And thus the Gunnar Henderson Era begins, not with a whimper but with a cocking of a ballpoint pen, and the cursive of a signature by the 108-year-old Peter Angelos, signing the contract to bring Gunnar up to the majors. “Gunnar, bend down to hear what Mr. Angelos wants to tell you!” His agent yells to him. Gunnar obliges, and Peter Angelos just blehs like Dracula. It’s a fantastic scene, and one Gunnar shouldn’t soon forget. Gunnar won’t be forgotten by fantasy baseball people either, i.e., Us! (Jordan Peele’s second best film. Though, after Get Out, I think they’re all tied, if we’re being honest. Any hoo!) Gunnar Henderson is everything you want — speed, power, contact. He’s Bobby Witt Jr., but better. Call him Better Witt Jr. Actually, call Bobby Witt Jr., a poor man’s Gunnar Henderson. Call him Slingshot Henderson. Itch had Corbin Carroll way above Gunnar Henderson in his top 25 prospects, and, honestly, I don’t know why. You can ask him. Gunnar’s not even particularly high on his top 10 Orioles prospects. Perhaps Itch was once bullied by a 23-year-old who was balding and looked like Cal Ripken Jr. Who’s to say? I’m grabbing Gunnar in every league. With only a month left, he might do nothing, but Gunnar also might immediately click click boom. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
DL Hall – Also being called up by the Orioles, again. Really should change his name to IL Hall. Get with the times, man! In that top 10 Orioles prospects post I linked to above, Itch goes over Hall. I’ve gone over Hall before — search the site! He’s great, but no command, and I wouldn’t mess with him this year.
Cal Quantrill – 6 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.50. Not telling you how to do your job, but, instead of guys like Giolito, you should be going to the Streamonator starting guys like Quantrill. Okay, I am telling you how to do your job.
Shane McClanahan – Abruptly ended his pregame warmup and left the bullpen area, appearing to be crying, or maybe it was my tears obstructing my own vision. Rays are saying it’s a shoulder impingement, that’s shorthand for, “We haven’t the foggiest idea what’s going on, but it’s shoulder-related.” It’s the dreaded catch-all. It’s too early to say if you should drop him in redrafts, but in some leagues, you might not be able to wait for official word, which, honestly might not come for weeks, or until March of next year.
Jose Siri – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer, 2nd homer in four games, and I grabbed Siri in most 15-team mixed league FAAB leagues this past weekend, because he was very high up on the Weekly Hitter Planner, which is a tool I don’t talk about enough, and use all the time.
Randy Arozarena – 3-for-5, 2 runs and a slam (18) and legs (25, 26). Didn’t know the Rice Bowl had so much speed. This is like Ming’s delivery, where they say just ping Pong and he’ll come running! Pong’s the delivery guy; not sure who Ming is.
Justin Verlander – Hit the IL with “it’s late in the year and we’re going to the playoffs so I think I’m gonna Facetime with Kate and peace out for a little while here.” Cristian Javier will return to the rotation. Does little dance, thinks about how Javier might only go three innings, pinches leg to forget about what I was thinking.
Yainer Diaz – Called up by the Astros to back up Maldonado and Vazquez, but maybe more importantly to act as a DH if the Astros need Captain Woo Cubano to rest his hand, which honestly makes me kinda sad more than excited for Yainer, though he does have solid power, and catcher eligibility.
Hunter Brown – Also, called up by the Astros, to act as, I guess, a middle reliever or as a give-us-relief-from-starting-our-starters-who-are-tired. Hunter Brown is very interesting for dynasty leagues, but I doubt we get much more than maybe a streamer, if he gets a start. To read more about him, check out Itch’s Astros top prospects.
Chas McCormick – 1-for-4 will get the majority of time in center field with Dubon. For the platoon of the Dubon-mick Chronic.
Framber Valdez – 8 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.63 vs. Dane Dunning – 5 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.16. This matchup was billed as the Framber-Dunning Effect, where everyone came away feeling much smarter about themselves.
Bubba Thompson – 2-for-3 and his 1st homer. Get Bubba for speed, and he does a whiz-bang. Since I like to subject myself to watching the Rangers be dreadful, I saw Bubba’s whiz-bang and he’s got some pop, and not all fizzle or speed sizzle. Why does it feel like I’m talking like Dr. Seuss?
Ezequiel Duran – 1-for-3 and his 5th homer, and 2nd homer in four games. Might be a light schmotato risin’ in the Texas heat.
Carlos Carrasco – Should be ready to rejoin the rotation by the end of the week, but also only threw 55 pitches in his sim game, so I don’t know how useful he will be this week. Chuck Carrasco? Might be more of a verb than a proper nickname.
Mark Canha – 1-for-4 and his 11th homer, and his 3rd homer in eight games, which is a week if Ringo Starr’s reading. I saw Canha wasn’t rostered in 100% of leagues, and that made me laugh, so job well done.
Mitch Keller – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.43. Wow, I didn’t see that coming from Keller. Anne Sullivan tried to tell me!
Salvador Perez – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 19th homer. He’s not coming at a discount next year. Foolish of me to think it. He’s missed like six weeks and he’s on pace for 25 homers.
Nick Pratto – 4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th and 6th homer, hitting .209. With Pasketti nursing his shoulder at Gabagool’s, Pratto been playing every day, and hitting for power. Could be worth a looksee-loo.
Michael A. Taylor – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (8) and legs (3), hitting .264 (!) and leadoff, and has two homers in two games. Hot schmotato alert!
Gavin Sheets – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homer. Holy Sheets! That’s three homers in three games, and LouBob or Sheets? Well, LouBob ain’t no Sheets, and Sheets is the Sheets, so, yeah.
Eloy Jimenez – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, and he ran around the bases without getting injured. Truly hashtag blessed.
Lucas Giolito – 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.27. Think about for a second how you’ve carried this schmohawk unti September and he has a 5+ERA! You gave him so much rope to hang you.
Dylan Moore – Hit the IL with an oblique injury. No one knows when it happened, because it’s oblique.
Ty France – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, and second homer in the four days since I said he was droppable. France putting me on a pedestal made for a fool like I’m Jerry Lewis.
Cal Raleigh – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer. In one league, he was one of my best pickups. Yeah, not doing so great in that league!
George Kirby – 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.16. I love Kirby, but it’s a little goofy to be relying on a guy who can’t throw 80 pitches. Compare him to Heaney, and I’m going Heaney every time.
Matt Manning – 2 1/3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 3.79. After his good starts, “Hey, Manning’s turned a corner,” then you just watch as he…”Manning, stop turning the corners! You’re going back to Shitsville!”
Gary Sanchez – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 13th homer, while being famous for taking balls off his, uh, nether-bits. Also, in this game, Jake Cave (1-for-3) hit his 3rd homer and Nick Gordon (2-for-4, 6 RBIs) hit his 6th homer. In other words, homering for the Twins was Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Tommy Edman – 1-for-3 and his 11th homer. And he was with Ty France in that call to drop Edman. This is why getting hot is easy to spot, but cold, man and five lady mans, in a snap of the fingers, a guy can get hot again. Though, LouBob can’t even snap his fingers, so there’s that.
Michael Toglia – 0-for-4 as he was called up by the Rockies. Bud Black says of his future, “Prolly will start once a week until he’s 27, because we already have our core nine.” Then when asked how long he thought he was going to start at 3rd base “a jersey with Bryant on the back of it,” Black demurred, unsure. Toglia hit 30 HRs across the minors this year, and has big power, but who knows if he starts. Itch has said, “I think his natural path points to a September call-up (Itch nailed it!), and the Rockies could stand to give their fans some reasons to turn out. Toglia’s no superstar-in-waiting, but 6’5” 226 lb switch hitter presents a big figure just like Grey is a small weasel.” Not cool, man! Toglia should have a clear path at 1st base, but, as said three sentences ago, who knows with Black.
Teoscar Hernandez – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 19th homer. …and the Teoscar for Guy Who I Forgot I Had On Teams goes to…Teoscar!
Aroldis Chapman – Boone said Chapman’s leg is getting a lot better from his tattoo infection, adding, “Hopefully he gets another tattoo soon. How about ‘I (Heart) Losing Games’?”
Aaron Judge – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 51st homer. 65. Which is amazing, but that’s what I think he ends with.
Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-2 and his 30th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. HR to the Izzo!
Aaron Nola – 4 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 3.43. Last week I said Nola was on the cusp of having a sub-3 ERA on the year. It was a nice thought, wasn’t it?
Zac Gallen – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 1 walk, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.53. That’s now 31 2/3 IP scoreless. Next up, Brandon Webb’s Dbags’ record of 42 IP, then Orel Hershiser’s MLB record, then Little Shawn McPhee’s world record of 1,934 scoreless innings for the Little League Tigers of Hackensack, NJ. Though, some have speculated that Little was actually a short 39-year-old man, and he played Little League for 18 years, so there might be some truth to that.
Lane Thomas – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer, and 2nd homer in three games, and hitting leadoff, and the only other time this year I talked about him, he got hot for about a week, so this might be that, again.
Ken Waldichuk – Will be called up by the A’s. He was one of the pieces in the Montas trade, and in one of Itch’s last stash lists. How much wood can Waldichuk chuck in only a month? Prolly not much. If I sound disinterested in pitching call-ups in September, you get an A for perception. You’re better off with a random Streamonator call.
Dermis Garcia – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs as he hit his first major league homer. Now Dermis has got some skin the game!
Sean Murphy – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 5 RBIs and his 17th homer. Murphy’s been one of the bright spots in the A’s season, which is why he’s almost definitely not coming back to the A’s next year. It’s Murphy’s Law.
Fernando Tatis Jr. – Had his shoulder surgery delayed because he had an illness. Was it…ringworm?
Nick Martinez – 1 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 3.18, and his 8th save. As soon as he was named closer, he started to look shaky as all get-out. Like clockwork. Nickwork? Hmm, no clockwork.
Blake Snell – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.87. How is his ERA that low?! He’s the least reliable starter I’ve ever seen! Giolito’s ERA, that should be Snell’s! Wow, Snell’s ERA lies. Not cool.
Joc Pederson – 2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, and his 2nd homer in two games, and now has…*counting on fingers*…six more homers in nine games to get.