This weekend I went to Palm Springs to see the in-laws, and I was saying to Father Cougs that I wished I bet on the Phillies to win the World Series back in November when we were in Vegas. He replied, “With all that blog money you have?” Then I went to the bathroom and told my reflection, “One day they’re not gonna laugh at you! I promise you that Reflection Grey!” Then, while sitting in a stall, I listened on my iPhone to the theme from Rocky, Gonna Fly Now, and stabilized my ego. Trying hard now! Gettin’ strong now! Gonna fly now! Any hoo! The newest favorite son of Philadelphia, Jake Arrieta, joined an already underrated starting rotation. I’d contend (for the welterweight championship) that Arrieta isn’t even their ace, that label goes to the guy draped in Mardi Gras beads, Nola. For a while, it appeared Arrieta was headed to Philly. I hear the hold up was due to Arrieta unable to find a special type of umbrella. “Do you have an umbrella that blocks thrown batteries?” In the top 40 starters, I said, “At this stage in Arrieta’s career, I don’t see his value changing much no matter where he signs. If he goes to Miller Park, Chase or Coors, then I’ll lower him a little, but I see no way I raise him up outside of a move to Petco, which doesn’t seem likely, because the Padres are playing for 2020, then, in 2020, they’ll be playing for 2023.” And that’s me quoting me! See, so nothing really changes, and I’m not looking to draft Arrieta suddenly, but a solid real world move for the Phils. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into the roundup, there’s a $10 league signup today that needs some people. When we did the polling of what youse wanted in your fantasy leagues, a large majority of you wanted paid leagues, but I’m getting the feeling we may not be doing them next year, and go back to all free leagues. You don’t want to bet $10 to win $100 that you’re better than eleven others? C’mon, put that Jimmy John’s sub money where your mouth is! Hey, I could write ad copy. Anyway, the roundup:
Cam Bedrosian – In lead for the closer job in Los Angeles aka Anaheim. Blake Parker went out of his way to lose the closer job this spring, but, with The Sciosciapath, this is far from over. I’d imagine we’re talking about who’s closing for the Angels throughout the season. Or screaming at our computer monitors, at least. In my top 500, I moved Bedrosian up and Parker down.
Dominic Leone – Might be sneaking into the conversation for the Cards closer job. And you thought Dominic Leone was a country in West Africa. Silly, silly you. Not to be confused with Sillie Ewe, the President-elect of Dominic Leone, the country in West Africa that doesn’t exist. I’ve adjusted my top 500 for Leone. Don’t think he takes the job and runs with it, but he obviously needs to be drafted at this point.
Brandon Finnegan – Left yesterday’s game with a left lateral forearm spasm. This means when he was flexing his forearm that little bump that pops up started pulsing morse code for 911. In my top 100 starters, I didn’t give Finnegan anywhere close to a full season of IP due to his shoulder issues last year, so nothing’s really changed.
Anthony DeSclafani – Nursing a strained oblique, after having a sprained UCL last year, to go with the soreness he’s still feeling when he was stamped, “Fragile.” Insert emoji of a weeping child making an iPhone who just drafted DeSclafani. Much like Finnegan, in my top 100 starters, I had only projected DeSclafani for around 100 IP, so never thought he was throwing a full season, and nothing’s changed.
Jorge Bonifacio – Was suspended for 80 games for Boldenone, a controlled substance found in baby Tylenol. At least the baby Tylenol of Barry Bonds. This gives some room for Paulo Orlando to play, the Florida Project! I updated my top 100 outfielders.
Nick Delmonico – Partially dislocated his shoulder in a collision. That reminds me of Oscar winner, Crash, only without the clumsy racial overtones. I moved Delmonico in my top 100 outfielders and removed him from all other position rankings, because I was dopey and accidentally ranked him for the wrong position, and only one of you caught it six weeks later. Shame on you! You like how I displaced that blame, huh?
Matt Bush – Rangers said Bush will be used out of the bullpen. Sounds like the Rangers are playing with fire if Bush needs to ride the new bullpen cart onto the field. Hope the steering wheel has an Intoximeter. Bush is still in the top 500, but I removed him from the top 100 starters.
Delino DeShields – Rangers manager Banister announced DeShields would bat leadoff, steal 50 bases and learn when to use an em-dash vs. a semicolon. I haven’t adjusted anything with my DeShields projections in the top 80 outfielders, but I love to hear this, while trying to remain objective and know spring training boasts vary widely. Here’s my favorite from this preseason:
Hanley’s already announced he’s going to have two 30-day DL stints. https://t.co/fAOCcVovuW
— Razzball (@Razzball) March 2, 2018
Lance Lynn – Signed with the Twins. Solid real baseball move by the Twins to sign Lynn, but it doesn’t make him more enticing for fantasy, due to his peripherals that were discussed in the top 60 starters blurb. Though, he will be trying to keep his BABIP in check again this year because he’ll be in another contract year. Kidding! Don’t buy the contract talk mumbo-slash-jumbo.
Jonathan Lucroy – Signed with the A’s. Remember when Gary Sanchez realized he had a, uh, nut allergy to foul tips? That’s the hit Lucroy’s value takes going to Oakland. He could barely hit a home run in Coors, and now he’s up against it in the field MC Hammer and Charley O built. Well, I wasn’t owning him prior to this, and I’m definitely not touching him now. He is ranked and projected in my top 20 catchers.