“He’s a Mormon like a wolf!” That’s me singing about Ezequiel Duran (2-for-4 and his 1st homer) as he was called up by the struggling-to-get-offense Rangers, who are only spending $500 million this year. Whatever the case, circle July 8th on your calendar as the first day we can get the long-awaited matchup of Duran/Duran. Her name is Edwin Rios and she is dancing on the sand! In the Itch’s top 25 2nd base prospects, Ezequiel got some shine, “Acquired from the Yankees in the Joey Gallo deal, Duran is a twitch factory who logged 19 HR and 19 SB in 105 games in High-A this year, slashing .267/.342/.486 between the two organizations. He also went to the fall league and slashed .278/.333/.611 with another three home runs in 16 games. I’ve been into this guy’s baseball actions since the first time I saw video of him way back in 2017. He’s a stout right handed hitter at 5’11” 185 lbs, who swings like he’s killing snakes. Grey better watch out, since he’s a snake.” Not cool! In deeper leagues, where you’re struggling for everything — wouldn’t be me! (Absolutely is me!) — I could see grabbing Duran. “Just like that river twisting through a Dusty land!” Me singing about Duran when he faces the Dusty-led Astros. Unlike the Phils’ defense, that shizz is catchy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Steele Walker – 0-for-4 as he was also called up by the Rangers. The Rangers have some kind of rule in place that says they must have at least one player who sounds like a Chuck Norris character? Not sure how the Rangers spent more than the GDP of Cambodia this offseason and need so many bats called up, when they don’t have injuries, but here we are. Walker is a high contact, solid speed and nice power guy, who has been playing in Triple-A for years for reasons I can’t quite figure out. Very little has been written on him, and the Rangers’ park sucks, so prolly just monocle for now in mixed leagues. Maybe Walker can one day be as good as Willie Calhoun — fingers crossed.
Martin Perez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.56, and his first home run allowed to Eugenio Suarez (his 11th). Oh no! Perez has allowed a home run! I gotta cuff my Cavariccis higher, someone opened the floodgates!
Marcus Semien – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 3rd homer. Semien’s currently answering the question: Could he get worse? The answer was no. Thankfully.
Adolis Garcia – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .229. Does anyone realize how high Adolis is on the Player Rater? Above Freddie Freeman? Oh yeah! Above Arenado? Yup! Above Kevin Gausman? Sigh, yes.
Jordan Montgomery – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.02. For all of youse who are like, “Well, JoMo is a lemon on the Ford lot,” if you would’ve told me I would get a 3.02 ERA from Montgomery, I would’ve made a mobile celebrating him, and hung it in my Alabama Room.
Joey Gallo – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. This was his first extra base hit since May 15th. Emoji that is dabbing its sweaty forehead with a soaking wet sponge.
Taylor Ward – Hit the IL with “Shoot, this means we have to call up Jo Adell, huh?” Maddon said he hopes Ward is only out with “Unfortunately Adell is here” for the minimum ten days. Jokes aside (were they jokes?), Maddon said, “Adell wouldn’t be here if Ward didn’t get hurt.” Not exactly a confidence booster.
Raisel Iglesias – 1 1/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 4.91, and his 2nd blown save. Hang out in Philly all weekend and your bullpen will also turn to shizz.
Didi Gregorius – 1-for-1, 1 run, as he was activated from the IL. He reentered the clubhouse with his usual greeting, “I’m Didi, and he’s Girardi, and together we’re Girardidi!” And was met with awkward silence.
Bryson Stott – 1-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the last three games. Could it finally be BrySZN?! It might. I’d grab him since the Phils’ new manager and adult contemporary artist, Rob Thomson, said he wants to play youngsters.
Bryce Harper – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .309. Imagine if he had two working elbows.
Travis Swaggerty – Called up by the Pirates. Meriam-Webster defines Swaggerty as “Being about that swag no cap.” Merriam-Webster (two R’s) doesn’t define Swaggerty because it’s the Man trying to shutout information to the masses. More like Davos Swaggerty, amiright?! Swaggerty had a 28% K% in Triple-A, which doesn’t bode well for a promotion, Neither does the fact that he doesn’t seem to be getting better at each level and he’s 24. NL-Only for now, unless desperate in a deep mixed.
Cal Mitchell – 2-for-3 and his 1st homer. He dropped down and powered it out with his quiet, beautiful swing. Expect no less from Calm Itchell.
Luis Castillo – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.55. When you’re outmatched by Patrick Corbin, you now have four Ls in your name, and you can choose where you want it. Lluis or Castilllo, up to you. (Am I just working around dropping butterscotch on my L key? You make the calllll!)
Zach Thompson – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.60 vs. Zac Gallen – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.40. This matchup was billed as, “The Marlins’ split squad game that never was.” The Marlins could give away another five starters, and still have an above-average rotation.
MacKenzie Gore – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.50 vs. Aaron Ashby – 6 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.13. The lines tell one story, but if you watched this game, you came away thinking both of these guys are aces in the making. The line doesn’t say it, but Ashby is so absolutely filthy. Oh, and MacKenzie Gore is the only pitcher to have 55+ strikeouts and an ERA of 1.50 or lower over his first nine career appearances since 1913 when ERA became an official stat in both leagues.
Mike Clevinger – 3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.18 as he was activated from the IL. Why does it feel like by the time he’s stretched out to go 6 IP he’ll have another phantom IL stint?
Kolten Wong – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 4th and 5th homer. Like a conjoined twin, that’s a double Wong dong.
Jarren Duran – 1-for-4, 1 run. There’s so many Durans currently in the majors, it’s like VH1 Classic up in here. I like Jarren a lot, but the Red Sox don’t have a place to play him. He was up because JBJ was out on paternity. He welcomed Jackie Bradley Jr. Jr. It is pretty telling though when Duran hits leadoff, and he makes the most sense at that spot in the order. He really should be playing over new daddy, JBJ.
Grayson Rodriguez – Diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat strain, and might not pitch again this year. Welp, rev up the 2023 hype train.
Andres Gimenez – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. Hot schmotato alert!
Zach Plesac – 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 hits, zero walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.72. Best Plesac’s looked since 2020. Streamonator loves his next start too, and I can see it. “What’s up, cats and dogs? Your man, Zach’s back…s!” That’s Plesac.
Jose Berrios – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 5.24. I am so pot-committed to Berrios that I may as well change my name to Jose Albright and walk around screaming, “¡Escúchame!” and motioning to fill up my sangria glass, so it’s with regret to say the Twins looked worse than Berrios looked great. Of course, I’m taking it, hoping this is the start of great things, but it didn’t feel like that watching it.
Alejandro Kirk – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 5th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. He’s about as hot as any catcher’s been this year. I just grabbed him in my RCL, after trying not to pick my catcher scab for two months.
George Springer – 2-for-5 and his 11th homer. Every time I mention this guy the Demanders of Me Mentioning My Wrong Calls come out of the woodwork. No one talking about Buxton hitting .216 with one steal; no one talking about Walker Buehler being barely a number two. Also, Springer’s been fine, but you’re telling me you feel confident about him staying on the field? C’mon.
Matt Chapman – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th homer. This guy feels overdue for an 8-homer-in-12-game stretch.
Gary Sanchez – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer this week. After his first home run this week (Monday?), I put in a bid to pick him up in my weekly league, and I’ve watched all week, wishing Gary was on my team, which, in retrospect, seems like a real waste of energy.
Trevor Larnach – 1-for-5 and his 4th homer. Opened up Larnach’s player page to confirm he was hot, and, like a sea monster, it must’ve been a figment of my imagination.
Yordan Alvarez – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 16th homer, hitting .295. There’s only a handful of guys I can imagine a Triple Crown season from, and Captain Woo Cubano is on the shortlist.
Framber Valdez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.61. He’s at 99% rostered on ESPN. Hearing the one league where he’s available it’s where Johnny Depp dropped Framber.
Salvador Perez – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. “Hey, could you reopen the Buy Low Window so I can pull my arm back in?”
Matt Olson – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. Can Olson stay in Coors briefly, say, for the next 80 games, and play there only? Asking for my fantasy teams.
Ronald Acuña Jr. – 4-for-5, 3 runs and a slam (3) and legs (10), hitting .313. Actually, room for one more staying in Coors?
Brendan Rodgers – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. He has 1 RBI on the year in away games; 25 RBIs at home. In away games, Brendan Rodgers is basically the mannequin you use to drive in car pool lanes.
Starling Marte – 1-for-5 and his 7th homer. This was an oppo taco, which is like oppo research but with cheese and salsa.
Eddy Alvarez – 2-for-4,1 RBI. Edwin Rios went down over the weekend with a serious hamstring strain, and the Dodgers called up another Ed to play 3rd. This one an Olympic speed skater. The last SoCal guy with any winter affiliation was JT Snow.
Trea Turner – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (6) and legs (11), hitting .299. Treat Urner is like opening an advent calendar every day of the season and getting some fantasy goodness.
Caleb Kilian – 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, as he was called up. He was in the last Prospect Stash List from Itch, and, elsewhere he said about Kilian, “Continues to add velocity and holds it deep into his starts as he climbs the ladder. Kilian is doing his best work limiting home runs (0.26 HR/9 in 34.1 innings).” No mention that Caleb’s name is pronounced by me as “Cal-E B,” because Grey is a total Barb, and likes to twerk. In Triple-A, Kilian had a 9.4 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 2.06 ERA, but the walk rate is a little misleading. Command, he has. Yoda, I talk like. I’m not going anywhere near him in mixed leagues yet, but that could change.
Garrett Cooper – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer. If Cooper gets hot, his hot streak looks something like: 3-for-10, 2 runs, 1 HR, 1 quad strain.
Donovan Walton – 1-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer. Love to see the Giants’ Make-A-Player Factory go up against the Cardinals’ Make-A-Player Factory. They’ve both created a Donovan recently, that aren’t actual players. They’re figments of our imagination and, at some point soon, they’ll disappear like other guys before them. Think Edmundo Sosa and Luis Gonzalez. Can you remember them? They never existed either. “Do I exist?” That’s Jason Vosler pinching his arm. You don’t, Jason. I’m sorry.