Mike Trout who?! AL Rookie of the Year last year and runner-up for the MVP. He also had one of the best rookie years ever. I know, Random Italicized voice. I was being facetious to show my excitement for Bryce Harper. Like Bryce Harper is so good I’ve forgotten all about Mike Trout. He’s the Angels center fielder. He’s got a girlfriend, but I bet I could weasel my way in with my slanted words. Forget it, Random Italicized voice. Like you forgot Mike Trout? I hate you! Rudy’s mentioned this before, but there’s very few hitters that have top 20 overall potential. You have to be able to hit 45+ homers (Stanton, Bautista) without killing you in any category or be consistently excellent across four categories (Pujols, Fielder, Votto, Cano) or have the potential for your homers and steals to total 50 (Trout, Braun, McCutchen, CarGo, Jones, Kemp, Upton). It’s slightly early to put Harper in that last group. But the potential is there, as he showed yesterday when Harper touched ’em all once, he touched ’em all Bryce. If you own him, I wouldn’t let him go at any price. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jeff Samardzija – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks. If the kids still said super as in good and not super as in ‘Super, I’m being sarcastic,’ they wouldn’t say super anymore, they’d say Samardzija. “Yo, cuz, that faux hawk with the zig-zags in your hair like Bosworth is Samardzija.” “Thanks, cuz, I got it at Samardzijacuts next to the Samardzijamarket. The teased-out blonde does Samardzija work. I’m now gonna don blue tights and a red cap and stand in front of a fan so I look like Samardzijaman.”
Carlos Marmol – 1/3 IP, 1 ER and was pulled after 19 pitches. C’mon, Sveum, I need him to throw 72 pitches and I get the virgins promised to me for sacrificing my fantasy team by drafting Marmol. The Cubs need to build up Marmol’s trade value as a closer. Well, they don’t need to, but they probably want to. It would make the most sense from a bigger picture standpoint. So, Marmol isn’t out yet, but it’s not to say I wouldn’t pick up Kyuji Fujikawa in every league, who secured his first major league save on only two pitches.
Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his first homer. It was a bomb that nearly reached the river beyond PNC Park. I believe that river is officially, “Three Tears In A Bucket, Our Team Can Suck It” tributary.
Starlin Castro – 2-for-4, a run and a steal. After stealing 15 bases in April and May last year and only ten in the final four months, I wish someone would read Castro the story of the tortoise and the hare.
Phil Coke – Got the save. Leyland chose to manage the game yesterday, rather than go for multiple cigarette breaks. He brought in Al Al’etc in the 7th, then Benoit for the 8th, who stayed in to face The Other White Meat in the ninth. Then Coke came in to face the lefty, Morneau, and stayed for the righty, Doumit. Right now, Coke has to be the favorite, much to the consternation of Pepsi people everywhere. Though I don’t think this puts him at more than a 55% chance of finishing with 20 or more saves this year. Leyland could still go to Benoit or Dotel to close the next game if it’s a righty heavy 9th. Or if Leyland goes to Phil and Coke fizzles. The only thing we learned yesterday is Al Al’etc has solid stuff, but is pretty far down the save food chain. I’d rank them 1A) Coke 1B)enoit 1C) There is no 1C. 1D)otel. 1E)tc. But this ranking of Coke is a fluid situation.
A.J. Burnett – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks. That’s a K for every arm tattoo.
Collin Cowgill – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs with a grand slam. A few things have to come together for a player to succeed. They need an everyday job, they need to perform with the job and they’re preferably in the the top of the order. Check, check, check out Cowgill! We could have our first hot schmotato of the year.
Jon Niese – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks as he thumbed his handsomely manicured nose at the Padres.
Shaun Marcum – Could potentially return to the rotation this Saturday. I wouldn’t Marcum down yet. See what I did there? See?! Do you see?!
Carl Crawford – 2-for-4 with a run and a caught stealing as he hit leadoff. Great to see him attempt a steal and hit leadoff. Baby steps, Bob, baby steps.
Tyler Flowers – 1-for-3 with a solo homer. That’s nice, I still don’t think he hits over .220 this year.
Chris Sale – 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks as he matched up against another pitcher I don’t like in James Shields (6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks). I would’ve liked to see a different result. Like a 10-9 game, but I might have to think more long term. At least that’s what this Fire God Redheaded Lady keeps showing me in the flames.
Stephen Strasburg – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks on only 80 pitches. Strasburg made a deal with the Miami Mortals. “I won’t strikeout 20 of you, if you’ll just make weak outs and let me save some pitches for September.”
Ryan Ludwick – Left with a dislocated shoulder. I’d check just below your neck, but that’s me. He’s going to need at least a 15-day DL, but it could be even longer. Did I hear someone say Billy Hamilton? Maybe, but when I hear Fun, it sounds like, “Tonight we are yum… So let’s set the wood on fire….We cook ’em right up…Venison…” So maybe I’m mishearing the Billy Hamilton thing. Right now, I could see Baker sticking with Heisey and leaving Hamilton in the minors. With full-time ABs, Hesiey’s a solid NL-Only guy to grab with high-teen power and 7-ish steals. He shouldn’t kill you in average either.
Pablo Sandoval – 2-for-4 as he started. Injury Update #786 says, “There’s no injury. All you other updates can blow me. I’m Injury Update #1!” Injury Update #787, “Hold on, IU, you’re not number one. Sandoval feels pain when he swings left-handed.” In the tourney of Injury Updates, we’re still waiting to see who’s gonna win out.
Yovani Gallardo – 5 IP, 3 ER, 11 baserunners, 3 Ks. Wanna really torture yourself? Own Gallardo in April. Wanna really really torture yourself? Watch him pitch. Wanna really really really torture yourself? Watch him pitch via his opponent’s TV telecast. You need a month straight of meditation and yoga to get over owning YoGa for the month of April. It’s crazy to think about benching your number two starter, but it’s mighty tempting when you look at his plus-four ERA in his career for April.
Norichika Aoki – 1-for-4, 2 runs and a solo home run. Boom Norichika boom!
John Axford – 1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Ks and his first blown save. Seems like old times, Chevy Chase. Eh, I would’ve liked to see a clean inning from Axford since we own him everywhere, but he’s in no danger of losing his job. At least not yet. Who are the Brewers gonna go to, Jim Henderson? He’s not the closer, he’s the Google question, “Did you mean Jim Henson?”
Dexter Fowler – 3-for-5 with a solo shot. Would’ve preferred to see him hit a single and steal three bases, but beggars can’t be choosers, except for a rare breed of Hippiesmokeapotomas in the Pacific Northwest that sleeps on people’s couches and will only smoke the finest bud.
Jhoulys Chacin – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. Solid start from Yo-lease, but I’d feel more confident (confidenter?) in recommending him if he threw more than 94 pitches. I’d still wait to pick him up.
David Ortiz – Hoping to play in minor league games early next week because his heel feels more stable to run on. He’s just gonna DH, what running does he need to do? Put a bat in his hands and let’s get poppin’, Papi! <–alliteration in lieu of wit!
CC Sabathia – 5 IP, 4 ER, 12 baserunners, 5 Ks, hitting only 88-90 MPH where he usually hits 93-94. After telling you not to draft him, here’s me going even further out on a limb: CC will throw less than 120 innings this year with a 4.50+ ERA.
Jonny Venters – Best case scenario is he’s only out a month with a sore elbow…. Oh, who are we kidding? He met with Dr. Freeze. Venters better start playing soccer.
Freddie Freeman – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and a homer. Fr2 + E4 + D2 = I Man.
Dan Uggla – 1-for-3, 2 runs and a solo homer and in the same game Chase Utley went 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a homer. The Ghosts of Past 2nd Base All-Stars paid the game a visit. If only Joe Morgan could’ve been there to call them, Dan Utley and Chase Uggla.
Gerardo Parra – 4-for-5, 1 run with 3 doubles. Parra and I have a lot in common. We are both referred to as ‘Rico Suave’ by me. Other than that, I don’t think a lot of him, but he does tend to get hot for a week or two.
Elvis Andrus – Rangers locked him up with an eight-year $120 million contract. I wonder if Alex Anthopoulos consulted with Texas, telling them this was the best way to trade Andrus to the Angels or Yankees.