Roto Imbeciles
Fantasy Baseball for the Roto Enthusiast

Saturday, April 22, 2017: So Madison Bumgarner goes and turns his dirt bike into an Indy car. I read he could miss 6 to 8 weeks with bruised ribs and a grade one or two left shoulder AC sprain. Arguably the MVP for the Giants and I think he's been in the top 10 for NL Cy Young the past 4 seasons. Surprisingly, Bumgarner is off to an 0-3 start even with great peripherals: a 3.00/1.07 ERA/WHIP, 25 HA, and a 28/4 K/BB in 27 IP. And who can forget his 2 HR game on Opening Day? Big loss for the team but I don't agree with what I read that some fans are saying the team is throwing in the proverbial towel. What did Mark Twain say? The coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

What the hell is up with KC Royals' SP Jason Vargas? 21 months after TJ Surgery, Vargas is looking great. He's off to a 3-0 start on the season with a 0.44/0.77 ERA/WHIP, 14 HA, and a 23/2 K/BB in 3 GS and 20 2/3 IP. Vargas is just the fourth pitcher in Royals franchise history to work six-plus innings and allow no more than one run in his first three GS to open a season. Vargas' signature season was back in 2012 for the Mariners when he went 14-11, with a 3.85/1.18 ERA/WHIP, 201 HA, and a 141/55 K/BB in a career high 217 1/3 IP. During the first week of the season I put in a $3 FAAB on Vargas in Walter's 15 team league. Of course that wasn't nearly enough to secure his services. But I've always liked Vargas and he's been a member of a few of my AL-only excursions over the years.

The Mariners had given Dan Vogelbach a team high 57 AB this spring. Maybe they expected more than the 1 HR, 5 RBI, and 19 K's (he did walk 7 times). In my AL-only the other night Vogelbach went for $3 and I remember telling the owner that he made a great buy. Does that mean that Danny Valencia is the 1B? I had to run that draft for a while as the auctioneer while trying to draft my own team at the same time. I remember when Valencia's name came up I mentioned that there was a great song by the band The Decemberists called "O Valencia." By the by, Valencia went for $10 in that draft. At that point I didn't have enough money to hang in on him. I could have kept him for $5 but what do I know.

I remember the spring (maybe 2010 or 2011) that Jake Fox hit something like 11 HR in the spring for the O's. Everyone was excited, from manager Buck Showalter on down, including me, and I made him a part of my AL-only that season. And the rest was history. In looking at Greg Bird's stats so far this spring (5 for 12 with 2 doubles, 3 HR and 5 RBI). Bird, lest we forget, missed the whole of the major league season in '16 with a balky shoulder. I always remember what one of the elite fantasy players told me early on in my sojourn into this game 30 some years ago, never look at a players' stats in ST, Apr, and Sept. By the by, Jake Fox was out of the majors at the age of 28 with 20 career HR and 73 RBI.

I wonder if as a kid, Jacob, Ben Lively was ever given the business over his last name. Kids can be cruel. I'm sure there were lots of chants of "Step Lively." Those were fun times. I think the Phillies would be remiss in not giving Lively a chance. In his first foray to AAA, Lively had a 0.94 WHIP in 117 2/3 IP. His 90/27 K/BB wasn't too shabby either. Yes, Jacob, I can see Livley up for a little more than a cup of coffee. The Phillies' rotation of Hellickson, Veasquez, Eickhoff, Nola, and Buchholz (sounds like a law firm) may be surprisingly efficient. Or not! And injuries always have a way of rearing their ugly head. Think it's time for me to go have a Light 'n Lively.

I'm hoping that somewhere Placido Polanco is still playing. It never came across my desk that he officially retired. Even in Zeist, Holland, home of Bert Blyleven. And I'll bet you a stack of 1959 Dick Groat cards (not in mint condition) that you didn't know Polanco had 2142 career hits. Kind of like longtime major league catcher, Jason Kendall. He was behind the plate for 5 big league clubs for what seemed like a million years and ended up with 2195 hits, 1030 runs, 189 SB, a damned good 686/721 K/BB, and a .288 lifetime BA. Where has the time gone?
What a difference a year makes! Last year the O's gifted Chris Davis with a 7 yr/$161-mil contract. He did hit 38 HR but only had 84 RBI, batted .221, and K'd a career high 219 times in 566 AB. I'm sure the O's would take something a little like his '13 season when he led the league wth 53 HR and 138 RBI while batting a career high .286 with a 1.004 OPS. Just yesterday the O's resigned Mark Trumbo to a 3 yr deal worth in the neighborhood of $37.5-mil. This came after Trumbo led the AL with 47 HR. He also had 94 runs and 108 RBI while batting .256 in 613 AB. Just seems to me that the Orioles got a great deal here, especially after you look at the contract that Davis signed just a year earlier.


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