Yesterday, Wander Franco was placed on administrative leave until further notice as MLB continues its ongoing investigation. So, what does this mean? It means he should step into a rocket, aim it at the sun, and we should press “launch.” He could come back in September or not at all. My guess is he’s at least done for this season. Hoping his name is cleared and he returns, because, in that scenario, no children were harmed. Reading the tea leaves, it does not feel like that scenario is the most likely one. It feels like Wander’s not coming back any time soon, if ever again, as the Rays took down all signs of him from around their park. That’s right, the Rays ‘Poochie died on the way back to his home planet’d him. Because the Rays have a never-ending supply of top prospects, the turnstile, uh, turned and entered Osleivis Basabe going 2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer. I can spell just about every name without blinking. Put me in an MLB spelling bee and watch me walk away victorious. With that said, I might have to make an auto-fill for the name Osleivis Basabe. If you can get through Osleivis, then you have to fight the urge to write Baseball. He now should have everyday playing time and I’m interested in seeing what he can do. When he came up, there was talk Osleivis could be a Luis Arraez with speed. Call him Luis ThesceneinBoogieNightswithfirecrackers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Francisco Mejia – Designated for assignment. Aye, Mejia! I don’t know what that means but it sounds like something I’ve heard at a bodega to indicate disappointing surprise.
Andy Ibanez – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 8th and 9th homer. Ibanez is Spanish for bathroom in Apple store.
Alex Lange – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.62, and his 19th save, as Jason Foley (2/3 IP, 0 ER) worked the 8th. Ah, c’mon, the Tigers don’t generate enough saves to be switching closers back and forth! Go with Axel Foley’s son! He’s a Detroit icon!
Jeimer Candelario – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer. Hey, I remember this guy from two weeks ago and being hot! Hey, guy from two weeks ago and being hot, say hello to you mother for me!
Dansby Swanson – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 19th homer. Swanson’s actually at a weird place right now. If he turns it on for the final five weeks, he could get himself into the top 10 shortstops for 2024 convo, but if he snoozes, he’s going to be so cheap in drafts. Here’s to him snoozing!
Matthew Liberatore – Hit the IL with “Wow, man, I don’t know, I thought you were good.” It usually takes six to eight weeks to get over that.
Adam Wainwright – 4 2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 8.61. Let him enter tied games after the 5th inning to try for wins!
Wilyer Abreu – 2-for-3, 1 run as he was called up by the Red Sox. He was blistering the ball in the last 15 games of Triple-A: 8 HRs, .423, and on the year he had 22 HRs, 8 SBs and a 20.4% strikeout rate. Wilyer get a load of this guy! Watched some video on him, and he looks Max Muncy. Kinda surprised to see he had 23 steals in Double-A, but less surprised to see he hit .249 there. It was last year, and maybe he’s fixed some of his contact issues, but he looks like a platoon guy who might hit .215. He has power though!
Adam Duvall – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in two days. Hot schmotato alert!
Yordan Alvarez – Didn’t start yesterday because he jammed his finger in a door. It’s jamb, man, freakin’ door jamb!
Kyle Tucker – 1-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer. He’s going to go 30/30 because that’s what a Mr. H2H would do.
Justin Verlander – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.19. Gonna be great again next year, isn’t he? Well, might depend on whether or not I draft him.
Bailey Ober – 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.41, and out at 78 pitches. If the Twins are throttling him that hard, he’s next to useless for fantasy. He ain’t Greg Maddux throwing 69-pitch shutouts.
Mike Trout – 1-for-4 as he was activated from the IL. Since he had hamate bone injury, he will come back with 45 homers in September and just edge out Ohtani for AL MVP. What? You want me to buy a crystal ball at a yard sale and not use it?
Anthony Rendon – No health reports and Phil Nevin said, “It depends on what day you ask him.” Hard to know what’s going on with a player’s health; it does seem Rendon just doesn’t want to play baseball and hasn’t for a while.
Brandon Drury – 1-for-4 and his 18th homer, and 3rd homer in three games. Hot schmotato alert!
Mike Moustakas – 1-for-4 and his 12th homer. Mostsuckass!
Logan O’Hoppe – 1-for-3 and his 5th homer, in his first hit since returning from the IL. O’Hoppe from the jump!
Matt McLain – 1-for-4 and his 14th homer. I’m going to make so many mistakes next year drafting this guy way too early. Feels like India all over again, which is not a quote from Lawrence of Arabia.
Graham Ashcraft – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.84. Guy’s been stunningly good since he’s returned: 1.84 ERA in June; 29 IP in August with 3.10 ERA.
Jon Gray – 4 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.69. It would be so much easier if he was just good or bad. This whole shizz of being great two starts in a row, then awful truly sucks the dog’s balls.
Shea Langeliers – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in two games. You really picking up Langeliers? Who are you, Sia?
Jesus Luzardo – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.96. After four brutal starts back-to-back, that was his first decent start since July 23rd. Now hopefully he’s got another five weeks in him. Kinda worried none of the Marlins starters have five weeks in them, though.
Marcell Ozuna – 3-for-3, 2 runs and his 27th homer, and 3rd homer in two games. The only player hotter than Ozuna right now is his teammate, Eddie Rosario (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) who hit his 20th homer yesterday. Honestly, the entire Braves’ lineup is a thing of beauty. Put Nicky Lopez on your fantasy team and you’ll get value.
Bryce Elder – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.39. I just put his 2023 ERA into a calculator that spits out what a Braves’ over-performing starter’s ERA will be in 2024 and the calculator said, “So freakin’ high.”
Kyle Harrison – 3 1/3 IP, 2 ER as he was called up. I said the other day, “Itch doesn’t have kind words to say for Harrison, “No secret I don’t like this pitcher as much as other sites, who have frequently pushed him up around the top-20 range because he can be dominant when he’s in rhythm. Remains on the list despite a 1.56 WHIP because he could be a front-line starter if he ever finds a delivery he can repeat. Feels a bit like DL Hall in the sense that fantasy players have been boosting this guy for a long time despite relatively long odds that he’ll ever help much in the categories. Though, I do like Harrison more than Grey.” Not cool, moving on! It’s not a .156 WHIP anymore, it’s 1.52! Harrison seems like an avoid in mixed leagues, and a “You do what you have to do” in NL-Only.” And that’s me quoting Itch and me!
Bryce Harper – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. The real star yesterday was Trea Turner (1-for-5, 2 RBIs), who walked it off. Phillies’ fans say the moment it changed for Trea this year was when they cheered him, while he was struggling. Which is the thesis to my paper on how Mike Schmidt could’ve hit 800 homers.
Bryan Woo – 4 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.58, as he returned from the IL. Everyone’s favorite Ric Flair exclamation is back! Streamonator feels like the best place to check on Woo, as he needs to have something of a decent matchup before going caca-cuckwoo, but if he can’t throw enough pitches to get into the fifth, he is prolly left to the waivers in most mixed leagues for now.
Andrew Benintendi – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer. And some of you said he retired at the end of last year! Ha! Who looks silly now?
Carter Kieboom – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer. From Woo to Kieboom, how onomatopoeia took over baseball on August 22nd, 23 after twenty.
Josiah Gray – 6 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 5 walks, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.85. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh but the Yankees are such a mess right now. The Yikes had a starter throw five walks and scored one run at home!
Carlos Rodon – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 hits, zero walks, 1 K, ERA at 6.27, as he was activated from the IL. Kinda crazy that with no actual adjustment to his pitching or health he’s still bad. Very interesting. What? One strikeout is good? Get outta here!
Oscar Gonzalez – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer. Damn, people who said he was a sleeper in the preseason, hashtag nailed it!
Kole Calhoun – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer, as he hit third. It is some Guardians’ brand of baseball to acquire a guy, then immediately put him as their three-hole hitter. This is his fourth team this year, and he’s their three-hole hitter! Just incredible galaxy braining.
Michael Busch – 0-for-3 as he was called up by the Dodgers with J.D. Martinez going on the IL. Dave Roberts is perfectly happy to play a 33-year-old utility man over Busch, so I just don’t see Busch factoring into any sort of playing time to become relevant. Dodgers should just trade him to the Cards. Busch in the Busch with the walk-up song, Musique’s In The Bush.