One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Gary Sanchez – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 33rd and 34th homer, hitting .237. Sanchez has 34 homers and 11 doubles and that’s basically the 2019 stat line in a nutshell and there’s nothing odd about the baseball at all.
Edwin Encarnacion – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 31st homer as he returned from the IL. Edwin can hit homers with a fractured wrist as long as he has his parrot. “Polly want homers!” Chillax, Polly! “Polly. Wants. Homers.”
Brett Gardner – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer. Oddly enough, he’s also been thrown out of 20 games. 19 for arguing with umps, once after someone mistakenly thought he was an alien from Mars Attacks! Their exclamation, not mine.
Jack Flaherty – 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.14. In his last 70 1/3 IP, his ERA is 0.90. Somewhere, my “reason for drafting German Marquez this year after his huge 2nd half last year” is howling in laughter.
Marcell Ozuna – 2-for-3 and his 25th homer. OZUNA homer and feel brand new. OZUNA love new-OZUNA smell.
Dereck Rodriguez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 5.15. I was intrigued by Der-Rodri coming into this year for deep leagues, but, at this point, I don’t trust him no matter where he’s pitching or who he’s facing.
Adam Eaton – Out with a bad bone bruise, or if George Thorogood is reading, a bruise that’s bad to the bone.
Juan Soto – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 32nd homer, hitting .299. His name is Sexy Dr. Pepper, but he’s so dependable and more like Classic Coke.
Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.76 vs. Max Scherzer – 6 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.60. Scherzer didn’t look that sharp, but neither pitcher looked as bad as their lines appear. It’s just 2019, man.
Edwin Diaz – 0 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 5.65, 6th blown save, moves record to 1-7, and about a week after the season ends it’s revealed the Mets ignored Diaz when he said his elbow needs surgery. Crazy that Mickey Callaway (or any manager) hitches his wagon to any closer that is clearly leading him to getting fired.
Pete Alonso – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 44th homer. Albombso!
Jeff McNeil – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer, 2nd homer in as many games, hitting .323. I liked McNeil a lot in the preseason, but all of my preseason enthusiasm for David Fletcher should have been harnessed towards McNeil too.
Brandon Nimmo – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (2), hitting well since his return from the IL, but Nimmo’s more of an NL-Only play for now, unless you find yourself in a jam or being flushed down a toilet.
Mike Foltynewicz – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 5.28. Here’s a good comparison: look at what Verlander just did to the Blew Kays and what Faultyelbowitz did. Obviously, every pitcher isn’t Verlander, but there’s a stark difference.
Rowdy Tellez – 1-for-4 and his 17th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. I’m hesitant to shine a hot schmotato light on Tellez, because the Kays could do something inexplicable like start Smoak.
Andrew Benintendi – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer, hitting .283. “We can sell him as chum for the sequel of Sharknado–Wait! Benintendi moved! He’s alive!” Honestly, Benintendi doesn’t have a bad line. Dot dot dot. If this were April!
Rick Porcello – 4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.63. This year’s Porcello’s gone full-Mushaboom. Never go full-Mushaboom.
Nelson Cruz – 1-for-4 and his 35th homer, hitting .310. Nelson Cruz is such a beast and always wildly underrated. Not the type I usually draft, but I think I’m going to go all-in on him next year. You’ve been warned that he will finally have a down year.
Miguel Sano – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer, in a bit more than half a season (87 games). He’ll start next year still 26 years old and I am going to get so burned by so many Twins next year! Everyone except Buxton. Eff that doode. (Yes, he’ll be the one good Twins hitter next year now. I realize this.)
Mike Clevinger – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.71. Clevinger was the AL Pitcher of the Month for August. He held the award and said, “This means so much to me after my early season troubles,” then someone pointed out he was holding up a bucket of Dubble Bubble.
Carlos Carrasco – 1 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 5.51. Okay, are we at all worried that in the middle of the heartwarming story of the year he’s screwing up his arm?
Roberto Perez – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 22nd homer, hitting .228. Ro-Pe is the world’s longest unedited take of why you should punt catchers.
Eloy Jimenez – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 23rd and 24th homer, hitting .252. He’s so quiet this year I’m going to start calling him, The Librarian.
Dylan Cease – 6 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 6.75. Streamonator is barely positive for his next start, but I’d be lying if I said I was trusting Cease at all this year. At best, he’s raising awareness for 2020. Dylan is Cease’ing next year.
Willson Contreras – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 20th homer, as he was activated from the IL. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “When I’m on vacation, I go by the name Skip Hassles.”
Nicholas Castellanos – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 23rd homer, and 37th homer on the Cubs. Coolwhip recently gave you a Nicholas Castellanos breakdown. It was a good read about recent differences between Tigers and Cubs’ Greek God of Hard Contact.
Kyle Schwarber – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 33rd homer. Yadda-blabbity-bloo, saw an article yesterday that said MLB is strongly considering altering the baseball for the 2021 season. Hahahahahaha–Breathe, Grey! Breathe! Yo, MLB, just stop by Modell’s on the way to the park today and buy some new balls! You don’t need 20 months to get new balls!
Anthony Santander – 2-for-8 and his 17th homer in roughly half a season. In March, I drafted Santander, knowing the O’s weren’t competing, so I figured they’d let Santander play the whole year, and I liked what I saw from him. However, the O’s kept Santander in the minors for over two months. Let’s recap to illustrate not my genius but the O’s stupidity. Santander should’ve been playing the whole year and they’re so dumb for not promoting Mountcastle.
Scott Kingery – 1-for-3 and his 17th homer, hitting .276, and his 2nd homer in as many games. As anyone that owned Kingery in the 1st half of the year can tell you, when Kingery gets hot, he gets scalding. Anoint him King Schmotato.
Jorge Soler – 3-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and slam (39) and legs (2), hitting .255, as he set the Royals’ home run record. I wonder if in ten years Jorge Soler’s 40+ homer season will be looked at with the same bemusement as Brady Anderson’s 50-homer season. I’d guess no, since he also doesn’t have the sideburns.
Victor Reyes – 4-for-5, 1 RBI, hitting .315, hitting near-.450 in the last week with three steals. Hot schmotato alert!
Nolan Arenado – 2-for-4 and his 37th homer, hitting .312. I’m going to place the last four years of my tax returns by this open window to signify what a breeze this IRS audit is going to be–NOOOOO!!! Torenado!
Daniel Murphy – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer, hitting .284. Wow, Murphy and Benintendi homering in the same night. There’s some last place team in your league having a heck of a night!
Julio Urias – 3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 2.55. When Urias was asked if he could throw more innings the next time out, he slyly winked, and never stopped winking.
Gavin Lux – 1-for-4 as he hit leadoff. Sorry, don’t want to be a Homer Homeystein, but good for Dave Roberts and the Dodgers deserve to win. Screw the Astros and their playing of Josh Reddick over Kyle Tucker. Reddick and his .209 post-All-Star break average with zero homers.
George Springer – Left the game after being carted off the field. Too bad, so sad! Kyle Tucker could have some daylight now! Though, I am worried, something tells me Hinch will play Tony Kemp over Tucker, and Kemp isn’t even on the Astros anymore.
Mitch Keller – Left yesterday’s start after a line drive hit his wrist. Pirates pitching coach, Ray Searage said, “I tell them pitch to contact. Some of the younger guys don’t know what contact I mean.”
Adam Frazier – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. I’m saying hot schmotato through gritted teeth, because the leadoff slot is for…Newman!
Sandy Alcantara – 7 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.26. In one deeper league, I grabbed Alcantara for this start, and his next one, which the Streamonator loves. Won’t Sandy be the one you want too?
Justin Upton – 2-for-3 and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in his last two games. Could be hot, but I’m more curious if Upton’s got a Zombino-type year in him left for 2020, because he’s definitely gonna be all but forgotten in next year’s drafts.
Albert Pujols – 1-for-4 and his 21st homer. This homer was significant because he also has 21 grandkids.
Mike Trout – 1-for-3 and his 44th homer. I hope Trout wins the Home Run Derby this year. That is what we’re witnessing, right? The world’s longest Home Run Derby.