Avoiding the Blurbstomp – The Early Drop Gets the L

The blurbs have a lot to offer in the early going of a given fantasy season. A ton of players get micro-levels of attention at this point, and you must remember zoom out like me hate-quitting a video conference to that we drafted a team of players we like. Stick with that team. Let it accumulate a significant girth of numbers. Give your hitters at least 100 at-bats to normalize, and know that you should probably wait for 150 at-bats. Well, let me tell you a fable.

There was a golden boy named Paul, and he played first base for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019. He had a great April, but then hit 5 home runs with 12 RBI’s combined in May and June. He hit .181 in the month of June. If you sold at that point, you then missed his 20/11/27/.308 July. So yeah. I guess it’s not a fable. More of a really, really dry anecdote. Welp.

Dropping someone after a week of play is akin to drifting off the road, over-correcting, and then flipping your car onto a ramp which then shoots you into a brick wall that’s on fire. Not even a flaming hoop. Just a wall, and it’s on fire.

Avoid that, but do listen to Eno’s “Baby’s On Fire,” especially for Robert Fripp’s unhinged guitar work at the first break. That way, you get the feeling of ominous disaster without ruining your fun baseball times!

A Blurbstomp Reminder

We will analyze player blurbs from a given evening, knowing that 1-2 writers are usually responsible for all the player write-ups posted within an hour of the game results. We will look at:

  • Flowery Diction – how sites juice up descriptions of player performance
  • Q and Q – questioning the qualitative/quantitative content of a blurb
  • Double Take – when a site contradicts a player valuation on back-to-back blurbs
  • Poxscore – when a blurb attempts to contain an entire inning of play-by-play
  • Bob Nightengale Award – given to the blurb that is beyond logic

The hope is that by season’s end, we’ll all feel more confident about our player evaluations when it comes to the waiver wire. We will read blurbs and not be swayed by excessive superlatives, faulty injury reporting, and micro-hype. I will know that I have done my job when Gray posts, and there isn’t a single question about catchers that he did not address in his post. Onward to Roto Wokeness!

Flowery Diction

Blue Jays SS prospect Orelvis Martinez picked up three hits with a homer for Double-A New Hampshire.

Martinez also doubled, and he drove in two. It’s the second homer of the season for the 20-year-old, and all but assuredly not the last. Power is the right-handed hitting infielder’s top tool, and it’s the type of pop you see from hitters who produced 30-plus homer seasons in their prime. While that’s the calling-card, Martinez has a swing that suggests he can hit for average — if he can keep the strikeouts in check — but is unlikely to ever contribute in the run game, aka stolen bases. He also may have to move to this base, but whatever position Martinez lands at, he’s fantasy relevant because of his potential for bombs.

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

I don’t prefer the combination of baseball and football lexicons. Has anyone referred to the stolen base element like this before? Probably. Also, the AKA stolen bases thing. I get that writing the same prose over and over again gets tired, but no reason to fix it if ain’t broken. There are sentence structure parallels here that annoy me in a harmless but obnoxious manner:

“While [30 homer power]’s the calling card…”

“He has a swing that suggests he can hit for average – if he can keep the strikeouts in check…”

“…he can hit for average – if he can keep the strikeouts in check…”

“…unlikely to ever contribute in the run game, aka stolen bases”

And now, in one sentence: “Martinez, a middle infielder who will most likely end up at 3B, has an elite power-hitting profile and a swing that could potentially hit for average.” If SB’s aren’t included, don’t print anything on the label, aka, this tag has no point and explains nothing.

Poxscore

Daniel Bard gave up one hit over a scoreless ninth inning against the Rangers on Tuesday en route to his second save of the season.

Throwing 12 sliders and just two sinkers, Bard secured the victory for the Rockies on Tuesday night. He did hit the leadoff batter to begin the bottom of the ninth, but he got Willie Calhoun to pop up and Brad Miller to fly out to end the game. For the time being, it seems like Bard is the preferred closing option in Colorado.

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

If you’re going to add a play-by-play for an inning of work for any reliever, why can’t you include every out? This isn’t an issue if the purpose of the blurb does not regale us of the thrilling end game action. According to this blurb, Bard pitched a scoreless inning while giving up a hit. However, he also hit a batter, and then got Calhoun and Brad Miller out to end things.

  • Hit the leadoff batter
  • Mystery out?
  • Mystery hit?
  • Calhoun pop up
  • Brad Miller fly out

Hooray, that’s a save? Also, burying the lede with this blurb. The header insinuates that the outing was a breezy one. When actually looking at the play-by-play, it was…less so.

Q&Q

Lourdes Gurriel went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts versus the Yankees on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays were shut out by the Yankees in this one, picking up five hits along the way. Gurriel is off to a rough 3-for-20 start this season, with his one extra-base hit coming back on Opening Day.

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early.

I could have picked out “Player A is off to a rough start” from any site, and there are dozens of them. Lourdes Gurriel’s game log shows that in five games, he has gone 1-4 in three of those games, and 0-4 in the other two.

Do not react to a 20 at-bat sample. Unless it’s Cody Bellinger. Feel free to cut that guy loose like you’re sawing a desperate limpet off a ship’s hull.

Double Take

Bo Bichette went 1-for-4 on Tuesday with a single in the eighth inning and struck out once.

Bichette has struck out seven times over his last three games and is batting .227 for the season. He did hit one bomb in the opening series against the Rangers. He will face Gerrit Cole and the Yankees on Wednesday night.

Source: Rotoedgesportsworld.com

See? Bichette’s game log is pretty great too!

First two games: 4-8, 4 runs, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Three games after: 1-14, seven K’s

As with any baseball player, his season will be a mixture of those two samples until the end of time. Check up on your team, feel free to be dejected, hey, maybe you want to punch a table. Maybe you’ll get a coffee, leave a really good tip, but you put it in the tip jar when your cashier isn’t looking, so then they think you didn’t tip, but you did, but you also don’t want to brag about tipping, so you’re cheed that they are cheed, so you’re both resentful. You could do that. That’s reasonable.

Bob Nightengale Award

Cody Bellinger went 0-for-3 with two walks, a run and two stolen bases on Tuesday’s 7-2 win over the Twins.

The bad news is that Bellinger was unable to put the ball in play Tuesday, as he racked up three strikeouts in the victory. On the positive side, he drew two walks and swiped his first two bags of the campaign in the fifth inning, helping to manufacture the Dodgers’ first run. Bellinger is still hitting just .143 on the season, but he’s reached based five times (three walks, two singles) in his past two games, so there’s reason for his fantasy managers to hope that he’s on the verge of a turnaround.

Source: CBS Fantasy (via Rotowire)

Out of the 100’s of “he’s a having a rough/slow/cold start” blurbs, there is one player for whom hope blurbs and blooms eternal. The aforementioned Cody Smellinger has a history of being enormously successful in the majors, until pitchers found a massive hole in his swing that he hasn’t been able to solve. For some reason, Cody’s past success has a bigger impact on blurbists and MLB/fantasy writers than other players. I still see a lot of hemming and hawing re: people being unfair in their assessment of Bellinger. There is a point, however, when you step back and ask why most players’ early of luck is being described as “rough/cold,” whereas Smelly steals two bases without a hit and it produces, “…there’s reason for his fantasy managers to hope that he’s on the verge of a turnaround.”

I’ve heard of players making a great defensive play, and then turning that energy and excitement into a home run or a great hitting performance. I’ve never seen anyone look at a hitter stealing two bases and saying, “You know what, he might start hitting now.” Cody still needs to steal first, so to speak, which is sad. Dude should make soft contact, and then mount his giant vape pen like a witch’s broom, and shoot down the baseline while spreading good vibes.

I’m all for hope springing eternal. In fact, Bellinger went and hit a homer and a double last night. Keep hoping people, apparently my hope last year wasn’t enough.

That’s it for this week’s blurbs! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.

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