The Indians traded Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen for Andrew Miller. A regular Thanksgiving bounty to the Yankees as the Indians received SAGNOF and smallpox. Hopefully, the Indians don’t have reservations later about those prospects they sent for Miller and want them back like, um, a regretful trade partner. For a second this weekend, it appeared that the Indians traded for Miller and Jonathan Lucroy, but Lucroy vetoed the trade. It looks like Milwaukee is a bunch of Brewer-givers. Will say this, it was a bold trade by Cleveland vs. sitting around Indian-style as they did all offseason. So, Miller becomes the de facto closer in Cleveland and remains a top five closer in fantasy. Cody Allen gets his value boinked on the head, and it’s now seeing stars. Meanwhile, in New York, Dellin Betances becomes the 9th inning man for the Yankees and, taking over setup, is their newly acquired, Tyler Clippard. That’s right, the Yankee Clippard! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Mike Napoli – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 24th homer. On our Player Rater, Napoli has been more valuable than Jake Arrieta. If you know an Arrieta owner that doesn’t own Napoli, please call and check on them to make sure the preceding sentence was taken with a grain of salt, and not arsenic.
Corey Kluber – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.27. Also, please check on the Kluber owner who thought it was a good time to sell low in April after his 4.24 ERA. We must be here for each other!
Tyler Naquin – 2-for-3, 2 runs, hitting .335, hitting near-.450 in the last week. The power has come down, but he’s still one of the hottest bats in the game. “Hottest bats in the game” is a phrase you never want to hear outside of a baseball context.
Rich Hill – On target to return from the DL on Friday. Will all depend on how his blister reacts. I hope it doesn’t do a spit take. *shudders*
Billy Butler – 1-for-3 and his 4th homer on Saturday. He didn’t just homer on Saturday. He talked smack to Indians’ catcher, Chris Gimenez, hit a bomb, then flipped his bat like he was Jose Bautista after a week at cheerleading camp while only practicing the baton.
Matt Kemp – “You want out of San Diego? You want out? Okay, how does the Braves sound to you?” Kemp looks up, curious, “Buh-buh-buh-buh, they’re not in contention either, are they?” “Be careful what you wish for,” said the Padres’ GM as he closed the book on Kemp. Though, neither party should be thrilled with this trade. Kemp wanted out of San Diego, but I doubt he wanted to hit between Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis. The Padres wanted to move Kemp for a prospect, but they got Hector Olivera, who they immediately designated for assignment. *makes crazy rollie finger by ear motion* You couldn’t trade Kemp for anything at all that you wanted? That’s straight bizzonkers. Either way, Kemp’s fantasy value remains largely unchanged. Kemp moves to a slightly better park, but if there’s one lineup that is worse than the Padres, it’s the Atlanta Barfs.
Jeff Francoeur – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer. A Frenchy fly!
Homer Bailey – 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners (3 BBs), 6 Ks as he was activated from the DL. This was kinda like his last rehab start, coming against the Padres with their lineup without Dickerson (injury) and Kemp. If there was such a thing as a Padres’ fan, I bet they could not name four players in the Padres’ lineup right now. As for Bailey, I wouldn’t own him with your team.
Colin Rea – Left early from his start with elbow soreness. Rea’s out, but those are The Facts of Life. Bring on Cloris Leachman!
Andrew Cashner – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 4.54, in his first game as a Marlin. In my NL-Only leagues where I own Cashner, I was happy to see him stay in the NL. He’s a solid-at-home starter, even with the move. Here’s a little secret, starters are better at home, everywhere, except Coors.
Aledmys Diaz – Left yesterday’s game after taking a pitch off his hand. He’s day-to-day with a bruised hand. Fun fact! Diaz says his favorite 80s/90s actress is ‘dmys Moore.
Stephen Piscotty – 1-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI as he appeared in the lineup again after being benched for two days due to slumping. At least, that’s what was said. He was hitless for three whole games, but had five homers in July (top power month of his career) and was hitting .278. Wow, what a slump.
Matt Cain – 5 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks, ERA at 5.53. That’s a start that can be described as fantastically awful, and be right in every sense.
Mark Melancon – Was traded to the Nationals. When the Pirates made this trade what were they, three games out of a playoff spot? I mean, I’m all for SAGNOF, and, hell yeah, you trade a closer who is in the last year of his contract, but don’t you get something besides two lefty relievers? Not sure I understand this move from the Pirates’ POV, but maybe they didn’t realize how far out of the playoff picture they were. Depth perception can be thrown off by an eye patch. Obviously, Melancon takes over the 9th for the Nationals. I’m sure Papelbon will be a great teammate, and happily work out of the 8th. Shucks, I meant to put that in sarcasm font. As for the Pirates, the Pirates’ GM said Tony Watson would take over the 9th, but he’s a lefty, and I’d happily hold Neftali. I believe that’s a Spanish pun. De nada.
Jameson Taillon – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.52. Don’t mind the trade I did with Andy Behrens when I sent Jake McGee for Taillon, back when McGee was a closer still. By the way, my biggest pet peeve with trading is when you receive a note like this, “I have hitting (or pitching or closers) to spare, make me a fair offer.” The person who wants to trade should not be asking me to figure out a trade. If you want to trade, figure out a trade and offer it to me. Does this work for people? Just sending random emails saying, “Hey, do you want to trade? Offer me something.” This is the worst!
Gregory Polanco – 1-for-3 and his 15th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games hitting .287. Brocktune!
Hernan Perez – 2-for-4, 2 runs and two steals (17, 18) and his 7th homer on Saturday. Was a hot schmotato last week, now he’s on next level schmotatoness.
Keon Broxton – 1-for-2 and his 2nd homer. Has now played every game for a week straight, hitting over .300 in that time, and I grabbed him in one league because Broxton has upside, and I’m a sucker for upside.
Chris Carter – 1-for-2 and his 24th homer, and his 2nd homer in his last three games. Carter can get smoking hot for power, and is still a good bet for 32-35 homers and he’s now at 24. You do the math! What do you mean you can’t because you have a solar calculator and your eczema won’t let you go in the sun? Do you think a solar calculator was a good purchase when you spend your entire day inside by your computer?
Jake Barrett -1 1/3 IP, 1 ER and the save on Saturday. With Clippard gone, Barrett will take over the Diamondbacks’ closer role. Jake Barrett can be better than Jacinda Barrett in Bloodline, but worse than more than half the league’s closers for saves. i.e., Barrett will fall between a low-end Donkeycorn and high-end Brain Freeze.
Braden Shipley – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.76 thru two starts. What’s with the Braden? Aren’t ships supposed to be named after women? His name should be something like Karen or Anibal. So, this start was obviously better than his first, but I’d still avoid in mixed leagues for now.
Patrick Corbin – 5 IP, 3 ER (3 more unearned), 11 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.30. I’m legitimately shocked at how awful he continues to be. I thought he’d come out of it at some point.
Bud Norris – Left after a third of an inning with back muscle tightness. His uncle, Chuck, eats back muscles in a Fra Diavolo sauce, extra spicy.
Yasmani Grandal – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 15th homer. I’ve resisted picking my catcher scab for about a month now, and Grandal has rewarded me handsomely. Or maybe I’m handsome for other reasons. I don’t know, you quibbler!
Corey Seager – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 18th homer, hitting .310. 2nd rounder next year? You sure you wanna answer no?
Yasiel Puig – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, hitting .260. It said he played in the box score, but I don’t believe it.
Drew Pomeranz – 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER. Damn, this start even came against a team that would fit right in in (stutterer!) the NL West (the holier-in-their-swings Angels). Pomeranz now has an ERA of 7.53 in the AL. The Stream-o-Nator likes his next start in Safeco, but, I have to be honest, I’d have a hard time owning him.
Dustin Pedroia – 1-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, as him and Xander Bogaerts (1-for-5, 14th homer) hit two-out, ninth-inning bombs, sealing the Angels’ fate, and sticking it to their special porpoise.
Tyler Skaggs – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 0.00 thru two starts. Don’t make me get Mr. Robot to hack into your fantasy team to pick up Skaggs for you. By the way, I watch Mr. Robot and enjoy it, but I legitimately have no clue what’s going on.
Carlos Rodon – 6 1/3 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 4.67, as he returned from the DL. Picked up right where he left off!
Jose Berrios – Was recalled by the Twins. His major league career thus far (10+ ERA in 15 IP) is no indication at all of how good he can be. What is an indication of that is his 9.7 K/9, 2.44 ERA in 103 1/3 IP in Triple-A this year. At some point, Jose will be Berrios, Berrios good to me. Is now that point? Seems possible, but unlikely.
Brian Dozier – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 18th and 19th homers, hitting .259. He hit leadoff yesterday, but cleanup on Saturday. It’s a pretty fluid lineup in Minnesota now without Nunez, like an aqueduct in a New York sewer that the city hopes kills the alligators with the feces. This is Snopes-proof!
Justin Verlander – 9 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 3.54. That’s vintage Verlander! Vinlander! Verlage? A 2011 Verlot?
Miguel Cabrera – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and 22nd and 23rd homers, hitting .303. Maybe his lack of exercise has helped him age gracefully; that’s what I keep telling my Cougar when she asks if I’m gonna sit on the couch all weekend. It works for Miggy, baby!
Justin Upton – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .239. Fun (if you don’t own Upton) with the Player Rater! Upton has been less valuable this year than Yasmany Tomas, who is only owned in 40% of ESPN leagues.
James McCann – 1-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 8th homer, and third homer in the last four games. Hot schmotato alert!
Dallas Keuchel – 5 IP, 7 ER, ERA up to 4.86. I’m guessing Keuchel might wish he didn’t take his agent’s advice by avoiding a long-term deal this past offseason. “You sure I shouldn’t cash in after winning the Cy Young?” “Dallas baby, you’re gonna get so paid after you win two Cy Youngs in a row!” Oopsie.
Brad Miller – 1-for-4 and his 17th homer, hitting over .300 in the last week with homers in the last two games. Facing the Yankees’ starting pitching could ignite any hitter, but Miller hasn’t been bad all year.
Blake Snell – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.08. This is a combination of gut, confirmation bias and other words I learned in Psych 101, but I get the feeling Snell will take a modest step back next year, then be an ace in 2018. That feels like the path of 95% of starters. 95% is also an off-the-cuff, no-actual-math number.
J.A. Happ – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.16. I saw that start, and his ERA, and I was like, “Damn, I’m gonna look at his player page and get blown away like Nicole Eggert in the movie Blown Away, and wonder why I don’t own Happ in every league.” Yeah, that didn’t happen. Last year, his ERA was 3.61, and he had a better year than he’s having now. I’d continue to use the Stream-o-Nator on him. By the way, don’t Google what Nicole Eggert looks like now. Though, when I say that, it likely makes you more prone to. Sorry.
Aaron Sanchez – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks. Guys and five girl readers, we’re in August, and his ERA is 2.71 with awful matchups all year.
Troy Tulowitzki – Hit his 18th homer, but left the game with a chip fracture of his thumb. Tulo would be the first person to hurt himself while living inside a bubble. Imagine his father was like the crazy dad from The Wolfpack, who didn’t let his kids out in the real world for the first 18 years of their life. The dad would’ve needed an online medical degree from WebMD (an acceptable diploma in Arkansas).
Wade Miley – 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.98 on Saturday, then traded to the Orioles on Sunday. Miley should fit in perfectly in Baltimore because most of their starters also suck. Find your level, Miley!
Jonathan Schoop – 3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .287 as he hit out of the eight hole. *shakes fist* Showalter!!!
Jose Reyes – Hit the DL with an intercostal strain. What’s crazy is the Mets took on a PR nightmare that was way past his sell-by date all because they’ve run out of ways to try and get Wilmer Flores out of the lineup. The same Wilmer Flores who does nothing except produce better than all the scab replacements the Mets have tried to play over him for the last two years. Yes, I’m in the Wilmer Flores Fan Club, which is sponsored by Kleenex.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Out with a strained patella tendon. This should guarantee playing time for Wilmer Flores, but, knowing the Mets, they’ll see if they can bring back Rafael Santana out of retirement.
Neil Walker – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 17th homer. Not entirely sure where he went from May thru June, but he’s hitting near-.500 in the last week. Own him before he gets cold again. Or OHBHGCA, as it’s popularly abbreviated.
Felix Hernandez – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners (5 BBs), 8 Ks, ERA at 3.46. Sad to see a once-great ace totally lose his shizz, but, let’s be Bruce, F-Her has lost his shizz.
Robinson Cano – 1-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 23rd homer, hitting .298. Though, I guess F-Her could find his shizz again like Cano. Though, Part II, Another One of Thoughs: Hitters tend to find their shizz again, whereas pitchers just sorta fade.
Nelson Cruz – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 26th homer, hitting .288. He might be the only guy that hits 35 homers this year that at no point gets crazy hot. If he still gets crazy hot at some point, he might hit 40.
Nomar Mazara – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer. On a related note, I gave up on Gallo in one league. I need players that are going to play every day and, between Mazara, Gallo, Mitch Moreland (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer), I’m not getting that PT I’m so crazy about.
Jarrod Dyson – 0-for-2, 1 run and two steals (15, 16). Over the last four years, in fewer at-bats, Dyson has stolen either the same amount of bases in the 2nd half or more. Cust kayin’.
Wade Davis – Hit the DL with a right flexor strain. This was the 2nd time he’s been DL’d this month with an arm issue. Dr. James Andrews must be on a vacation in Monaco. Otherwise, Davis would’ve had Tommy John surgery already. By the way, I never looked at a picture of Dr. James Andrews before. He looks like Jack Lemmon! Dr. James Andrews’ favorite modified movie quote is, “You can’t always be closing if your elbow tendon is ripped.” Obviously, Kelvin Herrera should be owned for saves.