I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Sergio Romo 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.
Briefly alluded to Stephen Piscotty in yesterday’s roundup and how I’d love to the see the A’s go deep in the playoffs. Do I think they will? Can pigs fly? No, though, Puig can hit deep flies, and lick inanimate objects like he’s a fly regurgitating his food. The A’s have two starters and they’re named Mike Fiers and Edwin Jackson (5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.18). So, that’s an uphill battle as they say on the way to the soap box derby starting line. They do have a well-balanced offense, which is a little crazy when you think about their home park. Ron Jeremy has less foul territory. Oakland is a top five offense, and their park, as it always has been, is a bottom five park for offense. That’s so backwards it’s like, “I’m getting so lucky on Tinder recently!” Then finding out you’ve actually been opening 23 and Me and you’re banging your cousins. At the forefront of the A’s attack — A’stack? — is obviously Khris Davis (2-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI), but ‘a little dab will do ya’ with Semien (3-for-5, 1 run, 5 RBIs), every Semien encounter begins with a Martini (3-for-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer), and Matt “Thank God I’m Not Matt Olson” Chapman (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) has been on one since July, but Stephen Piscotty is having the year everyone expected from him when he was on the Cards. I know he had some personal issues, but he might be the first player ever to not be better on the Cards vs. anywhere else they’ve gone. Piscotty went 2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 26th homer with back-to-back huge games, and in the last 20 games, he’s hitting .338 with eight homers and 26 RBIs. For 2019, what can he do? Piscotty doesn’t know! Piscotty doesn’t know! But I do. He can do what he’s been doing this season, a solid third outfielder with 2nd outfielder upside. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
*spraypaints Foltynewicz incorrectly on the bumper of my car* “Okay, Cougs, now back this car up over my head. Why are you arguing with me? I see the way you look at me when I burp in public, just back the damn car up over my head! I’m looking for a visual metaphor here!” So, how was your Monday? Mine was just terrific! Not as terrific as Ryan Borucki, apizzarently. On my tombstone it’s going to read, “He died from a miserable September in his fantasy leagues, of course. Dur.” I mean, Jesus Aguilar Christmas Effin’ Christ, what in the holy name! Okay, okay, OKAY! Back to Borucki. Yesterday, he went 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.86, which is a helluva lot better than Faultywhichwhich! Borucki’s K-rate (6.1), his walk rate (2.8) and his 4.57 xFIP leave piles and piles to be desired. However (throw out everything Grey just said!), the Stream-o-Nator does like his next start a teensiest bit, and I could see streaming him. “Now back up the car!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Didja you know The Captain from Captain & Tennille’s real name is Daryl Dragon? Why would this guy have a nickname? Your name’s awesome, you don’t get a nickname. Daryl Dragon has bedtime slippers that are cooler than you. Daryl Dragon washes his hands, then breathes a not-very-intense fire on his hands to dry them. Daryl Dragon can’t get a speeding ticket. “Okay, Mr. Dragon, I’ll let you go this time with a warning because your name is Daryl Dragon.” Raul Mondesi? Now that name sucks as bad as Thanksgiving dinners with the Mondesis (Mondesii?). “Please pass the potatoes and change your name back to Junior.” “NO!” and chucks mashed potatoes at his father’s head. “You throw like your mom!” “I hate you” And so on. I don’t hate Adalberto Mondesi though. Yesterday, he went 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and had a slam (9) and legs (25). He has nine homers and 25 steals in only 219 ABs. Mr. Prorater says, “In a full season, he’d have 20 homers and 55 steals. And if I ate an orange a day for a year, I’d have enough Vitamin C for a Mars colony.” You could consider this your first 2019 sleeper, assuming I don’t get too crazy with myself and rank Mondesi in the top 25 next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend 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?
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?
Winking is the oddest of human expressions. Physically, it looks like a fusion of pain and happiness. You’re smiling, yet utterly frustrated because you can’t complete the process of connecting one eye to the mouth on the same side, which is what the purpose of a wink feels like. I know there are examples of winks where a person just closes one eye without the movement of the mouth, but that’s just a one-eyed blink. Cognitively, winks are intentional. One cannot be tricked or scared into winking. It is not a biological response mechanism. They have a purpose, yet are difficult to deduce because of the ambiguity. You know what’s not vague? Jesse Winker (34.1% owned – increase of 17.5%) is good at baseball. 13.8% strikeout rate and 15.1% walk rate! .294/.404/.429 slash with 7 home runs. Hard hit rate of 45.1% and 5.7% swinging strike rate! Now, the power isn’t spectacular (.135 ISO) and he does struggle a bit against LHP (.218 average), but he’s still only 24 years old, so the power may keep developing. What gives me the most optimism, though, is that he is not completely inept against lefties. The strikeout rate is higher than against righties, but it’s still only 18.8%, but the walk rate is a robust 17.4%, 3% higher than against righties. The approach seems solid and the BABIP is only .250 against lefties. It’s only a matter of time. TREASUREPlease, blog, may I have some more?
I want to transport you back to Jason Heyward‘s first career MLB at-bat. They called him The J-Hey Kid. Bobby Cox called the then-20-year-old a future Hall of Famer. Reggie Jackson said of the sound of the ball off Heyward’s bat, “Everyone’s hits sound like they’re ‘in AM’ and Heyward’s hits sound like they’re in stereo.” No one questioned why Reggie Jackson was commenting on a then-Atlanta Braves outfielder. Darryl Strawberry said Heyward reminded him of himself before his career was derided by drugs. Nothing ominous there; don’t read into that at all. Then-president Obama said, “Heyward’s legacy will be maintained as well as my own,” and the accolades flowed. Then, in his first at-bat, he homered. He won Rookie of the Month accolades in both April and May. Was selected, as a rookie, to the All-Star Game and now you better not let anyone ever hear you compare Heyward’s rookie exploits to Acuña or you will get popped in the mouth. Well, that was an abrupt reversal. This year, at the age of 28, he has five homers and zero steals while hitting .287. He’s a different hitter. Brucely, until this year, he hadn’t been a hitter for five years, but more of a defensive specialist. He’s hitting .410 in the last week with a homer and I could see grabbing him for average and runs as he’s now The J-Okay Kid. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The closer cavalcade of debauchery is well in season. Rewind four months ago and look at your team… If you drafted Jeurys Familia, Alex Colome and Bobby Osuna, you probably came out of the draft smiling like a freshly picked peach. Now you look at your team today for the first time in a month, because you most likely let the ship sail on the season because of injury, attrition or trades to your bullpen. The last two names have been done ad nauseum by me and other bullpen savants around the web… So now we look at Jeurys Familia. Or a tale of losing a job do to injury, returning, and basically sucking all the trust out of even owning him. From the beginning of the season until June 7th when he went on the DL, he posted good numbers by Donkeycorn standards; 14 saves with K/9 rate above 10 and ERA of 2.48 and a BAA of .245. All within the strain of imagination as a set it and forget it closer. Now we sit here on June 29th, and in six appearances since, he still sits at the same save total of 14, K/9 of 6.35, ERA of 9.53 and BAA of .357. Now, I am no math whiz, hell I am barely even knowledgeable about what actually is cheese whiz, but those numbers are awful and garbage. Add in the fact that the Mets as a team are in the toilet, have fired their GM, and have a worse record than the punting from day one Marlins…. Trade-value wise, he has zero in fantasy and almost in real life, because teams aren’t going to trade for a guy who can’t get outs. As an impending free agent, he should and will be traded, maybe to a team that has an opening in middle relief, but I don’t see him gaining closer status for the near future with the Mets or another team. So if you are a Familia owner and holding out hope for some sort of revert to the former here, I am unfortunately going to tell you that he gets less than 5 saves the rest of the year it looks like. More closer news and views, read on or don’t. I will continue to sit by the pool regardless!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cleveland Indians rookie Shane Bieber was dominant Friday night in just his third career start, pitching seven innings, allowing just four base runners and striking out nine for his second win. Talk about a reason to Love Yourself. The Biebs now holds a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through his first three starts (18.1 IP) and his 22/3 K/BB is Despacito–at least I think it’s despacito, not 100% sure I know what that means. I’m saying it’s flames. Shane Bieber is striking out lots of batters. Oh Baby, Baby. Baby sign me up. Wow, you sure do know a lot of Justin Bieber songs. What do you mean? I make it my business to know all about the Beibebers. For example, in the minors this year Shane was 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 72/6 K/BB. If those numbers make you scream like a teenage girl and and write Shane’s name is cursive flirty letters on your notebook you’re not alone, Beiber’s got the stuff to be a bonafide heart throb. He will likely see the usual rookie pitchers highs and lows, but he’s looking like the favorite to run away with the fifth rotation spot in Cleveland. He’ll get a rougher assignment than Detroit next time out taking on the Cardinals in St. Louis but I’d grab Shane for the upside alone and hope he can make a Belieber out of all of us.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?