At Razzball, we eschew paying for catchers. As Grey so eloquently wrote in his Top 20 catchers, the numero uno catcher was “The cream of the crap.” They are more susceptible to injury, take days off, and the best are not even top 50 hitters for fantasy. With that said, leagues require you to roster one, while some are sadomasochistic and dedicate two roster spots to the position. Sure, you can say F it and leave those spots empty if you so choose, but then you’d be the modern day T-Rex, whose arms and hands shrunk due to hubris. At least that’s my non-scientific conclusion. If there are any paleontolgists in the house, comment below. Anyways, over the past seven days, Danny Jansen of the Toronto Blue Jays has been the #5 hitter and added in 6.4% of ESPN leagues. Trash or treasure?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The Jurickson store called and they’re out of you so please report back to your nearest Jurickson store, because the A’s called up Franklin Barreto, who was named PCL Player of the Month. I just want to see Barreto on top of a Caprese salad, and then I’m going to dream I’m in Tuscany with Diane Lane and will hang a Do Not Disturb sign from my door for three whole minutes.  “Diane, did you enjoy that as much as I did?”  “I’ve never been satisfied.  Can I call you Hugh Jack-in-the-Box?”  “I’d be honored.”  Then we return from Tuscany and get bogged down in bills…stress…PTA meetings, but we’d always have three minutes in Tuscany to remember fondly.  In June, Franklin Burrata collected nine homers, three lasagnas and 13 doubles, and he hit .387 with 32 RBIs. His overall minors numbers were 65/12/48/.296/13 in 277 ABs.  He’s now on his 3rd call-up to the majors, and each time his Ks have skyrocketed like the fireworks that Diane saw in her eyes after our three minutes.  Franklin Barreto will be the A’s regular second baseman moving forward, and Bob Melvin is excited to see what he can do. I’m with Bob!  Which is what I say in every south Florida massage parlor, after explaining I want Lui-Sue to pretend she’s Diane Lane.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

From the journal of Jim Morrison, he wrote about an encounter he had with lizard wearing a crown of thorns that he alternated calling, Jesus Luzardo and The Luzard King. Here, I wish to transcribe Jim’s musings, “Today, I rode with a large Native American man to a Wawa to get some beej ferky (sic). The Native American man told me about the many lives he had lived and how he never trusted rookie pitchers. He recounted a story about how he traded all his pitchers for Chris Paddack, due to a great April in 2019.  This was confusing to me, since this was 1970, but this wise Native American knew more in his head, which he covered in an Indians baseball club hat, than I’d ever know. Was this Lou Boudreau? Before we got to the Wawa, which was only three minutes away by automobile, so not sure why it was taking so long — were we lost? — the Native American man pulled over and picked up a pitchman for an insurance company which was an animated lizard.  This was The Luzard King. An obvious lizard, which made it weird when it kept saying it was a gecko.  The Luzard King said it had a shoulder issue early in the preseason of the 2019 season, which I had a premonition would be 38 years after my death. Also, oddly enough, I’m being fed a quote from the future from Prospect Mike about Jesus Luzardo.  He will say, ‘Luzardo’s stock just continues to rise. He’s in the rarified air of ‘best pitching prospects’ now. The lefty threw 109 innings across three leagues in 2018 and posted a 129/30 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Everything is plus or better – the heater, the curve, the change, the control. He’s the total package, like the package I filled with anthrax and sent to Grey.’ Who is this Grey he speaks of? Who is Prospect Mike? Was it the peyote talking or was it something more mysterious?”  And that’s me quoting Jim Morrison quoting Prospect Mike!  Don’t think Luzardo is going to be up before the All-Star Break, but now is the time to stash him. He could be a top arm in the 2nd half, or at least a solid Middler like early Yonny.  Call him Once Uponny.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We all know that Shohei Ohtani is amazing, or at least this homer does. After his elbow injury on June 6th, I plunged deep into a nightmare. The water was warm. He missed the remainder of the month and came back a bit slow. After the All-Star Break, his sole purpose was to simply DH. And it was beautiful. Ohtani could be an elite bat if he were to focus just on that. His (hitter) scouting report said he has 70-grade power that’s effortless with a smooth stroke and 45-grade hit tool that is largely due to some swing-and-miss tendencies. But, you have to understand… he’s a top-tier pitcher who obsesses over film. There are few in the league that study more than him; his work ethic is legendary. When can one focus on being a better hitter while you are trying to pitch against 9 other hitters each week?

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Crime often pays because A) a product is obtained for free and sold at a markup (this can also include certain services as well) or B) a product or service is provided at an exhorbitant markup due to its illegal nature. It’s not all reward, though, as there are significant risks in these ventures, the most obvious coming from law enforcement. As a result, many of resources need to be allocated to stay one step ahead of the 5-0 in order to stay in business and flourish. Which brings me to Ramon Laureano of the Oakland Athletics, who has been a Top 40 player over the past month and the #4 player over the past seven days. Is this just a lucky streak or has he discovered something in order to stay out of fantasy jail and prosper?

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Last year Aaron Nola was really good. He posted a 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP with a 3.01 FIP along with a 9.49 K/9 that placed him among the best. He paraded up and down the French Quarter for all to see on Mardi Gras. And then Hurricane 2019 (AKA Katrina) reared its ugly head from across the sea, and has assaulted Nola with utter indiscretion and lack of mercy, destroying his and your ratios. To date, Nola has a 4.58 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and a 4.22 FIP that mostly agrees with the destruction. He was once the Big Easy, set it and forget it, an easy auto-start and reap the reward. This season he’s been the Easy At-bat, bleh.

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Super Duper!

Mitch Haniger, OF, Oh God: *Vomits uncontrollably* *Still* Replacement: Who does this white bread Garrett Cooper (7.2%) kid think he is anyway? Well dating back to May 15th he has 28 hits, 19 runs, 5 HRs, 16 RBI in 86 ABs. He’s firmly entrenched as the Marlins #2 hitter right now and is really making the most of it. He’s not some spring chicken either — he’s a 28-year-old career minor leaguer who has always had a solid hit tool hitting .305 AVG/.371 OBP across 1,640 minor league ABs. He has 15-20 HR power, absolutely no speed (think: negative stolen bases somehow,) but he’s a great fill-in option who isn’t going to kill your ratios.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With helium balls flying out this year and the Launch Angle Revolution storming the Bastille, many pitchers are a lot less safe than they used to be. This is especially true for flyball pitchers and those that pitch-to-contact (I fart in your general direction Ray Searage). Then, from somewhere in the crowd, emerges Jake Odorizzi who runs down the ramp and dives into the ring, a pretty extreme flyball pitcher. He has a career GB/FB rate of .71 and a FB% north of 47% the last 3 years. This year he’s at 50.7% yet his HR/FB rate is microscopic 5.3%, wow! He is currently sporting a line of 1.96 ERA 0.96 WHIP and a K-rate above 9 (that ERA is good for 2nd behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu, and he’s 6th in WHIP). We thought he was dead and scrambled; but now he’s back, slaying giants, and laughing in the face of expectations. Is this reality or a dream? Is this the Resurrection of Jake the Snake or is he just getting by on good feelings, bad farts, and a suppressed BABIP? Is he just an egg waiting to become an omelette, or is he a showman mystifying his opponents always one step ahead? How many more questions can I ask?

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, homo sapiens would nuke aluminum trays of food (which I always imagined what prison food would look like) in a microwave. I was indoctrinated into this ritual when my mom brought home what they called “tv dinners” from Swanson. It looked like crap, to be honest. To make matters worse, I had to slice a hole in the film covering the meat, then poke holes for the potatoes, then cut out the section over the cranberries. Damn B! What’s up with all the fuss for something that looks like crap? The same can be said for Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves. He was much hyped, yet kind of crappy since he joined the big club. So far in 2019, though, he’s the overall number 28 player on the Razzball Player Rater! Damn B! Dansby! Let’s see if he’s a bear or a bull.

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After the worst start of his year (4+ IP, 7 ER) Matt Strahm was placed on the DL with a rib strain. This seems to be a minor injury and might just be an easy, smart way to manage his innings. The most innings he’s thrown in a single season was 102 way back in 2016. Last year he threw 61.1 innings and he’s already sitting at 60.1 this year. Ruh-roh. The Padres are only 2.5 games back in the NL Wild Card so managing the innings of Strahm, Cal Quantrill, Chris Paddack, and Dinelson Lamet is going to be key for their playoff hopes. Replacement: The award for most unlikely, unexpected and unbelievable late-career resurgence has to go to Anibal Sanchez (6.6%.) The 35-year-old, 14 year veteran inexplicably and probably accidentally had one of the best seasons of his career last year with a 2.83 ERA and 1.083 WHIP (lowest of his career!) In his first 5 starts of the season Sanchez returned to the rotten pumpkin we knew him as: 27 IP, 18 ER (6.00 ERA.) However, things have improved in his 6 most recent starts. He’s allowed only 7 ERs in 21.2 IP (2.91 ERA.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?