It’s 1993. Funny man and lady slayer, Billy Crystal hosts the Oscars; Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time becomes a bestseller because guys buy the book to put on their shelves to be a lady slayer like Billy Crystal, and a mother and father fawn over a newborn: “What do you want to name him?” “I like the name Tejay.” “I think it’s an abbreviation.” “Does it have to be?” And with that Tejay Antone was brought into the world. Yesterday, he announced himself with a start vs. the Indians of 4 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 2.08, but the line might not do it justice. He had a solid number of called/swinging strikes in yesterday’s game, and his 83 MPH slider, and 80 MPH curve really dips off the table from his 96 MPH fastball. Honestly, he looked to me like a great bullpen arm, or, if he can command his stuff, a high-upside starter. I kinda drooled at some of his offerings. Don’t think he’s there yet for mixed leagues, outside of favorable Streamonator matchups, but he went from off my radar, to definitely on it. As T.J. Lavin would say to a mirror, “You’re killin’ it, Teej!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mike Clevinger – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (5 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 3.24. He seemed to be throwing a cutter for the first time in yesterday’s game. Maybe he learned it from Bieber: “Wanna teach me your cutter, bro?” “If you’ll teach me how to grow out my hair, bro?” Simultaneously, “Deal, bro!”
Ozzie Albies – Hit the IL with a wrist bruise, and it sounds like he will need more than 10 days to rest. Albies sore? “Night and day,” he woefully sang. Ozzie! Ozzie! Ozzie! Oy! Oy! Oy!
Nick Markakis – 0-for-1 as he was activated from the restricted list. My man looked around at how MLB was handling a pandemic and was like, “Ya know what? I was wrong, I want to play.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu – 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 5.14. I know the inclination is to cut bait with everyone and just stream and batty call like you have Adderall mainlined into your foot vein, but this start by Ryu is why we have to be a little more patient with guys who have a track record.
Max Scherzer – Left after one inning, because he thought Manfred reduced game length to one inning. Oh, no, hearing now that he had a tweaked hamstring and could go in his next start. Well, that’s a relief. “Damn, right!” exclaimed Erick Fedde, who went 3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 3.48
Rick Porcello – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 6.92. Seven innings? In some games that’s a complete game!
JT Brubaker – Will make his 1st major league start today. If you click his name, you see his projections, and they’re not, how do I say, good. He’s 26 going on 27, as most 26-year-olds are, and he’s been in the minors for ages. Not necessarily a knock since the Pirates don’t know what they’re doing. See: All Pirates trades. Brubaker has shown solid command at times in the minors, and deals a 94-ish MPH fastball, and has four pitches, and could surprise some teams. Outside of NL-Only, I’m only watching, but he could get on my radar quickly.
Josh Bell – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .222222222222…the world spins for hundred years…222222222…and 2. *audience begins to leave* Wait, I just wanted a sip of cola, I wasn’t done.
Trevor Williams – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.52. Ya know what’s super cool? There’s no offense at all. Conspiracy theory alert! Manfred wants this season over as quick as possible, so rather than the SuperBall he used last year for homers, this year it’s a ball made of lead, so games are over faster.
Randy Dobnak – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 1 K, ERA at 0.60. Regression Fairies are sheltering in place and want no part of this season.
Nick Madrigal – Hit the IL with a separated left shoulder. Hopefully, he can reconcile with it, and they don’t divorce.
Edwin Encarnacion – Diagnosed with a joint inflammation. Would expect an inflammed joint more from B. Harper. He likes to burn one down.
Aroldis Chapman – Returned from Covid and is not expected to be activated anytime soon. Like the alarm clock next to your bed, Aroldis has his own timetable.
J.A. Happ – 3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 10.29. Just Abolish Happ.
Brett Gardner – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 3rd homer, now has three homers in four of his last games. Hot schmotato alert, but careful of platoons.
Aaron Judge – 2-for-7, 3 RBIs and his 7th homer. He’s playing fired up this year, like he just listened to Mike and the Mechanics’ The Living Years, and the part, “We don’t see eye to eye,” hit him harder than most.
Luke Voit – 2-for-3, and his 4th homer. It’s 2018 all over again. (I wish.) Judging–Wait, wrong guy–Okay, when looking at usage, it appears like they don’t love Voit’s 1st base defense.
Bryce Harper – 1-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in the day game, and his 1st steal in the nightcap — the Ernie Banks slam & legs!
J.T. Realmuto – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .300. Jerry Tomato telling all other catchers to ketchup!
Zack Wheeler – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 2.08. He’s just so good in away games. Kidding, because the Phils were home, but listed as away. It’s funny when you explain it.
Aaron Nola – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.97. Phils prolly lose both of these games if they’re 9-inning games, due to bullpen being bullsh*t. Just thought of something. A pitcher could throw five innings in a day game, then come back and throw four more innings in the night cap for the nine-inning split-complete game. I sound like Nolan Ryan.
Julio Teheran – 2 2/3 IP, 2 ER, as he was activated from the IL, and looked in midseason form.
Max Stassi – 1-for-2, 2 runs and his 3rd homer, hitting .333. If you only drafted guys who reminded you of sauerkraut, you’d have Stassi and German Marquez and be doing better than teams with Yelich and Gerrit Cole.
David Fletcher – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer, and 2nd in as many games, hitting .348. Ever since Mike Trout became a father, Fletcher is hitting for power. Fletcher, did you eat the placenta labeled “Trout” in the Angels’ clubhouse refrigerator?
Mike Trout – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 3rd and 4th homer. I just drafted his kid in a dynasty league. How bad could he be in 18 years?
Carl Edwards Jr. – 1 IP, 0 ER, and his 1st save, ERA at 1.93. This was after the Mariners’ apparent closer, Taylor Williams, came into the 8th and gave up 3 ER in 1 IP. By the way, on some teams, I have five ‘apparent closers,’ and maybe one actual closer.
Kyle Seager – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (2) and legs (2), hitting .326. Whoa, where’s this coming from? Did the Seager brothers make some kind of quarantine bet? If Kyle Seager’s available in your league, obviously you should be interested.
Nolan Arenado – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer. I found The Fountainhead free online, so I just printed 19,000 pages and am about to sit down with a Shasta to read. But, first, let me arbitrarily put it by this open window–NOOOOOO! Torenado!
Kole Calhoun – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .216. Not much recently from Calhoun, but if I know anything, I know schmotatoes (you can imagine how useful a skill that is monetarily), and Calhoun is the type to get hot for a short stretch.
David Peralta – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .244. Weird that he’s hitting all the way down in the lineup and Calhoun’s in the two hole of a Marte sandwich.
Abraham Toro – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Fun fact! He charges the mound any time he sees a player in red.
Kyle Tucker – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. C’mon, Dusty, get him out of the lineup!
Lance McCullers – 3 2/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 9.22. He pitches so well usually in Arizona when the roof is closed, which is why they opened it right before the game. I cackle at truth.
Sean Manaea – 3 1/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 8.03. MLB managers are the last ones to figure out one of their pitchers is obviously hurt. Right after the guy who prints out the pictures for the cardboard fans.
Matt Olson – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homer, hitting .179. Allahson, my aim is true! Get hot, please!
Ramon Laureano – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer. Not sure I love him because he’s awesome, or underappreciated, but I will continue to get in touch with…my feelings. Was that a weird time to pause?
Khris Davis – Sitting out, dealing with being on the weak side of a platoon. Don’t let your babies grow up to be Khris Davises, whatever the spelling.
Kyle Gibson – 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.45. He’s the King of “I Guess That Was A Solid Start.” It’s honorary only and he doesn’t rule anything.
Joc Pederson – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 2nd and 3rd homer. Rockin’ Joc! (With your host, Dan Cortese.)
Fernando Tatis Jr. – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and a slam (4) and legs (4), hitting .294. Listen, I won’t point you out and shame you, but you 100% didn’t want to draft Fun the Jewels as high as I ranked him.
Kris Bubic – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.60. No big flies from the Bubic region in the game, limiting the Cubs with an 81 MPH change and 92 MPH fastball. He’ll prolly have a better career than Tejay Antone from the lede, because he’s so much younger (22), but I was so yawnstipated watching Bubic.
Ryan Yarbrough – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.78. Eff me in the can, you dirty-faced jerk. That one hurt. Streamonator hates his next one too vs. the same Red Sox in Fenway, and now I have to look hard at Yarbrough, bro (stutter!). Rays’ schedule doesn’t get easy again for about two weeks.
Alex Verdugo – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer, hitting .258. Pretty fascinating to let all the rest of the world fall off like it’s The Matrix after the red pill and just look at the Red Sox choosing to A) Platoon Verdugo. B) Bat Pillar or Peraza leadoff instead of Verdugo. C) There’s no C.
Michael Chavis – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer, hitting .240. He’s on pace for 15 RBIs this year. Scott Boras gonna have to do some real funky math in arbitration with this year’s stats.
Brandon Kintzler – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 2nd save, ERA at 0.00, like almost the entire Marlins’ staff. Marlins are about to go 59-1 and win the World Series, aren’t they? Stephen Tarpley got save in the 2nd game of the doubleheader, but that was likely because Kintzler had gone. Kintzler is the one to own as the 1927 Marlins march towards greatness.
Adrian Houser – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 0.75. I wanted him in every league. I think I got him in like 50% of my leagues. That leaves me longing for him in…*doing the math*…um, in a bunch of other leagues!
Dallas Keuchel – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.55. Not sure why I keep becoming the White Sox GM, but they need one more Keuchel-like arm — solid if unspectacular vet — and they can make a run deep into the playoffs. Yes, I’m talking playoffs two weeks into the season, but it is August, so there’s that.
Alex Reyes – Called up. This could be the season Reyes puts it all together, which is to say he has about enough time to throw 40 IP, if he were in the rotation, which would be near his career high in one season, but he’s not even in the rotation. Try limboing under those expectations.
Kwang-Hyun Kim – Moving into the rotation, which is whatever for fantasy, but think about that for a brief moment. Cards moved their closer into the rotation rather than mess with Alex Reyes. Guess you can argue Kim should have always been in the rotation, but, here’s the thing, he wasn’t; he was their closer. If they wanted him in the rotation, why didn’t they just use Ryan Helsley as the closer the whole time? If that makes sense to you, turn to your nearest mirror and say, “Hello, I am Mike Shildt.” Any hoo! Ryan Helsley will enter to Hells Bells and receive numerous trademark lawsuits from former closers. Hopefully, he enters in the 9th. Could be Giovanny Gallegos too, and I don’t think it’s going to be clearcut.