When I went to sleep on Wednesday night, Shohei Ohtani was fine! I did a prayer hexagon and everything was good! *intern whispers in ear* I did a hex?! Why didn’t you stop me? Why? Why? Why? This was me waking up on Thursday morning:
Waking up to the Ohtani news pic.twitter.com/n68tV5sNty
— Razzball (@Razzball) August 24, 2023
Don’t want to be Mr. Downer when we get awful news like this, but I don’t understand how anyone’s body could hold together playing every day as a hitter, then through 97 MPH fresh-to-deffers every sixth day. For three years, he made us believe, and I know we all want to be little Peter Pans, but it’s just not possible. Shohei Ohtani did the impossible for longer than I would’ve expected from anyone. He did the impossible longer than Tom Cruise. Ohtani won’t be pitching again for the foreseeable future and I’d guess he’ll need Tommy John surgery (again, he had it in 2018). The one thing that places some leafs on the ground as I fall backwards into a heap to sob, he’s a top two hitter on the Player Rater, and that’s not going anywhere. I can do a prayer hexagon to make sure of it. What? Why are you screaming? It’ll be fine! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mike Trout – Hit the IL again with discomfort in his hand. We will never get Trout and Ohtani again on the field together, and, for that, I’m sorry for all baseball fans. For fantasy, Trout feels like a 2023 Yelich pick for 2024. Meaning: Flier around 75 overall and hope you get a free night at the career Renaissance.
Wilyer Abreu – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, because he’s here now and I don’t see many of you in mixed leagues picking him up just yet, and, in AL-Only leagues, you pick up everyone. Wilyer’s power is intriguing. I compared him the other day to Max Muncy, who reminds me of George Costanza, so Wilyer Abreu’s got no room for shrinkage! By the by, Wilyer or Jose? Which Abreu finishes with more homers? Are you confident in the guy with a ten-homer lead?
Alex Verdugo – 4-for-7, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .279. That’s ten times Alex Cora got mad at Verdugo for “doing too much.”
Brayan Bello – 7 IP, 1 ER, 12 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.56. Sonavabench! Sawx jumped out to a huge early lead, and Bello cruised out for a free night at the W on the Ivictory Coast. He gets the Astros again next time, and I agree with the Streamonator.
J.P. France – 2 1/3 IP, 10 ER, ERA at 3.51. I better understand France after Germany’s bombing. Forget J.P., that’s more like Vichy France. Put down the white flag and pitch!
Michael Busch – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st major league homer. Monocle’ing to see if he gets playing time. The hit tool looks legit if the ABs are there. Like a cynical puppet on Sesame Street, I just don’t trust the ABs, see?
Gavin Williams – 4 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.52. So, I can’t, like, trust random rookies when stats matter the most? Geez, thanks a lot, reality!
Gabriel Arias – 3-for-4, 2 runs and a slam (8) and legs (2), hitting .209. He’s 23. That’s the age of Arias! The age of Arias!
Kyle Farmer– 1-for-2 and his 8th homer, and 2nd homer in two games. Farmer, sho nuff, he got crops. From the kids on the Hill plus my moms and my pops.
Royce Lewis – 3-for-3 and his 6th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Please stay healthy.
Pablo Lopez – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.69. Pab-Lopoffmychancez.
Marcus Semien – 1-for-5 and his 20th homer. Nice blast, Semien. Ew!
Corey Seager – 2-for-4 and his 24th homer. On the reals, it’s impressive how well he’s doing even with missed time.
Leody Taveras – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer. Excuse me, that’s Leody of the Heaven’s Gate cult.
Will Smith – 1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.27. At this point, only one earned run feels like a major victory.
Joshua Palacios – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. The Palace of Joshua, Chapter 12, verse 3, says, “Don’t pick him up outside of NL-Only leagues. Amen.”
Jack Suwinski – 0-for-0 and not playing every day. Just thought I’d mention the other day he became the quickest Pirates hitter ever to 40 homers. Faster than Stargell, Bonds, you name it. And he’s not playing.
Brandon Belt – 1-for-3 and his 15th homer, and 4th homer in four games. More so than maybe even Renfroe, when Belt gets hot, he’s untouchable for about a week.
Jose Berrios – 6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.55. Ugh, no one wants to see that. (I’m kidding! Of course, I want to see that!)
Cedric Mullins – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer. Bit of a down year this year from Mullins, mostly due to injuries, and I have a feeling he’s going to be a steal in drafts next year.
Anthony Santander – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 24th homer, 3rd homer in two games. Some people, with a straight face, actually say there’s no such thing as hot and cold hitters.
Kyle Gibson – 8 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.89. Just went to look at his splits, thinking for sure he’d be way better at home, and that is not remotely the case. He’s been hit, miss or “hit hard” whether it’s home or away, with no rhyme or reason.
Merrill Kelly – 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 12 Ks, ERA at 2.97. Wins suck. Also: That was only in 86 pitches! He threw 64 strikes and 12 Ks. That’s wild. That feels like a record. I wouldn’t know how to search it, but that feels remarkable. Finally, he left with trainers, which sucks worse than wins. (For what it’s Cronenworth, I was told by someone on X (the site, not drug) that Chris Sale had 12 Ks in a 68-pitch start in 2018.)
Joey Votto – Hit the IL with a sore shoulder. Sigh, enjoy anything you see of Votto from now until he hangs them up, because it’s gonna be soon.
Andrew Benintendi – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer and 2nd homer in three games. For Benintendi, that’s his 73 homers in a season.
Shea Langeliers – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 14th and 15th homer, and now 4 homers this week. Take back what I said the other day about no one is picking up Sia Chandeliers, and I can’t see how you can’t.
Zack Gelof – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. He’s homering roughly every third game, i.e., he will pass Bonds in June of 2034.
Vidal Brujan – Called up to not play with Curtis Mead being sent down, after he didn’t play. Ya know when Indiana Jones removes a priceless relic and replaces it with a sandbag? The Rays are doing that but with top prospects. Only the relic is a sandbag too.
Isaac Paredes – 1-for-3 and his 26th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games and third homer in four games. Not sure if he’s rostered in under 50% of leagues, and he won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but he could’ve been if he’s available anywhere, i.e., he shouldn’t be available.
Josh Lowe – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .281. Just went to look at his 2nd half splits, and I expected worse stats. He’s hitting near-.300, but his speed and power’s been down in the last month-plus of games (6 SBs, 5 HRs in the 2nd half).
Nolan Jones – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .282, and a triple short of the cycle. NoJo is doing what can be best described as the only way a Rockies’ prospect can stay in the lineup. It’s by: Never slumping.
Gleyber Torres – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer. He’s not super exciting. I get that, but he’s also one of the more trustworthy middle infidel options in fantasy at 25-30 homers and solid-enough average.
Aaron Judge – 1-for-4 and his 28th homer, and fourth homer in two games. Guess we know Judge plays H2H.
Stephen Strasburg – Officially retired. Man, that thoracic outlet syndrome is a killer for careers. Maybe because we lost potentially Ohtani’s career as a pitcher, but Strasburg’s retirement hits hard. He was supposed to be The Truth. I can remember Strasburg, Virginia changing their name to Stephen Strasburg, Virginia like it was yesterday. He was in college and people were convinced he would be in the Hall of Fame in 25 years. Just brutal. Today’s cup runneth over with “Athletes give their all to play this game that we love, and they’re never appreciated enough during their time and it all goes way too fast.” Nostalgia, man, where’d that come from?