(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)
“Listen, I want you to go out there and treat each game like it might be your last,” Bud Black paused, as he addressed Garrett Hampson. Then, thoughtfully, he continued, “Because even if we don’t bring back Trevor Story for 2022, there’s a chance this offseason we sign the 33-year-old Elvis Andrus and I will play him over you.” Bud’s eye welled up, a slow tear trickled down as he continued, “I’d love nothing more than for us to sign Alcides Escobar too, and have a middle infield of two guys who are five years past their prime.” Bud wiped that tear, and finished, “That’s how I’d like to rebuild this team with C.J. Cron, Charlie Blackmon and two middle infielders who are awful, showing you, Ryan Vilade, Hilliard and Brendan Rodgers how to play.” Remembering one more thing, Bud added, “I wonder if we can lure Brian Dozier out of retirement. He’d look great playing in front of you.” So, until 2022, when Bud Black manages, literally, to bury Hampson again, he’s been playing and hitting. Clearly, the percentages for rostering are getting “Rodgered” in the whole keister since fantasy football started, because Hampson and Brendan Rodgers are supposedly rostered in less leagues than Alec Bohm and Keston Hiura. Speaking of Rockies’ middle infielders, all three (Story, Hampson and Rodgers) have been around equally valuable on our 30-day Player Rater. So, if Rodgers or Hampson are out there, they’re worth a grab, until Andrus, Alcides and Brian Dozier are brought in. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Keibert Ruiz – Ya know how I know I’m doing something right? All of these fantasy baseball league champion sashes I’m wearing. Also, because I’ve written ledes for just about all the guys in the buy column. Won’t just link to them — For unstints, “Already gave you my Keibert Ruiz fantasy. It was written while coming off the bench in a powderpuff football game.” Nope, that would just be lazy! Not me! Not this guy! Um, though, you can just click that link.
Bobby Dalbec – The true heads that are still following along fantasy baseball this deep into the season know the deal with Dalbec for this year, so here’s a little bonus for 2022: Prorating Dalbec out if he played every day, he would’ve been a 30-homer, .250 hitter. Not exactly challenging Vlad Jr. and Ohtani for AL MVP, but far from a complete slouch. A competent corner man in all but the shallowest of leagues. His splits do worry me, though. Not for this week, as he faces some lefties.
Yoshi Tsutsugo – This guy angers me like very few. If he did on the Dodgers what he’s now doing on the Pirates, my NL-Only Tout team might’ve went a different way. Most of you are thinking, “He was on the Dodgers?” Yes, and the Rays. More like Yoshi On Thethego.
Lewin Diaz – Truly hope Lewin Diaz doesn’t end up buried behind Jesus Aguilar next year. Maybe if Aguilar ends up needing knee — kneeding? — surgery that rehab will last into June and Lewin will already own the job. It’ll be the difference between Diaz putting the L in Lewin or the Win.
Marwin Gonzalez – From French for victory, Le Win, to an impaired victory with a marred Win. Gonzalez has been playing and hitting, and Dusty will continue to rest guys in the Astros’ lineup for the ‘offs.
Gavin Lux – Ya know, Dave Roberts has some Bud Black tendencies with playing the aged over the fresh, but I don’t call out Roberts nearly as much because the Dodgers win 100 games and their “wily” vets aren’t garbage. Getting Lux into the lineup is no Altuve–Shoot, I looked up a synonym for “small feat” and using Altuve in that sentence is confusing. Any hoo! I can see why it’s hard to find ABs for Lux, but he has been hitting.
Hunter Dozier – On this week’s podcast, I talk about how I’ve had Dozier for the last few weeks because he’s been hitting, and, if you listen real close, you might be able to hear what I’m thinking: “I’ve had Hunter Dozier for a few weeks? Mah gawd, man, you are so desperate.” Tis true!
Lane Thomas – For the third week in a row, Lane Thomas was in the running for Buy lede, but I get about two sentences into writing it and I always yawn real loud and think about who else I can highlight instead. L.T. has been hot, but he’s so boring to talk about.
Jesus Sanchez – When he was called up in June, I said to grab him in all leagues, and my love for him has only grown. About to change my name to Reverend Grey and preach Jesus’s virtues on a street corner.
Jarred Kelenic – Whatever this guy’s ADP is next year, sign me up for one round before. I cannot wait to draft him in every league.
Bryan De La Cruz – Between Lewin, Jesus and De La Cruz, I’m kinda getting jazzed for the Marlins. Oh, him too. As for De La Cruz, he’s from the Astros, and he’s in that team’s mold of hit tool first, and figure out the rest of the shizz later. Meaning: Think some version of Michael Brantley. Call him Brantley De La Cruz.
Chas McCormick – Looked at my 12-team, RCL waivers to find the hottest guy available and that’s how I ended up with Chas McCormick. I wanted him over Christian Yelich. Woof on that guy. At least Cody Belanger was injured, what’s your excuse, Yelich?
Trayce Thompson – Oh, wow, what’s that you say, ‘It’s September and you’ll start anyone?’ Whoopdeedoo! That’s nothing! I’m writing a blurb for Trayce Thompson! Kinda, I have nothing to say, except he’s been hot.
Collin McHugh – When a pitcher gets off the plane, after being traded to the Rays, the front office whispers in their ear the secret behind all their pitchers. Then when they’re traded away, they’re mind-wiped. Oh, you think I’m kidding? Then explain McHugh going from a 4.70 ERA to 1.30-ish ERA seemingly overnight.
Carlos Estevez – I have a family connection to Daniel Bard, and I’ve hesitated getting him on the podcast for one simply reason: My first question will be, “Why did you screw over all my fantasy teams?” Bard’s podcast interview might be shorter than with Jose Canseco, and the family connection is my wife’s. That’ll make things real awkward! Any hoo! Estevez is getting saves, so, yeah, if you’re desperate.
Aaron Ashby – In the 2nd half of the year, he has a 1.98 ERA in 27 1/3 IP, and he might see a start the final week, due to resting starters. Or come in after a starter for a bulk appearance. Brewers are the Rays of the NL by whispering secrets into their pitchers’ ear and mind-wiping them later. Though, the Marlins might have some whispers of their own, except they don’t whisper enough to their relievers. “Psst,” leaning in to whisper, “The secret to being a great pitcher is: We have a humidor that turns baseballs into lead-filled tiny medicine balls. These balls become like hacky sacks that will break your toe.”
Everyone – Stop looking for an “everyone” on your fantasy team. Everyone isn’t a person, it’s everyone. Keanu, “Whoa.” You can’t wait for some phantom hot streak that may or may not come. I’d drop everyone this final week if they’re not performing. This is also a drop for all starting pitchers on any teams that have already made the playoffs and might only see a few innings in the next week. In general, I can’t imagine any playoff-bound starter getting more than five innings. When I see Lance Lynn throwing, like, 75 pitches per start, I know we’re in uncharted territory for trying to rest starters. This uncharted territory on maps is named: Even-Dusty-Baker-Is-Pulling-Starters-After-70-Pitches-Land. It’s between the Arabian Sea and Ahalftheteamshavenocloseristan. There’s no time to wait! You need to do whatever it takes to win your league! Don’t be afraid of success! Be the hero you always dreamt yourself to be! Be a bright, shining star who is able to win a fantasy baseball league! Be the man you see when you look in the reflection of your computer screen when your fantasy team page is loading!