First Charlie Blackmon, now Freddie Freeman…Somebody check on Reggie Cleveland! Welp, this sucks. That’s me cutting to the chase quicker than the editors of the Fast & Furious movies. “Um, Vin Diesel’s been talking for like seven seconds, don’t we have any tire spinning footage?” That’s the editors cutting to the chase. There’s also the Entourage editors, who tried to cut around Chase. Or Ruben Tejada who would like to cut Chase. Any hoo! Freddie Freeman tested positive for Covid and is battling a fever. Besides the fear for Freeman, if something serious happens to a player, baseball’s not happening this year. Other players will walkout, and I wouldn’t blame them. Sorry, I know that’s no fun to hear, but you’re not here to be lied to. As for fantasy, these Covid positive tests are super hard to predict for projections and rankings. Of course, if drafting right now; you can’t draft Freddie Freeman in the top 20 overall. Not sure you can draft him in the top 50 overall, but that’s about where I’d risk it, and have updated my top 20 1st basementop 100 and top 500. I did blow the dust off my landscape architect degree and hedge with my new ranking of Freeman by not updating his projections. It’s just impossible to know if he’ll be out for two-to-three weeks, and fine for near the start of the season, or miss the whole season. Unknown risk is baked into his new ranking, but I left projections. Putting aside “Let the kids play,” MLB has adopted a new slogan for this season:  “Play!” “What? No, it’s not safe.” “I said, “Play!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Well, this is icky. I don’t know what MLB is doing by reporting that they’re not reporting Covid cases. I mean, I think I get it. It’s icky and it’s tricky and — “Shut up, brain, don’t start singing Run-DMC.” — and AND and I don’t know! But not reporting it is doing what exactly? They report injuries to Mitch Haniger that make you want to cross your legs. They report injuries about how a guy fell in a bathtub with a deer — hello, Clint Barmes! — but they don’t report Coronavirus? I just…I don’t know. Not sure it’s the answer. With that said, the Phillies placed Scott Kingery, Hector Neris, Tommy Hunter and Ranger Suarez on the IL yesterday without even a press release. Someone just happened to notice the roster moves. Does that mean they have Covid? Again, I don’t know. Since they announce literally every other injury, one can conclude. How serious is their symptoms? Again, no idea. This is gonna be one helluva 60-game season, huh? My solution is, if you really don’t want Covid speculation, just don’t announce any injuries at all. Change the IL to the ILL and whether it’s a hammy or Covid, don’t say anything. Just say they’re ILL. As for fantasy, Neris’s loss for saves could be huge, but we don’t know yet he’ll miss any of the season. I’d hold him. If you want to speculate, I guess Adam Morgan or a committee (which is atrocious for a 60-game season). As for Kingery, again, we don’t know how long he’ll be out (or why he’s out), so hold. This could be a boost to Adam Haseley. He could be a top 60 outfielder with everyday at-bats, and worth a shot. Or not. Wheeeeee! A 60-game season! Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Yesterday most teams announced their 60-man rosters for Summer Camp. You know Summer Camp, it’s when MLB players compete against each other in kayak and potato sack races, learn to respect other kids, even ones with nerdy glasses, and are managed by Bill Murray. Oh, and, yeah, all teams were supposed to release their 60-man rosters, but when you make a rule that in extra innings a runner will start on 2nd base, then rules are officially stupid and should not be followed. Rob Manfred speaking into a phone, “Brewers, we need your 60-man roster.”  Brewers, “It’s in your ass, Rob.” Rob, “I’m looking in a mirror and I do not see it.” One other thing about the 60-man rosters that were released:  they were all a few short of 60. 60-man rosters are a lot like Opening Day, a wait-and-see affair. Guys can be added still in the coming days. So, maybe there’s hope still for Ryan Mountcastle and Adley Rutschman, since they were omitted from the Orioles’ released 44-man roster. It would be surprising if they weren’t included in the coming days, if this weren’t the Orioles. Some teams included their 2020 draft picks. The Orioles have yet to include their 1st pick from 2015 (Mountcastle) and their 1st pick from last year. i.e., Grey’s about to lose his crap and only talk in 3rd person. Anyway, here’s what else I saw 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

BASEBALL IS BACK (after players agree to health and safety measures; kiss their families goodbye for perhaps four months if they get into the postseason; get tested for Covid-19 repeatedly; report to camp; go through spring training 2.0 which could be three weeks long; avoid injuries and anyone outside the bubble of the MLB who could infect them; dip and dodge a far-reaching pandemic while keeping their eye on the prize and that prize is what exactly? 60 games to prove they can be the fastest to ten homers and push their teams to winning 32 games? If Costanza saw this season, he’d scream, “Shrinkage!” But we’re going to remain optimistic, right? We got baseball that’s what’s important…well, the players’ health is important too, so that brings us back to the health and safety measures — ya know what? I’m getting out of this parenthetical while I still have something to look forward to.), BABY, BASEBALL IS BACK! Spring Training will begin, in theory, on July 1st. By the by, “in theory” is something you’re going to read a lot from me over the next two months. “In theory” this is baseball. “In theory” the Nats are defending their title. “In theory” Luis Arraez hit .400 for the season even though he only had 175 at-bats. “In theory” Jesse Winker could stay healthy for 60 games and be the Reds’ DH. There will be a universal DH this year (not necessarily in 2021), and the season will start (in theory) on the weekend of July 24th. I told you it would start again on July 24th for the last three months. Okay, I wrote it as July 4th, but there was a 2 in front of the 4 that I was writing in .00001-point font. Not my fault your eyesight is going. Okay, baseball returning gets me to give out a little woohoo. In like 12-point font. If I’m being real and sappy, I love baseball, and I’m glad it’s going to try to return. Rudy tells me he has updated all my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to sixty games, but since this all happened late last night, it might not happen until Tuesday afternoon. I will then go over some strategy for a 60-game season and then news from spring training, where I’m almost 100% we’re going to hear certain players are not going to play this year. If it’s possible, I’d suggest you begin scheduling some redrafts for early July. Just think, draft season is the best season, and now we’re getting it twice! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Prior to be doing my fifteen-hundredth dart throw, Bartolo Colon. “Hey, listen, if you can get him cheap and with the NL DH–” *smoke rises from RoboGrey’s ears* Seriously, could someone unplug the MLB season, blow into the cartridge and plug it back in? On phone with AppleCare, “For the last few weeks, I’ve only seen the pinwheel on the baseball season, and the big brains at the Genius Bar have no idea what to do. Any suggestions?” For those not following too closely, the MLB owners are imitating Wimpy and saying, “We will kindly pay you next Collective Bargaining Agreement for a hamburger today,” and the players, crazily enough, are saying, “Hold up, you want us to play for 80% of our salary?”  And the MLB owners are replying, “Yeah, c’mon, you crooks, you have so much money.” Then the players are like, “You’re paying us but claiming to have less money than us? Ain’t that some shizz?” I expected this to be resolved by now, but resolution at this point seems like it’s going to come down to Head Idiot Rob Manfred, and him forcing the season into existence. If I’m reading all of the negotiations correctly, Head Idiot can force a 48-game season, but can’t force players to play. Make sense? No, of course it doesn’t! The Head Idiot said last week there would 100% be a season, and this week said there wouldn’t. In other words, the Head Idiot doesn’t even know what the Head Idiot can do because, get this, he’s an idiot. Some have speculated that MLB will force a 48-game season, but it’s way too early now since they have to play until September 27th, because of TV schedules, so they’re stalling for another week or two. All of that led to this breaking news yesterday:

If a season is forced, I wouldn’t be shocked if some big names opt out like Mike Trout, Christian Yelich and, really, anyone who has plenty of ‘eff you’ money. Once we have a set number of games, we will update our rankings and possibly remove players who aren’t playing. Also, as we talk about on today’s podcast, coming later today, I was against redrafting leagues, but if a lot of players are sitting out and we’re playing a 50-game season, then, yeah, it becomes unfair to try to play out a league drafted prior to all of this. On the other hand, maybe it’ll be fun to just play it out. I’m saying that last line in case any MLB owners or players are reading. Play it out! Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Best part is that if you shake anyone’s hand, the cocktail in the title can be used as a disinfectant. So (with forty-six oh’s), we could have baseball. Just in Arizona and Florida. That was the news reports on Friday. By today that news will likely change. Tomorrow, we’ll hear something else. On Wednesday, well, on Wednesday, we’ll hear there’s one place Coronavirus still hasn’t affected. The MLB season can be played out in full. Allow me to set the scene:  A manager comes out for a mound visit, “Just trust your stuff. Please. It’s freakin’ freezing,” as baseball plays out its 162-game season in Antartica. With the Florida/Arizona schedule the MLB has floated, the Mets will face the Astros, Nats, Cards and Marlins. El oh–oh, eff me and my Pete Alonso shares. “Hello, I’m Gary Cohen, and the Mets are coming off a 15-minute road trip to Ft. Lauderdale where they saw Scherzer, Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. Now they return home for two 7-inning doubleheaders vs. Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, then it’s off to see the Cards and Jack Flaherty.” Luckily, I doubt it happens. I mean, maybe. Right now, everything’s on the table, which is a good sign that baseball will happen. But everyone in Florida and Arizona? I guess it’s not absolutely crackers, but I don’t see why playing there is any better than just playing in empty stadiums in their home cities. Is it more manageable because everyone’s in one place? Travel is not an issue for MLB teams with private jets. Long-term residences in Arizona or Florida is easier? I guess, maybe, but if teams have people come in to those residences to clean the rooms, are the maids tested? Are the Jersey Mike’s employees tested from where Mike Trout ordered his subs? Because you know homeboy loves the roast beef sub and calls himself Jersey Mike. My point is players will be at risk in Florida or Arizona. So, a Grapefruit/Cactus League season is interesting, but doesn’t solve all or really any issues. Though, I do wish I drafted German Marquez in one league with the thought he won’t have one game in Coors. Oh, and Nolan Arenado outside of Coors becomes like a 4th or 5th rounder. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

“It’s day 127 of the quarantine and all pitchers have already had Tommy John surgery. Now our first manager is going under the knife.”

“I was reaching for a toothpick and I heard something pop,” said Dusty Baker.

For those who have resorted to wiping their butts with baseball news for lack of toilet paper, Noah Syndergaard has a torn UCL and is kaput for 16-ish months. If only someone told you to avoid Noah Syndergaard, huh? What’s that, Voice In My Head? I told everyone to avoid Noah Syndergaard? Aw, jeez, I think you’re right. Voice In My Head, can I ever be as smart as you? Voice In My Head, “No. Shut up.” Wow, graciousness has left the chat. In my top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball, I had a tier of guys to avoid, that tier had in it Noah Syndergaard, Luis Severino and Chris Sale. Gosh darn it, fellas, I might be as smart as the Voice In My Head. Can you even imagine it? This Syndergaard news is terrible. Dot dot dot. For all the people who wanted to draft him but got off easy because their drafts were delayed until MLB stops washing its hands of the season. Seriously, the only thing that sucks in all of my absolute genie-ness psychic ability is everyone not getting a chance to draft these pitchers before it’s too late. People tend to hate when people take victory laps over injuries, but I have on my Fitbit and I’m going for a jog! I’ve been saying to avoid Syndergaard for so long (two years), due to funky things going on in his peripherals. Maybe I didn’t know 100% he was injured, but I 100% knew something was wrong with him, and have been saying it. Not sure why people are thinking he tore his UCL just this week. This is the Mets and their doctors. Syndergaard was likely injured for the last two years. Okay, I’m out of shape from too much quarantining, so pulling the victory lap into the depot to freshen up with some hand sanitizer. On a side note, all of these guys going for Tommy John surgery might be signaling something else. No, not that they have no porch that needs repair like you during the Corona timeline. It means we might have more baseball this year than next year. If there’s a lockout to start the 2021 season, and baseball returns in June for the 2nd year in a row, how many starts do these guys miss? Not to answer, but to ruminate until our next full season in 2022. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The BBC announced during the shutdown that when the season returns they will keep airing reruns of Fawlty Davis, delaying Mountcastle for the foreseeable future. The BBC’s head of programming Peter Angelos, noted spendthrift and lover of reality shows, said, “We should air a full season of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here starring Richie Martin trying to unsuccessfully cross the River Ruiz.” Filling their lineup:  Hanser & Renato, a BBC surprise hit, will be returning, and generating some underground enthusiasm is Austin “Martin” Hays, a David Tennant-led vehicle, where he’s a mechanic by day and detective by night, and Dwight Smith Jr. & Jose Iglesias starring in AB Unfab, where they just get gross at-bats. Okay, seriously, what on the earth that is in total lockdown is going on with the Orioles? They announced Ryan Mountcastle was optioned to the minors. THERE’S NOT EVEN ANY MINORS?! There’s no freakin’ baseball, Orioles, you giant nimrods! How can they be so dense? Trey Mancini, which I still pronounce like fettuccini, but hoping he gets healthy, needs some time, I’d imagine. Doesn’t cancer lead to chemo which leads to a lower immune system? That makes me think Mancini won’t be back this year, and I removed him from my top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, while also moving down Mountcastle. Now all we have to look forward to is the new season of Luther starting Idris Alberto. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this week for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I hear the only way this Coronavirus goes down any smoother is with the Lyme Disease. Thank you, I will be here all day. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses. *waitress coughs on me, I tumble slowly out an open window*  WHAT…THE…WHAT…THE…WHAT…? Sadly, I’ve landed on my feet…and standing in a sea of mouth breathers! AHHHHHHH!!! Well, this sucks (unlike mouth breathers — yo, do you ever breathe, like, in?) and there’s no easy way to say it, but baseball is about to go MIA for a few. Guy in Miami, “Don’t send anyone here!” Not to MIA International Airport, they’re going missing in action. The healthcare professionals say–I’m totally kidding. I’m quoting healthcare professionals? WHO am I. No, I’m not the WHO. WHO is the World Health Organization. But WHO’s on third base? Ugh! This is garbage-awful news, but we must soldier on. Holy crap, Tom Hanks has it! AHHHHHH!!! No! No! No! No freaking out! We must pull up our big-boy pants, wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday twice, and get through this national crisis. I’m Grey and I approve this message. In my highly unprofessional opinion, baseball will return in some capacity by May 1st. In the meantime, I’ll still have posts every weekday, because, honestly, what else are we doing? I write every day during the offseason, nothing’s changed for me. Thinking about doing a series of posts about guys most likely to cough without covering their mouths. Is Matt Albers still in the league? He 100% never covered his mouth. I’ve updated the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball with a few small adjustments, which I’ll get to in the post. And, to the Coronavirus, I say, “T. Hanks, but no thanks!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Can I *itch about utter nonsense for a second? (Asterisk replacing a B there, but also works since I’m talking about the Houston Asterisks.) People who say it’s okay to draft top starters in February, due to how well they did the previous season, invariably ignore all the starters who were bumped down in rankings by the start of the season. No one next year will mention Chris Sale, Mike Clevinger, Luis Severino, Justin Verlander or Blake Snell were drafted in the top starters in 2020 up until March. People in October will be like, “Top starters were safe last year, only Scherzer, Cole and Flaherty missed time.” Yeah, only those three and five others! Contests which rank rankings always end the morning of Opening Day, when, ya know, 99.9% of leagues have drafted already! Am I saying this because I want some glory for telling to ignore top starters as early as January? YES, GODDAMN IT! Any hoo! Justin Verlander was shut down with a lat strain. Luckily, you didn’t draft any top starters, right? You did? Aw, shucks. Going onto eBay and put in a one cent bid on the world’s smallest violin, then adopt a baby and teach it how to play from a YouTube tutorial. Not sure how many times I have to say don’t draft a top pitcher, but I’m sure everyone this time next year will have forgotten I ever said it. A lat strain is better than an arm injury, or so I’m told. As in, I’m told that it’s a lat strain, but on Sunday it was triceps soreness. Sounds great! *insert giant thumbs up emoji* I told you not to draft Verlander before this, guess what this does for me? I’ve updated Verlander’s projections and moved him down in the top 20 starters and the top 500 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Also, with Verlander’s latissimus dorsi more banged up than a dolphin at Sea World, I’ve added Josh James into the top 100 starters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?