Hello, everyone, you may recognize me from the weekly FAAB/waiver wire article, but Dan Pants is on the 10-day IL, but he should be back next week. He said he just needs a standard check-up from Dr. James Andrews.

This feels a lot like borrowing a buddy’s car for a short road trip. Gotta adjust the seat and move it forward. Tweak the left mirror. Get that rearview angled just right. Dial that A/C to 69 degrees. Move that seat back again. I promise I won’t smoke (too many) joints in this whip.

Set up the navigation. Toggle the treble to +1. Bounce the bass to +5. Adjust that left mirror just a touch more.

Ah, okay. I’m all settled in now. Where are we going again? Oh yeah, Friday’s games…

Christopher Morel – fell a triple short of the cycle in the Friday matinee, soaking up the Northside UV waves through a wildfire haze. Three more hits put his average above .300, and now that I think about it, maybe that haze was from Morel’s scorching bat lighting ablaze the ivy.

The Professor Kyle Hendricks lectured his way to a tidy 5 IP with just 1 K. His ERA now stands at 3.18 and will likely continue to drive further south in an endless war to conquer Statcast that dates well before Bryce Elder was in diapers.

Ryan O’Hearn – 3 for 4, hitting .308. If him having a resurgent year in Baltimore (banishing Jordan Westburg and Colin Cowser to languish in AAA) with a 1.004 OPS isn’t a sign of the pending apocalypse, I don’t know what is.

Call me Sonny because I’m cuckoo for Coco Montes. The 26-year-old draws his fourth start of the week and … might be essential in an NL-Only league? One thing is for sure, the Rockies will always keep me guessing.

Travis d’Arnaud – 2 for 4, 2 Runs, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs. Travis went into dong mode and launched 2 HRs, doubling his season total. Maybe he’s finally feeling better and ready to take control of the Braves DH role?

Domingo German? More like Doming- “No! My ERA, man!” (Eat your heart out, JKJ!) At least his FIP on the day was only 13.28, portending better things than his 31.50 ERA, I guess. His season ERA now stands at 4.30 after an ugly outing in Bean Town (2 IP, 7 ER).

Tanner Houck was rolling (4 IP with 2 Ks and 1 ER) before a comebacker hit him square in the face. He looks to be relatively unscathed, suffering just a facial contusion. Despite being in last place in the AL East, the Red Sox provide enough offense to make Houck viable for wins in a 12-team league.

When we get a superb Masataka Yoshida line like last night’s (4-4 with two doubles and 4 RBI), I get melancholy about not getting to watch the first part of his career.

When it comes to the list of insufferable Red Sox, the list is long and storied. Johnny Damon, Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek. Facial hair that would make Scott Stapp envious mixed with the Bostonian faux Irish pride has compelled many a strange entertaining athlete to new heights. Justin Turner has now entered their pantheon, and his 2 HR performance, including a grand slam, will only further fuel his march toward never buying another beer at a Bruins game.

Speaking of being melancholy, nothing gives me a bigger pit in my stomach than the news about Triston McKenzie’s elbow. He’s a bright young star in the league and has always provided primo interview content in addition to a one-of-a-kind mound presence. Let’s hope for the speediest return possible.

Nolan Gorman had a rough day at work, going 0-4 with 3 Ks. His season line has now re-calibrated to .244 / .331 / .498, ruining the one cool thing about the Cardinals season so far. Le sigh.

Ever the heel, Tommy Pham returned to Busch Stadium and poked through two 2-out RBI singles. He’s getting a lot of extra playing time with Pete Alonso being out and looks like a breath of fresh air amongst the sad Mets funeral home vibes.

I’ve been playing ottoneu six picks lately, a points format that favors hits and total bases. It makes Luis Arraez a golden god and daily must-own. Empty batting average, shmpty shmatting shmaverage, he included a homer amongst four singles in a 5-5 and 3 RBI performance.

Sandy Alcantara – Woof, a 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 1 K dud from Sandy in what was a Marlins of pitching outings.

Kevin Gausman was Kevin Boss Man in his start in Arlington, firing 6 innings of one run ball (4 Ks). His ERA is now 3.01 with a 6-3 record.

Jordan Romano is the second reliever to 20 saves this year after a superb outing of four outs with 3 Ks. Get ready for reliever inflation to push him to a first round pick in drafts next year.

Andrew Abbott – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. There’s something to be said about being able to walk into Minute Maid Park as a rookie and survive to tell the story. His meteoric rise made me skeptical at first but having the right stuff on the road against an Astros lineup with a team 111 wRC+ against lefties is making me believe. You might be able to buy if Abbott’s current owner was expecting more than his to-date 6.1 K/9.

Kyle Tucker – 2 for 4. continues his steady and unflashy roll to an easy layup of a first rounder season. He’s now up to 12 stolen bags with a .285 / .357 /.451 line.

Joe Ryan? More like No Tryin’! Somebody stop me. No, please, stop me. Joe’s 6 earned runs (7 IP, 7 Ks) leave me green faced, but his ERA holds steady at 3.30.

Matt Vierling – 3 for 4, 3 Runs, 2 HRs. got in on the two homer party last night as Rob Manfred found a super special batch of balls bouncier than a Vegas buffet steak. Nice boon for those desperate enough to be using Vierling in a deeper league.

In another sign of the apocalypse in 2023, Julio Teheran gave up only two earned runs in 6 innings and RAISED his ERA to 1.78. So many 12-team owners are about to make some terrible mistakes following Teheran into the abyss.

Yeah, I totally knew who Blake Perkins was before scouring these Friday box scores and noticing his 2 RBI night. And yep, “Blake Perkins” is going to be a major contributor down the stretch for a division champion. He’s getting playing time and hitting high enough in the order to warrant NL-Only consideration.

There was some concern that Luis Matos might be a short-side platoon bat after being pulled in his Wednesday debut when a righty relieved the lefty starter. But a start last night hitting eighth against a righty gives confidence that he’ll get full-time at-bats. A must pickup in any league if available just in case something special happens.

Ho hum Business Time for Zac Gallen as usual with 7 IP with 7 Ks and 1 ER, lowering his ERA to 2.96.

Yuck Darvish returned again and conceded monster taters to Isaac Paredes and Randy Arozarena. It’s hard to trust Yu Darvish and his current 4.74 ERA in many spots right now. Even a cold night game in San Francisco can’t make me want to stomach his next start.

Nelson Cruz – 1 for 3, HR. Cruz has now hit his 2nd roundtripper in three games since returning from the IL. Nelson, baby, I’m ready to be hurt again. Take whatever substances you need and march your way to 500 career bombs, please.

Listen, you knew that Michael Kopech’s magical run wasn’t going to last. Not sure I’ve ever seen a pitcher that lives only lives on opposites of a performance curve. Just count your lucky stars Kopech’s 6 BBs only led to 1 ER. Just know you have to bury him on your bench before the impending disaster coming in his next start at home against the Rangers.

Yooooooooooo, Emmet Sheehan looks like that?!? He knows that golden blonde ‘stache makes him an instant legend. It feels crazy that every week there’s a new rookie pitcher that makes my heart skip a beat or two. He was still sitting at 96 MPH into the 6th inning during his no-hit debut. I love his whippy, reliever-like arm action and believe the strikeouts foretold by his 14.9 K/9 in AA will come eventually.

Oh yeah, Bryan Woo was that flavor-of-the-week rookie pitcher I was digging just seven days ago. And I haven’t soured on him at all, even if yielding Andrew Benintendi’s first 2023 dinger should warrant immediate demotion. Woo is probably still available in some leagues because his ERA was in the unsightly double digits last week and still currently stands at 7.30. However, he’s got electric stuff that makes you understand why his K/9 increased from around 12 in AA to over 14 in the majors. I doubt Woo has more than 50 innings remaining in his arm for the rest of the season, but I’m buying him in every long-term league I can.

It was an honor subbing in here for the weekend. I appreciate the offer and hope the full tank of gas makes up for my indiscretions.

As always, if you want advice on specific roster decisions you might have, feel free to leave a comment. You can also find me on twitter (@mcouill7).