Here’s what I didn’t say in June, but could have, “With the promotion of George Springer and Gregory Polanco, Mike Trout and Mike Trout’s father, Tim Salmon, should make room in their mini-van that’s designed to look like a submarine because there’s new top hitters in the major leagues of baseball. Put down your periscope, Trout, no need to look any further. You have the new challenger for your supremacy. Polanco is especially intriguing due to his blend of speed and power, and inability to hit for a low average. There’s just no chance he hits below .280. No chance. Also, on August 25th play the Powerball numbers 37-08-32-11-09-38.” And that’s me quoting what I could’ve said! Of course, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was generally my feelings. As it started to appear like each was overmatched, I told you to sell both of them before they bottomed out. Springer’s got his strikeout problems, that I’ll go over at some point in the offseason, but Polanco got a raw deal. He had 6 homers, 12 steals in 64 games. That’s a 15-homer, 30-steal guy next year. The Pirates demoted him yesterday as some kind of neg designed by pick-up artist, Mystery. Polanco’s K-rate wasn’t terrible, his walk rate was fine, he was done in by a .241 average. A .241 average with the aforementioned strikeout rate that wasn’t bad. So what happened? He was unlucky. That batting average was being grounded by a .277 BABIP. With his speed, Polanco could easily have a .320 BABIP and a .290 average. For this year, you can lose him, but I’m still going to like him in 2015. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Pedro Alvarez – 2-for-4 and his 18th homer and 3rd homer in the last three games. Dah, I actually picked him up for the batty call, but realized that I had Jon Singleton already in my corner infidel slot. Why would Jon Singleton stop me from picking up a hot bat in Alvarez? That’s a question I’d like to ask Yesterday Grey. I’ve since rectified the situation and grabbed Alvarez.
Francisco Liriano – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 3.98. Of course he pitched well, he was just waiting until he had scared away every last fantasy owner with his 4 IP, 7 ER game last time out. Thanks, jackass!
Yadier Molina – Will begin a rehab stint today, which puts him about a week away. Momma Molina must be thrilled, one less mouth to feed.
Michael Wacha – Will throw live batting practice on Wednesday. Bad news is that puts him on track to throw maybe one game this year in the majors. Good news is it’s live batting practice. The alternative is much worse. Ask Ted Williams.
Oscar Taveras – 0-for-4. The Cardinals said Taveras has ‘made huge adjustments at the plate.’ TMI! Shift your jockstrap when you’re in the dugout. Gross!
Jorge Soler – Who? OH, HIM! The Cubs announced he’s being called up to play everyday right field. I already gave you my Jorge Soler fantasy. There I said, “Soler’s hot butter on Oprah’s thigh with Stedman moving in. Sexy and weirdly erotic. Soler, Bryant and Baez are like 1A, 1B, there’s no 1C and 1D. Soler missed a month earlier in the year with a hamstring injury, but he’s been fine for a while now. Shoot, I’d even say F-I-N-E, fine. He has some slight speed, 30-homer power and a .280 average. Basically, every All-Star outfielder of the last ten years. Grabbing a guy with something to prove with this much talent, this is what H2H leagues are won with! Or any leagues, for that matter.” And that’s me quoting me! Nothing’s changed from then, and I’d still grab Soler in every league.
Eric O’Flaherty – The A’s said they prefer to go with the dad from Freaks and Geeks as their closer over Luke Gregerson. My bad on that, since I thought for sure it would be Gregerson and said so yesterday. Usually it’s a no-brainer — my specialty! — to just move the set-up man back one inning into the ninth, but if we’ve learned anything there’s no such thing as a no-brainer with Billy Beane. The road less traveled is the Way of the Beane. He challenges you to think. Whether that means having six catchers on the field at once or platooning managers when Melvin doesn’t agree with something. “Bob, for this inning, Coco Crisp is going to manager, he knows how to hit and run better.” I grabbed O’Flaherty where I could, but I also didn’t drop Gregerson yet, because I don’t think this is going to be as clear-cut as just giving it to O’Flaherty. Ryan Cook and Danny Otero could also get looks. Basically, it’s a closerousel, until we know more.
Drew Pomeranz – Likely to start on Wednesday for the A’s when they use a sixth starter. Hey, they could have a personal catcher for every pitcher! Pomeranz is a decent streamer for this matchup, but he’s not guaranteed any starts after this, so don’t drop anyone too valuable for it.
Josh Donaldson – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 8th steal. That goes with his 25 homers. And he’s headed for 100 RBIs. And 90 runs. Sure, he’s hitting only .252, but you’re quibbling. No one likes a quibbler.
Josh Reddick – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. I’m sure glad I just dropped him yesterday. Sure am glad. *dons a potato sack, walks into a Macy’s and asks for a giant French fry cutter*
Jeff Samardzija – 8 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks vs. the Astros. I wanted to say something like it never hurts to go against a team that is collectively hitting (fill-in number), so I went to look up the Astros’ team batting average. It’s .240, but what I also saw there…The Padres are hitting .226! You gotta break some goose eggs to make an omelet and you need to fold those goose eggs that are the Padres into another team.
George Springer – Aiming to return for the first series of September. Prepare to launch: Operation Rookie Nookie.
Chris Carter – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 31st homer. Hurry K’d Carter looked done, but he’s back to getting one hit per game, which happens to be a homer.
Jake Odorizzi – 4 IP, 8 ER. Forget Jake, he’s giving me an angina frown. His next start is positive on the Stream-o-Nator, but I have to admit you got larger testes than yours truly if you can throw him right after this start.
Delmon Young – 3-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. If he hits 270 homers in September, people are gonna be like, “What bust?!”
J.J. Hardy – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer. Still believe in my hearts of hearts, which is my heart inside my heart that I shield from you hurtful mothers, that Hardy is going to get to 17 homers by the end of the year. Yeah, he’s got a long way to go.
Nick Markakis – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer. On our Player Rater, you wanna guess who had more fantasy value this year: Markakis or Chris Davis (who also homered yesterday)? Kind of a trick question. Sadly, they were tied at 190 going into yesterday’s game.
Steve Pearce – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 15th homer. Yes, anyone that owned any Orioles yesterday were getting the O’s face as just about everyone in the lineup homered, but Pearce is hot again. He’s now homered four times in the last eight days, which The Beatles would call a week. Hot schmotato alert!
Adam Eaton – Set to return from the DL on Tuesday. I feel like whenever Eaton is mentioned the thought of him is greater than he actually is. Maybe everyone’s just hungry. He has 1 homer and 12 steals this year with a .304 average that’s being supported by an inflated BABIP. He’s fine if you need speed and a guy that should get runs, but is he any better than Denard Span or Ben Revere, assuming they are different guys? Nah, not really.
David Ortiz – Didn’t start yesterday due to his elbow/foot. Guess that means Ortiz has a foreshin and thighceps.
Clay Buchholz – 8 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA to 5.77. Fired Red Sox Marketing Exec, “If anyone accuses Buchholz of putting suntan lotion on his arms to help his pitches, we’ll have Pedroia biting on Buchholz pants, pulling them down like the Coppertone Baby!”
Mookie Betts – 1-for-3 and a slam (2) and legs (4). It always amuses me how much people are hyped about a guy when he first comes up, but then he gets sent down, returns, starts to produce and people couldn’t care less. Okay, it only amuses me.
Dustin Pedroia – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Be interesting to see where he’s drafted next year. I have a feeling at places like ESPN he’s still going to be overrated even though he’s barely a top 200 player right now.
Koji Uehara – 2/3 IP, 0 ER and his 4th blown save, after giving up 5 ER in his last appearance. He’ll probably be fine, but I’m holding onto Edward Mujica just in case, since he seems to have a favored nations clause in his contract even though he hasn’t been terrific.
Jedd Gyorko – Missed his third game of the last four due to a strained hamstring. EverCab must’ve sneezed on him.
Carlos Quentin – Done for the season. I gotta admit, I had no idea he was still in the league. I thought he retired after the 2011 season. This is weird.
Kyle Lohse – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Padres. Up in the Carter blurb we learned about the threat on good taste that the Padres are pulling off. Seriously, has any team ever hit for that low of an average before? My Google is broken.
Aramis Ramirez – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer. In this game, Ryan Braun also homered (3-for-4, 2 runs, his 17th homer). Both guys left the game early and because my Google is broken, I’m gonna guess at least one of them is injured. Never in the history of ever have Aramis and Braun both left the game early and not one of them been hurt. Hey, Time Warner fixed my Google. Braun has a left quad bruise and is day-to-day, it says there, where I wrote it.
Wade LeBlanc – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER. But if a monkey were playing third, that would’ve been hilarious!
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 33rd homer. Only three more to go!
Yu Darvish – Rangers GM said Darvish is likely done this year. Here I thought they’d send him out there to try to get their elusive 55th win. The Rangers fan that went into a coma in March and is just now shaking out of it may want to go comatose again for another six months. Comatose Rangers fan, “I just hope Darvish is ready for the playoffs! Right? How come everyone’s looking at me weird? I can handle it. What’s up?”
Derek Holland – Will return to the Rangers rotation next week. Comatose Rangers Fan, “Who does that bump from the rotation? Alexi Ogando? Matt Harrison? Tanner Scheppers? Martin Perez? Hello? Please, I have to know what’s happened to my Rangers!”
Miles Mikolas – 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks. Better still was the smile on his proud Cousin Larry’s face.
Wilin Rosario – Sat out for his third straight game due to a wrist issue. After Weiss said he was starting McKenry again, Rosario indicated the wrist issue by making a jerking off motion.
Jake Peavy – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, 3.18 ERA on the Giants. It hasn’t hurt to face the weak sisters of the NL, and I’d grab Peavy if he’s out there in your league. He should get the Brewers at home (fine), Tigers (not good), then the Diamondbacks twice and the Padres twice.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Didn’t start yesterday due to a sore side. That sounds like a day-to-day injury that becomes a month-long thing that people are just shaking their heads over and saying, “Oblique.”
Tanner Roark – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA barely up to 2.81. Tanner put up with a lot of negative stereotypes when The Jersey Shore was popular, but he’s turned into a solid number three starter this year. Good for him, bad for me since I dropped him and Rudy grabbed him. *shakes fist* Rudy!!!
Wilson Ramos – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer. That puts recovery from a broken hamate bone at about 4 months.
A.J. Burnett – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA down to 4.30. Well, 12 Ks makes me stand up at attention. And I’m not standing on my feet, if you catch my drift. If you don’t, stand a little to your left and I’ll fan my drift in that direction. Got it now? Nice. Double barrel Burnett action makes me want to tug on my ear. He’s been unreliable all year, looking to get tattooed even when on the mound, but if you need Ks, he goes to Metco next time out.
Carlos Ruiz – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer. His upside ceiling is low like the 7 1/2 floor from Being John Malkovich, but he is hitting near-.400 in the last week and has two homers in the last 11 games.
Cody Asche – 1-for-3 and his 9th homer. I told you he was a preseason sleeper! *slowly tiptoes out of the room*
Michael Pineda – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 1.95. Since I don’t own him, can someone check him for pine tar? Stream-o-Nator hates him in just about every start, but I’d definitely stream him if I had the need and he was available in my league.
Stephen Drew – 1-for-5 and his 6th homer. I was watching the game yesterday and when the announcer said, “Drew up.” I did momentarily feel queasy.
Jacoby Ellsbury – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .280. I projected him for 13 homers, a .279 average and *covers mouth* 32 steals (he has 35). I ranked him 29th in the preseason, and I was very low on him compared to others. He’s currently ranked 54th overall on our Player Rater.
Eric Hosmer – Began swinging a bat, and is probably two weeks away barring any setbacks. Be interesting to see if the media picks up right where they left off when he went on the DL with them following him around to see if he can get to 7 homers. It’s a post-steroids era home run chase.
Mike Moustakas – 1-for-3 and his 15th homer. Don’t you want to get his autograph and ask him to sign it, “Mostsuckass?” Maybe it’s just me.
Jarrod Dyson – 2-for-4 and his 29th steal. Kinda sad how he steals bases just to get the love of Rajai, The King of SAGNOF. Like a child that doesn’t get enough attention.
James Shields – 6 2/3 IP, 6 ER. In the box score, it listed the Royals pitchers as, “J Shields, F Bueno.” Yeah, indeed. F being decent too. And F even being mediocre.