Yesterday, Joey Votto went 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 30th homer as he hits .314 with a .438 OBP.  Not only is Votto hitting for a high average, but he’s also hitting for power, and, you kinda get the impression, if he wanted, he could hit for a higher average with no power, or a lower average with more power, or no average, no power and pitch.  Personal Anecdote Alert!  Fast forward a blurb if you’re not interested.  When I was in my teens, I went to baseball summer camp.  The guy who ran it was a Yankees’ scout, so he’d have players come in to teach us fundamentals.  One guest was Mike Pagliarulo.  I know, I know, this is like the opening monologue before someone sings Springsteen’s Glory Days at karaoke.  Any hoo!  Pags was the best hitter I ever saw within three feet of me.  One kid there was a minor league pitcher, and Pags was so dramatically better than him, it was obvious the kid would never go anywhere.  If Pags wanted to hit a home run to right against this kid, he did.  Up the middle?  No problem.  Home run to left?  Sure, why not?  So, my point (!), against this minor league pitcher, Pags did what I imagine Votto does against major leaguers.  Votto is my Pags of the majors.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Zack Cozart – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .318.  You can rosary bead the eff out of him staying healthy, but I think you’re wasting your wishes.  Enjoy it while it lasts!

Adam Duvall – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, hitting .267.  He’s doing exactly what you expect from him, but everything else is doing so much more, you can’t help to feel disappointed Duvall’s merely meeting expectations.

Jhoulys Chacin – 6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.15.  Never feed Chacin after midnight, never get him wet, and never, under any circumstances, start him in away games.

Jose Pirela – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homers.   Not sure what’s goofier, Pirela is hitting third for the Padres every game, or that it makes sense for them or that he’s still irrelevant for fantasy.  I guess there might be a schmotato here, but I wouldn’t drop anyone too valuable to find out.

Yunel Escobar – Could hit the DL with an intercostal strain.  These intercostals are going around lately.  Shizz is worse than Zika, except, of course, it’s not.

Cameron Maybin – 1-for-4 as he was activated from the DL.  Here’s to ten steals in a ten days and another DL stint on day eleven!

Mike Trout – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 23rd homer on his 26th birthday, and recorded his 1,000th hit.  With Trout, you really do have to specify, all thousand hits weren’t in this game.

Dylan Bundy – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.15.  Back-to-back solid starts, but, honestly, if next time out, he gets scrambled and it’s soiled sharts, I also wouldn’t be surprised.  His xFIP, after all, is near-5.  That’s oopsie daisy with a side of ‘no thank you.’

Rhys Hoskins – Phils are trying him in left field in the minors, because Tommy Joseph is prospblocking.  Bit of a joke that Joseph is blocking anyone.  Future of the franchise who looks like he could an everyday All-Star or Tommy Joseph who is barely a major league regular?  The choice is yours, you can get with this or you can go with that, and ToJo can’t beat anyone with his bat.

Trevor Williams – 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.12.  Stream-o-Nator had some love for Williams for this start vs. the Tigers, but what I really want to discuss is Miguel Cabrera (0-for-3, hitting .254).  I’m guessing he’s going to say this offseason he was playing injured all year.  Weird, because he’s taken a DL knee before and not played.  It’s not like he’s got a Cal Gehrig streak going.  But, damn, he looks washed up like Daryl Hannah, in Splash and her career post-Splash.

Jordan Zimmermann – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 5.27.  Is it me or is it hard to remember J.Z. being great?  Try to visualize it.  What do you see?  I keep seeing him get beat up by Solange in an elevator.

Dexter Fowler – 1-for-3, 2 runs as he was activated from the DL.  Cards were a bit crowded so they sent Stephen Piscotty down to the minors.  Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  I’m talking about Usher.  This guy give everyone herpes?  Piscotty has fallen too, but he wasn’t that mighty.  He was around that of a third outfielder that fell to that of a fifth outfielder.  He’ll get his mojo back in time, or my name isn’t Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it).

Matt Carpenter – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .249.  Like fromunda cheese, he hasn’t aged well.

Paul Dejong – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, and 2nd homer in three games.  The Dudejong is going to get 20+ homers in, like, 300 ABs.  Hunter Renfroe says, “Zoinks!”

Kolten Wong – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and a homer.  Guess how many homers he has.  Go ahead.  Keep in mind that Manfred is standing over Guatemalan sweat laborers with a bullhorn and whip making sure the balls are juiced sufficiently.  Kolten has two homers on the year!  Seriously, I’m not pulling your Wong.  That’s three innings for Scooter Gennett!

Carlos Martinez – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.52.  He’s been far from an ace, but, with how poor pitching’s been, he’s easily an ace.

Mike Moustakas – 1-for-4 and his 32nd homer.  Moistasskiss!

Eric Hosmer – 1-for-4 and his 18th homer, hitting .315.  He’s Joey Votto-lite.  I will call him, Mini Pags, and confuse nearly the entire population.

Jake Arrieta – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Giants, ERA at 3.83.  You thought the Padres were sad?  I’m not sure I’d take an over on five with the Giants.  That’s not runs, that’s hits.  Panik isn’t a 2nd baseman, it should be a team warning.  And Parker?  Sure, with ten dollars and a valet.

Javier Baez – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, 3rd homer in the last week, and hitting near-.350 in that time.  If he’s available, schmotato, but I hate that he hits at the bottom of the lineup.  Though, the bottom of the Cubs’ lineup is better than the middle of the Giants’.

Ryder Jones – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 1st home run, hitting .128.  Between Ryder and Panik, the Giants don’t have a team, they have a carjacking.

Miguel Sano – Day-to-day with a bruised hand.  No relation to Brad.

Ervin Santana – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.27.  In yesterday’s FantasyDraft post by Teddy Heater, he dropped a doozy on me.  Ervin Santana’s real name?  Johan Santana!  According to Wikipedia, “According to Ervin Santana, “I just came up with Ervin… Ervin Santana, that sounds good.”  He felt he had to change his name because of Johan Santana’s prominence.  Fantasy relevant?  Not really, but crazy shizz.

Jorge Polanco – 4-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .227.  The Marla Gibbs Line!

Keon Broxton – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer.  He’s the mafia.  You know why, right?  Every time I think I’m done with him, he pulls me back in.

Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-4 and his 37th homer, hitting .277.  Halp and I discuss Giancarlo on today’s podcast, and I believe my voice only cracks three times and I only fan myself twice like a damsel in distress.

Chris O’Grady – 1 1/3 IP, 0 ER, but left with an oblique strain.  When Chris felt his oblique tighten, he clutched his oblique, looked at the heavens and said, “I’m coming, Elizabeth!  I’m coming!”  Kudos for the tremendous Fred Sanford impersonation.

Bryce Harper – 2-for-4 and his 29th homer, hitting .327.  Now streaming:  The Beast of one National.  Still haven’t seen the movie that’s playing off of.  If you would’ve told me ten years ago, a movie with Stringer Bell would be available to me for over a year, and I haven’t seen it, I would’ve said you’re nuts.  No interest in The Dark Tower either.  Please, someone get Stringer in a drug kingpin role.

Max Scherzer – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.23.  This start for Scherzer was supposed to be visually like how Ed’s father from The Naked Gun died.  Marlins laid down, Scherzer paraded over them, but every time it looked like the Marlins were out of it, they rose from the dead like O.J.

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
    (link)

    Grey!!!!!

    Very nice write-up!

    a. Nice Votto-Pags paradigm. I never saw Votto play or ever heard of him growing up in my home town. I do love him to bits nevertheless. .438 OBP is ridiculous, if only Billy Hamilton could take 1% of Joey Votto’s eye!

    b. Signed up Cozart before yesterday’s start! Yay. Needed to start every single Cardinals player. Cards playing like the Gashouse gang of late, no?

    c. John Rambo Quote of the day for August 8

    Musa Ghani: ‘It’s all right. Nobody’s there. This will hold a while.’

    Rambo: ‘What’s the fastest way out?’

    Musa Ghani: ‘Northwest. There is trail between mountains…About 3 kilometers from here. The trail is very difficult.’

    Rambo: ‘You take the boy and go. I want to stay.’

    Musa Ghani: ‘You can’t. You cannot go back there. We must go to Pakistan.’

    Rambo: ‘I’ve got to go back.’

    Musa Ghani: ‘I know he’s your friend, but you cannot do this. You both will die. For what?’

    Rambo: ‘Just do what I say. Let me have your gun. All right. Let’s go. Come on.’

    Musa Ghani: ‘I see you again?’

    Rambo: ‘Sure.’

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Ante GALIC: A. Agreed B. Haha, true So where we at with you moving to the US? C. Nice!

      • Ante GALIC says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Grey!!!

        Thanks, man!

        a. I need to make a correction from yesterday’s puzzle (on how many years I’ve been away). Take Robin Yount’s retired jersey number and add 4 years not 8 like I said yesterday!

        b. Still in its infant stages. Looking for the best places in the US to re-locate the family. Do you have any good ideas? My wife doesn’t like the cold, so I guess places like NYC and Chicago are pretty much out. Seriously, can you give me your top 5 places to live in the US?

        c. My Korean colleague arrived, he’s on mission until tomorrow morning. He works for an NGO called Good Neighbors. He exclusively follows the KBO, so knowing this boned up on the KBO yesterday! He was impressed. Did you know who the next Marcus Thames will be?

        1. Hector Noesi….the guy has a 15-2 (!!!) record!!! His stats.

        ERA=3.33 / GS=21 / QS=17 / CG=1 / K=106 / BB=31 / opponnents AVG=.278

        2. Roger Bernadina….He is playing out of his head right now.

        .322/.385/.561….91/21/77 with 21 SB and 34 walks versus 76 K

        Last 5 games….11/22 with 4 HRs, 7 RBIs, 6 R….hot schmotatoe!

        Anyway, Kia Tigers is his hometown team.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          A. Ha, this puzzle’s losing me now B. LA, San Diego, San Fran, people love Asheville, never been C. Roger Bernadina! That’s amazing

          • Ante GALIC says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Grey!!!

            a. Oh, man!!! I left on October 23, 1994….ergo 19 (Robin Yount’s retired jersey number) plus 4…..23 years!!! But like I said I’ve been back and forth since.

            b. Thanks for the list.

            c. Bernadina, a 33-year old journeyman. Did he ever have a mediocre year with the Giants? He came up with the Giants, right? If it were the 70s, he’d probably make some team’s major league roster but the competition is so stiff at all levels presently…..

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              A. Damn, that is a long time! Longer than I’ve been in LA C. He’s so Thames!

  2. Scott says:
    (link)

    Washed up for Cabrera about sums it up. He is hitting .221 since July 1 with 5 extra base hits, 5 of them. 3 hr and one of them was on July 1. I thought he would do better after the all star break. He is doing worse. And the bar was really low going into the break.

    I can’t even play this guy. I tried trading him earlier and had no takers. Do you think he has one good month in him this year? I am considering dropping him. He is wasting a roster spot that I could use for somebody else. And I could put anybody in there and get more production. Everyone has a down year, but this is crazy. I wish Detroit would just DL him so I can free up my roster. He is on my bench and I could use another pitcher.

    • b the esq. says:
      (link)

      @Scott: If he has been on your bench for a month, lose him and pick up what you need. You obviously have someone else you can start in his place.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Scott: Yeah, absolutely miserable year from him… I think you can likely lose him

  3. Chester says:
    (link)

    Is votto the most underrated player over the last 10 years. His numbers have been incredible and still seems like he gets no love.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Chester: Does he get no love? He might be one of those low counting stats HOFers (think Puckett)… B/c Votto’s career #s are kinda whatever counting stat wise

      • CMUTimmah says:
        (link)

        @Grey: It’s hard to be most underrated and be Votto. He was such a hyped prospect coming up, and such a sabermetric darling as an MLBer, that you must only read sites that sensationalize HRs and Steals.

        What tempered expectations was 2012-2014 when he had “down seasons”. They were still decent years aside from 2014 when he was hurt almost all year. He just didn’t hit for the 30ish HRs that we came to expect. But you can pencil this guy for 25/.310 every year without fear, because of his plate discipline.

        Goldy’s category greatness and 1B being a deep position means that Votto doesn’t get the perennial hype he deserves. So in a way, he doesn’t get #1 1B love, but in the last ten years, you’ve had a triple crown winner, Goldy, and guys like EE hitting 34+ homers for 5 straight seasons that are more featured fantasy stories for good reasons.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I don’t think he’s underrated, I’m saying he could be a low counting stat HOFer

          • Chester says:
            (link)

            @Grey: I agree that he should be a hall of famer, just seems like he gets less love than a lot of the other names, when he’s quietly putting together hall of fame seasons.

            • Chester says:
              (link)

              @Chester:Also, here’s a nice statistic from 2012:
              Votto has not popped up to the infield all season. In fact, he has popped out to the infield only three times in 2,138 plate appearances over the past four seasons.

              Votto has pulled a ball foul into the stands only once in his entire major league career. Once.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Incredible… and infield popups are the worst contact

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Maybe bc lack of postseason

  4. bossmanjunior333 says:
    (link)

    h2h league limited moves (budget)

    Drop Erod (@NYY, NYY, @CLE, @TOR) for:

    Bundy @OAK, LAA, OAK, @MIL
    Rodon HOU, @LAD, MIN, DET
    Velasquez NYM, @SD, @SF, CHC, @MIA
    Eickoff @ATL, @SD, @SF, CHC, ATL
    Davies MIN, PIT, @SF, STL
    Wainwright ATL, @PIT, SD, @MIL

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @bossmanjunior333: Those Bundy matchups are decent outside of the last one

    • Curious George Springer says:
      (link)

      @bossmanjunior333: I’d go with Velasquez and obviously sit him or drop him once that CHC matchup comes around.

  5. Nightpandas says:
    (link)

    Morning Grey,

    Got some parties interested in my Puig. This would be a 2018 move for me:

    A: Give Puig get K Herrera/Manea
    B: Give Puig get C Dickerson and I Happ
    C: hold

    • b the esq. says:
      (link)

      @Nightpandas: What are the keeper rules? Probably B assuming they are keepers or its a dynasty.

      • Nightpandas says:
        (link)

        @b the esq.: no rules,,,we keep 11, 15 teams

  6. Lucc says:
    (link)

    Beast of no Nation wasn’t alright. But it’s pretty much blood diamond, without the token white guy with a bad accent..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Lucc: Wasn’t alright? As in not good? That’s too bad

  7. Commentor Personal Anecdote Alert! I lifeguarded at Mike Pagliaro’s grandparents condo complex for a few summers. They were so excited when he got called up. They thought that he was as good as you did Grey. Alas, it was not to be. Lovely people though. Also like you Albright. I will call you, mini-pags-grandparents.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @zombie: Haha, awesome! His talent was incredible, but I was 13 with no scout’s eye… But standing 3 feet from him while he hit bombs in the cage, I mean, I’m still impressed 30 years later

    • Curious George Springer says:
      (link)

      @Grey: @zombie: The guy played 11 seasons in the majors and hit 134 homers, so it’s not like he was a flash in the pan. Obviously not a HOFer, but does it surprise you to learn that he hit more (quite a few more) homers than John Kruk (Kruk had exactly 100, a stat I know for some reason)?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        Averaging 13 HRs a year doesn’t coalesce with the guy I saw, but it was a semi=professional 19-year-old throwing to him — Tho, I caught (tried to catch) that kid and to me he was JR Richard

  8. Basement Artie says:
    (link)

    I can still hear the Scooter. “At third base, Mike Palyerooolo. What a huckleberry.”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Basement Artie: Yes! The best was the convos between Bill White and Scooter, and that Scooter had to leave in the sixth to miss traffic

  9. Corey says:
    (link)

    If you could only keep Corey Dickerson or Ryan Zimmerman ROS?

    • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Corey: Coin flip..Dickerson has been better over the past month than Zimmerman but I’d most likely go with Zimm based on the offense he plays in.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Corey: Agree with F

      • Corey says:
        (link)

        Thanks to both!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem, Corey

  10. Give Rendon to get Bregman and K. Seager?

    • JeF WiTh 1 F says:
      (link)

      @vrugg03: Sure

      • Thanks to both you and JeF.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

          • A 2nd question if you don’t mind. Would you please rank these pitchers ROS.
            Salazar, G. Cole, Tailion, Nelson.
            Thanks!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Cole, Nelson, Salazar

              • Thanks, again.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  No problem

                  • Larry says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey:

                    Grey what if Archer was included in the group above, would he be #1?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      He would

  11. lt81 says:
    (link)

    Pags didn’t rock a pair of PF Flyers also or steal home late in his career with a Grey esque mustache? Rookie of the year was on MLB channel the other night just making sure you didn’t eat Chinese food and steal this in a msg dream!

    • mcmi11ions says:
      (link)

      @lt81: I’m confused. You reference The Sandlot ending but say Rookie of the Year… was there a chinese food dream in that movie i don’t remember? there was a Babe Ruth dream in The Sandlot.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @lt81: Honestly, don’t think I’ve ever seen RotY

  12. dude says:
    (link)

    Can’t see Baez hitting at the top of the Cubs lineup. Can’t draw a walk. But man, is he fast. That HR was of the in-the-park variety (with the help of Carlos Moncrief playing there for the first time and misplaying the bounce). If you have a chance, watch that play to see his speed and then to see Moncrief almost nail him at home with an unreal throw. Dude can’t do much else, but has one of the best OF arms in MLB.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @dude: Oh crap, had no idea… I’ll have to check it out, thanks!

  13. Mike in Busan says:
    (link)

    Grey, awesome as always.
    If you didn’t see the Votto home run, check it out if only for Chacin’s reaction. He doesn’t turn around, you can only see him from behind, but it doesn’t matter because you know that he knows that ball’s leaving the yard.
    Also, man, I hope Sale pitches Sunday against the Yankees and not Monday against Cleveland, and I don’t think I am irrational to feel this way.