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This ain’t no Taj mirage, sports fans, Tampa Bay Rays former top pitching prospect slash heartthrob Taj Bradley is finally back and made his season debut Friday night against the New York Yankees pitching six strong innings allowing just six base runners (four hits, two walks) and striking out seven. Hopes were high for Bradley in 2023 but he mostly disappointed with a 5-8 record and 5.59 ERA. Woof, still the 129/39 K/BB is nothing to sneeze at, unless you’re allergic to promising K/BBs? He suffered a pectoral strain in spring training that landed him on the IL but looked more than ready to go through two starts with AAA pitching 11.0 innings, allowing just two hits and one run with a 15/3 K/BB. Happy to report that looks to have carried over as he returned with style Friday night and bro looked better than ever with his fastball topping out at 99.2 mph. His breaking pitches also look particularly filthy. Mmhm. It wasn’t all rays of sunshine for the Rays of Tampa though, he gave up a lot of hard contact (it was the Yankees to be fair, they are okay I guess) and the offense was unable to provide him with any run support to get him the dubya. Still the second year stud posted an impressive 30% CSW, and got 11 swings and misses. He looked like the front line starter Tampa needed him to be last year. Perhaps it was the throwback Devil Rays unis, or the increased velocity, or maybe he just really hates the Yankees, regardless Taj looks like he could be primed for a potential breakout season. He’s available everywhere and gets the offensively struggling Red Sox next week. I’d gladly take a flier on Bradley and if he fails you’re more than welcome to curse me madly. I’m used to it!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Clarke Schmidt – 6.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 4th win. I’m all up Schmidt’s Creek! His first quality start of the season! Not sure I’ve ever seen him do that? We’re living in an age where Paul Skenes is going to pitch four innings a start, with 10 Ks and everyone will fawn over him regardless, myself included. Some people get heart eyes, some people get dollar sign eyes, I get K eyes. It’s a thing. Clarke has struggled to go six but has some pretty stellar ratios regardless. 2.95 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a 47/15 K/BB? I mean come on, how is he not owned in more leagues, this dude could have 12-15 wins. Fix this!

Clay Holmes – 1.0 IP hit, 2 BB, 3 K, SV (12). Still hasn’t let up a run, but oh boy, did it look like he wanted to Friday night. Thank you for not doing that, Clay.

Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-4, HR (7). H-R-to the Rizzo! Yeah, Tony’s back, life story told through jacks. Responsible for all the offense in this one including this 400-footer in the ninth. Considering first base has been a barren wasteland this year, riddled with fire and ash and dust, and the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume Rizzo probably needs to be rostered everywhere at this point.

Cody Bellinger – 4-for-5, HR (7), slashing .268/.345/.536. Cody is 7-for-13 since returning retuning from the IL with two homers and two doubles in just three games. The ding dong was a beauty too. Keep dinging those dongs Belli! As we all know by now, CB has the knack for transforming into an unbelievably scorching, Livvy Dunne-level hot superstar player for stretches. Bad news for Paul Skenes debut, I guess.

Oneil Cruz – 2-for-3, run. Hoping this is the calm before one of those trademark Cody Bellinger type hot streaks? Please, pirate Gods, by Blackbeard’s beard, I need this.

Jared Jones – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4th L, ERA at 2.68. JJ was the unfortunate recipient of some bad defense and unfortunate calls. I say bad defense but that relay was perfect and Cruz gunned him at home. We’re gonna chalk this one up to good pitcher on bad team.  Speaking of, if Skenes is as good as Jones I’m gonna be pretty happy, half as good is not gonna cut it at this point though.

Framber Valdez – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2nd win, ERA at 3.64. He has as many wins as Jared Jones! Also, I want to mention Skenes again just to make it four straight blurbs. What!? I’m excited, ya’ll! Sue me.

Kyle Tucker – 1-for-3, HR (12). He leads the league in home runs! Shocked. Shocking. I am shocked. I don’t know why though. It’s so Kyle Tucker to quietly lead the MLB in home runs. The Astros may look like one of the worst teams in the league, but Tuck remains as reliable as ever.

Casey Mize – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, 2 BB, 2 K. He’s got a sub-3 ERA if you take out the start at Yankee Stadium. In NYC City they’d say fuggedaboutit! He gets the Marlins next week and that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Or Marlins in barrel.

Jason Foley – 1.0 IP, 1 hits, R. Came in the 8th inning with Tigers trailing by two and started throwing meatballs. Not a great look for the supposed closer. If you are relying on Foley in any significant way you need to handcuff Alex Lange (BUY) as ASAP as possible.

Corbin Carroll – 0-for-4. Who would you rather have drafted: Corbin Carroll or Bo Bichette? Winner gets to lose their fantasy league.

Cole Irvin – 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, BB, 6 K, 4th win, ERA at 2.90. Cole could be a 15 game winner as a sixth starter. He’s now won four in a row and the home run surrendered to Ketel Marte was his first allowed in that stretch. No need to rush back Gray-Rod, Cole is on a roll!

Brandon Pfaadt – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. It was the mighty O’s so he gets sort of a pass, but I still have issues with a big Pfaadt zero strikeouts. Bleh.

Yennier Cano – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (2). BUY. Craig Kimbrel pitched the seventh. CK has another case of the yips and Cano is just about the best back up closer in baseball, but will likely relinquish save opps back to Kimbrel eventually assuming Craig can put together more scoreless innings like this. You don’t sign Craig Kimbrel to make him a set up man. It’s giving disrespect. I don’t know why they signed him at all to be honest. Regardless, Cano is an amazing stash because he’s getting saves at the moment and he’ll be the closer if Kimbrel falls off a cliff again. It’s win win!

Joe Ryan – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 2nd win. I wanted to draft him as my Ace but he went before the 6th round and that’s too rich for my blood. That’s four straight quality starts in a row for Joe and the lone run he allowed to Isiah Kiner-Falefa (3-for-4, HR (2), 2 RBI) wasn’t even hit all that hard. Yes, he’s an Ace, and yes I should have reached in the fifth.

Bo Bichette – 2-for-4, run. If we both push on three we can get enough force to roll his body over this cliff, wait his hair moved! He’s alive!

Carlos Santana – 1-for-4, HR (5). Why does Baldelli keep starting Smooth Santana? Maybe because they keep winning. OK, carry on.

Yusei Kikuchi – 8.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 3 K, 3rd L. His 5.1 K/BB is a career best. Yu-dont-sei! I say, there’s no reason Kikuchi shouldn’t be owned at this point. The breakout is finally happening, if it didn’t already happen last year. He gets a terrifying start with Baltimore next week but he’s earned my trust.

Griffin Jax – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, BB, K, SV (5). Jhoan Duran pitched the 8th. So this how it’s gonna be, huh? Are they only gonna do his grand entrance when he comes out for the ninth? Seems like a waste of pyrotechnics. The fans want to see it. Regardless, Jax remains worth owning as long as Duran remains a high leverage reliever and not exactly a closer.

Matt Olson – 1-for-4, HR (4), 2 RBI. Besties Ronald Acuña (3) and Ozzie Albies (3) also homered, all three in the third inning. What’s scary is outside of Ozuna this offense hasn’t even been good.

Charlie Morton – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, BB, 7 K, 3rd win, ERA at 3.14 ERA. 2019 called they want their All Star back. He also pitched his 2000th inning last night, which these days seems like a pretty spectacular feat. How many innings for Paul Skenes before his first Tommy John?

Raisel Iglesias – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, ER, BB, SV (10). Notched his 200th career save, which is really something, right? So let’s watch it. History is fun kids! He joined Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, and Edwin Díaz as the only active players with two-hundo. No one else is really close. Check back with me in two years when Emmanuel Clase hits the milestone.

Francisco Lindor  – 1-for-4, HR (7). Trying to distract me from the fact you’re still batting .220? It’s working!

Ranger Suarez – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 7th win. Ranger Danger! I know it’s the Marlins and they’re god-awful but 1.50 ERA 0.72 WHIP in 54.0 IP and 55/8 K/BB? Uhh, yes please and thank you! Cy Young much?

Johan Rojas – 3-for-5, HR (2), 2 RBI, SB (8). Phillies scored 8 runs on 15 hits. The speed is intriguing as are the flashes of power, the defense has not been great though and neither has the .234 batting average. I’m watching him, but I’m scrolling TikTok the entire time so only half paying attention.

Victor Robles – 2-for-4, RBI, SB(1). If you go back about 5 years you can probably read my Victor Robles fantasy. Yes, he was once both highly touted and a prospect.  He’s sort of like Vidal Brujan only older. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

Trey Lipscomb – 1-for-2, SB (7). Amed Rosario (5), and Jacob Young (13) also stole bases. (G)nats owned the base paths in this one. This is probably one of the speediest teams in the league. If only they had someone to drive home all those baserunners.

Tanner Houck – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, BB, 4 K. Tanner did not look his best Friday, and was hit pretty hard. Still four losses with a 2.24 ERA is inexcusable. The Red Sox starting pitching staff is about to have a long talk with the Red Sox offense.

Patrick Corbin – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, ER, BB, 4 K, 1st win. The fact that Corbin got his first win against this team tells me everything I need to know about Boston’s offense. They actually out hit the Nats but couldn’t get it done with RISP. They should hire David Ortiz as a clutch coach. Is that a thing? It should be!

Garrett Crochet – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 3rd win. StreamONator was absolutely gaga over this start and this rightfully puts Crotchet back in rosterable territory. The White Sox have even been winning some games! Crochet looked fairly filthy Friday night and the 11 Ks was a career high. After giving up 17 runs through three starts in mid-April, Garrett has since gone 17 IP, allowing just 3 ER with a 24/1 K/BB. He gets the Nats next week and the wins might not be there but if he’s still hanging on waivers you need to correct that.

Andrew Vaughn – 1-for-4, HR (1). Paul DeJong (6) and Korey Lee (2-for-4, HR (4)) also homered. I am honestly embarrassed at how high I was on Andrew Vaughn only two years ago. Is his flop the reason the White Sox stink so bad?

Jon Gray – 6.0 IP, 8 hits, ER, BB, 7 K, ERA at  2.36. This start is even more impressive because it was at Coors, which is currently the scariest player on the Rockies. The start was Gray’s third of the quality variety in a row, and he’s rocking a real purdy 1.71 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 17/1 K/BB in that stretch. There’s so much pitching available it’s overwhelming to me sometimes and I’m holding three bench bats and feel like a big goon.

Corey Seager – 2-for-3, HR (4). Few more games like this and I can finally unblock you on twitter.

Jalen Beeks – 1.0 IP, SV (2), ERA at 2.45. Imagine being so desperate for saves you pick up Jalen Beeks? I don’t have to. I’m there ya’ll!

Robert Gasser – 6.0 IP, 2 hits, 4 K, 1st win. Brewers are cooking with Gasser! That’s why those brats taste so smoky. Did you check out Grey’s Robert Gasser fantasy? There might even be fart jokes…and yes should add him!

Willy Adames – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 3 doubles, slashing  .265/.351/.476. Would you believe he’s the number three shortstop in fantasy? He hits home runs, he steals bases, the average is…fine. Relative to where you probably drafted him, players like Willy aren’t Adames a dozen!

Jake Bauers – 2-for-3, run, 2 RBI, SB (3). Milwaukee scored 11 runs (ELEVEN) on 12 hits. No home runs but Brew Crew still gets it done. The first place Brew Crew that is. Really needed Craig Counsell, I guess? The Brewers are a wagon, ya’ll! Not sure any loyal readers (hi mom!) have noticed but I’m trying to introduce a new team as a wagon every week. It’s this new thing I’m doing. It’s more for me than you. I really get a kick out of it. At least someone does!

Michael King – 7.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, ERA at 3.67 ERA. King me! MK had eight strikeouts through three innings in this one and this was definitely the best I’ve ever seen him pitch. Makes sense they get something for Juan Soto. Did I mention this was against the Dodgers, who are like, pretty d-word good. He’s been pretty inconsistent to start the season but the flashes have been there. Flashes, ya’ll! More like this! Starts like this are more fit for this King.

Tyler Glasnow – 7.0 IP, 1 hit, ER, 2 BB, 10 K. Hold my Michael King, Glasnow was just as good, if not better than dude, and turned in his second straight 10 K performance. Mmhm. Could adding Ohtani, Yamamoto, Teoscar and Glasnow be the best offseason additions of all time? This team was already stacked. I know I’m gushing but I haven’t even got to the stats, Tyler is rocking a 2.53 ERA, sub-1 WHIP and 73/15 K/BB! Sweet sassy molassy! The sassiest! Glasnow has already graced our Best Fantasy Starts list three times and Friday night won’t make the cut because he didn’t get the win but oh man do I regret not showing TG more love on draft day.

Luis Campusano – 2-for-3, HR (3), slashing .283/.323/.442. There’s something to be said about never having to worry about your catcher. He might not hit 15 home runs, but he’s not slowly draining my batting average either. Set and forget!

Alec Marsh – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, ER, 2 BB, 7 K as he returned from the IL. Kevin from ESPN’s Get Him in Your Lineup department missed this one because he got lost running around the Maypole but Marsh picked up right where he left off lowering his ERA to 2.53 in the process. Sure maybe a lot of this was the sad sack Angels but his 19 whiffs last night tied Crochet and King who I just gushed about above. I am still hesitant to recommend him but I’m not sure why. Swampy’s been excellent.

Griffin Canning – 5.2 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, ERA at 5.75. The most dangerous extracurricular activity at Hogwarts looked mostly solid against Kansas City and gets a juicy home start versus the Cardinals next week. I could see considering the prospect of maybe thinking about mulling over the possibility of contemplating whether or not I should review the option of potentially picking him up. I still don’t know for sure though!

Adam Frazier – 2-for-3, HR (1), 2 RBI. Raise your hand if you had no idea what team he was on this year. That’s a ninth inning go-ahead ding dong! So now we know. He’s a Royal!

Jo Adell – 1-for-3, HR (6). Jo’s got two homers and two steals in the past week and this baseball said hello from the other side! That’s an Adele joke. The Adell breakout is here though, that’s no joke!

Carlos Estevez – 1.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, K, BS (3). I mean, he gave up a go-ahead homer to Adam Frazier of all people. What do you want me to say? He’s lucky the Angels don’t have anyone else who could replace him or they probably would.

John Schreiber – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, SV (1).Grey told you BUY and whoa baby, we got some late Friday night closer drama, ya’ll! Schreiber gets his first save of the year to lower his ERA to 0.98. Microscopic, folks! It’s so small I can’t see it! Where’d that ERA go? James McArthur got the save on Wednesday and is presumably still in line for opps, but he was also presumably available Friday and Manager Quatraro went with Schreiber instead. Maybe I’m presuming too much. Sounds like a good ol’ fashioned bullpen shituation. Both need to be owned.

Bryan Woo – 4.1 IP, 1 hit, BB, 3 K, 62 pitches. Left the game with an arm injury, I didn’t even get to the “hoo” part after my “woo” before he was pulled.

Paul Blackburn – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, 7 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Regression fairies have been hovering Blackburn for weeks. They’re not a fan of Zendaya, they think love triangles are “kind of boring” and they will destroy your ratios.

Dylan Moore – 3-for-5, HR (3), 5 RBI. Mariners scored eight runs on 11 hits and none of those hits belonged to Julio Rodriguez. Excuse me I have to go toast pop tarts in my bath tub.

Josh Rojas – 2-for-5, SB (4). He was a BUY! Oh hey, I told you all, mostly reluctantly, that it was time to seriously consider a Josh Rojas add. All he does is hit baseballs. There’s some steals in there too. If Julio Rodriguez was slashing .351/.417/.526 I wouldn’t be eating so many shower pop tarts.

Elly De La Cruz – 2-for-4, 2 SB (25). TWENTY FIVE steals, folks! I spelled it out for you cause that’s what I do now. That’s nine ahead of the next closest guy and who even cares who that is? For Elly, 35-100 is in reach! He can smell it. It smells like spaghetti chili. It smells like Joe Burrow’s jock. That’s now multiple stolen bases in three straight games! If he can get to four, this is rarified air. The only player to have multi-steal games in four straight in the last 100 years is Jose Altuve in 2014! (big shoutout to Altuve cause it’s Short King week btw!) It’s funny (incoming unfunny thing) that De La Cruz’ is on pace for that many steals and it’s still projected so many short of Henderson’s incredible 130. Talk about untouchable records! Elly must maintain this multi-game pace in order to even sniff at Ricky’s record. Well, if anyone can do it, it’s probably Elly. Time to mash that turbo button and start running, EDLC!

Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!

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Cable
Cable
1 month ago

Like Dominguez… but there’s to many mouths to feed in that NYY OF

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Afternoon Pants-Do you think Jasson Dominguez gets regular playing time when he finishes his rehab assignment?

martin rostoker
martin rostoker
1 month ago

Hi Dan,

After the Lindor trade, my team is the following:

C: Eliaz Diaz with Sean Murphy on IL
1B: Nate Lowe with Rhys Hoskins as backup
2B: Marcus Semien with Ketel Marte as backup
3B: Rengifo (IL) with Ryan McMahon as backup
SS: Lindor with Jeremy Pena as backup
LF: Profar with Lourdes wiith Rengifo as backups
CF:Duran
RF:: Max Kepler with Starling Marte and Rengifo (IL) as backup
DH: Katel Marte:
1. What are your your thoughts on possible areas for improvement?
2. Would you pick Cody Mayo or and who would you drop?
Your recommendations would be much appreciated!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  martin rostoker
1 month ago

sorry for the repeat.

Gfhyde
Gfhyde
1 month ago

Are Trevor Rogers and/or Feltner rosterable in 20tm dynasties, or are they drops? Boy has Rogers been trash or what

Gfhyde
Gfhyde
Reply to  Dan Pants
1 month ago

You’re right, there are 0 better options on the wire. Would be more to make space for upcoming rookies. Thank you.

martin rostoker
martin rostoker
1 month ago

HI Dan,

My Current team is the following:

C: Eliaz Diaz with Sean Murphy on IL
1B: Nate Lowe with Rhys Hoskins as backup
2B: Marcus Semien with Ketel Marte as backup
3B: Rengifo (IL) with Ryan McMahon as backup
SS: Lindor with Jeremy Pena as backup
LF: Profar with Lourdes wiith Rengifo as backups
CF:Duran
RF:: Max Kepler with Starling Marte and Rengifo (IL) as backup
DH: Katel Marte:

1. What are your your thoughts on possible areas for improvement?

2.Any suggested moves would be much appreciated,

Martin

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  Dan Pants
1 month ago

Thanks Dad.

My SP are Burnes, Wheeler, Ragans, Tarik and Greyson Rod (IL). My streamers are Kutter, Mize, Cristopher Sanchez and Reese Olson.

Thoughts?

May be able to pick Jon Gray and Garrett Whitlock?

Thoughts?

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  Dan Pants
1 month ago

sorry it’s Braxton Garrett of Miami who is coming off IL and will start vs the Phillies. What is your thought of him and Jon Gray?

thanks!!

LenFuego
LenFuego
1 month ago

What makes you say Foley was giving up “meatballs”? He came in with runners on 1st and 3rd and no outs, with the following results:

1) a 3 hopper seeing eye grounder up the middle that almost certainly would have been a double play if the infield were not playing in for the out at home in a tie game.
2) a ground ball out,
3) a 2 hop grounder that the 3rd basemen butchered,
4) a sac fly to right (admittedly hit pretty hard), and
5) a ground out.

Sure, you’d rather see whiffs, but every one of those profiled as an out.

jcindaville
jcindaville
1 month ago

Thoughts on starting Lodolo and Means today?

Coolidge
Coolidge
1 month ago

Have an OF question..

Have an OF that I need to address. My choices are:

Stick with Verdugo

Grab and stash Dominguez because he might come back next month

Grab and stash James Woods, but who knows when he’ll be up this season

Dominguez is intriguing, but will he get a Pugh at-bats with their crowded lineup…and I guess I could say the same thing about Verdugo

Thoughts?

Thanks!

slurve
slurve
1 month ago

In deep leagues, is it Austin Wells or Patrick Bailey? I had Campusano but had to cut him and now I’m left with these options :/

VinWins
VinWins
1 month ago

No Glasnow, but, Ranger Suarez earned his 5th entry on the Best Fantasy Starts list, while Crochet made it for the 2nd time. The Cards made another rookie pitcher look unbeatable in his debut, and Morton hit the list for the first time.

19 Ranger Suarez Apr 27 @SD
31 Ranger Suarez May 10 @MIA
40 Ranger Suarez Apr 22 @CIN
45 Garrett Crochet May 10 vs CLE
46 Ranger Suarez Apr 16 vs COL
57 Garrett Crochet Apr 2 vs ATL
58 Ranger Suarez Apr 11 vs PIT
66 Robert Gasser May 10 vs STL
68 Charlie Morton May 10 @NYM

VinWins
VinWins
1 month ago

Excellent as always, Sir Dan.

Last year Clarke Schmidt did have FIVE (5) Quality Starts, but who can remember2023??

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Dan Pants
1 month ago

I own a couple shares of Skenes. Prospects I don’t own do better in their debut. I saw Gasser had only pitched 12 innings in 3 Triple A starts with a 5.25 ERA, and passed. Even though it was the Cardinals!

Dude
Dude
1 month ago

I have been wanting to drop Kenley Jansen for a while now but have been advised to hold him. Last night he gave up 2 hits and a walk and 2 runs. In addition to that mess, he messed up my save for Fennegan. I dropped him before he was through the inning. Man it felt good loosing those 5 saves.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dude
GlorifiedGrounder
GlorifiedGrounder
1 month ago

I, like so many other fantasy compatriots, always could use some pitching. Taj is still on waivers, but so is Kimbrel which has me intrigued. Debating on grabbing Kimbrel and picking up Taj down the road once my bench clears up (injuries have me in shambles). Thoughts? I’d be dropping Connor Joe for these guys. Thanks Mr. Pants.

Last edited 1 month ago by GlorifiedGrounder
Braves123
Braves123
1 month ago

Rank these catchers for next week. Langeliers, campusano, Diaz

Grey
Admin
1 month ago

Blessed are the Pants that provide Friday news

Urb
Urb
1 month ago

Would you trade Nico Horner for Justin Steele

Night Hawk
Night Hawk
1 month ago

Looking for help at second base, OBP League. How would you rank:
Torres, Luis Garcia , Rengifo, Willi Castro.

Also, start Skenes and Javier today?

Thanks

Shitwolf
Shitwolf
1 month ago

Dr P I picked up Taj and I have rage issues. You should me in the player pages at yahoo! PREPARE YOURSELF if Taj doesn’t pan out you self proclaimed human verbal punching bag! lol

Urb
Urb
1 month ago

Would you trade Nico Horner for Justin Steele?