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What you didn’t think I was going to go full homer with my debut pitching profile? I mean, it’s as if you don’t even know me? Suffice it to say we’ve turned the keys to the Top 100 pitching ship from one homer, to another. Truth be told, it was a busy weekend, as I covered for Grey on Friday, recorded the Prospect Podcast on that night with Halp, traveled to New York for Smokey’s 40th birthday, took in the Saturday Yanks vs. O’s game with Smokey and the crew, wrote my Minor League Update, and drove back to Massachusetts Sunday morning. Not to mention I was only tasked with this honor Thursday evening, right after I returned from my oldest son’s first baseball practice of the season. So to say it’s been a hectic few days is an understatement. However, a date for Edurado Rodriguez with the Cubs seemed like a good test for his new found swing and miss tendencies. It should be mentioned, that coming into the game Ed-Rod sported a 33 at bat hitless streak vs righthanded batters. So I was going to be paying extra attention as to how he attacked righties vs lefties, and what sequencing, pitch, etc. was leading to his success. Let’s get into it.

 

Tale of the Tape | Eduardo Rodriguez
Throws: Left
Height: 6’2 Weight: 220
Age: 24
Arsenal: 4-Seam Fastball (avg. velo: 93.3 mph; % thrown: 58.45%)
Two-seam (avg. velo 91.3:% thrown: 11.6%)
Change (avg. velo: 86.9; % thrown: 22.71%)
Slider (avg. velo: 84.3; % thrown 7.25%)
Swinging Strike %: 15%; K/9: 11.42, Bb/9: 6.23

Scouting Report: Ed-Rod’s approach has altered over this offseason as he re-introduced a cutter, and continued to mix in his sinking fastball, giving him two varations of his two-seam, and another couple of pitches to mix with his four-seam, changeup, and slider. His changup is by far his best out pitch, but he uses the different variations of his two seam as well. Throwing the sinker low in the zone and outside, and the cutter belt high, and in on the hands to righties. He likes to work up in the zone with his four-seamer, getting lots of swings, and popups with the pitch. He has a strong muscular frame, and has a loose clean delivery. His control has been an issue this year, as he has a tendency to nibble at times in two strike counts.

Game Scouted: Chicago Cubs @ Boston Red Sox April, 30th 2017

First Inning

The leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber, grounds out to Dustin Pedroia for the first out of the game. Next up is Bryant should be interesting to see how he attacks his first righthander of the night. Much of his success vs RHB has to do with the fastball running up and in, you can see this from the jump, as he goes right at Bryant, who grounds out to Mitch Moreland on a close play at first. Anthony Rizzo walks, not a good sign. Will Ed-Rod’s control sink him early? Next up is Ben Zobrist, who doubles on a nice piece of hitting. As he manages to get around and stay compact with his swing on a ball he pulled in on the hands at 94 MPH. Solid pitch, tough break. Next up is Addison Russell, who Ed-Rod consistently challenges up in the zone, going fastball on all four pitches, inducing an infield fly to Bogaerts, to end the threat.

First inning: 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 ER, 0 K

Second Inning

Heyward leads off the second, takes a two seam fastball low in the zone, then hits a single to right off the end of the bat, on a slider down and away. Next up Contreras, who he saws off on a fastball up and in again. next Ed-Rod makes quick work of Albert Almora Jr. throwing three straight fastballs, one down and in the zone for a strike, another high and on the edge of the zone for the second strike, a fastball inside for ball one. Rodriguez then rings up Almora on a slider on the outside part of the plate.

Jon Jay down 0-2, reaches on a fastball high and outside that he takes the the way to left for a single. Schwarber follows up with a groundball hit into the shift that Bogaerts makes a great diving play on.

Second inning: 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 ER, 1 K

Third Inning

This is a make or break inning for Eduardo as he faces the heart of the world champion’s order. Getting out of this one unscaved is going to take some trickery, and good placement. The inning starts out well for Rodriguez, striking out Kris Bryant on six pitches with a changeup in the dirt. Nice bit of pitching by the lefty.

Anthony Rizzo’s up next, he gets up 2-2 on the slugger before striking him out on another low changeup in the dirt. Back to back K’ s against Bryant and Rizzo. Impressive!

Switch-hitting Ben Zobrist is up next, Rodriguez gets down 3-1, before evening the count, and eventually striking him out on an outside fastball that’s hardly even a boarderline strike. Lucky break for Eduardo. Three up, three down, as Rodriguez strikes out the side.

Third inning: 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 R’s, 3 K’s

Fourth Inning

Addison Russell leads off the fourth inning, and sees four straight fastballs from Rodriguez, before striking out on a changeup in the dirt. Four consecutive strikeouts for Rodriguez, he’s dealing right now. Jason Heyward steps to the plate, and gets up 3-1 before Ed-Rod evens the count, and puts him away on another questionable called strike. This one a four-seamer that cuts in toward the plate at 94. Five consecutive strikeouts! Is my homerism shining through? The streak ends as Rodriguez nibbles around the edges of the plate against Willson Contreras, but no favorable calls this time as we walks the catcher on 5 pitches. The at bat against Almora starts with a nasty slider at 80 MPH that drops out just under the zone and gets a swing nowhere near the ball. Unfortunately Almora goes the opposite way on a 93 MPH fastball high and outside for a single but a good piece of baserunning by the Cubs gets him to second safely with the double. Trouble for Ed-Rod with two men in scoring position, and two outs. Next up The Federalist himself Jon Jay, who falls behind 1-2 before chasing the changeup that bounces off the plate for strike three.

7 K’s through 4 for Rodriguez, he’s setting them up with the 4 seam, and 2 seam fastballs, before putting them away with the changeup out of the zone.

Fourth Inning: 1 hits, 1 walk, 0 ER, 3 K’s

Fifth Inning

We’re going back through the order a third time as Kyle Schwarber steps to the plate. The leadoff hitter works the count to 2-2, before Rodriguez strikes him out too on a changeup in the dirt.

Ed-Rod now has 8 strikeouts against 8 different Cub hitters. He’s gotten everybody, but Willson Contreras. Next up Kris Bryant, Rodriguez starts with a ball to the outside for ball one. On the next pitch Rodriguez misses middle-middle with the fastball, and Bryant rides it 400+ feet for a solo home run. One of the few real mistakes by the lefty all night. Next at-bat he rebounds nicely against Rizzo, efficiently getting the lefty to ground out on his second pitch of the at bat, a low two-seam fastball. With two outs, and no one on, Ben Zobrist steps to the plate, and watches three straight pitches before hitting a lazy fly ball to right on a 93 MPH fastball up in the zone. Outside of Bryant’s homer and Zobrist’s double in the first not many balls have been well hit. Homers have been a problem for Rodriguez this year as his HR/9 sat at a grotesque 1.56 entering the game.

Fifth Inning: 1 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 Bb, 1 K

Sixth Inning

Addison Russell leads off the 6th, and works the count full against Ed-Rod, before grounding out on a nice slider down and outside that the shortstop reaches to make contact with. Next up is Jason Heyward who too works the count full, before lining out to short on a great diving stab by Xander Bogaerts. This will definitely be his last inning as he’s now up over 100 pitches. Up steps Willson Contreras, can Rodriguez finish his night on a high note and complete the strikeout sweep of the Cubbies lineup? He starts off with a slider that Contreras swings right through. Rodriguez follows up with a series of fastballs, Contreras takes two for balls and fouls one off, before ultimately falling victim to the changeup. He gets all 9 Cubs via the strikeout and ends his night on a high note.

Sixth Inning: 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 ER, 1 K’s

Final Line: 6 innings, 108 pitches (71 for strikes), 1 ER, 1 HR, 5 Hits, 2 walks, 9 K’s, Gamescore: 62

Summary: Ed-Rod’s changeup was devastating tonight, getting tons of swings and misses out of the zone. It was particularly effective in two-strike counts. The introduction of the front-door two seam fastball this season, gives him a different look, and keeps hitters off balance when paired with his high and inside approach on the four-seamer and the aforementioned change he buries in the dirt consistently. The walks that troubled Rodriguez in earlier starts weren’t an issue tonight. That’s not to say he didn’t nibble, and receive more than a few “favorable” calls in full counts. All in all a good start for the young lefty, against one of the stronger lineups in the league.
Razzball Baseball

Updated Top 100 SP

(rankings for ROS based on 12-team Roto)

RANK SP, TEAM
1 Chris Sale, BOS
2 Clayton Kershaw, LAD
3 Max Scherzer, WAS
4 Yu Darvish, TEX
5 Jacob deGrom, NYM
6 Jake Arrieta, CHC
7 Carlos Carrasco, CLE
8 Stephen Strasburg, WAS
9 Corey Kluber, CLE
10 James Paxton, SEA
11 Chris Archer, TB
12 Johnny Cueto, SF
13 Masahiro Tanaka, NYY
14 Danny Duffy, KC
15 Zack Greinke, ARI
16 Lance McCullers, HOU
17 Gerrit Cole, PIT
18 Carlos Martinez, STL
19 Dallas Keuchel, HOU
20 Dylan Bundy, BAL
21 Justin Verlander, DET
22 Danny Salazar, CLE
23 Kyle Hendricks, CHC
24 Jon Lester, CHC
25 Jameson Taillon, PIT
26 Ivan Nova, PIT
27 Rick Porcello, BOS
28 Marcus Stroman, TOR
29 Julio Teheran, ATL
30 Michael Fulmer, DET
31 Kenta Maeda, LAD
32 Sean Manaea, OAK
33 Aaron Sanchez, TOR
34 Taijuan Walker, ARI
35 Luis Severino, NYY
36 David Price, BOS
37 Michael Pineda, NYY
38 Julio Urias, LAD
39 Jerad Eickhoff, PHI
40 Madison Bumgarner, SF
41 Robbie Ray, ARI
42 Jose Quintana, CHW
43 Mike Foltynewicz, ATL
44 Noah Syndergaard, NYM
45 Aaron Nola, PHI
46 Cole Hamels, TEX
47 Marco Estrada, TOR
48 Ervin Santana, MIN
49 Tanner Roark, WAS
50 Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS
51 Francisco Liriano, TOR
52 John Lackey, CHC
53 Jason Vargas, KC
54 Matt Harvey, NYM
55 Matt Shoemaker, LAA
56 Michael Wacha, STL
57 Ian Kennedy, KC
58 Brandon McCarthy, LAD
59 Gio Gonzalez, WAS
60 Jeff Samardzija, SF
61 Kendall Graveman, OAK
62 Jeremy Hellickson, PHI
63 Amir Garrett, CIN
64 Charlie Morton, HOU
65 Felix Hernandez, SEA
66 Matt Moore, SF
67 Daniel Norris, DET
68 Drew Pomeranz, BOS
69 Wade Miley, BAL 
70 Sonny Gray, OAK
71 Jake Odorizzi, TB
72 Mike Leake, STL
73 Tyler Skaggs, LAA
74 Jesse Hahn, OAK
75 Chase Anderson, MIL
76 Vincent Velasquez, PHI
77 Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD
78 Patrick Corbin, ARI
79  Adam Conley, MIA
80 Lance Lynn, STL
81 Alex Cobb, TB
82 Carlos Rodon, CHW
83 Jaime Garcia, ATL
84 Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA
85 Trevor Bauer, CLE
86 Blake Snell, TB
87 Jharel Cotton, OAK
88 Dan Straily, MIA
89 J.C. Ramirez, LAA
90 Andrew Triggs, OAK
91 Kevin Gausman, BAL
92 Matt Cain, SF
93 Adam Wainwright, STL
94 Bartolo Colon, ATL
95 Joe Musgrove, HOU
96 Zack Wheeler, NYM
97 Robert Gsellman, NYM
98 Matt Boyd, DET
99 Chad Kuhl, PIT
100 Ariel Miranda, SEA

Coming Up: Josh Hader, MIL, Jose Berrios, MIN, Jacob Faria, TB, Brandon Woodruff, MIL, Jose De Leon, TB

Dropped Out: Rich Hill, LAD (No longer in rotation), Tyler Glasnow, PIT ( the control is just too much of an issue), Joe Ross, WAS (The periphirals look bad), Reynaldo Lopez, CHW (Not even pitching well in AAA), Jimmy Nelson, MIL (Can we forget he exists for a few years?)

  • The big story is Thor’s torn lat, placing him on the shelf for two months. So he’s dropped out of the Top 10, and moved into Bumgarner territory at 44. I’m not dropping an elite arm out of the top 50, if they can still see 10+ starts. Waiting for more news to develop on Syndergaard’s surgery and recovery.
  • Ralph, you buried Jon Lester and Cole Hamels, for why? Simple, you’re not getting love from the Prospector with pheriphirals that scream “watch out, I’m about to blow”. Seriously, both lefthanded vets have seen a drop in velocity, swinging strike rates, swings outside the zone, and a jump in contact rates. That’s no bueno.
  • Damn you love Mike Foltynewicz, are you polish? Good velo, a 10% SwStr%, and four pitches with positive pitch values will do that. With a mid-90’s fastball, mid-80’s slide piece, high-70’s curve, and high-80’s change, Folty has very nice separation on hid repertoire.
  • Joe Ross is a mess at the moment, his SwStr% is down from 11% in 2016, which was down from 11.9% in 2015, but has bottomed out in 2017 at 8.3%. He’s also getting less swings all around, but his contact rate has jumped 5%, mostly on his O-Contact% which is up to 68.8% from 55.3% a year ago. Means he ain’t fooling anyone, looks like they know “where he is now”.
  • I really want to rank Jason Vargas higher, he’s pitching out of his mind, even if he regressed a little in his last start. The SwStr% is at 14.5%, his contact rate of 69.1% is 5th lowest in the game between Robbie Ray, and James Paxton.
  • One of the more slept on deep league arms I’ve been targeting, has been converted reliever J.C. Ramirez of the Angels. He’s got a few things going for him. First, an elite SwStr% of 12.1%, contact rate of 72.7%, and he’s inducing a ton of weak contact, 23.9% soft (13th best), 14.8% IFFB% (15th). Plus he pitches in a great home ballpark. A worthy flier in deep leagues.

 

Follow me on twitter @ralphlifshitzbb and tune into my weekly Baseball Show on Fantrax Youtube channel Tuesday’s at 9 PM EST. 

   
  1. nick the smooth dick says:
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    Yummy, Paxton at 10, you dirty bird!…but too much EdRod and not enough Ubaldo *crab crab crab*
    Still smooth as a splooge in a silk sock

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @nick the smooth dick: Everyone loves Ubaldo, except his teammates!

  2. Anodyne says:
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    Thoughts on Faria? His numbers in AAA are eye-popping this season. Has he changed anything to make you upgrade him from a floorbored to a something morebored?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Anodyne: I’m not sure about specific changes. I haven’t had a chance to watch Faria yet this season. He does have an elite changeup.

  3. Mike says:
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    Would you trade Villar for Carrasco?

    • Bye Felica says:
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      @Mike: nope

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Bye Felica: Agree, unless it’s points then yes.

  4. Miketron says:
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    I would drop Skaggs lower considering his injury and performance to date. Triggs needs a boost up, K’s haven’t been there but only allowed earned runs in 1 out of 5 starts! Otherwise a nice start to the Ralph Pitching 100.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: I know, I’m so on the fence with Triggs. If his next start vs Detroit continues this trend I’ll bump him up.

  5. Paul says:
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    I’ve been holding glasnow on my bench now and waiting for the turn around I may give him one more chance to see if he can turn it around, I agree the control is nowhere to be found… I saw someone dropped Alex Cobb and I thought ok that’s a nice swap for glasnow but didn’t want to pull the trigger since he can’t locate his changeup like he used to and openly admitted it… he believes it will come but I can’t see rostering him when he hasn’t pitched a quality start either. Today I wanted to take a chance on Trevor Bauer also being available in a two start and then talked myself into keeping galsnow for just a little longer in hope that he will find some control cause the pitches are nasty… he just has to locate them… I keep giving him excuses like ok ok first game against the reds, then that was a good team, and oooo he played the Cubs twice. One more start and if I don’t see any signs I’m cutting bait.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Paul: He’s a player who I still like long term. I think he needs to get kicked around a bit, to figure something out. Maybe even some time in the pen. He needs to learn how to locate, and how to get the most out of his sequencing.

  6. John says:
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    Hi,

    Guy in my league is getting annoyed with Bogaerts and was upset he didn’t get any Yankees to own on his team. I threw out in passing Didi/Severino for Bogaerts and he seemed more interested than I imagined he would. Should I jump at it or try and replace Severino with Bundy or E-Rod?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @John: Take the deal.

  7. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Lurve it! In 12 team keepers, you dropping Ross for a 2-start guy or someone in the vein of Cain, Hahn ,Santiago, erasmo, JC ram, brett anderson?

  8. Do you think Maeda turned things around? Or did he just benefit from facing a weak Phillies lineup? He’s got another each match at the Pads next. I don’t feel like I’ll really know what to expect until he faces a tougher opponent.

    Also, what about Duffy? How worried are you by his implosion against the Sox?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Enrique: Hey Enrique! I’m not going to panic yet. The Phils are weak, but I’m not going to panic over a bad 20 innings. If he stinks his next two he might make a jump down.

      I’m not that worried about Duffy, it was a bad start. His SwStr is still there, as well the contact.

  9. Mike Honcho says:
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    Don’t see Alex Wood…thoughts on him v. Folty or Jordan Montgomery?

    • Dave says:
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      @Mike Honcho: I’m on board with Folty. After reading the praise on him in this article I took a gander at his schedule for the next month or so and he has some pretty decent matchups coming up.

      • Mike Honcho says:
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        Would you drop Wood or Monty for him?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mike Honcho: I’d drop either one. Sort of split on Montgomery and Wood. On one hand Montgomery has a firmer grasp on a rotation spot. He’s been good, but it’s the AL East. On the other hand if Wood can go 6+, and stay in the rotation, he’d be the easy choice, because I think he’s better.

  10. Curious George Springer says:
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    How far are we dropping Manaea now that he’s on the DL? Probably drops down to the 65-75 range, no?

      • Curious George Springer says:
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        @chris pierce: I’m not buying it. I’d definitely take Harvey over Manaea, for example. Though I suppose that’s subject to change if Harvey has another clunker.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @chris pierce: @Curious George Springer: It depends, I kept him where he was because I thought it was a quick trip. I’m not a Harvey fan, I’m off the mind that he’s lost it. Last start not withstanding, I know the Mets jerked him around.

  11. Another Dan says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Excellent stuff. Really enjoyed reading it.

    Left a message on your prospect post thanking you for Cody Bellinger. Own him in more leagues than I not. Good news.

    What did you make of Yankee Stadium ? Was my least favourite stadium that I have visited (perhaps Oakland was worse but that was my first ever live game).

    Just reading baseball stuff and watching Liverpool. If you get chance watch Emre Can’s goal tonight … Think that did to me what a Benintendi HR does to you…..

    Best wishes,

    Dan

    • Curious George Springer says:
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      @Another Dan: I’ve not been to YS, but Oakland is by far the worst of the parks I’ve been to. I think I’ve been to 16 or 17 of them, and Oakland is the only one I’m not looking forward to visiting again.

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Curious George Springer:

        16 or 17, you’re making me jealous. I am a Brit so I don’t think I’ll ever get to that number. Opportunities to holiday in the States have been limited by a young family. But I am hoping that we’ll be arranging Disney visits in the future.

        I’ve been to Oakalnd, San Francisco, Yankee Stadium and Philidelphia once each. Plus I went to Citifield about 5 times in one visit (long story). Oakland was my first live baseball experience (on my honeymoon) so although the stadium wasn’t great – it was a great experience.

        Which is your favourite ? I think Fenway and Wrigley have to be on my bucket list.

        Dan

        • Curious George Springer says:
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          @Another Dan: I think you have to sort of segment Wrigley and Fenway (been to both) from the others, as they’re so much different. I can’t say whether I prefer Fenway or Wrigley — I’ve only been to Fenway once, but been to Wrigley probably 4-5 times. Both are what you expect (and hope for). Wrigley has the distinct craft beer edge, at least compared to when I went to Fenway (2013).

          Then there are the old, but not historic parks — that would include (among the ones I’ve been to) Dodger Stadium, Angels Stadium, O.co (OAK), and Kaufman (KC). Of those, Dodgers Stadium was a pleasant surprise. Gorgeous mountain views, nice craft beer selection (once you find it). Kaufman is a really nice venue, but outside town with no view of anything outside the park to speak of.

          Then there are a host of the new(ish, in some cases) parks — AT&T (SF), Target (MIN), Miller (MIL), U.S. Cellular (CWS), Nationals Park, Busch (STL), Globe Life (TEX), Coors (COL), Petco (SD), and Chase (ARI). Among those, I think my favorites are Target (I’m a Twins fan, after all, and this is a first class park), AT&T (just such a cool park on the waterfront, great concessions), and Petco (again, craft beer). U.S. Cellular is new enough to fit in this group, but it feels more like the previous category — probably my least favorite of this bunch. Nationals Park is really nice, but it feels like a missed opportunity as you don’t get much of a view of any of the monuments from inside the park.

          I just narrowly missed adding Baltimore last week. I’ll definitely get that one checked off soon enough.

          Good luck on your future travels!

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Curious George Springer: Wow that’s cool, I’ve only been to 4. Lots of minor league parks. Speaking on Fenway, the beer thing might be true at least around the park, which is funny because we have better breweries. Then again if you walked down to the Cantina you would have gotten whatever you wanted.

            • Curious George Springer says:
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              @Ralph Lifshitz: oh yeah — love Boston and definitely agree the NE breweries are far superior to the chicagoland ones.

              • Ralph Lifshitz

                Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                @Curious George Springer: Yeah, and I’m not a fan of Boston Beer works, which is the Brewery across from Cask n’ Flagon. I’m lucky I live near Treehouse, and Medusa, as well as a few other hidden gems Cold Harbor in Westborough and Exhibit A in Framingham.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Hey Dan! Sorry totally forgot to respond. I did see it. Busy couple of days. Cody has looked good since looking bad.

      I liked the stadium, the surrounding area is a little rough, very different from going to Fenway. The worst park I’ve been to is Tampa. That place is the pits. Yankee Stadium itself is very nice, and I had a good time.

      I’ll check it out, haven’t gotten caught up on EPL from Sunday or today.

  12. Curious George Springer says:
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    Also, the Dodgers are saying that Hill will remain in the rotation when he comes back, potentially this week. Skaggs hit the DL today, so I’m guessing he also drops down this list some.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Curious George Springer: Yeah I stayed away from that Hill situation, His rehab is why I stayed away from Wood, and Im not sure I trust that Hill comes back. It’s such a land mine.

      I really like Skaggs, I want to see what the time table is on the oblique. If he’s been back in two-three weeks I’m not dropping him.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Karlj: I typed this and I saw the news on Twitter. So, yes he’ll be moved off.

  13. Marty Jannetty_Was Set Up says:
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    I have Jon Gray and Haniger occupying both of my DL spots in a league I own Thor in. Obviously need to stash Thor while I either ride out his injury or sell him. Would you drop Jon Gray or Haniger, or lose a streamer slot, to pick up Eduardo Rodriguez?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Marty Jannetty_Was Set Up: I think you gotta hold. How deep is th league? Is it head to head? That would change my answer.

  14. Pousse-Pousse says:
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    What’s the difference between McCullers and Robbie Ray, besides 25 spots in your rankings?

    • Curious George Springer says:
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      @Pousse-Pousse: For me the big difference is that McCullers has a BB/9 of 2.79 while Ray’s is 5.09.

      That’s probably a big driver of the difference in their xFIPs — 2.71 for McCullers vs. 3.33 for Ray. I wouldn’t Trust Ray’s xFIP, though, since he plays in a HR park, his actual FIP of 3.85 is probably a better number to use.

      • Curious George Springer says:
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        @Curious George Springer: One thing I would add to this is that Ray has been wild so far this year. He’s typically been in the zone 45-47% of the time, which is actually pretty good. This year he’s only been in the zone 37% of the time, so maybe he rights the ship. That said, good Robbie Ray still walks 3.8 batters/9 which is quite a bit more than McCullers has been doing this year.

        • Pousse-Pousse says:
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          @Curious George Springer: Thanks. Don’t forget that the HUMIDOR is coming, though, to quell the homers.

          I’m skeptical of Ray’s control, too, but have watched a few of his starts thia season and he looks to have good command. One more good start and I’m going to be a full believer.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Pousse-Pousse: 3 walks per nine, and I really like Ray.

  15. J-FOH says:
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    TL;DR

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @J-FOH: Ha!

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I read some. Hopefully I’ll have a few bathroom trips to get it all in. But on the real you need to change this nonsense. This is two posts and should have been the whole time

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @J-FOH: Ha, I felt that way writing it. Probably could have added another 6-7 insights on the Top 100.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: so do the right thing and get it fixed. You have to have some pull around here by now

  16. Oppo Taco says:
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    Verlander at 21 seems like a more of a hum ho rank than most. Any concerns over him? I was offered Verlander for McCuthchen in my keeper league. Hard pressed giving up hitting for pitching. thanks !

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Oppo Taco: Yeah, I’m a little weary of him. His SwStr% is down big, his contact is up huge, the type of contact is harder. Not a good look.

  17. One more question: I picked up Sonny Gray as a roll of the dice, as a potential sixth starter. He’ll be on my bench tomorrow and I’ll figure out what do to from there.

    If he looks good, does he have the potential to shoot up the rankings from No. 70, where he’s starting out? Or is his ceiling such that regardless of what happens in his first start or two I’m going to be better off with one of the guys ranked ahead of him?

    Based on your ratings, the best free agent SPs in this league are Foltynewicz, E-Rod, and Morton. Wood is also available (his on my roster now, for tomorrow’s start). I was actually leaning toward Wood or E-Rod for the 6th SP slot if Gray falters. To be honest, I hadn’t considered Folty because my top pitching need is Ws, but, like everyone, I can also use Ks and ratio help.

    My ‘permanent’ starters are Carrasco, McCullers, Duffy, Maeda, and Severino.

    There’s a 1400-inning limit and I’d just about get there with five starters and my RPs, but I’d lose the ability to sit guys when they face tough match ups.

    Any advice?

    Thank you.

    • @Enrique: Sorry, forgot to mention: it’s a 14-team redraft roto league with only five total bench spots (which is why guys like the ones I mentioned are free agents).

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Enrique: I think it’s a worthy dice roll, I might hold off on starting him immediately with an innings limit. I’m pretty much doing the same with his ranking.

      I’ve been a fan of Folty coming into the year. So far, so good. If wins are a concern I’d lean E-Rod.

  18. Who says:
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    What are your thoughts on Berrios?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Who: I should probably write a post on him this week. He said dealing in AAA, I think it was a serious much mental as physical last season.

  19. dtbran says:
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    Maeda still on waivers in 12 team H2H daily lineup changes. Take a chance on him and drop Joe Ross? Own Scherzer Darvish Archer Paxton Pineda Robbie Ray Urias Velasquez Joe Ross Rich Hill DL spot

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @dtbran: Oh yeah 100%.

  20. Zach says:
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    A great read as always.

    I’m trying to get Verlander in an 10 team OBP league.

    Is Bautista, Odor, and R Zimm for Verlander and Kinsler too much, too little?

    What if I get him to throw in a closer too?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Zach: Probably even, Odor loses value in OBP

  21. your mom says:
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    Hi,
    Get kyle seager and c.santana for my giancarlo and maeda? 20 team h2h keeper league.

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @your mom: I’d hold unless your OF us deep and you need a corner guy.

  22. We Are Out Of Room says:
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    So Ralph, any advice on the following roster? Ive got a bit of a roster crunch, with only 2 DL spots. Mostly worried about my staff. Eickhoff is on the wire, as is Liriano. They are the 2 highest rated SP’s available though, Folty and E-Rod have already been snatched up. I have 4 closers but honestly the top 3-4 teams have 4 closers, they’re almost needed to keep pace in that category. Any roster changes you’d make?Eickhoff for Nola…do you think Nola’s the better arm if healthy?Or would you risk keeping pace in saves by dropping Johnson for Eickhoff? or obviously I could just hold…love to hear your thoughts.

    10 Team ESPN HTH 5×5 OBP and QS daily moves

    C Martin
    1B Rizzo
    2B D. Murphy
    3B K.Seager
    SS Russell
    OF Trout
    OF Springer
    OF Polanco
    UTL 3B/OF Sano
    UTL SS Bogaerts
    UTL 2B/OF Zobrist
    BN OF Inciarte
    BN C G. Sanchez(DL)
    DL OF JD Martinez

    P J.Paxton
    P T.Walker
    P Carrasco
    P Duffy
    SP Bundy
    SP Nova
    RP Giles
    RP Kimbrel
    BN RP Holland
    BN RP J.Johnson
    BN SP Manaea(DL)
    DL SP Nola

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @We Are Out Of Room: If you’re losing pace I would dump Nola for Eickoff, can’t sit with a dead spot in a league like that.

      • We Are Out Of Room says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I’m in 1st, up by 4 games,just concerned that I might lose a couple of HTHs waiting on guys to return. Appreciate the feedback.

  23. Simon says:
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    Thanks

    Lackey has been a disappointment.
    Would u recommend to drop him for folty or e rods ?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Simon: I think I’d hold tight for another start. It depends if your league has w’s

  24. Kip Mungjup says:
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    Drop Velasquez for Jose berrios?

  25. Gottabesweet says:
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    Lester fell a bunch. 33 and hit a wall? Sell? I might be able to get Cueto in Dynasty for either Duffy or Lester…

  26. MarvPesos

    Josh says:
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    Ralph,

    Based on my Pitching staff (far below), would you swap anybody for anything on the wire AND who you picking up for Joe Ross

    PIT – M. Foltynewicz, D. Holland, J. Hahn, P. Corbin, M. Moore, A. Wood, B. Finnegan, Joe Musgrove, J. Zimmermann, Jason Hammel, Collin McHugh,
    RP – B. Norris, S. Kelley, B. Maurer, B. Brach

    Sp – Chris Sale
    SP – Jake Arrieta
    SP – Carlos Carrasco
    RP – A.J. Ramos
    Rp – Netfali Feliz
    P- Greg Holland
    P -Taijuan Walker
    BN- Ivan Nova
    BN – Vince Velasquez
    BN – Drew Pomeranz
    BN- Joe Ross
    DL – Madison Bumgarner
    thanks in advance

  27. What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas says:
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    Trade offer question.

    Ive been offered Teheran for my Neftali Feliz. I have Holland Robertson Castilla with bedrock on the dl. Am 1st in saves and could use a starter or two after trading Strasburg and Cole for a couple of bats.

    Same owner has Ray too. I know yoube ranked Teheran higher but Ray’s K’s look so enticing. Also, Grey had Teheran in his Sell column.

    It’s QS not Wins. Your thoughts… make the trade, stand pat or counter for Ray? Wire has Matt Moore, Norristown and Hahn.

    Thanks much and looking forward ton your weekly ranks .

  28. Nick says:
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    Just acquired Bundy and Paxton. I was trying to come up with a way to sell Bundy for Arrieta….does anyone NOT think this is a good idea? I believe Arrieta is just in a slump and Bundy is at a very high selling point. I just don’t feel comfortable with his ‘ace’ potential with a 5.7 K/9

    Thanks everyone for the input!

  29. TTRA1N says:
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    Trevor Cahill has my attention

  30. Chad Huggins says:
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    Ralph- Dynasty/prospect-ish question. Renfroe was dropped, and I know he’s slumping, but his salary is 1.2M. the average salary for a decent OF is 8-9M. 3 year contracts the +2M/year that you resign. Deshields is out there also for 3.1M. Do I dare drop JBJ for one of them? Which one? Whats your opinion on either/ all 3 of those guys?

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