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Updated: 2017-09-19T18:00:00+00:00

 



SAGNOF Report: Sore Diorama

2017-09-19T18:00:00+00:00

Wanna take a guess at who the title is?  Anagrams are fun, and by fun, I mean about as fun as going to a baseball game and staying sober.  Since that first sentence merely took eight seconds to read, I would assume that your guess of Fernando Valenzuela was wrong.  The real answer is Amed Rosario.  I could have went with endless possibilities, but a "sore diorama" sounds like a science fair experiment gone wrong.  So onto the SAGNOF usefulness for the man that could have been "armoire soda," but alas the diorama wins.  Over the last 15 games with the Mets on coast mode to losing, the question is: are they in a coasting mode for losing and futility?  Anyways, over his last 15 games, he has a .364 batting average, a .391 OBP, 7 runs, and the all important 3 steals.  He never exuded elite-type speed in the minors, maxing out at 19 across two levels this year and last.  So the speed could be blossoming like the ability to make pumpkin spice anything nowadays and have lonely single people furnish an entire apartment with it. With the season less than two weeks from finish, look high, look low, look Amed Rosario.(image) Wanna take a guess at who the title is?  Anagrams are fun, and by fun, I mean about as fun as going to a baseball game and staying sober.  Since that first sentence merely took eight seconds to read, I would assume that your guess of Fernando Valenzuela was wrong.  The real answer is Amed Rosario.  I could have went with endless possibilities, but a "sore diorama" sounds like a science fair experiment gone wrong.  So onto the SAGNOF usefulness for the man that could have been "armoire soda," but alas the diorama wins.  Over the last 15 games with the Mets on coast mode to losing, the question is: are they in a coasting mode for losing and futility?  Anyways, over his last 15 games, he has a .364 batting average, a .391 OBP, 7 runs, and the all important 3 steals.  He never exuded elite-type speed in the minors, maxing out at 19 across two levels this year and last.  So the speed could be blossoming like the ability to make pumpkin spice anything nowadays and have lonely single people furnish an entire apartment with it. With the season less than two weeks from finish, look high, look low, look Amed Rosario.(image) (image)



RCL Update: The Week That Was, Week 24

2017-09-19T17:00:00+00:00

It’s that time of year again, when teams looking to max out their counting pitching stats (strikeouts and wins) or who hope to get lucky (or have nothing to lose) and lower their ratios, stack up nine starting pitchers on their final day of starts and see what happens.  This is a strategy that has caused quite a bit of consternation over the years of the Razzball Commenter Leagues, but in the end, it’s not against the rules and if you want to take the risk, that’s your prerogative.  Y! Leagues feature the same characteristic where, on the day you go over your IP limit, all stats count.  This is no different. Thus far, 4 teams have maxed out with 188 Games Started.  I have two teams that have taken the plunge, as has Simply Fred of ECFBL and # Sozo of Cougs R Us.  ECFBL and Cougs R Us are routinely two of the most competitive RCLs and, speaking on behalf of the 5 years I’ve played in ECFBL, typically 75% of the league will hit the 188 threshold.  Strikeouts and wins are usually so tightly contested, that every inning counts.  Unless you are holding a slim lead in the ratios that you don’t want ruined, there’s not much to lose in maxing out your stats.  So, how have our trio managers made out?  We’ll look at that and more from the week that was, week 24 below:It’s that time of year again, when teams looking to max out their counting pitching stats (strikeouts and wins) or who hope to get lucky (or have nothing to lose) and lower their ratios, stack up nine starting pitchers on their final day of starts and see what happens.  This is a strategy that has caused quite a bit of consternation over the years of the Razzball Commenter Leagues, but in the end, it’s not against the rules and if you want to take the risk, that’s your prerogative.  Y! Leagues feature the same characteristic where, on the day you go over your IP limit, all stats count.  This is no different. Thus far, 4 teams have maxed out with 188 Games Started.  I have two teams that have taken the plunge, as has Simply Fred of ECFBL and # Sozo of Cougs R Us.  ECFBL and Cougs R Us are routinely two of the most competitive RCLs and, speaking on behalf of the 5 years I’ve played in ECFBL, typically 75% of the league will hit the 188 threshold.  Strikeouts and wins are usually so tightly contested, that every inning counts.  Unless you are holding a slim lead in the ratios that you don’t want ruined, there’s not much to lose in maxing out your stats.  So, how have our trio managers made out?  We’ll look at that and more from the week that was, week 24 below:[...]



FantasyDraft: Californication

2017-09-19T16:45:00+00:00

We are going to take a trip to California to look for our pitching options tonight. German Marquez ($14,100) is taking the mound in San Francisco and is facing one of the worst hitting teams in the Giants. To make matters worse, they might be without Buster Posey. For the year the Giants are hitting .252 against Righties and a lowly .685 OPS. Marquez should have a good chance at the win and some strikeouts. Meanwhile in Southern California Zack Godley ($21,600) is taking the mound in San Diego. Not to beat a dead horse but streaming guys against the Padres is becoming the norm. Doesn't mean we cant profit from it, Godley has been at his career best all year and should be no different in San Diego. Padres offer a juicy opportunity to rack up the Ks and the win should be in play. Lets take a look at the rest of the picks... New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! (image) We are going to take a trip to California to look for our pitching options tonight. German Marquez ($14,100) is taking the mound in San Francisco and is facing one of the worst hitting teams in the Giants. To make matters worse, they might be without Buster Posey. For the year the Giants are hitting .252 against Righties and a lowly .685 OPS. Marquez should have a good chance at the win and some strikeouts. Meanwhile in Southern California Zack Godley ($21,600) is taking the mound in San Diego. Not to beat a dead horse but streaming guys against the Padres is becoming the norm. Doesn't mean we cant profit from it, Godley has been at his career best all year and should be no different in San Diego. Padres offer a juicy opportunity to rack up the Ks and the win should be in play. Lets take a look at the rest of the picks... New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! (image) (image)



The Daily Grind: A Day for Godleyness

2017-09-19T14:15:00+00:00

Cleanliness isn't a part of today's pitching slate. Godley(ness) sure is!Mailboxes drip like lampposts in the twisted birth canal of the Coliseum. Rim-job fairy teapots mask the temper tantrum, oh say can you see ’em. AGENDA Damned, Two Ways Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse SaberSim Says… TDG Invitational Returns! 1. Damned, Two Ways Yesterday was a very difficult contest for picking pitchers, especially on DraftKings. Since Clayton Kershaw was far and away the best hurler, it felt necessary to go in another direction. One of those alternatives was Buck Farmer. He posted a -0.2 score. Sad face. Kershaw himself squatted upon the bed too – 13.9 points. The actual winning combination was Jaime Garcia and Dan Straily. No participant in the Invitational used both pitchers. The other “safe” arms like Pat Corbin and Dylan Bundy also flopped spectacularly. Whether you stuck by Kershaw or correctly zigged for a less popular alternative, you were probably left with a disappointing point total. 2. Weather Reports We should be fine tonight. Just make sure you check back closer to game time. There are a few venues with some risk like Cincinnati and Detroit. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Main Slate: The big names include Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, and Zack Godley. I yearn for the days when Godley cost in the $8,000 range. Now he’s priced at $11,100 for a juicy matchup against the Padres. Scherzer at Atlanta and Darvish visiting Philadelphia are comparably luscious and only slightly more expensive. We have a nice layer of usable arms between the aces and the scrubmuffins. I think my favorite is Drew Pomeranz. The Orioles offense has struggled against left-handed pitchers at times this year. And they’re definitely strikeout prone. Pomeranz has fully rebounded from a poor start to the season. And he only cost $8,100 tonight. Chase Anderson visiting spacious PNC Park is certainly tempting. Equally temptatious is his chance to exploit an oh-so-frigid Pirates lineup. They’re ALL slumping. Via injury and epic meltdowns, Chris Archer has fallen to $7,900. I watched his last outing. Despite lasting just four frames, he looked completely fine out there. This is a fantastic bargain, even against a good Cubs offense. I find myself drawn to German Marquez when he’s away from Coors Field. Today he’s visiting Johnny Cueto and the Giants. Both Cueto ($7,000) and Marquez ($6,800) are extremely desirable at their prices – mostly due to AT&T Field. Who else…who else… How about Mike Clevinger (@LAA), Jose Berroes (@NYY), Marcus Stroman (vs KC), Aaron Nola (vs LAD), Collin McHugh (vs CWS), CC Sabathia (vs MIN), Mike Montgomery (@TB), or Trevor Williams (vs MIL). McHugh has the best matchup of the bunch while Stroman is probably the top combination of floor and ceiling. Stack Targets: Travis Wood, Jackson Stephens, Chad Bell, Odrisamer Despaigne, Luiz Gohara, Sam Gaviglio, Tyler Skaggs, Jack Flaherty, Martin Perez, Seth Lugo 4. SaberSim Says… Scherzer, Darvish, Archer, Godley, and Nola are the preferred arms according to SaberSim. Hitters include Giancarlo Stanton, Paul Goldschmidt, Mike Trout, George Springer, and Joey Votto. Try Cesar Puello, Miguel Cabrera, Manuel Margot, or Austin Hays if you want a bargain. 5. The Daily Grind Invitational Way to go LiMedina13. A combination of Garcia and Dee Gordon supplied nearly half of his point total. Leaderboard. I barely filled last Tuesday’s 20 user contest so we’re dropping to 15 users on all days. See ya on DraftKings.[...]



NL East Notes: Harvey, Syndergaard, Prado, Braves

2017-09-19T13:31:00+00:00

Mets righty Matt Harvey turned in another abysmal start last night, leaving him with a 13.19 ERA in his four outings since returning from the DL. As Marc Carig of Newsday writes, Harvey seemed rather dejected after the game, calling his work “terrible all the way around” — though, perhaps, there’s at least some cause…Mets righty Matt Harvey turned in another abysmal start last night, leaving him with a 13.19 ERA in his four outings since returning from the DL. As Marc Carig of Newsday writes, Harvey seemed rather dejected after the game, calling his work “terrible all the way around” — though, perhaps, there’s at least some cause for hope in the fact that he is working in the mid-nineties with his fastball. Of course, that’s hardly sufficient in and of itself, and the results have been sobering. “Everybody’s watching,” said Harvey. “I don’t really know what there is to say except for there is nothing to say. It’s terrible. It’s not fun. There’s really nothing to say. There’s no reason for questions. There’s no answers.” Meanwhile, the Mets are still waiting to see just how fellow righty Noah Syndergaard will look when he returns to the majors after a long layoff for a partial lat tear. As Mike Puma of the New York Post reports, though, it’s likely at this point that Syndergaard will only be allowed to make two appearances. It had been hoped at one point that he’d be able to make a much more significant return to end the year, but the club has understandably exercised caution. The young ace, after all, is a critically important member of a pitching staff that possesses many questions heading into the offseason. It’s now unlikely that Marlins third baseman Martin Prado will make it back for any significant playing time before the end of the 2017 season, Tim Healey of the Sun-Sentinel reports. The veteran has been trying to return from knee surgery, but his rehab efforts were interrupted by Hurricane Irma. Whether or not he can suit up, it seems promising at least that the 33-year-old seems to have bounced back fairly well from the procedure. After all, he’s still promised another $28.5MM over the next two seasons. The Braves appear to be closing in on yet another stadium deal with significant taxpayer money involved. As Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, construction on a new Spring Training facility in North Port, Florida will begin in short order — if the deal is approved today by the city’s commissioners. In addition to the well-documented move to SunTrust Park for the major-league club, the Braves have found accommodating local governments to help build stadiums for several team-owned minor-league affiliates in recent years. This latest project, in Sarasota County, has already ballooned to just over $100MM in projected costs — just over half of which will be the responsibility of the ballclub. [...]



10 Important Stories From 09/18/17 Box Scores: Hays’ Emergence, Olson Keeps Slugging & More

2017-09-19T13:22:00+00:00

by Ray Kuhn We had a reduced slate on Monday, as just 14 teams took the field, with all seven games taking place under the lights. For those of you in contention, the importance of each pitch can’t be underestimated. But for those who areby Ray Kuhn We had a reduced slate on Monday, as just 14 teams took the field, with all seven games taking place under the lights. For those of you in contention, the importance of each pitch can’t be underestimated. But for those who are out of contention, it is never too early to prepare for next season. That is also the case if you are fighting it out for the championship. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from the night around the league:   1) Miami Has Multiple Sluggers…Of course, the focus is going to be on Giancarlo Stanton and his 55 home runs, but the Marlins have more than one slugger in their outfield. I mean after his latest blast, that is perfectly understandable, but Marcell Ozuna also went deep on Monday. It was his 34th home run of the season and part of a 4 for 5 night as Ozuna raised his average to .305 on the season. Ozuna also added another RBI, and that brought him to 113 for the year, which is just four behind Stanton. Entering play last night, Ozuna’s career average was .274 with a BABIP of .324, so that is something to be aware of for next season as his previous career best batting average was .269. Overall, at age 26, this is a career year for Ozuna, as the big thing, is that he has remained consistent all season.   2) Taylor Keeps it Going…You can’t argue with the success, but I keep on waiting for Chris Taylor to cool off. However, now with a full season’s worth of at bats, we might be seeing the true Taylor. Entering play on Monday, Taylor was hitting just .190 in September, but he did go 2 for 3 with a walk last night. Taylor got things started with his 20th home run of the season to lead off the game, and he is batting .292 for the season with 68 RBI. The problem though, is that I’m not sure Taylor’s success is sustainable as he sports a .373 BABIP while striking out 26.1% of the time. The utility player has also stolen 16 bases this season as he has provided fantasy a legitimate mix of power and speed off the waiver wire. If you take a step back, it is crazy to think of Taylor as a possible 20/20 player, but he is close. Just don’t pay for it in 2018.   3) Suter Picks up the Victory…We are now at the point in the season where we have to debate the worthiness of Brent Suter. Based on the way he pitched last night, Suter is someone who should remain on your radar, and you have to take good pitching anyway you can get it. Suter picked up his third victory of the season on Monday, in his 12th start, with five shutout innings in Pittsburgh. The southpaw, who was lifted after 64 pitches, limited the Pirates to five hits while not walking a batter and striking out four. While Suter is not an overpowering pitcher, he does have 7.33 strikeouts per nine innings, but in 612.1 minor league innings, he has just 478 strikeouts. With a 3.41 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, Suter is a serviceable starter, but not much more than that.   4) Garcia Has Nothing to Show for a Strong Start…You aren’t going to get length out of Jamie Garcia with the Yankees’ strong bullpen, but he did provide a strong outing last night. Overall, Garcia is nothing more than a streaming option, and it’s hard to argue with nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Garcia was able to limit the damage to one unearned run on four hits as he saw his ERA drop 4.19. It certainly was a good sign that Garcia didn’t walk a batter, as on the season he has 3.55 walks per nine innings.   5) Betts Drive in Four…If you took Mookie Betts with your first round pick, I’m not sure you would agree, but this is a pretty good “[...]



Vassar and beyond: Women and baseball in the 1800s

2017-09-19T13:00:00+00:00

In the early days of baseball, women’s participation in the game was both a way to encourage fitness and a fraught political act. “The progress of feminine fashion is becoming positively alarming,” wrote a Cleveland newspaper on December 18th, 1865. “And now,” it continued, “as we pass the irresistible damsels, wearing our own identical hats, boots, and collars... we shrink within our innermost fastnesses, and cling to our last remaining treasure, our beloved pantaloons.” As women began to plot out paths of independence following the end of the Civil War, men became incensed and frightened that the all-male world would suddenly belong to women. When women began to seriously play baseball, the fear spawned a slew of articles like the one above, declaring that doing so disrupted feminine sensibilities, but asserting that so long as women continued playing in skirts, they, thankfully, could not be taken seriously. From there, men became determined to exclude women from baseball. The beginning of the suffrage movement With the advent of industrialization in the late 1700s, women began entering the workforce, leaving behind lives of pure domesticity. Throughout the 1800s, groups of women formed various labor unions and political groups, intent on not only proving they were capable of the same things as men, but also set on ushering in a total civil rights movement, linking anti-slavery with women’s rights, an effort welcomed and supported by abolitionist leaders. The progress toward both was languid, though, hampered by a strong resistence and a growing belief among white women that they should focus on less radical concepts, restricting their efforts to domestic equality and rebuking the strong language and policies of Susan B. Anthony. By the mid-1850s, six years after the Seneca Falls Convention, women in various states had won equal divorce rights and began entering educational institutions in greater numbers. In the few years prior to the Civil War, however, women’s rights movements gave way to abolition efforts, which they believed would also lead to women’s suffrage. Over 400 women, many of whom disguised themselves as men, fought in the Civil War. Those who remained home experienced more freedom and amassed more power than they ever had before. Following the end of the Civil War, women were disappointed to learn that their efforts were for naught, as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments applied only to men. This stinging loss emboldened the women’s rights movement, pushing it further toward total economic and social equality, with the main goal being suffrage. Both white and Black women refused to return to domestic lives, instead clamoring for increased freedoms and rights. Men quickly sought to counter these movements, asserting that women belonged in no place but the home. Activities from which they wished to bar women were labeled “masculine” and assigned the potential to crush feminine sensitivities and invite evil into the family dynamic. Men stressed the need for women to return to their homes and not engage in activities geared toward “manly virtues,” to fulfill their “feminine duties” in rebuilding the country.[1] Women’s rights movements were viewed by many, including a number of well-to-do women, as selfish acts aimed at destroying America for good. Now, more than ever, it was crucial for women to embrace their femininity, to put away hopes of being like men, to eschew bloomers in favor of full skirts and dainty corsets. All aspects of women’s lives were scrutinized and women in large were pushed toward quiet, feminine activities that left no room for politics. The rise of women’s baseball Unsurprisingly, women’s involvement in baseball during this time followed a similar pattern. Since the sport became popularized [...]



Brad Ziegler healthy and available again

2017-09-19T12:36:00+00:00

Closer Monkey - Instant emails for every closer change. Closer depth charts to keep you ahead. September 19, 2017 Boston Red Sox – After Doug Fister only managed to get six outs, the Red Sox emptied their bullpen amidst a slugfest against the Orioles. The game went to extras, and after the Sox took the lead in the 11th, Carson Smith earned his first save of … Continue reading The post Brad Ziegler healthy and available again appeared first on Closer Monkey.Closer Monkey - Instant emails for every closer change. Closer depth charts to keep you ahead. September 19, 2017 Boston Red Sox – After Doug Fister only managed to get six outs, the Red Sox emptied their bullpen amidst a slugfest against the Orioles. The game went to extras, and after the Sox took the lead in the 11th, Carson Smith earned his first save of the season. Smith was the 10th Boston pitcher of the game and is unlikely to get any additional save chances down the stretch. Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Reed | Kelly. Miami Marlins – Before Monday night’s game, the Marlins said that Brad Ziegler was available to pitch, having apparently recovered from a nagging back injury. But the team wouldn’t need him, as they ran out to a huge lead against the Mets, allowing Vance Worley to pitch the final three innings and earn his first save of the year. Worley does not figure into the usual late inning plans in Miami. Hierarchy remains: Ziegler | Barraclough | Steckenrider. San Diego Padres – While the Padres remain hopeful that Phil Maton can be the team’s future closer, he hasn’t pitched in many high-leverage spots lately. Instead, Craig Stammen and Buddy Baumann have been sharing the 7th inning, bridging the gap between the starters and set-up man Kirby Yates. If you’re in a super-deep league and are looking for holds, we’re guessing these guys are available. Updated hierarchy: Hand | Yates | Stammen. VULTURE SAVE WATCHToday 1. Brad Brach – Zach Britton has gone back to back games (2.1 IP). 2. Joe Kelly – Craig Kimbrel and Addison Reed have both pitched in four of five. Tomorrow 1. Brad Brach/Mychal Givens/Darren O’Day – See above. Britton, Brach, Givens, and O’Day have all gone in back to back games, so monitor who is used tonight to see who will be available tomorrow. 2. Addison Reed/Joe Kelly – See above. Monitor tonight’s usage to see who will be available tomorrow. 3. Chris Hatcher/Santiago Casilla – If Blake Treinen and Chris Hatcher go tonight, it’ll be three straight. Monitor usage to see who will be available tomorrow. 4. Dellin Betances/David Robertson – Aroldis Chapman pitched 1.2 innings last night, and Dellin Betances has gone in back to back games. Monitor usage to see who will be available tomorrow. 5. Kirby Yates/Craig Stammen/Buddy Baumann – Brad Hand, Kirby Yates, and Craig Stammen have all gone back to back. Monitor usage to see who will be available tomorrow. The post Brad Ziegler healthy and available again appeared first on Closer Monkey.[...]



Scrounging for Speed

2017-09-19T12:15:00+00:00

There are now less than two weeks left of the regular season! If you have been hesitant to sit your high priced bat that contributes in categories you don’t need in order to play the free agent pickup, don’t be. It’s totally okay to bench Khris Davis if you’re set in homers and RBI in […]There are now less than two weeks left of the regular season! If you have been hesitant to sit your high priced bat that contributes in categories you don’t need in order to play the free agent pickup, don’t be. It’s totally okay to bench Khris Davis if you’re set in homers and RBI in order to try gaining a point or two in steals. Here are some lesser owned names who could chip in a couple of steals the rest of the way, which might be enough to gain you a point or two in the category. Stolen Base Attempts Over Last 30 Days Name SB CS SBA Delino DeShields 7 3 10 Tim Anderson 7 0 7 Cameron Maybin 6 1 7 Michael Taylor 4 2 6 Freddy Galvis 3 2 5 Ben Revere 3 1 4 Alen Hanson 3 1 4 Delino DeShields has been the Rangers’ everyday leadoff hitter for a little over a month now, yet is owned in just 32% of CBS leagues. He has attempted the third most steals in all of baseball over the past 30 days, while scoring runs at a high clip, and even contributing positive value in batting average thanks to an improved strikeout rate and elevated BABIP. He’s an obvious target and a perfectly acceptable choice to replace Davis in your lineup if the category standings dictate such a move. All of Tim Anderson‘s stolen base attempts over the last 30 days have actually come since September 5th. Amazingly, he attempted that same number during the entire season up until that point! So he has literally doubled his stolen base attempt total in just about the last two weeks. Who knows why he suddenly decided to run quickly toward the next base before the catcher throws him out, but he clearly has the speed, so he may very well continue. And because the White Sox haven’t yet discovered the value of getting on base, Anderson often finds himself hitting leadoff. Bad for the Sox, good for Anderson owners. Cameron Maybin hit the jackpot moving to a top tier team in Houston, though he did lose a starting job. That said, there are at-bats available in left field and designated hitter as the Astros rotate around their strong depth of hitters. Maybin has already attempted three steals in just 37 plate appearances with his new team, so clearly he hasn’t been afraid to run despite the fact that the Astros lead baseball in runs scored. He owns some pop too and don’t be too discouraged by the low batting average, as his BABIP sits at the lowest in any season with a reasonable sample of at-bats. Bryce Harper‘s injury opened up a starting job for Michael Taylor, who is once again showcasing his blend of speed and power. The BABIP won’t stay that high, but in two weeks, anything could happen, so it’s silly to worry about his batting average moving forward. Speed hasn’t typically been a big part of Freddy Galvis‘ game, though he did swipe 17 bases last year. This year, it’s been just 13 in 17 attempts, but three of those steals and five attempts have come in the last month. He, too, possesses some power, so you don’t necessarily have to decide between speed and power when giving Galvis a starting job on your team. Ben Revere is still around! While starts will be hard to come by, he still finds ways to contribute in stolen bases, whether it’s as a pinch runner or pinch hitter. As the White Sox rotate between a slew of terrible hitters, Alen Hanson gets his shot every couple of days with no standout choice. The former Pirate infielder now plays outfield, has a bit of power, and above average speed. At his current pace, a full se[...]



Fantasy Baseball Podcast: Shohei Otani, Yoan Moncada, Noah Syndergaard, and Many More

2017-09-19T12:00:01+00:00

Grey starts the podcast by recounting the harrowing story of his grandparents escaping a concentration camp in Nazi Germany during World War II. It truly makes stressing about things like messed up podcast recordings seem silly. The recording was perfect for this one, though, allowing us discuss Yoan Moncada’s hot streak, Ozzie Albies’ sleeper status, and if Jonathan Schoop will still be underrated next year. Then, we bring on Ralph Lifshitz to argue about the chances an MLB team will actually let Shohei Otani hit, along with talking about Noah Syndergaard, Matt Olson, Kyle Schwarber, and Zack Godley. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:(image) Grey starts the podcast by recounting the harrowing story of his grandparents escaping a concentration camp in Nazi Germany during World War II. It truly makes stressing about things like messed up podcast recordings seem silly. The recording was perfect for this one, though, allowing us discuss Yoan Moncada’s hot streak, Ozzie Albies’ sleeper status, and if Jonathan Schoop will still be underrated next year. Then, we bring on Ralph Lifshitz to argue about the chances an MLB team will actually let Shohei Otani hit, along with talking about Noah Syndergaard, Matt Olson, Kyle Schwarber, and Zack Godley. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:(image) (image)



Launch angles — September 19, 2017

2017-09-19T12:00:00+00:00

All the baseball nuggets you need to start your day. The MLB season lasts half the year, and it can be hard for the average fan to keep up. That’s where we come in. Every day during the 2017 regular season, Beyond the Box Score will be recapping all the biggest action from the previous day — with a sabermetric slant, of course — and looking ahead to what today will bring. Yesterday’s biggest play Aaron Altherr belts a grand slam off Clayton Kershaw — .532 WPA GIF via MLB.com As the Phillies look back on their miserable 2017 — they’ve piled up 91 losses this year, equaling their total from last season with 12 games still to go — they’ll likely place the blame on the young players who have regressed. My colleague Jeremy Klein noted in July that Maikel Franco, Tommy Joseph, and Odubel Herrera had, to varying extents, fallen short of expectations, dropping the club from “respectably subpar” to “irredeemably terrible.” But Philadelphia has had some young hitters blossom this year. While Rhys Hoskins’ blazing start has garnered most of the attention, another slugger has excelled this season. Before last night, Altherr had a batting line of .276/.348/.514 for the season, which translated to a 123 wRC+. That’s pretty good for a guy with virtually no profile entering the season. Against Clayton Kershaw — who had never before allowed a grand slam — Altherr didn’t want to settle for “pretty good.” Two walks and a single had put Ty Kelly, Freddy Galvis and Hoskins on base for Altherr, who had to face the best pitcher on the planet. Said pitcher worked the count to 1-1, then tried to front-door a breaking ball for strike two: Image via Brooks Baseball Altherr has mashed inside pitches this season, and he didn’t disappoint here, sending this slider 418 feet into the second deck at Citizens Bank Park. As you’d expect, such a big hit completely changed the direction of the game: Image via FanGraphs The Phillies won’t be this bad forever. They have one of the best farm systems in the game, and as that talent — like Hoskins — graduates to the majors, the team will improve to respectability, if not contention. While Altherr never showed up on any major prospect lists, he’s been a core piece for Philadelphia this year. If he keeps demolishing the best pitchers in MLB, he’ll stick around for the light at the end of the tunnel. Yesterday’s best game score Jaime Garcia — 72 Game Score was developed by Bill James as a quick way to evaluate a starting pitcher’s performance. The score begins at 50, with points added for outs and strikeouts, and subtracted for walks, hits, and runs. A score of 70 is very good; a score of 90 is outstanding. GIF via MLB.com This game wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Garcia was supposed to finish the 2017 season with the Twins, anchoring their rotation and helping them make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. But after trading for him in late July, Minnesota decided it would be better off without him, so he headed to the Bronx. On Monday night, Garcia got a little revenge on the team for which he pitched one game. He allowed one unearned run over 5 2⁄3 innings, striking out nine Twins and not walking any. Garcia’s always been a ground-baller — in this game, seven of the 11 balls in play against him were worm burners — so when he does well with Ks and BBs, the other team tends not to score. Garcia’s arsenal might be the most balanced in the majors — this season, he’s thrown all five pitches at least 6.5 percent of the time. The Twins got assaulted with four-seamers, two-seamers, sliders, curveba[...]



Using Recurrent Neural Networks to Predict Player Performance

2017-09-19T10:00:00+00:00

Technology is rapidly advancing possibilities in decision-making. The future might not be far away. (via Trollan Magician, Doug Kerr, Keith Allison & Michelle Jay) Editor’s Note: This article initially was a presentation at the marvelous 2017 Saberseminar. The year is 3047. Advancements in technology allow Buck Showalter to unplug a USB drive from a port behind his left ear and transfer it to an iPad. They don’t call them iPads anymore, but there’s no need to be bombarded with a bunch of unnecessary jargon right now. If that’s what you came here for, sit tight. As you may have guessed, USB connections to the brain are not the only medical technological advancements, since Buck Showalter is still alive in 3047. The iPad loads a color-coded multi-layer map with connections running across each layer and between the layers. Data from the flash drive load into one end of the map causing nodes and connections to light up as each new data entry travels deterministically across the layers. After a few seconds of rainbow-colored flashing, a recommendation appears: Manny Machado is likely to go into a hitting slump over the next couple of weeks. Rest is advised as a preventative measure. Buck thought it over. Over the past couple of weeks, Manny’s outcomes at the plate had not been favorable. Outcomes were what the system used to make recommendations, but outcomes tell you only what happened, not how it happened. Manny looked fine at the plate. He wasn’t swinging at bad pitches, his timing didn’t appear affected, he was spraying the ball to all sides, he had no notable injuries. Buck could see why the system recommended rest, but there was nothing to suggest that resting Manny would improve his outcomes or prevent the slump. … What if, at some point in the future, we could tell an algorithm what a player did in a baseball game, or several baseball games, or all of the baseball games, and it would process that information, then tell us what the player would do in the next game, or the next several games, or for the rest of his career? Sounds like some fancy 3047 sci-fi voodoo, right? Maybe not. Before you start imagining a baseball version of a K-2SO droid that sits next to the manager on the bench and snarkily spews statistical probabilities void of explanation or context, let’s consider the advantages and limitations of such a system. Short-term predictions could be used to optimize pitcher/hitter matchups on a game-to-game basis, or predict slumps and recommend rest days as discussed above. Long-term predictions could be used to gauge free agent contract valuations, or construct a balanced roster of power hitters and high OBP. But as with any all-numbers approach to projections, limitations exist. Outcomes describe what happened, but not how it happened. That said, high accuracy predictions still have value even if they can’t explain how or why. High-accuracy predictions still seem like a futuristic pipe dream. That’s where neural networks come in. Neural networks are a brand of machine learning used for pattern recognition, classification and prediction tasks. They are called neural networks because they are modeled after the manner in which the human brain processes information. First, the network is trained by feeding it data from which it can learn how to process and interpret future data. The network is composed of interconnected neurons, or maps, which are also referred to as layers. Inputs and outputs are passed between the layers. Weights within the layers determine how the inputs are processed and used to determine the output. The weights are updated throughout the training process to reflect what the network has learned. Both the data and weights are fo[...]



Bullpen Notes: September 18, 2017: Change Looming In Philadelphia (Must Add) & More

2017-09-19T08:20:00+00:00

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing):

PHI: Neris w/SV (1 R/1 H/3 K) but allows HR in 3rd straight. Don't be surprised if Garcia gets next opp #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers

— Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 19, 2017

SD: Hand w/SV (1 H/1 K) but Yates extremely impressive (3 K). Looking like intriguing SV stash for '18 #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers

— Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 19, 2017

NYY: Chapman clearly back w/5 out SV (2 K) & can be used w/confidence. In Sept 7.0 IP/0 R/12 K/2 BB/2 H #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers

— Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 19, 2017

MIL: Another strong Knebel SV (2 K/1 H/0 BB). Since 8/1 20.2 IP/32 K/7 BB making him clear Top 5 option #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers

— Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 19, 2017

BOS: Smith w/Smith in extra inning game. Has pitched well in Sept but has little upside regardless of format #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers

— Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 19, 2017

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Giancarlo’s HRs & Dee’s SBs A Lot Like Florida — 55 and Over

2017-09-19T07:01:00+00:00

Yesterday, Dee Gordon went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and stole his 55th base.  Mean's while, his teammate and my crush-bae, Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 55th homer.  According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates hit their 55th homer and stole their 55th base in the same game was Jimmie Foxx and Sugar Cain in 1932.  Though, historians, led by Ken Burns, have said Sugar Cain played on a doctor's prescribed cocaine named Hurry Coke, a precursor to Cherry Cola.  Sugar used to bunt with one hand while rubbing his gums with his other hand.  Any hoo!  Dee Gordon is carrying my NFBC team in steals, where I'm in first, and SAGNOF, and all of that, but steals are pathetic this year, as they were last year.  25 players have 20 or more steals, after 28 last year, but with a few players at 19 steals, we should get to 28 players again.  However, 14 guys stole 30 bags last year, and, this year, we're at six players.  I will now laugh hysterically to avoid crying.  Anyway, here's what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:(image) Yesterday, Dee Gordon went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and stole his 55th base.  Mean's while, his teammate and my crush-bae, Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 55th homer.  According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates hit their 55th homer and stole their 55th base in the same game was Jimmie Foxx and Sugar Cain in 1932.  Though, historians, led by Ken Burns, have said Sugar Cain played on a doctor's prescribed cocaine named Hurry Coke, a precursor to Cherry Cola.  Sugar used to bunt with one hand while rubbing his gums with his other hand.  Any hoo!  Dee Gordon is carrying my NFBC team in steals, where I'm in first, and SAGNOF, and all of that, but steals are pathetic this year, as they were last year.  25 players have 20 or more steals, after 28 last year, but with a few players at 19 steals, we should get to 28 players again.  However, 14 guys stole 30 bags last year, and, this year, we're at six players.  I will now laugh hysterically to avoid crying.  Anyway, here's what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:(image) (image)



Should The Braves Exercise Their Option Over R.A. Dickey?

2017-09-19T03:45:00+00:00

As he closes in on his 43rd birthday, Braves knuckler R.A. Dickey has shown no signs of slowing down. He has settled in as an average starter, sure, but he’s not your average “average starter,” either. Dickey is no longer close to being the Cy Young winner he was in 2012. Since then, though, he…As he closes in on his 43rd birthday, Braves knuckler R.A. Dickey has shown no signs of slowing down. He has settled in as an average starter, sure, but he’s not your average “average starter,” either. Dickey is no longer close to being the Cy Young winner he was in 2012. Since then, though, he has emerged as the game’s preeminent provider of league-average innings. From 2013 through the present, Dickey has averaged 200 frames annually. And he has not strayed more than five percentage points in either direction from the mean ERA in any of those years. That’s what Atlanta thought it was signing up for when it inked the Tennessee native to a one-year, $7.5MM deal with a $8MM club option ($500K buyout) for 2018. And that’s just what the club got. Until a few rough outings in September, Dickey was allowing less than four earned per nine; now, though, he’s right back at a 4.41 ERA through 175 1/3 frames on the year — nearly identical to his results last year and good for a 101 ERA-. Dickey carries 6.6 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 on the season, right in line with his recent work. All told, it seems mostly reasonable to anticipate that Dickey will produce similar results next year. Fielding-independent pitching metrics have long suggested good fortune, but Dickey has consistently outperformed them and generated low batting averages on balls in play. It doesn’t take much imagination to view him as an outlier whose value isn’t appropriate measured by those metrics and who can also be expected to defy aging curves. Dickey can be retained for the same rate of pay. So, do the Braves still want and need him? Atlanta has already parted with the two other veterans it acquired last winter, Jaime Garcia and Bartolo Colon, though both were set for free agency regardless. The team probably has identified three younger starters to carry in the rotation next year, with Sean Newcomb joining holdovers Julio Teheran and Mike Foltynewicz. None of that trio has been consistently excellent, though all have had their moments and ought to retain their roles. (Newcomb owns the best ERA of the bunch at 4.32, but he has only been asked/able to throw 89 2/3 innings over 17 starts.) Otherwise, the Braves could give a bigger opportunity to Lucas Sims or hope that Max Fried and/or Luiz Gohara win jobs in camp. There are other arms coming behind this group, too, and Atlanta is rumored yet again to be eyeing more established but still-controllable starters on the trade market. In honesty, though, the club needs reliable innings — if for no other reason than to avoid a situation where the club is forced either to press its young arms too hard or instead find marginal big leaguers to plug any rotation gaps that may arise (as they are wont to do). If the organization really hopes to move toward true contention, then it’s hard to imagine it relying on what’s available in-house. While other short-term free agent targets may offer more upside, even the best bounceback targets are just that — pitchers with talent but injury or other questions that weigh down their value and appeal. If the Braves prefer to roll the dice, they can send Dickey packing and try their luck on someone else. Or, perhaps, they can bid adieu to the grizzled veteran and aim much hig[...]



MLBTR Mailbag: Martinez, Orioles, Nicasio, Phillies

2017-09-19T01:37:00+00:00

For the most recent edition(s) of the MLBTR Mailbag, MLBTR’s Jeff Todd fielded questions on the Cardinals’ search for a bat, whether the Pirates are at a crossroads, the heavily active August trade period and the Giants’ offseason. We also published a second special edition hosted by Twins right-hander Trevor May, who has been contributing to…For the most recent edition(s) of the MLBTR Mailbag, MLBTR’s Jeff Todd fielded questions on the Cardinals’ search for a bat, whether the Pirates are at a crossroads, the heavily active August trade period and the Giants’ offseason. We also published a second special edition hosted by Twins right-hander Trevor May, who has been contributing to MLBTR’s Players’ Perspective series while working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Trevor gave perspective into his rehab from a major surgery, the feeling of being traded (from Philadelphia to Minnesota in 2012), pitch counts/innings limits and much more. Onto this week’s questions… What do you think J.D. Martinez’s earning potential will be in free agency? Do the Diamondbacks have a real chance to resign JD and if not which teams do you think will hold the most interest? — John H. The D-backs’ ability to re-sign Martinez is one of the single most popular topics in our MLBTR chats, the Mailbag and on Twitter. Considering the fact that he’s batted .289/.358/.732 with 24 homers in 212 plate appearances since being traded to Arizona, it’s not especially surprising to see Diamondbacks fans extremely interested in whether the team will be able to retain him. Unfortunately for D-backs fans, I’m not sure how they’ll be able to reasonably afford Martinez beyond 2017. Arizona opened the 2017 season with a payroll just north of $100MM, and they already have about $60MM committed to Zack Greinke, Yasmany Tomas, Paul Goldschmidt and Jeff Mathis next season. That would seem to indicate that there’s some room, but Arizona has one of the most significant arbitration classes in recent history as well. The Diamondbacks will have A.J. Pollock, Robbie Ray, Shelby Miller, Patrick Corbin, Randall Delgado, Chris Owings, Taijuan Walker, Jake Lamb, David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, Andrew Chafin, Chris Herrmann, J.J. Hoover and T.J. McFarland as arbitration-eligible players this winter. While Herrmann, Hoover and McFarland could all be non-tender candidates, core contributors make up the bulk of that group. Arbitration alone could push Arizona’s payroll beyond its 2017 Opening Day mark before they add a single player. A deep postseason run could give the D-backs some extra financial help, the team inked a television contract worth more than a billion dollars back in 2015, and there’s still the matter of a new stadium, so it’s possible that there’s room for the payroll to advance. But, Martinez is probably looking at a minimum of a five-year deal in free agency — if not six years — at an average annual value that could land in the $23-26MM range. The D-backs would need an enormous payroll spike to realistically be able to retain Martinez. The Snakes could try to shed some of Tomas’ contract to clear a bit of room, but doing so would very likely require paying a significant portion of the remaining contract. The team could also try to heavily backload a hypothetical Martinez contract, though that presents the possibility of paying more than $60MM annually to just Martinez and Greinke in the latter stages of their respective contracts. Frankly, I just don’t consider the situation all that likel[...]



Minor MLB Transactions: 9/18/17

2017-09-19T00:52:00+00:00

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league… The Reds have announced that RHP Barrett Astin cleared waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A Louisville. Astin, 25, was selected 90th overall by the Brewers in the 2013 draft, and traded to the Reds along with righty Kevin Shackelford for reliever Jonathan Broxton in August…

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Reds have announced that RHP Barrett Astin cleared waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A Louisville. Astin, 25, was selected 90th overall by the Brewers in the 2013 draft, and traded to the Reds along with righty Kevin Shackelford for reliever Jonathan Broxton in August of the following year. During April and May, Astin bounced between Louisville and the majors, but struggled with command, walking seven batters and striking out just two across eight innings while allowing six earned runs. He’s a sinkerballer, throwing that pitch over half the time at about 92 MPH, but the changeup he features is just 6 MPH slower. He also throws a slider that clocks in around 88 MPH.
  • Right-hander Brooks Pounders, who was designated for assignment by the Angels earlier this month, cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster, per the team’s transactions page at MLB.com. Pounders, 26, appeared in 11 games for the Halos this season and 13 for the Royals in 2016, but he’s struggled considerably at the big league level. In 23 career innings, he’s pitched to a 9.78 ERA thanks largely to a whopping 10 homers allowed. Pounders does have a solid 25-to-8 K/BB ratio in that time, and he owns a career 2.94 ERA with 9.5 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 in 131 2/3 Triple-A innings.
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Orioles’ Minor-Leaguer Miguel Elias Gonzalez Dies In Car Accident

2017-09-18T23:18:00+00:00

Miguel Elias Gonzalez, a minor-league pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system, died in a car accident this past Saturday in the Dominican Republic, according to a press release from the organization. Gonzalez has no relation to the Rangers pitcher of the same first and last name who once pitched with the Baltimore organization. The Orioles…

Miguel Elias Gonzalez, a minor-league pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system, died in a car accident this past Saturday in the Dominican Republic, according to a press release from the organization. Gonzalez has no relation to the Rangers pitcher of the same first and last name who once pitched with the Baltimore organization.

The Orioles held a moment of silence to honor Gonzalez before tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, gave a somber statement on the passing of the 21 year-old:

“Our organization is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Miguel Gonzalez. Miguel was beloved by his teammates and coaches in the Dominican Republic. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this very difficult time.”

Gonzalez was signed as an international free agent in 2014. He had pitched exclusively in the Dominican Summer League in his young career, showing some potential with a fastball that reached the mid-90s on the radar gun.

The tragic passing of Gonzalez is, unfortunately, not the first to occur on the roads of the Dominican Republic. In recent years, prominent Dominican players Yordano VenturaOscar Taveras, and Andy Marte have all perished in traffic accidents in their home country.

MLBTR joins those around the game in extending its condolences to Gonzalez’s family, friends, and teammates.

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Padres Designate Dusty Coleman, Jose Valdez

2017-09-18T22:31:00+00:00

The Padres have designated infielder Dusty Coleman and right-handed reliever Jose Valdez for assignment, according to an official announcement from the organization. The contracts of catcher Rocky Gale and infielder Christian Villanueva have been selected in a related move. The Padres have also recalled RHP Tim Melville, along with outfielders Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe. Valdez…The Padres have designated infielder Dusty Coleman and right-handed reliever Jose Valdez for assignment, according to an official announcement from the organization. The contracts of catcher Rocky Gale and infielder Christian Villanueva have been selected in a related move. The Padres have also recalled RHP Tim Melville, along with outfielders Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe. Valdez has thrown a combined 50 1/3 innings for the Tigers, Angels and Padres over the past three seasons, pitching to a 5.72 ERA. While that number may seem high, his 6.66 career FIP shows that he’s actually pitched even worse than that number indicates. He throws hard, averaging 96 MPH on his fastball and 86 MPH on his slider, but he gets hit hard as well; opponents have managed hard-hit balls against him in over 40% of their at-bats. That, combined with his 36% career ground ball rate and the fact that opposing hitters are able to pull the ball against him 41% of the time, has likely been the cause of a 4.00 HR/9 that’s done Valdez in. The 27 year-old right hander was originally signed as an international free agent by the Tigers in 2009. Coleman, 30, was selected by the Athletics in the 28th round of the 2008 draft (844 overall). Though he garnered five official plate appearances with the Royals back in 2015, this season was his first extended stay in the majors. In 71 trips to the plate with the Padres, Coleman showed some power (4 HR, .227 ISO), but a crippling 46.5% strikeout rate held him back, leading him to a paltry .227 average and .268 OBP. Gale is a light-hitting catcher who has only seen 17 innings behind the plate at the major-league level. He has spent his entire career in the Padres organization after being selected in the 24th round of the 2010 draft (724 overall). The 29 year-old hit .278/.325/.365 at Triple-A El Paso this season. Villanueva was part of the 2012 trade between the Cubs and Rangers; he was sent from Texas along with Kyle Hendricks in exchange for Ryan Dempster. He missed the entire 2016 season after suffering a right fibular fracture during spring training, and was subsequently non-tendered that offseason. Since signing a minor-league deal with the Padres in the offseason, he has impressed with a .269/.369/.528 batting line at Triple-A. The 26 year-old third baseman will be getting his first taste of major-league action; he has spent eight years in the minor leagues after being signed as an international free agent by the Rangers in 2009. Renfroe, a former top prospect, made his major-league debut last season. He burst onto the scene by clubbing four homers and two doubles in just 11 games, but struggled mightily with plate discipline this season (125 K’s against just 26 walks) before being demoted to Triple-A. After hitting over .500 over 61 PA in El Paso with almost as many walks as strikeouts, the Padres will hope he can sustain those skills with the MLB club. Jankowski played 131 games with the Padres last season, but suffered a foot injury in April that has caused him to miss most of 2017. He’s known far more for his speed and defense in center fiel[...]



Francisco Cervelli Will Not Return This Year

2017-09-18T20:27:00+00:00

Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli will be shut down for the rest of the year, manager Clint Hurdle tells reporters including MLB.com’s Adam Berry (via Twitter). Hurdle says there simply isn’t enough time for the backstop to make it back from his quad injury. While the Bucs don’t need Cervelli to make a push for the…

Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli will be shut down for the rest of the year, manager Clint Hurdle tells reporters including MLB.com’s Adam Berry (via Twitter). Hurdle says there simply isn’t enough time for the backstop to make it back from his quad injury.

While the Bucs don’t need Cervelli to make a push for the postseason — that ship sailed a while back — it’s disappointing for his season to end this year. The veteran has been out since mid-August (apart from a one-game effort to return) and has missed out on a chance to work with the club’s young pitching staff down the stretch.

Cervelli’s absence also means he won’t have a chance to bounce back from his rough finish to the year. Over his final 17 games, Cervelli posted only a .132/.220/.151 slash with twenty strikeouts. Of course, Cervelli was much better at the plate over the full course of the season. But he has produced less than the league average with the bat over the past two years and tanked recently in the framing department (after previously ranking among the game’s best).

All said, the Pirates haven’t made out quite as well as they hoped when they inked Cervelli to a three-year, $31MM extension early in the 2016 season. While the team can still expect to get value out of the 31-year-old over the next two campaigns, he’ll need to boost his performance to warrant the $22MM he is still owed.

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Quick Hit: Will Tyler Glasnow Be A Viable Option For The Final Two Weeks?

2017-09-18T20:15:00+00:00

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) There’s always been significant hype surrounding Pirates’ pitcher Tyler Glasnow, long considered one of the top pitching prospects in the league.  However he’s continued to stumble upon reaching the Majors, and his latest go around certainly didn’t get off

(image) by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There’s always been significant hype surrounding Pirates’ pitcher Tyler Glasnow, long considered one of the top pitching prospects in the league.  However he’s continued to stumble upon reaching the Majors, and his latest go around certainly didn’t get off to a promising start:

2.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 6 BB, 3 K

Control continues to be the biggest issue, as he owns a 5.53 BB/9 over 13 starts in the Majors this season (5.38 BB/9 over 80.1 IP over his MLB career).  Things were looking better at Triple-A prior to his recall, where he had a 13.50 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9 over 93.1 IP.  So the question is, what was different?

For one he appeared to be toying with Triple-A hitters, generating a gaudy 16.2% SwStr%.  Last Wednesday night he managed just 6 swinging strikes and owns an 8.1% SwStr% in the Majors this season.  When coupled with his 26.0% O-Swing% it makes sense, and Glasnow needs to figure out how to take his swing and miss ability from Triple-A and get similar results in the Majors.

You can point towards his 6’8” frame, which makes control always a question mark, as MLB.com said:

“Glasnow has a clean delivery and arm stroke, but at 6-foot-8, there are a lot of long parts, making it hard to consistently be on time to the plate, particularly with that breaking ball.  Glasnow already has swing-and-miss stuff. A little more consistency with his secondary offerings should allow him to become the frontline starter all are projecting him to be.”

While Triple-A hitters haven’t proven disciplined enough to lay off his electric stuff when outside the strike zone, it’s a different story in the Majors (or maybe it’s nerves being on the biggest stage).  That doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen, and in time we’d expect it to.  In 2017 though?  That’s going to be hard to believe, and certainly impossible to trust with fantasy titles hanging in the balance.

Glasnow could prove to be a must use option as soon as ’18, and the intrigue is there, but don’t trust him for the final few weeks of ’17.

Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com

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Low-Ownership Starters for Tuesday (9/19)

2017-09-18T19:45:00+00:00

A couple pitchers are around of the pack for Tuesday's streaming options.Our series on low ownership starters continues with those pitchers owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! leagues who are expected to throw Tuesday. Travis Wood (1% at Yahoo) vs Diamondbacks (Zack Godley) I put the minimum strikeout rate needed for streaming consideration at 6.5 K/9. Wood just meets the benchmark but that’s it for his positive traits. His BB/9 is a 4.2. He has a 6.80 ERA. His ERA estimators are near 5.50. He’s facing Zack Godley and Diamondbacks, so the Win chances are slim. Probably look elsewhere. Luiz Gohara (2% owned) at Nationals (Max Scherzer) I profiled Gohara last week and here is my take: Playing Gohara would be a strikeout-only play with likely damage to ERA and WHIP. …. Basically, he showing no signs of control pushing every stat higher. And to make matter worse, he’s facing Max Scherzer, so the Win chances are low. What did he do, he went out and dominated the Nationals, with six strikeouts and picking up the Win. Well, the situation repeats as he faces Nationals with Max Scherzer pitching. My stance on him remains as a nice strikeout option and he’s at least shown he can minimize his walks. I feel better but not great about starting him. Jackson Stephens (1% owned) vs Cardinals (Jack Flaherty) Stephens seems to be an average pitcher after reading through his few prospect reports. He has really good pitchability and throws strikes, though none of his pitches really stand out as potential weapons against big league hitters. Reds sources are unsure about him staying in the rotation, but he can locate his fastball to both sides of the plate with two average-ish breaking balls and a below-average changeup. He has decent command of his full arsenal, though the lack of pure stuff and a history of elbow issues make relieving a high likelihood. In four appearances (three as a reliever, one start), he has an 8.7 K/9 with a decent walk rate (2.4 BB/9). Along with the decent control, his fastball averages 94 mph and his curveball has an above average swinging strike rate (19%). Some good pieces exist for the prospect. I wish the start wasn’t at home runs happy Great American Ballpark because he is a flyball pitcher. Overall, why not take a chance on Stephens? Jack Flaherty (8% owned) vs Reds (Jackson Stephens) The 21-year-old rookie may hurt an owner’s ERA (6.08) and WHIP (4.7 BB/9). This matchup with the Reds does give him a nice chance for a Win and a few strikeouts. Tyler Skaggs (8% owned) vs Indians (Mike Clevinger) At this point in the season, desperate owners are going to hope Skaggs can keep rolling. In his last two starters, he’s thrown 13 innings with 14 strikeouts, two walks, and three earned runs. Maybe the Win chances are low but Cleveland has clinched the division so they may start resting players. Skaggs is a fine streaming option. Chad Bell (0% owned) vs Athletics (Daniel Gossett) Last week I wondered if Bell could pitch himself to a higher ownership rate. I wonder if the 0% ownership is a little too high considering his talent profile. Nope, it’s still zero. Also, his issue of not going far into games continued with a 3.1 IP start. Look elsewhere. Daniel Gossett (1% owned) vs Tigers (Chad Bell) The 7.5 K/9 and a matchup against Chad Bell and Tigers point to a reason to take a chance on Gossett (previously featured). Sam Gaviglio (1% owned) at Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman) The 27-year-old Gaviglio has b[...]



Pitching Streamers: September 19 – 22

2017-09-18T19:22:00+00:00

Hello and welcome Fake Baseballers! Twice a week this baseball season I will be taking a look at pitchers who…Hello and welcome Fake Baseballers! Twice a week this baseball season I will be taking a look at pitchers who…(image)



The Peters Principle… And The Top 100 Starters, Week 25

2017-09-18T19:00:00+00:00

If you're at all familiar with management theory, then you're probably aware generally of the "Peter Principle". The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here's where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it's concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today's profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there's more there. Or maybe I'm overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA,  7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he's on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he's been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday's turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here's what I saw. (image) If you're at all familiar with management theory, then you're probably aware generally of the "Peter Principle". The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here's where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it's concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today's profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there's more there. Or maybe I'm overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA,  7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he's on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he's been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday's turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here's what I saw. (image) (image)



Pro Football Rumors Seeking Part-Time Writers

2017-09-18T18:11:00+00:00

We’re looking to add part-time contributors to the Pro Football Rumors writing team. The position pays on an hourly basis. Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria: Exceptional knowledge of all 32 NFL teams, with no discernible bias. Knowledge of the salary cap and transaction-related concepts. At least some college education. Extensive writing experience,…

We’re looking to add part-time contributors to the Pro Football Rumors writing team. The position pays on an hourly basis. Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Exceptional knowledge of all 32 NFL teams, with no discernible bias.
  • Knowledge of the salary cap and transaction-related concepts.
  • At least some college education.
  • Extensive writing experience, with professional experience and a background in journalism both strongly preferred.
  • Keen understanding of journalistic principles, ethics and procedures. Completion of basic college-level journalism classes is strongly preferred.
  • Attention to detail — absolutely no spelling errors, especially for player and journalist names.
  • Ability to follow the site’s style and tone.
  • Ability to analyze articles and craft intelligent, well-written posts summing up the news in a few paragraphs. We need someone who can balance quick writing with thoughtful analysis. You must be able to add value to breaking news with your own insight, numbers or links to other relevant articles.
  • Ability to use an RSS feed reader. Ability to use Twitter. Both of these are crucial.
  • Strong weeknight availability is crucial. You must frequently be available to work between 5-11 pm central time Monday-Friday. Weekend availability is also a plus.
  • Flexibility. You must be available to work on short notice.

If you’re interested, email pfrapplications@gmail.com by September 24 (11:00pm central time) and take a couple of paragraphs to explain why you qualify and stand out. Many will apply, so unfortunately we cannot respond to every applicant.

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NL Notes: Hutchison, Plawecki, Chatwood, Lamb

2017-09-18T17:52:00+00:00

Following this weekend’s outright of Drew Hutchison, Pirates GM Neal Huntington spoke to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the decision to move on from the right-hander, who is now very likely to become a free agent at season’s end. While Hutchison was the lone return the Pirates received in exchange for dumping…Following this weekend’s outright of Drew Hutchison, Pirates GM Neal Huntington spoke to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the decision to move on from the right-hander, who is now very likely to become a free agent at season’s end. While Hutchison was the lone return the Pirates received in exchange for dumping Francisco Liriano’s contract and sending two prospects to the Blue Jays, Huntington indicated that he’s been passed on the depth chart by other arms. “We traded for him with the idea that he was a controllable, young starter that could fill a rotation spot for years to come,” said Huntington. “We just also decided this year that the growth and development of our guys put them ahead of him.” The Pirates have relied heavily upon Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams, Steven Brault and Tyler Glasnow to make starts behind Gerrit Cole, Ivan Nova and Jameson Taillon this season. With Hutchison eligible for arbitration this winter, the lack of room in the rotation makes his removal from the 40-man roster is essentially the same as non-tendering him several months in advance. A bit more from the NL… Kevin Plawecki’s improved play in Triple-A made the Mets feel comfortable letting Rene Rivera go on a waiver claim to the Cubs last month, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post, and his solid production in the Majors now leaves him feeling less concerned about losing his roster spot. The 26-year-old admitted to pressing too much in the past to “try to make some things happen” but said he’s in a different mental state this time around. “[W]hat has been different this time is just trusting what I have been doing all season [in Triple-A] and not having that thought in the back of my head, ‘How long am I going to be here and how big of a window do I have to prove myself?’” Mets GM Sandy Alderson has previously suggested that the Mets are unlikely to pursue catching upgrades this winter, meaning Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud figure to play prominent roles with the 2018 club. Since being recalled from Triple-A, Plawecki is hitting .283/.387/.482 in 17 games. Right-hander Tyler Chatwood tells Nick Groke of the Denver Post that he wasn’t pleased when the Rockies demoted him to a relief role earlier this summer, but he used the frustration as motivation to reclaim his rotation spot. The 27-year-old acknowledged that his mechanics had been off, specifically when it comes to his two-seam fastball — his best pitch. Chatwood made clear that he views himself as a starting pitcher, which is notable for an impending free agent that looks to be finishing the season strongly. He’s allowed one run in 13 2/3 innings since moving back into the rotation and has an overall 1.54 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 60 percent ground-ball rate over his past nine appearances (23 1/3 innings). Jake Lamb’s struggles against left-handed pitching are beginning to cost him at-bats, writes Nick Piecoro [...]



Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week 25

2017-09-18T17:34:00+00:00

Welcome to Week 25 of the MLB season Fake Baseballers. Hopefully you are getting ready to win a fantasy baseball…Welcome to Week 25 of the MLB season Fake Baseballers. Hopefully you are getting ready to win a fantasy baseball…(image)



Tim Anderson, Eddie Rosario, Yoan Moncada …And The Top 100 Hitters, Week 25

2017-09-18T17:00:01+00:00

Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well. Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now. If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it. Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well. Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now. If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it. [...]



Marty’s musings: Two more divisions clinched

2017-09-18T17:00:00+00:00

The Royals finally give the Indians an “L,” and the Dodgers get back on track with two series wins. Welcome to “Marty's Musings,” my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide to an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and a preview of some of this week's starting pitching matchups. In this week’s Musings: we have two more streaks to discuss (one great, one terrible), another two divisional leaders clinch, and Kevin Kiermaier puts on a defensive show against the Red Sox. News in Numbers 22 - Consecutive wins for the Indians, who set the modern record. The streak had a bit of everything including blow-out wins, sell-out crowds, and a come-from-behind walkoff. Despite losing to the Royals on Friday, the Tribe took the series, winning Saturday and Sunday. 2 - Teams that clinched their division over the weekend. The Indians may have lost a game to end their streak, but all that racking up of wins helped them clinch the AL Central early with a victory over the Royals. Meanwhile, the Astros clinched the West behind a strong outing by Justin Verlander, who shut down the Mariners 7-1. It’s the first division win by the Astros since 2001. 35 2/3 - Scoreless innings streak by Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg effectively shut down the Dodgers but did allow a small rally in the second inning of Sunday night’s game in which LA managed one run, the only run of the night allowed by Strasburg. 11 - Consecutive losses for the Dodgers, who finally broke their cold-streak with a 5-3 win over the listless Giants. The Dodgers were recently proclaimed to be able to challenge the 116-win Mariners for the most victories in a season. While they’ll no doubt win the West, that record seems out of the question at this stage. Despite the Diamondbacks’ 12-game winning streak and the Dodgers losing streak, LA still leads the division by double-digits. 2 - Amazing must-see catches by Kevin Kiermaier, who did his very best to keep the Rays in a game they ultimately lost on Friday night. The Red Sox defeated the Rays in 15 innings despite two gold-glove quality catches and a ninth inning game-tying home run. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, like the rest of Tampa’s season. 115 - Walks for Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who set the rookie record last week. Judge is rapidly becoming the latest of the three-true-outcome hitters. Judge strikes out ⅓ of the time, walks nearly 20 percent of the time, and has 43 home runs in only 624 plate appearances (nearly seven percent), leaving not a lot of room for balls in play. 82 - Wins for the Colorado Rockies, who clinched their first winning season since 2010. The Rockies have had their high and low points over the course of the season but still control their own fate and are currently in line for the second wild card spot. 1968 - The last time all MLB teams opened their season on the same day. Last week MLB released the 2018 schedule, which has every team opening up on Thursday, March 29th. Prepare for some potential wacky weather as the Tigers, Orioles, and Mets all open at home. Matchups to Watch Monday, September 18 Ervin Santana (MIN) v. Jaime Garcia (NYY), 7:05 ET The way things are shaping up in the AL, it is highly l[...]



FantasyDraft: When There’s a Short Slate, Go All In On Pitching

2017-09-18T16:45:00+00:00

With only seven games on the schedule today we're spending the bulk of our money on starting pitching, because once you get passed the top 3 arms, there's not a whole lot left.  Clayton Kershaw, $26,700 at Philadelphia and Patrick Corbin, $18,600 at San Diego are on top of the Streamonator and I'm feeling both matchups.  They're both lefties, the'ye both facing two terrible offenses who strike out more than most teams in the league and they're the cream of the crop tonight.  It's Kershaw's four start coming off the DL, so he should be in a good groove and he won't be on a pitch count less than a 100 pitches.  The reins should be off tonight and I'm thinking he'll come away with a W and double digit Ks.  Corbin got rocked for 8 ER in 4.1 innings at home against the Padres back on September 8th.  Look for a monster bounce back game in pitcher friendly Petco tonight, as I'm sure he's been studying tape. Now that we've spent a good chunk on our pitchers. let's get creative and see what we can do on the offensive side. New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!With only seven games on the schedule today we're spending the bulk of our money on starting pitching, because once you get passed the top 3 arms, there's not a whole lot left.  Clayton Kershaw, $26,700 at Philadelphia and Patrick Corbin, $18,600 at San Diego are on top of the Streamonator and I'm feeling both matchups.  They're both lefties, the'ye both facing two terrible offenses who strike out more than most teams in the league and they're the cream of the crop tonight.  It's Kershaw's four start coming off the DL, so he should be in a good groove and he won't be on a pitch count less than a 100 pitches.  The reins should be off tonight and I'm thinking he'll come away with a W and double digit Ks.  Corbin got rocked for 8 ER in 4.1 innings at home against the Padres back on September 8th.  Look for a monster bounce back game in pitcher friendly Petco tonight, as I'm sure he's been studying tape. Now that we've spent a good chunk on our pitchers. let's get creative and see what we can do on the offensive side. New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care![...]



A Minor Review of 2017: Los Angeles Dodgers

2017-09-18T16:15:00+00:00

The Dodgers system has it all: Impact talent, depth, excellent scouts and a proven player development system that just might be the best in the game. The Graduate: Cody Bellinger, OF/1B: I had no doubt that Bellinger was going to be an impact player at the big league level but I didn’t expect it to […]The Dodgers system has it all: Impact talent, depth, excellent scouts and a proven player development system that just might be the best in the game. The Graduate: Cody Bellinger, OF/1B: I had no doubt that Bellinger was going to be an impact player at the big league level but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I also — most certainly — did not expect him to slug 38 home runs as a rookie in 2017. The freshman has struck out too much this season but the power and the on-base percentage makes the swing-and-miss entirely palatable. Known as an excellent defender at first base who can also play a solid outfield, Bellinger’s work out in the pastures left something to be desired while his work in the infield was as expected. That’s kind of bad news, though, since injured, veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez still has $21.5 million owed to him in 2018. As a result, Bellinger may have to spend a full season in the outfield until the contract expires. Once he settles in at first base for good, he should be there for a decade or more. First Taste of The Show: Walker Buehler, RHP: The Dodgers got an absolute steal with Buehler when elbow surgery in his draft year knocked him down from the top five picks to the Dodgers at No. 24. He has a chance to have four better-than-average offerings — including the heater that can hit the upper-90s. Buehler, 23, spent time in the bullpen in the second half of the year but make no mistake about it, his future is as a No. 1 or 2 starter — if he stays healthy. The Dodgers have a veteran-heavy starting rotation but this freshman should make his way (permanently) into Los Angeles’ big league plans in 2018. With the likes of Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Buehler (plus the Kershaw guy, who’s really not that old), the organization has an enviable group of young stars to build around. The Stud: Alex Verdugo, OF: I’m a huge Verdugo fan — and have been since his pro debut — but I think he’ll settle in at a level just below the Seagers and the Bellingers. He’s going to be an average-to-above-average player whose numbers are a little inflated by hitting in front of that pair. Verdugo has an advanced approach at the plate and really understands what he’s doing — but he sacrifices pop to hit for average and make consistent contact. He’ll probably make an excellent No. 2 hitter who will score a ton of runs and perhaps flirt with a batting title or two if he keeps the current approach. A former pitcher, Verdugo has an absolute rocket for an arm and has a lot of potential defensive value — especially if he moves to right field on a full-time basis. The Draft Pick: Jeren Kendall, OF: I wouldn’t have loved this first-round pick for many organizations, but the Dodgers have an uncanny ability to bring the best out of players with excellent tools. Kendall is raw for a college [...]



Chris Hatcher becoming a reliable set-up man

2017-09-18T16:08:00+00:00

Closer Monkey - Instant emails for every closer change. Closer depth charts to keep you ahead. September 18, 2017 Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias got a second day off after throwing 42 pitches on Friday, so Michael Lorenzen got his second save with a clean 9th inning. He remains Iglesias’s handcuff going into the season’s final two weeks. Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Shackelford. Oakland … Continue reading The post Chris Hatcher becoming a reliable set-up man appeared first on Closer Monkey.Closer Monkey - Instant emails for every closer change. Closer depth charts to keep you ahead. September 18, 2017 Cincinnati Reds – Raisel Iglesias got a second day off after throwing 42 pitches on Friday, so Michael Lorenzen got his second save with a clean 9th inning. He remains Iglesias’s handcuff going into the season’s final two weeks. Hierarchy remains: Iglesias | Lorenzen | Shackelford. Oakland A’s – Chris Hatcher finished off the seventh and then pitched a clean 8th inning ahead of Blake Treinen on Sunday. We don’t know for certain that he’d get the save chance if Treinen needs a night off, but given his success since coming to Oakland (2.81 ERA over 16 IP), he’s now a better bet than Santiago Casilla, who has mostly been pitching in losses. Updated hierarchy: Treinen | Hatcher | Casilla. Texas Rangers – After a solid 7th inning from Keone Kela, Matt Bush came out for the 8th inning, but immediately got into trouble, allowing a solo HR and a base hit. Jake Diekman came on and bailed him out, then stayed on for the 9th to earn his first save of the season. Committee leader Alex Claudio is still the go-to lefty in this pen, but this was a very nice outing for Diekman, who throws hard and could be in the mix for holds next season. Hierarchy remains: *Claudio | Barnette | Bush.* = closer-by-committee VULTURE SAVE WATCHToday 1. Jeurys Familia – With AJ Ramos having gone twice in a row and the Mets playing for nothing, they might give Jeurys Familia a crack at the 9th inning tonight. Tomorrow 1. Jeurys Familia – See above. If AJ Ramos goes tonight, it’ll be three straight. 2. Brad Brach – Zach Britton threw 1.1 innings last night and could get a day off if he has another long outing tonight. The post Chris Hatcher becoming a reliable set-up man appeared first on Closer Monkey.[...]



Joe Mauer is having his best season as a first baseman

2017-09-18T15:00:00+00:00

One of the best players in Twins’ history is finally having an offensive season worthy of a first baseman. Joe Mauer used to be one of my favorite players. My favorite position is catcher, and he was one of the best pure hitters in baseball while playing the position. In fact, he is arguably the best pure hitter to ever play the position of catcher. To be clear, what I mean by “pure hitter” is what you get if you ignore power and focus solely on the hit tool. He was one of the best contact hitters in baseball during his prime. He even walked more than he struck out! Catchers who can hit are usually poor defenders. Think Jorge Posada, or Mike Napoli back when he was a catcher. But that did not apply to Mauer. He was not just passable, either. He was actually a good defensive catcher. He led the league in caught stealing percentage twice, and he was a good pitch-framer on top of that. So in his prime, he was a good defensive catcher, with great plate discipline, and an even better bat. That is pretty awesome even if you do not have an affinity for catchers. Despite his success, everything started going downhill for Mauer as a catcher starting in 2011. He only played half the season due to multiple injuries and medical ailments (including numerous head injuries and concussions). It was not even a good year at the plate for him, as he was only a league-average hitter. His catching duties decreased in 2012 and 2013 until he was made a full-time first baseman in 2014. I was pretty disappointed when it was announced Mauer would not be catching anymore. Don’t get me wrong, his concussion history made it the right decision, it just stunk that one of my favorite players would no longer be playing my favorite position. I was also concerned about how this move would affect Mauer’s Hall of Fame case when the time came (we’ll discuss that next time). Obviously going from one end of the defensive spectrum to the other wreaks havoc on a player’s value. Per the WAR model, that is a drop of 25 runs per year. In reality, the actual drop is considerably less than that because the positional adjustment is dependent on the number of innings played at a position. If we take Mauer’s average yearly positional adjustment when he was a full-time catcher, and compare that to his yearly positional adjustment as a full-time first baseman, the difference turns out to be 14 runs. Had I written about the Twins’ decision to move Mauer to first base in 2014, I probably would have written something like this: “Mauer has the OBP to play anywhere, but he does not have the power to play anywhere. However, if the position move results in less time lost to injury and an even better bat due to decreased wear and tear, that could do wonders in making up the loss of positional value. This also assumes that he will be at least an average defender at first, which is probably a safe bet. What is not a safe bet is that Mauer will still be worth 5-6 WAR. That is a best case scenario that probably will not happen.” Obviously the best case scenario did not happen. From 2014-2016 he hit .267/.353/.380, which made him roughly a league-average hitte[...]



Central Notes: Minor, Twins, Wainwright, Pirates

2017-09-18T14:24:00+00:00

Royals lefty Mike Minor struck out the side to end the Indians’ winning streak and pick up his first career save over the weekend, and he tells MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that he’s intrigued by the idea of holding a late-inning relief role moving forward. “I value starting over not knowing when you’re going to pitch,”…Royals lefty Mike Minor struck out the side to end the Indians’ winning streak and pick up his first career save over the weekend, and he tells MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that he’s intrigued by the idea of holding a late-inning relief role moving forward. “I value starting over not knowing when you’re going to pitch,” said Minor, a potential free agent after the season. “But if there’s an opportunity to be an eighth-inning guy or ninth-inning guy, that’d be great.” Minor says that he spoke to Wade Davis about his transition from struggling starter to dominant reliever when the two were teammates last season, and he also pointed to Zach Britton’s similar emergence as one of baseball’s top relief arms. The Royals hold a $10MM mutual option on Minor for the 2018 season, though the 29-year-old’s dominant season could also lead to a return to free agency. In 73 innings, Minor has averaged 10.2 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 with a 43.4 percent ground-ball rate — all of which has resulted in a 2.71 ERA. More from the Central divisions… Byron Buxton and Zach Granite were among the Twins players that were disappointed to hear of the team’s firing of minor league skipper Doug Mientkiewicz, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The longtime Twins first baseman has been managing in Minnesota’s minor league ranks for the past five years and enjoyed his fair share of winning (four playoff appearances), but the team won’t bring him back for a sixth season. “He knows how to bring out the best in players,” Buxton tells Berardino. “He was very fiery. When you did things right, he would let you know, and when you did things wrong, he’d let you know as well — and he’d tell you ways to correct. … He was more of a brother to us.” Granite, the Twins’ minor league player of the year in 2016, credits Mientkiewicz for teaching him ho to drive the ball and taking his game “to the next level.” Injured Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright won’t start again in 2017, but he’ll return to the club as a reliever for the final few weeks, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wainwright faced teammates Magneuris Sierra, Luke Voit and Alex Mejia in a live batting practice session Sunday morning, per Goold, with manager Mike Matheny catching. Rookie Jack Flaherty will make three more starts this season in what was Wainwright’s rotation spot, though he could be paired with either Wainwright or John Gant in a “piggyback” type of setting, per Goold, where he’d be lifted after four to five innings to help preserve his workload. Interestingly, Goold also notes that Wainwright tried out the changeup[...]



The Daily Grind: T-Minus Two Weeks

2017-09-18T14:15:00+00:00

We have seven games to shuffle today, led by Clayton Kershaw and nobody else.Can you believe the season will be over in two weeks? I can. AGENDA Near No-No Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse SaberSim Says… TDG Invitational Returns! 1. Near No-No Matt Boyd came one out short of a no hitter yesterday. Yep, the same Matt Boyd with the 5.33 ERA. I’ve been in on Boyd as a possible breakout candidate since the 2015 season. There are things to like about the profile, but he’s yet to piece together any sort of consistency. Before you think he may have discovered the winning formula, note his opponent. 2. Weather Reports An initially scary forecast cleared up overnight. It looks like all seven games should run uninterrupted. Detroit is the iffiest venue, but they’re still likely to play. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Main Slate: With a thin slate, there’s a lot of pressure to use Clayton Kershaw against the Phillies. The Dodgers ace hasn’t quite been his usual self since returning from the disabled list. Although I definitely won’t stack Phillies, I’m very tempted to use Rhys Hoskins tonight. Kershaw runs a cool $13,700. He undoubtedly projects to outperform the next best pitcher by 10 or more points. On the surface, Pat Corbin visiting the Padres looks like a must play. Corbin has rebounded from a terrible start to the season. However, he recently faced these same Padres, scoring -8.7 DK points in the process. That’s immediately following a successful 19 point performance at Coors Field. I’m willing to bet on a rebound. He’s the best non-Kershaw available. It’s a steep drop. Dylan Bundy might have things to say about my Corbin comment. He’s looking quite sharp. Bundy usually only throws around 90 to 95  pitches in an outing, limiting him to around six innings. He’s occasionally allowed to go deeper. I would prefer Bundy to Corbin if not for his matchup against Doug Fister and the Red Sox. Speaking of Fister, he’s been quite good lately. Eight of his 12 starts have been DFS-able. Dan Straily is an easy play against the ghost of the Mets offense. If you have cojones, I’ll note that Buck Farmer has a quality fastball, whifftastic offspeed offerings, and strong peripherals. His 6.62 ERA seemingly stems from some hung offspeed offerings and terrible performance with runners on base. He might surprise us against the Athletics. Stack Targets: Matt Harvey, Luis Perdomo, Brent Suter, Jharel Cotton, Nick Pivetta, Jameson Taillon 4. SaberSim Says… I was right about the Kershaw projections. He’s tabbed for 30.17 points. Corbin is next best with 19.78 projected points. Taillon, Straily, and Jaime Garcia round out the top five. I’m not thrilled with this list. Giancarlo Stanton, Paul Goldschmidt, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Yasiel Puig are the top rated bats. Values include Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Chris Taylor, and David Peralta. 5. The Daily Grind Invitational Congrats to travisbecker. Last Friday, he eeked out an easy win with the help of Charlie Morton, Josh Donaldson, and another Matt Olso[...]



Who should be the Nationals’ left fielder in the postseason?

2017-09-18T13:00:00+00:00

Assuming the Cubs win the NL Central and Bryce Harper returns, who should the Nationals start in left field for the Division Series? Well, it depends on the starter. Assuming Bryce Harper rejoins the Nationals’ lineup for the postseason, the Nats will find themselves with an outfield logjam. Michael A. Taylor is penned in at center just as Bryce will be Sharpied into right field. That leaves Jayson Werth and Howie Kendrick to battle it out for the chance to start in left. When I was first posed this question, I answered without hesitation. Jayson Werth is a seasoned postseason veteran. He “sets the tone for the whole organization,” so what would it say if he was out of the starting lineup? Removing emotion concerns from the equation, though, is it really best to have him start over Kendrick in the Division Series? There isn’t a single insurance agency that would cover the Washington Nationals’ outfield. Everyone has landed on the DL at one point. Once, in a game in which Bryce Harper was ejected, they ran out of outfielders. And that was before Bryce landed on the disabled list. It necessitated the Nationals’ acquisition of Howie Kendrick. Compare his 2017 season to Jayson Werth’s: If you’re just looking at average, Howie Kendrick starts without question. I imagine, looking at the batting average, there is temptation to call it quits and put Jayson on the bench. It only increases once you factor in the wRC+, which puts Kendrick at 28 percent above the league average offensively and Werth at basically average. Take a look at their on-base percentage, though, and you’ll see the disparity shrinks significantly. (This is because Jayson Werth has a 12.6 percent walk rate, while Howie Kendrick hovers at 7.0 percent.) When it comes to actually getting on base, these two are pretty even. Should Jayson Werth or Howie Kendrick start in left field in the playoffs? @saraperlman takes a closer look. #IBackTheNats A post shared by MASN Nationals (@masnnationals) on Sep 14, 2017 at 1:16pm PDT If the season ended today, the Nationals would play the Cubs in the Division Series. As the Cardinals fall further away (yet somehow still keep hope alive) and the Brewers clamber toward the top, the Cubs are holding on. The Nationals have won the season series 4-2, which is a good sign, but it takes more for a team to advance to the Championship Series. Normally, batter stats against individual pitchers aren’t particularly meaningful. But the margin between Werth and Kendrick is so small that we might as well look for any edge the Nationals can get. Look at the career stats of both hitters against each of the probable pitchers in this matchup: Jake Arrieta Jayson Werth has nine career plate appearances against Jake Arrieta, with two hits and a walk. One of those hits was a homer. This is a bit deceptive, however, since neither of those hits has come since 2013. Jake Arrieta wasn’t this Jake Arrieta back in 2013, so that .222 average turns into .000 over his most recent five plate appearances (and we get into extreme small-sample terr[...]



Field of Streams: Episode 298 – How Is He My Boy

2017-09-18T12:45:00+00:00

Episode 298 – How Is He My Boy The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live! In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss surviving two scary streaming picks last Friday, the current Twins lineup, remembering Jaime Garcia being with Minnesota for all of one start, picking against Matt Harvey, young pitchers that will be more intriguing in […]Episode 298 – How Is He My Boy The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live! In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss surviving two scary streaming picks last Friday, the current Twins lineup, remembering Jaime Garcia being with Minnesota for all of one start, picking against Matt Harvey, young pitchers that will be more intriguing in 2018, picking against Jon Lester more, Jharel Cotton and Tyler Anderson having strange home/road splits, playing with arbitrary endpoints, the possibly “hungover” Astros, Matt’s fantasy baseball team updates, and Matt preparing to check out the food menu at SunTrust Park. Contest picks for Monday, September 18: Dan Straily vs. NYM and Austin Barnes @ PHI (Dylan) and Dan Straily vs. NYM and Trayce Thompson @ PHI (Matt). Contest picks for Tuesday, September 19: Collin McHugh vs. CWS and Howie Kendrick @ ATL (Dylan) and Dinelson Lamet vs. ARI and Brandon Nimmo @ MIA (Matt). Contest picks for Wednesday, September 20: Tyler Chatwood @ SF and Derek Fisher vs. CWS (Dylan) and Tyler Chatwood @ SF and Brandon Drury @ SD (Matt). Contest picks for Thursday, September 21: Tyler Anderson @ SD and Teoscar Hernandez vs. KC (Dylan) and Tyler Anderson @ SD and Kolten Wong @ CIN (Matt). — As usual, don’t hesitate to tweet us or comment with fantasy questions. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed. Please rate & review the show in iTunes letting us know what you think! Approximately 37 minutes of joyous analysis.[...]



Matt Olson, Home Run Machine

2017-09-18T12:15:00+00:00

Sort the last 30 day HR/FB rate leaderboard in descending order and ranking fifth out of 174 qualified hitters is Matt Olson. I first brought Olson to your attention back on August 9th when I highlighted him as one of my deep league wire selections after the Athletics traded Yonder Alonso, opening up at least […]Sort the last 30 day HR/FB rate leaderboard in descending order and ranking fifth out of 174 qualified hitters is Matt Olson. I first brought Olson to your attention back on August 9th when I highlighted him as one of my deep league wire selections after the Athletics traded Yonder Alonso, opening up at least a strong side platoon job for the rookie. After a power breakout at Triple-A this season, he was a good gamble to make in deeper leagues on the chance he had found a new level. And new level he indeed found. Excluding last night’s homer, he’s sitting pretty with a .339 ISO and 39.2% HR/FB rate over 165 at-bats. He would be making an even larger fantasy contribution if his teammates weren’t so pathetic at driving him in. He had hit 20 homers, but only scored 28 times! But still, he’s on pace for over 100 runs given a full season’s worth of plate appearances. Even with the power spike at Triple-A, his performance so far has clearly been far beyond anything we could have expected. Let’s look at the components of my xHR/FB rate equation to find out what’s driving his home run power. Matt Olson xHR/FB Metrics FB Pull% FB Oppo% Brls/BBE  Avg FB/LD EV (mph)* HR/FB xHR/FB HR/FB – xHR/FB 33.3% 39.2% 14.9% (ranked 16th) 97.5 (ranked 8th) 39.2% 22.8% 16.4% *Not part of xHR/FB rate equation One thing going for Olson is that he either pulls or goes the opposite way on a high percentage of his fly balls. His Oppo% is almost exactly at the league average, but then he’s also pulling the ball far more frequently. So combined, he’s hitting toward the lines 72.5% of the time, versus the 63.5% league average. Since the fences are closer in the corner outfields, as opposed to center field, obviously hitting it toward those parts will result in more homers, all else being equal. As one might expect, his Brls/BBE is well above the 6.3% league average that includes those with at least 30 batted ball events and ranks 16th out of 525. Though his average fly ball + line drive exit velocity isn’t a part of my xHR/FB equation, I included it in the table anyway as more support for his power. He ranks 8th in that metric, lending further validity to his pop. Overall, his metrics yield an xHR/FB rate of 22.8%, which is obviously a far cry from his actual 39.2% mark, but still mighty impressive. And although I didn’t calculate anyone else’s xHR/FB rate as I type this, I could tell you that his likely sits in the top 10. Obviously, no one has legitimate upper 30% HR/FB rate talent. That xHR/FB rate lines up with his 21.9% mark at Triple-A, so it’s not that difficult to believe. What’s impressive is that he’s doing this while playing in a[...]



Bullpen Notes: September 17, 2017: Concerns For Colome, Confusion In Texas & More

2017-09-18T12:00:01+00:00

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morningAre you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing): TB: Colome bounces back w/SV. Ks down of late (2 K in 4.2 IP) & only 57 K in 65.1 IP. Is a bit of a red flag #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 TEX: Diekman gets 5 out SV (1 BB) but Kela most impressive (perfect IP/2 K). Who gets next opp? Who knows #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 COL: Defense contributes but Holland takes L (1 R/1 H/1 BB). No risk of losing role again (at least not yet) #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 CIN: Lorenzen (perfect IP/SV). Not replacing Iglesias but if used for 5+ outs (past 3 app) there will be opps #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 BAL: Britton gets 4 out SV (1.1 IP/1 H/1 BB/2 K). Health has helped to struggles but 1.54 WHIP obvious issue #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 OAK: Treinen w/SV as continues to pitch well since trade. Question is if he can claim role for '18 or not #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 SD: Hand continues to thrive (perfect IP/1 K). Unlikely to be "the man" in '18 but enjoy for the rest of '17 #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 Others to get SV: Allen (CLE), W. Davis (CHC) — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) September 18, 2017 [...]



Launch angles — September 17, 2017

2017-09-18T12:00:00+00:00

All the baseball nuggets you need to start your day. The MLB season lasts half the year, and it can be hard for the average fan to keep up. That’s where we come in. Every day during the 2017 regular season, Beyond the Box Score will be recapping all the biggest action from the previous day — with a sabermetric slant, of course — and looking ahead to what today will bring. Yesterday’s biggest play Joey Wendle’s grand slam puts the A’s on top — +.475 MLB.com This is the second straight day in which the biggest play of the night came in a game between the A’s and the Phillies. I know everyone was paying close attention to the outcome of this three-game set, so I’m happy to give it the spotlight. In the previous game, Philadelphia got the best of Oakland with a late-inning home run; in this, the rubber game, the tables were turned. Phillies starter Henderson Alvarez put a couple runners on base to start the 6th before being pulled in favor of lefty specialist Hoby Milner (who struck out Matt Olson) and, after him, Edubray Ramos. Ramos got the second out with a strikeout of Matt Chapman, but another walk loaded the bases for Wendle. The A’s second baseman hasn’t displayed much power in his career—in more than 100 major league PAs prior to this one, he had one home run, and he averaged about 12 per season in the minors (despite some of his development coming in the PCL). Ramos probably wasn’t feeling to threatened before throwing this pitch. And while he doesn’t miss his spot by much, you can see that Cameron Rupp sets up a little further away from the lefthanded Wendle than where the pitch actually comes in. Those additional few inches of inside run allowed Wendle to get a hold of this pitch and yank it out to right. The A’s took a 6–3 lead that they never gave up. Rationally, I know there’s nothing particularly special about a grand slam. Four runs is four runs, and whether they score on four straight solo shots or with a single swing of the bat is basically irrelevant. But there’s something about grand slams that feels special, something that drives kids in their backyards to pretend they’re always hitting grand slams instead of solo shots. Anyways, this is a long-winded way of saying: look at Rupp die inside a little bit when Wendle makes contact. These games might not matter much to MLB as a whole, but they certainly feel like they matter in the moment. Yesterday’s best game score Matt Boyd — 95 MLB.com Game Score was developed by Bill James as a quick way to evaluate a starting pitcher’s performance, and recently updated by Tom Tango. The score begins at 40, with points added for outs and strikeouts, and subtracted for walks, hits, runs, and home runs. A score of 70 is very good; a score of 90 is outstanding. It’s weird to be disappointed by such a dominant performance—nine shutout innings, five strikeouts, one walk, one hit&m[...]



Roto Riteup: September 18, 2017

2017-09-18T11:15:00+00:00

As the fantasy season comes to a close, this is how you deal with the trash talkers: When the group chat’s way too lit for a #SaturdayMorning. pic.twitter.com/unGYQpfzRE — MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) September 16, 2017 On the Agenda: 1. Kipnis-ed 2. LOLMets 3. Various News and Notes 4. Streaming Pitcher Options   Kipnis-ed Jason Kipnis […]As the fantasy season comes to a close, this is how you deal with the trash talkers: When the group chat’s way too lit for a #SaturdayMorning. pic.twitter.com/unGYQpfzRE — MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) September 16, 2017 On the Agenda: 1. Kipnis-ed 2. LOLMets 3. Various News and Notes 4. Streaming Pitcher Options   Kipnis-ed Jason Kipnis was activated from the 10-day DL on Sunday and played his first career game in centerfield. With twelve games left in the season, there is not enough time for Kipnis to gain positional eligibility in the majority of formats for 2018, but in Yahoo leagues(5 games in-season, 10 games preseason) he potentially could do so.   LOLMets According to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, the Mets are beginning to “reverse course” on Noah Syndergaard. The plan for the young right-hander was to get him into games prior to the end of the season, however, concern is growing that Syndergaard may be being rushed and with nothing to play for, the Mets may decide to hold him out for the remainder of the season.   Various News and Notes Mookie Betts left Sunday’s game left Sunday’s game with a bruised thumb. Following the game, Betts stated he thinks that he will be good to play in Monday’s game, so it appears this may be more precautionary than anything else. With a playoffs spot virtually locked up and a three game lead in the division, the Red Sox may be cautious with him. Consider him day-to-day at this time. According to team president Chris Antonetti, Indians outfielder Michael Brantley does not have a clear time table for return. Brantley has had decent season when healthy, but has only been able to play 88 games this season and only 99 games over the last two years. It looks unlikely that he will return this year and should be dropped in all league that he was being stashed in. Willson Contreras’ suspension has been reduced from two games to one and he served it on during Sunday’s game. Contreras was likely to get the day off anyhow so the reduction doesn’t really affect fantasy owners too much. Contreras has put together a good sophomore campaign, hitting .279/.355/.517 with 21 home runs in 107 games. He will likely head in 2018 as the third catcher off the board after Gary Sanchez and Buster Posey. J.D. Martinez hit his 40th home run on Sunday versus the Giants. Martinez, who did not play a game until May 12th due to injury, has accomplished the feat in only 108 games played. As a pending free agent, his value for 2018 will fluctuate somewhat depending on where he signs, but he is locking himself in a[...]



Forever (Anthony) Young

2017-09-18T10:00:00+00:00

It's not always the best players that we develop an affinity for. Anthony Young was so much more than the pitcher who lost 27 decisions in a row. (via YouTube) Last month marked a milestone for me. I turned 35. How did I celebrate? By inviting friends over to Barcade for some food, beer and old-school arcade games. A small but fun gathering, I got a chance to stay young for a few hours playing games like NBA Jam, World Series, Daytona USA, Punch-Out and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But I recently got a reminder that your childhood still finds a way to die, figuratively and literally,  whether you like it or not. August also marked the 25th anniversary of attending my first baseball game, a double-header at Shea Stadium between the Mets and the Cubs. The teams split the double bill with the Mets winning the opener and the Cubs taking the nightcap. I saw my first in-person home run, from Jose Vizcaino in the second game, which also happened to be his first as a major leaguer. I saw future hall-of-famers, as Eddie Murray, Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson all starting that day. I also saw a fun pitching matchup in the first game with Bret Saberhagen taking on Maddux. Saberhagen ended up leaving the game early due to injury and Pete Schourek came on and got the win. But I remember this game more for who got the save than who started. Anthony Young pitched a clean ninth, striking out one and getting his eighth save of the season. He was in the middle of his record-shattering 27-game losing streak that included 14 losses as a starter and 13 in relief. Young died in July at the age of 51 — six months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The news, weirdly, left me a little empty. I owe my Mets fandom to a few things: my father, my grandmother, Darryl Strawberry, Howard Johnson and loving the colors orange and blue. I grew up in the Bronx in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. I could see the Manhattan skyline and the lights of the old House That Ruth Built from my bedroom window. However, I connected to the Mets more than any other team. Part of that comes from my father. Like most children who find a team, I watched how my father discussed the Mets. I watched how he glowingly talked about players like Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Keith Hernandez. Although he liked Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield, I noticed how angry he got at any mention of the late George Steinbrenner on the local news. Sitting next to my father and watching games on WWOR-TV Channel 9 became a summer ritual. He taught me not only how to keep score, but how to think critically about how sports was covered and who the media gave the benefit of the doubt or outright ignored. Strawberry and Gooden were rightfully bashed by the media and the public for their numerous run-ins with drugs and the law, but my father pointed out how quiet they were on the late Steve Howe in comparison. Dad gave me the tools to see athletes as humans and[...]



10 Important Stories From 09/17/17 Box Scores: Danny Duffy Impresses, Hays/Fisher Worth Buying & More

2017-09-18T08:30:00+00:00

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) Josh Donaldson continues his impressive resurgence, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R.  Justin Verlander continued thrive in Houston, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP to defeatby Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) Josh Donaldson continues his impressive resurgence, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R.  Justin Verlander continued thrive in Houston, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP to defeat the Mariners.  Jeimer Candelario continued to emerge, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:   1) Danny Duffy impresses in return… Starting for the first time in nearly a month Duffy looked impressive, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 5.0 IP.  He made one mistake, a home run to Edwin Encarnacaion (1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R), and that cost him against Corey Kluber (7.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K).  Duffy only needed 62 pitches to complete his day and he continued to show the potential in terms of strikeouts (he entered with a 7.97 K/9, courtesy of an 11.6% SwStr%) and control (2.47 BB/9).  There is going to be the risk of home runs, considering his 38.5% groundball rate (4 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls yesterday), but it’s a risk worth taking given the other skills.  He should have two more starts left, and at this point he’s worth considering depending on your alternatives.   2) Matt Boyd comes 1 out short of a no-hitter… Tim Anderson broke up his bid with two outs in the ninth, but it doesn’t take away from an extremely impressive outing after the offense gave him ample support (12 R on 13 H).  Boyd finished with a complete game shutout, allowing 1 H and 1 BB while striking out 5.  Of course, even with the outing he owns a 5.33 ERA and 1.57 WHIP, as he’s struggled with both his control (3.70 BB/9 entering the day) and generating groundballs (38.6%).  While you may want to point towards bad luck (.353 BABIP, 68.2% strand rate) he’s simply not a viable option, and this impressive performance doesn’t change that.   3) A strong start for Eduardo Rodriguez, despite L…Taking on the Rays he allowed 3 R (2 earned) on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 5.2 IP but he was outpitched by Jake Odorizzi (6.0 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K).  Rodriguez’ big mistake was a home run, which isn’t a huge surprise given his 34.2% groundball rate (3 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls yesterday) and 1.25 HR/9 entering the day.  Of course he also got 20 swinging strikes, and with an 11.4% SwSt% entering the day it helps to show that the strikeout stuff is very much for real and his control is good enough (3.31 BB/9).  As long as he’s avoiding walks he’ll be on a similar level to Danny[...]



Boyd, Did That Surprise Me

2017-09-18T07:01:00+00:00

Yesterday, on the last day of his H2H playoffs, Flavor Flav's fantasy baseball team, "Yeah Boyd!!!" had a day to remember.  Fun fact!  Flavor Flav also plays fantasy baeball, drafting Hoopz, New York and Pumkin in the first round was the way to go, so surprising to see him take Brandi, who wasn't even in Flavor of Love but on Rock of Love.  Rookie mistake!  Or maybe I should say roofie mistake.  So, yesterday, Matt Boyd went 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 5.33, losing his no-hitter with two outs in the 9th inning.  He throws a handful of pitches, literally.  Five in total:  fastball (92 MPH), cutter, slider (slutter?), change and curve.  His arsenal is nothing to boot (footy pun!).  Of course, five pitches that are all garbage isn't exactly the meow's cat.  As of yesterday, only his curve was a plus pitch.  He is only 26 years old, so maybe a 5.00 xFIP doesn't give the whole picture/pitcher (stutterer!).   Of course, at this time of the year, only his next start matters, and the Stream-o-Nator actually has it as the smallest of positives.  So, you got it, Flav, "Yeah, Boyd!!!"  Anyway, here's what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Yesterday, on the last day of his H2H playoffs, Flavor Flav's fantasy baseball team, "Yeah Boyd!!!" had a day to remember.  Fun fact!  Flavor Flav also plays fantasy baeball, drafting Hoopz, New York and Pumkin in the first round was the way to go, so surprising to see him take Brandi, who wasn't even in Flavor of Love but on Rock of Love.  Rookie mistake!  Or maybe I should say roofie mistake.  So, yesterday, Matt Boyd went 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 5.33, losing his no-hitter with two outs in the 9th inning.  He throws a handful of pitches, literally.  Five in total:  fastball (92 MPH), cutter, slider (slutter?), change and curve.  His arsenal is nothing to boot (footy pun!).  Of course, five pitches that are all garbage isn't exactly the meow's cat.  As of yesterday, only his curve was a plus pitch.  He is only 26 years old, so maybe a 5.00 xFIP doesn't give the whole picture/pitcher (stutterer!).   Of course, at this time of the year, only his next start matters, and the Stream-o-Nator actually has it as the smallest of positives.  So, you got it, Flav, "Yeah, Boyd!!!"  Anyway, here's what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:[...]



DraftKings Cheat Sheet, Monday, September 18th (UPDATED)

2017-09-18T06:27:00+00:00

Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…(image)



FanDuel MLB Cheat Sheet: Monday, September 18th (UPDATED)

2017-09-18T06:26:00+00:00

Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…(image)



The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 497 – He Plouffed It!

2017-09-18T04:51:01+00:00

Paul and Jason pick some 2018 Draft Battles including Strasburg v. Kluber, they also play start-sit with a host of 2-start arms for this upcoming week.9/17/17 The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18! Follow us on Twitter @sporer @enosarris @jasoncollette @justinmasonfwfb Leading Off: Question of the Day What are your thoughts on Matt Olson in 2018? (3:25) 2018 Draft Battles Stephen Strasburg or Corey Kluber (14:00) Dylan Bundy or Gerrit Cole (17:20) J.D. Martinez or Nelson Cruz (25:22) Cody Bellinger or Kris Bryant (29:10) 2-start arms  Lance McCullers won’t be available Tues. for potential 2-start (32:20) Jameson Taillon MIL, STL (37:00) Lucas Giolito at HOU, KC (38:18) Mike Leake TEX, CLE (40:18) German Marquez at SF, at SD (42:40) Doug Fister at BAL, at CIN (43:00) Matt Harvey at MIA, WAS (45:04) Martin Perez at SEA, at OAK (45:10) Tyler Skaggs CLE, at HOU (46:00) Josh Tomlin at LAA, at SEA (46:37) Jack Flaherty at CIN, at PIT (47:24) Jharel Cotton at DET, TEX (48:22) Brent Suter at PIT, CHC (49:25) Luis Perdomo ARI, COL (50:25) Luiz Gohara WAS, PHI (53:00) Events Baseball HQ’s First Pitch Forum at Arizona Fall League — As usual, don’t hesitate to tweet us or comment with fantasy questions. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed. Please rate & review the show in iTunes letting us know what you think! Approximately 54 minutes of joyous analysis.[...]



The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 497 – He Plouffed It!

2017-09-18T04:51:00+00:00

Paul and Jason pick some 2018 Draft Battles including Strasburg v. Kluber, they also play start-sit with a host of 2-start arms for this upcoming week.9/17/17 The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18! Follow us on Twitter @sporer @enosarris @jasoncollette @justinmasonfwfb Leading Off: Question of the Day What are your thoughts on Matt Olson in 2018? (3:25) 2018 Draft Battles Stephen Strasburg or Corey Kluber (14:00) Dylan Bundy or Gerrit Cole (17:20) J.D. Martinez or Nelson Cruz (25:22) Cody Bellinger or Kris Bryant (29:10) 2-start arms  Lance McCullers won’t be available Tues. for potential 2-start (32:20) Jameson Taillon MIL, STL (37:00) Lucas Giolito at HOU, KC (38:18) Mike Leake TEX, CLE (40:18) German Marquez at SF, at SD (42:40) Doug Fister at BAL, at CIN (43:00) Matt Harvey at MIA, WAS (45:04) Martin Perez at SEA, at OAK (45:10) Tyler Skaggs CLE, at HOU (46:00) Josh Tomlin at LAA, at SEA (46:37) Jack Flaherty at CIN, at PIT (47:24) Jharel Cotton at DET, TEX (48:22) Brent Suter at PIT, CHC (49:25) Luis Perdomo ARI, COL (50:25) Luiz Gohara WAS, PHI (53:00) Events Baseball HQ’s First Pitch Forum at Arizona Fall League — As usual, don’t hesitate to tweet us or comment with fantasy questions. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed. Please rate & review the show in iTunes letting us know what you think! Approximately 54 minutes of joyous analysis.[...]



MLB Weekend Roster Roundup: Duffy, Kipnis, Russell

2017-09-18T04:41:00+00:00

ROSTER MOVES BY TEAM (9/16-17) NATIONAL LEAGUE CHICAGO CUBS | Depth Chart Activated from DL: SS Addison Russell Russell played SS and batted 8th in Sunday’s game. Suspensions: C Willson Contreras served a one-game suspension on Sunday. CINCINNATI REDS | Depth Chart Acquisitions: INF/OF D.J. Peterson claimed off waivers from Chicago White Sox No word on whether Peterson will report…ROSTER MOVES BY TEAM (9/16-17) NATIONAL LEAGUE CHICAGO CUBS | Depth Chart Activated from DL: SS Addison Russell Russell played SS and batted 8th in Sunday’s game. Suspensions: C Willson Contreras served a one-game suspension on Sunday. CINCINNATI REDS | Depth Chart Acquisitions: INF/OF D.J. Peterson claimed off waivers from Chicago White Sox No word on whether Peterson will report to the MLB team. He had been playing with Triple-A Charlotte. Transferred to 60-Day DL: RP Drew Storen Storen will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Role Changes: SP Tyler Mahle shut down for the remainder of the season (non-injury); P Amir Garrett moved to bullpen; P Rookie Davis and P Jackson Stephens moved to rotation. — AMERICAN LEAGUE BALTIMORE ORIOLES | Depth Chart   Promotions: RP Tanner Scott (contract purchased) TOP PROSPECT Outrighted: RP Richard Rodriguez CHICAGO WHITE SOX | Depth Chart  | 40-Man Roster Tracker Outrighted: C Alfredo Gonzalez CLEVELAND INDIANS | Depth Chart   Activated from DL: 2B/OF Jason Kipnis Kipnis played CF and batted 7th in Sunday’s game. Injuries: OF Brandon Guyer (wrist discomfort) shut down for 5-7 days. HOUSTON ASTROS | Depth Chart Activated from DL: 3B Colin Moran KANSAS CITY ROYALS | Depth Chart Activated from DL: SP Danny Duffy, RP Joakim Soria Duffy allowed 1 ER and 1 hit in 5 innings with 0 BB and 8 K in Sunday’s loss vs Cleveland. NEW YORK YANKEES | Depth Chart Promotions: 3B Miguel Andujar, RP Domingo German, RP Jonathan Holder Placed on 10-Day DL: RP Caleb Smith (viral infection) — FUTURE EXPECTED MOVES None — NOTABLE REHAB ASSIGNMENTS SP Scott Kazmir, LAD (9/4) SP Brandon McCarthy, LAD (8/25) SP Noah Syndergaard, NYM (9/2) SP Nathan Eovaldi, TB (9/10) *Rehab start date listed in parentheses.[...]



Quick Hits: Utley, Hutchison, Int’l Market

2017-09-18T04:36:00+00:00

It was on this day in 1941 that Stan Musial played in his first Major League game, beginning what turned into a legendary 22-year career.  It could be said that the Cardinals legend was “The Man” from day one, going 2-for-4 in his first game and posting an 1.023 OPS over his first 49 plate…It was on this day in 1941 that Stan Musial played in his first Major League game, beginning what turned into a legendary 22-year career.  It could be said that the Cardinals legend was “The Man” from day one, going 2-for-4 in his first game and posting an 1.023 OPS over his first 49 plate appearances in the bigs.  That didn’t end up being too far off from the .331/.417/.559 slash line that Musial contributed over his entire career, cementing his place as one of baseball’s all-time greats.  Here’s some notes from around the league… Chase Utley still enjoys playing but is realistic about the fact that his career is approaching its end, the veteran tells Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.  Utley said he has been approaching his career on a year-to-year basis, and acknowledging that while he still has the desire to play, “I know the market nowadays isn’t that friendly to older players.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  But I feel personally there’s still plenty of ways I can contribute.”  Utley turns 39 in December, and he entered the day with a .234/.324/.406 slash line in 328 PA for the Dodgers, which includes an .806 OPS in 162 PA at Dodger Stadium.  While his days as an everyday player are over, Utley has been regarded as a major behind-the-scenes contributor, with teammates and coaches praising his clubhouse leadership. The Pirates’ decision to outright Drew Hutchison was simply due to a pitching surplus, GM Neal Huntington told Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other media.  “It was more things beyond Drew’s control.  We traded for him with the idea that he was a controllable, young starter that could fill a rotation spot for years to come,” Huntington said.  “We just also decided this year that the growth and development of our guys put them ahead of him….we felt like we had guys that we wanted to give the innings to at the Major League level ahead of him.  Time will tell if that was the right call.”  Huntington praised Hutchison and said that cutting ties with him now will give the young righty more time to find another team, rather than waiting until December to be non-tendered. Thanks to the strict bonus money cap on international signings in the new collective bargaining agreement, team[...]