Jake McGee hit the DL with a sprained MCL. Damn, 1150 was a very bad year for him. Wait, a new closer that no one owns is up for grabs! When this news broke, I was sitting in a French cafe, wearing a beret to the side, flicking a Virginia Slim 120 like a French baller. I immediately looked for Carlos Estevez, but he was gone. Then I looked for Jason Motte — gone! Then I looked for Boone Logan — there! So, I grabbed him, then I wept quietly. Was I really picking up the guy third down the SAGNOF totem for the Rockies? I’m such a pitiful save vulture. Get some dignity, man, you’re better than this, you’re rocking a beret and a Virginia Slim 120! After Saturday’s game, Walt Weiss announced Estevez would be the closer, so now, even more pitifully, I will be dropping Boone Logan, who got me a cheap vulture save on Sunday due to Estevez being used too many days in a row. That’s like the fantasy baseball walk of shame. Everyone who sees you drop the guy that doesn’t get the closer job knows full well that you desperately tried to make the wrong guy work. Now I have to pick up and drop twelve other guys to bury my move. The fantasy baseball shame cycle! As for Estevez, his outings will be like brother Emilio — short. His performances may be like brother Charlie’s relationships — rocky. Unlike his father, Martin, he will not be starring in an awful Netflix series canoodling with the DA from Law & Order. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Tyler Chatwood – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 2.89. Never thought I’d say this but I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from this guy. *pull back to reveal I’m looking at Danny Duffy* You thought I was talking about Chatwood? Oh, hells no.
Christian Friedrich – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks vs. Tyler Anderson 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. This game happened in Coors, which caused Elias Sports Bureau to say this was the most unlikely pitchers’ duel since “Tiny” Joey Warnicko vs. “Cross-Eyed” Rick Thompson in a 1986 Little League game where one coach remembers it like this, “One kid couldn’t reach home and the other kid had to look at 1st base to see home.”
Jason Grilli – 1 IP, 1 ER and the save. Blue Jays announced that Grilli will be the primary setup man. A few things here, A) If everyone hates you, it’s not everyone that is wrong, it’s you, Storen. B) You have to dislike someone a lot to name Grilli the primary setup man because usually teams just use guys in a role, they don’t go out of their way to announce a setup man. Some teams don’t even announce a closer. C) There’s no C. D) It’s Jason Grilli!
Aaron Sanchez – 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.38. This is hilarious (not funny at all). On my fantasy team (through picking up and dropping), Sanchez has a 4.11 ERA in 57 IP. Off my team (on waivers or when someone else has owned him), he has an ERA of 1.91 in 28 1/3 IP. I’m not joking (I’m crying).
Russell Martin – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. This might be conformation bias, but we seem to get more comments about dropping Martin after he does well, then we get about picking him up. Maybe your dad was right, you are scared of success.
Kevin Pillar – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting near .375 in the last week with another homer. Hot schmotato alert!
Adam Jones – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and a double slam (10, 11) and legs (1). He’s really taken off as the leadoff hitter. Dot dot dot. With power (6 HRs in only 71 ABs), but he has an OBP under .300. I don’t know who the O’s can bat leadoff, but anyone else makes more sense.
Matt Wieters – 1-for-4 and his 6th homer. Wieters is doing the impossible this year. He’s bucking any hot hitter trend that’s ever happened in baseball prior (or of the last few weeks). Incredibly, Wieters hits a home run, then doesn’t get another hit again for a few games. This is dependent on your definition of incredibly.
Ike Davis – Signed a deal with the Yankees. That’s a real life Boone Logan pick up. The Yankees got real drunk, realized they had no one to go home with at 1st base, and just grabbed the first guy that would agree.
Michael Pineda – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 5.88. Those of you that keep going back to Pineda are trying to make a round peg fit in a square hole when his opponent, Michael Fulmer (6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.52), is the square peg you’re looking for. And what’s cooler than Square Pegs? Nothing. By the by, what’s the blonde guy holding? A taser? Early cellphone? Electric razor? What the hell is he holding?
Francisco Cervelli – Hit the DL with a broken hand. Chris Stewart should take over. And you thought the Pirates’ catching situation couldn’t get more boring for fantasy (boringer? The rich guy with nothing to talk about, Beau Ringer?).
Francisco Liriano – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.92. Solid game…OR WAS IT?! Oh, snap, the reversal question! The K-turns of hope. Liriano also gave up 3 unearned runs and this was a favorable matchup. His next one will be more of a test coming in Wrigley. The ballpark, not the gum.
Carlos Martinez – 8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.46. Looks like C-Mart has buoyed his May (5.18 ERA) with a solid June (2.51). We’ll have to see what July has in store. Or as The Decemberists call it July! July!
Matt Holliday – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .265. This could cause me to pick up Holliday for the 17th time in only 10 weeks.
Danny Duffy – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.94. I gave you my Danny Duffy fantasy on Friday. Leave your fantasy password in the comments and I’ll pick him up for you. If your password is GreysmellslikeLimburgercheese then not cool, man.
Cheslor Cuthbert – 1-for-3, 1 run and two homers (3, 4) on Saturday. Cheslor Cuthbert sounds like the Cesar Chavez of limo drivers. “When it’s under 40 degrees, the driver will be allowed to smoke inside the car, or we strike.” On top of that, he could be a hot schmotato.
Whit Merrifield – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .322 and now batting leadoff. It makes sense too, he’s been one of the best pure average hitters on the Royals. Of course, “best pure average hitters” doesn’t scream must-own in fantasy. It mumbles “maybe own.”
Salvador Perez – 2-for-4 and his 9th homer, and 2nd homer this weekend. His nickname should be Salve, because he soothes you, and stops you from picking your catcher scab.
Yordano Ventura – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks. So, Machado smacked some sense into him? He’s finally full of sound and fury, signifying something? Is he calling Shakespeare a liar? If there was one guy in the majors that would call someone dead for four hundred years a liar, it would be Ventura. “This is yours, you’ve earned it.” That’s Milton Bradley handing Ventura a key to A.C., Asshole City. So, this was a solid game from Ventura (no dur!), but I still don’t trust him. I’d want to see another solid one.
Jose Quintana – 8 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.66. Seems to go perpetually underrated in some fantasy circles, and if someone didn’t recognize Quintana’s genius, they would be a jerk. Therefore, each individual would be a circle jerk.
Jose Abreu – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer. Oh my God, my reverse Sell jinx might actually be paying dividends for once for me. I’m more pot committed than John Malkovich in Rounders, just do something, Abreu.
Carlos Rodon – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.28. Sonavabench! You’re not supposed to pitch well when just returning from injury. Even if it was a day-to-day thingie-ma-boo-boo.
Tanner Roark – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.93. Seen Roark mentioned a lot as a potential drop. Guys and five girl readers, if a pitcher has a K-rate over 7 and an ERA under 3, then just hold him.
Danny Espinosa – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 11th homer. What if it’s revealed Danny Espinosa is actually Trea Turner in Witness Protection? Do Turner’s owners get credit for his stats?
Joe Ross – 7 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.01. You know what’s gonna happen with Ross, right? You know, right? He’s going to give up 7 ER in 2 IP in September but JB is already going to be onto fantasy basketball so unable to answer for all that Ross wrought (almost stutterer!).
Maikel Franco – 2-for-4 and his 11th homer, a bomb that came against Papelbon in the 9th that put the Phils ahead, but then Jeanmar Gomez (2/3 IP, 2 ER) blew the game. I’m sure I speak for all Phils fans when I say, ten minutes of Papelbon sucking was worth it.
Dan Straily – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.15. He was a small positive for this start on the Stream-o-Nator and is again for his next one vs. the Braves. I tell you this because Straily really is a start to start guy. I believe they have a name for those. *intern whispers in my ear* A streamer, right. Could you whisper a little further away from me, your breath is hot. *intern whispers a few feet away* I can’t hear you!
Daniel Mengden – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners (4 BBs), 5 Ks as he was called up to start on Saturday. With Hahn demoted, Dave Magadan should remain in the rotation. He’s had control problems in the minors, and did again in his first start. Also, he’s profiled in the past as a long man out of the pen, which makes my pen want to use sad ink.
Danny Valencia – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .335. Take a moment and look at the corner man you have on your team. Is he anywhere near as good as Valencia? I’m gonna guess that at least 75% of you answer in the affirmative. And since 25% of you don’t know what affirmative means, that’s a full 100% in favor of Valencia. It’s math, you can’t argue with it.
Marcus Semien – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. That Semien shot came off a Lamb. Sounds Scottish.
Matthew Wisler – 4 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 4.36. Well, we had some good times, though they weren’t that good to put up with these bad times. Begone, Wisler! Woebegone!
Jason Heyward – 3-for-4, 3 runs and a homer (4) on Saturday, hitting .240. The mirror situated directly under Heyward’s nose is fogging up. It’s not an illusion. Or a trick, that’s something a prostitute does.
Javier Baez – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .272. The gains he’s made on his strikeout rate are the biggest story no one is talking about. Or rather, no one is talking about that I’ve heard, for all I know, everyone’s talking about it. This is why I wasn’t that worried about Rizzo, Kris Bryant or George Springer either. It seems as if hitters can correct too many Ks if they’re young. Baez’s strikeout percentage in 2014 was 41.5%. This year: 19.1%. Baezinga!
Matt Shoemaker – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks. Now has 70 Ks, 11 BBs in 68 IP. I.e., yes, please and thank you. He’s been insane since May 21st — 1.91 ERA in 37 2/3 IP with 48 Ks. I’ve been telling you to pick up Shoemaker for the past few weeks. A few people thought I was crazy when I said Shoemaker was safe due to his season last year. Thankfully, we’re not using his stats from last year for this year’s fantasy leagues.
Jefry Marte – 1-for-4 and his 4th homer. How did King Jefry go from a platoon player to hitting cleanup? Oh, The Sciosciapath.
Mike Trout – Was hit on the thumb by a pitch and immediately left the game. The fantasy community collectively held its breath. Pausing at one point from the breath-holding to have some Cheetos. Luckily, x-rays came back negative, so we can return to just eating Cheetos.
Danny Salazar – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.19. I wonder at what point people will consider Salazar in the top echelon of starters, because he’s been effin’ beautiful going on two years now.
Carlos Santana – 2-for-5 and his 11th and 12th homers, hitting .231. Not sure what happened and too lazy/uninterested to figure it out, but Santana went from a perennial .260 hitter to a perennial .230 one and doesn’t look like he can find his way back to .260.
Wily Peralta – Was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Matt Garza. I guess it wasn’t possible to option the entire Brewers’ staff minus Jimmy Nelson to the minors and let opposing teams hit off a tee for the other games. I have Josh Hader, star of Napoleon Dynamite and Brewers’ pitching prospect, stashed in one very deep league. If I remember, I’m going to ask JB about him on today’s podcast. Though, this is more of a note that I hope JB reads and reminds me about.
Zach Davies – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.88. He throws 89 MPH. By the time he winds up and the ball hits the catcher’s mitt, I can let out one full yawn.
Max Kepler – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer, and third straight game with a hit. I wouldn’t say schmotato yet, but I would say it’s worth a little cyclops’ing.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 6.06. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay on my teams anymore.
Xander Bogaerts – 2-for-5, 1 RBI, hitting .359, after having two straight 4-for-5 games. I think it’s fair to give him the F5 nickname honor this year.
Felix Hernandez – Could be out four more weeks. Total shame for F-Her–Okay, enough mourning! James Paxton will now be in the rotation for another month and, on Saturday, threw 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 2.25. K-Pax isn’t just a movie that made Kevin Spacey say, “Hey, maybe I should give TV a chance,” but he’s the Mariners’ starter with a 13+ K/9, barely 2 BB/9 and a 1.88 xFIP whose velocity is averaging over 97 MPH. K-Pax has flirted with being an ace for a few years, and might finally be there. Duffy, Paxton, Fulmer and Shoemaker have emerged in just the last few weeks, and every year you think you should draft starters high. As they say in Paris, c’est la vie, ya’ll! Paris, Texas, obviously.
Leonys Martin – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer. Pick him up just to see if you’re The Cooler.
Yu Darvish – Won’t pitch on Monday and is headed for an MRI. The only thing I can think, and I have thought about this long and hard. Our prayer hexagon failed due to a non-believer among us. I don’t want to turn this into Salem, burning fantasy baseballers on a stake, but I will if it’s necessary.
Prince Fielder – 0-for-2, 1 run and his 5th homer on Saturday, hitting .202. For those kicking themselves that they gave up Fielder too soon, Adam Lind is owned in less than 5% of ESPN leagues and has been more valuable.
Mitch Moreland – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs with his 9th homer, and a huge weekend with two homers on Friday. Speaking of guys that have been better than Fielder and aren’t owned anywhere.
Colby Lewis – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.00. Rotoworld said about Lewis, “He doesn’t strike out many batters and is homer-prone, but he gets plenty of run support and pitches lots of innings, two factors which historically have combined to help him win more games than his talent would indicate.” That’s like the person who buys the produce they don’t want that is on sale and about to rot. “These okra have a weird smell to them, but they’re 30% off! Anyone have any okra recipes?!”
Zack Godley – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners (3 BBs), 3 Ks in his first start of the year. Godley, or as Jews call him G-dley, has never been much of a prospect, and you have to be out of your g-ddamn mind to mess with him in mixed leagues. Fun fact! Jewish pagodas are pag-das.
Peter O’Brien – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer as he was called up on Friday. Has big-time power (17 HRs in only 51 games this year in Triple-A), tends to strike out too much, overdoes it with Neil Diamond sing-a-longs like every Irishman, and should be the Diamondbacks’ left fielder for games vs. lefties.
Dallas Keuchel – 5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 5.54. Listen, you tried to make it work. You stayed at a motel for a month to let him have his space; you wanted to go back to Keuchel but you fell in love with Danny Duffy. Neither you or Duffy expected it to happen, but it did. Let Keuchel down easy, it’s for everyone’s sake.
Carlos Gomez – 0-for-3 and his 3rd homer on Saturday. Referee Earl Hebner lifts Gomez arm and it falls, lifts it again and it falls, lifts it a third time and it falls–Wait! He’s lifting his arm! He’s alive!
Chris Archer – 7 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 KS, ERA at 4.61. Sadly, I think this is the best it’s going to get this year. Some Quality Starts, nice Ks, bunch of losses and never seeing long stretches of the ace from last year. At least it’s better than what he was doing in April/May.
Matt Moore – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 5.05. If you pick him up now, you are falling for the banana in the ol’ tailpipe.
Blake Snell – Returning to start on Thursday vs. the Mariners with Andriese bumped to the bullpen. Snell ya later from my team, Aaron Sanchez! “Hi, my name is Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario — prefer if you don’t abbreviate it — and I have a problem.” The chorus responds, ‘Hello, Grey.’ “My problem is I cycle through ten players a day in my 12 team mixed league and half the time I don’t even own these players long enough for them to even start on my team.” Grumbles, people understand. “I picked up Grilli, after he got the save, then I saw Snell coming up and I dropped Grilli again.” Someone yells amen, some people give the Amen’er a sideways glance. “One time, I was on my way to a funeral and I pulled over to pick up a replacement closer.” You can hear the dismay in the audience. “And I was the lead car, so the entire procession pulled behind me.” Someone yells out, ‘He’s a monster!’ I lower my head, “I know. I am.”