Have you heard? The Mariners are rebuilding. Cool, but haven’t they been rebuilding for the last fifteen years? Also, is it the wisest decision to tell other teams you’re throwing in the towel in November? Is that like when you’re a girl and you make a vision board that says you’re going to get a boyfriend and you do? Or is it more like a guy who throws a PBR into a fountain and makes a wish to get laid? A girl can find a boyfriend if she’s available. A guy needs more than optimism, otherwise he’s going home with his hand. Guess what I’m saying is the Mariners are a bunch of jerkoffs. With that said, they traded James Paxton to the Yankees for Justus Sheffield and some other prospects. I will get to the prospects on the other side of the ‘Anyway,’ for now it’s Paxton, who I do love, but how surprising is it that he’s 30 years old already? Surprising, right? Last year was the first time he threw more than 160 innings in a year. Walter Johnson, you are not. You’re not even Josh Johnson. His numbers, as always, were spectacular — 11.7 K/9 (4th in majors), 2.4 BB/9, 3.02 xFIP (4th). By the by, in his best career year for innings, he didn’t even qualify for those stats in the leaderboard. I had to sort down to 160 IP. Meh, 150 insanely good innings is better than 200 innings from an Orioles starter. Speedball guys don’t age great, but his velocity was still 95 MPH on average last year, which has been his norm, and he had the third best cutter in the majors (8.2), and the top 5 don’t have anywhere near his fastball. Corey Kluber, for unstints, had 16 wins above average on his cutter, and had a -7 fastball. Paxton had a 11.6 on his fastball. We’re talking elite stuff, obviously. The move to Yankee Stadium and AL East will deflate him a bit, but he can pitch anywhere. For 2019, I’ll give James Paxton the projections of 14-7/3.64/1.12/206 in 179 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2019 fantasy baseball:
Justus Sheffield – Going the other way in the Paxton trade. Spoiler alert! I was going to highlight him in a rookie outlook post, but instead, I’ll just post it here. You get two posts for the price of one! Okay, technically, since you don’t pay anything to read any of this, you could have 1,000 posts for the price of one, so taking two-for-one, you’re kinda losing out. Any hoo! Here’s what I was going to say, “I seriously struggled to find rookie pitchers to highlight this year. Alex Reyes was right at the rookie limit innings pitched cutoff of 50 IP, and is always injured; Brent Honeywell and Michael Kopech had Tommy John surgery this year; Jesus Luzardo looks like he’s at least a half year away and might only be up less than 50 innings this year (though I do like him); Forrest Whitley had injuries/suspensions and, who along with Josh James, is dealing with a stacked Astros rotation he has to try to get in. This, finally, brings (just) us to Justus Sheffield whose Triple-A numbers were, well, okay. He throws 95 MPH with a slide piece, but had merely a 8.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in Triple-A. I decided to wag my bat towards Sheffield even though my enthusiasm is not peaking, if you can’t tell. So, what can we expect from Justus Sheffield for 2019 fantasy baseball?
Like a girl who has a thing for the Pep Boys, let’s check out the mechanics:
This is not the most exciting GIF by design. I just wanted to isolate his mechanics and nothing more. Like I’m a part of, say, a Carman Auto Group. By the way, I just bought a house, and now I feel an overwhelming desire to build my own car in the driveway. Like Phife Dawg might’ve sang, what is a driveway without a half-built kit car? Nada, nada, nada damn thing. The only problem is I can’t even put together a dresser from Ikea. Any hoo! Can you see how small he is in this GIF? He’s like 5′ 5″. Marcus Stroman can spot dandruff on this guy’s head because he’s so tiny. Also, in a throwing session, Sheffield can’t throw a strike. I know! This isn’t every pitch he’s ever thrown, but look at him. He’s trying so hard to generate velocity. I don’t think he can throw a strike if the situation calls for it. And by ‘the situation’ I don’t mean Mike Sorrentino, but the catcher. His numbers back this up too. He had a 3.7 BB/9 in Triple-A and 4.5 BB/9 in Double-A in 2018. This is not good. This is against a ton of hitters who are just up there swinging at everything. Granted, with how major leaguers have been approaching hitting recently, this could describe major leaguers too. If there’s only a modest uptick in walks from the minors to the majors, Sheffield is unusable outside of matchups. The Triple-A strikeout rate (8.6) instills no confidence in me either. He has the pitches to be successful and could add more strikeouts to his game, but if you’re not locating, no one is swinging, let alone missing. He’s still only 22 years old, so I’m not writing him off, but unless he gets that disease Robert Z’Dar had in his chin and Sheffield gets it in his legs, he’s not getting any taller. He feels more of a product of the Yankees’ hype machine vs. a chance for a breakout.” And that was present me quoting future me! The only thing Sheffield has going for him at this moment is a chance at a rotation spot, because the Mariners are rebuilding. For 2019, I’ll give Justus Sheffield the projections of 5-7/4.39/1.41/95 in 102 IP, and I think I’m being generous.
Mallex Smith – Traded to the Mariners for Mike Zunino. Saw a lot of people upset with the M’s over this move. If the M’s turn around and trade away Mallex immediately, then obviously everything I’m about to say is cockeyed through a hindsight lens, but Zunino for Mallex is bad? I get it, in real baseball you have to have a catcher, but Zunino is so replaceable and Mallex is on the come. I don’t know nothing about nothing (which is why you’re here), but I’d want Mallex too. Get a Maldonado-type if you need a catcher. For 2019, I’ll give Mallex Smith the projections of 82/3/37/.286/42 in 546 ABs, and Mike Zunino the projections of 47/22/58/.213 in 417 ABs.
Lance McCullers – Will miss the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery. Apparently, 27,204 straight curveballs was the breaking point. Pun noted.
Aledmys Diaz – Traded to the Astros. Diaz is perennially in position to have no position wherever he plays, or, rather, does not play. Not saying this boosts Bo Bichette right to the majors, but someone commented on my Bo Bichette fantasy about how Diaz was blocking him (along with others). Not ragging on that person, but it shows you how hard it is to figure out playing time in November.
Kurt Suzuki – Signed with the Nats. Hey, if you can’t have Bryce Harper why not sign the next best free agent? Ronald Acuña Jr. was recently cited as not having any idea who Mickey Mantle. I’m gonna say Juan Soto’s in the same boat. Imagine Juan Soto’s confusion when asked about Suzuki. There should be a Sporcle about what Acuña and Juan Soto know. That would be awesome. For 2019, I’ll give Kurt Suzuki the projections of 40/10/48/.262 in 337 ABs.
Trevor Rosenthal – Signed with the Nats. Hey, if you can’t have Bryce Harper why not sign– Okay, you get the point. Doolittle is one of the least reliable closers to stay healthy, so Rosenthal should have some value. *looks at how little Rosenthal stays healthy* Okay, well, hopefully Rosenthal is healthy when Doolittle is not and vice versa. For 2019, I’ll give Rosenthal the projections of 3-2/2.98/1.19/81, 8 saves in 61 IP.
Jordan Luplow – Was traded to the Indians along with Max Moroff, going the other way to the…Can you guess what team they were on? Too slow. Headed to the Pirates is Erik Gonzalez, Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza. By the way, Jordan Luplow sounds like a worried Astro from The Jetsons watching the 1990s Knicks vs Bulls when pronounced in Japan.
Jung-Ho Kang – Re-signed with the Pirates. Solid signing by the Pirates. Not sure where else they’d get a three-times convicted DUI guy who hasn’t played in a few years, and might not be able to travel out of the country. These are the kind of players who are just not in abundance.
Drew Smyly – Traded to the Rangers for previously unreleased DVDs of Name That Sound! with Guy Smiley. Smyly missed all of 2017 and was limited to one rehab start in 2018, so I’m not sure what Drew’s all Smyly about. If he’s healthy, he could surprise with a fantasy number three-type season. If he’s not healthy, he should not go see Dr. James Andrews because I saw him on House Hunters International looking at a castle in Liechtenstein. For 2019, I’ll give Drew Smyly the projections of 7-8/4.28/1.25/134 in 154 IP.
I’m still waiting on your Brent Honeywell piece!!!
Happy Thanksgiving Grey!!!
It’s coming tomorrow, happy thanksgiving!
@Grey: I can’t wait!!! Haha! But man I feel fat from all the food I ate!
Survivor is kinda meh for me this year. Rooting for that whacko Christian.
Happy turkey day bruh.
Yeah, it’s been okay, Christian’s about as interesting as it’s been…
Happy Thanksgiving, Grimey!
LOL @ that Kang blurb!!! Rare indeed…
My league is having its auction draft since we are starting from scratch. I put a bid in on Jose Ramirez for $31 and someone went way over the top for h im at $48. We have a 40 man roster and $1000 salary cap. SHould I go up to $49 or let him go? Please advise.
Go up to $49
next year to keep him it would cost $49 plus 10% so next year it would cost me $54 to keep him. Still do it?
Verlander is at $34. up it or pass?
Go to $35
he is at 35
Go to 36
As I sit and read this a day late and already in a Thanksgiving haze; I can’t lie, I had an “oh shit” moment when I read “for unstints”. I instantly thought it was one of those times I have been saying “for instance” my whole life and I have been wrong. I was devastated for a second. I had to google it. I feel much better now and it made me laugh. Have a great Thanksgiving.
Haha, just here to make you second guess yourself!
keeper deadline is coming up,
10 team yahoo h2h, with added bats (CI, MI, OF), keep 6…
Top 5: Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, Kris Bryant, Khris Davis, Anthony Rizzo…
I need help with 6th keeper, and alternate (pick 2):
Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner, Kyle Freeland, Blake Treinin, Tim Anderson, Jose Peraza…
Definitely Bauer, alternate could be three different guys (Peraza, Treinen or Freeland)… Prolly go Peraza
Hi buddy! Sorry I’ve been MIA, busy with kids and shizz…congrats on the Larchmont house! Super nice area. An old friend I haven’t seen for like 5 years opened a bakery over on Fairfax called Fiona. You should check it out- she’s super talented. Unless something comes up, I won’t be in LA until I think March, when I will definitely be making a trip to the fairfax area to eat, buy comics, and mock the kids lined up outside of Supreme.
Hey, man! Good to see you! Thanks! I’m now house poor! I know the location of Fiona, and have heard whispers it’s supposed to be good, and I love me some baked treats, so will be heading by there soon… I wish I knew it was open already bc I went to Jon & Vinny’s two days ago, which is like a half block away… What they’ve done with Fairfax is insane from like only 5 years ago… Went from lox and bagels to hipster seemingly overnight
@Grey: Supreme’s been there for a while, so it was bound to happen…I got involved in a hotel in Palm Springs – you still get out there often?
I’m here right now! What hotel?
@Grey: Villa Royale. It’s over by the Ace.
Hmm… Not sure I know that one, will ask Cougs… I do know the area where the Ace is, not too far from where we are… You’ll have to let me know if you’re ever out here
@Grey: I will!
@Grey: My involvement is recent and exceedingly minimal. But I do hope to get out there once in a while, you know, for business reasons…
Do they have a restaurant in there?
I know the AL East is tough, but could you see Pax doing even better than last year? Yanks infield defense has to be way better than what the Mariners were running out
I think what I said in the post… ERAs are fluky, so he could be much better on the Yanks, but tougher park and the Red Sox will ding him a little prolly… He’s going to be great when healthy either way for Ks, and could win 17+
@Grey: Agreed on the 17+ dubs… “If healthy” that number just feels a little low. An ace on an offensive team should have a legit shot at 20. For every Red Sox start there’s one against the O’s…
He’s never thrown more than 160 IP and he’s 30 years old… If healthy feels like a huge if
I think you guys should bump him up in your drafts to round 2 ;-)
Well, my rotation is up to three now: Happ, Pivetta, Glasnow. I went upside there. In a few rounds Ill get some lower K, lower WHIP vets. Gonna fill out my extraneous positions on offense next.
That’s a solid rotation for where you started taking them! I like all of those guys, sexy upside
Thanks, Ya pretty happy so far. 9 bats, 4 arms and almost at pick #200
Those are solid arms too considering how late you started taking them!
Didn’t the boyfriend vision board work pretty nicely for Cougs??
Have a great Thanksgiving.
It worked out better than she could’ve ever expected!
Grey- looking at aquiring Corbin. Do you think his performance is repeatable regardless of where he signs (outside maybe Coors)?
Don’t love him in Yankee Stadium or Coors, which are possibilities… I do like him a lot tho, in general
So, for reals … does this change any of your thoughts on Bo for this year? Or is it still just too early to make an educated guess?
Too early to think it changes anything, my guess is it does not, he’s still a half year away, at least
Where’s the new house? Congrats!
Thanks! It’s in Larchmont
@Grey</a. Great neighborhood. You did good.
Yeah, pretty psyched, we don’t move in until 1st week of December
@Grey: Does this mean no write-ups for the first few days of December while you look for your laptop that you placed in a box that ended up in the attic behind your beach chairs and umbrella?
I will miss you and be sad. :o(
Haha, nah, I have write-ups done for the next month… Rookies then onto sleepers in December
@Grey: I love this website!!!
Larchmont is a very cool little village, congrats man, you did good!!
Thanks! Appreciate it!
Great write-up, I can feel we’re warming up to the beginning of the season when I read these. Great insight.
a. Well at least we are closer by 1 day to the start of the season.
b. You didn’t do Justus justice! What happened? Did Gary Sheffield get together with David Justice’s sister and the name Justus was forced on him? J/k, Justus is a great name. I know no relation to Gary or David.
c. Mark Twain quote of the day for November 20 (I’m going with a few quotes a day to hedge my bets on getting to the quote you are referring to before December 15)
1. If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.
2. When angry, count 4. When very angry, swear.
3. Man is the only animal that blushes or needs to.
4. Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
A. That’s what I’m sayin’ brochacho
B. He is related to Sheffield, England, oddly enough
C. These are awesome, but not the one
@Grey: Not to stick my nose in but here’s my favorite Twain quote: Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Awesome! He had so many great ones
Is this the one?
It’s not the one
Lol on Sheffield, England!
So I’ll keep trying.
Keep it going!
Do you’re kindly saying not to rely on Justus for the coming season?
i have him in my dynasty team,,,
would you better pick up someone like : Matz, Bundy, Junis, maybe Freddy Peralta?
i need help at pitching !
I don’t think you can rely on Sheffield, but he might have a few starts here and there, maybe a month’s worth — For simply 2019, I’d want Matz
here is my bad team :
RP1 Ken Giles
P3 Trevor Williams
P4 Jhoulys Chacin
bench Derek Rodriguez
That doesn’t look bad at all, but how many teams again?
12 teams,,, i got that team 2 seasons ago and rebuilding ,,,
my batters are good ,,,
and i think i should trade for SP
and i’ll pick RPs a far as the season goes
1B Abreu /T.White
2B Villar / Adames
3B Rendon / Castellanos
SS Lindor / T.Anderson
OF JDong Mart
OF Krush Davis
Util Andujar / Renfroe
i may need a better 1B –> what about PETER ALONSO over White or Renfroe?
and i dropped Merrifield before the allstar break ;(
I like Alonso over White… Bummer on Merrifield… Team doesn’t look bad at all, your hitting is kinda stacked, but your pitching does need help
Hey Grey, I’m in a holds league and you didn’t project holds for Rosenthal?
What says you? Do you figure Rosie gets the 8th while Doolittle is healthy? If so, how many holds in those 61 innings? If he gets 20+, that makes him valuable in my league!
@Harley Earl: By the way, the line calling the Mariners “a bunch of jerkoffs” is an instant classic. LMAO
That’s one of the greatest Razzball lines ever!!! Hahahahaaahaa!!!
@Harley Earl: Holds are so unpredictable. I would not reach for a well known name during the draft. Instead, pick guys up off WW once the season starts. There are always guys who emerge out of nowhere.
Holds are unpredictable like Papa Smurf said… I’d guess 20+ holds easily, but was surprised to see he only had 12 last year
@Grey: In points leagues that have holds, I like the middle reliever guys that could get you a couple innings and a win or a hold. (Think Chris Devenski, as an example)
In roto holds, I like to turn my computer off and go to bed. Because I’d rather just go to sleep than play in a roto holds league.
Haha, nothing wrong with a little shut eye!