I hear the only way this Coronavirus goes down any smoother is with the Lyme Disease. Thank you, I will be here all day. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses. *waitress coughs on me, I tumble slowly out an open window* WHAT…THE…WHAT…THE…WHAT…? Sadly, I’ve landed on my feet…and standing in a sea of mouth breathers! AHHHHHHH!!! Well, this sucks (unlike mouth breathers — yo, do you ever breathe, like, in?) and there’s no easy way to say it, but baseball is about to go MIA for a few. Guy in Miami, “Don’t send anyone here!” Not to MIA International Airport, they’re going missing in action. The healthcare professionals say–I’m totally kidding. I’m quoting healthcare professionals? WHO am I. No, I’m not the WHO. WHO is the World Health Organization. But WHO’s on third base? Ugh! This is garbage-awful news, but we must soldier on. Holy crap, Tom Hanks has it! AHHHHHH!!! No! No! No! No freaking out! We must pull up our big-boy pants, wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday twice, and get through this national crisis. I’m Grey and I approve this message. In my highly unprofessional opinion, baseball will return in some capacity by May 1st. In the meantime, I’ll still have posts every weekday, because, honestly, what else are we doing? I write every day during the offseason, nothing’s changed for me. Thinking about doing a series of posts about guys most likely to cough without covering their mouths. Is Matt Albers still in the league? He 100% never covered his mouth. I’ve updated the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball with a few small adjustments, which I’ll get to in the post. And, to the Coronavirus, I say, “T. Hanks, but no thanks!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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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?
I regret to inform you, my fantasy friends, that even fake jedi get the flu. That’s right, Roto-Wan is coming to you today from a Sudafed laced haze that would make Jesse Pinkman proud. Stop interrupting me pink elephant, I’m trying to get a preamble together here. At any rate, we’ve reached the NL in our bullpen previews. Let’s kick it off with the very in flux NL East. My advice is to exercise even more caution with these names than we usually do.
NL East | NL Central | NL WestPlease, blog, may I have some more?
Apparently Blake Snell was moving some granite hoozawhatsit in his bathroom and dropped it on his toe. We’ve all been there — our partners buy some unnecessary piece of furniture and we’re tasked with building it, moving it around to and fro and end up being the ones sweaty and frustrated. And don’t get me started on throw pillows — their purpose is in their name — throw them on the floor before you go to sleep…please don’t share this with my wife. Anyway — reports are that Snell will only miss one start. Granted, it’s his own report, but still it’s only his little ring toe. Fill In: If you need one start, give good ol’ C.C. Sabathia (10.8%) a shot. His next start comes at home against the Royals who are 17th in OPS vs lefties. Sabathia looked sharp as heck in his first start against the White Sox (5 IP, 1 base runner, 3 Ks.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
There was a time when I thought Freddy Peralta (8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 11 Ks) was merely a starter. A guy who took the ball every fifth day, stared in at the catcher, shook off a sign or two and scratched his balls. Not like a Gaylord. Perry, not, um, yeah, Perry. Yesterday, we (me) gained a newfound appreciation for FP Saintdamnvelo. His command was gorge, and I’m engorged. In fact, I’m not typing this with my fingers. It’s whether he can replicate that command going forward like he’s a replicate in one of those sci-fi movies with replicates. I don’t know sci-fi, so you have to figure out your own analogy. Sci-fi is for nerds! That’s why I play fantasy baseball. Either way, you have to pick up Freddy Peralta after yesterday’s start to see if he can build off it. If Peralta continues that no-walk command, he’s a potential breakout. Speaking of breakouts (can you believe the ease of that segue), Matthew Boyd dropped the ew, dunked 13 Ks on the Yankees and that’s straight Matth. Like his most famous fantasy baseball owner would say, “Yeah, Boyd!” Damn right, Flavor Flav! Matthew Boyd (6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 3.18) leads the majors in Ks. El oh cmon. He’s the first Tigers starter to start the season with back-to-back 10+ K games. This wasn’t the A lineup for the Yankees, but more “a Yankees lineup.” Still, I’m buying partly because of FOMO, and since he had 26 swinging strikes, i.e., he was fooling them real good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Do you like roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe? Do you find John Kruk both devilishly handsome and well spoken? Can you recite from memory Michael Jack Schmidt’s retirement speech, including the exact moment he breaks down in tears? Do you know what jawn means? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re a Phillies fan. This jawn is for yous.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Daydream Bieber is a homecoming KEEEEEEN-ing-ing-ing-iiiiing. If you could’ve heard that in my head, you’d be like, “Damn, Grey’s got some pipes!” I think I might be tone deaf. Is there anyway to know for sure? Because I hear myself and I sound fine, and then I hear Jennifer Hudson and I’m like, “I sound like her in my head.” Is that tone deaf? My dog, Ted, is colorblind. In other words, Ted doesn’t discriminate. Therefore, maybe tone deaf is the perfect set of ears because it doesn’t discriminate sounds. Also, do you think my dog translates everything I say into barks? I’m a curious person probably why I’m off the Mensa scale — or Womensa scale or non-binarysa scale. Any hoosies! Shane Bieber threw 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks yesterday and dazzled again, though some of those dazzlers were mixed in with frowny faces — sad-dazzlers? Sadazzlers? Frownedazzlers? Trapped myself into a portmanteau loop and there’s no way out! I’d use the Stream-o-Nator for his upcoming starts, but for 2019 there’s very little to be pessimistic about with Bieber. His 9.6 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 3.24 xFIP are things of beauty. If he can do that in 2019, Bieber could easily back himself into a top 40 starter season and a fantasy number three with flashes of two. I’m down for that even if there’s some frownedazzlers mixed in! Sadazzlers? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…
Maybe they thought they were safe by bringing Kelvin Herrera as a Linus blanket until Doolittle returned. Maybe they were comfy with the veterans that they had lined up just in case. Well that “just in case” just happened. Herrera is now on the DL and Madson assumes the role of all roles. (Until Sean Doolittle comes back from a stressed out foot.) The Nats had such promise in preseason and even after the acquisition of Kelvin, to be a good bullpen. Former closers, like most men, are there to do their job and file their income tax returns on time like big boys. Well, they disappointed me and definitely the owners of Doolittle. Since July 3rd, or basically the last time Doolittle pitched, they have four saves. Four, fore, for! Only ahead of teams like the Padres, Blue Jays and Angels. By the way, if you are scoring at home the Angels haven’t had a save in 27 games. That is actually more mind-blowing than a team with decent starting pitching to only get four whole damn saves. Makes save-chasing on Madson or the like seem glum. So save your FAAB bucks for another day because Sean should be back within the fortnight, no idea if he mastered his emote dances yet though. Not that it really matters, but a save earned is a save kept. I know that works with pennies, wasn’t sure if that helped with counting stats at all. The season is coming down the stretch, do you have what it takes oh glutens of the SAGNOF? If you feel weary or just on cruise control because of Fantasy Football, than relax take a gander on some useful bullpen stuff, followed by the rankings…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lance Lynn had to shave his beard to play for the Yankees, because the Yankees are fascists. I wish Giancarlo would grow a mustache as giant FU. What, are they going to bench him until he shaves? Actually, Giancarlo should carve an F and a U in both of his sideburns. That would be such a 1970’s move. You could see Willie Stargell, high as a kite, being like, “Carve, ‘Down with Whitey’ in my sideburns.” Little did we know a clean-shaven Lynn would be an all-new pitcher, throwing 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 1 walk, ERA at 4.58. Prior to the trade, here’s the Twins pitching coach talking to the bullpen catcher, “Do you think Lynn might be dragging his right side a little bit because of all that facial hair?” “I don’t know, but Sasquatches have been deemed the new sexy ‘It Thing,’ so who’s to argue?” Yesterday, we saw more of Lynn (literally and figuratively) of what made him a solid starter in St. Louis for many years. His season numbers are still garbage but, if nothing else, the Stream-o-Nator loves his next start. If he can command his pitches, he could have a solid final seven weeks. It’s all about The Art of Shaving two walks off his rate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The trading deadline is days away and the roles they are a changing. In comes one out goes the other. Closers losing value left and right while the waiver wire warriors of the world are circling like buzzards for the SAGNOF scrap heaps. The latest in the foray of closers to go is Joakim Soria, now a Brewer. The White Sox closer role is likely to go to Jace Fry or Juan Minaya. Not an awesome situation or a good predicament to be in, but a closer is a closer. The SAGNOF model should be: “Leave no good save behind”. Similarly, the Orioles traded Zach Britton to the Evil Empire, Brad Brach assumes the role there for the time being or until he gets traded for assets that the Orioles can ruin. The trade winds and finalized deals don’t help the set-up man either, as key components to the back-end game have been replaced by acquired talent. This is life for the ever building bullpen foundation of playoff contending teams. Build from the back, because the girth of talent that exists in the starters just isn’t there. So if you are currently zonked from losing a closer that no longer has a professional job of closing, it is time to speculate where speculating looks speculative. Look at guys on the secondary for teams that are rumored to be wheelin’ and dealin’. The Rangers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Tigers, and to a lesser degree maybe the Cardinals… Be ahead of the curve instead of being caught looking at Uncle Charlie. Closer news is fluid this time of year, and by the time this gets posted there could be 2-3 more trades that make me look even dumber than I already do. More after the jump, with success stories and diminishing returns. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?