard and Correa went through to make this possible. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Hector Rondon – What starts with M, ends in don, and wants to change their closer? If you guessed Mastadon, you are wrong! Rondon was pulled after walking the first batter of a save chance on Saturday and Pedro Strop stropped right in and closed the game. Then yesterday, Rondon was called on to pitch the 8th inning and Maddon went to Jason Motte for the save. Man, Maddon doesn’t mess around. Compare that to Lloyd Christmas McClendon with Fernando Rodney and diddling around for man muscles. So, I’d own Strop, Motte and Rondon until this is cleared up, but the Cubs might be in a dreaded committee, and they might have to cancel their planned Hectadon night, where kids under 12 get a hexagon-shaped Fathead of Hector Rondon. I think Maddon read that the Rays gave Jepsen two straight saves and said, “You think you are more out of the Box than me!”
Javier Baez – Suffered a broken finger on Sunday and is out for two months. The Sliding Doors version of Baez that was called up on Friday is going to carry my alternative universe fantasy team to a championship.
Jason Hammel – 8 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 2.76. In March, you would’ve been better off drafting all the Cubs starters instead of all the Cubs hitters. Put that in your pipe and say DUDE!
Kyle Hendricks – 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.96. I’m still a fan of Hendricks and his funky rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
Joe Ross – 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks in his first major league start. The Nats promoted the younger Ross brother (Tyson’s his older Brosef Hawkins) to fill for Fister (Gross!) and Strasburg (Thanks for the ulcer!). Joe has some decent numbers in Double-A this year (9.5 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 2.81 ERA). Scouts like his fastball and bloodlines (Leave Uncle Danny alone!), but wonder about secondary pitches, which is a roundabout way of saying he’s an add in NL-Only leagues, but not mixed ones.
Carson Smith – His man muscles must’ve dropped, because Lloyd Christmas called on him for the save on Saturday, saying that Rodney will need to clean up some stuff before saving another game. If Christmas is talking about Rodney cleaning up his locker, I agree. Right now, I’d own Smith in every league, and he could be the closer the rest of the year in Seattle. Assuming he passes whatever weird testes McClendon has for him.
Michael Montgomery – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. the Rays. I agree with the Stream-o-Nator about his next start, and would only use him if I had no choice. And if I had no choice, I’d complain about my fascist league.
Evan Longoria – Missed Saturday and Sunday with a sore wrist. The bad news is this could linger. The good news is it’s probably been lingering already and why he hasn’t had any power this year, so, in some ways, his status is unchanged.
Brad Boxberger – Has triceps tightness. That’s not a Happy Meal, Boxberger. Kevin Jepsen should fill-in for him, but, really, can anyone fill-in for Boxberger? The answer there is prolly yes, but let’s not hurt Boxberger’s feelings.
Jake Odorizzi – Likely headed to the DL with a strained oblique. Or if any diner waitresses are reading, I got an Odorizzi with applewood-strained oblique on the side.
Chris Archer – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 1.84. If I win the ‘pert RCL league, I’ll share the title with Archer and Gerrit Cole. I’m sure they’ll be so happy! That’s better than a Cy Young!
Devin Mesoraco – Will begin a rehab assignment today and could be back by the end of the week. What if he was never injured and this whole thing was like when the girl in Human Resources with the big nose said she had mono for six weeks and returned with a new nose? We talk a bit about Mesoraco on the podcast that’s coming later today. I grabbed him in one league where I had an empty DL slot, since the Reds plan on playing Mesoraco in the outfield, i.e., a guy playing outfield with catcher eligibility is nice value.
Jay Bruce – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and two homers (8, 9). A few years ago, I decided that in honor of Bruce I would change frankly to brucely. Brucely, I wish his name were Jay Frank and we can take back the entire dedication ceremony. Bruce once was good and, brucely, he’s still young (28). At 28, Bruce Springsteen just released Born to Run and was about to find a pair of jeans that he would wear for the next ten years, jeans that snugged his junk just right. At 28, Bruce Lee was about to star in his first film and Hollywood execs were about to start referring to him by his name and not Chinaman #1. At 28, Bruce Hornsby was still marinating and hadn’t even found the Range yet! Last year, Bruce’s strikeout rate was 27.3%, walk rate was 8.1% and he hit .217, and rightfully so. So far this year, he’s killing those numbers, but like T.J. Lavin would say ‘killing it’ and not like Charles Manson. His K% is 23.1%, walk is 14.4% and he’s hitting .223. Like Altuve compared to a regular-sized human, that ain’t half bad. That would be the best walk rate of his career and best strikeout rate since his rookie year. His BABIP is also its lowest since his rookie year and he should be hitting about forty points higher. His home runs are low, but his fly balls are up and unless he’s lost power, he should be good for another twenty homers after yesterday’s two-homer day. Brucely, I don’t think he’s as great as we once thought he could be, but I think he’s going to be much better than he’s shown in the last year-plus, and I’d acquire him on the cheap. It might not be too late for him to find his too-tight-junk jeans.
Johnny Cueto – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.64. Intern, I want to write a note to Strasburg. Take dictation! “Your lesson here is to emulate Cueto’s injury return.” *reads what the intern wrote* “You’re lessening here, Emily ate doe? What?!” That’s the last time I use Craigslist for anything but amateur models.
Andrew Cashner – 5 2/3 IP, 7 ER, 13 baserunners, 2 Ks. In his previous start, he set a modern-day record (that was matched the next day) when he surrendered double-digit hits and notched double-digit Ks in less than five innings. Then, on Saturday, he showed he’s just all over the shop, which might be my favorite British saying. Off your trolley and how’s your father are up there, too.
Melvin Upton – Will be activated today and should be in line for playing time if Bud Black forgets to put first names on his lineup card.
Drew Hutchison – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 4.91 and this start was against the Astros. His pitches look near-identical to last year, but he’s lost over a K per nine from his strikeout rate and, even in a game vs. the Astros, he only struck out five. Chris Carter alone strikes out twice per each at-bat. Oh, wait, Carter didn’t start on Saturday. Oh, Wait, Part II: Still Waiting, Carter did strike out twice even without starting.
Edwin Encarnacion – Received a cortisone shot. Did the Blue Jays organization decide to let go of the home run guru, Dwayne Murphy, and just shoot up the team with steroids instead? I thought you needed to do both in conjunction.
Jose Bautista – 3-for-4, 3 runs and a double slam (10, 11) and legs (3). The Hungry Man slam and legs!
Jose Reyes – 2-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI and 2 steals and five steals in the last two days. Only thing that makes sense is he had some weird stipulation that another year kicks in on his contract if he steals five bases in a weekend series vs. the Astros.
Luke Gregerson – 1/3 IP, 3 ER and his 2nd blown save. Shocked to see he only has two blown saves. As an owner of Gregerson, I see him on my team and I think, “Luke, you are my waiver wire fodder.” I think the one thing that’s stopped the Astros from making a move is they realize they’re trading one headache for another one with Chad Qualls.
Jake Marisnick – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 4th homer. I will be cyclops’ing him to see if he gets hot again like earlier in the year.
Collin McHugh – 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.34. Six innings and three earned runs is the epitome of not sh*tting so you can’t get off the pot, leaving his owners constipated.
Carlos Gonzalez – 1-for-3 and his 6th homer, and his 2nd in as many games. It’s getting stuffy in here, someone must’ve shut the Buy window.
Danny Santana – Optioned to Triple-A Rochester. To teach him a metaphorical lesson, they should make him walk. As the Twins continue to bulk up their minor league team’s playoff roster, they have to be the favorites for the Triple-A championship. Eduardo Escobar (1-for-3, 1 RBI) will take over shortstop for the Twins. I wonder if the Twins bus driver ever accidentally drives the major league team to Rochester.
Wilmer Flores – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer. All joking aside, he’s on pace for 20+ homers. Fo’reallies.
Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.42. The nice thing about deGrom. Okay, there’s lots of nice things. But the one I’m thinking about right now is how he dominates teams that he’s suppose to dominate. Nothing flaky about him, though I could see him in a shampoo commercial.
Curtis Granderson – 2-for-5 and two solo homers (7, 8). This is a Curtisy blurb.
Eric Campbell – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (2) and double legs (3, 4). Also has three games in a row with a hit. Might not be anything, but could be a very light schmotato.
Colby Lewis – 7 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. Jeremy Guthrie 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. After the game, the video of Colby Lewis vs. Jeremy Guthrie was sent to Gitmo to use for torture purposes. “Why do you show me the most boring roundball throwers?! Can’t I see Alfredo Simon? My cousin from a Latin American terrorist cell knows him. Please! No more Guthrie!”
Salvador Perez – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer, and 2nd in as many games. Thank God his paternal grandmother is in good health.
Clayton Kershaw – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 3.36. I liked Kershaw better when he wasn’t pitching well. It made him more relatable.
Yasiel Puig – 2-for-4, 1 run as he was activated from the DL on Saturday. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “Get a picture of a DeLorean, paste it onto a cardboard cutout of a car, say, “Vroom, vroom,” go back to Saturday and get him in your lineup!”
Zack Greinke – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.92 vs. Lance Lynn 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.07. In an ESPN Sunday Night Game that was billed as, “If we don’t show the Yanks and Red Sox, guess who we do show.”
Jhonny Peralta – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, hitting .321. While Jhonny’s on the phone with “Career year,” I wonder if he can pass the phone off to Jose Abreu. It’s real important he talks with it.
Joe Panik – 3-for-4, 1 run. If you don’t own him by now, I’d hate to see your reaction time if there was real reason to panic.
Maikel Franco – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 6th homer, and his 4th homer this week. Prospect Mike’s face tattoo to make him look like Maikel doesn’t seem half as silly now. Though, he could’ve just went to the tanning salon for a few days straight.
Carlos Carrasco – 4 IP, 5 ER. Sometimes I like to take a Sharpie and write Carrasco’s 2.86 xFIP on a transparency, then aim an overhead projector at my computer so I see 2.86 instead of his 4.35 ERA.
Jose Ramirez – Optioned to Triple-A. Zach Walters was called up to replace him, but, how do I say this, he’s not very good. I’d continue to stash Francisco Lindor. His arrival should side with the plaintiffs in the landmark case of sooner vs. later.
Adam Jones – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 9th homer, hitting .311. Snopes says that’s not racist.
Matt Wieters – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 1st homer. Catcher questions commence in 3, 2, 1…
Jeff Samardzija – 7 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.93. Owning Samardzija makes me wish all of my leagues had a category for innings pitched. He’s like the Souplantation of pitchers. Food’s not good, but there’s a lot of it!
Avisail Garcia – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in three games, and sixth on the year, hitting .294. If he stays healthy (relatively) all year, I bet he’s one of those players that people didn’t want to own all year but still lands in the top 40 for outfielders at the end of the year.
Justin Verlander – Reports are that he looked sharp in his final rehab start. He wore a Brooks Brothers suit with custom black and white spats.
David Price – 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.70 vs. the White Sux. At one point, Price struck out seven consecutive hitters of the White Sux’s mutterer’s row.
Alfredo Simon – 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.76. Hey, if I were the Regression Fairies, I wouldn’t mess with Simon either.
Yoenis Cespedes – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, a home run for every twelve and a half feet. Who says I’m not a statistician?
Tyler Collins – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI, and a home run in his last start, but that was back on Thursday. If a hot schmotato doesn’t play, does anyone own him? That’s my philosophy, KRS-One!
Gerrit Cole – 7 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 1.73. I don’t want to say anything negative, because you put it out there and then it happens and “it” in this sentence is an abbreviation, but Cole was very lucky to get out of the first few innings without any runs scoring.
Cameron Maybin – 3-for-5, hitting near-.450 in the last week. Hot schmotato alert!
Tyler Clippard – 1/3 IP, 3 ER and his 2nd blown save as he entered the game in the 8th inning with one out. Not sure why he was in this shituation, but it strikes me like they’re setting Clippard up to fail. Maybe the A’s have an upcoming giveaway with double-handed scissors.
Kendall Graveman – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA down to 4.83. I wonder if Graveman enjoys Tombstone pizza. Deep thoughts with Grey Albright.
Clay Buchholz – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA up to 4.07. Sigh. The reappearance of Butthurtz. Should’ve known when he was facing Reddick (3-for-4, 1 run, 3rd steal). The matchups don’t get easier next time out, but I’d try to hold Buchholz.
Rusney Castillo – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer as he bats ninth. Since the entire Red Sox lineup minus Pedroia — or the entire Red Sox lineup that doesn’t need a stepladder to get down a box of cereal — is struggling, so Rusney could quickly move up in the order. No, you’re out of order! Hooha!
Brock Holt – 2-for-3, 1 run. Has been playing every day and hitting. I grabbed him in one Yahoo league where he’s eligible everywhere, except at catcher. He’s like a Swiss Army knife when you have a player sitting. Wilmer Flores is out? Weave in Holt! Junior Lake’s sitting? Weave in Holt! Cain…Sugar!’s a no-go? Steve Holt!
Brett Gardner – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .278. On a somewhat related note, you know how they send old horses out to stud? Where do you send a guy like Gardner that came of age at the glue factory? He’s like a kid whose parents own a retirement home.
Albert Pujols – 2-for-4 and his 15th homer, hitting .258. I think Arte Moreno would eat gold-leafed caviar one less day a year for another handful of Pujolses.
Garrett Richards – 2/3 IP, 6 ER. A Richards hasn’t bombed that bad in LA without dropping the N-word.