MLB Game Day Recap Day 41: Good Stories

May 12, 2021

It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 41 which means it’s time to talk about baseball, specifically, the good stories in baseball. Drew Robinson is a good story. Cesar Valdez is a good story. The good stories are out there. They may not happen often, they may not get talked about a ton, but they are out there. We try to write good stories. The baseball world is not unlike the rest of the American world in that bad stories are what get attention. It’s what will always get attention. That doesn’t mean good stories aren’t out there, just pay attention and locate them. They are out there.

Climbing Up

Jorge Soler decided to play baseball today. One could easily be confused if they had not noticed Jorge playing all season, as he has been invisible in all the bad ways for fantasy baseball managers. Jorge drove in six runs via a three-run dinger and a three-run double in the eighth and ninth innings of today’s game against the Tigers. Just like Soler’s full-season performance, this positive blowup was moot as the Royals still lost to the Tigers 7-6. This is the first glimpse of Jorge remembering how to hit baseballs far, but this is the type of game you react to for a player like Soler. Just like Adam Duvall, when you see a big power game you go and buy the next 3-4 games. Maybe you get a 0-for-15, but maybe you get a 9-for-13 with 4 homers. Buy the potential when it shows itself.

Letdown

San Diego Padres starter Dinelson Lamet still does not have any leash to go deep into a game. For the third straight start on the season, Lamet went 2.0 innings. That’s not the number of innings a pitcher should start, even if they are on the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s frustrating to roster a player like this, someone who clearly has future value but is doing nothing in the present. Since innings and one earned run allowed is a great singular start, but when it comes across three starts and two weeks, it’s…. middle reliever value. Please, San Diego, give him a bit more rope. I’m not asking for a complete game, just like, four innings. Please.

Who’s Hot

Francisco Lindor! He did it! Somehow, someway, Lindor has managed to put together a streak of games in New York Mets uniform when he doesn’t stink. Lindor went 1-for-2 with a walk today, and that boosted up his already good average in the past two weeks. Entering today, Lindor had a .321 OBP with seven runs scored, a homer, four RBIs and a stolen base in his past two weeks. By no means is that great, and by no means is that something that should earn someone a “who’s hot” award, but where Lindor is coming from? This is a hot streak. Congrats Francisco, you’ve already turned things around. Just keep it going and soon your full-season numbers will be top 20 at shortstop. The sky is the limit!

Who’s Not

Mets backstop James McCann went 0-for-4 today and is not 6 for his past 42 with one run scored and three RBIs. Even by catcher standards, that’s awful. The Mets are a team that is playing to win now, and as embarrassing as it might be for ownership, McCann’s playing time is in jeopardy. Tomas Nido is both offensively and defensively superior to McCann at this point in time. That’s not a sentence any Mets fan wants to read in the middle of May, but it’s also the truth. Do not be surprised to see McCann losing playing time with his bat not coming close to meeting expectations. It’s really, really bad when a catcher can’t even put up acceptable catcher numbers. Things are not good in McCann-land.

The Emilio Bonifacio Award

Diamondbacks infielder Asdrubal Cabrera had himself a night going 4-for-5 against the Marlins with a three-run dinger. Qualifying at 1B, 2B, and 3B, Cabrera is your classic cagey veteran who the majority of mixed league players have no interest in. A man without a high ceiling is often a man left on the waiver wire. Still, Cabrera’s ownership needs to rise beyond a measly 15% with him on a nice five-game heater. Players like Cabrera have excellent short-term value and managers need to devote roster spots to cycling in players like Asdrubal. These guys are not winning you a league for their full-season value, but they can win you a league with their two-week value. Buy in and get out, it’s an excellent strategy.

The James Shields Award

We had a boatload of Shields winners today. Lance McCullers Jr. dominated the Angels for eight innings allowing a lone run while striking out nine. Madison Bumgarner continued his crazy return to being a fantasy-relevant pitcher by going seven scoreless against Miami also striking out nine. Shane Bieber had “the worst start of his season” allowing two runs and striking out eight in 6.2 innings against the Cubs. Shohei Otani, Walker Buehler, Chris Bassitt, and Freddy Peralta all went seven innings striking out at least eight. Only Buehler allowed more than two runs, but LA still found a way to win his start. Marcus Stroman went 6.1 innings allowing one run and six baserunners in the Mets victory over the Orioles. Lastly, Yusei Kikuchi struck out a Shields leading 11 Dodgers while picking up a quality start in LA. Kikuchi appears to have “arrived”. Good job boys.

The Brad Lidge Award

Cesar Valdez blew the game for the Orioles today in Flushing. While he did not look great, by no means was he hit super hard. Kevin Pillar dropped in a leadoff single with Jonathan Villar doing the same as the next hitter. Valdez then struck out James McCann before Dominic Smith dinked-and-dimed him by dropping in another single to score Pillar. Patrick Mazeika then had an RBI fielder’s choice to end the game where Trey Mancini moved at a sloth’s pace on his throw home. A blown save is a blown save, but they should not all be treated equally by fantasy managers. Treat this one as a one-off until there are multiple more blowups for Valdez.

Conclusion

The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Baseball is about stories, specifically good ones. There are so many stories told over the sans of time in baseball. The creation of the game. The explosion of the game. Satchel Paige’s entire existance. All of these are good stories, and there are hundreds of thousands more. Seek them out, read them, hear them, enjoy them. They are what makes baseball great. Enjoy them.

Goodnight.