Man, after thinking about where I need to go with this intro, I got a mad hankering for Italian food. Just ordered some to get here during afternoon baseball. Is it profiling that now I’m non-stop craving Italian when I hear a name like Sal Romano? But Italian food is so positive! Is there such a thing as positive profiling?!
Speaking of Profiling, we’re back with enough edition of the Pitcher Profile! I know I’m picking someone that’s pretty far off the beaten path, but any time Sunday baseball features an-even-somewhat-interesting guy making their debut, I’m intrigued! Romano was vaguely on the radar for the NL-only and NFBC-type leagues given the Reds complete lack of a starting rotation, and surprisingly it was Rookie Davis getting the first DL stint (not their old farts, although Brandon Finnegan got hurt as well Saturday night) that opened an early spot for Romano to make his debut. Buried on prospect lists in the 10-20 range for Cincy (they do have a good farm system though), with Ralph ranking him as merely a “floorboard”, Romano apparently has pretty interesting stuff from what I read, mainly a mid-to-high 90s fastball. As tradition, I write the intro to the Profiles before I watch a pitcher’s start, and I’ll withhold any judgment until I see him throw. So as I eagerly await my baked ziti, the Brewers game is about to start and I’m pumped to see how Romano looks and Profile his debut. Here’s how he fared yesterday afternoon in his debut:
Somewhere, Melissa Leo is acting out today’s title and it’s so spot on you’re not sure if you should applaud, or put your wallet in the front pocket. “I came straight from the packie because I heard you were having a sale on shamrock undergarments. Are you having a shamrock undergarment sale or not?” That’s Melissa Leo acting out the title. Okay, okay, okay, guys and six girl readers and one girl writer. (She debuted yesterday; is there a female verb for that? She debutante’d yesterday? She debbie’d yesterday? She damsel’d yesterday? I’m asking, don’t roll your eyes at me like I’m a moron; I’ve had enough of that!) Chris Sale looked great yesterday (7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks), but you knew he was going to look great. You didn’t draft him in the first three rounds for him to look like hot garbage under Pablo Sandoval’s ass. Or, rather, you didn’t not draft him in the first three rounds because I told you not to. But you know who looked as good in Fenway? Jameson Taillon (7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks). He doesn’t miss a huge number of bats — will average around 7.7 K/9 — but his control is masterful. He will have around a 1.7 BB/9, if not lower. When a guy has a difference of six between his K/9 and BB/9 great things can happen, and Taillon will be no different. I’m not sure if he’ll get all the way to 190+ IP this year, but he had a 3.38 ERA last year, and I’m ready for around the same this year, if not better. Like Melissa Leo would say, “This guy is fahkin spacktackulure.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I’m not a woman.
I’m not a man.
I am something that you refer to as Fantasy Master Lothario.
I’ll never beat you (except in fantasy, that is my pledge).
I’ll never lie (except about how much I once liked Josh Rutledge).
And you’re evil but unless Rougned Odor disappoints I’ll forgive you!
Cause baseball will start 4 2!
*takes a long inhale* Can you smell the freshly cut grass? No, because it’s still freezing in half the country? Where’s your climate change now, Al Gore?! I’m so hyped up about Opening Day, I’m slangin’ bean pies like Ice Cube and picking up and dropping catchers for s’s and g’s! *goes to my Yahoo fantasy team page*
All right, so I guess I’m not making changes to my Yahoo team on this glorious of splendiferous days. This day that is more beautiful than Giancarlo’s tukis. This day that is the most frou-frou of all catchpennies! Okay, I think my thesaurus steered me wrong on that last one. On a sappy level, this was a weird offseason, and I’m glad to put the real world in my rearview mirror for six glorious months, and worry about nothing but winning as many fantasy baseball leagues as I can, and helping everyone along the way. Now who was it again that had Greg Bird (0-for-4, but batted third; yes, you should own him) ranked higher than everyone else?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Yasmany Tomas, Odubel Herrera, Nomar Mazara. What do those players have in common? Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee. Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point. There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope. All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie. As always, my projections and tiers are included. Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Maybe it was the food poisoning I had yesterday, but I had a dream Toomgis, the AM/PM mascot, and I were driving around talking about September baseball. It feels like half the teams are either resting regulars for the playoffs, or the other teams that are out of it are resting regulars to give rookies a chance. Those are the matchups you need to capitalize on with starting pitchers. By the way, Toomgis is so obvious a creation of stoned creatives. It’s a collection of stoner food and Toomgis stands for ‘Too Much Good Stuff.’ Um, okay, but there’s an I in there. Stoner creative, “Eye-shmeye, we just need to move on before I eat our prototype.” One more Toomgis point, how is this not Colorado’s national bird? Any hoo! So, with this matchups point hidden amongst my fracking in on Toomgis, we have Jharel Cotton capitalizing. In his first major league start, 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks. Jharel Cotton makes me think of Faye Dunaway in a heavy Southern accent saying, “I shall avert my eyes.” Cotton showed good control in the minors, and solid Ks, but in redraft leagues, you’re more worried about matchups this time of year. For 2017, Cotton idolized Pedro Martinez and I can see why. He’s five-eleven soaking wet (but I’m not sure people get taller when wet). He also relies on the speed of the fastball and the break of the change. A change that might carry him to glory, as soon as next year. In keepers, I’d be very interested. For this year, go with Toomgis’ advice on matchups. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies: Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.” Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07. Thank you, come again! From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP. So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017? Random prediction alert! I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller. To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said! I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors. Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife. “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!” “Grey, you sound louder than usual.” I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle. Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere. So, of course, he breaks out. Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265. On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters. The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts. Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
True or false: A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.” C) There’s no C. D) All the above. E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher. If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E? Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?! So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks. Dayum. Hello, wounds, here’s your salt. In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign. Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games). That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I was all about some of that young prospect snell early in the season, ranking Blake Snellwithin my top-75 preseason ranks. He destroyed the Minors in 2015, then was a little iffy when he hit the Majors for the first time. HE’S AWFUL FOREVER! As we see 95% of the time, initial failure means a prospect is forgotten, even if they start putting up solid numbers a month or two later.
And such was the case for Snell, who had a 3.86 ERA over his first 5 starts (passable), but a horrific 20:15 K:BB and a WHIP close to 2.00. He’s no Trevor Rosenthal! That aforementioned success in the Minors came with some control issues as well, so it stood to reason he might need a little more refinement. On top of that, I watched a few of his starts and his stuff looked a little too “loopy” for me. I have no idea if that makes sense… But it looked like a lot of huge rolling movement, with nothing crisp, ala a Corey Kluber or Jake Arrieta cutter. Just very bendy.
Things have gotten a lot better lately though, with a 24:11 K:BB heading into yesterday’s start against the Yanks in 24 innings. As such a highly regarded prospect and with good pure stuff that I think just needed that little extra “umpf” of crispness, I bought in heavily across my leagues and in last week’s ranks. But I figured it would be a good idea to see for myself if his breaking stuff looks a tad better than when I saw it in his 2nd and 3rd starts. Here’s how he looked:
The changing parabola that is the saves game is taking over the first “S” in this weeks post. Steaks are boring, throw rocks at them. The “saver stitch” has changed in several different destinations, and the funny thing is, I just wrote about closing situations two-and-half-days ago. Strange days indeed, my friends. The closer in the Desert, the Beantown, and now, the City of Angels, is possibly up for grabs. Check the bottom for the first two, as I would like to concentrate on Huston Street. He pulled up lame on Sunday and with the All-Star break here, we will anxiously await his massive 5.7 K/9 rate. The rumor mill was already circling for Street to be a trade candidate in a few weeks, now the possible injury puts a dent in the already dented can. The adds for the Angels are a yuck Joe Smith, who if possible, has been equally as bad as Street. My speculative pick if Street is more injured than it appears is Deolis Guerra for a bit, before seeing what Cam Bedrosian has. Baby Bedrock was a tout of mine a few months back and stumbled. Guess what? He is back, but no one cares because the Angels are bad and not anything or anyone watches except the cast of Angels in the Outfield. So those looking for a speculative add for the boring non-three days of fantasy, check the stacks of Angels and be ahead of the curve, instead of having trouble with it.