If you can remember back a few years, Johnny Cueto 401KO’d Jason LaRue with a kick to his head. When he got up, LaRue couldn’t see straight and needed to retire. Elsewhere, Yordano Ventura (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in what might’ve been a spot start) has been honing his fight-picking and ability to be held back by teammates so it doesn’t look too obvious that he wants to be held back. After every game this year, Ventura sat in his hotel room, perfecting his Clubber Lang at the Rocky statue coronation. “Yo, if you want a real man, you come find me!” There was really only man that Ventura admired the league over. One man as diabolical. As lowdown! And now through a trade between the Reds and Royals, Cueto joins Ventura! This is like thunder meeting lightning! Bonnie and Clyde if they were both men! Germany and Italy joining forces to rid the world of non-mustached, non-broad shouldered women! Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of pure evil! So, Cueto’s trade to the Royals obviously doesn’t hurt him. He’ll be on a team that can win games and it’s a much better home stadium, but he also leaves the NL. That makes this feel like a push in value. Right now, his ERA is 2.62. How much lower could it be? Not much is my guess. He’s a 2.50-3.15 ERA pitcher anywhere he is, so that’s what he’ll continue to be. Unless Yordano throws Great Kabuki-style green dust into every hitter’s face when the ump’s back is turned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Lorenzo Cain – 2-for-4 and his 11th homer. Now I know why the unit of currency in Colombia is Cain…Sugar.
Alex Rios – 2-for-4, 1 run. I don’t like this schmohawk either, but he’s been hot for the better part of three weeks and should be owned. Or pwned if you’re a millennial.
Cole Hamels – 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 BBs, 13 Ks with the no hitter on Saturday. No-Hit King Cole! Immediately following Hamels’s no hitter, Ruin Tomorrow Jr. sat down with the Phillies’ brass. They all figured now was the best time to trade Hamels. Here, let’s listen in on this Razzball Exclusive of that meeting. “Ruin, have a seat….Please, don’t sit on my desk…Why are you sitting on the floor? Grab a seat. Grab as in sit. Okay, let’s get down to brass tacks.” “I told my assistant already we were low on tacks.” “No! No, Ruin, I want to discuss trading Hamels. Now is the time, after his no-hitter.” “He threw a no-hitter?! Holy crapballs! That’s amazing. I’ll see if we can trade for him.” “He plays for us!” “Well, I like that new development. Don’t worry, I’ll pretend to the press that I made the trade to acquire him.” So, Hamels sliced and diced the Cubs on Saturday, and now has his ERA down to 3.64. His peripherals look fine and he’s just getting a tad unlucky. I could see someone thinking they’re selling high after this no-hitter, but Hamels is a low-3 ERA pitcher with a 9.6 K/9, i.e., a low-end fantasy ace, and he could be traded shortly to a team that would give him wins, if Ruin realizes in time that he’s not in the elevator but in a broom closet.
Aaron Nola – 7 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. The final line looks worse than reality. Nola was cruising, then gave up an eighth inning two-run homer to Addison Russell (1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer).
Maikel Franco – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer. Also, had two hits on Saturday, and looks like he’s coming out of that rough patch like Br’er Rabbit, which I don’t believe is a racist character, but could be since everything associated with Disney pre-WWII has some racist overtones. I hear even Mickey Mouse was in white face.
Cesar Hernandez – 2-for-6, 2 runs and his 14th steal. Another guy that hit a cold stretch, but now is hitting again and has two steals in the last three games.
Jason Hammel – 3 2/3 IP, 6 ER, and didn’t look nearly as good as catcher, David Ross, who worked his 2nd scoreless inning this year. I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s always something fun about a position player pitching. It’s like seeing a monkey waiter. Or a dog optometrist.
Ryan Howard – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer, hitting .226. He just needs to cross the street to the Marla Gibbs Line.
Anthony Rendon – 1-for-5, 1 RBI as he was activated on Saturday and sat out on Sunday. I’m not trying to kick a gift Sarah Jessica Parker in the mouth, but doesn’t it seem like every player gets about five dozen DL updates, but Rendon goes to the DL out of nowhere, then suddenly gets activated equally out of the blue?
Stephen Strasburg – Cleared for rehab games. Case in point. If I hear once more about Strasburg nearing mound work or throwing or scratching himself, I’m gonna lose my shizz. Just return already!
Michael Taylor – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer as he hit leadoff and went 4-for-5 on Saturday. Let’s just say before this game, I tried to pick him up in all of my leagues, but he was already gone. I’d grab him before Taylor goes full H.A.M.
Joe Ross – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.03. Out of curiosity, I went to see what the Stream-o-Nator gave Ross yesterday. It was 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks and the likely loss. An extra third of an inning, two extra baserunners and two less Ks? What a crock!
Gerrit Cole – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.24 and his major league-leading 14th win. Cole world? Can’t get enough, can’t get enough. Good God, you hit the spot. That’s the hook right thurr! That’s the hook right thurr!
Wei-Yin Chen – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.88 vs. Matt Moore 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 7.61. I opened both player pages on these guys (by clicking on their names), expecting to see Chen owned in less leagues and allowing me to get diatribal on yo’ ass, but I was pleasantly surprised. Carry on.
Evan Longoria – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer. In this game, Logan Forsythe (2-for-3) also homered, his 11th. That’s right, he has more homers than Longo. If you only had the Forsythe to draft Logan instead.
Madison Bumgarner – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks and his 3rd homer. I don’t even want to say some of the guys he has more homers than. Let’s just say I wouldn’t mind if Bumgarner could be my middle infidel. He has the same number of homers as Xander Bogaerts!
Matt Duffy – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer. For a second, it appeared that Duffy and Brandon Crawford would go mano a mano with who would hit the most homers, but Crawford’s pulled away with 14. Then again, Duffy’s the guy batting third and Crawford’s 7th.
Buster Posey – 4-for-4, 1 run with three singles and a double for the Tony Gwynn cycle!
Kendall Graveman – 1 1/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA up to 4.13. Now we know who buries the Graveman.
Michael Conforto – 0-for-2, 1 RBI and 4-for-4 on Saturday, though just about everyone went 4-for-4 on Saturday for the Mets. Even Lucas Duda (0-for-3 yesterday) hit two homers on Saturday. I’d absolutely grab Conforto for flyer upside, but I’d also look at Duda if he was dropped in your league. Yeah, I know I was the one saying to drop him, but that was then and now he might be hitting. You’re not gonna go blind on your own, get rosterbating!
Zack Greinke – 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. Jacob deGrom 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks. They both deserved wins yesterday, and they both got no decisions. Ain’t life funny? Not the magazine; that shizz was boring.
Taijuan Walker – 6 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.03. Even Jann Arden wouldn’t accuse me of being insensitive to Walker, but you really need to look elsewhere until he’s more trustworthy.
Austin Jackson – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer, and his 3rd homer in the last week and around his 5th mention by me to grab him. That’s right, I called action on Jackson.
Nelson Cruz – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 25th homer. As cold as he went in June, he’s now picked it back up in the last few weeks. Now that we have two hot streaks and a cold streak out of the way, the only thing left in Cruz’s bag of tricks is a hamstring injury.
Danny Salazar – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.72. I have a theory. If Carrasco is solid in his next start and Salazar is terrible, I’m gonna insist MLB checks to make sure they’re not sharing a pitching arm.
Carlos Rodon – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (0 BBs), 9 Ks, ERA down to 4.09. The “no walks” thing is the huge signifier here, and makes me think he’s worth picking back up in deeper mixed leagues, but he’s still very risky, and I agree with the Stream-o-Nator about his next start. It’s kinda bleh.
Carlos Sanchez – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd homer on the year and in as many games. Hot schmotato alert!
Wil Myers – Suffered a setback in his rehab and my guess is he might not return this year. 2013 called and said, “We really don’t care about this news?” No, 2013, we don’t.
Justin Upton – 2-for-3 and his 16th homer. Wouldn’t shock me to see him hit five homers in the next two weeks. He seems to come out of his nasty funks as quickly as he goes into them.
Dee Gordon – Could be activated on Tuesday. He said his dislocated thumb turned up right where he left it.
J.T. Realmuto – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 6th homer, hitting near-.375 in the last week with two steals, and has three homers in the eleven games. It’ll end at some point soon, but J.T.’s bringing SexyBack.
Mat Latos – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks in Petco. I would’ve preferred a better start, but I’d also prefer to be a popsicle in Beyonce’s freezer on a hot day, so there ya go.
Nolan Arenado – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer. Hit by a pitch on the hand on Saturday, but our prayer hexagon worked and he returned on Sunday. Thank you for your hexagonal prayers, you know who you are. On a related note, the Rockies were winning by about 35 runs, Arenado couldn’t have been pulled a little earlier to rest? May Walt Weiss fall down the stairs the next time he ties his cleats together.
Ben Paulsen – 4-for-5, 4 RBIs and two homers (6, 7). I went to look at his splits to see if he’s strictly a Coors play, but somehow that Googling led me to look at twerk splits and there goes a good ten minutes, which is like twelve hundred Vines! Paulsen doesn’t have huge splits, but I’d still only play him at home.
Carlos Gonzalez – 3-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBIs and his 17th and 18th homers, hitting .270. The other day I gave some over/unders for you to ponder on CarGo: 22 homers? .280? 1 DL stint? Still taking unders on the first two?
Brandon Finnegan – The prize prospect that the Reds received back, or at least the only one worth discussing right now. Quick background, Finnegan was not Tom Cruise’s mentor in Cocktail, he’s a 22-year-old with a 93 MPH fastball and a King Kunta slider. He needs at least a month to stretch himself out for the Reds rotation. Outside of NL-Only and keepers, nothing to see here yet, but soon there will be, prematurely balding man, soon.
Jay Bruce – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 16th homer. Rumors are swirling that Bruce could be traded. I just can’t imagine Bruce being great for a week, then crappy for two months, then great for a week for anyone but the Reds.
Mike Trout – 4-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 30th and 31st homers. Who is this guy? Should I know him?
C.J. Cron – 2-for-4 and his 6th homer. For half the year, The Sciosciapath was playing Matt Joyce (0-for-1, hitting .178) and Efren Navarro over Curtis Jackson Cron. Seriously. If you can figure out that fudgenut, let me know.
Andrew Heaney – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.79. He should’ve been owned for about two weeks now, at the least. And I’m allowing for an extra week after you lost your computer in the divorce.
Dustin Pedroia – Could be out two to three weeks after receiving a PRP injection in his hamstring. Hopefully the PRP allows him to BRB and Sandoval doesn’t think his hamstring is BBQ.
Xander Bogaerts – 4-for-5, 2 runs, hitting .317. Take that, Bumgarner!
Eduardo Rodriguez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA down to 4.26. Obviously, he’s risky as all get-out since he drops a 7 ER eff-me bomb one game, then this in another game. The talent is here, just depends on how much you need the rush, you adrenaline junkie.
Nick Castellanos – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer, and he had a home run on Saturday. This was his fourth home run this week and I just highlighted him in this week’s buy. How about you leave your password in the comments and I’ll pick him up? No judging if your password is IwanttobeBobaFett.
Rubby de la Rosa – 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks vs. the Brewers. Could have Aramis been like that one stray string that is hanging on your shorts that when you pull it your entire shorts fray into pieces?
Alex Rodriguez – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and three homers (21, 22, 23) on Saturday. “This is Commissioner Manfred calling for Bud Selig. No, I won’t call back. He’s there, put me on speaker. Bud, I know you can hear me? What am I supposed to do when A-Rod breaks Bonds’s home run record? You left me with a mess like what’s sitting on your head! Call me back, Selig! This is more frustrating than True Detective!”
Nathan Eovaldi – 8 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 4.27. I feel like I’m gonna like Eovaldi as a sleeper again next year, and I already know how wrong that is and yet I feel powerless to stop it. Eovaldi is my bottle of hooch.
Chase Headley – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer, hitting near-.350 in the last week. I was wondering why all of JayWrong’s teams moved up a half point.
Byron Buxton – Might not return for another month. Not totally surprised. Now if someone told me this news right after a cat jumped out of a closet, then I would be surprised.
Aaron Hicks – 2-for-3 and his 4th homer on Saturday. Hot schmotato alert!
Torii Hunter – 0-for-4, 1 RBI, but homered on Friday and Saturday (16 HRs on the year). This big weekend series came against the Yankees. A team Hunter will be playing for in 2020.
Matthew Wisler – 7 IP, 2 ER, 10 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.43. Solid enough start vs. the Cards and Michael Wacha (6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.27), but I’d monitor Wisler on the Stream-o-Nator for his starts.
Shelby Miller – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks. Does Miller only hang out in Republican crowds at action movies while eating highly caloric food? Why won’t the Regression Fairies go near him?
Adonis Garcia – 1-for-4 and his 1st homer as he played third for the recently departed Uribe. I mean, Uribe went to the Mets, he’s not dead. Well… Some would say playing for the Mets is the death of a hitter. Any the hoo! Adonis is no adonis, if you’re eating what I’m plating.
Carlos Martinez – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.34. Thankfully, I owned him in a few leagues that were too deep to drop, so I could only Mr. Bungle him in one league. Why couldn’t you pitch well in April?!
Jaime Garcia – Could return to the rotation on Tuesday. Garcia is on-point when he is healthy and I don’t usually like starting pitchers right back from the DL, but Garcia would be home vs. the Reds and I’d throw him. You could say he’s a bit of a Survivor. Okay, you’d only say that if you were trying to make a terrible segue into I saw a Survivor contestant working the counter at a bakery near my house. Bummed he wasn’t wearing an immunity idol. Only Survivor fans understand this was my best celebrity sighting ever!