It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
David Murphy – Hitting over .400 in the last week with three homers. If you can’t respect that your whole perspective is wack, maybe you’ll love him when he fades to black.
Denard Span – Check these two stat lines: 24/0/9/.271/5 vs. 25/1/11/.268/6. The first line was Norichika Aoki, the 2nd is Denard Dawg. Yes, the Norichika whose name pronounced repeatedly is the sound of Japanese porn music and made you as excited when you drafted him.
Dexter Fowler – Recently, Dexter has been murdering pitchers like they’re serial killers. By the by, I tried to watch Dexter on Netflix streaming, got about three episodes in and decided I liked David Fisher better when he was dating that black guy and trying to cover for Nate when he was going through a bunch of stuff.
Josh Reddick – He’s under 50% owned? Are you afraid of catching a disease from grabbing Reddick?
Oscar Taveras – I just went over him this morning. Top o’ the afternoon to you!
Garrett Jones – I’d say that he’s having a better season than Ryan Zimmerman, but at this point, Mark Ellis is having a better season than Zimmerman, so I’ll do one better. Robot Jones is having a better season than Zimmerman would probably be having if he were healthy all year.
Lorenzo Cain – To give you an idea of how much more competitive RCLs are than your average ESPN league, Cain…Sugar! is owned in 2% of ESPN leagues and 31% of RCL leagues. Pat yourself on the back. Hmm… Can’t reach your own back, huh? Okay, call your mom down to the basement and have her pat your back. Maybe it’ll help you burp too.
J.D. Martinez – He’s hitting well in the last week, but this is more of a Hitter-Tron call. Kinda like when the Hitter-Tron calls into a Pep Boys, asks them to put a carbuetor on the phone and then breathes heavy.
Yan Gomes – I could sit here — and I am sitting; on my hands, a matter of fact; I’m typing with my nose — and say Gomes has been better than, say, Carlos Santana. But, according to our Player Rater, Gomes has been better than all but three catchers.
Mike Aviles – Has admirably filled in for Kipnis. Of course, Kipnis will return soon and it depends on how you define the word admirably.
Derek Dietrich – Sometimes teams back into the right decision. Furcal looks like he’s never joining the team, which is the best for the Marlins. Too bad, David Samson didn’t have a Dietrich to fall back on to make himself look smart on Survivor.
Gordon Beckham – I feel like it’s kinda pointless to mention Beckham since I feel like everyone that would pick him up has already and constant haranguing from me isn’t going to change anything. Plus, who the hell harangues besides Aaron, and he’s ugly.
Nick Franklin – Here’s what I said the other day, “Nick Franklin has been insanely good in the minors, and not very good in the majors. The cool kids call that being Quad-A. I say anything is cooler than saying quadruple. Is there a dorky word? Try to say quadruple and sound cool. You can’t. Any the hoo! Franklin has 7 homers, 6 steals and hitting .376 in Triple-A this year. Okay, so that’s yes, please and thank you. Then in the majors, he hits around .220, but the power and speed does translate. If you have room at MI, I’d give him a flyer. He’ll either replace Miller or fill in for Hart; he shouldn’t sit on the bench. And that’s me writing something I will copy into Friday’s Buy column!” And that’s me anticipating me quoting me!
Matt Dominguez – See what I said about five inches above for Garrett Jones. There’s no girls around, you don’t have to pretend that’s twelve inches.
Cody Asche – I have a dream that one day Asche will be owned in over 50% of leagues and it won’t seem quite as crazy how much I liked him in the preseason. It’s a bit of a self-aggrandizing dream, so prolly more of a The Game-type dream than MLK.
Conor Gillaspie – He’s hitting near.-350. Um, that’s not this past week. That’s on the season. Zoinks!
Lonnie Chisenhall – He’s hitting near.-.375 on the season. Double zoinks!
Chris Parmelee – Not sure what happened to Chris Colabello, but Parmelee has three homers in the last ten days and I’d add him, though in two weeks I’ll probably be asking whatever happened to Parmelee.
Dallas Keuchel – I’m going to give it to you nice and simple like Minnie Pearl would’ve wanted it, Keuchel gets ground balls and strikeouts. Those two together equal a pitcher you should own in all leagues. It doesn’t matter where he was until this year. What are you, his biographer?
Phil Hughes – This is even simpler than Keuchel, he’s walking no one. I mean, no one. He hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 147 batters faced. Strikeout 7+ guys per nine and walk no one and good things can happen.
Trevor Bauer – Unlike, say, Hughes, Bauer has a huge upside, but with upside comes down side, young Padawan I get the feeling Bauer is going to have a few supreme stinkers like he should be wearing Odorizzi as a hat.
Gavin Floyd – This is the Stream-o-Nator pick of the week. Well, one of two picks of the week. Can there be two? Sure, why not? You’re not the boss of me. Unless you legally change your name to Razz Ball, then I will answer to you.
Ryan Vogelsong – And here’s the other one that’s got me looking at the SON, no relation to the song by TV on the Radio, which should be what our podcasts are now called.
Sean Doolittle – Bob Melvin begrudgingly named Doolittle the closer, which shouldn’t dampen your enthusiasm, assuming, ya know, you have enthusiasm about anything outside the snack food aisle at the supermarket.
Ronald Belisario – Robin Ventura named Belisario the closer, which makes you think, “Whatevs,” but he named Lindstrom the closer previously and stood by him until he hurt himself, no matter how Lindstrom looked on the mound.
Rex Brothers – Here’s what I said this morning, “(LaTroy) is still the closer, but he’s looked like, well, LaTroy Hawkins, so there could be a change in the works. Yesterday, Walt Weiss gave Hawkins the dreaded vote of confidence. The last closer to withstand a vote of confidence from his manager was Al Hrabosky in 1975. It could be Rex Brothers or Adam Ottavinowho replaces him, or a combo of Brothers/Ottavino, which sounds like it should only be picked up at BevMo when it’s marked down 75%. Brucely, I don’t look forward to owning Brothers or Ottavino, and haven’t yet grabbed either.” And that’s me quoting me!
Jeff Samardzija – Alphabet Soup has a 1.46 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. The best ratios of his career easily. Well, a 1.46 ERA would be the best ERA of anyone outside of Cross-Eyed Putnam Duckstew in 1904, who had a 1.13 ERA because it was thought that you’d turn to stone if you looked at anyone with crossed eyes, and that made it hard to pick up pitches. Samardzija has been unlucky with wins, rocking a 0-4 record, but he’s been lucky with everything else. He’s leaving 82% of men on base and a .264 BABIP and has given up only two homers in 68 innings, which is way off what he’s done in the past. The bigger problem, his velocity is down, his K-rate is two Ks off his K-rate from last year and he’s only a hair better on control. All this means is I’d sell Samardzija before he starts to regress and you’re screaming out his name like you have Tourette’s in slow motion. Saaaaaaamarrrrrrrdzijaaaaaaaaa!