Member when you drafted Ricky Nolasco in the preseason? You guys had high hopes for each other. You figured he’d strikeout 200 in, like, a game and he thought you’d change your boxers occasionally. You thought he’d have a low 3 ERA. He thought you’d stop hiding your bitten fingernails behind the couch. Three months later, there’s been some disappointment. There was an abuse of trust. He’s currently showing a 4.55 ERA and a lower K-rate than usual. You’re wearing the same boxers with lobsters on them, trying to convince yourself those are butter stains. Conservatively, in the top 100 for the 2nd half, I gave Nolasco a line of 4-4/3.60/1.20/90. In 2008, his 2nd half line was 5-4/3.29/1.00/98. In 2009, 7-2/4.39/1.13/105. Right now, Nolasco’s xFIP is 3.84 to his 4.55 ERA. His biggest problem thus far has been his homers allowed. They’ve been sky high. Literally. His Ks have been down this year, but it doesn’t look like a velocity issue, looks more like a location thing. Even with his Ks down, he still has a 7.64 K/9, which is equal with Greinke. Don’t trade the farm for Nolasco, but I’d send a bad egg or two for him. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Chris Perez – If Kerry Wood gets traded, here’s what I expect. Wood pitches in the 8th inning for his new team and gives up the lead. By the fifth time that happens, his new team relegates him to mop up duty. Then Wood tries to be a starter in the offseason. Looks dominating in Spring Training and people start to think he’s rediscovered his old magic. I warn people to stay away, but there’s always one sucker in every 12 team league and he’s drafted. Then he gets hurt in his third start and says he might not ever pitch again. Finally, him and Mark Prior start a Pay Back Squad for every pitcher who’s ever been overworked. Telling anyone who will listen “PBS pledges some hurt.” Unfortunately, they’re sued by the real PBS and, using the precedent from the WWE/WWF case, they’re forced to change the name to the Pay Back Guys, costing them millions in bumper stickers and t-shirts. Or maybe Wood is just traded and does fine in middle relief. Either way, Chris Perez would take over for Wood.
Jason Frasor – If someone would trade for Kerry Wood, someone’s gotta be desperate enough for Kevin Gregg, right? Yeah, maybe not, but it’s a possibility.
Tyler Clippard – Unless Clippard turns into Mr. Bungle, he steps in if Capps is traded. Could be Storen, but I think the Nats will let Storen continue to build his confidence and begin his days of closing next spring. If anything, it might be a timeshare between Storen and Clippard in September.
Drew Storen – Read directly above, then ask yourself, “What the hell does Grey know anyway?”
Mike Gonzalez – I’ve been telling you to own him for the last few weeks. Don’t believe me, search the site.
Asdrubal Cabrera – He’s due back in about a week. He’ll probably be slotted in at the top of the Indians lineup, steal 10 bases, hit a few homers and bat around .290. No reason why he should be on waivers in any leagues. A’la Cher from Clueless, “AS-drubal.”
Gordon Beckham – Hitting over .500 in his last 7 games and he was just traded away by yours truly. That, my Friends of Razzball (FOR), is a recipe for success. That and a pinch of coriander.
Chris Davis – Could hit 5 homers in a week and be owned everywhere in a blink of an eye. My suggestion is for you to own him before he goes off (though it would make more sense to say ‘before he goes on’).
Michael Pineda – Stephen just took a surgical tool to Michael Pineda. I’ll add that Pineda is pretty raw at this point if he does get called up. Outside of AL-Only leagues, I’d tread very carefully. Or vewy cawefuwwy, if you’re Elmer Fudd.
Brennan Boesch – There’s an interesting phenomenon with fantasy. If a guy comes out of nowhere and outproduces any expectations, people are more apt to hold onto him. They have a special affection for this player. Maybe you can ask him over for Leftover Thursdays. Since Boesch stepped on the big league field, he’s played over his head. Let’s play “Pick Out The Wrong Number.” In May, he hit 3 homers. In June, he hit 8 homers. In July, he’s yet to hit one. I know you gots love for Boesch, but I think the best might be behind him. I recently traded Boesch for Bourn because I needed steals. I’d explore what you can get.
Torii Hunter – Last year, Hunter went 5/5 in the 2nd half. For those who aren’t good at figuring out people’s ages, Hunter was younger last year. On Bill James’ Speed Scale, Hunter has gone from 5.0 in 2009 to 2.9 this year (5 is average). He’s already been caught stealing 10 times, that’s more than he was caught in any other season. I’m not saying trade Hunter for a bag of Pepperoni Pizza Combos, but I’d listen to offers.