You know me….sometimes I just like to take a morning stroll around the MLB world and see what’s up. From a fantasy perspective, at least. Scrolling through the news here at Fantasy Alarm is a fantastic way to stay up to date on the latest, but in many cases, we also need to read between the lines. We become so focused on the numbers and statistical trends that we often forget that these players are human beings and everything is not always so cut and dry.

I’ll take a cut from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice when Shylock asks, “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?” Those words are apropos for every human being, so why not look at baseball players in the same light? Day-to-day emotional struggles are everywhere, so to think that just because a guy makes millions of dollars as a professional baseball player, he is immune, you are making a serious mistake.

Some key examples from the past include Joey Votto dealing with the death of his father, Vladimir Guerrero insisting that his mother was relocated with him when he was traded and, of course, the year it all fell apart for Pablo Sandoval which was triggered by a fire at his mother’s home that sent the family reeling. But one of my all-time favorites was when I did analysis on Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson whose numbers were surprisingly strong at home in Arlington, but weak on the road. That is, until his wife had a baby.

For those who don’t remember, it was Wilson who was actually the first major leaguer to take paternity leave. He wanted to be there for his wife both during the birth and during those first few days at home when everyone was getting settled. When he returned to the team, the magic he was spinning from the hill in Texas was gone. He started serving up more home runs, his WHIP spiked and the losses started to pile up. On the road, however, there was suddenly marked improvement. Few people understood what was happening, but once there was talk of late-night feedings and a lack of sleep, the answers became clear.

Even Wilson noted that his life on the road changed. He was much more inclined to stay back at the hotel, call home to check in and catch a good night’s rest. A look at his home/road splits during that second half of the season told us all we needed to know. So now when I see a news story that Jedd Gyorko is taking paternity leave, my first thought is to look at his home/road splits and wonder what might happen. For his career, the splits are pretty even. This season, they’re slightly skewed towards being more favorable on the road. Will the difference between the home and road numbers increase?

Obviously this type of fantasy analysis isn’t an exact science, but neither is human nature. There are a million variables, both emotional and physical, to take into account. Not everyone is built the same way, but to ignore the human aspect of the game and these players is a mistake. Everything matters.

In other news…

Was anyone even remotely surprised to see Cameron Maybin hit the disabled list? I certainly wasn’t. It’s actually par for the course with this guy, long considered to be my fantasy Achilles. The guy gets real hot and hits .395 (17-for-43) with two home runs, five RBI, 13 runs scored and four stolen bases, Mike Trout goes down which locks him into guaranteed full-time at-bats and now he hits the DL with an oblique issue. The more things change, the more they stay the same, amirite? This guy is the worst and I just can’t fathom why I keep going back to the well no matter how many times he pisses in the bucket. It’s killing me! Now I have to look to Ben Revere and Eric Young (?) for my cheap steals and runs scored? Feels more like my team should just fall on its fantasy sword and put an end to its misery once and for all.

The luster on Kyle Schwarber has really dulled this season, hasn’t it? All that freaking out about his catcher eligibility on Yahoo drove his draft day price and ADP sky-high and now fantasy owners are reeling. His .165/.286/.341 slash line is atrocious and just when you thought you could turn to his BABIP and say he’ll heat up as it regresses to the mean, you look at his batted ball data and cringe. He’s a dead-pull hitter with medium-contact strength and is driving just as many balls into the dirt as he is popping them up. Couple that with defensive shifts and a 29-percent strikeout rate (11-percent swinging-strike rate), and you’ve got serious trouble on your hands. It doesn’t matter if the wind is blowing out during the hot, summer months in Wrigley. Wind doesn’t carry ground balls over the fence.

To add to this debacle, manager Joe Maddon has dropped Schwarber down to seventh in the order today, the lowest he's ever hit, against a pitcher who traditionally struggles against left-handed hitting. Maybe Maddon’s intention is to take the pressure off this kid and get him to relax at the plate more, but we just don’t know how he’ll react mentally. There’s a very good chance he continues to press and lengthen this full-season slump.

Fantasy owners of Mookie Betts got quite the tease the other day when a reporter asked manager John Farrell if he would consider using Betts at second base with Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list. Betts came up through the minors as a second baseman and actually played there some during his 2014 call-up. Can you imagine the added value as a second baseman? Boo-yah! Unfortunately, Farrell put the kibosh on the idea and said there was no chance of it happening; that Betts was a full-time outfielder and nothing more. Sigh. A girl can dream, can’t she?

If you like streaming starters, you may want to take a look at the pitchers facing the Mariners over the next few days. Jean Segura left Thursday’s game with an ankle injury that seems to have a lot of people worried and Nelson Cruz joined him soon after being hit on the hand while up at bat. While the Mariners still have some potent bats in Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, lefties facing the Mariners might have less to worry about in the coming days. Nothing set yet as we’re awaiting word from the team on the injuries, but certainly some food for thought.

We’ve got one early game starting up in about an hour so go and make sure those seasonal lineups are set!