In 2012, Michael Pineda will open the sky and fart thunder.  He will do a duet with Bruno Mars that will sound like rap to people who don’t know rap and their song will reach the top of the charts for 12 weeks.  He will then put together a table from Ikea in less than an hour without dropping any F-bombs.  It’s written and so it will be.  You know the Sausage Race in Milwaukee?  Of course you do.  You’re not living on a deserted island with no one to talk to but a volleyball.  So the Sausage Race is going on in my mind right now, but it’s not sausages.  Instead, it’s players that I’m excited about owning next year.  So far in that race there’s Mike Stanton and Michael Pineda.  There will be more runners.  We’ll get to those.  Where did this jumbo-sized joy come from?  In 2011, Pineda had a line of 9.11 K-rate and a 3.53 xFIP.  Wait, that’s not a line.  That’s okay.  That’s all you need.  I’ll put on some Marvin, drink some Chardonnay and make love to those numbers.  So what can we expect of Michael Pineda for next year, and what makes him a 2012 fantasy baseball keeper?

In 2010, he threw 139 innings and 171 last year.  That’s not a huge jump.  We’re fine there.  In 77 innings at Safeco, he had a 2.92 ERA.  That’s far from surprising.  Pedro Cerrano would’ve been a slap hitter in Safeco.  Pre- vs. post-All-Star break numbers show a pitcher that tired in his first full season in the majors.  Again, no red flags.  That’s a taupe flag.  Totally natural color, blends into the background.  He had the 7th best K-rate in the major leagues.  He ranked between Lincecum and Gallardo.  Oh.  Wait, what?  *drools*  More like Mmm-Pineda on this young pitcher.  To add lovely to beautiful, batters swung at pitches inside the strike zone at a 68.5% rate, which was the fifth most in the majors.  That means hitters swung at pitches they thought were hittable only to strike out a lot.  Stanton’s still the kielbasa winning the ‘Young Players That Grey Is Crazy About’ race, but Pineda’s not far off the pace.  For 2012 fantasy baseball, he’s definitely a keeper (assuming you’re not choosing between him and Halladay at the same price; I mean, be reasonable).

  1. Steve says:

    Don’t own him, so can’t keep him. Sad trombone.

    That being the case, I want full details of your BBQ (and Moneyball) capers in Austin.

    It’s food season!

  2. centralohguy says:

    I like Pineda, but I’m betting he ends up pretty high on the Risky Pitchers for 2012 list; first full MLB season over 2500 pitches (2688), 700 more MLB pitches than LY (0), and 31.5% sliders. You already covered his 2009 elbow problems in your post on him last spring too. May still be a good keeper if he’s cheap and you can afford to perhaps weather a down year and/or missed time.

  3. Tony says:

    i wish i woulda drafted Pineda this past year instead of stupid mike minor….

  4. nyydj2 says:

    Hey Grey, thought you might get a kick out of this with your numerous mentions of Floyd here. In our 13th year of a Pink Floyd themed fantasy football league where all our team names reference Floyd titles or lyrics. My arch rival and good friend is a huge Red Sox fan, me a Yankee fan. He posted the lyrics to a Floyd song and changed all the words to burn on the Yankees dropping out of the playoffs. I answered back with “Pigs, Dogs, Sheep or Red Sox?”.

    If you didn’t care that we didn’t get Lee
    And I didn’t care that you lose
    We would zig-zag our way
    through the standings again
    Most occasionally Red Sox in pain
    Wondering which of the Yankees to blame
    And watching for Rays on the wing.

    You gotta be lazy, you gotta have a real feed
    You gotta sleep on your teammates, when they’re getting beat
    You gotta be able to pick out the all white meat with the bucket closed
    And then Medal of Honor, break wind and lose sight
    You gotta throw strikes at some moment tonight without drinking.

    And after a while, you can work on points for style
    Like the ketchup sock, and to seem not awake
    A certain look of girl is a guy, and a nasty smile
    You have to be trusted by the Tito that you lie to
    So that when he turns his back on you
    You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

    You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder
    You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you get colder
    And in the end you’ll pack up, fly down south
    Hide your head in the sand
    Just another sad old man
    All alone and managing Marlins

    And when you lose control, you’ll see the big lead that you’ve blown
    And as the beer flows, Big Papi slows and turns to stone
    And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to hide your needle jones
    So have a good choke, as your team croaks, all alone
    Dragged down by the bones.

    I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused
    Sometimes it seems to me as if all we do is lose
    Gotta wake and bake, gotta try and shake off this chicken wing glaze
    If we can’t stand up on the mound, how can we get our 15 million pays?

    Deaf, dumb, and blind, and Lackey ain’t pretending
    Luchesse says everones expendable and no-one had a real friend
    And it seems to him the thing to do would be to publicly smear the only winner
    Everything’s done under the sun
    And if you believe The Globe, everyone’s a swiller.

    Who was born in a house full of Curse
    Who was trained not to spit from home to first
    Who was told what to do by the man
    Who was broken by Yankee personnel
    Who was fitted with flea collar and chains
    Who was given pink hats on the rack
    Who was slipping away from the pack
    Who was singing Neil Diamond songs at home
    Who was ground out in the end
    Who was found dead on the bullpen phone
    Who was dragged down by the bones.

    Big Papi, pig Papi, ha ha charade you are.
    You flat healed worn wheel, ha ha charade you are.
    And when your hand is on your bat,
    You’re nearly a good laugh,
    Almost a hitter,
    When your headin down the baseline,
    Saying “Keep on digging.”
    Pig stain on your fat chin.
    What do you hope to find.
    When you’re down in the ninth.
    You’re nearly a laugh,
    You’re nearly a laugh
    But you’re really a cry.

  5. nyydj2 says:

    And Part 2.

    Big Papi, pig Papi, ha ha charade you are.
    You flat healed worn wheel, ha ha charade you are.
    And when your hand is on your bat,
    You’re nearly a good laugh,
    Almost a hitter,
    When your headin down the baseline,
    Saying “Keep on digging.”
    Pig stain on your fat chin.
    What do you hope to find.
    When you’re down in the ninth.
    You’re nearly a laugh,
    You’re nearly a laugh
    But you’re really a cry.

    ScumBeckett dirt bag, ha ha charade you are.
    You fucked up puss rag, ha ha charade you are.
    You radiate cold drafts in a Sam Adams glass.
    You’re nearly a good laugh,
    with your Colonel Sanders hair chin.
    You like to give up steals,
    You’re hot stuff with a joystick,
    And good fun with a Call of Duty gun.
    You’re nearly a laugh,
    You’re nearly a laugh
    But you’re really a cry.

    Hey you, Clubhouse,
    Ha ha charade you are.
    You KFC dipped fried mouse,
    Ha ha charade you are
    You’re trying to keep our pitchers off their feet.
    You’re nearly a real Tweet
    All grease lips and no heat
    Why can’t you watch them lose??
    …..! …..! …..! …..!
    You gotta stem the downward slide,
    And keep the chicken deep fried.
    Ellsbury you’re nearly a treat,
    Ellsbury you’re nearly a treat
    But you’re really a cry.

    Harmlessly passing your time in the off-season away;
    Only dimly aware that your team never did really care.
    You better watch out,
    There may be Rays about
    I’ve looked over Fenway, and I have seen
    Things are not what they seem.

    What do you get for pretending the wild card’s not real.
    Weak and obese you follow the Lester
    Down chicken splattered corridors into the clubhouse of beeah.
    What a surprise!
    A look of terminal shock in your eyes.
    Now things are really what they seem.
    Lackey’s mug is not a bad dream.

    Bleating and babbling they fell on their face to extremes.
    Wave upon wave of pink hat bandwagons
    March wearily out of the old fad into a new team.

    Have you heard the news?
    The Sox are dead!
    You better stay home
    As Tito was told.
    Don’t play on the road if you want to win gold.

  6. p0rk burn says:

    @nyydj2: Whoa. I never knew that if you started Pink Floyd and fantasy baseball at the same time they synced up perfectly. My mind, it is blown!

    I had Stanton and Pineda both on a keeper team, but dropped Pineda after they shut him down because I was futilely trying to catch up in pitching stats in the semi-finals. My consolation is I don’t think he would have made the cut since we only keep 7 and the team is stacked. Maybe I’ll snipe him somewhat early just to be on the Greyvy train.

  7. KB says:

    16-Team Yahoo! H2H League w/ 14 Scoring Categories. Need to Choose 5 Keepers:

    Joey Votto
    Troy Tulowitzki
    Ryan Zimmerman
    Desmond Jennings
    Brett Gardner
    Rickie Weeks
    Jason Kipnis
    Carlos Quentin
    David Ortiz
    Zack Greinke
    Yovanni Gallardo
    Matt Moore
    Craig Kimbrel
    Jose Valverde
    Heath Bell

    Right now I’m leaning toward Votto, Tulo, Zimm, Weeks and Greinke. But I know you’re not much of a Weeks fan. What do you think?

  8. Tony says:

    @nyydj2: that is absolutely insane man, u have too much time on your hands, although look at me im posting about u having too much time on a fantasy baseball blog site…. lol

  9. Tony says:

    @KB: id keep jennings over weeks, i think grey will most likely say the same….

  10. Donald Trump says:

    My only three keepers next year: Stanton, Pineda, and beachy. Grey Drools.

  11. Rabbit says:

    Grey (and commenters),
    What do you think of Hellickson as a keeper for next year? His K-rate was way down this year compared to his career average, his BB/9 was up to almost 3.5, and his FIP was almost 1.50 higher than his ERA (thanks at least in part to a low BABIP of .223). All of that indicates stay away, but if he could get his K-rate and BB/9 back close to his historical rates than it seems to me that he could weather a rise in his BABIP and still give you a very good year. Makes no sense to me that a guy with a typical K-rate of 9+ and walk rate of 2-2.5 in the minors would drop all the way to a 5.5 K-rate and 3.5 BB/9 — was this year an aberration in that respect? Or is that the pitcher he really is and he is due for a serious regression next year? The guy’s only 24, so there’s got to be room for further growth in the majors, right? I don’t know; I’m just having trouble pegging him for next year.

  12. Wake Up says:

    @p0rk burn: Same here. Had Pineda all year and then dropped him when he was shut down because I was making a playoff push.
    Yeah, you start the album as soon as the (Det) Lions roar (into the playoffs).

  13. Wake Up says:

    @Rabbit: I’m with you. I’m going to let him figure it out on someone else’s team. I like him and his potential but I have a feeling it doesn’t come together until 2013.

  14. KB says:

    @Tony –

    Thanks, man. Jennings, Gardner and Gallardo would all be my next options if I didn’t keep Weeks. Just a little worried about Jennings since he tailed off a bit over the final month and there’s always the fear of the Sophomore Slump.

  15. Wake Up says:

    @KB: I think Jennings puts up 100 15 45 277 40.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: I was woken up at 10am and I’m now in line for BBQ before even my morning coffee.

    @centralohguy: damn, why you gotta rain on the Pineda parade?

    @nyYdj2: Wow… Wait… Wow! That was insane in the best of ways. Well played.

    @pork burn: at least you have Stanton.

    @KB: I’d go Jennings and Gallardo.

    @Donald Trump: *drools*

    @Rabbit: I’m aware of his insanely lucky year lear with no K-rate. I don’t think I’m drafting him anywhere next year. Will let someone else take the risk. In a keeper he becomes a dilemma.

  17. KB says:

    @Grey –

    Thanks. So, Jennings over Weeks and Gallardo over Greinke? I was leaning toward Greinke over Gallardo since K/BB is one of the scoring categories and because Greinke could be in a contract year next season.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @KB: Gotcha… Go Greinke… Yeah, Jennings…

  19. @Grey: Just recommending Razzballers factor in extra risk, is all. Winter is coming and I’m projecting.

  20. chata says:

    wild stallyns rule !!

    love it when my favorite movie airs on tv .

  21. @Tony: Columbus-like. NW. Used to comment under Jake in Columbus, but now use my Twitter handle.

  22. Tony says:

    @centralohguy: haha gotya

    thats cool…. i’ve asked u before i believe.

  23. chata says:


    so …. gas station bbq for breakfast ….
    give us a run-down .
    or did it give you the runs ?

  24. Champion1337 says:

    So my dilemma is I kept Stanton for a dollar last year. So if I keep him again, my league imposes a penalty. That penalty being the avg. of what I kept him for, so a $1 and the amount ESPN predicts him to go for next year, plus $5. So depending on what they value him based off 16 teams, he will probably cost between $20-$25. Then I have Pineda who I can keep straight up for $1. We only get one keeper and I’d prefer Stanton, but Pineda for a buck is just as enticing. Guess I just have to wait and see their values and try to get the most bang for my buck when I have to draft one of them.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chata: Start by saying, I’m not a BBQ aficionado. But this was top five BBQ I’ve ever had in my life. Maybe previous lives too. Franklin was too busy (about 2 hour wait at 11 AM and they close at 1PM) so we went to J Mueller. The sauce was so freakin’ good. And the brisket. And the sausage. Everything.

    @Champion1337: I’d keep Stanton.

  26. chata says:


    bourdain says that , the next time that he’s in austin , he’s going
    to eat himself across town , from food truck to food truck .

  27. Grey– Is this totally unthinkable?

    He gets Adr. Gonzalez and Lincecum
    I get Longoria and Halladay

    All of these are keepers we have to give up after holding for three years.

    He gets best player in the deal, but I like the trade for position scarcity, 3B over 1B. And I think Longoria bounces back next year. What think you?

  28. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chata: went to one that had a bacon donut… It was wonderful…

    @The Miracles: I’d do it.

  29. chata says:


    glad you’re enjoying your time there .

    maybe you guys ought to come up with a
    Razzball Fantasy Food League .

  30. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    WILSON! Too soon, Grey… too soon.

    I’m assuming you’ve taken in the most recent Real World, yeah? Or are you still unaware of the term “besties” and the douche chills it creates?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chata: I’d be at pert at that too, if do say so myself.

    @Awesomus Maximus: I watched the newest one before I let for Austin. Great episode. We’re fine, I just can’t talk to you or be around you anymore. Besties was brilliant too. Ha!

  32. royce! says:

    Nice of McGwire to share his stash with both teams.

  33. royce! says:

    Seems to have kept the premium shizz for his own team…

  34. Steve says:

    Most unlike Narveson. He’s normally good for four sparkling innings before imploding like that in the 5th.

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