Just like when a Jewish kid turns 13 and they become a man or woman, and have their Bar Mitzvah or when a hitter breaks out and they have a Star Mitzvah, the same can be said of a team. A team becomes a Man Team when they decide they’re too good for Adam Frazier. That’s what happened yesterday for the Orioles. They looked at their team, and they said, we’re a Man Team, we need a Man 2nd baseman. (Though, they just moved Adam Frazier to right field yesterday; Santander to DH and Gunnar to the bench, but let’s hope they didn’t decide to become a Man Team without Gunnar.) To be a Man Team, they called up Joey Ortiz (1-for-3, 3 RBIs) to be their new Man 2nd baseman. Itch’s said, “(Ortiz is) probably my favorite player in this system at the moment in terms of value to our game versus perceived value across the lists I’ve seen. Ortiz is a plus defender at 5’11” 175 lbs and could come on so quickly that the club has to promote him early in the season. He finished 2022 with an excellent 26-game stretch in Triple-A (.346/.400.567) and doesn’t have much more to learn in the minors. If he hits as well as my fist against Grey’s head, then sign me up!” What even? Ortiz looks like a 15/15/.280 hitter if he has an everyday job. It’s time, O’s. Man up! By the way, if you leave a sandwich out for 13 years, it becomes a Manwich. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Brandon Drury – 2-for-2, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, and 2nd homer in two games, and fourth homer in five games and 5th homer in–okay, you get the point. Drury isn’t just a name you can’t say after being pulled over because it makes you sound drunk, it’s also one of the hottest hitters in baseball.
Shohei Ohtani – 6 IP, 5 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.85, and 3-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI and a homer short of the cycle. Actually, like seven feet short of a cycle. “Okay, how about this? At the end of the week, we get to decide if we wanted to use Ohtani as a hitter or pitcher in fantasy. Does that work? Hello…Is anyone here? Hello!” He screamed at his reflection in a murky pond. By the by, Ohtani’s WHIP is 0.82. He’s unreal. Not of this world. Hyperbole and superlatives fail.
Brent Rooker – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column, because o’course he will.
Shea Langeliers – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Don’t laugh at people who spent a top 50 pick on a catcher. They don’t know what they did wrong.
Luke Raley – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, hitting .214. Rays are like a Robert Altman film. They’re all role players, and even when there’s a star, they just chip in and don’t steal show.
Yandy Diaz – 3-for-5, 2 runs and his 7th homer, hitting .315. Yandy is Elliott Gould.
Yoan Moncada – Dealing with a protruding disc in his back. Had a similar thing happen with my De La Soul Is Dead CD and Discman. Shame about Moncada, must’ve hurt himself carrying around unrealistic expectations.
Dylan Cease – 4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.15. The great thing about Cease is no matter what kind of start you get from him, you can say his name to match your mood. Yesterday was: Frustrated, “Cease.”
Paul DeJong – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .471, and has been hot since he returned. Colonel Mustard in the fireplace with the hot schmotato!
Miles Mikolas – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.97. Briefly had his name misspelled Iles Mikolas and I thought, that sounds nice. Is it in the Riviera? Do they have Riviera-boats like on the Ol Miss? Is Iles Mikolas by Crete? Is that near Joe Crete? I got questions, y’all! Any hoo! Mikolas’s peripherals look solid. He’s not anywhere close to a near-6 ERA bad. If you can buy low, it prolly won’t cost a lot, so permission granted.
Logan Webb – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.10. This is the kind of start that I don’t address on full schedule days. Quality Start at home vs. a team in disarray? Yeah, should be.
A.J. Minter – 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 8.53. Ah, just as Raisel starts a rehab assignment. A chef’s kiss of timing.
Anthony Santander – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. He’s so overdue he’s getting phone calls late at night from debt collectors.
Joey Wentz – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 6.45. What’s on my mind as I look at the Tigers team is: When are they going to start feeding Miggy the juiced balls? 2nd thing on my mind is Kerry Carpenter. About 15th down the list is Joey Wentz, and 14th is: I wonder if Jim Leyland is still smoking.
Joey Lucchesi – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.19. Hey, one love, but the people who are crazy excited for Lucchesi like he’s suddenly good might’ve hit their head.
CJ Abrams – 1-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .222. I like Abrams, and wrote a sleeper post for him, but if being honest, he looks like he has five-homer power over the course of a year, so he’s impressed me even having two homers already.
Alex Call – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer. Would’ve made a helluva batty Call.
Byron Buxton – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 5th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Yesterday I said something smart-alecky like Buxton usually is good when he’s healthy, so what gives this year? Well, here we go with the Buxton hot streak, next stop IL stint!
Vinnie Pasquantino – 1-for-4 and his 5th homer, hitting .283. Hey, yo, Pasketti, you always talk with your hands?
Aaron Judge – Left early with hip discomfort. I don’t roster him anywhere, but I will join you in a prayer hexagon.
Gleyber Torres – 1-for-4 and his 4th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, and this home run went about 700 feet, my gawd, what a shot. Gleyber’s hot again, ride that lightning!
Andrew Heaney – 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.38. I’ll take it! That could’ve been much worse vs. the Yankees, even if Judge was out early, and the bottom of the Yanks’ lineup is Israel Diner Falafel, Jose Trevino (who hit his 2nd homer), and Aaron Hicks, who retired six years ago and ever since has sent out to left field his jersey on a scarecrow.
Julio Urias – 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.41. BDon brought up an interesting point on this week’s podcast. Dodgers were a top-tier team for defensive alignment when there was a shift. Now that they’re limited, could it hurt their pitchers more who are dependent on a low BABIP? Dodgers’ BABIP was the best the last two years. Currently, they’re 5th worst.
Mitch Keller – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 3.53. Dodgers sandbagged last offseason as they wait for Ohtani to become available, but, with that said, Keller still looked impressive. Slider that had 16″ of break. Started in the zone, ended near the dugout and the hitter was still swinging. That hitter was Mookie Betts, who looked stunned. Betts might not be having a great year so far, but you stun Betts, you’re dealing something. Then Keller came right back with a 96 MPH speedball. As I said in opening of the blurb, I don’t fear the Dodgers this year, but this was impressive nevertheless. Keller looks ready for his trade to the Yanks.
Connor Joe – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, hitting .304. Where’d he come from wasn’t it Colorado, Connor Eyed Joe?
Rodolfo Castro – 1-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, hitting .279. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but you can just consider all Pirates Buys. Do not attempt to adjust your TV. This is not a mistake. The Pirates were good, lost Oneil Cruz and got better.
Eric Hosmer – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer. Only way a Hosmer home run makes sense is if you think about the team moving the right field fence to right in front of the 2nd baseman.
Dansby Swanson – 2-for-4 and his 1st homer. And Swanson’s off the schneid! There’s about five guys left who are power hitters who have zero homers. Prolly the most glaring is Jose Abreu. One of the most surprising early-season storylines is Jose Abreu is terrible, and it wasn’t the White Sox making him terrible. At least Abreu’s never an April hitter. Another guy who is homerless: Anthony Rendon, your Spring Training darling! Good call, Spring Training stat lovers! Gotta love that the only solid offensive attack Anthony Rendon has had this year is on an A’s fan.
Nelson Velazquez – 1-for-3 and his 2nd homer. That’s nice, now go to the bench for Morel!
Hayden Wesneski – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 5.24. If you’re whistling carefree and starting Wesneski, the elevator might not go to the top floor. He’s a year away is my guess. Maybe two.
Manny Machado – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer, as he was moved down to the five hole, which is hilarious. Sure, Manny’s been struggling, but your three-hole hitter Soto’s been good? Leadoff hitter, Cronenworth? Now that Machado homered in the five-hole, watch as Bob Melvin galaxy brains it into thinking Machado is more comfortable hitting there and leaves him there.
Matt Strahm – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.31. Love Strahmonator. Want him in all leagues? Sure! Why not? The problem then as it is now is he can’t stay in the rotation for very long. His arm will literally fall off. So, it is promising that Taijuan Walker is injured (not promising for Walker, obvi), and you can grab Strahm, but he’s more of a week to week starter than a Ron Popeil’d Set it and Forget It.
George Kirby – 8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.93. This start only took 89 pitches. Phils’ pitchers total only threw 117 pitches. Was this game five minutes long? I can’t find time of game. Have they removed that from box scores? Oh, now I see it. I guess I could’ve deleted those other sentences. Hey, you don’t pay me enough to backspace! Game time: 2:04. Damn, that’s fast. Though, the director’s cut adds 45 more minutes. The outtakes of Gregory Soto throwing 30 straight balls were cut out by the editor.