(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)
I heard Kendrick Lamar say “Keep playin’, man” in the song We Cry Together — a great song for a couple’s first dance at their wedding, by the way — and I had a vision. I heard “Keep playin’, man” and I saw Nick Senzel. He was “playin’.” Out on the field and just “playin’.” What a world. From top prospect in 2018, with the label “future All-Star as soon as 2019.” Just absolutely overcoming all odds, from losing a blonde dame in Golden Gate Park that gave him Vertigo to talking like Jimmy Stewart that drove his friends and family crazy to googling “Nick Senzel injuries” and having Google say, “C’mon, man, you need to be more specific.”
Seriously, look at that. 364,000 results in 0.47 seconds is Nick Senzel’s injury history to a tee. In just the first four rows listed there, he had four different injuries in one month in 2019. I’d laugh if I wasn’t worried it would somehow cause a butterfly to flap its wings into Senzel’s oblique and injure him. With all that said, Nick Senzel was the top option on the 7-day Player Rater rostered in under 25% of leagues, so here’s to him finally making it all come together and “keep playin’, man” for at least another week. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
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Ian Anderson (2 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 5.31) pitches like Jethro Tull singing, “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” Uh-oh, we’re being visited by Comatose Since March Man. This is gonna be brutal. Hey, Comatose Since March Man, how ya feeling? “Great, man! You ever sleep for four months? That’s what I feel like! Anyway, let’s talk about my fantasy baseball team! Ian Anderson is building on his 2021 season and is now an ace, right? Right?! Why are you tiptoeing backwards?” Seriously, though, how long until the Braves put Ian Anderson out to pasture with Touki, Ynoa and every other pitcher who they have that’s good for one season? Soon! Okay, the highlights, not the lowlights: Nick Castellanos (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 8th homer. “Hey, we could just put the car in neutral and roll it off a cliff with him in the driver’s seat–Whoa! Hold on! He moved! Castellanos is alive!” This was Castellanos’s first, and only as it turned out, homer in June, and he was hitting .212 entering yesterday’s game with five runs. Apizzarently, he’s become the Greek God of Hardly Any Contact. Then, Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) said farewell to June with his 23rd homer. Someone please Back to the Future Schwarber with a Walkman in the middle of the night and tell him June is another 60 days long. Next up, or I should say nextus is Rhysus, the Philly savior, (1-for-3, 2 runs) hit his 15th and 2nd in as many games. Finally, the one true DH on a team filled with them, Darick Hall (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) got his 1st and 2nd homer on his first and second hits. When the Philly and Yacht Rock legend, Darick Hall, hits a homer, they better be playing She’s Gone. He will be in this afternoon’s Buy column, and he’s solid for power, but I’m not sure how much else. Sorry, Charlie, for the imposition… Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Bryan Reynolds came upon a boy with a banjo on the porch of a rickety-old shack. The boy with the banjo looked like a 14-year-old version of the former MLB player, Johnny Dickshot, who was nicknamed Ugly, because if they called him by his last name, they’d be arrested in the 1930’s. Since this wasn’t Johnny Dickshot, but a smaller version of him, B. Reynolds called him Tiny Dickshot, and he played this song:
Just looking into Tiny Dickshot’s one good eye was said to curse a person, and Tiny Dickshot did curse B. Reynolds but, since he played for the Pirates, which is a curse in itself, it worked as a reverse jinx, and two negatives made it a positive for Bryan Reynolds (3-for-5, 6 RBIs) as he hit his 13th, 14th and 15th homer. After getting off to a very slow start, Reynolds is on pace for having his best power and speed season. Average (.258) is still below where you want it with him, but…I feel weird…What is this…Am I…liking Bryan Reynolds? I think I am. Yikes, maybe I’ve been cursed by Tiny Dickshot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Royals 1B Vinnie Pasquantino received his long-deserved promotion to the major league club this week and was promptly sent to the bench. Here’s hoping the decision was born from travel-related rest and not a sign of Matheny nonsense to come. My money’s on Vinnie P playing every day and adapting well to the challenge of learning major league arms.
Yesterday, the Nats’ GM Rizzo put his feet up on his desk, rolled up a million dollar bill and used it to lit a cigar filled with million dollar bills, saying, “And that’s why I gave Patrick Corbin $140 million eight years after his prime.” Patrick Corbin went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 6.06. You can think to yourself, “Damn, I should’ve streamed Patrick Corbin yesterday because the Streamonator loved it,” but I’d prefer to think, “I ain’t ever starting a pitcher with a 6+ ERA.” His last three years of ERAs are…I’d ask for a drum roll, but they deserve a sad trombone…4.66, 5.82, 6.06. If we were in Bizarro World, you’d be collecting your crown from America’s Next Top Model and Patrick Corbin would be an ace. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Have you ever been to Staten Island? Shame if not. It’s one of the best boroughs. Imagine if they built a pizzeria on top of a garbage dump. That’s Staten Island. On Staten Island, there’s a Mother Mary statue on every lawn, as far as the eye can see. On each Mother Mary statue, there’s garland and Christmas lights. All year around. If you were to turn on all those Mother Mary Christmas lights statues together, you could see them from the moon. The electric bill would be a fortune too, about as much to cover the gabagool expenses for the entire borough. Anyway, you take all those Mother Mary Christmas lights statues’ electrical power, and you still don’t have the power of Vinnie Pasquantino and the sheer electricity he brings. In 69 games — hey now! — of Triple-A, he had 18 HRs and a 12.2% strikeout rate. What is he, a power hitter that’s gonna hit .280? Mama mia, that’s Italian! His walk rate (12.5%) was over his strikeout rate! *pinching the cheeks of Vinnie Pasquantino’s player page* You’re so handsome! With Carlos Santana being traded to the Mariners — figured Carlos Santana would’ve went for a last hoorah in Philly with Rob Thomson, but oh well — Vinnie Pasquantino is worth a flyer for power in all leagues. It’s Vinnie Pasquantino PaiSZN! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
On Sunday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.36, which, honestly, is kinda whatever, until you hear this one. The Giancarlo homer (his 17th) in the 7th was the first hit by the Yankees in 16 1/3 IP, and nearly 41 hours. *letting out the longest woof known to man* On Saturday, Cristian Javier didn’t come up short (7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, one walk, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.73). Well, he kinda did, since the Astros needed two more pitchers for the combined no-hitter in Yankee Stadium. After the game, there was an interview with Cristian Javier where he thanked God multiple times, so as we thought, God hates the Yankees. It’s a brutal way to lose a game, but it’s gotta be demoralizing to hear the Big Man Upstairs hates your guts. Listen, no-hit me, talk that trash, but thank God afterwards proving God hates me? That’s soul-crushing. Actually, I’m a bit scared to write about the no-hitter. The Clay Holmes’s official scorer might go in and change a ground ball to a hit just to feel something. Welp, we got ourselves a top 100 starts of the year page, and you can see for yourself where Javier landed with that gem. If you got sonavabenched by that one, well, God might not like you either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)
Holds out hand towards mouse, while internet page is open to waivers, “Luke, you are my waiver wire fodder.” Cougs walks in and sees I’m dressed as Darth Vader — again — and asks me if I’m gonna be playing fantasy all night or if we can watch some foreign film about a son who is secretly in love with his mother or some crap. “I’m playing fantasy,” I scream, but that fogs up my Darth mask, and I pout, removing it. Thanks a lot! So, we’ve had Josh Lowe, C.J.Abrams, Oneil Cruz, Riley Greene, Alex Kirilloff, Jarren Duran, and now we’ve got this new youngster, Luke Voit! Okay, not a youngster, but as June turns to July, the rookie callups are mostly behind us and it’s time we roll up our Ocean Pacific shorts, so we’re wearing short shorts, and dig in on guys who can actually help the ol’ fantasy team. Voit’s been on a heater in the month of June, and he could carry that over for another week, a few weeks or even a few months. Being under 50% rostered in mixed leagues needs to end, and let me get back to playing with my Smorestroopers! (Stormtroopers I made out of marshmallows, graham crackers and dark side chocolate.) Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Frankie Says Relax Mariners! *does a wild dance breakdown* Don’t do it! You know you want to no-hit it! Relax, don’t do it! You know you want to no-hit it! *begins to pant from overexcitement and needs to sit down* That was the best bar mitzvah I ever attended. El oh el, Frankie Montas is […]
Chazz whiz, he looked good! Wait a second, did I just invent his new nickname? From Ground Chuck to Chazz Whiz: The Story of Charlie Morton as told to me by Statcast sliders. Yesterday, Charlie Morton went 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners (zero walks), 11 Ks, ERA at 4.84, and now we’re talking II. Related to but not Travolta and Alley, and no relation to Michael Harris II. Morton did look legitimately better than he’s looked recently. The lack of walks, and holding the Ks. The Morton issue was always mechanical, and that can get fixed at any point. He might’ve done it. It’s honestly impossible to know. As BDon and I have been saying on the podcast for the last few weeks, it was the curve that abandoned him. Not his velocity. The curve:
Looks pretty back if it’s generating swings and misses like that one. Will be interesting to see how he builds on this. Philly won’t be an easy assignment for Chazz Whiz; they’ll wanna get their licks. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I’ve been watching Pirates SS Oneil Cruz for a long time, but the sensory shock of seeing him run the bases stays fresh. As does the thump of seeing him square up a baseball. On big league broadcasts, we get more angles from better cameras than we see in minor league games. Some minor league broadcasts show mostly just the hitter/pitcher interaction, so I’d almost forgotten what Cruz looks like tagging from third base on a shallow flyball, or throwing a laser across the diamond from shortstop. I would say it’s probably too late to trade for him now, but I did manage to acquire him that way in two dynasty leagues this season, so perhaps it’s not impossible. I paid a lot, to be fair, but I’m happy with it.
In the 15-team Razznasty League, I moved Shane Bieber, Anthony Rendon and Gabriel Moreno for Cruz back on May 12. Bieber had just gotten touched up by Toronto, and I was worried about his diminished velocity. He’s since rebounded, but I’m happy with that. Always good if your trade partner has positive trade remnants from you on the roster. This deal might be an overpay, but I have a constant need to clear roster spots in that format, especially on the big league side.
We’re not going to get four RBI every night from Cruz. He’s definitely going to struggle at some point, but the talent here is first-round fantasy gold type stuff. Prospect writers aren’t always great at differentiating between who’s a good prospect because he’ll be a major league regular and who’s a good prospect because he can help carry your fantasy teams. Even if they can see the difference, it’s complicated to articulate. Becoming a solid major league regular is an incredible outcome for any prospect, but guys like Cruz belong in a slightly different bucket.