The Cardinals are sick of Edward Mujica not playing way over his head like the rest of their entire team. “You see Joe Kelly? He sucks and he’s pitching well. You see Seacrest?” “You mean Siegrist?” “Yeah, him. He’s dynamite! Pitch better than you’ve ever pitched in your life or you’re out.” Mujica couldn’t find the intestinal fortitude (maybe he didn’t eat enough Thai food) and was replaced from the closing role for a few days. The Cards bullpen is solid behind him, which makes it difficult to pinpoint who exactly is his replacement. It could be John Axford, Trevor Rosenthal or Kevin Siegrist. I’d own any of them, but more because of how solid they’ve been. For saves, I’d rank them Rosenthal, Axford then Siegrist. Then there’s Mark Melancon. Like a guy who never flushes his toilet, the crap has caught up to him and the Pirates are now going ‘one day at a time’ for who their closer is, which I believe was Clint Hurdle’s nod to the late-great Bonnie Franklin. Bonnie, we miss you every day and we love your son, Nick, for the man you made him. I’d absolutely own Jason Grilli if I were chasing saves, but I wouldn’t drop Melancon either. Unless you don’t need saves and no one can catch you because you’re more bomb dot com and less bomb dot org. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jeff Locke – 1 IP, 5 ER. This raises the question. Who sells their soul to pitch well for only four-fifths of a season?
Neil Walker – 2-for-2 and his 13th homer. As the Pirates try to make it seem like they should not be in the playoffs (or maybe they’re playing possum; you know who is actually really bad at playing possum? Actual possums. They’re idiot savants.), Walker has been hot. Three homers in the last four games. If he’s out there in your league, I could see grabbing him.
Russell Martin – Left yesterday’s game with sore knees. Coincidentally, his ex, Alyssa Milano, has sore knees too.
James Shields – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 2 Ks. Someone dropped him in my league the other day because they had maxed their starts, so I grabbed him for this start, but benched him. I had no intention of starting him. I don’t need the start and I just didn’t want Rudy to have the start. I see no problem with this sorta play. So if you’re maxed on starts or just don’t need them and battling for first, look to see if you can block others from getting decent streams.
Alexei Ogando – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks. Complicated start for his next one. He’s home for the Angels and the Rangers playoff chances are still very much in play right now. The Angels offense in Arlington is scary, and I’d be careful with Ogando. The good news is he would get pulled quickly if things start to get out of hand. The bad news is the same. At the first sign of trouble, he could be pulled, even if he’s not completely terrible.
Colby Rasmus – Shut down for the season. He’ll return next year as a post-post-post-post-post-POST-post-hype sleeper.
Wilfredo Tovar – 2-for-4, 1 RBI and his 1st steal in his first major league game. His minor league stats look about as good as the almost-eponymous sitcom about a giant talking dog.
Alex Cobb – 8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 12 Ks. His xFIP this year is 2.97, which would put him in the top ten if he didn’t get hit off the ol’ melon. Now, the only thing to wonder about is if he’s in the top 15 for all starters next year or the top 20. I can’t imagine an argument to put him outside the top 20, though I’m sure ESPN will find one.
Desmond Jennings – 2-for-3 but left the game with a strained hamstring and could miss a few games. Wake me up when I care…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. Shoot, I told you to wake me up. C’mon, I drooled all over my keyboard.
David DeJesus – 1-for-3 and his 7th homer and went 4-for-8 in the marathon game the other night. DeJesus is the hottest Christian idol since Zobrist’s wife and Jimmy Christ were on tour.
Jacoby Ellsbury – Could return on Wednesday. John Farrell (whoever that is) said Ellsbury could see a couple of at-bats, and he probably won’t run. Sounds awesome. Maybe Carlos Gonzalez can come in as his defensive replacement.
Jackie Bradley Jr. – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer. And he can walk three times in a game like a BOSS! said a’la Stevie from Eastbound and Down. On the for really, Bradley is hitting near .375 in the last week. He’s about the only Red Sock I’d be excited about in the final week because he’s trying to prove his worth while the rest are in sleepwalk to the playoffs mode.
David Ortiz – 2-for-4 and his 29th homer. What I just said about JBJ goes for Papi. Good chance he rests a few times this week, especially if he hits his 30th homer early in the week.
Giancarlo Stanton – 3-for-7, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 24th homer. I picture Giancarlo singing Bruno Mars’s “Treasure” to me and crying. Do others have dreams like this?
Christian Yelich – 3-for-9, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. Elias Sports Bureau said that Yelich’s fourth homer was the most by anyone with a paper route.
Erik Johnson – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 1 K, lowering his ERA to 2.82. This comes after having a 1.57 ERA in Triple-A and a 2.23 ERA in Double-A. Johnson will have the privilege of being a guy I tell people to draft next year that everyone will ignore. He gets the Royals next and I could see streaming him there in some deeper leagues, even if the Stream-o-Nator doesn’t like it.
Avisail Garcia – 3-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs and hitting near .375 in the last week with a homer and a steal. Kinda wish he’d take a dive in the final week so not to alert anyone for next year, but he looks like he’s swinging a hot bat. Would definitely grab him for five category help.
Miguel Cabrera – Day-to-day with groin soreness. That’s what his fantasy owners have been dealing with all year.
Matt Davidson – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 3rd homer and 2nd day in a row with a homer. His numbers are slightly inflated due to playing in the PCL– Oh, wait, this game was in Coors. Same diff. He doesn’t play every day, but if you’re dying for power in a deep league, I could see giving him a whirl.
A.J. Pollock – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. How many Diamondbacks does it take to screw the Rockies? One Pollock. Adam Eaton also went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs, and Gerardo Parra went 3-for-5 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and everyone basically hit yesterday for Arizona, but they were in Coors, so take it with a grain of salt, unless you have high blood pressure.
Mark Reynolds – 1-for-4 with his 20th homer. He’s been hapless as ever recently. He swings at pitches that make it seem like he’s been wearing The Opti-Grab, but he’s the kind of guy that could get five homers in a week if you can stomach a few 0-for-5’s.
Yusmeiro Petit – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. I’m not rushing out to add him anywhere after watching him in his start vs. the Mess where he looked like a peg boy. With that said (here comes the reversal), he gets the Padres in his last start of the year. Padres don’t scare anyone over the age of thirteen.
Corey Kluber – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. The Indians’ playoff hopes might go to the last day of the season, which is a great place to have a starter. Then you throw in Kluber will be getting the Twins next and you have one of the best matchups you can find later this week.
Michael Brantley – 3-for-4, 1 run and hitting near .350 in the last week. I think you have to discount anyone that just hit against the Astros pitching for four (stutterer!) straight days. What I said about Kluber goes for hitters too; I like anyone that is playing for something in this final week.
Felix Hernandez – 4 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks. Seems odd the Mariners started him for a meaningless game since he has an ailing back, until you realize the Mariners have played nothing but meaningless games for the last twelve years.
Justin Smoak – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. In the same boat as Mini Donkey, Smoak’s hot garbage that has been sitting out in the Tunisian sun, but if you’re desperately in need of homers, I could see going with him.
Sonny Gray – 5 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. the Twins. Burp. I’ve seen better. He gets the Mariners next time out, and I’m not sure how the A’s will play it. They could conserve his innings, and he might only go four to five innings, but if he’s cruising like a gay man in West Hollywood, he could go six. To carry the analogy, it would be like sex.
Daric Barton – 3-for-3, 3 runs and his 3rd homer. He’s the star of the Coen Brothers’ AL-Only team that is in dead last and named, Barton Stink.
Oswaldo Arcia – 3-for-4, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer and his 2nd homer since Thursday and third in the last ten games. Has done little else, but if you grab him, maybe you can get some pop. For those reading in Minnesota, he can’t give you soda.
Andrew Cashner – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks. If you’re hoping to draft him next year, you better hope that he gets roughed up in his last start vs. the Giants. If you own him and want him next year, then that would be bittersweet…More bitter than sweet…More sweet than bitter…Bitter than sweet.
Charlie Blackmon – 3-for-6, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting near .500 in the last week and is the hottest schmotato in all the land. If you’re wondering if you should pick him up, then you’re not even paying attention, which makes me wonder why you’re wondering if you should pick him up. Help, I’m trapped in a logic circle!
Andrelton Simmons – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 16th and 17th homer. Andrelton, you are outta this world!
Freddie Freeman – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer. Good luck drafting him next year. Not saying I don’t like him, but he’s going to be so overpriced. Let him win the World Series MVP to really inflate his price.
Julio Teheran – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks. Gets the Phils next, which seems good on the surface, but wouldn’t be surprised to see him pulled after 5 innings because the Braves have nothing to play for. BTW, I was at Brooks Brothers yesterday, looking at tuxedos to buy for my wedding. I’m a baller, kid! Any the hoo! The saleswoman was from Iran and she said she never heard of The Iron Shiek. So I tried to jog her memory with a little, “Ptooey!” fake spitting on her and she still didn’t get it. Oh, well, will have to try someone else in Teherangeles.
Todd Frazier – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. Damn, he’s pulling on my sleeper strings again.
Billy Hamilton – 3-for-6, 2 runs, 2 steals. If you haven’t had a chance to watch Hamilton, you really should make time. He’s not an elite talent with the bat, but he nearly beats out grounders to shortstop, which rushes throws from otherwise top fielders and gets himself on. Slow rollers to any position and there’s no chance he’ll be thrown out. I bet he could get 75 infield hits in a year with 600 ABs. Then once he’s on base, there’s nothing they can do to stop him. I’ve seen twice where he’s stolen the bag on pitchouts and every single steal has been while everyone knows he’s running. This is with him having no knowledge of pitchers’ moves to first. With 600 ABs, I’d be shocked if he didn’t steal 85 bases. Swoon.
Shin-Soo Choo – Expected back today after hurting his thumb on a headfirst slide into first. I always tell players they shouldn’t slide headfirst into first. <–That is the number one line said by every single announcer for every single team. If an announcer doesn’t say that line after a player slides headfirst into first, they’re immediately removed from the broadcast booth by Milton Bradley.