“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” Pinch Hitting in the AL East (On Time)
Phew…(puff, huff, puff)! I made it!
I am pinch hitting for Mr. Iannone this week and I just made it here “on time”. Now that I am here, I have some mighty soiled gardening gloves to fill. I hope I am up to the task.
Our resident AL East expert is enjoying a weekend of inebriation, and hopefully debauchery, at the Indy 500. I hope you drove your ’65 Mustang out there, maybe you can drive it out onto the track like a wild man! Have fun Joe. And remember…the race starts at 12:20pm. Don’t be late!
Because I cover the AL West, I jumped at the opportunity to pinch hit for Joe. This will give me an opportunity to talk about some players I otherwise would not get to talk about. I might talk about some guys that Joe has already covered, but too bad.
New York Yankees:
Arod and Tex turning back the clock. These two were a couple of darts that fantasy owners threw at the board at the end of drafts. Both have come up bulls eyes. Arod’s 10 HR next to Tex’s 13 have formed a potent middle of the lineup for the Yanks. These guys are both clearly past their prime, but are both going to hit 30 plus HR if healthy. Not bad for late round fliers. Keep your fingers crossed for health, and enjoy the ride (for what it’s worth, I think they are both going to remain relatively healthy).
Yankees finally proving trading Jesus Montero was not a mistake. In the off-season of 2011, the Mariners and Yankees swapped a young All-Star pitcher in Michael Pineda for one of the games premier prospects in cather Jesus Montero. On the surface it looked like a great baseball trade. The Yanks, loaded with hitting, get a much needed arm. The Mariners, loaded with pitching, get a bat. Until this season, the trade has been a huge failure for both clubs. Montero has struggled with injury and sucking. Oh, sorry. Can I say “sucking”? Pineda was hurt and from 2012-2013 pitched a grand total of…….ZERO innings for the Yanks. Finally healthy last season, Pineda looked downright dominant through 76 IP. It has carried over to this season as he has a mythical 14.76-to-1 K/BB. If I need to give you anymore stats, your math is probably terrible. That is 59 K and 4 BB. Now that you understand, you can lump Pineda in with the Gerital crowd above…will be productive if healthy.
Tamp Bay Devil Rays:
Jake McGee gets pimped. I mean Pipped. As in Wally. Brad Boxberger started the season as the Rays closer, although he was never officially anointed by manager Kevin Cash, while Jake McGee started the season on the DL. Box has 182 K in 129 IP on his career and is flaunting a minuscule 1.10 ERA with 13 saves in 2015. McGee has alternated good seasons with bad ones in his career and just so happens to be coming off a good one. The Berger man will be the closer now and into the future, until he gets too expensive.
Boston Red Sox:
Mookie Betts is the ultimate buy low candidate. Betts has some ugly ratios right now, slashing .238/.295/.390. But he has showed a great blend of power, speed, and an ability to contribute across the board. He has 15 XBH (5 HR), 24 RBI, 20 R, and 5 SB. Roughly on pace for a 20/20 season with 80 RBI and 80 R. Consider that he has not even gotten hot yet, and then go out and trade fro him. One hot week and those ratios will look just fine. With only 32 K and 14 BB, he is showing a good plate approach. It is only a matter of time before he busts out.
Jimmy Paredes, out of nowhere. Paredes, 26-years-old, has 6 HR so far this season. He had 5 HR for his career entering the season. Due to injuries, Paredes was thrust into the Baltimore lineup. I am not sure where it came from, but he has hit .355 with 19 R and 24 RBI. He is a top 45 fantasy commodity…in only 27 games! This guys is so hot, he could melt the sun. Again, I have no clue where this came from. He is a career .289 hitter with a high of 13 HR in a season in MiLB. At the MLB level, he entered the season hitting .242 in 149 MLB games. We have seen late bloomers before, like Joey Bats. My best advice is to ride this wave as long as you can, and hope it is more than just a wave
Toronto Blue Jays:
Devon Travis for ROY. Mr. Iannone called this one in our preseason predictions. With 24 R, 7 HR, and 26 RBI, the rookie is on pace for a 100/30/100 season. Those numbers are probably not attainable, especially since he now resides on the DL, but he is expected to be there the minimum, and his .839 OPS is evidence that this dude can hit. More evidence? He is a career .323 hitter with a .873 OPS in MiLB. He also has back-to-back double digit HR/SB seasons. He drew 37 BB in 100 MiLB games last season, showing he has an idea at the plate.