The Tigers must be picking my brain, because Eduardo Rodriguez was on my short-list for a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper post. I am asking the Tigers politely: Please, stop picking my brain, after just recently going on a Scarecrow-esque spiritual journey of going from no brain to a half brain to a full-full brain. People with full-full brains call them “full-full brains,” right? Yes? Cool, thanks. So, last year, Eduardo Rodriguez went 13-8 with a 3.32 FIP, a 10.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. If you’re like me — a full-full brain person — then you’re likely thinking, “Hey, this guy never mentioned his ERA or WHIP!” Smart, we are. Talk like Yoda, I do. I didn’t mention those stats, because I wanted you to see how good Eduardo Rodriguez was before telling you how bad Eduardo Rodriguez was. If you just saw those numbers, you’d be like, “This guy with a full-full brain is telling me Ed-Rod is good, and those numbers are showing me Ed-Rod is good-good, so how would he even be a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper?” Good question for someone who doesn’t sound full-full in the head like me. Ed-Rod had a 4.74 ERA last year in 157 2/3 IP. Ha, that’s awful, and why I think a lot of people will be ignoring him. Eduardo Rodriguez was very unlucky in 2020, then in much different ways he was unlucky again in 2021. Focus on his xBA numbers, because that’s what’s gonna f**k us (pun points!):

Look at those xBA’s. That’s crazy. Every single pitch should’ve produced better results, except his slider (more on that in a second). His velocity was down a hair in 2021, but it was really down in April, after a full year off, then it hovered up. Not quite reaching 2019 levels, but close enough. I’m not worried about velocity losses. Fenway is not a great park for BABIPs, so can dismiss some his bad luck across the board, but *that* much bad luck? Did he walk under a ladder on the way out to the mound every game? If he were traded after 2019, and he had a new home park in 2021, I might say these BABIPs might not regress, but this guy is clearly being unlucky and that will correct itself. Quick take away unrelated to the xBA numbers is he’s starting to figure out his slider, which has been a long time in the germination pod. Since 2015, he’s been throwing a slider and the values that it’s produced are all negative, which makes me chuckle a little. He’s still trying it, and it still is not great. Either way, last year was the best, uh, negative it’s been at -0.14. To give you an idea of how to compare that, in 2019, it was -2.31. That’s very bad. Don’t think that means a lot, but if his slider becomes a positive pitch for him to go with his cutter, fastball and change, three pitches that were all extremely positive as recently as 2019, Ed-Rod’s not going to be a sleeper that becomes a number two, but he’ll be an ace.

I’ve been a fan of Ed-Rod for so long, I painted his face on a kitchen cabinet that I call my Ed-Rod cupboard and it’s where I store my Top Gun-themed collectible Big Gulp cups. He’s rewarded me with two seasons of 3.82 and 3.81 (who are you, Khris Davis with the number .247), then I was out last year, due to him missing 2020, but it’s time to get back in. 2022 might be the year where we finally see him realize the immense upside. For 2022, I’ll give Eduardo Rodriguez projections of 14-7/3.77/1.24/217 in 191 IP with a chance for more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Tucker Barnhart – Traded to the Tigers for Nick Quintana. Tigers really liked how Barnhart worked with the arm barn. I kid, I don’t care about *ucker Barnhart, but this is fantastic news for Tyler Stephenson, who I was already a little in love with. For 2022, I’ll give Tucker Barnhart projections of 43/8/48/.239 in 312 ABs.

Mike Brosseau – Traded to the Brewers. Milwaukee becomes the new number one capital of Whoa, because that’s what the Brosseau. In the 70’s, Milwaukee imitated a 50’s era Fonzie and bros said, “Ayy,” but almost fifty years later, now the Brosseau, “Whoa.” So, Brosseau goes to the Brewers and Rowdy Tellez gets his platoon partner in November. Lowercase yay! Why won’t anyone let Rowdy play full-time? I am begging you–Wait a second, the Brewers are about to get a DH! Rowdy can play! The NL is going to get a designated hitter, and Rowdy will finally get his just desserts! “Did someone say desserts?” Oh, man, that’s Daniel Vogelbach.

Christian Yelich – Said there was no physical limitations impacting his play this past year. Um, is this good news?

Nick Anderson – Underwent elbow surgery and he’s not due back until after the 2022 All-Star Game, which could mean. Dot dot dot. 2025?

Charlie Morton – Fractured his fibula in the World Series, then pitched on it for another inning. Adrenaline is the best drug there is. Well, next to Robitussin. There is no tusslin’ with the ‘tussin! Morton says he will be ready for Spring Training, but this could change at any point between now and then.

Ronald Acuna Jr. – Said he’s aiming to return in May. So, he’ll be ready for Opening Day after owners and players work out their differences, right? Right? Ugh, hopefully.

Manny Pina – Signed with the Braves. Apparently, the Braves weren’t done celebrating their World Series championship. After the champagne, they moved onto Manny Pina’s. For a long time, I liked Pina, rostering him multiple times. If only there was another word for multiple…Manny…Manny…Manny. Damn, guess there’s nothing. If The French Terminator, d’Arnaud misses time, as he always seems to, Pina could sneak into solid 2nd catcher value. For 2022, I’ll give Manny Pina projections of 29/11/32/.221 in 234 ABs.

Lance McCullers – Dealing with a forearm strain. Weird from a guy who only throws 96% curveballs. The good news is his MRI says there’s no issue with the UCL in his elbow. The bad news is once the MRI started talking another patient screamed and jumped out a window.

Jameson Taillon – Underwent surgery on his ankle. He had a partially-torn tendon much like a partially-torn ticket for a raffle — fingers crossed he’s fine for the 2022 season, but there’s talk he will start next year on the IL. Can’t spell Taillon without IL, after all.

Seiya Suzuki – Sounds like this Japanese star (38/9, .321/.435/.647) is leaving Japan for the states. If only Seiya had a way to say goodbye.

Andrew Heaney – Signed with the Dodgers. It’s funny to me the people twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to figure out how great Heaney is gonna be, due to his peripherals. You know the thing about Heaney’s peripherals? Not yet you do, but I will tell you. The thing is, Heaney’s had great peripherals for the last four years! Ya know what’s not so great? His career 4.72 ERA. As I said in my rankings last year when I told you not to draft him, “Just dismissing him feels shortsighted, but think about how well we all would’ve done the last seven years of his career if we just dismissed him.” And that’s me quoting me alluding again to his career 4.72 ERA! He’s not good; I’m sorry. For 2022, I’ll give Andrew Heaney projections of 8-9/4.36/1.28/145 in 132 IP, which feels laughable optimistic and still not draftable in a lot of leagues.

Wade Miley – Claimed off waivers by the Cubs. What a jizzoke. Not that I love Miley, but he was a solid real world starter. The Reds are tanking the 2022 season in November of the previous year, and they so desperately need to make changes to the CBA it’s not even funny. Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, screaming at all tanking teams, “They can’t keep getting away with this!” It’s not like getting rid of Miley bumps up Hunter Greene’s promotion date either. I don’t what needs to happen, but you can’t have teams not trying to win. The major leagues have become a real-life Major League movie. For 2022, I’ll give Wade Miley projections of 11-11/4.13/1.36/138 in 171 IP.

Hunter Harvey – Claimed off waivers by the Giants. The former future closer for the O’s will now become a 12 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 closer for the Giants, because: Of course.

Buster Posey – Retired after a just-fine season and a just-fine career. “Just-fine” perfectly encapsulates Buster Posey. Does ‘just-fine’ get him into the Hall of Fame? Let me ask you something, is it the Hall of ‘Just-fine?’ No post-1960 era player with less than 2,000 hits has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Don’t think Buster Posey, who is 500 hits below that mark, deserves it either. Sorry, today I am The Hater. Though, I’d like to see Buster Posey try to block the entrance to the Hall of Fame, then be told that’s against the rules. Also, something I don’t talk much about because it’s not really related to fantasy, but: What’s something people talk about now as criteria for the Hall of Fame that will seem ludicrous in 20 years? I’ll start: pitch framing. You, as a catcher, grab an obvious ball and move your glove towards the strike zone. Me, an umpire, screams in your ear, “Stop cheating!” I look forward to robot umps just so I never have to hear about pitch framing again. Now, if we wanna talk about how blessed we were to have someone named Buster Posey, I’m a little man in a canoe ready to listen.

  1. fivepoundbass says:
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    Good write up, and thanks for the work you do.

    I am equally intrigued by E-Rod this year. Moving to that park can only help the ratios, though wins will be harder to scare up.

    Right there with you on Posey. Jorge Posada fell off the ballot on his first try. I’m no Yankees fan, but I don’t think Posey belongs in if Posada can’t get any support at all.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No problem! Yeah, no Yanks fan either, but agreed…Posada and Posey seem pretty similar…Or even Thurman Munson

  2. scoboticus says:
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    Hi Grey! Is Noelvi Marte worthy of a Rookie post?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Think we’re too early on him

  3. Sport says:
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    Grey you killed it today. Great stuff. I guess, after a couple/three years of trying to go with EdRod, this might be the make or break year. I’m targeting him so we’ll see what happens.

    Is Charlie Morton really that good or was everyone getting caught up with their emotions from his World Series injury? His K/9 minus BB/9 was 7.68, fip of 3.18, and hardhit% of just 32.6%, had me interested, but the CBS mock by experts just picked him at 58! Is that too early or you think that’s gonna be fair? I was thinking 100-120 range.

    First, about Posey, I couldn’t believe all the guys on MLB network saying he was a first ballot HOF’er. I was like, ‘that’s dumb’, but then I thought, as a Royal’s fan,’ if he makes the HOF, that’s good because Salvy is going to pass him in nearly all hitting categories in just five years’. I think in five years when Posey is up, the offensive numbers are going to be more glaring than what the emotionally attached people are thinking today. I don’t think he’s a HOF’er unless the ‘generational catcher’ people have their say.

    Second, pitch framing! I had this argument the other day! I was defending Salvy, of course, and how he deserved the GoldGlove over Murphy, and was statistically superior in 99% of the defensive categories than Murphy. BUT, Salvy doesn’t frame pitches as good as Murphy?

    Thanks for listening to my rant. You’re like my baseball psychiatrist. Or baseball shrink.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      That sounds early for Morton…I’d think 100-120 range too

      Catchers haven’t been good for a while, but Posey really seems to be lowering the bar…As I said above in a comment, Posada or Munson feel similar and they’re nowhere near the Hall

      Pitch framing is one of the stupider things to come along…I feel like in 20 years people are gonna be like “Hey, remember how dumb pitch framing was?”

      • fivepoundbass says:
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        I know Smoltz as a broadcaster is not a fave around here, but he makes a great point about pitch framing. If your pitchers are not good enough to keep the ball close to the edge of the plate, then your catcher won’t have good pitch framing numbers. You can’t frame balls two feet outside, in the dirt, or over the plate.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, that’s true, and pitch framing is more or less just cheating…If a 1st baseman kept moving their foot near 1st base to make it seem like they were touching it, but weren’t, would we be saying “great job foot framer”

          • VinWins

            VinWins says:
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            I say it is the ump that is cheating.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              We are so overdue for an ump is cheating scandal…That might put the final nail in the human ump coffin

      • Smitty says:
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        Sciosia would be in if framing was considered for the HOF – LOL. Another Suzuki?? This one has some pop to go with the high BA, interesting. Wonder what the O/U is for Wins in Detroit 2022 in Vegas? Slowly improving club could surprise with their young staff and when the young sticks arrive. Love it, maybe more of the lower tier teams should follow their lead and make an effort to compete Great stuff Grey enjoy the weekend!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I was thinking about betting on the Tigers, they can’t be anywhere near favorites…I’d guess 50 to 1…Still terrible odds, but not bad for a chance

          • Smitty says:
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            Like their direction, arrow is pointing up!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, agreed!

  4. Stu Barley says:
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    Posey was the undisputed leader of a team that won three World Series and 107 wins in a season. Has any other team ever won three titles in a decade without a single HOFer? No. The HOF needs Posey in it to tell the story of the best team of the last decade, including Lincecum, Bumgarner, Cain, Sandoval, etc. By pure stats, sure, he’s a Munson, but by leadership and World Series victories and the quality of his name, he’s gotta be there.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      If they want to tell the story of the Giants, they should let Bonds in

      • Bamabterry says:
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        ^^^^^^ this 1000x

      • LenFuego says:
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        I completely agree with you about pitch framing – what a yawn. I also love you calling catchers cheaters for framing pitches while giving a pass to one of the biggest actual cheaters in the history of the sport! Sweet!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, yes!

  5. Toolshed says:
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    I am scarred for life after streaming erod against tex in August. It was in Bos and if you recall, Texas couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn after the gallo trade. E rod couldn’t make it out of the 4 inning, they lost 10-1. I may have lost a lot of faith in the predictive stats like fip and xba. This is also because I thought nola was a good buy low candidate in may. Maybe it just wasn’t going to happen for these guys for whatever reason despite what their predictive indicators looked like. I am not sure if I will subject myself to that kind of torture again.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That is brutal, toolshed…EdRod was extremely unlikely last year tho, and at worst, he’s a 3.80 ERA pitcher, not a 4.71, uh, one

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      I was also all over this stream and it murdered my ratios. I’ll still go back to the well though because I am a fantasy baseball masochist.

      • Smitty says:
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        Darvish single handedly ruined me last year, but not sure if will I pass on him for a discount in ’22 haha. Time will tell

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Darvish was a killer

  6. Will says:
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    Two more deals today @Grey – Berrios with a 7 year, $130 million extension with the Jays and Thor to the Angels for one year and $21 million. Thor to the DL announcement in 3, 2, 1…..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha on Thor…Solid deals for both guys and teams…I like the idea of Thor in Anaheim a lot

      • Will says:
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        With the deals signed so far it seems like starting pitching is getting more expensive, not less, despite the uncertainties of the CBA negotiations. My Cubbies need to get off their butts and start signing some quality starters. As currently constituted the Cubs are a 110 loss team.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I liked their Wade Miley move for real baseball…Solid innings eater

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Would love to see Stroman there

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Actually, I’d like to see Stroman anywhere

              • Will says:
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                Yeah picking up Miley was a good move. I’d like to see them get either Stroman and/or Sonny Gray. Cubs need all the starting pitching help they can get right now. And Stroman has to be thrilled with what Berrios just signed for.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ooh, just had a thought…Jon Gray on the Cubs

                  • Will says:
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                    Funny, we just debated that last week on one of the Cubs blogs. Other than Petco you can’t really find an away ballpark where he has pitched well in his career. His numbers outside of Coors were actually worse last season. Makes me wary of him.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Ah, I hadn’t looked at him specifically for Wrigley or away numbers, but pitching away while pitching at home at Coors is different than pitching at home somewhere other than Coors

  7. Coolwhip says:
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    “Ed-Rod cupboard and it’s where I store my Top Gun-themed collectible Big Gulp cups”
    *michelle obama standing and clapping gif*

    So funny we were just talking about him. I too like the signing (wish the Angels went for him over Noah, sigh, we shall see). Allow me to add to the swooning:
    – Last year he was top 10% in avg exit velo allowed, and top 13% in hard contact allowed. this bodes well for him in a bigger ballpark like Detroit not to mention a softer division
    – His sinker was easily the least lucky pitch compared to previous years when it was one of his best
    -Splits: last year he allowed a career high .282 avg to RHP whereas in 2019 and for his career it has been .250 or less with that usually being his strongest split. Leaving Fenway should improve this some on its own along with chance at positive regression
    – it may not matter much after this year, but Tucker’s framing ability is above average whereas Vasquez is middle of the pack. Maybe a few extra strikes to stay ahead in some counts.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice! Great stuff! Agreed…”Leaving Fenway” is going to subtract 0.75 ERA off his line from last year, then the rest is on him

  8. Harley Earl says:
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    Just saw and read your piece on Jose Barerro and wanted to comment where you’d respond.

    I like your assessment and I think you’re right on with expectations of him being a .280 guy with 25HR and 15SB. I think we’ve seen a few glimpses of it coming. I also think the Reds are ready to take the gloves off and let the kid go. The fact they are in sell/trade mode means the youngsters are going to get the playing time. Not sure what they were doing with Kyle Farmer last year either. Really dumb to delay Barerro’s development when he could have produced a similar season.

    I like the fact that Barerro now has two years behind him, although one was only about 30 games because of the covid shutdown. I think the extra time has given him a chance to see and understand what he needs to do to be MLB ready. This off-season is very key for him. I would not be surprised to see him come out of the gate swinging and looking like an MLB ready bat.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, that all makes sense, agreed!

  9. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!!!

    Just finished up the first 30 rounds (MLB portion) of my fantasy draft.

    a. 4×4 (RC, TB, OBP, SB) x (WHIP, K/9, SV+H, QS)
    b. 1000 IP (minimum)
    c. Dynasty, keep ALL forever!!
    d. 7 bench slots
    e. 8 IL slots

    The 15-round MiLB draft will follow, don’t know when yet.

    How did I do?

    C Mitch Garver – MIN 22/256
    1B C.J. Cron – COL 12/136
    2B Jonathan India – CIN 7/81
    3B Matt Chapman – OAK 13/153
    SS Xander Bogaerts – BOS 4/40
    CI Frank Schwindel – CHC 18/208
    MI Miguel Rojas – MIA 28/328
    OF Jared Walsh – LAA 10/112
    OF Randy Arozarena – TB 3/33
    OF Mookie Betts – LAD 1/9
    OF Jake Fraley – SEA 24/280
    OF Starling Marte – (N/A) 2/16
    UT Cavan Biggio – TOR 20/232
    UT Nick Senzel – CIN 26/304

    Bench
    3B J.D. Davis – NYM 21/249
    OF Derek Hill – DET 30/352
    OF Connor Joe – COL 23/273
    OF Trevor Larnach – MIN 25/297

    P Tanner Houck – BOS 16/184
    P Alek Manoah – TOR 6/64
    P Ranger Suarez – PHI 17/201
    P Diego Castillo – SEA 27/321
    P Chad Green – NYY 29/345
    P Liam Hendriks – CHW 5/57
    P Raisel Iglesias – (N/A) 9/105
    P Michael Kopech – CHW 14/160
    P Garrett Whitlock – BOS 15/177

    Bench
    P Dylan Cease – CHW 8/88
    P Tony Gonsolin – LAD 19/225
    P Joe Ryan – MIN 11/129

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Was gonna say it looked like an AVG issue…But I see it’s TB and OBP…With K/9 and QS I prolly would’ve went heavier on pitching and less high closers with SV+H…I like the guys you have tho, and your hitting looks solid…I think I’d try to find cheap vet starters…Guys like Wade Miley who might sneak into QS

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        Grey!!!

        a. Thanks, man! I liked adding three 1st rounders after round 25…Larnach, Senzel and Hill. Who knows?

        b. Awesome content, was stalking. I know inexcusable for the Master! For the underlings, not advisable but okay! Sorry!

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. That is pretty good!
          B. Thanks!

  10. DonnieB says:
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    In a league where Franmil is DH only, are you taking him over Muncy?

    Where do you see Kelenic and Kirilloff going in redraft leagues this year?

    Thanks. I would do the Friday after Thanksgiving NFBC draft!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not over Muncy, assuming Muncy is healthy

      Kelenic prolly round 125, Kiriloff maybe around 200 — nice on the Thanksgiving draft…thinking start it on Monday after Thanksgiving

  11. I am the Walus says:
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    Congrats on Pitching Projections….Per Fangraphs…….Continuing a theme from the early season pitcher projections, Razzball absolutely crushed the innings and strikeout projections.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Yeah, saw that…Our pitcher projections were so good

  12. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    I’m late on the pitch framing discussion but… used to be umpires would not call a ball a strike if he saw movement from the catchers glove. Some of these guys move the glove several inches sometimes. Framing used to mean just that, framing, in that a catcher positioned his glove in such a way that a ball outside the zone appeared to be caught on the black- no movement of the catchers glove. I blame the umps for slacking off. It’s lazy to not see the glove move especially of a catcher is fooling the ump by moving the glove into the zone.
    Also, saw Thor to Angels. What do you think of that landing. Probably only looking at 125-140 innings but maybe quality. And he leaves the Mets. That has to be good.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I hear ya on pitch framing, I think all of it might be overblown tbh…How many times does an ump call a strike after the ball is in the catcher’s glove? I don’t know, but they’re seeing it before that, or supposed to at least

      I like Thor in Anaheim a lot, I think it’s a great landing spot for him

  13. hot corner says:
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    Yo. Hope all is well.

    I see a “Beat Grey Albright” DC in the NFBC lobby. Is that the official early DC?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It is, just set it up

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Look at you, eagle eye!

        • hot corner says:
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          Haha. First to find a fantasy league, but just found that I am a month late paying my property taxes, my driver’s license is expired and I ran out of clean underwear because I forgot to do laundry. Gotta have priorities.

          Nah, I saw it mentioned above and decided to look for an early DC. This time of year, I am usually playing Jerry Dipito in Ottoneu. Making random trades for the hell of it.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Haha, nice! Well, I hope you join!

            • hot corner says:
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              I’m in

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Nice! Good luck!

  14. DonnieB says:
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    How would you likely rank Moncada,Hayes and Matt Chapman for next year?

    Do you see Leodys being a late SB stud? And Baddoo?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I have no faith in Leodys but if it’s late enough it’s fine…prefer Akil a bit more… Hayes, Chapman, Yoan

Comments are closed.