What’s up, everybody? It’s Sunday and I’m pitching for Itch today, so I wanted to do a quick look at pitchers who are currently wonky on the Player Rater thanks to high or low Win values. Because pitcher wins are so difficult to predict and oftentimes arbitrary. Let’s keep in mind Rays’ reliever Pete Fairbanks was in the Top 10 for wins last year (6) and there are 5 relievers in the top 50 in wins over the past two years. Did you know that Antonio Senzatela and Lucas Giolito both sport a cumulative 6-7 record from 2020-2021? Pretty wild, eh? And you thought Rockies pitchers were useless. Almost all fantasy baseball formats require Wins, it’s helpful to think about pitchers who are winning more often than they should (the Charlie Sheens), or the wingmen who just can’t get a win (the Goose). Catch me after the jump to see my Buy, Holds, and Sells!Please, blog, may I have some more?
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The New York Yankees signed two-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year contract worth $11 million dollars this weekend. Immediately the fantasy sports sphere on Twitter — which is really more of a rounded mound of a shape — well, analysts went Klu-razy with the news. A big-time player on a big-time team! Hooray! Stonks up and let care fly to the wind! I’m looking through rankings from various sites on Kluber, and people are absolutely Ku-losing it (let’s see if I can get one more pun in before the jump!). Even Razzball’s 2021 Steamer Projections have Kluber as SP22 at this point in the pre-season. With some big time sites considering Kluber in the 30s for SP — in other words, your 3rd starter in a 12-team league — it’s absolutely worthwhile to see if the stats are Klean or Kluttered. Ha! Four of ’em!Please, blog, may I have some more?
“I released it, he’s swinging, and as he’s making contact, I’m like, “Oh boy, this is gonna hit me, and so I turn… and it hit me, and it actually ricocheted off my head…my ears were ringing, so loud that it was hurting my eyes.
“When I hit the ground, I just went straight for my hat, and ripped my hat off, and I was bleeding. From the time I hit the ground, it was really…kinda crazy. I just had this, like, amazing peace about me. It was like God was saying ‘Hey, you’re OK.’ It’s like, ‘I got you.'”
Robbie Ray, Interview with YMI, published March 12, 2019
Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome, friends! Come, sit down, and let me tell you a tale of baseball. Indeed, baseball is truly America’s game, where the owners swim Scrooge McDuck-style in a vat of gold coins while shaking their canes vigorously at those thieves pounding at the door asking for some gruel. But you–yes, you!–fantasy lothario, with your fantasy baseball app at the ready and a sweaty finger hovering over the “draft” button, you can roster these needy players and give them the virtual coins they so deserve. Today, I’m offering a pitcher profile of Jake Odorizzi, and why you should consider him for a place on your team for the next 50, 70, or how ever many games MLB owners decide to let happen before they move their money vaults into the Norwegian tundra.
Because this is my first article with Razzball, I consulted Grey’s Secret Dictionary to see his definition of ‘pitcher,’ and here’s what it said: “1) a tool for mixing margaritas on Wednesday mornings, 2) players you don’t take early in a draft.” And that’s me quoting Grey! Wednesday Grey must have been deep into his routine of margs and Frasier reruns when he wrote the following on Odorizzi: “Odorizzi’s being drafted like a number three or four, but I see a strong number two.” Whoa, Grey, TMI! Let’s get down to business and see why you want this number two to work for you.Please, blog, may I have some more?
This should be old hat by now. If a prospect is called up, I’m going to profile him. It’s what I do. When my two worlds collide into one, everything suddenly stops, and I become one with the ball. Feeling each twist and turn, as I tumble out of Walker Buehler’s hand and into Yasmani Grandal’s mitt. That was supposed to be more poetic than homo-erotic thriller, but I’m not sure I achieved that. Oh well, any-fracking-way, Dodgers super-prospect, former first round pick, and Vanderbilt ace made the start on Monday… Wait for it, before being sent back down on Tuesday. It’s a rough life for these prospects. One minute you’re sipping champagne from between Charlotte McKinney’s dirty pillows, and the next you’re back in Omaha eating at Denny’s. (They actually sent Buehler down to Hi-A Rancho, with the intent of adding an arm to the pen for the remainder of the week, before recalling him for Saturday’s double-header against the Giants.) My guess is Buehler will be back in Hollyweird, canoodling with Charlotte once again. Here’s what I saw on Monday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Strong takes are my thing. Whether it be needling Baseball Prospectus over their Jorge Alfaro ranking, clashing with consensus over Rhys Hoskins, or why Shohei Ohtani wasn’t a bust before he ever threw his first regular season pitch. My opinions are strong, and I’m not one to back down if I truly believe something based on first hand looks and research. I mean, don’t even get me started on the “newly-promoted” Tyler O’Neill takes. It’s almost as if I’m the head of my very own agency, lobbying for my players value like Scott Boras with a briefcase of binders. Yet another player who’s represented by my pretend “on-line defense agency” is Padres rookie phenom Joey Lucchesi. I ranked him 161st in my mid-season 2017 Top 200 prospects, and even predicted a 2018 MLB debut. I’m not alone on this site in my love for Lucchesi, my best friend since forever, Lance, wrote about him as a deep sleeper in late March. There’s also this tweet I tossed out there in December. Needless to say, without further chest thumping, I’m a fan of Lucchesi. There’s been a bit of misinformation out there regarding his repertoire, pedigree, etc. Today I hope to set some of that straight after watching his most recent turn against the San Francisco retirement home.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Remember way back when, like three years ago, when the Mets “young pitching staff” was all the rage? We talked about how “setup” the Mets were for the future behind the strength of arms Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and of course their back-page-darling, Matt Harvey. While deGrom and Syndergaard seem to have overcome injuries to return to form, the same cannot be said for “The Dark Knight”. While his pitching exploits once made him the King of NYC, it’s been his off-field shenanigans that have grabbed the wrong type of headlines of late. But… with a spark in his first start vs. The Phillies, the inevitable “Is Harvey Back?” headlines and bylines popped up on the pages of print, digital, and telepathic media. (Pssst, if you don’t get your news telepathically in 2018, you’re behind the times.) Wow, if you’re waking up from a coma, you’d be shocked to learn that, A. Matt Harvey stinks (or has stunk) B. Telepathy has gone mainstream. Thanks Uri Geller! That got a bit off track, here’s what I saw in Matt Harvey’s start on Sunday night.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yeah, this post is dedicated to all the people that told me Ohtani would never amount to nothing, to all the people who called me crazy for my enthusiasm, when I was just trying to inform my readers, and all the prospectors in the struggle. You know what I’m saying? And it’s all good Grey-be, Grey-be. It was all a Dream, I watched NPB games on the TV screen, upper-90’s velo, nasty split, mechanics clean. Worried about hanging breaking balls. Every spring training start he got mauled. I let the hype pop, until the hype dropped. Smoking weed in the draft room, laughing as lesser Perts talk. Way back when the humidor was supposed to cutback. Enough of that…
Okay, so obviously I’m excited about Ohtani, I’ve been writing about him for two years, and yesterday he made his debut. It’s was glorious, actually glorious is a little strong, it was more good. But I’ll take good. Here’s what I saw on Sunday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re at all familiar with management theory, then you’re probably aware generally of the “Peter Principle”. The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here’s where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it’s concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today’s profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there’s more there. Or maybe I’m overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA, 7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he’s on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he’s been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday’s turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here’s what I saw.Please, blog, may I have some more?
To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s an old expression in Major League Baseball, “As the sun sets on one Weaver, another rises from its ashes.” I have to say it was rather prophetic to predict the spontaneous combustion of Jered Weaver’s career. Then again, it’s not like there weren’t clear signs that we had reached the end of the line with our most recent Weaver. I mean the man was throwing 67 MPH in his last few starts, or years, but whatever… That brings me to today’s subject, our new shiny Weaver, complete with new car scent! I’m of course alluding to Cardinals rookie phenom Luke Weaver. The 24 year old right-hander got his first taste of the big leagues last year to mixed results. He looked brilliant at times, and caught too much of the plate at others. The issues with Weaver are rarely related to his pitching however. He’s had an inability to stay healthy over the course of his career, never exceeding 120 innings pitched in a season. As for the player himself he has one of the more exciting upsides of any arm in the minors, mixing swinging strikes, with weak contact, and elite control. Since his most recent callup in late August, Weaver has posted back to back starts with 10 Ks and 1 walk, while limiting his opponents to a .224 batting average against. There’s nothing I love more than digging into the start of a player I’ve been touting for a year plus. It’s even better when that player’s twitter handle (@DreamWeava7) has a Boston accent! I’m in LOVE!! Previously Weaver has ranked 48th (pre-season), and 60th in my mid-season, which is lofty praise. As anyone who reads my prospect work will tell you, I discount pitching prospects pretty heavily for fantasy purposes. Enough of the small talk, here’s what I witnessed in Weaver’s Sunday start.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s a narrative making the rounds that today’s Pitching Profile subject Collin McHugh just started throwing a slider. This on it’s face isn’t completely true, his repertoire included a slider two years ago, but he scrapped it in 2016 in favor of a cutter. So the “throwing a slider now” people are insane, and this is open and shut case. Right, Ralphie?” Actually, their narrative is partially correct, because while he did formerly throw a slider he didn’t go back to the pitch he scrapped before last season. He’s throwing a different slider. A reworked version he picked up from clubhouse showboat Brad Peacock. Who picked the pitch up from some shoe salesman named Jordan Jankowski, who picked his up from a decoder ring at the bottom of a box of Count Chocula. Anyway, back in 2015 when McHugh experienced a break through with the Astros, he threw his “old” slider nearly 45% of the time. It’s funny that everyone forgot he threw a slider back then, considering it accounted for such a high chunk of his usage. In fact he threw his breaking pitches, (he also has a high spin-rate curveball), 67.1% of the time. Leading his 27.2% fastball usage to rank as the second lowest in the majors behind only R.A. Dickey during the 2015 season. Before 2016 began McHugh’s usage of his ineffective slider was scrapped completely for a cutter, and an increased reliance on his hook. The results didn’t change, in fact in someways they got worse, but that’s not important, and here’s why. Fast forward to 2017, and McHugh missed a majority of the season’s first half with an elbow injury. The player that has emerged since is a completely different animal. Throwing his fastball more than 50% of time, and with a new and improved low 80’s slider, one with increased movement from his former offering. The question for today, “Is this a new and improved model or just a redesigned Grand Am?” Let’s look under the hood and see.Please, blog, may I have some more?