Closers are dispensable.  Izzy?  No he isn’t?  Kobayashi.  Got the kabosh. What’s next out of the closer gullet – cherry-flavored Perezes! Chris Perez is now in the Cardinals mix, snagging the save tonight.  Ryan Franklin has been exposed, so LaRussa might as well give the kid a shot.  Maybe Wainwright takes over at some point, but wouldn’t you rather him start instead of Piniero come September? As for Cleveland, their bullpen has already gone through more Indians than small pox. Joe-Blow, Betancourt, Kobayashi…. Might as well… I don’t know….use your best reliever in Rafael Perez.  No use saving him for lefty matchups in the 8th when your closer is just going to give up the lead in the 9th. Now if only the Mets could find a Perez. Shouldn’t be too hard – there’s probably a thousand or so in the phone book. Hell, throw Rosie Perez out there.  It’s hard to swing when you’re covering your ears from her voice. Anyway, here’s what else we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Gio Gonzalez – Doooodes, he looked good. I’m sorry. The numbers don’t tell the whole story. I watched him give up the 2-out home run to Barajas. I watched him strikeout some schmohawks. He may not be startable in all leagues, but I’m holding him in deep leagues. In keepers and AL-Only leagues, I’m really holding.

Joba Chamberlain – As expected, he’s been moved to the DL.  Brian Cashman has laid out Joba rules for the doctors – don’t test his shoulder on consecutive days, wear kids gloves at all times, and give him lollipops after his visits.

C.J. Wilson – Told you yesterday that he was headed to the Disgraceful List. Guess where he is now? Notice how I never say, I told you so. But I did tell you so. Yes, I just said I told you so. And again. Eddie Guardado will be the closer. Frank Francisco will be his setup man. I wouldn’t trust my dead grandmother’s life with Guardado. (BTW, she threw faster than Guardado. Still might.)

Bobby Crosby – HR yesterday. 2nd this week. He’s worth a looksee, even if his unhealthiness makes you want to take care of him. Don’t chew, Bobby….Momma Bird will take care of that.

Jody Gerut – Another HR yesterday. Now has 9. Or one more than Alexis Rios.

Nick Markakis – I am Sparkakis!

Mike Cameron – He’s streaky.  5 hits and 2 SBs across 2 games might be the start of something.

Shaun Marcum – 7 IP, 7 Ks, 1 ER. For those hoping this is the bounce back you’re waiting on, I say it was Oakland. I’d tread carefully.

Brandon Backe – After his 11 ER debacle last night, Backe seems to be challenging Barry Zito for the Sigh Young Award.  A 6-11 record with 5.35 ERA and 1.63 WHIP falls somewhat short of Zito’s 13 losses and 1.74 WHIP but there’s still 2 months to go….

Jeff Karstens – Nothing like a fresh start, eh?  On the Yanks, this guy is a poor man’s Darrell Rasner.  On the Pirates, he nearly throws a perfect game and is now scoreless in 15.  Rudy still stands by him for his Razzball team but might have to leave this shitpie on the window sill a bit longer for it to cool.

Elijah Dukes – Like many a Bowden Fluffer before, ‘Put Up Your’ Dukes has been put back down on the DL with a calf strain.  The lesson – don’t expect good health from a 5-tool player with a Jewish first name.  Elijah Dukes, Milton Bradley, Shawn Green….

  1. JR says:

    You’re right on about Gio. I tuned out when he gave up the three-run homer. What I loved: he settled down after the homer (on a 2-0 count . . . he’ll learn) and later retired 15 of 16. Hey folks! 15 of 16 is tough in the majors! He ended up with only 6 baserunners in 7 innings? With the jitters and all. I’m in.

    (In a keeper league).

  2. Mike says:

    Parra and Ubaldo for Figgins…. I need steals, is Figgins worth these 2 SP?

    What do you think of Ellsbury for the rest of the year? I need steals and if he can start to steal like he was in the beginning of the year Id take a shot on him.

  3. mikeisalegend says:

    @Mike: Parra, yes. Ubaldo? Well, he’s having a second half that resembles Volquez’s first half. 8 ER over his last 7 starts, none less than 6 innings. Trading a guy named Ubaldo for a guy named Chone? Historical!

    You know what I don’t get? How a guy with tons of SBs drops off without any injuries to speak of. See Ichiro, Hanley, Roberts, etc. One thing you’d have going for you is that these two guys plan on a contender… should provide a bit more motivation.
    -Ellsbury – 1 steal on July first. 1 steal in July, PERIOD. 2 in August… just last night. Yikes.
    -Figgins – 7 steals in July. 0 in August, but he’s a streaky base stealer that could go on a tear.

  4. Denys says:

    Who’s starting Kershaw at St. Louis today? … Should I, is the better question?

  5. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @mikeisalegend: I agree with you about the steals. Not sure what’s up with Ichiro and Roberts, since steals are one of the few offensive weapons they have.

    But I think as fans we underestimate how hard steals are on your body — which is to say, that a small nagging injury, a sore hammy or whatever, which wouldn’t affect any other part of your game and might not even be reported (just part of the everyday wear ‘n’ tear of a 162 game season), might be enough to convince a player to lay off the steals for a few weeks.

    Also, I tend to believe that young five-tool superstars who pile up the steals in their first two or three years will taper off over the years. See David Wright, Hanley this year, and Andruw Jones at the start of his career. This is why I try not to overpay on 5 category guys.

    This is just a hunch, but I bet that no major-leaguer really cares if he steals 35 bases or 20 (or 15), and that once your value to an offense has been established, there’s actually less upside to risking a jammed wrist/broken finger/pulled whatever that can come from repeatedly throwing yourself into a base headfirst.

    Like I said, just a hunch.

    The flipside, I guess, is guy’s like Berkman and Holliday this year who suddenly decide to start running. I have to imagine it all just has to do with how healthy you feel.

    Aside from a few pure burners (who have to steal — see Gathright, Joey), and a few creaky fat statues (Big Hurt), pretty much every player in the majors could steal bases if they wanted to, given it’s mostly about reading pitchers and getting good jumps than it is about foot speed.

    My strategy is usually to draft four or five guys who could steal 15-25, rather than target one guy who might get 50. (Not exactly revolutionary, I know.) Oddly, after my draft this year I was worried about steals, since I didn’t seem to have one guy who was a lock for 30 — yet with BJ Upton and Rios both running wild, I’ve been fine. Too bad about the homers, though.

  6. Denys says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I agree more or less. But, and you sort of touched on it, there’s guys like Gathright, and also see Taveras, Bourn, et. al. that pretty much HAVE TO run. Because that’s their game. Slap a single, steal second, maybe third, score on a bunt. Usually these guys don’t drop off in steals because they pretty much have to, to keep their jobs.

  7. hah I havn’t heard Shawn Green’s name in ages. I’m a right field guy when it comes to seats at Shea, and I used to yell at Shawn whenever they were losing….becuase I could. Terrible things like “your dick is shaped like a tuna can”

    YO YO from rotodish..thanks again for the link dude

  8. hah I havn’t heard Shawn Green’s name in ages. I’m a right field guy when it comes to seats at Shea, and I used to yell at Shawn whenever they were losing….because I could. Terrible things like “your dick is shaped like a tuna can”

    YO YO from rotodish..thanks again for the link dude

  9. Nick says:

    Campillo or Jimenez? I can’t hold onto Perez (Cleveland) when I have no idea if he will ever be put in for a close situation in the 9th.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mike: If you need steals, Figgins is about as hot as a base stealer is nowadays. If you have two pitchers you can trade, those sound like the ones to move.

    Ellsbury has a much smaller history to view so it’s hard to say and hence much riskier. Maybe he can be had for cheaper though. Say just Ubaldo? Just Parra? The problem is Ellsbury just went deep yesterday, so his owner may be more attached.

    @mikeisalegend: I agree with you about Ubaldo, but he had a hot streak last year and then fell off in September, I believe (I didn’t look it up. Sorry.).

    As for steals, A) they don’t make ’em like Henderson anymore. B) this is a reason why I don’t draft for steals outside of the first or second round until much later. Steals are the saves of the hitting categories. You don’t have any steals, then you trade for Taveras, slot him in Utility and before you know it you’re in the middle of the pack. Then trade away Taveras before he can do any actual damage on your other categories, because he is a major negative. Since it’s not easy to always trade for steals, sometimes you have to take gambles. For instance, I currently have Bourn on a bench of mine in one league. He’s not starting every day, but when I do see him start, I slot him in for the guy with the weakest matchup.

    @Denys: He hasn’t shown me any indication that I want him outside of Dodgers Stadium.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: This is what Rudy and I have talked about before with Carlos Lee. If a guy steals 15-20 bases, he can easily steal that or 5 bases. Don’t expect a 20 steal season every year. I’d put David Wright in there, but not Hanley. Not yet at least. Really well said comment though.

    @RotoDish: Tuna can –hehe. And you’re welcome.

    EDIT: Typo, boyz!

  11. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Denys: Having one of these guys starting on your team is like dying a slow death, though. It’s like carrying a RP who gets saves but literally never strikes anyone out ever.

    I drafted Pierre a few years ago thinking “Well, that takes care of steals.” But he was such a drag in every other category (this was the year he stopped hitting, like, .332) I figured it wasn’t worth it.

    I do like Grey’s strategy, though, of carrying an absolute burner like Bourne (a Bourner?) and only plugging him in every so often, in hopes of grabbing a steal or two here or there. As long as you can be Zen and accept the nights he steals 3 bases from your bench.

    @Grey: Thanks. It has been nice to see steals make a comeback as a strategic weapon. Of all the things that turned me off baseball in the ’90s (‘roids, player strikes, the demise of the Expos, the Jays slow slide into stifling mediocrity) one of the main things was the stat-head-fueled disappearance of steals from the game.

    Gimme a Vinny Coleman any year, wreaking havoc and running at every chance he gets. You can talk about “running yourself out of innings” and crunch the numbers all you want, but I still think a chaotic aggressive running game pays dividends b/c of how it messes with the other team’s heads.

    Also: Way more fun to watch. And this is, after all, entertainment, not life-saving surgery.*

    *why I will always respect Manny’s high-five to the crowd. When a surgeon performing brain surgery high-fives someone in the crowd, I think it’s less appropriate.

  12. Denys says:

    @Grey: Yeah but I can take somewhat of a hit in the ratios department, I’m behind in Ks by 4 and the dude has Burnett going tonight. Although St. Louis is top 5 in BA in the league and Kershaw hasn’t punched out more than 5 in a game as of yet… There’s a first time for everything!

  13. Denys says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Good 3B Coaches are hard to find these days. One of my favs is the Cubs’ (the name escapes me). But I remember from my days in Chicago and watching the team, dudes would be stealing, and getting sent home more often than not.
    An occasional head first into home and an ensuing fight with AJ Pierzinski is never dull.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Nick: Campillo

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I think something that isn’t mentioned much is how tied Moneyball was to the three-run homer and steroids. The chaotic running game has, appropriately, made a comeback. Look at the successful teams of the last few years, Rays, Marlins, Rockies (less bop, more crazed play), Cards (no one’s actually sure how they’re successful), Cubs (bunch of speed), Sawx (added much speed to their game), Angels (the eptiome of the 80s cocaine-fueled runners). Hmm… Maybe if I return to the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston for my Doctorate, I’ll write my thesis on this.

  15. drizzle21 says:

    This is more of a strategy question. Prepare yourselves?

    I’m in a H2H league where we can change our lineups every day but there’s a limit on the number of transactions we can do in a week when it comes to picking up players (max 5). For the playoffs, would it be worth keeping a guy around like Carlos Guillen who can play 1B/SS/3B just to slot in on days that are light on games so I can save my pickups for pitchers if need be? The Tigers only have 2 off days in September, so he’d probably be available whenever needed. It seems like the more at-bats with quality players you get in a week, the better chance you have to win those counting categories. He’s also not worth starting over Orlando Cabrera unless one of them is on a hot streak or in a funk, right? O. Cabrera gets the nod from me because of the SB potential, but maybe that’s faulty thinking.

  16. Denys says:

    @Grey: That’s the guy. Good looking out Grey.

  17. BigFatHippo says:

    Chipper for Halladay.


  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @drizzle21: I’m not a fan of Guillen and you touch on by comparing him to O. Cabrera. Cabrera is on waivers in some leagues, where Guillen is a high draft pick. That’s overvalued. Your thoughts about eligibility and September for Guillen make sense. He’d be a good guy in that situation to slot in.

    @BigFatHippo: I like Halladay, Chipper’s risky because of injuries and the Braves being out of the race. In the end, kinda depends on needs.

  19. Nick says:

    I finally got it done!!!

    Just accepted on Yahoo,

    I Get: Reyes & Howard
    I Give: Ortiz & Rollins & Burrell

    What do you think ???

  20. Nick says:

    Schoeneweis BLOWS! The Mets need to do something about the Closer situation NOW

  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Nick: That’s great, nice trade.

    Gerut goes deep again. Cust kayin’.


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