Rod Stewart knows how to pick venues. Masterful choice.
Hey now, somebody likes someone, or so says Marc Topkin, who, by-the-way, sounds like a X-Wing pilot. He has reported that there is mutual interest between Delmon Young and the Tampa Bay Rays. Ooo-la-la. They should get a room to rekindle the fire that once burned. Hopefully not in Tampa, because I’ve been there. It has bridges and old people. That’s… about… it. However, there are two things that I can say about this that are rock solid facts. First, Delmon Young is most certainly hanging out on your waiver wire. Maybe throwing bats at people. As pictured above, hopefully one of those people is Luke Scott. And second, he’s supposedly heading back to a team that utilizes match-ups correctly, and, most certainly, would utilize him correctly. Like if there’s a bat throwing contest. Now, forget everything you know about Young. I mean, don’t forget *that* much. He’s still kinda stinky, in, you know, a hobo sort-of-way. And if you’re wondering, there’s really no downside here, since hobo’s don’t own computers. I think. But if you’re actually wondering about why I’m talking about Delmon Young, it’s not because he’s hit .266/.300/.402 since 2011 and .261/.302/.397 so far this year. It’s because he’s hit .286/.361/.397 against lefties in 80 games. Which brings me back to the second point. Tampa Bay will play the match-ups here, and perhaps you should too. Who knows, he could get on fire, do some damage, and help your team for the stretch run. Or, you know, throw bats at people. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…
MLBtraderumors found a reason to stay significant post-trade deadline yesterday, and now it’s official — Alex Rios has been traded to the Rangers for Leury Garcia. Who? Basically. (To be fair, he does have some speed, but the hit tool is a bit lacking. So close, yet Profar. HUUUUR.) You can check on the complete, gory details here. But don’t complain about the lack of gore. So, what’s the fantasy impact here? No, silly, I’m not asking you. Unless you know the answer, then by all means, go for it. You can’t tell, but I waited a good five minutes. Thanks for nothing. Allow me. While U.S. Cellular Field can be homer happy, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is right behind in offensive park factors. I do prefer the Texas lineup, so a boost in projected runs and RBI’s may occur. Grey projected a 37/10/30/.284/14 line for him in the second half, and while Rios has gotten off to a slow start, these are still achievable numbers if going into a playoff situation can get some of those juices flowing. Or there might not be any juices. I am unaware of Rios’ juice levels. But let’s hope its cranberry. Because that’s my favorite juice. Honestly, it’s just really hard to tell if a player is going to pull a CC Sabathia or Ryan Ludwick. Overall though, I don’t see a huge change in the dynamic, but there’s certainly nothing to complain about. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…
Why don’t I have Yu Darvish on any teams? Why don’t I have him on every team? It’s not like I ranked him low in the preseason. Maybe not crazy high, but I should’ve drafted him once. In ten leagues, you would’ve thought it had to happen. I wanna find a Japanese man and feed him grapes and tell him, “Yu are beautiful.” I wanna walk five paces in front of a Japanese woman and tell her how much I love Yu. He just jazzes me up so much I wanna do weird shizz with Japanese people! Something that takes my mind off not owning Yu in fantasy and transports me to living in some kind of weird fantasy with Yu surrogates. Cradle me in your arms, Japanese surrogate that I found on the street, and tell me Yu love me too. So, yesterday, Yu was dazzling again. This was his fourth game with 14 strikeouts as he went seven strong with zero earned runs and only five baserunners, resurrecting the Diamondhacks. After yesterday’s game, Arizona now wants to close all borders. It’s a little early to be talking about this, but I want Yu Darvish in every fantasy league in 2014, but I know now I won’t be able to afford him. Come here, Japanese surrogate, you fill in for Yu. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Like Billy Joel, Alfonso Soriano is washed up and in a New York state of mind. Don’t tell A-Rod, Christie Brinkley is his type of gal. Soriano getting traded to the Yankees is the best news for him in some time. That’s the magical elixir calling to fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!). Soriano will now revert back to his younger self — when he was still in his forties — and start mashing the ball, stealing bases and doing an extra springy hop when he catches fly balls. Playing for the Yankees is a youth tonic made of juniper berries and grounded-up mints Steinbrenner hoarded from restaurants. There’s just an air about playing with other guys in their fifties that brings everything to life. It’s a real life Cocoon in the Bronx. Don Ameche will be played by Vernon Wells, Wilford Brimley will be played by Travis Hafner and Alfonso Soriano is Steve Guttenberg! Girardi might be the third youngest guy on the bench. Birth certificates are inconclusive. Or! Soriano is who he is at this point. This second scenario seems more likely. It’s not like Wrigley is a bad hitters’ park. Nothing’s gonna change for him in Yankee Stadium. He could hit a few homers, give you a .260 average and throw out his hip at a moment’s notice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
The Marlins parted ways with Ricky Nolasco on Saturday. He was the longest-tenured Marlin. That’s about the same length as a Gary Busey train of thought. Nolasco was also their highest paid player, which on the Marlins is like being the highest paid paperboy. Jeffrey Loria was sad to see Nolasco go, because as the highest paid player he also had in his contract that he had to dust Loria’s artwork. Loria said, “Adeiny Hechavarria is nimble on the field, but how is he with a 700-foot, post-modern statue of unicorn vomit?” Nolasco was more than usable in Miami, with his only big drawback being his inability to win on a club that put swindling nearby residents before winning. On the Dodgers, Nolasco no longer has that issue. He’s a solid #4 fantasy starter with a 7+ K-rate, 2 walk rate and 3.70 xFIP. I’d pick him up in all mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Ike Davis had an epic 21st century breakdown this year that has rendered his fantasy baseball owners jaded and viewing this basket case as a true American idiot. What a nimrod! I’ll admit that I screamed in silence after owning him this year, but let’s try to take the long view here. Yes, he’s 2,000 light years away on holiday in the minors after leading your team down a boulevard of broken dreams, but this a warning that Ike, walking contradiction that he is, could finally come around to what we previously expected. I might be a minority here, but, in the end, I still believe he’s capable of producing an .800+ OPS in the majors. Some players temporarily burnout, while other are able to make things click when you least expect it. Right, Chris Davis? We’ve all been waiting a long time for him to see the light and I will look to grab him where I have an open bench spot. Hopefully we’ll be welcomed to paradise. If his stats go kerplunk a final time, then I’ll be willing to bid him a permanent good riddance. Anyway, here are some other players that have my ear in OPS leagues:
If you found us from Google due to this title, you might want National Geographic or an African safari forum where discussion quickly turns into a story about how ‘your old lady doesn’t let you watch scary movies.’ Here, when we say our ‘old lady,’ we’re not using a euphemism for a wife. It’s for my fiancee. Gio Gonzalez had a throwback to the days of wine and roses. The wine being anything but Boone’s. The roses being McGowan. He went seven innings and didn’t give up a hit past the first inning with only 4 baserunners and 11 Ks vs. the Phils and Kyle Kendrick (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks). This was a battle between two teams you think are good offensively, but are not. The Bryceless Nats couldn’t score for Gonzalez and needed an Ian Desmond grand slam in the eleventh to win. This no decision was Gio’s 7th in his last 8 starts — c’mon, Gio, make up your mind. Or console yourself with a QS, Gio! This was a nice start after I had reservations about his falling K-rate and rising walk rate. Again, it was the Phils, so I wouldn’t just accept he’s back to last year’s tricks. It’s an illusion! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
The name YoGa conjures peace, calm and sneaking looks at girls in yoga pants. On the mound, YoGa conjures stress. Starting him is like asking him to be your designated driver. You really have no idea what you’re going to get. He’s become more predictable as of late, but not in the good way. Every game this year he’s looked like someone put him in the fridge for an hour, then poured Magic Shell over him, then chiseled him out and left the fake-choco shell on the mound. I was already to drop him. I had hit my brink. So, how does he reward me? Does he pitch terrible and allow me the freedom of dropping him? You think anything’s that easy with YoGa? Yesterday, Yovani Gallardo was regularly hitting 93 MPH, and looking the part of the guy that finished 11th in Cy Young voting two years ago and won 16 games with a 3.66 ERA last year. A guy that has been a solid number two fantasy starter for the last four years. He threw a near-flawless 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (1 BB), 4 Ks game. Of course, it was against the MIA Marlins and only 4 Ks. Still, I can’t drop him after that, but I also can’t start him for his next game in Great American Ballpark. So, for now I’ll hold a guy that I can’t start or bench confidently. Ugh, more stress! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Josh Donaldson is fired. As in, he’s been on fire since last August and I’m finally willing to announce that I’ve seen his face. Now I’m a believer! What’s there not to like? An improved walk rate, reduced strikeout rate, better contact, increased power, and a brand new hairstyle. After getting to know him from afar, I think he’s less likely to hurt your team than Jafar. There are many possible reasons for his improvement: receiving consistent playing time in the majors, having the pedigree (former first round pick), seeing the movie Moneyball, being in his prime, and, my favorite conspiracy explanation: that he’s no longer catching. All of these likely contributed in some way, but the important thing is I don’t expect him to fall off a cliff any time soon (as long as he cancels that hiking trip). For the rest of 2013, I’m going to optimistically project a .270/.350/.460 line, which is solid for a third baseman. Hold him if you own him. Otherwise, I’d see if his owner expects heavy regression (band name?). Shout out to commenter SwaggerJackers for inspiring me to cover Donaldson. On a different note, after next week’s article I’m going to have a very temporary Razzball hiatus (aka two weeks) while I travel to my motherland (or literally my mother’s land) for the first time. Whoever correctly guesses the country can pick who I’ll cover as my lede next week. I might give hints if asked on Twitter. Ready? Go! And here’s my Quick Draw McGraw approach to OPS leagues:
This morning’s rant is for all the owners who took it up the ace on Sunday. It’s one thing when your ace is pitching @TEX or @COL but home against Cleveland where David Price gave up 8 ER and 13 baserunners in 5 IP? Ouch. Home against an Ortiz-less Boston offense (RA Dickey – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 12 baserunners – the first 5 runs coming before an out was recorded)? Damn. Home against the Kansas City Royals (Cole Hamels – 5.2 IP, 8 ER 13 baserunners)? Oof! Home against a Holliday-less Cardinal team at one of the pitching-friendliest parks in baseball (Matt Cain – 3.2IP, 9 ER, 9 baserunners)? C’mon, that’s just cruel! For those of you in H2H leagues, consider yourselves lucky. At least these starts are expunged from the record. As for Roto players who own these guys, not much you could do now except turn down the perfunctory ‘buy low’ trade offers. Price, Hamels and Cain all have great track records so you have to assume these games were anomalies. Dickey….who the hell knows? Knuckleballs are like snowflakes – I don’t really understand either of them. Why wouldn’t snow fall in balls or, at the very least, in a uniform shape? (Rhetorical – please don’t explain this phenomenon). On to the other events of the weekend….