Danny Valencia had himself a nice little weekend. On Friday, he hit two homers, then yesterday he became only the third player to ever have a three-homer game (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) against the Rays (last one was Carlos Delgado in 2003), and only the 2nd player that also stood for the pregame National Anthem. Valencia grew up Jewish, and, according to Wikipedia, “(Valencia’s) two key hitting coaches growing up were Bob Molinaro, a family friend who is a former major leaguer, and his mother Mindy.” I didn’t have a Jewish mother, but have plenty of experience being half-Jewish, so I can imagine the guilt trips he got, “Why don’t you marry a nice Jewish girl and stop swinging at balls in the dirt?” “You never call your mother, and you’re opening up too soon.” “You can go take batting practice after you give your mother a kiss.” Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but one less guilt-inducing hitting coach he had was Jose Bautista. Valencia learned how to hit for more power from Joey Bats. Since Bautista imparted wisdom on Valencia, he’s hit 30 homers in the last 580 ABs. So, can Valencia keep it going? It appears so. Now finish your latkes and keep your hands back! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Ryan Madson – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 10th save. This weekend Bob Melvin announced Madson was the closer, which comes about six weeks after it appeared to be the case. Here’s what I think happened. On Opening Day, Beane left a message with Melvin to use Madson as the closer. So, Melvin did just that, but then Melvin left six weeks of messages with Beane to find out why not Doolittle. Finally, Beane called Melvin back this weekend and said, “Bob, just use Madson as the closer and stop calling me.”
Sonny Gray – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER (3 more unearned runs), 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 5.84. This game was against the Rays. The Rays are the league’s worst team with a .223 average. Yes, worse than the Braves. The Rays have scored the 2nd fewest runs, just missing the Braves. They are the third worst team in RBIs, just in front of those same Braves and the Phils. In other words, Gray could be better moving forward, but he’s far from right and I don’t mean he’s not voting for Trump.
Henderson Alvarez – Likely to be activated this week. Fun fact! When he was younger, he’d put on the Ha! network and tell friends that it was his initials. Whatever, right? Yeah, well, he was only six months old! Alvarez is around a 5-6 K/9, so streamer.
Matt Andriese – 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 0.56. He sounds like a GQ model. Though, then he’d likely only go by Andriese. So far, hitter ABs have definitely been no contest for his washboard abs. Sadly, his peripherals don’t scream that should continue. His K-rate (4.50) is almost as equally as bad as his xFIP (4.49). You can try him, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Matt Moore – 5 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 5.09. Call him Dud-ley Moore.
Brandon Guyer – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 3rd and 4th homers, hitting .338 with a .448 OBP. Hot schmotato alert!
Evan Longoria – 2-for-4 and his 7th homer. Had it been almost a week since his last solo homer? Damn, time flies, unlike balls off his bat.
Jose Reyes – Was suspended through May 31st, having the past six weeks backdated onto his suspension. He won’t be able to play in minor league games until his suspension is over, so he’ll miss at least another two weeks. More likely, he’ll stay in the minors until the Rockies can trade him. Would serve him right if he ended up on the Padres or Braves, the purgatory of the majors. The irony is all of this started because Reyes’s wife canceled his DVR season pass for The Good Wife.
Carlos Gonzalez – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 5th homer. For what it’s Wuertz, CarGo had four homers through June 1st last year and finished with 40.
Ryan Braun – Missed two straight games with a sore wrist. Though, yesterday he said, “It’s fine.” When a reporter followed up with, “What’s fine?” Braun looked back and forth like the shifty-eyed dog.
Wily Peralta – 4 2/3 IP, 6 ER to the Padres, and now could lose his rotation spot. The one thing stopping the Brewers from replacing Peralta is their options include Chris Crapuano and the Chorizo from the sausage races. There’s an outside chance the Brewers call up Josh Hader, the star of Napoleon Dynamite, who has been great in Double-A (11.9 K/9, 1.04 ERA), but he’s super raw.
Jonathan Lucroy – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 5th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. I look forward to taping the podcast with JB later today. Insert a squiggly-mouthed emoji with two eggplant emojis sticking in my ears.
Chris Carter – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer. The truth is out there and so are the balls he hits.
Steve Cishek – 1 IP, 3 ER and the blown save on Saturday, after blowing the Friday game with 1 IP, 2 ER. Goodbye, Donkeycorn, hello Brain Freeze. You know how when a runner is done with a marathon they wrap them in those aluminum foil blankets? When Cishek left the field the last time, they wrapped him in a Mystery Dum-Dum wrapper. I attempted to stash Joel Peralta in every league, but Nick Vincent could also see save chances since Peralta hasn’t been very good either.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 6 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 4.38. Member this offseason when the Dodgers cancelled their trade with Iwakuma due to his health and I said something like, “Well, now I’m not drafting him, something’s wrong here. And, please, if you quote this back at a later time, make it sound better.” And that’s me paraphrasing me! Is Iwakuma proving to anyone that he’s healthy now? Then why is he owned in 70% of leagues?
Hector Santiago – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.42. I’m gonna go out on a 150-year-old oak limb and say if I streamed him, he would’ve gave up five runs.
Cameron Maybin – Should be activated on Monday, which could mean when Ausmus looks around the clubhouse to cut someone, Gose better duck.
J.D. Martinez – 2-for-4 and his 6th homer. Tellin’ ya, you’re gonna wish you bought him low. I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, his name is Just Dong.
Kevin Gausman – 5 IP, 4 ER, ERA up to 3.00. P to the fft on that start, but I’d give him at least one more before moving on.
Jhoulys Chacin – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.81, but 2.57 ERA in the box scores because for some stupid reason players’ stats don’t carry over from one league to the other even though they’ve been playing interleague games for almost 20 years. As for Chacin, he’s a streamer, so I’d use the Stream-o-Nator.
Luis Severino – Hit the Disgraceful List with “Yeah, he ain’t right, let’s say it’s his triceps.”
Ivan Nova – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.70. Was filling for CC, but, with Severino out, Nova can pop the champagne, super, he’s staying in the rotation. Is that a good thing for fantasy owners? Not in mixed leagues since he has a career K/9 near 6.6 and a 4.31 ERA in 656 IP. Fun fact! If Nova were Korean, his name would be Ivan-ho.
Carlos Beltran – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer. That’s his fourth homer this week. One homer for every ten years he’s been alive. Not to be a birther, but give or take ten years.
Clay Buchholz – 6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 6.11. Somehow, on my team that I own Buchholz, his ERA is just north of eight. Picking and choosing the best starts, that’s what the Fantasy Master Lothario do!
Luke Gregerson – 1 IP, 1 ER on Saturday with his 2nd blown save in his past three opportunities. If the trainers wrapped Cishek in a Mystery Dum-Dum wrapper, they wrapped Gregerson in toilet paper, and gently pushed open the trash bin with their knuckles to try not to touch it then tried to push Gregerson in the trash. Not sure if the Astros realized yet that “Luke, I am your waiver wire fodder” shouldn’t be the closer, but if they have, Will Harris or Ken Giles would replace him. Harris has been much better, but Giles could be the guy. Giles seems to suffer from the same syndrome as Drew Storen, a combination of apathy and spite that makes them only good as a closer and not worthwhile in any other inning. We should have a glossary term for relievers like this, guys that seem to only do well in the ninth. Please suggest in the comments. They’re basically the opposite of a Cuddle Boy.
Carlos Correa – 1-for-5, 2 runs and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Correa needs a title like Kim Jong-un gives himself. Top Dog Astro Batting Behind Reorge of Excellence?
Luis Valbuena – 2-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .208. Maybe this will get him on a hot schmotato run, but so far he’s been Malbuena.
Josh Rutledge – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 1st steal, hitting .407 in limited duty. That’s not the first time Rutledge and duty have been used in the same sentence, though it’s usually spelled different.
Mike Foltynewicz – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.89. This game came in Kansas City, which makes Faultywrittenargumenticz’s start even more implausible. Want even more improbable? His walk rate is under-1 after it was 5.7 in Triple-A. In deep leagues, I’d give Fauklandislandsicz a chance, but I have no faith that he won’t go out and have a 2 1/3 IP, 7 ER next time out.
Matthew Wisler – 7 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.14. Happy Wisler’s Got Pi Day!
Alcides Escobar – 4-for-6, 2 runs, 1 RBI and his 8th steal. Hitting under-.200 in the last week, but worth cyclops’ing to see if he’s heating up. Or check the Hitter-Tron on him or just to see Tron making out with a muffler.
Corey Seager – 2-for-4 and two homers (5, 6) and his third in two games, now hitting .289. Still plenty of time for Seager to be the top shortstop in fantasy baseball this year. Cust kayin’.
Scott Kazmir – 8 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.89. If this were last year, I’d be all about him, but we still don’t know if he’s 100% healthy, so there’s still risk here.
Alex Wood – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.17 vs. Mike Leake 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.66. This matchup of Leake vs. Wood was billed as, “Love It or List It. Somebody call the Property Brothers!”
Matt Carpenter – 1-for-3 and his 8th homer. Carpenter nailed that one off Wood!
David Peralta – Hit the DL with an inflamed wrist. This will mean full-time work for Brandon Drury, the drunk drawer! Yesterday, Drury went 4-for-4 and should be owned everywhere. Also, the D-Backs called up Michael Bourn. He’s a bench bat for now, and, unless you’re Jason Bourne, you know what to expect from him.
Rubby de la Rosa – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners (1 Hit), 7 Ks, ERA at 3.53. Damn, you gotta give Rubby a hand…if he weren’t giving himself one already. He touches 95-96 on his fastball, and, unlike some of the other guys I’ve mentioned today, Rubby is a guy I’d take a flyer on. Do I think he’s safe? Not as safe as a Rubby should be.
Gerrit Cole – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.05. In Wrigley, G. Cole looked more like old school Diamond D, but he’s no Best Kept Secret.
Jung Ho Kang – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. King Kang! Or maybe that’s Kang Kong! Kang Kang?
Michael Brantley – Hit the DL. As Sky texted me, “Well, whaddaya know, a guy with health issues coming into the season is having health issues in season.” Yup.
Corey Kluber – 6 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.30. Besides Arrieta and Kershaw, has any top pitcher been consistently good every start this year? Feels like a minefield everywhere you look. Need the Ghost of Princess Di to navigate this. Kluber’s 3.35 xFIP suggests better pitching ahead, but his velocity is down, his Ks are down and his walks are up. At this point, I’d be very happy (and fortunate) to see a 3.50 ERA from Kluber this year. I mean, he gave up a homer to Juan Centeno. Juan Centeno had four homers in the minor leagues…. Since 2007! Oh, and this year in Triple-A, Centeno was hitting .245. Yeah, Twins minor league catching depth is deep like listening in on a Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna conversation.
Trevor Bauer – 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.89. Should call him Tre Bauer because he seems to give up three earned runs in every start. Awesome, if he threw twelve innings every start.
Tyler Duffey – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 1.85. His K/9 and BB/9 respectively are 8.5 and 1.9. If those were coupled with a 95 MPH, I’d be telling everyone to grab him. If it was coupled with more than two pitches, I’d be more intrigued. Since he throws two pitches and tops out at 90 MPH, I’m consciously uncoupling from him.
Aaron Nola – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.89. He has a 9.9 K/9 and a 1.5 BB/9 and a 2.38 xFIP. I.e., top 20 starter-type numbers. Do I think he’s quite that good? Well, he might win less than ten games this year, and he’s young so there could be some flaky moments, but there’s no reason to not own him.
Eugenio Suarez – 3-for-6, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. He hasn’t kept up his big April numbers, but, at MI, you can prolly do worse. That isn’t a challenge.
Dan Straily – 5 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.05. This game was vs. the Phils, which is a backhanded way of saying Straily hasn’t been that good. To emphasize the backhanded nature of the comment, I typed it with my knuckles.
Adam Duvall – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 1st steal, and multiple hits every day this weekend. What does Duvall have to do to get on your team? Get you tickets to Hamilton? Well, then he’s never getting on your team.
Jose Fernandez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 3.21. Um, ‘member those early season struggles for Jo-Fer? Yeah, they’re gone. Go-fergure.
Tanner Roark – 5 IP, 7 ER. Here’s me the last two weeks, “Well, Roark at the Royals is a terrible start so I’m benching him…Damn, he pitched well…Roark is now going to Wrigley, no way I’m starting him there…Damn, he pitched well…Finally, he goes home with a great matchup vs. the Marlins. This is gonna be great…. Cougs, please call me a wambulance.”
Joe Ross – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER (2 unearned runs), 9 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA up to 2.63. Okay, so every time JB mentions Lucroy, I’ll mention Ross. Fair enough.
Ryan Zimmerman – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer, hitting .234. I call this, Prorating Doesn’t Need To Be Fun! Zimmerman’s on pace for 75/18/68/.240/0. Lowercase yay.
Aaron Sanchez – 6 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA up to 3.29. His bullpen let him down when Jesse Chavez gave up a three-run homer to Ian Desmond (2-for-4, 4 RBIs, 5th homer) with two runs charged to Sanchez, and Sanchez shouldn’t have been in the game in the 7th inning and I’m making all kinds of excuses for Sanchez because I can’t string together any decent starts on my RCL team. Please return, Yu, please.
Rougned Odor – More like Roughneck Odor. Part of me is annoyed that Odor is going to be suspended for likely 10-20 games, but Odor Popinski dropping Glass Jose was classic. You can almost see Baustita’s cologne flying off him, Eau de Throw-In-The-Towelette. After Odor connected with Bautista, he should’ve flipped a bat.