Please see our player page for Tommy Kahnle 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.

Howdy, folks!

Thanks for tuning in for my next weekly project: tracking all them ding dang injuries. I’m transitioning from transactions to trauma. From moves to maladies. From signings to sickness. From business to band-aids. From…that’s all I got.

Don’t we all love injuries? What would fantasy sports be without all those cute lil’ red “DTD”s and “IL”s and “O”s and “Q”s sprinkled all over our lineup pages?

I jest, of course. F*** injuries. Nothing sours your fantasy GM mojo like freakin’ injuries. Last year was banonkers (bananas + bonkers = banonkers) with COVID, and we’re already getting some of that fun as Spring Training kicks off. I keep seeing stuff about this wild California strain, and if there’s any proof in that pudding, then we could very well be in for a lot more COVID fun in 2021. I mean, we will be anyway, but this could compound it further. Joy.

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It turns out the area around 161st street that Yankee Stadium was built on was home to an ancient Indian burial ground, or is the new home of the Bermuda Triangle, or was cursed by witches in the 1600s, because that’s the only explanation for the injury plague the Yankees have dealt with over the last two seasons.

Already down Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Tommy Kahnle, and Zack Britton, the Yanks put two other stars on the shelf this week.  Gleyber Torres went on the IL with a hamstring injury that looks to keep him out for 2-3 weeks after an MRI revealed no structural damage.  We gave you Tyler Wade and Thiaro Estrada last week for DJ’s injury fill ins and the same names apply here.  James Paxton is also on the IL with forearm discomfort.  He’s avoided a worst case scenario, as an MRI revealed that there’s no tear that would lead to Tommy John surgery.  His timetable is still unclear for return.  The Yankees have been reluctant to bring up top pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt due to the fact that they’d need to make a move to their 40 man roster to do so, but he’s the most fantasy relevant arm on the horizon.  Deivi Garcia is the other big time prospect to watch here if this injury keeps Paxton out for a while.  There’s also been heavy rumors of trade activity for the Yankees to get an arm with Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Zach Plesac being the mosts talked about targets.

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Oh, hello random blog reader. I didn’t see you there. Don’t mind me, I’m just doing early offseason fantasy baseball research while listening to Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” on a loop. It gets me in the proper mindset to tackle bullpens. I generally find few fantasy positions that elicit more angst than relievers. Nevertheless, I’ve hit the double-digit mark on BoP and am feeling all kinds of weird. It’s the perfect place to dip a toe into choppy reliever waters. I’ve broken down the roles while unveiling my new “Razzers” rating system (base 1-5). Is this a ploy to trick search engine’s into redirecting users searching for Brazzers? Yes. Yes, it is.

Ok, now that you’ve returned to this tab from your incognito browsing session, the Pens!

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I don’t know if there’s a more frustrating pursuit than finding enough pitching in fantasy baseball. Usable middle relievers used to grow on trees. Now the good ones are picked and what’s left probably tastes sour. Nevertheless, we forge ahead trying to find a bandaid for our fantasy staffs where we can. In deeper leagues those won’t be brand name, rather bargain brand bandages. At least we’re far enough into the season that some early injuries have healed.

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Another week, more exciting prospect call-ups, as Keston Hiura is now a full-fledged Milwaukee Brewer, and Brendan Rodgers is rumored to be on his way to join the Rockies as I write this.  If you play in a shallow league, perhaps you had the opportunity to grab Hiura off the waiver wire and are now a little more invested in his major league baseball career than you were a week ago.  If you play in a very deep league, chances are both Hiura and Rodgers were drafted back in March even in re-draft formats, and perhaps have been owned for years in an NL-only, dynasty type league.  No, we deep-leaguers aren’t going to be finding guys with Hiura’s or Rodgers’ upside floating in the free agent pool too often, so we have to get much more creative.… and on that note, here are this week’s players that may be more realistic targets in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues.

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NL West | NL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central | AL East

We move to the AL East, an interesting division for dark horses. For a division with so many wins, there’s a large amount of uncertainty for who’s in the ninth. Required disclaimer: these aren’t players to draft outside of nuts-deep leagues. These are spec plays at best and probably just a name to remember should one of the top guys go down.

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Closer news is nice, but how much fluctuation is really happening in the first eight games of the year?  Zero is the answer… but what about Kenley Jansen?  If you drafted him, you are riding that gondola to closer purgatory as his draft slot is an inexcusable smorgasbord of devilishness.  In layman’s terms?  You are burnt.  So like closers, I also cover their well being of your local neighborhood holds guys too.  Early season patterns of usage are a key to early season effectiveness.  Managers stick with guys early that have had a good spring and can be relied on to get tough outs. It is no different than later in the season, but some of the faces change because of poor spring, injury returns, and dreaded attrition factors that all relief pitchers battle.  The role of the relief pitcher is completely expanding,  as more former starters are being used in multi-inning appearances.  Would it completely blow your mind if I said there have been more multi-inning appearances of four strikeouts than there have been starts with seven-plus innings?  Boom, mind blown.  The Peacock effect is in full bloom.  Following the Devenski Effect of a year ago, the multi-inning reliever is going to become a hot commodity fantasy-wise… hopefully by Wednesday.  The K-factor, the “free inning” factor, and the way you can time a relief pitcher on a down starting pitcher day is the exploitation factor that can vault your rates into the next level.  It happens subtly and takes diligence on the wire, but two-3 K’s and rates per day at the cost of merely a few innings (as compared to a starter maybe going 5 innings and throwing 85 pitches) makes me wanna puke.  Thanks Gabe Kapler.  So keep an eye out for multi-inning relief cave dwellers and the goodies that they supply.  Or just stick around here and learn about everything else that is happening around the bullpens around fake baseball!

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Even being 1/10th of the way through the season, it is never too early to see some trends forming.  The trends I am learning you about are the bullpen usage rates.  Not every team follows an A to B to C type formulas, and it would be nice, but usage rates in certain situations, even 15 games into the season, peak their heads out for fantasy usefulness.  The ancillary stats that no one really notices, and that I use all year, are runners inherited and appearances with the lead.  All key factors for what a reliever is and what they are at sustaining.  The inherited runners stat is a ruiner, not only for themselves but for the pitchers they are replacing.  Basically a sad trombone in the case of reliever sad trombones.  The appearances with the lead factor is what we all eat our Holds and gravy with.  It basically says that they are pitching with a lead, granted, holds are scored the same as a save.  So all that less than four runs runner on deck shenanigans that people made up for it to qualify.  So welcome to the first Holds/bullpens post of the year as we embark on a road far less traveled then it should.  Holds matter, regardless of color.

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Chicago_White_Sox

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…James Fegan, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago White Sox!

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SAGNOF just keeps finding ways to stay absurd.  Tom Wilhelmsen, Jean Machi, John Axford = good.  Carson Smith, Junichi Tazawa…. even Greg Holland = bad.  If all you care about are saves there’s been a wealth of options available.  Realistically, I think chasing saves with bad closers can be a losing proposition.  What do the first three (the so called “good”) have in common aside from taking over as the closer?  How about WHIPs greater than 1.40.  These players need to come with a warning label.  “Implosion likely to occur.”  I mean, it only took Edward Mujica about a week to implode and he was arguably better than any of these three.  Axford and Wilhelmsen look like brothers from different mothers with their K:BB ratios at 1.75 and 1.91 respectively.  Anything below 2.50 is really bad for a closer.  Unless you’re Brad Ziegler.  Then it’s okay.  (I need a “no sarcasm” alert for that one).  Here’s the lowdown on the closer situations that will make you want to scream.

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