He’ll make you feel good and bad and happy and sad. But mostly just sad. And mad. And glad…you don’t own him. I’m talking, of course, of Jose Valverde. Motown just can’t resist the temptations of signing Papa Grande. Smokey just went over all the fantasy baseball closers. There’s $12 Salads. There’s Donkeycorns. There’s Brain Freezes. There should be another category underneath the Brain Freezes for Valverde: Tossed Salad That Gives You Botulism. He seems like a great idea. Why do you need a side of rigatoni when you’re having lasagna for dinner? It makes sense to get the side salad. Go with the tossed salad. Unfortunately, the tossed salad was prepared in 2007 and is piled in the corner of the kitchen holding the employee’s bathroom door open because Brian lost the key. Once in a while Brian also forgets to stock the bathroom with toilet paper, so the iceberg lettuce doubles its duties, so to speak. That’s Valverde. There’s so many reasons to not pick him up, but let’s stick with the two most important ones: 1) He wasn’t good last year when he had the job. 2) Detroit even replaced him when games really mattered. 3) I said let’s stick with two reasons so why would you even mention 3? I wish I could sit here — and I am sitting, in a Barclay Lounger, a matter of fact — and tell you the signing of Valverde means the Detroit shituation has become crystal clear now. That, now, Valverde will close games. Yeah, he might get shoved into the closer role, but closing games is another issue. He was signed to a minor league contract. He’ll now take anywhere from two to four weeks to get ready, then the Tigers will either call him up or release him. I’d put his chances to get saves within a month at 35%. There’s still Benoit, Coke, Dotel and Al Al’etc who could take the job and run with it in the mean’s while. After seeing Dotel enter the game in the 6th yesterday, there’s no telling what will happen. Someone get close to Leyland’s cigarette pack and check to see if there’s a warning that reads, “Caution: May Cause Smoker To Use The Wrong Man In The 9th Inning.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:
Brayan Villarreal – 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. After a blown save by Coke last night, it seems everyone in the Tigers bullpen has caught a Villarreal disease.
Hiroki Kuroda – X-rays came back negative and might make his next start for the Yankees vs. the Indians, who hope for a better outcome than 1492-2013.
Derek Jeter – Yankees are now saying Jeter could return May 1st. I’m guessing we get maybe 350 not-so-productive ABs out of Jeter. Actually, I’m guessing you do; I didn’t draft him. Beware the semi-colon; it 180’s you!
Andy Pettitte – 8 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. Obviously, a dominant start from Pettitte, who must have felt renewed being surrounded by the 2005 All-Star team. I wouldn’t pick Pettitte up with your team.
Robinson Cano – 0-for-3 as he was moved up to the two-hole. I hate owning Cano in April. Could someone turn his Far Side desk calender forward a month?
Brett Gardner – 2-for-3 and a solo homer. 10 homers, 40 steals and 100 runs this year. You can write it down. (For those under the age of 30, writing was something primitive man did prior to iPhones, iPens, iEverything.
Ryan Dempster – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 8 Ks. I hear our fantasy basketball writer, JB, really likes Dempster.
Trevor Bauer – Will replace Kazmir in the rotation. Okay, we need to catch up everyone who is just joining us. I like Bauer a lot (so does Scott, our prospect writer, who ranked him 7th on the preseason top 25 fantasy baseball prospects.) In my top 100 starters, I gave him the projections of 6-7/3.85/1.38/168 in 160 innings. I also think Bauer has a lot of risk attached to him. He can’t control his stuff at times. Sometimes when the stuff is that good this happens. Here’s a comparison I like to go to: 160 2/3 IP, 130 Ks, 1.51 WHIP and a 4.82 ERA in his rookie year, when his wildness (96 walks) really stopped him from being successful. His/he/who being Randy Johnson. Bauer has immense upside and should be grabbed, but there’s definite risk with his control.
Brett Myers – 5 IP, 7 ER, 9 baserunners, 0 Ks. Something must’ve been wrong for Myers to not get any punch-outs.
Mark Reynolds – 2-for-5 2, RBIs and his 2nd homer. Mini Donkey will go ice cold at some point and hit .109, but right now he’s seeing the ball and could have a 10 homer month.
Carlos Marmol – 1 IP, 2 ER with the Marmol. Sorry, I mean with the save… No, I mean the Marmol. That’s what we will now call a closer that gives up two runs and barely escapes with a save. Anyone can get a Marmol, but not everyone will get them for very long because they will be replaced. I don’t even know what major league baseball team in their right mind would trade for him. Even if the Cubs can pawn him off on some unsuspecting schnook, Car-Ma’s gonna come back to haunt them.
Travis Wood – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (1 hit), 4 Ks. I’d like to see him do it again before I get Wood.
Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs with his first home run. Nate “German for Pantyhose” should really be the everyday starter, but he’s not, so there’s that.
James McDonald – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks. He’s in the same league as Edwin Jackson — well, not just the National League. I’m also watching McDonald closely as someone who could put together a solid month or two of starts. After they both have their next start, it might be a go pitcher, Robert Evans.
Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-4, RBI and his 4th steal in 3 games. Could he go 30/40? Or is that, ‘may he go 30/40?’ Whatever, just let me go to the bathroom!
Eric Stults – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks. Stults looked like some kind of wonderful, but he’s really just Mary Stuart Masterson with a tomboy haircut in overalls (not my sorta chick).
Shaun Marcum – Diagnosed with an inflamed nerve. Turn off the heat and throw baking soda on it!
Dillon Gee – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. the Padres. Took the tough luck loss as the Mets couldn’t muster more than 1 run for him. This is the same team that scored 19 runs in the first two games? The Amazin’ Mets are back…and now they’re gone, as they hone their magician act. Sky told you that he was a solid pitcher in his Dillon Gee fantasy. He also said “I bring the swag, bro! #YOLO!” in that post, so temper your expectations with Gee and anything Sky has to say.
John Buck – 2-for-4, and his 2nd home run. Right now all of Posey’s owners are like WTB?!
Jeremy Guthrie – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks. If you remember when I used to like Guthrie, you’re a Razz Old-Timer. Pat yourself on the back. But don’t throw out your hip! Impressive outing from Guthrie, but can’t get behind picking him up yet. Maybe one day I’ll grab Travis Wood and Guthrie and rename my team “That’s All Folk!”
Trevor Plouffe – 1-for-3 with his first homer. Plouffe goes the dynamite!
Mike Pelfrey – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 1 K. Geez, Pelfrey, even their first week on the ranch, the Biggest Losers can do a 5 K.
Aaron Hicks -1-for-5, 2 RBIs and 2 Ks. He now has 7 Ks and is 1-for-12. I don’t doubt that the Twins will have a long leash with him, but I’m not sure how long yours should be in fantasy. He looks pretty overmatched thus far. I’d start to look at other options.
Cliff Lee – 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 8 Ks. Your fantasy team’s pitching was floundering until The Adverb Claus arrived for all the boys and four girl readers.
Kris Medlen – 5 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 3 Ks. First couple innings for him looked like he was tryin’ to wrassle a billy goat into blue jeans (wow, that sounds like something Charlie Manuel would say), but he finished strong and I wouldn’t be too worried.
Josh Reddick – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer. Good to see someone ignite the A’s besides Lowrie — JK JK JK I love you, Lowrie! Who happened to go 2-for-4 with two runs. Lowrie probably could’ve hit another home run, but didn’t want to show anyone up. Ah, modesty, you’re always the last attribute anyone ever brags about.
Yoenis Cespedes – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. This year he said he wanted to hit 100 homers. One for each leg.
Chris Heisey – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his first home run. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell. Our first of the year! You can’t wait. No, you!
Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his first home run. Just need 22 more homers and 22 more steals and I’ll look brilliant for my preseason ranking of him. Or he only gets 18 more homers and steals and comes up short of my expectations. Believe in me or don’t: Choo’s your own adventure.
Todd Frazier – 2-for-3, 2 runs, home run. I was gonna suggest breaking into Dusty’s office and switching Frazier into the cleanup spot, but that’s silly, let’s just kidnap Frazier and have him play Wii in my living room.
J.P. Arencibia – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with 2 homers. That’s-a-one spicy Arencibia! I recommend keeping one catcher, but if you’re gonna switch, you switch to Arencibia right now while he’s hot. By Monday, he might have 5 homers.
Jose Bautista – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs with his 2nd homer, then twisted his ankle on a slide and left the game. That’s why Momma Albright never trusted the slide. She said, Grey, you stick with the hopscotch, and use two feet the whole way. Bautista said he’ll be fine, but he spelled out fine like he was in a nineties R&B group.
Justin Ruggiano – 1-for-4 with a solo homer. We’ll see if this buys him more playing time and out of the platoon with Coghlan. Me tinks not. And me tinks like a leprechaun.
Brian Roberts – 1-for-4 and when he went to steal 2nd base, he hurt his leg. That reminds me of one of those World’s Dumbest Criminal shows.
Chris Davis – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 3rd home run. It’s awesome. It’s early. Yadda3.
Adam Jones – 3-for-5, 2 runs and his first steal. Someone bully Rudy into taking my bet: 17 steals from Jones with me taking the over and him taking the under.
Miguel Gonzalez – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. Solid start, but he didn’t make my top 100 starters for a reason. He leaves a bit to be desired like a young Cher. (*ceiling balloons fall* Oh my God, I just won the most ridiculous metaphor ever award! ) Gonzalez’s an under 7 K/9, 4.00 ERA, just-adequate control pitcher. It’s a’ight in AL-Only leagues, but I’d hold off for now in mixed leagues.
Ryan Zimmerman – 3-for-3, 2 RBIs as his brother with another N, Zimmermann, pitched the Nats to an easy victory with the line of 6 IP, 1 ER, 10 baserunners, 1 K. Was a good day to sound like you were a Jew.
Vladimir Guerrero – Signed with the Long Island Ducks. Cool, maybe they can hang Vlad in their window.
Brandon Maurer – 6 IP, 6 ER. Obviously, lesserer is Maurer.
Michael Morse – 2-for-4 as he hit his major league leading 4th homer. “Thanks so much for joining us for today’s conference on ‘Sample Sizes.’ The Ramada was nice enough to supply us with coffee and danishes. Please limit yourself to one — we don’t have a huge ‘sample size.’ Hehe. Okay, let’s hear it for our first speaker… Chris Shelton!”