Junior Guerra has a backstory that puts the odd in odyssey. The Braves signed him as a 16-year-old catcher out of Venezuela. In 2006, he had position reassignment surgery and became a pitcher. As a herbathrowdite in Georgia, bathrooms and strike zones were hard to find, so he was released. He found courage from the support group, “PAC IO,” which is Pitchers And Catchers Input/Output, and tried his hand at Independent leagues. Eventually, he played in Mexico, Spain, and Italy. In Italy, it was especially difficult to be a pitcher because every time a hitter came up to the plate a large, mustachioed woman umpire would say, “Guerra, you hafta throw the meatballs. C’mon, the hitter’s starvin’ over here.” And Guerra’s cheeks would constantly be pinched. But, miraculously, Robin Ventura found him in Italy, while mistakenly thinking that’s where Jim Rome taped his show, and signed him. Of course, the White Sox had no place for Guerra, and his journey took him to Milwaukee, allowing him to be the first person with an Italian stamp on his passport in Milwaukee since Arthur Fonzarelli. Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 11 Ks to move his record to 3-0. He’s touched 99 MPH with his fastball, averaging around 92-95 and has a split-finger change that falls off the map like an explorer in the 1400’s. Is he more than a streamer? Hard to say at this point. He will get strikeouts and faces the Braves next so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and grab him for that start. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Domingo Santana – Scratched with his shoulder injury that has been day-to-day for the past two weeks. Incredibly, I held him through all of that, but yesterday was the straw that broke the camel’s back that was in Julio Teheran’s backyard. Um, Teheran, I think there’s zoning laws about having a camel in Atlanta.
Chris Carter – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer, hitting .245. I feel like .240 is around the fantasy baseball Mendoza Line. 35 homers from Carter would be nice, but if he does it at .238 vs. .244, it’s only a few hits difference, but, damn, if it doesn’t feel totally different. Tell me this is not hashtag truth.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – 2 Hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. And Nieuwenhuis is Ikea for a hideaway couch for two. You can’t make this shizz up!
Jason Hammel – 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA up to 2.31. Ever since Gerrit Cole said the Cubs aren’t the best team in baseball (while losing five of six games to them), the Cubs have looked listless. Luckily, there’s 123 more games to play.
Matt Harvey – 2 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 5.77. Okay, granted, I’m struggling in pitching thanks to Archer, Pineda, Rodon, deGrom, but you gotta love the fantasy teams that went heavy on pitching in the drafts with David Price and Matt Harvey instead of hitting. Ouch, me hiney! As for Harvey, to be totally Sinatra, I think he’s dealing with a dead arm. As we’ve seen time and again, pitchers don’t tell you when they have a dead arm until after they’re coming out of it. It’s kinda like for a woman being married to man who suddenly says he’s gay. This is her, “Why didn’t you say you had a dead arm?!” Right now, Harvey’s numbers are off the charts bad vs. previous seasons. If he said he needed Tommy John surgery again, that would make more sense than how he’s looked. The Mets are saying he could be skipped in his next start. So, as crazy as this sounds, I’d buy super low that his BABIP comes down and his LOB% goes up, normalizing his ERA to around 3.50. I wouldn’t expect a 2.75 ERA and a 10+ K/9 suddenly. I would be careful about how much I gave up, I wouldn’t pay market value. Anyway, here’s what else– Wait, I did that already.
Daniel Murphy – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .397. Mets fans were very gracious with Murphy returning to Metco for this homestand. They applauded him and he said, “I hope they’re not trying to sleep with me.”
Stephen Strasburg – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.80. I told everyone to draft Strasburg, so my question is why didn’t I do it in every one of my leagues? Anyone want Archer for Strasburg? Let’s make this happen!
Anthony Rendon – 3-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs, hitting .250, which is up from .211 in the past ten days. He could be hitting .280 with 7 homers by June 15th and all will seem right with the world. Well, all right with Rendon, Trump is still the Republican nominee.
Nate Karns – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.33. Quick, who’s been better, Karns or Verlander? Okay, who’s owned in 60% more leagues? Now, who’s about to sing every state capital? Karns, Verlander, me! *sings every state capital* Damn, I am geographically harmonic! Would I own Karns? Darns tootin’!
Adam Lind – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer. Would’ve been a nice batty call. Or as the Hitter-Tron calls it, “Putting my hand in your muffler and rubbing around the lubricant.” Oh, Hiiter-Tron, that’s a bit much.
Leonys Martin – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer. Now has two homers in two games. He could be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but he’s not because he’s here now. Don’t make me repeat myself. And that’s me quoting me! Hot schmotato alert! SAGNOF!
Rajai Davis – 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs and his 10th steal. Wow, doode is in Fogo de Chao and pitchers are just coming by with sticks of hits, runs, steals and homers and he’s piling them on his plate. The King of SAGNOF is like a poor man’s Rickey. He’s 35 years old and still rocking the crown. I’d own Rajai in all leagues until he cooled off.
Carlos Santana – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homer, hitting .237 and back in the cleanup spot. Tomorrow, he’ll be back leading off and stealing bases. Chameleon Santana blends into the environment like you blend your kale and apples.
Josh Tomlin – 7 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.56. He’s worth a look at his player page. *looks at his player’s page* Okay, moving on…What? I need to tell you what I saw? Let’s say a 86 MPH fastball and a 6 K/9. Good? Cool.
Evan Gattis – 2-for-3 and his 3rd homer as he caught the game. To honor him catching, Gatti’s Pizza in Austin squatted in all large pies. It’s called a Squat Cobbler.
Collin McHugh – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA down to 5.13. Well, yeah, he’s not a 5+ ERA pitcher. Doesn’t mean I like him, but in the right matchups he could be fine. Stream-o-Nator likes his next one, for unstints.
Chris Sale – 9 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.58. We have enough lead time right now to make this happen. When Arrieta and Sale face off in the 1st game of the all-Chicago World Series in U.S. Cellular, can someone please get Steve Bartman to throw out the first pitch? Please.
Jon Gray – 3 1/3 IP, 9 ER. Hahahahahaha–Breathe, Grey, breathe! Of course, I streamed him! Of course, I did! After he looks terrific for three starts in a row, I get the start where he buggers his owners! Of course, I do! What have I done to you, Fantasy Baseball Overlord?! What have I done to wrought such fury?!
Michael Wacha – 4 IP, 6 ER vs. the Rockies. This should’ve been a cakewalk, like the runway for plus-sized models. I told everyone to avoid Wacha in the preseason, and that hasn’t changed. He threw way too many IP last year.
Matt Adams – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs, hitting .275. Speaking of a cakewalk…
Randal Grichuk – Left yesterday’s game with back tightness. This has sidelined him in the past, so Adams could be in line for increased playing time. “Did someone say buffeting time?” No, Matt.
Stephen Piscotty – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, hitting .329. You know who Piscotty is, right? He’s a young Holliday. I know Piscotty! I know Piscotty!
Matt Carpenter – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 6 RBIs and his 9th homer. He hit that homer off Oberg, which is the goofiest name in baseball. Sorry, Ohlendorf, Oberg’s in town! “Carlos Gonzalez, you are our captain, what do you have to tell the boys?” “Oberg! Right ahead!”
Jeff Samardzija – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.66 vs. James Shields 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.07. James vs. Jeff! Shields vs. Samardzija! J.S. vs. J. S-alphabet! Announced crowd in Petco was five fans for every letter in Samardzija. That might’ve been how many tickets they sold, not how many were there.
Joe Panik – 4-for-5 and his 3rd steal. He was one for his last 16 coming into this game, so it could be worth cyclops’ing, but Panik’s not quite a pick-nic.
Brandon Crawford – 2-for-4 and his 6th homer, and 2nd homer in three games. Don’t know if he gets back to 20+ homers like last year, but there’s still a lot of time for it to happen.
Ivan Nova – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.26. Doesn’t he sound like a test-market Apple product for soccer moms? The iVan Nova. No? Hmm, maybe it’s just me. He only threw 62 pitches because he’s still not stretched out enough for a full game. He’s also not worth waiting around for outside of matchups.
Ervin Santana – 8 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.13, as he dueled Marco Estrada – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.61. Yes, instead of Matt Harvey, Jon Gray or Wacha, you would’ve been better off starting Estrada and Ervin. Do I need to put on Third Eye Blind to get you away from the ledge?
Danny Santana – 2-for-1 run and two steals (8, 9). That whole 2nd leadoff hitter batting ninth is getting played out. Dannys Antana can just leadoff and Dozier can move down to 2nd. There’s no reason the Twins need to pretend they’re turning over the lineup.
Mike Trout – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (10) and legs (4). Oh snap. This reminds me when Jay Z comes out of retirement once a year with a new album. Y’all forget who the King of Slam & Legs is (are?)?
Gregory Polanco – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. This is kinda insane. The RCL team where I’m struggling with pitching (I have 3 points combined for Wins, ERA and WHIP!), I’m in 6th place overall my hitting is so good. Guess it’s why I like it when my hitters are facing my pitchers.
John Jaso – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI, hitting .301 and smelling of some serious patchouli. Damn, white guy with dreads!
Jordy Mercer – 3-for-4, 1 run. Has a five-game hitting streak and could be a very light schmotato.
Jeff Locke – 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.00. I’m totally fine with Locke pitching well, but can he slip getting onto the team bus so they can bring up Taillon?
Jeff Francoeur – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer. The outfielders said there was no ketchup’ing to that Frenchy fly.
Mike Foltynewicz – 3 IP, 4 ER. The Regression Fairies love the smell of the Callery pear tree, they have two tickets to see Britney Spears and they will hurt your ratios.
Erick Aybar – Missed yesterday’s game due to a chicken bone being stuck in his throat. I’ll give Rudy the last word:
— Rudy Gamble (@rudygamble) May 19, 2016