Yesterday, Sonny Gray went 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.59 vs. the Brewers. *unloads pockets, eggplant emjois fall to the ground* I’m gonna need all of those. “Sonny came home” hasn’t had such a pleasant ring since Shawn Colvin opened an Art of Shaving booth at a Lilith Fair that only did armpit hair massages, and each payment was followed by a very pleasant, cash register ring. A Sonny hasn’t shone this bright since the last climate change summit that was held in Hellsunki on Urth, which is a planet that looks just like this one, but is 13,000 miles away and is exactly Earth but 25 years in the future, and they have some weird spelling. “I just got back from Hellsunki, and boy are my arms tired, because we don’t have planes on Urth, we fly with our arms.” Sonny Gray’s peripherals are surprising in a good way — 10.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 3.46 xFIP. For those not up on the hoo-de-ha, that xFIP would be about 12th in the league and the K/9 and walk rates would firmly put him in the top 20 starters overall. In other words, everyone who owned him last year died for the sins of his current year’s owners. In other other words, he’s throwing fire like pitchers in Hellsunki. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Yasiel Puig – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer, 2nd homer in two games, 5th homer in the past 11 games, and from the start of last All-Star break to this one, he has 31 HRs and 21 SBs. Are you sure Puig is not your friend?
Dylan Cease – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 6 Ks in his 1st major league start. Dylan Cease’d the day! Dot dot dot. After the 1st inning, when he looked extremely nervous (I think). I say (I think), because this was his 1st start, so the sample size is pretty small on whether he is as wild as he was in the 1st inning (3 BBs), or if it was nerves. My guess is the answer lies somewhere in the middle. His minor league command (4.2 BB/9) doesn’t say he’s necessarily a strike zone aficionado. In my deeper mixed league (15 teams), I’m holding him, but I’m not rushing out to look for him in shallower leagues.
Yoan Moncada – 3-for-9, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a double slam (15, 16) and legs (6), across both sides of the doubleheader for the Ernie Banks Special! Keepin’ it Chicago strong, even if Banks would never get caught on the South Side. Ernie would say, “I don’t even sit because it makes me think of a Hyde Park.”
Ryan Cordell – 4-for-7, 2 RBIs and his 4th and 5th homer. As the White Sox announcers said yesterday, “Cordell’s looking really good today.” They should’ve finished their thought with, “Compared to every other day when he looks terrible.”
Nick Castellanos – 5-for-10, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 9th homer, hitting .283. Crazy how good he is with average that he can have a miserable year, as he’s having, and still be hitting for a better average than most. The Greek God of Hard Contact wasn’t named for smacking the tushes of diner waitresses. (I said “tushes” — ha! What am I, 80 years old?)
Nick Pivetta – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.84. He’s officially in the Pineda doghouse for me. Actually, I’m done anything that rhymes with piñata. I’m sorry if you get caught up in this Iannetta.
Bryce Harper – 1-for-3 and his 16th homer. This was his 1,000th hit and 200th homer. Almost as many zeros in his salary.
Austin Riley – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer. That’s in only 45 games! He has 29 homers between two levels, and I think if he played all his games in the majors, he’d have around 29 homers right now like Pete Alonso. The average did fall almost 100 points in the last month, though.
Josh Donaldson – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer. Two more homers without an injury and I will eat my hat. Luckily, I have one of these Cool Ranch Doritos hats!
Yuli Gurriel – 2-for-4 and his 11th homer, and his third homer in two games, and his 6th homer in the past seven games. Lourdes singing to Yuli, “Anything Yuli can do I can do better, I can do anything better than Yuli.” Yuli, “No, you can’t!” “Yes, I can!”
Michael Brosseau – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer, as he was called up by the Rays. It is such a Rays’ move to have a guy no one has ever heard of perform well. They could choose a lucky fan from the crowd and make them a 15/10/.275 hitter. Now that I think about it, that might be how they got Joey Wendle.
Jose Alvarado – 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.85. SAGNOF might have no face, but it doesn’t have a heart either because that was cold-blooded. At least I think that’s why my body temperature dropped, but maybe it’s because Alvarado sucked the life out of me. Holy eff, I can’t sit down. I feel like a one-episode character on Oz. Beginning to think I’m going to put the Rays’ closer shituation in the same Do Not Disturb bin as the Red Sox.
John Means – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.50. This is not gonna be fun to read, so turn away now. On the Player Rater, John Means is the 25th best starter. Better than Nola, Price, Wheeler, Tanaka and Snell, to name just a few of the more soul-crushing ones. (By the way, Andrew Cashner has been better than Snell. That pain you’re feeling is a stab in the groin.)
Sandy Alcantara – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 5 Ks, ERA at 3.82. That’s Sandy Allstargamestarta!
Matt Adams – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer, hitting .244. That was his 4th homer in his last eight games, but, before we get goofy with ourselves, Ryan Zimmerman has been stealing at-bats. I know, I know, someone sneeze on his oblique.
Roberto Perez – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .242. If you drafted Roberto Perez instead of Jose Ramirez (0-for-4, hitting .214) at 5th overall, you’d be doing about the same, but at least you wouldn’t be spending all of your free time plotting ways to kidnap Jose Ramirez and make him pay for his sins.
Jed Lowrie – Mets said Lowrie isn’t close to a rehab assignment. If he has a phone, he should try Uber. They pick you up wherever and drive you where you want to do, while offering you half-empty bottles of water, a rewrapped piece of hard candy and chitchat for hours.
Jeff McNeil – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, hitting .349. Beginning to think McNeil could be one of those hitters who could hit home runs if he wanted. Though, I never really bought that nonsense. If one could, wouldn’t one do it?
Didi Gregorius – 2-for-4 and his 4th homer, 3rd homer in the last five games and hitting near-.400 in the last week. Not sure why I keep getting surprised when hitters do well with the juiced ball. You have to be Gold-plated Schmidt to not be doing well.
Gio Urshela – 2-for-3 and his 7th homer, hitting .307. It looked briefly like he hurt himself on his home run trot, which would be so on-brand for the 2019 Yankees that the world may have exploded. Guess we could’ve moved to Urth.
Greg Holland – 1/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.21 as he’s now blown two straight games. Someone doesn’t want to get traded.
Kevin Cron – Called up again to likely sit on the bench and be the Diamondbacks’ latest entry in the “He Could Be Good If We Played Him” contest. Previous year winners were Dansby, Scherzer, Carlos Gonzalez, Tyler Skaggs (RIP), Patrick Corbin…Well, you get the picture.
Christian Walker – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .256. By the way, I’m not even saying Cron should play over Walker, but why call him up? (Though, he could start over Lamb.)
Walker Buehler – 7 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.46. Not sure if it “looks” like it, but Buehler has been a top 10 starter this year. That’s how bad pitching’s been.
Cody Bellinger – 2-for-5 and his 28th and 29th homer, hitting .345. I’m not going to claim to be the biggest Bellinger fan this preseason (I was last year), but I am so effin’ happy I own him in two leagues.
Austin Adams – 2/3 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 3.70, as he opened the 9th in a save situation. The Mariners really wanted Austin Adams to close this game, and, with his near-16 K/9 and barely-2 xFIP, I wanted him to close the game too, which is also why I picked him up in every league where he was available, but losing the game means Roenis Elias (2/3 IP, 2 ER) is still likely the closer.
Tommy La Stella – Will miss two months with a right tibia fracture. That’s a shame just because I wanted him to hit some All-Star donkers and make Joe Maddon look bad for not starting him all those years. Of course, I wouldn’t have started him either, but that’s neither here nor there.
Matt Thaiss – 1-for-3, 1 run as he was called to replace the IL’d La Stella, and possibly play 3rd for the next two months. Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. I love Matt Thaiss because he sounds like Mos Def lyrics. Thaiss so Matt you could see it from the front… Since I’m in the holiday spirit, I’ll put his projections below this blurb. Spoiler alert! They’re not good. As I said on the podcast the other day though, I’d take the over on everyone’s power projections.
Mike Trout – 2-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 23rd and 24th homer. I hope he doesn’t strain something trying to be as good as La Stella. Take it easy, Trout. It’s never gonna happen.
Blake Treinen – 1/3 IP, 1 ER and the loss, ERA at 4.29, as he was activated from the IL, which happened a mere hour after Liam Hendriks (2 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 1.29) was named Reliever of the Month. Seriously, no lie, it was due to him posting a 0.60 ERA with 22 Ks over 15 IP. Most times I’d say it’s fine to drop a fill-in closer, but A) Hendriks has been so good. B) Treinen has been so bad. C) There’s no C. I’d hold for a few days if you can.
Jesus Luzardo – Left his last minor league start with a tight lat muscle. As someone with naturally tight abs, I call them “Natty Tights.” After an MRI, Luzardo was diagnosed with a Grade 2 latissimus dorsi muscle strain. Oh my God, he’s a dolphin! Haven’t seen this many red flags since the fall of the USSR, so I’m no longer holding Luzardo.
Dinelson Lamet – Supposed to start today vs. the Dodgers. This will be Lamet’s first start back from Tommy John surgery. Not to throw cold water and smother you in a wet blanket, but Lamet’s ERA was 4.57 in his one full year. Hey, I like him too, but I wanna see something before I’m taking the plunge. Three water allusions in two sentences for the swim!
Fernando Tatis Jr. – 1-for-5 and his 12th homer. FTJ! Fun the Jewels fast!
Evan Longoria – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and 4th homer in three games. Longoria is so hot right now I’m about to start calling him Eva Longoria.
Craig Kimbrel – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 16.88. “Listen, it sucks to have to wait all this time for Kimbrel to sign, but it will all be worth it.” — A younger, more delusional Grey from two weeks ago.
Victor Caratini – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 3rd and 4th homer. Fun Fact! Caratini is the martini favored by women wanting to look sharp, because of its beta-carotene.
Javier Baez – 3-for-5 and his 22nd homer, hitting .289. JB telling all pitchers, “I’ll house you,” which is his way of letting you know he’s AirBnb’ing his summer home.
Josh Bell – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 26th homer. No lie, in my top 100 for the 2nd half which will post next week, I’ve moved Bell every day this week. I honestly don’t know anymore.
Chris Sale – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.04. Getting an early jump on the 2nd half Sale!
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 1-for-5 and his 15th homer, and having one of the best six-week stretches in all of baseball, as he interrupts Javier Baez to say, “Gurriel will house you.” But not in an AirBnb way.
Danny Jansen – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Also, in this game, Christian Vazquez (2-for-4) hit his 13th homer, and 3rd homer in as many games. Schmotatoes are coming up catchers! By the way, next year I’m just drafting all Christians, even if that means Daniel Murphy. Someone sign Christian Bethancourt right now!
Marcus Stroman – Getting treatment for his pectoral and could miss today’s start. The week before the All-Star Game always has a bunch of guys suddenly not wanting to play in the final few games, like it’s the last week of high school. C’mon, Stroman, what’s the matter, got Senioritis?
Jacob Waguespack – 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks as he was activated with Sean-Reid Foley sent to Triple-A. Fun Fact! The Waguespack was also a group of early-20-something actors, who dined at St. Elmo’s and would taste their steak and unconvincingly ask, “Waygu?”