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While there were plenty of things to get excited about on Friday night such as six of Gerrit Cole’s first 38 pitches (three innings) hitting triple-digits on the radar gun and Stephen Strasburg’s successful return to the mound, there was a whole lot of bizarro baseball going on as well. For those not familiar with the term, the Bizarro world was an alternate reality created in the DC Comics universe where all the characters were replicas of heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman but with opposite (read: evil) personalities. So in the baseball world, when we refer to bizarro baseball, we’re talking about things that can only be true in an alternate universe.
The fine fantasy action was as abundant on Friday as the night was long and arduous. The Giants and Cardinals were postponed due to tornado warnings in the St. Louis area, the Rays and Indians were delayed by rain for nearly five hours and the Blue Jays and Padres played til the wee hours of the night/morning to finish off a 17-inning extravaganza. We saw old-timers shine, young bucks play like seasoned veterans and we saw some early season strugglers finally emerge from their statistical cocoon. While it wasn’t the offensive fiesta we saw just a couple of nights ago, this one was still jam-packed with plenty of excitement that had fantasy owners on the edge of their seats.
With the usual shorter slate of games on Thursday, we’re going to skip the usual format and go with one of those game by game, stream of consciousness-style round-ups again. As a matter of fact, I think we’re going to make this a regular thing for Monday and Thursday nights as it allows us to take a broader look at what’s going on throughout MLB with respect to the fantasy world. This should actually help with waiver wire selections, especially for those who are in leagues with daily roster moves and transactions. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what happened Thursday and what we can expect, fantasy-wise, moving forward.
One of the best illustrations of how history repeats itself is found in the closer situation for fantasy baseball owners. Every year we see the same thing over and over again. You’ve got your select few who have fantastic job security and the talent to back it up and then you’ve got the rest – a disgusting revolving door of blown saves and ratios that make you cringe and wonder how it could ever be that bad. Well, we’ve got one more joining the party this week as the Tigers have finally caved in and gone back to the well from which they drank last season. Yep, that’s right….it’s the return of Papa Grande.
Oh man. Look at this. A guy goes away for a couple of days and look how everything falls apart. Say it ain’t so, Bartolo. Say it ain’t so. I guess we all now know how, at 39 years old and 267 pounds (which is definitely lowballing),Bartolo Colon managed to post up 10 wins and a 3.43 ERA while pitching for the A’s this season. But now,he's following in the footsteps of Melky Cabrera and sitting out the next 50 games which kisses this season goodbye as well as any chance of a legitimate contract during the offseason.
Turns out Melky Cabrera wasn't the only Bay Area player who has been cheating. Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Bartolo Colon has been suspended 50 games for PED use ending his 2012 season and possibly his career. Another hurler continues to soldier on pitching very well without the results to show for it. That man is the Phillies' Cliff Lee. Manny Machado – has been been a disappointment? What should you be thinking with Wil Myers? Who is the best saves guy to add off the waiver-wire? Which outfielder – Crisp or DeJesus – looks like a better add at the moment? I've got answers for you in this piece.
We'll take a look at five pitchers who toed the rubber on Monday. What is the outlook of this five-some – Bedard, Cain, Capuano, Diamond and Tillman – the rest of the way? We'll then touch on two bullpen arms that are dominating – Street and Betancourt – before detailing a couple of other arms that are headed in opposite directions (Colon and Wilson). Don't worry fans of offense, we've also got a breakdown of Cespedes, LaHair and Rutledge for you.
If Albert Pujols struggled, and he did, the brainiacs among you remained patient knowing things would turn around. His track record of excellence dictated it. If you owned Mark Teixeira you remained patient knowing full well that his production seemingly always improves as the season moves forward. You've been rewarded for your patience. However, what do you do if a player doesn't have a track record like these two? What do you do if a player is coming back off an injury? What do you do if a player is aging or inexplicably unable to perform of late? Should you be panicking or should you hold fast with said players?
This is one of my favorite times of the fantasy year. We’re a little more than two months into the season and the standings are starting to shake out. The contenders are all trying to position themselves while the lower end of your standings is either fading into the background or, if you’re in a keeper league, waiting for their team to be plundered with the hopes of snagging some vital protects for next year. The trade talk is abundant, the negotiations are fierce and little by little your entire life is consumed with baseball. Sounds ideal, yes? Yes it does.
Prince Fielder trusted his agent and waited, and waited, and waited. It paid off as the Tigers signed him to the 4th largest deal in the history of baseball. Will he continue to have success in Detroit? At this time of year everyone talks about projections. I'll give my thoughts on why I think number projections are a shell game that no one really has the answer to. I'll also touch on two relatively minor signings – Bartolo Colon to the A's and Wilson Betemit to the Orioles – and tell you which one has the potential to be a more significant move for the 2012 season.