Finally, Francisco Liriano looked like the fantasy baseball player that we all wanted when we drafted him back in March. And by “we,” I mean you. How did I know you drafted Liriano? Because, when you drafted, I was in your room, sitting behind the John Cena life-sized cardboard cutout, eating your Raspberry Newtons, while I read your Choose Your Own Adventure book. You think that’s freaky? I’m still there. Only you can’t see me. Muahahahaha…ha. So Liriano put together a great first start back after dominating Triple-A, yet there’s some savvy fantasy baseball owners out there that will see this for what it is, an opportunity to sell. Buh-buh-but, Grey, Liriano could dominate? Yeah, so can Campillo, Randy Johnson, Nolasco and Myers, but none of those guys have the name/trade-value Francisco Liriano has right now. Do I think Liriano will be good? Sure. But if you need a piece other than a starter who is riskier than people are perceiving him, then go for it. Don’t forget, I’m watching. Boo! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Billy Wagner – 2 MRIs in 2 weeks is 2 many; 2 bad; K.I.T, BFF. On a scale of worthy replacements, Aaron Heilman and Duaner Sanchez fall right between Shemp and Curly Joe. The Mets called up Eddie Kunz, their Double-A closer. This, fellas, is anyone’s ballgame for at least a few weeks, if not the rest of the season.
John Maine – Maine hit the 15-day DL. This is a move that’s probably about a month overdue. He should be back in a couple of weeks.
Manny Ramirez – 4-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs. Imagine you’re a waiter for Applebee’s. You slack off for two years, deciding customers can get their own mozzarella sticks from the kitchen. Then Applebee’s starts saying you haven’t been doing your job, which is absolutely true, but you don’t want to hear it. You quit and take a job at the Olive Garden, knowing if you work for two months then you will get a huge bonus in the winter and be able to go anywhere — Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory, you name it. So do you bust your hump at the Olive Garden or do you continue to slack?
Stephen Drew – Yesterday, 3-for-5 with a HR, and over .350 in last 7 games. So far not a “step forward” season, but he’s worth the gamble the rest of the way to see if he can get hot.
Xavier Nady – 4-for-5, HR and 6 RBIs. Let’s go back to the 7th day of the season, shall we? “Honestly, never thought Iâd ever mention (Nady) on the blog, but heâs starting the season on fire. Could he keep it going? What, am I Ms. Cleo? I donât know for sure, but history tells us no. This wonât continue. Know what you canât do? Let him sit on the waiver wire. Donât drop Carlos Lee for him, but every year some players come out of nowhere. Maybe this is Nadyâs year.” You know what’s funny? (Not funny funny, just mildly interesting funny.) People are still asking me if they should pick up Nady. No love for the X-Man.
Fernando Rodney/Kyle Farnsworth/Joel Zumaya – Triumvirate, noun 1. a group of three closers that are making Todd Jones feel missed. 2. Sounds like it’s a Latin combination of triumphant and irate, but it’s not.
Mariano Rivera – Back spasms. Supposedly he’ll be okay. Jose Veras would’ve been who they turned to. Okay, save vultures, pick apart Veras’s bones.
Jose Guillen – Homered for the 2nd straight day and 3rd this week. Worth a pickup, just drop him when he realizes he’s stuck with the Royals until the end of the season.
Alfonso Soriano – The other day someone asked me for some names that could hit 15 HRs between now and end of season. In two months, this is a very difficult assignment (to hit 15 HRs, it’s not difficult to pick guys), the list looked like this (the order is their likelihood of getting to 15 HRs): Dunn, Soriano, Holliday, Burrell, Braun, Carlos Lee, Hamilton, Cust, Krispie and Vlad.
Andy LaRoche – HR yesterday. In leagues where you need to take some risks, I’d look at LaRoche. Then try and find anyone else, then look at LaRoche again, then take a steam, get a massage (you look stressed), get a bite to eat, play nine holes, then look over your 3rd base choices again and, if your choices are still limited, grab LaRoche.
Rafael Soriano – He’s done for the year. Back date this to April.
Chone Figgins – Another 4 hit game. Oh Figgy give him one more chance.
Joel Hanrahan – Picked up his first save since Rauch was traded. As I said when the trade went down, Rauch only had 17 saves in over half of a year, Hanrahan’s not netting 20 in two months. And that’s me paraphrasing me!
Jorge Campillo – 7 IP, 6 Ks, 0 ER. He replaced Harang on most of my deeper teams. Now I don’t care if I ever see Harang again. Okay, that’s mean. I wanna see Harang again, just not on any of my teams.
Shane Victorino – 10th HR as he threatens to run away with the HR crown in the Victorino vs. Rios battle.
Ryan Ludwick – I’m convinced LaRussa could make Austin Kearns an All-Star (while batting him ninth and the pitcher fourth).
Brett Myers – Only one walk in his last two starts. Definitely worth taking a look in deeper leagues. Maybe he’s taking a similar route to Wainwright last year when it took him half a year to shake being a closer the previous year. Or maybe Myers’s trip to the minors smacked some sense into him. Though it’s usually Myers smacking the minors.