The BBC announced during the shutdown that when the season returns they will keep airing reruns of Fawlty Davis, delaying Mountcastle for the foreseeable future. The BBC’s head of programming Peter Angelos, noted spendthrift and lover of reality shows, said, “We should air a full season of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here starring Richie Martin trying to unsuccessfully cross the River Ruiz.” Filling their lineup: Hanser & Renato, a BBC surprise hit, will be returning, and generating some underground enthusiasm is Austin “Martin” Hays, a David Tennant-led vehicle, where he’s a mechanic by day and detective by night, and Dwight Smith Jr. & Jose Iglesias starring in AB Unfab, where they just get gross at-bats. Okay, seriously, what on the earth that is in total lockdown is going on with the Orioles? They announced Ryan Mountcastle was optioned to the minors. THERE’S NOT EVEN ANY MINORS?! There’s no freakin’ baseball, Orioles, you giant nimrods! How can they be so dense? Trey Mancini, which I still pronounce like fettuccini, but hoping he gets healthy, needs some time, I’d imagine. Doesn’t cancer lead to chemo which leads to a lower immune system? That makes me think Mancini won’t be back this year, and I removed him from my top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, while also moving down Mountcastle. Now all we have to look forward to is the new season of Luther starting Idris Alberto. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this week for 2020 fantasy baseball:
Chris Sale – Headed for Tommy John surgery. Imagine James Corden dressed as a giant cat. Now picture that giant Corden cat in a small closet, and all the movement it makes you can hear from anywhere in your house. When you open the closet door and he jumps out, how shocked are you? Zero shocked? Yeah, of course. That’s the level of shock with this Chris Sale news. On a scale of “very surprising” to “people trying to make toilet paper out of cauliflower,” this is definitely on the cauliflower side of things. The only surprising thing is the Sawx took this long to send Sale for the operation. Were they waiting for an opening in Dr. James Andrews’s schedule? “Um, doc, that patient has Covid-19, why are you removing his elbow tendon?” That’s right before nurses escorted Dr. James Andrews out of an actual hospital. So, I’ve removed Chris Sale from the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, and only wish more people would’ve drafted him prior to the news. See you in 2022, Sale! Hey, now that I think about it, we all might be on Tommy John surgery schedule. When can we get out of our houses and do long toss?
Giancarlo Stanton – Took batting practice. Yanks’ hitting coach, Marcus Thames, said Stanton “looks good.” Guess I could be the Yanks’ hitting coach, because I’ve been saying Stanton looks good for a decade. I’m telling him he looks good right now as I sit in my beanbag chair I have dressed in a Giancarlo jersey with pool noodles going through the sleeves for arms wrapped around me for comfort.
Aaron Judge – His rib fracture has shown a slight improvement. Why do I picture his ribs like Betty Rubble putting the brontosaurus ribs on Fred’s car and tipping it over? Judge had a collapsed lung since last year that was undiagnosed. Talk about missing the forest for the trees. How do you miss a collapsed lung that is prolly the size of Connecticut? The delay of the season seems to help Judge, so I moved him back up into the top 20 outfielders, but it’s precarious (like his ribs), at best.
Miles Mikolas – Has resumed throwing and expects to be ready when we’re talking about ‘flat curves’ vs. ‘flattening the curve.’ I haven’t moved him up in the top 100 starters, because he had a flexor tendon strain, and that doesn’t just get better.
Sam Tuivailala – Released by the Mariners. He was removed from my top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Replacing him to get M’s saves is…uh…um…well…uh…did I stall with that already…yeah, I don’t know. Magill or Hirano, I guess.
Lance McCullers – Has been working out with a few other Astros. “So, there’s an Orange Bang, the drink, and an Orange-uniformed bang for a change–” That’s McCullers quieting right as Dusty Baker walks by. I was way off McCullers in my top 60 starters, but the shortened season is wrecking havoc on some starters I was worried about due to restricted IP. I plan on going through each position with a post about plusses and minuses, due to shortened season. Right now, I’ve just gone through my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings and prorated everyone down to a 100-game season for a rough/ready look at new projections, but that doesn’t tell the full story on some guys. Feel like we’re gonna have the whole month of April to do this.
Ryon Healy – Optioned to the minors. This was the Brewers this offseason: “How do we ever replace the awfulness of Travis Shaw?” “I don’t know, get six terrible corner infielders and hope they can equal one truly egregious Travis Shaw?” Any hoo! Healy will be back at some point, and he’s in my top 20 1st basemen, but barely.
Ke’Bryan Hayes – Optioned to the minors. Ya know sometimes rather than saying, “Yes, Bryan,” to my friend, Bryan, I say, “Ke’Bryan.” Same? Aw, we are two peas in a pod. *long wistful sigh* Any hoo! This sucks, but if the Pirates get off their parrot-poo’d asses and sign Hayes, he could still be the starter by the time the season starts. If not, he’ll come up eventually, and remains a late flyer in deep leagues in my top 20 3rd basemen.
Andres Munoz – Underwent Tommy John surgery. Okay, now guys are just like, “What can I do to make the quarantine go by quicker?” For you, that means fixing the railing on your porch; for major league pitchers it means Tommy John. Munoz was removed from my top 500.
Tyler Mahle – Reds might go with a six-man rotation if MLB returns with, literally, no off days for five months, and Tyler Mahle would be the benefit of that. You might remember Tyler Mahle as a guy I bought in my Tout Wars draft. Or maybe you remember Mahle as a guy who had a 129:34 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 129 2/3 IP last year.
Spencer Howard – Phils said that Howard might make team as the 5th starter. Or rather a reporter speculated that the Phils might make Howard their 5th starter. Howard made one appearance in the spring, and our Steamer pitcher projections have him, generously I might add, down for 25 IP this year. In a shortened spring training, I think the Phils would prefer to risk rushing along Pivetta or Velasquez to be their 5th starter.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa – His hot spring has made a believer out of Rangers manager and Higher Love singer, Chris Woodward, and our very own Son with his Isiah Kiner-Falefa fantasy. Isiah doesn’t really have a place to play every day, but, as an Israeli might say, maybe they stick Falefa where the sun don’t shine, which is 3rd base.
Ryan Yarbrough – Him and Yonny Chirinos have a chance to be ‘traditional starters,’ which makes my heart swoon, then my heart thinks about how it was kinda all right with them going from the 2nd inning to the 6th, and now my heart needs a nap. Think this is still a developing story, but I like both in my top 80 starters.
Yoelqui Cespedes – Younger brother of Yoenis was declared an international free agent. You’d think with a last name like Cespedes the family would have some limbs to spare for Yoenis.
Shaun Anderson – Optioned to minors. Writing was on the wall when he was in the bullpen, and then the Giants decided to start stretching him out for the rotation. Not sure who the Giants’ 5th man is now. Hearing good things about this guy, Sheldon N. Place.
Rich Hill – According to the Twins, Hill’s still on track to return in June. In these dire times, optimism is all we have. I’ll pour a glass of water just to say to the glass, “No, you’re half full.” With that said, Hill can’t throw more than 40 IP in a season when pitchers throw 200 IP. Ain’t shizz change for him in a shortened season.
Logan Allen – Optioned to minors. Was a foregone conclusion with his spring, and I had Zach Plesac in my top 80 starters since January. Wasn’t in my starters to target post the other day, but he’s been largely forgotten, while I’m over here like, “Zach,” pleadingly, “Plesac.”
Shohei Ohtani – Has been throwing and should be able to pitch as soon as the season starts. If you drafted Ohtani already, this is good news. Dot dot dot. Seemingly. He’s still going to be restricted to pitching once a week, and won’t be hitting the day after pitching. In weekly leagues, he’s next-to-impossible to own, but, in daily leagues, he should be worth around a 120-ish overall pick, which is where I have him ranked — go figure! — and I’m not moving him in my top 500.