The Chinstrap Ninjas are American, but we have no biases. We know foreign countries aren’t as good at beer league softball as us, but they occasionally pop out a player who makes a somewhat minimal difference in fantasy baseball circles.
Aroldis Chapman is expected to be next. According to a report from ESPN the Magazine, Chapman defected from Cuba by walking out of his hotel room in the Netherlands. Doesn’t sound that official to me, but whatever works.
Chapman, 21, has touched 100 MPH on the radar gun and is considered the best left-handed prospect in the world in the minds of many. I hadn’t heard of him, but I do now.
He’ll cause a big hype train when he signs with a pro squad, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him helping some Chinstrap Ninja on a pro diamond by the end of the year.
He wasn’t the only international prospect who made headlines in the Major Leagues today, but he’s the only one we’re going to talk about. There’s a lot of other stuff going on in fantasy baseball:
Hold the phone, Angels SP Ervin Santana expected back Friday. He’s actually not that far away.
Jake Peavy’s status will be updated in a month. Bwuhh, that’s not good news for the Padres SP.
Carlos Quentin, White Sox OF, has increased the intensity of his workouts and has shortened his road to recovery. At this rate he’ll be back in form by 2020.
Twins 1B Justin Mourneau expects to be back Friday.
White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez will have X-Rays on his middle finger. Fantasy players have been giving the disappointing Chinstrap Ninjas sleeper the middle finger all season.
Angels SP Jered Weaver (7 R, 8 H, 5 1/3 IP) and Phillies SP Cole Hamels (7 R, 9 H, 4IP) were rocked.
Meanwhile, White Sox SP Jose Contreras continues his post minor-league visit renaissance. He had 8 Ks, 1BB and gave up 2 R in seven innings and change. He’s 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA since his return. He’s available in 83% of Yahoo leagues and pitching better than half the guys you’re starting every week.
Braves SP Jair Jurrjens was similarly impressive, giving up one hit and one earned run in 7 IPs to get the win. The Chinstrap Ninjas 2009 Breakout Player had 6 Ks. He’s lights-out in ERA and WHIP and available in nearly a quarter (22%) of Yahoo leagues
Reds SP Johnny Cueto retired 12 consecutive batters and gave up no runs in a win. Cueto’s available in 13% of Yahoo leagues. I can’t imagine what kind of pitchers those leagues are trotting out there on a weekly basis.
Stealthy Ninja Randy Wells earned his third straight win. The Cubs SP gave up one run and six hits. In his last three starts: 5 R, 20 2/3 IP, 2.18 ERA. One more stat: Available in 65% of Yahoo leagues.
Frank Francisco, Rangers RP, gave up three runs and blew a save, but got the win. If you want a Rangers closer you want C.J. Wilson.
Ninjas wielding bats
Quick quiz: What player leads the National League in steals, triples and IF hits? Astros OF Michael Bourn. He’s available in 36 % of Yahoo leagues, has scored 44 runs and his .289 average is a surprise.
Hank Blalock 2 HRs, including a game-winner in the ninth. Colby Rasmus also hit a walk-off homer, the first of his career. Blalock is a Ninja who gets his other Ninja squadmates killed with inconsistency. Rasmus is blossoming into a rookie of the year candidate – his 8 HRs and 29 RBIs leads all rookies.
Reds 1B Joey Votto is back, really back – 11-for-32 – and still available in 12% of Yahoo leagues. Why not type Votto into your player search and see if anyone owns him?
Braves IF Diory Hernandez hit his first career homer yesterday. He’s not a prospect and doesn’t even need to be on your deepest darkest dynasty league roster.
Braves Of Matt Diaz had three hits and a homer, but you still don’t want to buy any of it.
From the Wait, is that Really News Anymore department, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was 0-for-3. Chinstrap Ninjas will be here to let you know when Jimmy Rollins does finally break out of this thing. I’m thinking post-All-Star break.
Manny Ramirez minute
Shhh. Hold all thoughts. Stop talking to yourself. This is Manny’s time and you all need to pay attention.
We’ve been inundated with stories so bizarre I’m amazed we didn’t get one about how Manny Ramirez’s sneeze affected the dugout in one of his minor league games. But finally, that mess is over. He’s been reinstated.
Baseball can finally resume normal operations.
What do you think? You’re ecstatic Manny’s back aren’t you? Did you miss him? I know you did. You can start a conversation about Manny (or, please, anything else) in the comments below or in our forums.