14.4% walk rate. That stands out as the difference between young players, who have promise, and what Gunnar Henderson (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer) has done. Thinking back to when Keston Hiura appeared to be a top prospect. He flamed out with a walk rate half of Gunnar’s. Gunnar Henderson just went through conceivably the most difficult stretch of his young career, and did it with a 14.4% walk rate. That’s remarkable. Most vets can’t do that. It’s common sense: A player struggles and starts swinging at everything and spirals out of control until they’re asking, “Is the whole team going to Golden Corral tonight?” as they stand in line for minor league meal vouchers. Yesterday, Gunnar hit the longest home run in Camden Yards history; it reached the street, then rolled to Hamsterdam. Since June, he’s hit .458 with four homers. He has a higher OPS than Kyle Tucker, Schwarber, Jul-Rod and Machado, to name a few. In the last month, he’s hitting near-.300 with a .265 ISO. To me, the most impressive number is still 14.4%. Gunnar sounds like a viking backwards and forwards, and you Cnut ask for more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Kyle Gibson – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 hits, zero walks, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.90. Thinking about how I would’ve been better off drafting Kyle Gibson as my 1st starter instead of Manoah, but, if I drafted Kyle Gibson in front of Manoah, I would’ve been burned on a stake for being a witch.
Vinnie Pasquantino – Hit the IL with right shoulder instability. First happened when he was trying to twirl capellini. For those of you who lost Yordan, Alonso and Pasquantino in the same week, I hear you, I see you, I’m glad I’m not you. Was bad enough losing two of them. Waiver wire for 1st basemen with power is now tumbleweeds with jock itch.
Brady Singer – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 6.58. Singer, Lynn and Manoah walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, our bathroom is out of order, could you three go flush yourselves somewhere else?”
Edouard Julien – 1-for-4, 1 run as he was recalled with Jorge Polanco going back to the IL. Polanco’s the poster child for, “Guys don’t have to be injury prone for the first half of their career to become injury prone later on.” The poster shows Jorge Polanco in a body cast. By the by, regarding Julien: It takes some extra special galaxy worms in the brain to send down a guy every chance you get but, when he’s called up, he’s your leadoff hitter. You either know he’s good, or don’t.
Matt Chapman – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer, hitting .269. As nature intended, .369 is unsustainable.
Akil Baddoo – Hit the IL with a quad strain. Yabba dabba bummer!
Zach McKinstry – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. Find someone that loves you like fantasy baseballers (<-my mom’s term!) love Zach McKinstry. In the last month, he’s been about as valuable as Jace Peterson on the 30-day Player Rater. McKinstry could be a solid pickup, but let’s not overrate things. He was even pinch-hit for late in yesterday’s game.
Kerry Carpenter – 3-for-4, 1 run, and 5-for-8 before this since being activated from the IL. Hot schmotato alert!
Alex Lange – 1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.42, as he got the last out of the 7th inning, and worked into the 8th. It was a tight spot, and they needed some outs, which makes sense if this were a playoff game. I guess you can look at Jason Foley (1 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 2.63), but I wouldn’t speculate on the Tigers beyond Lange, and, obviously, he’s not much to speculate on right now either..
Pavin Smith – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer. Becoming the case example of “One homer is sometimes just one homer.” Smith looks great for one game, then does nothing until a week later when he looks great again for one game.
Zac Gallen – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 12 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.09. Imagine thinking any starter can avoid the league-wide mandate to have a 4.00 ERA.
Charlie Blackmon – Hit the IL with a broken fifth metacarpal. It’s a carpal that says, “Hey, I’m a carpal.” Very meta.
Coco Montes – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer, as he was called up to replace Chazz Noir. Shush, don’t tell Bud he plays the wrong position to replace Noir. It’ll only confuse him. Coco is a 2nd baseman, who went 20/13/.274 last year, and is now 26 years old, and was going 12/4/.321 in AAA. He has no chance of playing ever. Like zero. I think after his homer yesterday he has even less of a chance of playing, but maybe I’ll be shocked.
Ezequiel Tovar – 1-for-4 and his 5th homer. He plays every day for Bud Black, because he’s a glove-first guy. Bud can’t help himself. By the way, it is so funny to me every time I think about how the Rockies did the most Rockies shizz ever by hiring a great pitching coach to manage in Coors. Just perfect. No notes.
Nolan Jones – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 4th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Hitting this well can only mean one thing, he’s challenging Bud Black, to his face, to bench him.
Blake Snell – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.78. The one place you likely want to bench Snell? In Coors. So he puts together his best start in years in Coors. He hates us! That’s the only explanation. Snell hates us.
Andrew Abbott – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 0.00 thru two starts. I realize how absurd it sounds to say Abbott is dangerous, and not safe, and you should avoid him, then he goes and throws a gem vs. Miles Mikolas, the stereotypical safe starter, who gave up five earned in six innings on Saturday. Makes me want to say go ahead with Abbott, but Streamonator hates his next one, and I don’t trust him.
Jonathan India – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, hitting .275. My brain’s trip to India always goes through Elly De La Cruz (2-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 3rd steal). Did you see his infield single? He had no business beating it out. It was to the 1st baseman! Between Corbin Carroll, Elly De La Cruz and Jordan Walker, I already feel myself ready to make some big mistakes in 2024 drafts.
Aaron Nola – 6 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.60. No greater example of my new favorite saying I just made up “You can’t spell crapshoot without SP,” then a guy who was universally drafted in the top 40 overall, and was considered an ace, got absolutely worked over in the same game as rookie Bobby Miller did what he did. Soapbox time! How could anyone tell you with a straight face to draft pitching high when Nola is so clearly terrible compared to Miller, who wasn’t drafted in 99% of leagues?
Alec Bohm – 0-for-4 as he was activated from the IL. How many Alecs does it take to get to the center of a “player who has 30 homer” pop? At least two.
Nick Castellanos – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. Ha, all he needed was my reverse jinx Sell. Jokes aside (were there jokes?), you don’t correct his swing that’s been on steady decline for two years overnight.
Taijuan Walker – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.67. Not sure why he suddenly became a homeschooler, but his away ERA is 6.75, and his home ERA is under-3. He’ll put that to the test his next time out in Oakland. Even the Streamonator doesn’t like it.
Freddie Freeman – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer. Also, in this game, Jason Heyward (1-for-4) hit his 7th homer. Doing well in a losing effort is the way it is for the cowards–Cowards? No. AI, I said give me a sentence about ex-Braves.
Bryce Elder – 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 2.69. You know regression is coming for your guy when they’re home vs. the Gnats, and getting pounded.
Matt Olson – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. The top three in the Braves’ lineup might be the top three in the NL MVP voting. Has that happened before? Ya know what? Don’t answer, I prefer ignorance.
Jeimer Candelario – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. Fun fact! Jeimer is German for you lost Pasquantino, Alonso and Yordan and are very desperate.
Domingo German – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.49. Posted a 2.20 ERA over his last seven starts. Can’t spell Domingo without goo, but also: Let’s goo!
Liam Hendriks – Hit the IL with elbow inflammation. That stiks. What an Aaron Bummer (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 7.08), and he might see saves. Though, I’d guess we’re back to Kendall Savesman (2/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 2.86 ERA) at first, even if he spiked the pooch yesterday.
Luis Robert – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .264. Maybe it’s me but it feels like the moment I concede LouBob’s fine, he’s going to hit the IL.
Sandy Alcantara – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.75. Even when the start is “good” for Sandy this year, it’s not “good,” if you follow.
Braxton Garrett – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.10. Real question: Who do you want, Braxton or Alcantara?
Jean Segura – 1-for-4, and his 1st homer, hitting .195. “You absolutely can’t put an entire body down the drain–Hold up! Segura moved! He’s alive!” By the way, I’ve been waiting for Segura’s signs of life in deeper leagues; I think he could still put together a decent two-month-long, hitting-.300+ campaign. His BABIP is low for him.
Jorge Soler – 3-for-4, and his 18th and 19th homers, hitting .258. Wait a second, Jean Segura…Jorge Soler…Jesus Sanchez…Did the Marlins buy initialed towels and put together a team around those towels?
Mitch Keller – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.41, as he held down the suddenly sad-sack Mets. The Mets usually lovable in their unique and exquisitely Metsian ways of blowing wins and seasons aren’t even fun to watch right now.
Jack Suwinski – 2-for-4, and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games, 2nd homer since my Buy column mentioned him, and one day since I saw he was available in my 15-teamer, which seems absurd.
Julio Teheran – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 1.48 vs. Paul Blackburn – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.60. I won’t mention again Time’s Phrase of the Year, “You can’t spell crapshoot without SP” after this, but c’mon. Look at Teheran and Blackburn’s ERAs. Look at them compared to Manoah, Lynn, Nola, Alcantara, like, 98% of starters!
Brent Rooker – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer, hitting .262, 2nd homer in four games. The Brookeout is back on!
Seth Brown – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer. His first homer in three weeks. He’s still a 25-homer guy, so he has a lot of homers to get still.
Patrick Sandoval – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.52. Kept saying his peripherals were some of the worst I’ve ever seen, so it’s good to see his ERA is getting to be that bad too.
Taylor Ward – 1-for-2, 2 runs and his 8th homer, 2nd homer in four games. Leave it to Ward with the cleaver!
Zach Neto – 2-for-4, 3 runs and his 4th and 5th homer. By far his best game since he was promoted, so maybe this is the start of something, but he needs out of the 9-hole, and I honestly don’t know where else he’d hit.
Mike Ford – 1-for-3 and 2nd homer, and 2nd homer in his last two games, but not the M’s last two games. Could be a light schmotato, and can’t be worse than Ford vs. Ferrari.
Logan Gilbert – 3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.38. Buy Low! Now! Immediately!
Joc Pederson – 4-for-4, 4 runs, 4 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homer. He goes from zero to hot schmotato in a split second.
Thairo Estrada – 2-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homer. More like Estradivarius?! Amiright? (I am.)
Kyle Hendricks – 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.09. Nah, you don’t know me at all, if you think I’m mentioning my world famous phrase, “You can’t spell crapshoot without SP.” All I’ll say on Hendricks is Streamonator hates his next one, and I agree.
Josh Fleming – Headed to have his elbow checked by Dr. Keith Meister. The Josh-weister needs to be a patienteister of the Keith Meister. Makin’ copies of MRIs!
Andres Gimenez – Hit his 4th homer, but left with leg tightness in case you thought he could come out of his 10-week-long slump.
Josh Bell – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 5th homer, hitting .236. Guards had a big day for the guys you weren’t sure didn’t retire last year.
Triston McKenzie – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.50. Missed his first start, which was five-shutout innings, and started him for this one. You gotta laugh or you’re gonna be crying when your mom walks in on you in her basement, and you have to say you’re still crying about Tiny Elvis, your pet hamster, that died in 1998.
James Karinchak – Sent to Triple-A. He wasn’t sent down for his pitching. He was being too much of a Karin.