“We’re more alike than we are different.” That’s what Mary Ann said of her and Ginger, but it could also be said of Marcus Stroman and a Flat-Billed Pitchypus. He needs maybe a fifteen-second ironing and a quarter-cup of starch and he’d be there. Considering the tumultuous recent years of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, maybe it’s for the best. “You want more starch on this?” “Yes.” Dontrelle Willis reaches for his TGIF’s hat, drops jalapeno poppers on his foot and screams. Yesterday, Stroman threw a shutout in 93 pitches. Greg Maddux called and said, “You owe me a nickel.” Stroman’s sparkling like I screwed his head into my SodaStream, pushed down the level way too long and bubbles started coming into his eyes. Mary Ann’s existential quote could also be used to say there’s more similarities than differences between Stroman and an ace. He shouldn’t generate that much velocity from a five-foot-nine frame. Yet, there he is throwing 94 MPH while high-fiving his teammates on a step stool. He’s credited with a six-pitch arsenal that he can locate with pinpoint accuracy. I’m going to have a Marcus Stroman post for 2015 fantasy baseball to highlight his sensational stuff for next year, and then he’ll probably be in the top 10 pitchers for 2016. A star is born just don’t iron the brim any further; you’re good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Melky Cabrera – Had surgery on his pinkie finger, and is done for the season. Oddly enough, I have a milk carton with a missing pinky finger on the side. What’s the chances?
Jose Bautista – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 32nd homer. In the preseason when I ranked him about two rounds before everyone else, my projections for him were: 85/35/100/.255/5. Right now, he’s at 85/32/92/.288/5. Gonna be quite the feat getting 3 more homers and no more runs, but I’m sure I’ll be proven correct (in my own mind).
Anthony Rizzo – Could return this weekend. Light at the end of the tunnel to the Rizzo!
Eric O’Flaherty – 1 IP, 1 ER as he blew the save after the A’s said he was unavailable all weekend due to a tight lower back. Look at the information flowing on O’Flaherty. Next thing you know they’re gonna to tell us injury news about him prior to the games. Dare to dream, that’s what MLK kinda said! Like, maybe they’ll tell us his back is still hurting and that’s why he defecated on his save chance? Hmm, will they say that too?
Sean Doolittle – Ever have a SAGNOF shituation where you get the closer replacement (O’Flaherty), but it ends up being more of a headache than it’s worth and you actually hope the incumbent returns even though you don’t own him? That’s how I feel when I hear Doolittle is due back shortly. Hurry back, Doolittle, O’Flaherty’s making me say O’Effme.
Sonny Gray – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.22. Better have done that, otherwise our holiday get-togethers this year would’ve been like Bill Masters and his brother. Only I wouldn’t use the turkey baster in that household.
Jed Lowrie – 1-for-4 and his 6th homer. Has done little of nothing in the way of power leading up to this, but is hitting near-.400 in the last week. Hot schmotato alert!
Tyler Flowers – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homers and now has four homers in his last four games, and he had a homer two games prior to that, though that dates back to August 30th. Yes, still 2014! C’mon, follow along. Adding Flowers could be a nice gesture to show you care about your fantasy team.
Sam Tuivailala – Cardinals purchased his contract. He had a 20.25 K/9 in Triple-A!!! Hold on, my exclamation finger is cramping. Okay, good now — !!!. Oh, it was in one and a third innings. Okay, but he had a 12.9 K/9 in Double-A and will work out of the bullpen.
Matt Adams – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer. Looks like we figured out the key to motivating Adams. Have someone breathing down his neck to steal time from him at the plate, and he gets mad. Too bad he doesn’t also turn green, then he could greet kids at the stadium gates as Shrek.
Kolten Wong – 2-for-4, 1 run. Stop giggling, I love Wong. Would enjoy Matheny moving him up in the order. You’re costing Wong counting stats, home slice. Sorry if you had to cross your legs after reading Wong and slice in the same sentence.
Shelby Miller – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.83. I wouldn’t own him anywhere — don’t love a sub-6 K/9 and a 3.8 BB/9. I do kinda hope he throws 30 shutout innings in his final games, so his ERA gets down to the 3.50 area and people draft him again next year. Probably will anyway. I can see the March comment already, “Grey, I’d love to get your thoughts on two things: 1) Why no love for Miller? 2) Can I run my fingers through your hair?”
Jimmy Rollins – Left yesterday’s game with a strained hamstring, and will miss 7-10 days. The Philly shortstop’s hammy went when he went for a triple wit “Aw geez.”
Starling Marte – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .279. It’s a shame his counting stats are wonky due to Hurdle bouncing him around the bottom of the order for about a month of the season. With 11 homers, 25 steals and that average, should have him pushing 80 runs, instead he has 63. Sigh.
Jordy Mercer – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. Now has two hits in three straight games, and four homers in the last eight games with a steal. Think positive and he could be a hot schmotato for another three weeks. That’s almost an exact quote of Deepak Chopra.
Jeff Locke – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks. Blargh or whatever that made-up word is to explain that “I don’t care about Jeff Locke, and only care about his matchups.” Damn, blargh is versatile. Inside blargh is a whole another language. Any the hoo! Locke gets the Reds next and is a tempting matchup if desperate, according to the Stream-o-Nator.
Drew Storen – 1 IP, 0 ER with the Kimbrel. Please let him get, like, ten saves the rest of the way. My inseam would need to be taken out, but it would be worth it for the alterations.
Doug Fister – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.53. There was a sting operation set up by Carl Monday as soon as it was announced this game would feature Fister and Minor.
Mike Minor – 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks, lowering his ERA to 4.58. Stream-o-Nator didn’t love this game, and hates his next game in Texas. The Rangers aren’t good and Arlington isn’t a great hitters park anymore, but I can’t say I’m completely confident in Minor. I’d prolly look elsewhere if I had better options.
Evan Gattis – Out yesterday with strep throat. Fun fact! In the 1800’s, if a woman removed an undergarment for a man before marriage people would walk by her and do that thing where you cough, say ‘slut’ and cough again, so ‘strip throat’ then changed over the years to strep throat.
Henderson Alvarez – Expected to start on Friday. HA, good luck! What? I was being sincere. That’s his initials.
Brad Penny – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. Raise your hand if you thought Penny was retired. $5 says even Penny raised his hand.
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-4 and his 37th homer. Negative one homer to go! All of this counting down with Stanton’s homers, I haven’t had a chance to welcome him to the 1st round of drafts in 2015. I want to be the first person to tell him, that’s why I’m lying in his filled bathtub while breathing through a straw.
Marcell Ozuna – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 20th homer. OZUNA hit ball far. OZUNA have homer ball returned to him by fan for autograph. OZUNA take picture with man who came in from Czech Republic with ball.
Garrett Jones – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer. This was his 4th homer in the 2nd half and only the 4th time in the last three months the Marlins didn’t look foolish for starting Jones in every game.
Yovani Gallardo – 3 2/3 IP, 5 ER. Gloating isn’t cool, so I’ll just say I’m sorry you owned Gallardo for this start, but I’ll say it with my fingers crossed.
J.J. Hardy – Flying back to Baltimore to have his back examined. He needs fifteen minutes in a massage chair at a Brookstone. Seriously, has anyone ever bought anything from a Brookstone? There’s gotta be a “now-defunct” adjective lying around somewhere for Brookstone that The Sharper Image isn’t using. Now, now, The Sharper Image, share your “now-defunct” adjectives.
Miguel Gonzalez – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 3.22. Owned in only 24% of leagues. Yup.
Daniel Murphy – Will be activated from the DL on Tuesday. Hoping the Mets still work Dilson into the mix, because I was starting to like the Mets as they looked towards the future, plus I have a personal vendetta against Murphy and don’t want him getting any fantasy value.
Jon Niese – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks. Solid start, but against the Rockies on the road, what’s not to expect. Kinda like a tissue when Niese is sick.
Michael Cuddyer – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer as he returned from the DL. Sure love that the Rockies said he’d be activated on Tuesday, so he sat in my DL for yesterday’s game. Seriously love that! *walks into a lesbian bar, screams “I hate k.d. lang,” prepares to be pummeled*
Nolan Arenado – 1-for-4 and his 18th homer. Anyone else have dreams where you’re Dylan McKay, you’re at The Peach Pit and Giancarlo is Brenda and Arenado is Kelly? Hmm, maybe it’s just me.
Josh Hamilton – Missed another game on Monday. Has now sat out since Thursday. Hamilton said, “I’m almost ready to get back in there.” Unfortch, he was standing outside of a hospital with an Angels game playing on a TV, so it’s not clear if he was talking about the hospital or the game.
Kole Calhoun – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer to go with his five steals and .284 average. When considering he missed about five weeks with an injured ankle, he’s had a solid fourth OF year for 12 team mixed leagues. On our Player Rater, he’s coming in just around top 40 outfielder range. More valuable than Alex Rios, Desmond Jennings, Jay Bruce and Coco Crisp, to name just a few of the disappointing schmohawks.
David Freese – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. A homer? Tonight, hell Freeses over!
Howie Kendrick – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. Not only did I drop him, but Rudy picked him up. *shakes fist* Rudy!!!
Albert Pujols – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 26th homer. Due to a big first half, the early pick of Pujols never really felt hairy. For those Googlers that found us by searching for a pick for their hairy Pujols, welcome. We don’t judge here. Pujols’s 2nd half has definitely come back to earth like Andrelton in March. I’ll probably be more conservative next year, which is not to say I’ll vote Republican, but to say I won’t be as bullish on Pujols.
Jered Weaver – 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.58. Unfortunately, Jeff Weaver wasn’t able to come to his little brother’s game because he was having his mullet sheened. That upset their mother; Jeff could’ve scheduled his mullet sheening for any time, she screamed. All of that and more, on the next episode of Keeping Up With The Weavers.
Danny Salazar – 4 2/3 IP, 6 ER. He’s about as trustworthy as your girl that wants to go hang at parties during NBA All-Star Game weekend. “Why are you wearing your good bamboo earrings?” “You wanna be my baby daddy or do you want some other baby daddy help?” Speaking of which (worst segue ever!), our fantasy basketball leagues are signing up. Go there, and be doing that.
Lonnie Chisenhall – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 13th homer. For those Chisenhall fans out there, Lonnie crushed that homer like you can crush any player’s head by pinching your fingers together when watching them on TV.
Michael Saunders – 1-for-2, 1 run as he was activated from the DL after a nasty bout with a viral infection. He did a video about it, you probably saw it.
Brad Miller – 2-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. He hasn’t had a good year, Luckily, we don’t have to go back to March and draft him again. The good news is he’s been about as hot as any middle infielder of late. Two homers and hitting near-.400 in the last week. Yup, I’d grab him.
Dustin Ackley – The hot schmotato that ends abruptly is called The Ackley, apparently. He’s nursing an injury of some sort, stopped hitting recently and Saunders returned. I dropped Ackley yesterday and only wish he wasn’t on my team for the last two days. You jerk! Sorry, sometimes that makes me feel better.
Felix Hernandez – 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.12. Got the no decision, which sparked a firestorm on Twitter with Murray Chass saying F-Her doesn’t have what it takes to win, only his Twitter is a bird in a cage that’s been dead for 12 years. And his firestorm was dinner repeating on him.
Carl Crawford – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. Maybe he could rub against Puig. Or d**k graze him.
Hanley Ramirez – 4-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs. His iCal did say on September 8th to, “Show up.” Someone just needs to make that repeat daily.
Juan Uribe – 2-for-4 and his 8th homer. Nope, I’m not going to say he’s about to get hot. I’m going to say I’m not going to say it while winking to infer he will get hot.
Danny Duffy – An MRI showed no damage on his left shoulder. He’s hoping to miss only one start for the American League Central-leading Royals. You try to make sense of that last sentence and you end up with a niddle-noddle like a bobblehead doll.
Jeremy Guthrie – 2 2/3 IP, 6 ER. As Eddie Vedder would say, “Jeremy broken, total ass today.”
Greg Holland – Threw off the mound yesterday and would be available to pitch today. Thanks for clearing your schedule, old chum! Wade Davis should still be owned, and may get a few saves these final few weeks.
Eric Hosmer – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. The homer chase to ten homers has really stalled for Hosmer. Him and Longoria should play in an anti-gravity Winter League to remember how it’s done.
Lorenzo Cain – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 4th homer, an inside-the-parker. Ugh, just dropped him prior to this game, because Ned Yost isn’t making it very easy by benching Cain every so often and Cain not doing much the last few days.
Joakim Soria – Likely to return this week, but will only get saves if Edward G. Robinson rises from the dead and tells Soria, “Yeah, see, you’re getting a shave, see,” in his own inimitable style, and that’s mistaken for a save, but, since I’m crazy desperate, I stashed Soria on my DL, because — psst, hey, kid — Joe Nathan‘s got a sore elbow. Tigers said that was why he hasn’t pitched in the last week, but he was able to pitch yesterday (1 IP, 0 ER). I also looked for Joba Chamberlain and Santa K, New Mexicloser, Al Alburquerque, but they were both owned in my league. Probably nothing to see here, but it was worth noting. Noted!
Justin Verlander – 7 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. Pop quiz, hotshot! In next year’s rankings, who’s higher: Homer Bailey or Verlander? Dallas Keuchel or Verlander? Ed Leslie or Verlander? Okay, the last one was Brutus Beefcake.
Nick Castellanos – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs. He’s hit in nine of his last ten games and 19 of his last 21 games, and he’s hitting .295 in that time because he’s been mostly getting one hit in each game. That’s the definition of yawnstipating. If, ya know, yawnstipating was in the dictionary.
Andrew Romine – 2-for-4 and his 10th steal and third steal in two games. You know what goes nice with a hot schmotato? A Romine salad. What, you need your greens.
Victor Martinez – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .337. Did Judge Reinhold put some kind of voodoo spell on V-Mart and Miggy in March? I wish Judge Reinhold would mind his own business.
Torii Hunter – 3-for-5, 2 runs 1 RBI, hitting .282, but left early after LL Donkey collided with him. Looked like Hunter might’ve been a candidate for a concussion, but last October, Hunter had a concussion after he flipped over the Fenway wall and said this, “Nah, I didn’t get no concussion test, man. I’m an old-school cat.” So, after bumping his head yesterday, I guess Hunter’s just going to put a few leeches on his head and take a bath in cough syrup.