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Groovin’ with Govier: Fantasy Baseball Roundup (5/30)

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Michael Govier

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Get into the groove as I take you on a stadium tour across the fantasy baseball realm! It is my hope that you will find this article both entertaining and informative. Don’t forget about our stellar season-long fantasy baseball coverage at FTN Fantasy. Save a couple bones with my promo code MJGOVIER when you sign up so you can get access to outstanding pieces like Matty Davis’ Weekly Hitter Planner. Also, I’ve started a weekly video complement to this article. Each week a new episode will be live at 6 p.m. ET every Saturday on the FTN Network YouTube channel. Take advantage of the live chat in real-time to ask questions related to this week’s article or for questions you have for the following week’s action.

 

It is my ultimate goal for you to absorb and apply winning fantasy baseball wisdom from each edition of Groovin’ with Govier. It’s similar to when Neo was offered the blue or the red pill. If you continue reading this, you take the plunge to find out how far my fantasy baseball analysis can take you. Every Tuesday we fly like an eagle into the future in pursuit of the ultimate … a league championship! Now, with the inspiring true story of Liam Hendriks overcoming cancer as our guide, let’s be grateful for this opportunity to explore the current state of the fantasy baseball realm.

Jorge Soler Doesn’t Need a Juicy Ball to Return to His 2019 Form

Gone in 60 Days

This article goes live Tuesday, May 30. The 2023 season started Thursday, March 30. That’s 60 days, or two months, or eight weeks, or 1,440 hours in the can so far. This is an ideal time to take stock of all the peccadilloes, the trends and the players that make up the 2023 season as it is so far. To be absolutely clear: The first 60 days do not define the next 60 to come. Yet without knowing anything about math or analytics, the average fantasy baseball manager knows that whether a player is on the rise or slumping in the toilet over these first 60 days, the opposite outcome is likely to occur over the next two months. With that in mind, here are the unlocked achievements across fantasy baseball over the first 60 days of the season. Let’s begin:

The We’re the Millers Achievement

Three Millers made their debut this season: Mason, Bryce and Bobby. All three are pretty damn good too. Mason Miller threw too close to the sun, but Bryce Miller and now Bobby Miller are making waves for playoff contenders who desperately need them. I don’t believe we’ll ever see another wave of Millers like this again in our lifetime. 

The ‘Did We Just Become Best Friends?’ Achievement

I had an affinity for Spencer Steer in the preseason, but he was still unproven in The Show. My only regret now is that I wish I had more. The Reds trusted Steer to be in the top of their lineup this season and he has delivered. He is an absolute must in OBP leagues! There is more power to come too. He is now my best pal!

The ‘Same As It Ever Was’ Achievement

Another year, another team, another Jacob deGrom injury. 

The ‘King of the North’ Achievement

Matt Chapman has cooled a bit lately and is whiffing more often, but he deserves credit for his first 60 days as the King of the North in Toronto. Did you sell high? Or are you expecting another 60 days of fantasy baseball heaven?

The ‘Flawless Victory’ Achievement

There haven’t been any no-hitters after the first two months. So I will give this to Mitch Keller, who pitched a complete game shutout earlier in May by limiting the Rockies to 4 hits. He was the first Pirates starter to do so since Jameson Taillon in 2018. Flawless Victory!

The ‘You Got the Touch’ Achievement

There is just NO WAY that the Tigers should be 25-27 at this point. Yet, here they are. So A.J. Hinch is the one who unlocked this achievement. How did he do it? Well, his secret weapon is pitching coach Chris Fetter, who is an MLB manager in waiting. That’s a big part of it. Hinch definitely has the touch! 

The ‘Can’t Truss It’ Achievement

Clearly it’s rather obvious that you cannot trust Jon Gray’s 2.81 ERA (4.64 FIP). Get out now before it’s too late.

The ‘It’s Incredibly Hard’ Achievement

Coming over from Japan to play in MLB has proven to be a difficult task that has bested some legit talents in the past. That’s why Masataka Yoshida deserves this achievement. He’s hitting .303 and has been a steady presence in Boston’s lineup. It’s incredibly hard to succeed in MLB right off the bat and Yoshida has proven he’s up to the task. Well done!

The ‘Since U Been Gone’ Achievement

Shout-out to Rhys Hoskins for this one, but it has to go to Brandon Woodruff. Since he’s been gone the Brewers have been trying like hell to maintain their pitching staff. It’s now to the point where Julio Teheran has entered the chat. 

The Waingro Achievement

This one goes to Fernando Tatis Jr., or really any 2023 Padre. Like Waingro, Tatis and others such as Xander Bogaerts are experienced pros. The problem is there was already a solid team in place that went to the NLCS last year. Again, similar to when Waingro was brought into the fold in Heat, the chemistry is now all jacked up. 

The ‘I Wish I Knew How to Quit You’ Achievement

I’m as guilty as anybody else when it comes to going back to the well one too many times. For me, it’s Josh Rojas. I keep thinking there will be more power revealed in this bat, but it’s the same old story every year. I need help. He has a power over me that I can’t resist. 

The ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ Achievement

There are a lot of players who unlocked this one for their fantasy managers. Jeffrey Springs, Robbie Ray, Max Fried, Oneil Cruz, Carlos Rodón and Edwin Díaz. This year there are plenty of reasons to be miserable now as a fantasy baseball manager. 

The Pepe Silvia Achievement

Alex Call takes the cake here as the player who doesn’t show up when there are runners in scoring position. Call is 2-12 with RISP this year. When he is needed most, Alex Call is nowhere to be found. 

The ‘You Are Entering a World of Pain’ Achievement

Any time you stream a pitcher at Coors, you are entering a world of pain. 

The ‘Welcome to Costco, I Love You’ Achievement

2023 has seen the arrival of some special rookies so far. Eury Pérez is all that and a bag of chips, along with Matt McLain showing up right away prepared to mash homers and steal bags. Josh Jung is still a rookie technically. Anthony Volpe has hung on despite some challenges. And we can’t forget what James Outman did in the first 60 days. There are still more to come plus there are more I didn’t mention. Welcome to The Show! I love you!

The ’Well … We’re Waiting’ Achievement

How much longer can we wait on Taylor Ward? What about Kyle Schwarber? These two have certainly tested our collective patience. Ward has been face-palmed by Mickey Moniak lately, while Schwarber continues to dream of hitting .190. Remember what I said at the top though. Schwarber is bound to go on a dong bender soon. Will Ward regain his full-time job or is he destined for the dreaded platoon?

The ‘You’re a Great Big Phony’ Achievement

It’s peculiar that two of the achievements related to fraudulent performances have both been unlocked by different Grays. In this case it is Josiah Gray. His 5.13 SIERA paired with a 2.77 ERA screams phony. Josiah Gray may be a solid dude, but his performance is a great big phony. Run away while you still can!

The ‘Time Extension’ Achievement

Ah yes. Daytona USA. That was a classic quality time at the arcade. Do arcades still exist? I wouldn’t think so. Anyways, Michael Conforto bought himself a time extension with his recent hitting display over the last two weeks. He was living on borrowed time. Not anymore. The Giants are for real. I understand wanting to sell high right now, but Conforto deserved more time too because he had been gone for so long. 

The ‘In the Shallow’ Achievement

This is a good thing. Even if this song should be banned for at least 20 years. Tyler Wells is in the shallow when it comes to his WHIP of 0.83 over 63 IP. He might also qualify as my new best friend as well because he is so consistent. I’ll happily remain in the shallow WHIP waters all season long. 

The ‘Simply the Best’ Achievement

Easy call here in honor of the recently departed Tina Turner. Ronald Acuña Jr. has been a fantasy godsend over the first two months. 11 dongs, 22 steals and a .327 batting average are simply the best. So far. 

The ‘Up Your Butt, Jobu’ Achievement

Multiple times this season I wrote about James Paxton attempting to return to The Show with the Red Sox. I used to love the Big Maple, but I was convinced there was nothing left in that arm. Well, up my butt! Yes, he was roughed up a bit in his third start, but kudos to Paxton for showing an impressive resolve. 

The ‘Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good’ Achievement

The Twins have pitching now, but Sonny Gray was already there. His 1.94 ERA (3.82 SIERA) can’t last, but he’s been a big gift for those who drafted him in the late 100s or early 200s. Sonny Gray definitely has been pretty, pretty, pretty good. 

The ‘Always Be Closing’ Achievement

Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase has the most save opportunities in MLB after two months with 22. Sure, he has blown 5 of them, but he earned this achievement or rather maybe the Cleveland offense earned it by barely eking out wins so far. Either way, Clase wins.

The ‘Perfect’ Achievement

There are three closers with at least 10 save opportunities who are still perfect. Alexis Díaz, Carlos Estévez and (magically) Pierce Johnson have not blown a save opportunity yet. All three are perfect. Between these three though, I would absolutely take Diaz. No doubt about it.

The ‘C.R.E.A.M.’ Achievement

In this case, the Rays let the money and service time get in the way of using Taj Bradley properly. Clearly nobody can fault the Rays this season for their outstanding performance, but money rules everything around them as they lost Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen out of the rotation. Bradley should have been back sooner. 

The Unsolved Mysteries Achievement

Trea Turner has no clue what’s wrong with him, and neither do we. All I do know is that by season’s end his struggles will be long forgotten as he will still end up with a solid statistical line. They might not be number one pick good, but Turner will likely still return first round value. During the next offseason someone will write a piece about what happened to Turner over the first 60 days. It will still be inconclusive leaving it as another unsolved mystery. 

The ‘Welcome to the Party, Pal’ Achievement

It’s been a long time coming, but Yennier Cano has arrived at 29 years old. 30 K’s to 1 BB over 27 IP so far has been quite the treat for fantasy managers. It’s also a treat for the back end of Baltimore’s bullpen when paired with Félix Bautista. Three cheers for Yennier Cano! Welcome to the party pal!

The ‘Memory of a Goldfish’ Achievement

Ty France unlocked this one because he didn’t let the first 50 days of this season slow him down. France is clearly a big fan of Ted Lasso. The France heater is in full effect and it’s going to be a glorious ride! 

The ‘You’re Gonna Lose’ Achievement

For anyone selling off their Sandy Alcantara shares, you’re gonna lose. 

The ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ Achievement

The A’s are a disaster in real life. For fantasy baseball though, they have plenty to offer. Esteury Ruiz looked like a player who could not get on base enough to take advantage of his elite speed. It turns out though that the new rules for 2023 have brought hitters who were previously removed from the game back to life. It’s a real pleasure to see Ruiz get base hits to all fields and then run all around the bases to the tune of 27 steals. The rule changes have made players like Ruiz relevant again. Even if his HHR is incredibly soft, that doesn’t matter when you plop a looper into right field. Players like Placido Polanco, Ozzie Smith or Juan Pierre have a place in this game again. I for one am thrilled about that!

The ‘I’ve Given a Name to My Pain’ Achievement

There are many people or teams to consider here, but Oli Marmol seems to be alienating a lot of people. I really have been a fan of his since he got the job. Yet, whether it was with Tyler O’Neill, Willson Contreras or the recent Matthew Liberatore confusion, Marmol has become a pain for a lot of people. 

The ‘Utah Gimme Two’ Achievement

A second chance means everything. That’s all Josh Lowe needed. He was given another opportunity this year and he has taken advantage of it. He has taken it so literally that he even has a new name. Lowe is looking at a very possible 30/30 season this year. Good for him! 

The ‘Carl, Good to See You’ Achievement

Once a highly touted Twins prospect, Brent Rooker showed up at Oakland’s front door with nothing to his name beyond his skills. Rooker then proceeded to mash by taking advantage of the shift ban by selling out for maximum power as he pulls the crap out of the ball. He’s cooled off lately, but Rooker still has more dongs in his bat this season. 

The ‘How ‘Bout Them Apples’ Achievement

Nolan Gorman was mostly an afterthought in fantasy baseball drafts during the preseason. Now Gorman is getting the last laugh with 13 dongs and a 152 wRC+ after two months of action. How about them apples?!

The ‘I’ve Made a Huge Mistake’ Achievement

For me personally, drafting Eric Lauer several times was a huge mistake and I must own it. I’m curious to know about the mistakes others made over the first 60 days. DM me on Twitter or email me miguelgovier@gmail.com 

The ‘Why’d This Happen’ Achievement

Unfortunately, Willy Adames’ season got even worse last week when he hit the IL with a concussion. Prior to that, Adames had been struggling at the plate all season. It’s never a good thing when a player has things go from bad to worse. I hope he takes his time to get well. 

The ‘Show Me the Money’ Achievement

I’m sure everyone has heard it all by now when it comes to Jarred Kelenic. Yet, the dude looks to have finally tapped into his special talents as a hitter. It’s time that Seattle showed Kelenic the money. His first two months of 2023 have shown why. 

 

Screenshots

Dane Dunning, SP/RP, Texas Rangers

Dane Dunning stepped away from the team for the birth of his child. He will return against my Detroit Tigers (no bozo anymore after two months being 25-27) Wednesday to put his streak of 43 innings without a dong on the line. I remember Dunning’s debut during the 2020 pandemic bozo season. He actually debuted against my Tigers. There was a buzz about Dunning back then, but that buzz eventually faded away after 

Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers

Real simple here. Akil Baddoo has 4 PA against LHP all season! He has benefitted from a righty-heavy schedule. As long as Detroit has righties on their weekly schedule though, he has value. 

Paul Blackburn, SP, Oakland Athletics

In his 2023 debut, Paul Blackburn went 4 innings and struck out 6. Oakland won 7-2 over Atlanta. Blackburn is definitely an add for those in 14-teamers and deeper.

Cedric Mullins, OF, Baltimore Orioles

Cedric Mullins Fantasy Baseball Groovin' with Govier

The injury to his right groin may land Cedric Mullins on the IL. That is definitely not official yet, but it seems likely. Kyle Stowers is the only OF on the 40-man who could come up from AAA. A lot of people like Colton Cowser, who is coming back from his own quad injury. It’s possible the Orioles call up Stowers and then just try to mix and match until Mullins can return. It will not be easy replacing Mullins, but make sure to wait for official results on his groin. 

Michael Grove, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Michael Grove pitched well in rehab starts in OKC and is now in line to replace the struggling Gavin Stone in the rotation later this week. Likely this weekend at home against Aaron Judge and the Yankees. Grove is worth a spec add in 14-teamers and deeper. 

Jake McCarthy, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

The previously demoted outfielder was called back up by the Dbacks late last week. Jake McCarthy has played in 4 games since returning with 3 steals already. In this running environment he is going to be very helpful for any manager who needs more steals. 

Ryan Noda, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics

One of my favorite sleeper hitters of 2023, Ryan Noda is free of Jesús Aguilar now. Noda cranked a dong Monday night and now has two straight games with a yambo. Noda has already been mastering OBP as a rookie with a .400 OBP. He must be rostered in OBP leagues and will become more useful in 14-teamers and deeper if he can keep his batting average at .230 or higher. Noda is all about power and patience. Don’t sleep on him. 

Trevor Rogers, SP, Miami Marlins

After being patient, the Marlins are sending Trevor Rogers out on rehab this week. He will certainly require a few starts if not more before he returns. They need his lefty arm in the rotation. I’m curious to see how this impacts Eury Pérez. Expect Rogers back in the bigs by mid to late June. 

Drew Waters, OF, Kansas City Royals

The Royals finally cut the cord on Hunter Dozier, and now Drew Waters is in the fold. The Royals seem to have too many outfielders as it is, but Waters has started three of their last four games. I am not too keen on Waters, but he could help provide steals at the very least. 

Brendan Donovan, 1B/2B/SS/3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have been playing Brendan Donovan daily as of late. He has responded with a few dongs and some steals over the last week. I know the Cardinals are loaded with position players, but the best of Donovan is yet to come this season. If he is available, his positional eligibility alone is worth adding in 14-teamers and deeper. 

Ty France, 1B, Seattle Mariners

My main man has finally taken flight this season! Particularly with the power. Ty France has had three dongs over the last week. Seattle is starting to heat up as a team offensively after suffering through a brutal stretch of endless slumps across the roster. If somebody sees this as a selling opportunity, I would absolutely go get France.

Pete Fairbanks, RP, Tampa Bay Rays

Pete Fairbanks Tampa Bay Rays Groovin' with Govier

This poor fella is back on the IL again. This time it’s hip inflammation. I had another manager in a dynasty league where I am contending try to trade Pete Fairbanks three times over the last 10 days before he got hurt. I had no interest before he got hurt and I obviously have none now. If Jason Adam was dropped anywhere, go pick him up.

Jonah Bride, 2B/3B, Oakland Athletics

The A’s called up Jonah Bride after his excellent performance in AAA. Bride earned the call and performed well in his first start against the Braves, going 2-3 with a run scored. Bride showed incredible discipline at AAA this year with 26 BB to 29 K’s. Bride will be an excellent addition in OBP leagues. 

Drey Jameson, SP/RP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Drey Jameson replaced Brandon Pfaadt, who was sent back down to AAA. Jameson pitched in relief Monday, striking out 6 over 3.2 IP. Jameson will continue to do so for now and I don’t see that as a bad thing. He might be an ideal swingman out of the bullpen. 

Nolan Jones, OF, Colorado Rockies
Elehuris Montero, 1B/3B, Colorado Rockies

Nolan Jones was called up late last week, with Elehuris Montero following shortly after. Jones is absolutely the preferred option here in Colorado over Montero. Montero was called up to fill in for Charlie Blackmon while he is on the bereavement list. Montero will be back in AAA very quickly. 

Daniel Lynch, SP, Kansas City Royals

The Royals are still reeling from the way the previous regime handled their pitching development. Daniel Lynch was still able to impress in his debut Sunday going 5.1 IP with 6 K’s. It wasn’t dominance, but it was a solid debut from a guy with plenty of talent. Lynch gets the Rockies at home next. Stream anyone?

Mitch White, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Mitch White is going to resume his rehab in Buffalo. White is coming back from an elbow issue but had to pause his current rehab because of shoulder fatigue. White will need more starts before he is considered in Toronto’s plans. Even then, White might not be anything more than a bullpen arm who is a spot starter. 

Ethan Small, SP/RP, Milwaukee Brewers

I just wanted to mention that Ethan Small came and went like a fart in the wind last week. He was ripped by the Giants last week while striking out 5 over 3 IP. I still like Small, but he doesn’t seem to hold much appeal with Milwaukee’s front office. 

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