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I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics.  You never know who the statistics are coming against.  Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level.  This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced.  You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach.  So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat?  Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards.  Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles!

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Keeping the weekend theme of rookie pitchers not giving up hits, yesterday Domingo German went 6 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.66.  Since I wasn’t very familiar with German — “Guten tag, give your bratwurst my best kraut.” — I decided to watch this game.  German’s curve was made to look very impressive by an Indians team that still does not look right.  It also didn’t hurt that the home plate umpire gave him a very favorable strike zone — “You wear the lederhosen in the Deutschland, Lance Barrett?”  Kept feeling like a more patient team or just a few calls go a different way, and German has loaded the bases on walks with no outs, and, suddenly, he’s in a five run hole in two innings.  Bundesländer?  V to the ielleicht.  Maybe Sonntag had his Sunday best on, but I don’t trust him outside of deep leagues.  Of course, with that said (Grey’s turning the u-boat!), a flyer doesn’t hurt until the German roofie comes and you wake up in Frankfurt with a burly woman named Gertrude.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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“Romantic scouting date” is exactly what it sounds like: Ralph, myself, and a baseball game. We ventured up to slightly warmer weather than Hartford brought us a few weekends ago for more looks at Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. Ralph wrote about it (right here) and I had a great time looking at the mechanics of Sean Reid-Foley (TOR) and Dillon Tate (NYY) on my Twitter feed.

For the sake of brevity, let’s get right into two pitchers I’ve had my eye on in this edition of Pitcher Thoughts.

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*walking through a packed hallway, head nodding at the ladies* “What’s up, chiquitas?  Que paso, senoritas?  Assume there was an upside down question mark in front of that question.  I’m feeling pretty good, and it’s not just because I’m wearing my extra tight bicycle shorts that make me aroused when I cough.  Nope!  RONALD ACUNA IS UP!  Hey, so are my letters.  Preston Tucker?  How about you Tuck off?!  I’m so pumped!!!  Seriously.  I wanna make love to my fantasy team where I have Acuna.” *realizing I don’t know what hallway this is and need to leave before I’m arrested*  Here’s my Ronald Acuna fantasy.  Go look at the GIF I have there and tell me you’re not aroused.  Don’t send pics!  I said he’d be up mid-April.  Oops, one week off!  And his projections were 74/17/77/.304/21 in 514 ABs!  I need to sit down.  Wait, I am sitting!!!  AHHHH!!!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Anibal Sanchez picks up the win is something I never thought I’d get to write again. I haven’t owned him since 2016, but my ERA and WHIP still haven’t recovered. Well, the Aniballer is back and he shut down the Chicago Cubs Friday night pitching six innings, allowing just three hits, no runs and a walk while punching out six for his first win. He’s now rocking a sultry 1.29 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with a 14/5 K/BB rate through two starts. Not amazing, but a whole lot more amazinger than the 6.41 ERA, 1.59 WHIP he put up last year in 28 games. Oh bah gawd, the WHIP! It burrrns! My favorite thing about Anibal is that his ESPN profile page has a pic of him in a Twins hat, a team which, to my knowledge, he has never played for. Hmm, suspect. Clearly, we cannot fully trust Sanchez just yet but two straight quality road starts against two of the leagues best offenses has got me #tbt’ing to 2013 Anibal! That was Sanchez’ best year statistically and 2 years before the cold, sad, crushing, harshness of the city of Detroit damaged his psyche irreparably. It may not be Miami, but Anibal is in Atlanta now, and they do have Migos. Also, it’s the National League which is a better place than any to revive your career. Sanchez has a fairly nice match up at home versus the Phillies next week and I might take a chance seeing if I can rebottle some of those good ol’ fashioned 2013 Anibalic K-Roids I used to get on the streets of the ‘Roit. B Rabbit sold them to me. April has always been Sanchez’ best month statistically so if you’re going to buy now might be the time. Anibal’s available almost everywhere and he’s at the very least worth watching as he tries to win back our trust in Atlanta. Maintain Aniballer status, and maybe I’ll consider streaming you next week. I won’t tell my ratios if you don’t.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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For thousands of millennia, which is millions of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones.  One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be so pleased,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, you make fun.”  However, through all this ridicule, the Samoans always had their main industry on the island.  An industry that sustained their people.  An industry that brought everyone together.  However, this industry has taken a hit this last year.  This industry is manufacturing tiki torches.  Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la said, “Now tiki torches make us racist?!  We’re big-boned Islanders, we can’t be racist!”  Now, the Samoan people may have had their torches snuffed, but have a new bright spot:  Sean Manaea.  He’s not big-boned and he has no apostrophes in his last name, but I can assure you he is Samoan.  He’s also a straight dazzlenozzle so far this year.  His command is at a minuscule 0.6 K/9, and his xFIP is 3.40.  His velocity is a little off, and his Ks haven’t been outstanding, but in the early going, with pitching as it’s been, I’d buy Manaea everywhere.  If not for him, do it for Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Padres starters give me the feels; Mariners starters start the underneath tinglings; Dodgers starters feather enthusiasm on the undercarriage.  Reds starters?  That park is so blech.  Luis Castillo’s sexy, but, again, that park and…I trail off, thinking about whatever happened to Better Call Saul, did that show end?  When my thoughts drift back, I remember what I was thinking about, and see Tyler Mahle.  More like Tyler Mehle was my thought.  Now?  After watching him dismantle the Cubs?  Color me intrigued, with a red paintbrush.  Yesterday, Mahle went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 7 Ks.  He looked shaky as all get out to start the game — walked Happ, Bryant lined out hard, hit Rizzo, then he said, “Good morning, good afternoon, and–Well, I already have two outs, so I’ll have to say good night in the next inning.”  And he did.  He settled down after that, and no one looked close to starting a rally.  He had a bit of luck at one point by getting to face the opposing Tyler after giving up a triple to Baez, but Mahle didn’t exude a whole lot of sweat beads otherwise.  I’ve seen more sweat on a girl doing a Tyler Chatwood, which is a euphemism for tying a cherry stem into a knot with your mouth while seamlessly carrying on a conversation.  I grabbed Mahle in one league for his next start vs. the Pirates, and plan on going one start at a time for now, but I’m encouraged.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It is the time of year where we see daily grind injuries. Sore backs, back stiffness, back discomfort etc. A lot of injuries that just accumulate from playing six games a week in the summer heat. If you thought we’ve had a lot of injuries so far — I have a sneaking suspicion there are going to be more of these type of injuries. Not season ending — just break down injuries. If you have an opportunity to acquire a multi-position player like Brandon Drury, Danny Valencia, Chris Taylor or Taylor Motter you might make it through these injuries better than your opponents. 

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You know what Tuesday’s are good for… SAGNOF.  And remembering to put your recycling out.  Funny enough, I am correlating the two this week.  Co-mingling, if you may.  This week, I wanna bring something old, something not so new, and he wears blue… pajamas.  (Because p-jays make the man.)  Let’s look at some old SAGNOF gold and the familiar name that is Eric Young Jr..  Hell, this is SAGNOF, it ain’t a beauty contest… it’s not even that B.S. 15-buck prize from Monopoly when you land on the community chest.  Why I like E.Y. Jr. is multi-faceted; First, he is on a team where he doesn’t have to throw base-running as a caution to the wind.  The Angels are second behind only the Reds’ legs in steals, and with an 80% success rate, they prolly won’t be choosing another tact to manufacture runs while Trout is mending his fin.  He isn’t sexy, and he has a track record of being a good for a few games then falling off a plateau, but since receiving regular at-bats, it is in the same breath as Trout going down.  He has an OBP of over .410, and if you think it’s kind of a fluke, check his minor league stats prior to call-up.  His OPS was at .950 in 44 games at Triple A with 15 steals.  The days of stealing 50-plus bases ala 2013 are long gone, but if you need to find a place for a steal here or there, check the Angels ownership and steals totals.  Maybin, Simmons et al.  So with that, let’ see what else is shaking in the 90-feet of thievery department.  Chart added for flavor.  Cheers!

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It’s Peacock week here at Razzball, and I for one, have been trying my damnedest to use some of the lessons taught to me by my mentor, the sometimes debonair, but mostly creepy, world-renowned pickup artist Mystery. You might remember this sexual predator from MTV at some point in the last 10 years. MTV, ruining everything since 1981! You might not recall this, particularly if you’ve never been under the spell of a man dressed as the lead singer of Jamiroquai, but Mystery has long preached the word of “Peacocking”. I can’t be sure, but I’m almost certain that this is the act of pretending you’re Brad Peacock to pickup women. I mean how could this not work have you seen “The P-Cock” in all his glory? Gorgeous just like a horse is, to say the least. The 29 year old Peacock has spent parts of 5 seasons in the majors, mostly as a shuttle arm, between AAA and the majors. In 2017 however, the righty has been a bit of a revelation for the Astros, first in the bullpen, and now in the rotation. Grey wrote him up on Friday, and he’s been one of the more interesting streams over the last few weeks. If only due to that heavenly 15 K/9 over his first three starts. So let’s dig into Peacock and see what he’s doing on the mound, when not going into liquor store rages.

Please, blog, may I have some more?