Across the media landscape yesterday, people who vaguely know sports were giving hot takes like, “Cleveland lost their sports hero.” “What do we hang on this LeBron sports banner now?” “All Cleveland has left is the Browns, what will they ever do?” I blame myself. People don’t know baseball like they should. That pains me. What MLB was hoping for from Judge and Giancarlo is currently going on with Francisco Lindor (2-for-4, 3 runs, 7 RBIs and his 22nd and 23rd homer, hitting .298) and Jose Ramirez (2-for-4, 15th steal, hitting .298) and people outside of Cleveland have no idea. Don’t worry, you’re not absolved of blame either. I blame you, as well. We need to shout from the rooftops at what these two are doing. They are neck-and-neck in the top five on the Player Rater. I can’t remember another time two teammates, who are hitters, were both in the top five. (If you can think of an instance, hit me up in the comments. I racked my brain, which is to say I placed my head on a video of a stripper’s rack.) Together, they are worth nearly $90! To swoop your pretty face back to the preseason, if your team added up to $260, you were at least working on even money. Combined they’re worth more than a third of a total team! Which one of them is going to end up worth more? No idea, but this will be the greatest battle since Apollo-Rocky I. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Danny Salazar – Ruled out for the season after exploratory surgery. Doctors didn’t reveal what they found with this Indian during the exploration, but, afterwards, they wrapped him in a smallpox-infested blanket, so he should be fine.
Jake Junis – 5 1/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 5.13. So, what you’re saying is he’s not, uh, good? Over and out!
Whit Merrifield – 1-for-4 and his 5th homer, hitting .288. He’s the best pure Royals hitter. I know, that’s like being the tallest midget. However, explain how Merrifield has 42 at-bats hitting 5th or lower. It’s a trick question, you can’t.
Shane Greene – Hit the DL with a sore shoulder. That came out of nowhere (for us; Ron Gardenhire says he’s been dealing with it for a while. Hey, if there’s one thing a Gardenhire should know it’s the Greene! C’mon, high-five me! That one was good. No? Okay. Wait, how’d we get stuck inside this parenthetical? Aw, man, I told you not to follow Waze. Oh, I see, I have to make a right.). Joe Jimenez is the closer fill-in for Greene. That will certainly be without its lumps. Psst, that was sarcasm; he blew his first save yesterday (1 IP, 1 ER).
Ryan Borucki – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.77. Borucki is great for the Name Game — Borucki, Borucki, bo-orucki, banana-fana fo-forucki, fee-fi-mo-morucki, Borucki! — and he was also highlighted by Prospector Ralph as a sleeper prospect, “A deceptive delivery where Borucki hides the ball behind his left leg for an extended moment, allows his lower 90’s fastball, slider, and changeup to play-up. In 2017, Borucki scrapped his curveball in favor of his slider, and started to use it on the outer-half of the plate to great results. With the improvement in his breaking ball, Borucki has a third pitch, and two true secondaries he can throw in any count. I also count to ten rather than punching Grey in his face.” Hey! Outside of AL-Only and dynasty leagues, he’s simply a matchups play for the Stream-o-Nator.
Mike Fiers – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.79. Sung a’la Alicia Keys, “This pitcher is on Fiers….He’s on Fiers….Does he still think he’s pitching for the Astros? Cause he’s on Fiers…” Actually, not “a’la,” she literally sings those exact words. Don’t focus too much on how Fiers’ ERA is better than five-sixths of your staff. It’ll only make you sad.
Arodys Vizcaino – Expected back today. I’m forming a Praying Mantis with Cougs and my dog, Ted, that Vizcaino is actually healthy and not just returning.
Anibal Sanchez – 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.89. Feels like such a throwback. Not because he’s old, though he is, but because I can remember, and this is going to age me, when there were a number of pitchers who had inexplicably low ERAs. Member that? Way back in 2014. MLB ERA in 2014 was 3.74, now it’s 4.08. MLB, “Nothing to see here!”
Johan Camargo – 2-for-5 and his 8th homer. And when I was your age, Johans were pitchers! Humbug! Also, Camargo is hitting near-.350 in the last week, so might be a little schmotato here.
Ronald Acuna – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .274. Podcaster Ralph and I talk about Acuña on the podcast coming later today, okay, we spew love in free-form poems.
Aaron Judge – 1-for-4 and his 23rd homer, and 2nd homer in–Oh, he hits home runs every game. Not Seung-hwan.
Jonathan Loaisiga – 4 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 3.00. If you want to drop him, it’s better to not watch him, because, if you watch him, you will be overwhelmed with how sexy his pitches are.
Luis Castillo – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.53. About what Anime Grey said in the video above? Yeah, it still stands. Castillo looked better, but it was the White Sox and Jose Abreu didn’t even play the whole game (sore ankle). So, better sign than his last 17 games started, but I’d like to see more.
Scott Schebler – 2-for-3 and his 11th homer, hitting .283. No one wants him, not even the Reds. He’s their leadoff hitter, homers and doubles, then is swapped out of the lineup. Incredible. Jim Riggleman thinks they’re in the 7th game of the World Series.
James Shields – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 3 Ks, ERA at 4.12. I Googled “Big Game James” and Google suggested every athlete whose name is James: James Worthy, James Shields, LeBron James. Someone needs to start going by Important Athletic Event Gent.
Avisail Garcia – 2-for-4 and his 5th homer. He’s now hitting near-.400 in the last week with four homers. Just drop your password in the comments, and I’ll pick him up for you. If you’re password is Grey’shairisnotthatgreat, then don’t bother.
Matt Adams – Expects to be activated on Wednesday. He hit in a sim game with no issues. How did he even play the CD-Rom?
Anthony Rendon – 1-for-5 and his 12th homer, hitting .291. Feels like just last week he only had seven homers. Oh, look at that, it was.
Daniel Murphy – 2-for-4 and his 1st homer, hitting .203. If you still own Murphy, I bet you could get something in a trade for him. Find the guy in your league who still talks about how he lettered in high school. Unless you are that guy, then, uh, yeah, nice calves, I don’t need to see them.
Rick Porcello – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.57. I’ve said this a few times in the past, but, really, what the hell are we gonna talk about with Porcello? He is exactly a 3.55-3.80 pitcher with neutral luck.
Mookie Betts – 1-for-4 and his 21st homer. Mookie Best!
Nathan Eovaldi – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.92 vs. Wei-Yin Chen – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 5.55. This matchup was billed as, “The Rays vs. The Marlins, just be glad it wasn’t a suspended zero-zero tie.” I keed, about Eovaldi, at least. He has a 7.6 K/9, a K-rate that plays because his walk rate is only 1.3. K-rate is strikeout rate, by the way, not a Wheel of Fortune clue for karate.
A.J. Pollock – 0-for-4, 1 run as he was activated. Pollock said he felt as good as new, but then the camera pulled back and revealed he was looking at a gnu with a sore hamstring.
Robbie Ray – 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.89. Bad week to quit barbiturates.
Carlos Martinez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.20. I started both C-Mart and Ray in one league, because I am totally loco. I am wearing a chicken suit screaming, “El Pollo Loco,” that’s how loco I am. Thankfully, only Ray gave me the royal screwjob, and I’m trusting C-Mart again, which I’m sure won’t backfire.
Jedd Gyorko – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. As someone who owns Gyorko in one deep league, let me tell you that he never plays. Matheny just has too many weapons. Not a weapon, according to Cards President Mozeliak, is definitely Dexter Fowler.
Yadier Molina – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .272. He’s on pace for 23 homers and a .270 average, i.e., what you would’ve taken from Gary Sanchez in the worst case scenario. By the way, you need to rethink your worst case scenarios.
Nick Kingham – 3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.70, as he was recalled. I told you yesterday I grabbed Kingham, and today I say, well, I hate myself. Here’s to his next start vs. WASH. Oy. Now I subliminally want to scrub myself. Obviously, if you’re not locked into starting Kingham again, you can lose him in most mixed leagues.
Elias Diaz – 1-for-2 and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Elias Sports Bureau said, “No relation.”
Matt Kemp – 5-for-5, 4 runs, 4 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .323. 11th best OPS in the majors, 8th best batting average, 9th best SLG, and number one for DMs with Rihanna. Actually, all of that might be for the DMs.
Cody Bellinger – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .241. Also, in this game, Joc Pederson (1-for-6) hit his 12th homer and Max Muncy (1-for-5, 3 runs) and his 18th homer, as the Dodgers scored 17 runs and pregunta’d, “Who was eliminated due to a poor record in April?”
Nate Orf – 0-for-4 as he starts over Villar, because Craig Counsell approaches common sense similarly to how he approached holding a bat. “Oh, well, that’s, uh…different.”
Robbie Grossman – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 4th homer, a grand slam because Rosario beat out an infield single to keep the inning going and I own Brent Suter (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.53) and hold me please. These are not tears of joy.
Willians Astudillo – 2-for-4, hitting .455 he was called up over the weekend, and played 3rd base yesterday for the Twins, because the Twinkies just don’t feel right without a guy who looks like he enjoys Twinkies playing 3rd. Astudillo is as tall as he is wide, and swings, and hits everything. His walk rate in Triple-A? 2.7%. His strikeout rate? 4.8%. That’s hilarious in a very nerdy way. He has little power, and looks like a weeble wobble for speed, but he could hit for average. Dot dot dot. Or get sent down in a few days.
Jorge Polanco – 0-for-4 as he returned from his suspension, and Eduardo Escobar hit the bench. I saw Escobar benched for Polanco, and all I could think of was Escobar was being abused like Mary J. Blige in Not Gon’ Cry. “I was your shortstop and your secretary, working every day of the week. Was at the job when Polanco was suspended, helping this team get on its feet. Eighty games of sacrifice and you can bench me at the drop of a dime? I shoulda made you DFA Polanco’s ass a thousand times! Well, I’m not gon cry, I’m not gon cry, I’ll be here if Polanco’s hamstring tears.”