You heard of Mrs. Dash? An all-powerful seasoning that you sprinkle on anything, and it makes it better. It’s crack…for your tongue! (May not be the actual slogan.) Now, if you swing already produces a great hard hit rate, you don’t want to tweak it too much. It’s already tasty. Only thing you can sprinkle on it to elevate it is a little bit more Launch Angle. Jesse Winker (3-for-4, 6 RBIs and 3 homers (15, 16, 17), hitting .350) is a classic example of what happens when a guy who hits the ball hard, tweaks his swing just a tad so the ball coming off his bat is just tad more elevated. Winker didn’t go full-Gallo on his Launch Angle. Just a smidge. A dash of wonderful, which if why I will now call him Mr. Dash. He elevates at the dish, and the crack of his bat is crack…for your fantasy team! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Kwang-Hyun Kim – Hit the IL with lower back tightness. Hitters dominated the first two months of the season with injuries, but pitchers are now starting to pick up the pace, with about 17 starters getting hurt in the last three days. Gonna be a fun summer when teams are calling up Mel Stottlemyre Jr. to see if there’s a Mel Stottlemyre Jr. Jr.
John Gant – 4 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 2.63. Finally, the Regression Fairies stopped to admire Gant’s long-flowing hair.
Tyler O’Neill – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. Oh, by the by, he’s only played in 40 games. Ya know, the ol’ 52-homer pace in 160 games.
Sixto Sanchez – Still unable to make rehab starts. As I keep saying, I like Sixto, but not this year, guy friends and five girlfriends.
Cody Poteet – Hit the IL with an MCL sprain. What a terrible year 1150 was.
Trevor Rogers – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 1.97. The ERA doesn’t lie, the IP will catch up to him at some point.
Jesus Aguilar – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer, and his 2nd homer in two games, and third homer in the last five games. Hot schmotato alert!
Colin Moran – 1-for-4, 1 RBI as he was activated from the IL. Fun fact! His name used to be Chachi Moran, and he was born nine months after Joanie loved Chachi. (Very new hip reference.)
Chris Gittens – 0-for-4 as he was called up by the Yankees. At 27 years old, think we’re past the point where we can say Chris got in while the Gittens was good. Looks pretty Quad-A-ish, and only being mentioned because he’s a Yankee, but I guess it’s worth monocle’ing if Chris be Gittens some playing time. He has power, and literally nothing else.
John Means – Hit the IL with left shoulder fatigue. I’m fatigued from all the gee-dee injuries!
Cedric Mullins – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, and, like, 12 homers in the last two days, hitting .322. Congratulations, Cedric Mullins, on your star mitzvah! His last ten official at-bats: single, HR, single, single, HR, HR, single, single, double, line out. Tough SAT problem for what’s next, but wouldn’t mind having it on my team. Why does it feel like Cedric the HRtainer is gonna be a top 50 pick next year for me and around 200th overall for ESPN?
Jake Bauers – DFA’d by Cleveland. Finally, Jake Bauers’s time is up. Thought they’d never cancel that show. Cleveland called up Bobby Bradley (3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer), former New Jersey Senator. He’s a better hitter than Chris Christy Mathewson or Christine Todd Worrell. Bobby Bradley has power, but was hitting .196 in Triple-A, so this will go well.
Michael Fulmer – Hit the IL with a shoulder strain. His timetable is a small desk next to his bed housing his alarm clock. His timetable to return is unknown. I looked at his replacement, Gregory Soto, on waivers in my league, and decided the ulcer wasn’t worth the squeeze.
Tarik Skubal – 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.33. Yup, time to give him a once-over. 11.3 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, insane homers allowed, but that tracks with 2020 too, not 2022 if someone’s having Siri read this to them. Geez, people are barreling him up with a goofy fly ball rate, and that’s not a great recipe to avoid the random three-run homer that is deadly. Meh, in deeper leagues where you need risk, fine. In shallower leagues, Streamonator.
Dylan Cease – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.36. You put a guy who has strikeout stuff but is wild vs. a terrible team and he will dominant every time. (Not every time, but I’m trying to make a point.)
James Kaprielian – 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.08. This start was in Coors, but his start is more about how bad the Rockies are than how great Kaprielian is. Streamonator is slightly positive on his next one, but it’s home and I could see it.
Michael Pineda – Won’t make his next start due to forearm tightness. In case you’re not paying attention, we’re reaching 60 games played and all pitchers are going down. There’s still 100 games to go.
Jackson Kowar – Called up to start today. Incoming! Big rookie pitcher train alert! Chugga-chugga-ROOFIE-chugga-chugga! Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “A man in search of a breaking ball, Kowar made good use of the controlled setting at the training site, working tirelessly to supplement his excellent fastball-changeup combination with something he could employ to strike out right handed batters. Have to take any training-site talk with a grain of salt, but the word around the team has his new curve looking like a double-plus offering, which would give him three of those with an off-speed for each side of the plate. Sounds more like dreamland than in-game reality to me, but I’ll send an offer or two this winter just in case. If he can’t get that third weapon or access better in-game command than he’s ever shown, the floor is still back-end relief, if only I could find relief from Grey.” What the heck! So, once again I’m asking you, how much do you need the eggs? I grabbed Kowar in a 15-teamer, but didn’t even look in a shallower league.
Josh Staumont – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 2.66, as he was activated from the IL. Should take over the closer role in KC. If I had a nickel for every time ‘should’ became ‘did not,’ I’d have like a buck-forty in nickels.
Adalberto Mondesi – Hit the IL with a hamstring injury. After the injury happened, you could see Mondesi cursing himself in the clubhouse tunnel, then for a split second, like as long as the known footage is of Bigfoot, Mondesi removed his jersey, and you could see a different name on the back. It read: Buxton.
Edward Olivares – 0-for-3 as he was recalled. Ed O. Ed O. It’s off to the waiver wire we go.
Caleb Smith – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.14. Lots of pitchers go from the rotation to the pen and succeed, but very few come back out of the pen and do well. Smith has a 10.5 K/9, 4 BB/9, 4.57 xFIP with a possibly deflated HR/9. Even better he appears healthy — better call him Cale B. with the B. standing for Blanched, because he’s a leafy green, but no bitter aftertaste. He’s the prototypical starter I’d grab in deeper leagues (15-team), and ignore for now in shallower ones, outside of Streamonator.
Corbin Burnes – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 1.97. Corey Dickerson, Luis Arraez, David Fletcher…Sorry, I’m just hoping someone from the Brewers’ front office is reading, and they get some ideas about who to trade for. Watch, they’re gonna instead trade for someone like Khris Davis.
Rich Hill – 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.05. In this start, Hill threw 59 pitches. Screaming, “KEVIN CASH.” Yelling, “THAT’S RIDICULOUS.” Thinking contemplatively, “Maybe that’s how he keeps Hill healthy.”
Yandy Diaz – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 1st homer. Since his Launch Angle is so low, I can only assume if you were to slow down the replay of Yandy’s home run, the ball bounced off the plate and ricocheted over the fence.
Dane Dunning – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.26. Looked at Dunning’s peripherals, expecting to be yawnstipated, but, damn, he looks much better. One of the few pitchers who should have positive regression. Sadly, Streamonator hates his next start, and I kinda agree.
Scott Kazmir – Designated for assignment by the Giants. If this is it for Kazmir, it will be interesting to see which cap he wears into the Hall of Fame. Uh, sorry, weird time for a sentence break. I meant, Hall of Fame of What Could’ve Been.
Patrick Wisdom – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and two more homers (6, 7). That’s not a hot schmotato, THIS IS A HOT SCHMOTATO. Gave you a Wisdom lede last week; he was in Friday’s Buy; now, I’m merely saying you can wait until he cools off, so you can say, “See, I told ya he’s not that good,” or you can grab him until he cools off, and say the same thing.
Kyle Hendricks – 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners (3 BBs), 5 Ks, ERA at 4.59. Lot of going back and forth between thinking Hendricks is fixed — Hendfixed — but, unlike my dog, I don’t think he is.
Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 0.62. His WHIP is 0.57 and a 45.4 K%. Though, he went 0-for-3, so hopefully he can come out of his recent slump.
Dominic Smith – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer. Mentioned this last week, but I am now Team Dom, because I picked him up off waivers. Will let you know how it goes!
James McCann – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Not so fast with that talk that Wisdom’s the hottest bat in baseball, i.e., back that McCann up. McCann had one homer in the 1st 33 games; five homers in the last 11.
Logan Gilbert – 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 7 Ks, ERA at 4.98. If my monocle on this guy was any bigger, it’d be a telescope.
Justin Upton – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. The only question is when does Upton go cold for six to eight weeks? When he reaches 15 homers? 17? 20?
Bryce Harper – 1-for-5, 1 run as he was activated from the IL on Saturday. Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him in Your Lineup” Department said, “My brother is also named Kevin.”
Brad Miller – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer, as the Phils scored 12 runs, and Alec Bohm went 0-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .209. I’d say Bohm was a Ticker Tease, but more like Ticker Teason.
J.T. Realmuto – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer. Jerry Tomato has a lot of ketchuping to do to be a top catcher this year.
Jose Urquidy – 4 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.76. Uracutie ran into the buzzsaw/buzzkill that is Buffaloronto’s Rock n’ Jock Stadium.
Chas McCormick – 1-for-4 and his 5th homer, hitting .200. McCormick must’ve loved hitting in Buffaloronto Wild Wind-Blowing-Out Stadium, or maybe McCormick just loves The Road, a book I’ve tried to read about six times, and can’t get past the 1st ten pages.
Trevor Bauer – 6 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners (4 BBs), 7 Ks, ERA at 2.40. Big story out of baseball this week is the rate to which pitchers are spinning their new lack of spin. If I’m being frank and not Stallone, I don’t care outside of how it affects us for fantasy, and that’s not entirely clear. The 4-seamer’s spin rate is a bellweather to look at possible cheating for pitchers using the wacky tacky. With the league talking about cracking down, it’s possible pitchers might have a lot less spin on their pitches this week, i.e., write “Cheating” on the side of the Titanic, and you don’t want to be rearranging the deck chairs when the shizz goes down. 4-seamer spin rates that have been down since MLB’s announcement: Gerrit Cole, Clayton Kershaw (6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.66) and Trevor Bauer. Dodgers were also suspiciously at the top of the highest spin rates going into this weekend. Oh, and because I looked it up, Kevin Gausman (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.27) has a spin rate on his 4-seamer this year that is actually down from 2015, and not much different from the previous two years, i.e., Gausman might not be a 1.27 ERA pitcher, but he’s also not jumping off the page as anything funny going on. So, as they say in Philosophy 101, what does it all mean? Nothing or something, I have no idea. The assumption is pitchers won’t be as good with less grip on the baseball, which seems/seams to track. Bauer’s line yesterday shows he wasn’t able to locate. If that continues, his ERA is going to rise. Or anyone’s. But as his line also shows, he’s not suddenly a terrible pitcher. Or what possibly happens: Pitchers realize MLB isn’t doing anything with their empty threats and things remain the same. It’s so assbackwards that they deadened the ball, and now want to police pitchers. It’s like someone saying they want to be healthy, so they’re eating vegetarian, then they eat nothing but nacho cheese.