Please see our player page for Ken Giles to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

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?

Yesterday, Abraham Toro-Hernandez (0-for-4) was called up by the Astros. Funny, I thought Abraham Toro-Hernandez was one of those special sushi rolls. “It’s got lox for the Jews, toro because it’s sushi and it’s served in a giant tostada. You want?” That’s the sushi restaurant waitress who is always annoyed. For Toro-Hernandez, I did a google (which is similar to when a baby says ‘I did a doo-doo,’ because you don’t do nothing but sh*t for 20 minutes), and I’ve come to realize the most overused expression of the last five years is “The Most Interesting Man.” Saw one article talk about how Toro was “The Most Interesting Man” because he spoke multiple languages and grew up in Montreal. That doesn’t make him interesting, that makes him from Montreal. Why does this infuriate me? He looks like a batting average-forward guy (.306 in Double-A) with some power (16 HRs in 98 games), and more speed than he’s shown in the minors (4 SBs). Appears to be a bit raw and maybe just a bench guy, but major league pitching and Double-A might not be that different, so Shruggy the Emoji shrugs. With Correa needing a giant bubble to stay healthy, Toro could see everyday starts at 3rd, and I could see grabbing him for the flier and upside. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday 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?

Had our 1st mega trade. Or as far as Trevor Bauer is concerned, might be our first MAGA trade too.  Take it easy, it’s a joke.  An everyday occurrence and tempers flaring might be hard to distinguish for Trevor Bauer since he will now see red all the time. Interestingly, Bauer wasn’t throwing his last pitch for the Indians the other day, he was throwing his 1st pitch towards Cincy. The Indians should be embarrassed of themselves for selling off their big frontline pitcher as they hold their Wild Card chances in their hands.  Notice I didn’t say the Indians should be red-faced.  Hey, they’re the ones still with the name. Bauer has been down a tad this year compared to last. Not just obviously in ERA, but his Ks are down, walks are up, homers are way up, which won’t play well in Cincy, but I will say he was way over his head last year with a 2.21 ERA, so he’s likely still a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher with great Ks in Cincy and the NL.  He should be able to chuck balls over Great American’s fence with greater ease too. So win-win.  Going the other way and the rest of the news, well…Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Jason Vargas was traded to the Phillies. Good luck, Phillies reporters! Vargas will be the 1st player to throw batteries back at fans. “What’s with that stupid grin?” Rhys Hoskins pulls Vargas by the arm, “Hey, Vargy, that’s, uh, the Phanatic. His expression doesn’t change.”  “I’ll knock that smirk off his face!”  So, Vargas now becomes the ace of the Phillies’ staff, which means he’s a league-average starter.  I keed. A little. Aaron Nola is good, just not this year.  Since Vargas doesn’t even change divisions, his value stays pretty level, except Citizens Flank is a worse park than Metco, so there’s a slight tick down, if anything. How about this trading deadline so far?  Huh?  It’s almost as good as the Winter Hot Stove.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Alexa, for Amazon Prime Day can you order me Clorox?  Thank you, Alexa.  Now can you order me clips to hold my mouth and eyes open? Thanks, Alexa! Now can you order me a large man to pour the bleach into my mouth and eyes while shoving me into my oven? Oh, and Alexa, if you can get German Marquez to do it, that would be so appropriate!” German yesterday?  Guten tagged!  Here’s a visual metaphor for you:  A German U-boat filled with men, one toilet and only Taco Bell to eat for a blitzkrieg of runs.  Marquez is driving me insane but he is not an Uber ally, because he is dead to me.  Goodbye, Nazi In Exile, enjoy your long walks along the Chilean coast and your alpaca farm where you shave little German helmets on your animals. After 2 2/3 IP, 11 ER, ERA up to 5.12, I will never draft you again or any Rockies pitcher. I should’ve learned my lesson from Jon Gray last year! (Though, he’s been okay this year — shut up, Contrary Grey!)  In my deeper leagues, where I have no choice, I’ll still be sadly starting Marquez in away games.  *sees his next start is in Yankee Stadium* Lowercase yay!  He might be Deutschland but I’m Dunceland for owning him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The last month the Gurriel father & son team, Yu-Lou-Gu, have been having is absolutely crazy. It’s the best father & son month since August 1984 with Yogi and Dale Berra. Only Yogi  and Dale’s great month wasn’t due to on-field play, but Yogi making a drug-sniffing dog’s handler laugh while Dale snuck an eight ball of coke through security at a Def Leppard concert. “If this leopard is deaf, what kind of singer is he gonna be?”  Oh, Yogi, you card!  Yesterday, Yuli Gurriel went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer, hitting .281, as he continues his torrid pre-All-Star break pace.  He’s hitting close to .380 in July with eight homers.  That’s in 38 at-bats.  He has 11 homers in his last fifteen games.  Only one near as hot is his son, Lourdes. Hopefully, both Gurriels keep it going, knowing it ain’t over ’til the encore of Pour Some Sugar on Me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Trevor Story hit the IL with a thumb sprain, which is bad news (no dur), but the Rockies are saying there’s no ligament damage, so it could’ve been worse.  The good news is Brendan Rodgers was promoted.  Is this good news?  For Rodgers, I’d imagine it is.  For the Uber driver taking Rodgers to the airport?  Prolly good news for them.  The guy sitting next to Rodgers on the plane having to hear about how Rodgers is not going to sit on the bench for Pat Valaika, this time, things are gonna be different?  Doesn’t sound like good news for that guy sitting next to him. What a bore!  Okay, so I know, I know, I KNOW the Rockies have burned us all to the point where we shudder at commercials for Burn Notice reruns on USA, but there is a reason why the Rockies have burned us.  Because we all want to own all of them due to the stadium. I grabbed Rodgers for that very reason.  We shall see, but I put it at 70/30 the Rockies play Pat Valaika, and 30 is for:  Rodgers doesn’t play, is sent down and Hampson is recalled to also not play. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?