Not that long ago, I remember hearing a story. One I will recount for you here, but you can’t tell anyone else. Promise? Okay, there was this guy Brandon Bielak, and he was real into attachment parenting and had to put up with his stupid father, Nick, and dopey brothers, Tony and Joey Lawrence — Whoa. Well, the Teen Beat on, and I’m reading this from an old TV Guide with Miss Piggy on the cover, can you tell? Brandon Bielak is an enigma. Nothing exists on him, besides Matt Roush’s blurbs. Confession Alert! I used to collect TV Guides. What an absolute nerd. Any hoo! Bielak was found on waivers by me (or was it in an abandoned refrigerator — wait, wrong show), and he went 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 1.76. He works with a 94 MPH fastball, and a ton of secondary pitches with the curve hooking hard, and looking especially nice. He’s very serviceable, bordering on more. He could be a back-end fantasy starter for years to come. Now, I’ve streamed this guy a few times, and Streamonator thinks Bielak next start is even better — with no Big Bang in sight. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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Was having a chat in the comments the other day with Razzball writer, Coolwhip, and I said to him something like, “Wonder if starters who throw weak-sauce fastballs are going to be better this year because there will be less effort, and leff esort (sic) this year is better because no pitchers can throw hard with no real ramp up to the season.” Leff esort is such a great concept. It’s like saying ‘less effort’ without opening your mouth, so it is being said with less effort — hence, leff esort. Leff esort is such an easy way to live, yet alone pitch. Could all those jacked 99 MPH fastballs be just too much this year and leff esort is the way to go? I don’t know. But it does seem like guys sneaking by on 91 MPH or slower fastballs are having a much better time so far. Aaron Civale couldn’t get arrested with his 91 MPH fastball (if there was a law against 92+ MPH fastballs), yet here he is. Giddy up, Ryan Yarbrough (88 MPH), you slow dog! Sure, you’ll do, Jon Lester (89). Hey, look at Ross Stripling (91), and you too, Matt Shoemaker (91). Merrill Kelly had moments of 92+ MPH fastballs in his first game, but he is more about his cutter (90 MPH), curve and change. Last September, Kelly also dominated, and I’m adding him everywhere. Maybe we’re all just trying too hard and we need leff esort. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Roto-Wan is at the Jersey Shore this week, home to the iconic reality show of the same name. Much like the cast of misguided Jerseyites our MLB season is already riddled with disease. I won’t depress you with talk of how this kind of travel and interaction is a slap in the face of a contagious virus. COVID will do that enough. I’m here to try and catch up on the widespread bullpen carnage of this very early season. Hopefully, you headed my advice and discounted closers in your drafts. Now’s the time to plug those holes. You’ve got plenty of options. Unlike the guys that settled for going home with Snookie.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh what a year it’s been since my last article was published on April 3rd. At that point I was thinking “Wow, the Athletics could win the AL West this season with this lineup!” Now, I’m left wondering “I wonder if the Blue Jays can beat their division rivals, the NY Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates and win the MLB East.” At this point I don’t care how they break the teams down. Three divisions, six divisions, 15 divisions — just gimme my baseball! There’s only so much KBO I can watch and MLB Power Pros I can play!
My prediction is that baseball dives face first into “We’re baseball! We ARE America!” and the season launches for 100 games on Saturday, July 4th. What’s more ‘Murican than that?!
Enough banter — let’s talk about the Blue Jays sleepers. As always — I’m not here to talk about Vlad Guerrero or Bo Bichette — everyone already knows about them and how they’re going to perform. Also — I’m not really going to touch on prospects. The Itch already did a bang up job telling you about Nate Pearson and the other Blue Jays prospects here: https://razzball.com/top-2020-prospects-toronto-blue-jays/Please, blog, may I have some more?
We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.
- Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
- Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
- Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
- Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
- Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh, hello random blog reader. I didn’t see you there. Don’t mind me, I’m just doing early offseason fantasy baseball research while listening to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” on a loop. It gets me in the proper mindset to tackle bullpens. I generally find few fantasy positions that elicit more angst than relievers. Nevertheless, I’ve hit the double-digit mark on BoP and am feeling all kinds of weird. It’s the perfect place to dip a toe into choppy reliever waters. I’ve broken down the roles while unveiling my new “Razzers” rating system (base 1-5). Is this a ploy to trick search engine’s into redirecting users searching for Brazzers? Yes. Yes, it is.
Ok, now that you’ve returned to this tab from your incognito browsing session, the Pens!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Roto-Wan’s wild summer continued last week when his appendix decides to swell and cause the weirdest pain I’ve ever felt. It only took until 5AM to get a cat scan and determine an appendectomy was necessary. The American medical system is a well-oiled machine! More of a Pat Burrell machine, but potato/patato. In honor of my impromptu vacation tier’s are summer vacay ranks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did you ever think that sometimes your haters offer relevant critiques that you should maybe take into consideration? Me neither, just wondering if that’s a thing. Don’t think about it too long if it doesn’t apply. It’ll make you cuckoo like Cocoa Puffs’ Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird. Speaking of which, Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird went to a rally recently with a sign that read, “You can’t be cuckoo without cuck.” I can’t tell if Sonny is woke, shook or just cuckoo. Either way, or eye-thurr if Chingy is reading, for a few weeks now people have been asking me about J.D. Davis, and I’ve mostly ignored them. You, “Yo, Grey, you hard of hearing?” Me, “WHAT?!” J.D. is having himself a bit of a star mitzvah, but is it completely out of nowhere? Nope and nuh-uh. He had 17 HRs in only 85 Triple-A game last year and 30 HRs the year before across three levels. It’s easy to write him off, because what business do the Mets have pulling a fast one on the Astros? Yet, here we are and they pulled it. Davis has been getting regular playing time and with improved plate discipline (25.7% K% vs. 20% this year). I’m going cuckoo for Mets’ stuff, and I’d grab Davis for power and average. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Michael Conforto went 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 24th and 25th homer, and, like, his 43rd homer in the last month (9 homers since the break). Men, dudes, bros, youse, five lady readers, Goofusses and Gallants, Cousin Sweatpants, my peeps from another Easter basket! Conforto gets scorching hot for these month-long stretches that makes you think he could put it together for a whole year one of these days, um, years. He’s the third Met player in history with 100+ homers before the age of 27. The other two are Darryl Strawberry and David Wright. The three of them all stayed at a Howard Johnson in the offseason. HoJo puts on a team-building seminar on his back patio and provides snacks, and Lenny Dykstra works the valet. Conforto’s in-Confort-ible! *screams for 10 minutes* Okay. I’m back. If you look at Conforto’s peripherals he really is more this post-All-Star break hitter, and less the one that struggled for the previous six weeks prior to this. Hopefully, Conforto stays in-Conforto-ible for the rest of this year and into 2020. I can see it now! (Only another 18 months of bad 2020 puns.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A Duvall hasn’t looked this good since Popeye starring Robin Williams. You thought I was going Robert Duvall and I steered it into Crazytown with Shelley Duvall. By the way, don’t look at current pictures of Shelley Duvall. She’s a Shelley of her former self. I have a theory. She had to do everything just so for Kubrick in The Shining, to the point where she couldn’t even think for herself, then she started working with Robert Altman, who was like, “Do whatever you like, improv,” and going from one extreme to the other drove her crazy. I’d put money on it that this is the biggest update on Shelley Duvall you will ever get on a fantasy baseball website. Any hoo! The pros and consigliere for Adam Duvall. All he does is hit home runs, so a great supporting player that just melts into any role you need him in. Wait, that’s not Adam. Well, not entirely. The homers part was. And the Mac Sledge part. No, that’s the other Duvall again. You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotter hitter right now than Duvall and he can help The Family go legit. Again, wrong Duvall! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?