So I’m watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my dad and following Tanner Roark strike out 15 Saturday afternoon, and all primed to write my “Raiders of the Lost Roark” pitcher profile. But then I was like, “Ya know what?! I already wrote on Joe Ross and the Nationals don’t need ANY MORE press! I’m not writing two of my first three 2016 profiles on Nats, get outta here!”
Option B: An argument I had with myself the other day: “Is Robbie Ray really that different than Carlos Rodon?” Think about it – both are lefties with mid-90s heat, plus off-speed pitchers, and are near unhittable. But they’re also two of the most frustrating pitchers to own with their control issues. So why would I love Rodon and bank on him figuring it out in my ranks and not have similar optimism for the also young (just turned 24) Ray? Mayyyyyyybe I shouldn’t broadcast to ALL of Razzball Nation my inner monologues… “What was that dream last night about? I think I was taking off my clothes in Miller Park with – – – -” Yeah, bad idea.
With Ray one of my two decent SP in REL, I decided to megalomaniacally (made up word?!) take the pitcher profile to Arizona and break down how Ray looked again the Pirates yesterday afternoon:
I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate. He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world. Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.” I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario. I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.” Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple. But they didn’t see the dark side.” “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days. Can he continue it?” “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood. Coming up after the break–” So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year. These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick. Will it continue for Hazelbaker? It seems highly unlikely. He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245. But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
My pain is self-chosen At least, so the prophet says I could either burn Or cut off my pride and buy some time A head full of lies is the weight, tied to my waist
That is quite the downer, isn’t it? Makes you want to jump out of the nearest window. Welcome to the saves game! It is the river of deceit. I can’t believe I went with a “grunge” title today, but I missed Sky this offseason. [Jay’s Note: The Emo King, to rule them all!] Mad Season is the inspiration today, as the saves game is the most emotionally painful part of the fantasy season. Well maybe “can be” the most painful would be more apt for this discussion. So in the spirit of classic me and using the song titles of Mad Season’s other bands, I will say this in hyper link glory. The closer game in the shadow of the season is a state of love and trust that hopefully signals it’s over now… in a good way. I went almost full unplugged there. So friggin’ 90’s. Enough of that decade, let’s move into today.
Yesterday, Shawn Tolleson went zero innings and gave up five earned for the blown save. Why is there blood dripping down the back of my leg? OH GOD, TOLLESON, WHAT HAVE YAO REEKED?! Yao is totally a medieval word for you, by the way. Yao Ming was medieval for “You mean?” Rather popular question in the olden days. Any hoo! Jesus, Tolleson, I wish I owned Jesus Tolleson, the Dominican League 2nd baseman from the Punta Cana Putas, instead of you. That was egregious, my man. At least buy me dinner before touching up my nethers with an iron maiden. Someone tase me so I forget about it. I immediately grabbed Sam Dyson and Keone Kela, wherever I could. It’s not completely clear who would be next, but Dyson has been used as the 8th inning setup man recently, so he’d be my first choice. If Tolleson looks wonky in one more game, he might no longer be the closer. Or as Elvis Costello would say, “Tolleson, I know the M’s are killing you, but my aim for SAGNOF is true.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
If you’re not a fan of The Walking Dead or haven’t watched last week’s episode, then you can just skip this paragraph. Am I that only one that cheered when that arrow shot through Denise’s eye? That was awesome. Her insufferable rant made me want to jump into the television and drop the People’s Elbow on that thang. Thankfully the writers took care of that for me. I also loved seeing Daryl reunited with his crossbow. Welcome back! With only two episodes left I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen. Here’s my theory. A major character has to die. It’s happened every season. So who’s going to die? My money is on Glen. Here’s why? The writers have already teased his death. Back in episode 3 “Thank You” Glen appeared to meet his demise after he fell off the dumpster. It wasn’t until episode 7 “Heads Up“, four weeks later, that we found out he survived. I believe the writers were testing the waters to see how the fans would react to killing off Glen. That’s my theory. With that said, if they kill off Daryl I’m going to lose my sh*t. Literally!
The Brewers picked up three solid prospects in trades this past summer – acquiring Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, and Zach Davies. Santana has already graduated and should be an interesting power upside play in 2016, while Davies should start the year in the rotation. Phillips migh have the most upside of any of them, but likely won’t reach the majors until 2017. After being one of the weaker systems entering the 2015 season, these trades and the 2015 draft have done a lot to bolster the farm. They’ll add another strong piece this summer with the fifth pick in the MLB draft.
When I think of the term “Hebrew Hammer” I think of Moishe Steinbergowitzman, the handyman that put the deck on my neighbor’s house. That dude was out there every morning at 8am hammering away, except for Saturdays. Friday nights must have been his night to cut loose and throw back some Manischewitz. Of course there is also Mordechai Jefferson Carver, the baaadest Heeb this side of Tel Aviv. However, neither of these descendants of Abraham are the Hebrew Hammer to which I am referring.
Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks. I took some guff in the preseason for being down on Tanaka, in the non-sexual way. I projected him for the line of 10-4/3.49/1.15/150. His line right now is 11-6/3.57/1.01/125. Yeah, I was waaaaaaaaay off. Multiple A’s to allow time for an eye roll. Kids write me letters and say, “Unkie Grey, how did you know what Tanucky (sic) would do so mediocrely?” My answer is always the same, I’m a witch. Then I continue, “No, that’s just a broom. Male witches ride around on Vespas.” Tanaka was an easy person for me to avoid this year due to his elbow tendon. For 2016, sadly, I don’t see my enthusiasm changing. Or at any point for him until he has surgery, rehabs for 12-16 months and then returns. I wish he would, because I would like to get excited about him, but it’s just not gonna happen, said like Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush. Now, excuse me, I double-parked my Vespa on Sandoval’s foot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Hello! How many of Y’all remember the early 90’s? I don’t mean you were 5 and sort of remember it. I mean you know all the words to Color Me Bad, “I Wanna Sex You Up”, or K7’s “Come Baby Come”. How many of you had a fly honey in high waisted shorts and a fresh perm? Can you bust out a Running Man or the Wop? If you caught even 60% of what I just said this one’s for you. You know for all my overall shorts with the one strap rocking CooleyHighHarmony heads. We’re bringing it back New Jack Style with some of the flyest threads of the early 90’s. Ya heard?
One big change before we go forward, the format of the charts got a little remix treatment here in the two-trey. Yours truly, decided to roll out a different set of wOBA ranks, scrapping the righty/lefty splits and instead looking at the entirety of the second half. This should give you some idea of what offenses are A. Hot and B. Putting it together following any acquisitions they made before the trade deadline. Because who really cares what a team looked like in April or June, right? Should we let our judgement be skewed by first half data if a team has been awful for all of July and August? Hell no! So we made that change for your benefit I’m a giver. The other change is we dropped the k% and added the ERA/FIP/xFIP of each potential two start pitcher over their last 5 or so turns. We did have a couple with under 5 starts total for the season, but it was just two (Zach Davies, and Cody Martin). Once again this is taking a look at the current form of each starter, not how they were pitching two months ago. Ya Dig? Good, well let’s get to it.
During the preseason I made a strong case for selecting Clayton Kershaw as the top overall pick ahead Mike Trout in points leagues using total points, Z-score and FVARz. Kershaw edged out Trout across the board, but I’m sure that didn’t convince most of you to pull the trigger. Actually I’m pretty positive of this because Trout’s average draft position (ADP) was 1.3, while Kershaw’s ADP was just under 2 at 1.9. That means that there were a few of you that joined the dark side, but the rest of you just didn’t have enough balls. Let’s see if I made a jacka*s of myself taking such an outrageous stance.