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Ryan Raburn isn’t just some old fashioned name that sounds like a matinee idol from the 40’s.  Grandpa, tell me again about the time you were working as an extra in Hollywood and you stole Angela Lansbury away from Ryan RaburnWell, it all started late one night at Musso & Frank’s.  We were all pickled pretty good on Cuba Libres, remember this was before the House Committee on Un-American Activities banned them… So, Raburn hit 2 homers yesterday and is now batting over .400 in the last week and 8 homers in the month of August.  He’s starting every day since the Tigers were hit by injuries and the power is for real.  In his last full year of ABs in the minors, he hit 20 homers.  Last year, 16 homers in 113 games.  The average could bottom out, but with 2nd base eligibility there’s no reason not to take a flier on him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Rick Porcello – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks.  Has now given up only 4 hits in his last 14 innings.  Okay, I don’t fully trust him, his Ks are just blahtastic.  Neverthehoo!  You can’t deny the type of groove he’s in right now and he gets the Royals next time out.

Jose Valverde – 1 IP, 3 ER.  Kazaam!

Brandon Morrow – After his next start vs. the Yankees, he’ll be shut down.  I blame the Mariners for their inability to settle on a role for Morrow over the previous few years.  He had the best K/9 for starters in the major leagues this year and will almost certainly be coveted by February Grey next year.

Mike Napoli – Was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox.  A deal is supposed to be unlikely.  According to sources, Scioscia’s asking for a family-size bag of Sun Chips.  Sawx are offering a single serving bag.

Brian Fuentes – Traded to the Twins.  Gardenhire went on the record saying that Capps will remain the closer.  Then he broke the record by bringing in Fuentes to close Saturday’s game.  I wouldn’t read too into though.  It was a one-out save vs. a lefty.  Fuentes may see a few saves against lefty-heavy ninth inning lineups, but Capps should get the majority of the saves going forward.

Fernando Rodney – Nothing like getting the closer job on a team that’s selling off its pieces.  Rodney gets no respect, I tell ya.  He’s a Brain Freeze waiting to happen, but, if you need saves, SAGNOF!

Edinson Volquez – Headed to the bullpen as the Reds realized what fantasy owners concluded a few starts ago, Volquez is too unpredictable to start at this stage of the year.  Dusty will have to find someone else to play Paper, Rock, Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction Surgery Scissors with.

Matt Lindstrom – Back problems haven’t subsided and Lyon could remain the closer for the rest of the year.  Rawr!

Bud Norris – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 11 baserunners, 5 Ks.  Oops upside your head.

Roger Bernadina – 2-for-4 yesterday.  3 homers and 3 steals in his last ten games.  His track record says the speed is there.  (pun point!)  The power hasn’t show up much in his previous years.  Right now, I’d grab him in deep leagues just hoping his hot streak continues.  I wouldn’t bank on it though.

Jay Bruce – 4 homers in his last 3 games.  If I would’ve known all he needed to get hot was for me to tell you to drop him, I would’ve punted him in March.  I never doubted the talent; it was the slump that looked like it was taking Extenze that worried me.  There’s no reason not to give him a 2nd chance if he’s out there on waivers.

Ryan Braun – 4-for-4 with 19th homer.  Cool, now repeat this game every day for the next month and we’ll be cool with each other.

Alcides Escobar – 1-for-4 with his 10th steal.  He’s been on and off one of my teams so many times the elastic is completely shot.  I’m warning you now, I will like him again next year.  There’s 40 steals in those gams.

Trevor Hoffman – Recorded his 8th save.  Axford had pitched the last two games, so I wouldn’t say anything’s changed other than Hoffman’s a few saves away from retirement.

Evan Meek – Was hit with a comebacker and could be out for a few days.  That’s the good news for Hanarahananananan.  He could see some time in the ninth.  And there’s the bad news.

Manny Ramirez – Looks headed to the White Sox.  I can’t tell you how excited I am for this move.  Because, well, I’m not excited.  I don’t own him anywhere.  If I did own him, I’d be slightly more excited.  At least, he should actually play now.  If you got the best possible month from Manny, you’re still not going to get anything you couldn’t grab off waivers in all but the deepest leagues.  Maybe 7 homers and a .350 average in a best case scenario.  More realistically, a few homers and a .300.

Colby Lewis – 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER, 11 baserunners, 7 Ks.  Hasn’t won in over a month and his ERA is up to 3.61.  The K-rate is still purdy, so the Colby cheese hasn’t lost its bite.

Gio Gonzalez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks.  Was a home schooler for the early months of the season, but his ERA in August is under 2 and is now startable every time out.

Kevin Kouzmanoff – 2-for-5, hit his 2nd homer in three games.  Kouz is one of those players I halfheartedly mention that I can’t even bear to own myself.  And that’s me undercutting what was already a lukewarm recommendation!

Ivan Nova – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks.  As defined by Oxford English Dictionary, a Nova is a star that suddenly becomes much brighter and then gradually returns to its original brightness over a period of weeks.  As defined by Chevy Pimpalas dot com, the Nova is freakin’ awesome.

Marcus Thames – Was in Friday’s Buy, has 5 homers in his last 5 games.  Like Chiquita Banana’s boyfriend, he hits them in bunches.

Jeremy Guthrie – 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Napoli-less Angels.  Yeah, the “Cutting off Napoli to spite the team” strategy is working good.  Anything that gets Jeff Mathis’ .201, 3 homer bat into the lineup.  Maybe Scioscia should skip Jered Weaver’s turn in the rotation too, so Kazmir can get an extra start.  He’s managing the team like he’s got a deal with that lady from Major League.

Koji Uehara – Got his fourth save yesterday as Buck Showalter gave him the confirmation name, “Closer.”

Carlos Gonzalez – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and two homers.  Aim to please, that’s CarGo’s MotTo.

Stephen Drew – 4-for-5 with his 3rd homer this week.  Yup.

Leo Nunez – 2/3 IP, 3 ER and his 8th blown save.  He needs a lozenge he’s coughed up so many games recently.  He’s surrendered a run in each of his last four starts and 7 of his last ten.  I’d be shocked if the Marlins continue to roll him out there.  I made a speculative grab of Clay Hensley in two leagues.  Jose Veras could also be an option.  Or it may be the dreaded closer by committee.  Don’t these people realize nothing’s better done by committee?  Except jerk seasoning, which is flavor by committee.

Hanley Ramirez – Left yesterday’s game with a bout of lightheadeness.  This is following a severe case of redheadness.  Hanley, you think you can get into the National Association for the Advancement of Gingy People that easily?  The NAAGP has a bumper sticker for you, “Feckless without freckles.”

  1. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    I have a theory, Elijah Dukes changed his name to Roger Bernadina in order to stay with the Nats undercover.

  2. Remis says:

    Would you start Matusz (2 starts vs Bos & TB) or Masterson (2 starts vs CHW @SEA) this week over Jhoulys Chacin @ SD? I’m going to a playoff spot in an H2H draft (points) need all the help I can get this week.

  3. tHe sHiT says:

    @Grey: I have Snider and Gordon as OFs. Do u like any of Tabata, Raburn, LoMo, EY2, Fowler, Bernardina, Murphy over either OF, or both maybe? I have Cruz and Bruce also in my outfield. No specific stats needed, just overall production (least suckiness). Last week of the regular season, playoffs start next week in my 16 team h2h league. Thanks sir!

  4. niro says:

    The embarrassingly weak cast of 3b from which I have to choose… my season may very well depend on this:

    Headley, Kouz, Peralta, Blake, Betemit.

    Wow, it looks even worse when you type them all next to each other. Any suggestions?

  5. Sos says:

    Uehera, Hanrahan, or rodney?

  6. stynyr says:

    My closers are:

    Aardsma, Marmol, Axford and Gregg.

    League and Uehera are available.

    Should I lose any of the first four for either of these last two?

  7. Sos says:

    Also, kennedy or norris this week?

  8. Howard says:

    Good Morning Grey, Do you think Nunez problems are stemming from a ‘tired’ arm or are they more deeply rooted. I’m thinking from a keeper standpoint, do I keep him or cut him loose? He does have 59k in 54ip but the 8 kazaam’s are disturbing! Thanks!

  9. HotCorner says:

    Has anyone heard what HanRam’s status is for the next few days? “Lightheadedness” is kinda vague. Have to set lineups before first pitch today.

  10. HotCorner says:

    @Grey…Billy Butler or Gaby Sanchez?

  11. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @stynyr: i dont no if trevor is in just to get no. 600 or what but axford isnt currently closing,and uehera is,on a crappy team

  12. sean says:

    With Teixeira day-to-day with a thumb injury, and a threat that he could miss more time, is he worth starting in a weekly league this week?

    I currently have Votto as my CI and recently acquired AGone in a trade at U.

  13. Jeff says:

    We start 5 SP, 3 RP, and 1 Picher.

    Planned SP; Jimenez(@SF), Lester(@BAL), J. Sanchez (vs Col, @ LA), Gio(vs ANA), CC (vs Oak)

    Planned RP – Rivera, Valverde, Cordero

    Options for my Pitcher Spot – Rodney (RP), Morrow (@NYY), Danks(@BOS), or Pavano(vs Tex)

    I’m in 2nd place overall and 4th in ERA and WHIP. Can realistically move up 2 more spots in each.

    I’m in 3rd place in K’s with 1091, 2nd is at 1095, 4th is at 1090.

    I’m 1st in W’s with 90, but 2nd and 3rd have 89 and 88.

    I’m 2nd in Saves with 83, leader has 88, 3rd has 81.

    Do I go with a 6th starter or because of the bad matchups go with Rodney and try to make up ground there?

    Next week we add an additional Pitcher (Sept call-ups for last month of the season), so I’ll have the option of 7 SP’s, 3 RP’s or 6 SP’s, 4 RP’s. But losing Morrow after this week hurts.

  14. dingers says:

    trust phillips this week or go with eric young?

  15. pubscout says:

    beltran or rayburn for the remainder?

  16. Wah says:

    So do I lose Morrow now or run him out there Friday against the Yanks and then drop him? If it were almost anyone but the Yanks, I’d be inclined to hold him. Thoughts?

  17. dingers says:

    grey ,, podsednik or austin jackson..? thx!

  18. Jeff says:

    I have 1 add/drop left on the season.

    Do I lose my depth at C, MI and drop one of these guys; Soto, Jaso, or Aybar, or do I give up on Span and drop him for Rayburn?

    My other OF’s are; Hamilton, Vlad, Hayward, BJ Upton, Rajai, Pagan. We can start 1 extra hitter starting next week and he would be competing with these OF’s for that spot if I grabbed him.

  19. magicterp says:

    Been rolling with Olivo’s awfulness for the past month. Do I pick this scab for Snyder, Barajas Or Ramon Hernandez? Or do I stand pat?

  20. Wilsonian says:

    Pitching staff in my 16 Teamer:

    Lester, Cain, Latos, Haren, ErvSan, Pelfrey, Chacin, Bills, Axford, Capps, Storen

    We play SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P

    Rodney is on waivers, who do I drop to attempt to make a claim?

    If the Rodney claim fails, who do I possibly drop for either Hensley or Veras?

    This is a huge week for me, I’m in 2nd, have a playoff spot locked up and I’m only 1.5 games up on the guy in 3rd and 2nd place gets a first round bye.

  21. Gambler says:

    Woohoo for EY2 and Raburn! Eric Young Jr. had 4 of my team’s 6 steals, which as good enough for the win, and Raburn hit the go-ahead HR..

    Who do you like more for this week: Duensing or Minor or not much of a difference?

  22. papasmurf says:

    Is Stephen Drew’s ceiling 20 homers? (And if he is traded to a team with a pitcher’s park, 12 homers?)

  23. kwak says:

    I’ve got EYjr and Neil Walker at MI/2nd, you like Raburn more than on of them?

    What about Jhonny Peralta over over Pennington?

    I added Pennington and EY at the start of last week and won steals in my H2H for the first time…ever.

    My other expendable hitter is David Murphy, who has been blah since I added him.

    Lyon over Hong Chi Khuo?

  24. Mr2Bits says:

    Would you lose Omar Infante for Raburn? I really only need a bench filler here and the but I get most for power!

  25. CoreyII says:

    Grey – thank to you, I have Eric Young Jr and Raburn filling in at 2B for me while Kinsler is on the DL. Is it wrong for me to wish Kinsler would just not return? Who do I drop when Kinsler comes back? Or I could drop a speculative saves guy and I hold all 3 – but that seems like way too many 2Bs on the team. Help!

  26. chrisc624 says:

    Happy Monday, Grey… Enjoyed the title of the post significantly more than the movie on which it was based. Kinda tough to follow up ‘No Country,’ though…

    EYJr or Coco for SAGNOF in H2H? Also, battling through some yawnstipation issues with Starlin – is it any updgrade with either of Bartlett, Jhonny, Yuniesky or The Riot?

  27. Black Beard says:

    Kuroda (PHI, SF), Scherzer (@MIN), or D. Hudson (HOU) in a weekly league?

  28. royce! says:

    CWS @ BOS series this weekend should be entertaining. It usually frustrates me that east coast powerhouse teams get all the national television attention, but I would make an exception for Manny returning to the AL and playing at Fenway (I’m aware that Manny has played at Fenway since leaving BOS, but interleague is silly).

    The media coverage on Chicago’s end is much different than when LA got Manny. It was 2008, we were young, and full of dreams…

    Now the headlines read, “Manny’s potential reward far outweighs risk” (CWS official MLB site), and, “Manny’s risk may be rewarding” (Chicago Tribune), and “Manny Moves” ( (damn reporters are lazy).

  29. MVP night says:

    Do you think Mat Gamel is going to get the call soon? Is he a must own in keepers?


  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: Ooh… Interesting.

    @Remis: Nope

    @tHe sHiT: Go with Raburn and Young.

    @niro: Headley

    @Sos: Rodney

    @stynyr: Nope

    @Sos: Kennedy

    @Howard: Keep him.

    @HotCorner: He’ll be fine. Butler…

    @sean: I’d start him.

    @Jeff: Danks

    @dingers: Play Phillips.

    @Jeff: Lose Jaso.

    @magicterp: I wouldn’t switch.

    @Wilsonian: Pelfrey

    @Gambler: Nice… Minor’s much better pitcher, but he’ll be skipped here and there.

    @papasmurf: I think he could hit 25-30.

    @kwak: Raburn over MUrphy. Lyon over Kuo…

    @Mr2Bits: Eh

    @CoreyII: Ha… Raburn…

    @chrisc624: Thanks! Young…. Bartlett for steals, Peralta for power.

    @Black Beard: Kuroda

    @royce!: Ha… Yup.

    @MVP night: Sure, as a bench player.

  31. Long Bong Hitters says:

    Grey, drop Napoli for Jaso? Ramon Hernandez?

  32. pubscout says:

    @ grey: any thoughts on beltran v. rayburn?

  33. HotCorner says:

    @Grey…I’ve heard Kinsler might be back as early as Sept. 1. Can you back that up?

  34. ThePoonTycoon says:

    @Long Bong Hitters: i’d keep napoli. sure he might only play 2-3 games per week, but at least he’ll so something when he plays. not sure jaso or ramon are gonna do anything, even though they get more PT.

  35. Lob Ball says:

    Cahill @ NYY. Play or bench?

  36. Jeff says:

    Gio pitched about 160 innings last year and has already pitched 167 this year.

    Can we expect him to get shut down at some point? If so, what woudl his IP cap be most likely?

  37. Commish Cauda says:

    All hands on deck…I win and I’m in the playoffs

    H2H-POINTS League…Pick TWO

    Wilson Betemit vsTEX, vsDET
    Pat Burrell vsCOL, @LAD
    Gregor Blanco vsTEX, vsDET
    Torii Hunter @SEA, @OAK

  38. Black Beard says:

    @Grey: One more…Scherzer @ MIN or Kuroda (PHI, SF)?

  39. Deeeeeez Nuts says:

    After the next blown save Josh Johnson is going to tear off Leo Nunez’s right arm and beat him to death with it.

  40. Jeff says:

    Ok, I picked up Rayburn.

    Who do I start;

    Assuming I start K. Johnson at 2nd over Rayburn. which 5 OF’s do I start; Hamilton, Vlad, BJ, Rajai, Rayburn, Pagan, Hewyard.

    Or do I start Rayburn at 2nd and bench K. Johnson. If so I only have to bench 1 OF.

  41. Bender says:

    Hey, did you see the news from Bizarro world the other day where Tim “Cy” Hudson struck out 13 Marlins in 7 innings? I’m killing my league in ERA what with Buchholz-Halladay-THudson being 1-2-3 for the season!

  42. Wiley says:

    Elvis Andrus base stealing seems to have all but disappeared. Would it be an alright swap to drop Andrus for Ian Desmond for better overall production. In a H2H league that counts batter Ks and OBP. Sadly I already missed the Stephen Drew and Omar Infante pick ups.

  43. fredaycouples says:

    Who to drop between:

    A.J. Burnett
    Anibal Sanchez
    Jordan Zimmerman

    It’s a H2H and each team has lots of pitchers, causing me to have fantastic players like the above on my team

  44. Black Beard says:

    @Grey: I’m a liar. Wandy (STL), D. Hudson (HOU) or Scherzer (@MIN)? Sorry, next time I’ll get my act together and combine these questions.

  45. Commish Cauda says:

    All hands on deck…Part II

    H2H-POINTS. Wins=10, L=-5, S=5, K=1, Inn=1, ER=-1, BB=-0.3, HA=-0.1, QS=1

    Pick TWO

    Colby Lewis @MIN (Pavano)
    Jason Hammel @SD (Richard)
    J. Chacin @SD (Garland)
    Ted Lilly vsSF (Cain)

    Pick THREE if your 3rd choice from above is worth starting over Joakim Soria (vsTEX, vsDET)


  46. Tom Emanski says:

    Looks like Ryan Howard owners aren’t getting his patented September, especially on Sundays, finish this year. I really really need it too.

  47. Tom Emanski says:

    Time for the weekly confusion about whether to start Sanchez or not. I’m at a complete loss with him. I guess wrong every time. Someone help.

  48. rafi says:

    I’m starting to regret last week’s trade of Raburn for Valverde and Alexei Casilla but time will tell if JV can right the ship.

    On to this week’s pondering…. I have 3 potential strong bat September callups in Nolan Reimold, Desmond Jennings and Jared Goedert.

    My lineup currently includes such turds as Alexei Casilla, Jed Lowrie, Dan Johnson, Julio Borbon, Ryan Kalish and Andy Marte…. This is a league with weekly changes… Would you go for the hail mary with Jennings or Reimold in for one or two of those shmo’s or do you think I’m better off waiting this week to make sure the fresh meat gets called up?

  49. HotCorner says:

    @Grey…thanks for the reply on Kinsler…picked up Raburn and have him at 2nd. Right now I have Papi at Utility. I don’t want to pull Raburn because he’s been on a tear lately (I think you’ve mentioned him once or twice). Would you put Kinsler at U in place of Papi?

  50. ruah says:

    How do you rank these 3 OF: Thames, D Young, Kubel

  51. Gibby says:


    Thanks for the humorous read on an otherwise Mundane morning. A few things:

    Playoffs start this week in 2 of my leagues where I have secured the #1 seed in one and the #4 seed in the other. Unfortunately seeding means jack in H2H because one bad week and I’m finished like Strasburg’s arm.

    Also, it is unimaginable to me that in my 3rd league I finished in 7th and missed the playoffs by 1 slot. I mean this team has names like Votto, Longo, Bruce, EYoung, Tabata, Alvarez, Rasmus, Kershaw, Lester, Wilson, Bailey, Haren, Mnior, and Weaver. It took me all season to build this team and I went from 16th to 7th, but alas fell one spot short.

    Finally, I own Morrow and CarGo in every one of my leagues and they are keeper leagues, so I’m holding on tighter than K-Rod holds his father-in-law by the throat. I imagine they will both be very early picks next season.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:

    @HotCorner: I read Kinsler’s not returning until Friday. I wouldn’t play him.

    @ruah: That order looks fine for now.

  53. ruah says:

    OK, I’m looking to add Thames and Kubel has been dry for a while. I still like Young to finish strong.

  54. Joey says:

    At least my Norris pick up this week doesn’t go into effect until today. Think he finishes strong? or too unpredictable to know? It’s an NL only keeper league, so at 5 bucks he should be a keeper, right?

  55. Black Beard says:

    @Grey: re: Thames, Kubel, and Young –

    Grey, is that for the rest of the year or this week? Or both?

  56. Tom Emanski says:

    Reyes out for the Braves series. JUST what I needed. Right after someone else picked up Stephen Drew also.

  57. HotCorner says:

    @Grey: Thanks bro…it’s hard to get that inside info. on the East Coast. They’re too busy worrying about Hurricane Earl on the right side.

  58. Sos says:

    I saw earlier you told someone to bench kelly johnson. In a limited moves league I’ve been using my moves each week to adjust pitching and rotating kj, beckham, and headley at 2nd and 3rd. Drop any for eyj?

  59. brad says:

    I am bored with Rolen and don’t need help in HR or RBI really. I could use some SBs but can’t afford to take much of a hit in avg.

    That said, Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio are the only two available 3bs that fit the bill really. Given their level of suck should I just close my eyes and stick with Rolen?

  60. Grey

    Grey says:

    @HotCorner: No problem.

    @Sos: Young over Headley, if you need steals.

    @brad: Go with Rolen.


  61. Wah says:

    Hey Grey.. you accidentally skipped me earlier I think…

    So do I lose Morrow now or run him out there Friday against the Yanks and then drop him? If it were almost anyone but the Yanks, I’d be inclined to hold him. Thoughts?

  62. papasmurf says:

    It must suck for Napoli owners whose teams are in the race.

    One day, hopefully we’ll find out why Scioscia hates Napoli. We all think Nap banged a relative of Scioscia’s, but what if the truth is that Scioscia made advances on Nap and was rejected.

    You know what they say, there’s nothing scarier than a sciociapath scorned.

  63. Donald Trump says:

    Raburn or Kinsler, rest of season, who would you choose?

  64. Donald Trump says:

    DOH! new post for followups… duh….

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