Life in the bay area can be a colorful sight. Iām riding home from work yesterday and the highway is bumper to bumper ā more packed than usual ā the rears of vehicles adorned with various shapes of rainbow paraphernalia. Itās International Pride Week and, as the nationās capital of gay pride, āThe City by the Bayā attracts an exceptional number of supporters of chromosome prejudice. Itās also home to the some of the most outstanding pitchers and catchers, both on the field and off. This isnāt a blog about sexscapades, unless Tehol is writing, and, as such, hereās an ode to pitchers and catchersāon the field.
Please accept my apology for the following attempt at humor and liberal use of things that an adult audience should find acceptable. I have my misgivings, but on this momentous weekend, hereās to tying it all together!
Alex Wood was sent down to improve his stamina so he could go deeper each time heās up. Apparently, he was able to get it up quickly (his pitch count). Heās already back up and starting and his first appearance was just a gem. He went 7 innings allowing 4 total baserunners, zero runs and struck out 4 using only 79 pitchesāshowcasing his ability to pound the zone. Heās only going to be able to get bigger with his pitch count. Donāt expect gems like this every week, but heās a prototype Braves prospect pitcher who should be very solid and, provided, someone gave up on him as a reliever, he could very well be on your waiver wire and garner you some points. Great pickup ROS if you can reach around and grab him.
As many side effects do, Mike Leake started the day after Wood pounded the zone. In this case, there was very little correlation. However, Leake is on when pounding the back door with cutters and sliders against LHB and he did that repeatedly to setup a masterful dominance of lefties, righties and even switch hitters. He Kād 12 Giants en route to a line of 8 IP, 5 baserunners, with 1 earned. Heās a pitcher who is not conducive to his home ballpark which is supported by his ERA being over a full point better on the road. If you can absorb the Leake-age at home, start this guy on the road when he sees a friendly park or lineup.
Look, catching is not the most enviable position to be in as a ball player. You have to hope you give out the right signs for success, hope that your pitcher hits his target, receive all night and get hit with bats and balls all over your body. You really take a beating. And then to realize you have a job acronym as a name, sweet nectar of the Gods, save me! Not BJ or DJ, not HJ, but AJ. Oh yes Pride Week, AJ Ellis is the catcher for you. Fresh off the DL, this underperforming mediocre mainstay is nary a topā¦ option that is. However, he does have some potential value to points leaguers. If you get points for walks this is a guy who can provide sneaky value. Heās had a very rough start to the year and a very productive offense full of free swingers should lubricate his OBP into run production value as his stats normalize over a full season.
He isnāt as attractive as Magic Mike, but prospect pundits sure made Mike Zunino seem that way for the past couple years. Surprise, heās a catcher with power and poor contact skills! But any kind of offensive performance from a receiver is a welcome thing. Unless youāre an opposing pitcher, then youāre probably claiming abstinence only. Zunino has been lauded for his power stroke in his development, and although that didnāt show at first, it seems to be starting to come around. The Mariners wonāt be accused of being wonderfully offensive anytime soon, but the lineup does seem to be rounding into form with Cano hitting well above .300, Lo-Mo and Seagerth picking it up. (Thanks to BTXJ for the Seagerth referenceā¦ check his Draftkings masterpiece here)
And like thatā¦ heās goneā¦
Kill me in the comments yaāll. Bringing you back to a bit more analysis next week. This was just too fun to pass up.