It’s time we address the elephant in the room. Not you, Sandoval. I mean that one-time absurdist comedian and Red Sox knuckleballer, Steven Wright, has a 2.01 ERA in almost 100 IP after yesterday’s line of 9 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks. The Red Sox are so happy with him they are currently combing the minor league rosters for other Boston comic namelgangers, except for any Dane Cooks because people are going to see his Shocker pitch from a mile away. Denis Leary has some decent pitches he stole from other pitchers, and he keeps trying to smoke his teammates’ chew. While Lenny Clarke is a Quad-A pitcher, who everyone says is a great teammate, a real pitcher’s pitcher. None are Steven Wright though. Christian Vazquez came up to the mound during yesterday’s game and told Steven Wright he could throw a knuckleball at any time, and Steven Wright said, “I decided to throw one during the Renaissance.” I did some dirty math on my own fantasy team where I have a 4.03 ERA (yup, my pitching is a mess!). If I had Steven Wright on my team, I’d have a 3.74 ERA — a quarter of a run better — and an extra three points. So, as a Bostonian would say, fahk me for not picking him up in April. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Rusney Castillo – Placed on waivers and no one claimed him. So, he will go to Triple-A Pawtucket. You ever get a wart that you think you got rid of, but then it reappears, again and again? That’s Rusney for the Red Sox.
David Peralta – Hit the DL, and Socrates Brito (0-for-3) was called up. When you hear Socrates, you naturally think of opening a Christmas gift and it’s a set of storage crates, leading you to say, “So…crates.” Or you think of the philosopher. Whatever, I’m not in your mind. Thankfully! Brito has nice power and speed, and I could see him being worth a grab in some deeper leagues; he will likely platoon, though.
Shelby Miller – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks as he returned to the rotation after being miserable. Oh, wait, he was activated from the DL. Yeah, like he was really injured. Maybe butthurt. This was a solid game for Miller, but it was against the Phils’ B lineup led by Andres Blanco (1-for-4, 1 run), Cameron Rupp (1-for-4) and Tyler Goeddel (2-for-3, 1 RBI). By the by, Goeddel sounds like a Nazi; Rupp sounds like his first name should be Adolph and Blanco is white. Is the Phils’ lineup code for white supremacists? As for Miller, he goes to Coors next. Yeah, I’d watch from the sidelines on that.
Jake Lamb – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer. I don’t want to Billy Bragg but I’d give my blood for some Lamb, Roger Wilco.
Jean Segura – 2-for-4, 1 run, hitting .307. Since I had some time yesterday on a short slate of games and with people in comments talking about dropping Segura, I decided to look at his stats. He’s hitting over .300 in June, but has one homer since April 26th and only four steals. Yeah, Villar does that in, like, a game. I’m not crazy about dropping Segura — good team, great park, top of the lineup — but I understand more where people are coming from. I’m empathic unlike the killer in Luther.
Maikel Franco – Didn’t start yesterday because he’s in a bad funk and looks scared of the ball. Call him Ballphobias Fünke.
Vince Velasquez – Will make a rehab start on Wednesday then should return the following week, assuming everything goes well. Just remember assuming makes an ass out of U and Ming the Merciless.
Mikie Mahtook – Was hit by a pitch and fractured his hand. Mikie apparently Mahtook an inside pitch for an outside one. The Rays are weighing signing Carl Crawford. I don’t believe they mean that as in, “We’re gonna sign him for one day so he can retire a Ray.”
Drew Smyly – 7 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.78. You realize Smyly’s now playing possum with you, right? “Look, look, Smyly’s pitching well, go grab him…” Move closer and he bites your finger. Smyly has rabies. You heard it here first.
Evan Longoria – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer, hitting .278. I enjoy giving him the business, but he’s currently tied for third in the majors for homers. Might be time to forgive Longoria’s multi-year waltz towards mediocrity and being the ultimate plonker.
Brad Miller – 1-for-4, 2 runs and his 9th homer, hitting .238. Since June 11th, he has four homers, and three homers in his last four games. Hot schmotato alert!
Juan Uribe – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. Hard for me to suggest you pick him up in any league, but he always does this, and now has three games in a row with a homer.
Carlos Santana – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .230. You heard of Robert Redford in The Natural, well, Carlos Santana would star in The Supernatural. An inspired Mexican tale about one hitter-slash-guitarist that gets a hit every fifteen years.
Giancarlo Stanton – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer. Last week, I put Play-Doh into a set of rubber gloves and formed them in the shape of how they would appear on Giancarlo’s thighs if I had the chance to give him a proper massage. Now, it was a complete lark to try and send those filled rubber gloves via DHL to Giancarlo, but it seems the message was received! Hit homers or I will stalk you in weirder, less understandable ways!
Marcell Ozuna – 2-for-4 and two solo homers (14, 15), and has three homers in the last two games. OZUNA hit balls far. OZUNA will never see those balls again. OZUNA know Loria sell game-played balls in parking lot after game.
Mark Reynolds – 2-for-3 and two homers (5, 6). Mini Donkey! (Old times’ sake.)
Trevor Story – 1-for-3 and his 18th homer. The Trevorending Story! (New times’ sake.)
Charlie Blackmon – 3-for-5 and his 8th homer. Chazz Blackmonteri! (Never times’ sake.)
Nick Hundley – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer. Yup, I immediately looked about picking him up in my leagues. Guilty as charged.
Stephen Strasburg – Was scratched yesterday with an upper back strain. You know, the same strain he had early last year that caused him to have a 10+ ERA for a month. I can tell you remember because your eye is twitching.
Yusmeiro Petit – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. I love how so many pitchers take ten games to get stretched out *cough* Danny Duffy *cough* and Yusmeiro fills in for Strasburg in his first start of the year and goes six innings. Petit will have nice NL-Only value if Strasburg is sidelined for more than one start.
Justin Turner – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, and six homers in the last eleven games, and I’ve told you to pick him up about that many times. Whenever you’re ready, guys and five girls.
Joc Pederson – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games. No idea if he’ll ever hit .240 or steal a base, but has shown 30-homer power, which isn’t terrible for a 24-year-old.
Madison Bumgarner – 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.85. The only trouble for him was Kratz, which gives Bumgarner something in common with Steven Avery.
Jeff Locke – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 5.44. Locke was assisted by Kratz, which gives him a lot in common with Andrew Colborn. How was he calling in the license plate?!
Mallex Smith – Could miss more than six weeks with a fractured thumb, and surgery might be necessary. Damn, he did a number on his digit.
Elvis Andrus – 3-for-4, 1 run, hitting .291. I could’ve sworn he had been hot recently, so I looked at his month of June and he was batting .262. Story of drafting and owning Andrus, you always think he’s better, but he rarely is.
Carlos Correa – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer, and 2nd homer in the last four games. When he gets to 25 homers, you’re gonna be like, “He was cold this season? When? I would’ve knitted him a sweater.”
Jose Altuve – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 11th homer, hitting .343, which reminds me of the Public Enemy song, Welcome to the Palindrome.
Luis Valbuena – 2-for-3, 1 RBI and hitting near-.370 in the last week with a couple of homers. Get ’em while they’re hot schmotatoes.
Gregorio Petit – 1-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer, a grand slam off Sipp, which is annoying. That’s the last time anyone shares with Petit. We said a Sipp!
Justin Upton – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and a double slam (7, 8) and legs (4), and four homers in the last four games. You’re gonna blink and Upton’s gonna have 12 homers this month. No, seriously, blink. Okay, try it again. Are you blinking or are you sleeping for a millisecond?
Adam Lind – 3-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, and 2nd homer in his past three games. In one league, I grabbed Lind yesterday, because he’s hot and I have idle hands like Seth Green in a movie of the same name. Or like that website that sells ponies — ePonymous.
Taijuan Walker – Headed for an MRI on his flat feet. Hopefully, his arches come back de triumphant.
Jhonny Peralta – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer. That’s two homers in only 13 games. Not quite as good as his teammate, Brandon Moss (1-for-3 and his 16th homer), who hits homers once every game, just about. I said just about, there’s a lot of leeway with that hedge. Fo’reals though, Moss has been a fungi to own.
Willson Contreras – 1-for-4, 1 RBI as he started for the first time. We go over Contreras on the podcast that’s coming later today. Or earlier today if you slept in. Or yesterday if you were roofied.
Dexter Fowler – Hit the DL with hamstring discomfort. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could’ve played through it, but the Cubs are in June playing for October. When was the last time you read that? On a 1913 weblog, written by Myles Standish Jr. “Thou Cubs had a four-nay lead over the Newark Whitestockings when Giant-Eyed Youngman took a 67 MPH fastball off his knit-capped head. Thou hopes he clears concussion tests, which is submerging him in water for five minutes and counting the bubbles that escape his ears.”