It’s never too early to turn the page towards 2020. Which is what Hugh Downs used to say while wearing a smoking jacket and flipping through a script. By the way, Hugh Downs missed his porn actor calling. “Oh my God, that’s an Orca in your pants!” “Well, I ain’t Churchill Downs.” Fun Fact! Hugh Downs only wore slippers. Okay, okay, OKAY, enough about freakin’ Hugh Downs. This is like when Seinfeld was telling Bania to ease up on the Ovaltine jokes. Grey, you’ve got fifteen minutes of Hugh Downs! Let him go! I’d love to but he goes Downs so easy! So, Luis Castillo pitched another gem in a season of them (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.63). His peripherals are equally gorge like Barbara Walters fluffing Hugh–I’ll stop! Castillo’s has a 10.8 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 3.71 FIP and his fastball velocity is up and he’s throwing his change a lot more (26% to 32%). He kinda reminds me of another Reds pitcher, Trevor Bauer. Castillo’s ERA could easily be near-4 vs. near 2.50. Still like him, not saying make a chump dump like when Hugh Downs used to spend 30 minutes in the bathroom and blame Mike Wallace, but Castillo looks a lot better than Bauer in ERA, but for 2020 I don’t see a ton of difference. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Derek Dietrich – Hit the IL with shoulder inflammation. He injured himself pimping a home run.
Andrew Heaney – On track to return this weekend in Boston. When you miss as many games as Heaney, you’d think you’d have your timing down better for when to return.
Mike Trout – 2-for-3 and a slam (37) and legs (9). He’s pretty good, but I want to see how good he is once all pitchers have seen him for ten seasons. Might attack him differently.
Masahiro Tanaka – 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.93. Tanaka has a 10-something ERA in the 2nd half. This is obviously an unintended consequence of something that happened in March. The Yankees, prior to the season, sent Tanaka to a hypnotist told to convince him it was July to start the year, because he was always a 2nd half pitcher. It was awkward at first when Tanaka would ask teammates in April, “Hey, wanna come by my place for a 4th of July shindig? If you can bring fireworks or any decorations, I’d appreciate it. Everywhere I go they tell me they don’t have any yet. Bunch of procrastinators!” Unfortch, Tanaka hasn’t been a great in-his-mind November and December pitcher this year. He keeps saying, “Hey, is this one of those Venezuelan Winter Leagues?” Okay, drop him; he’s been useless and you have to find someone better in most mixed leagues.
Mike Tauchman – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homer, hitting .294. On any other team, Tauchman is Daniel Palka. Right? Everything the Yankees throw at teams works (for hitting). Almost made Tauchman the lede today, but it was against the Orioles, so if you’re not hitting home runs, what’s da matta you?! Samesies for Mike Ford (1-for-4) who hit his 2nd homer. I grabbed Tauchman in one mixed league, and I would do the same with Ford. We’ll reevaluate after they leave Baltimore.
Jonathan Villar – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer, and hit for the MLB’s 5th cycle. This is the year of the cycle. Thanks to Leonardo da Vinci we even know what to call this. Otherwise what would we call a cycle? An every-base-hit-possible thingamajig? A Steppenwolf? ‘Two-tired’ to come up with anything?
Isan Diaz – 1-for-7 as he hit 2nd. I just did a boing in my pants. I grabbed Diaz in all leagues, but it’s super contingent on him playing. With that said, you have to be half a dope to call up Diaz and not play him. With That Said: Part 2, The Return Of That Which Was Said, Mattingly is kinda dopey. With That Said: Part 3, What More Could Be Said, Mattingly can’t be that dopey, can he? *insert white man slowly blinking GIF*
Lewis Brinson – 0-for-7 as he was recalled from the minors. He had 16 HRs and 16 SBs in his minor league stint since April. Am I picking up Brinson? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Tennessee. Fool me three times, blame it on the rain…. *two hours later* …Fool me seventy-eight hundred times, apparently Brinson has nothing better to do than fool me. Outside of NL-Only leagues, I’m simply cyclops’ing.
Ryne Stanek – Marlins plan to use him in high leverage situations, which can only mean one thing: When they’re going for win game number 45, there’s one man they want on the mound… Caleb Smith, then fingers crossed on the bullpen. I grabbed Stanek in one league for possible saves, but he’s the first guy off my team if I need room.
Amed Rosario – 3-for-9, 3 runs and a slam (12) and legs (14). Also, in this game (and doubleheader), Jeff McNeil (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 14th. They were batting one and two in the order, because it took Mickey Callaway four months to figure out his batting order. “Duh, George, which way do they go?” That’s Callaway trying to figure out how to put on his pants.
Pete Alonso – 3-for-7, 2 RBIs and his 35th homer. Albombso!
Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.77. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in 51 of 55 starts since the beginning of 2018. Well, la di da!
Craig Kimbrel – Hit the IL with knee soreness. He says it’s less of a concern than when he needed knee surgery on his other knee. Well, that’s reassuring! He says it should only be a 10-day stint. I’m gonna take him at his word because he told us in February he’d sign in March. Wait, bad reason. Maddon says it’s a committee; I grabbed Steve Cishek (1/3 IP, 3 ER), which went over terrifically, so I dropped him already! It could be Brandon Kintzler (2/3 IP, 0 ER); Pedro Strop returns today and David Phelps (1/3 IP, 0 ER) got yesterday’s save. Fun times!
Willson Contreras – Out for a month with his hamstring injury. I’m kinda interested in the beta-carotene adult beverage, Caratini. Of course, you need a deep enough league for him to matter.
Javier Baez – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 27th and 28th homer, hitting .290. He could have the best final two months of anyone and become a 40 HR, 20 SB guy. Of course, I don’t think it happens (which is me reverse jinxing it so it happens. But is this a reverse jinx of my reverse jinx? Damn!).
Mookie Betts – Left yesterday’s game after fouling a ball off his foot. Feel better, you better, you Betts.
Brandon Workman – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 1.99 and his 6th save. I wish a reporter would just ask Cora, “It took you how long to figure out Workman should be your closer?” Any answer under five months is a lie.
Cheslor Cuthbert – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, hitting near-.300 in the last week and could be a very light schmotato.
Jordan Lyles – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 4.97 as he went against his former club, the Pirates. Surprised to see a pitcher pitch better off the Pirates. I’m effin’ kidding! You send Dario Agrazal, which sounds like an artificial sweetener, to another team and he throws like Gerrit Cole! Ray Sewage ruins careers! Any hoo! Lyles is a Streamonator call, and it loves his next start.
Mike Moustakas – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 27th homer, hitting .267. Moistasskiss!
Christian Yelich – 4-for-5, and his 38th and 39th homer, hitting .336. Moistasskiss is a play on Moustakas’s name, and is in no way an allusion to Yelich’s underground video roles.
Bryan Reynolds – 3-for-5, 2 runs and his 10th homer, hitting .337. Prolly because of Confirmation Bias or some other Psych 101 term, I just realized Reynolds could win the NL batting title if he gets enough at-bats. C**nt Hurdle is totally the type to bench Reynolds on the last day of the season, not to get him the title, but to make sure he doesn’t get enough at-bats, because he’s gotta earn it!
Scott Kingery – 2-for-5 and his 14th homer, hitting .276. Now was batting sixth. Kapler puts together a lineup like some people change their underwear. No Razzball readers, I hope.
Vince Velasquez – 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.23. Streamonator is positive on his next start, but only barely so, which means its stripping naked and rubbing its metal parts–Wait, that’s not what ‘barely’ means, is it?
Tony Gonsolin – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.21. Can Ryu fake hurt himself some more?
Cody Bellinger – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 37th homer. Win the Triple Crown or don’t get another hit! No pressure.
Joc Pederson – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 24th homer. Hey, it’s like May again when it seemed like Pederson was going to be a top 20 outfielder.
Carlos Carrasco – Continues a throwing program. Would be awesome if he returned, but you figure a few weeks for throwing off the mound (setbacks can happen), a few weeks for rehab games (setbacks can happen), and that puts him at best for a good two to three starts this year, and likely just getting him ready to come out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
Aaron Civale – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 0.75 in his 2nd start. Here’s what I said previously on him, “Civale looks like a 6.5 K/9, 2 BB/9, 4.25 ERA pitcher, which is whatever outside of AL-Only leagues. On the other hand (were we using hands?), Civale doesn’t throw with much velocity, which is my new ‘he throws with a lot of velocity,’ so I’m just gonna be a subtle cyclops.” And that’s me quoting me! He kinds reminds me of an AL version of Yamamoto. I will call him, Mo’ Moto.
Mike Foltynewicz – Called up to return to the rotation as the Braves let Gausman go to waivers (and he was picked up by the Reds). Faultywhichwitz was great in the minors, like how great Nick Pivetta was in the minors after his demotion. I’m not desperate enough to go anywhere near Faultysandwitz.
Jacob Waguespack – 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.00. The Waguespack wears a leather jacket that says, “Lone Wagues,” and tells scary stories by a campfire. This is undeniable. His fantasy value is more deniable.
Bo Bichette – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting .417. I’m not saying Dante Bichette had a child with Ted Williams at the 1999 All-Star Game during the All-Century Team ceremonies, but I’m not saying he didn’t either.
Derek Law – 1 1/3 IP, 0 ER and his 2nd save, ERA at 5.36. I will now die cackling at me holding Justin Shafer — the Jays’ sudden, lights-out 7th inning man. I’m guessing it was Law, because Ken Giles worked Sunday, has an arm injury, and can’t work two days in a row. That’s a helluva caveat for a closer!
Yonny Chirinos – Hit the IL with middle finger inflammation. Gonna especially suck if someone cuts in front of him while driving. “Did that man just flip us a dog’s penis?” “No, honey, I think it was an inflammed middle finger.”