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 basemen, top 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:
Touki Toussaint – Tested positive for Covid, but is asymptomatic. I am no epidemiologist. In fact, I originally wrote, I am no endometriosis, because autocorrect told me that was what I wanted. So, take this with a grain of salt, but I’m not yet moving any players in my rankings who are asymptomatic. In Rudy’s auction rankings, they are all docked — Steamer auction rankings.
Delino DeShields – Tested positive for Covid, and is symptomatic. He agreed to announce the results, but keeping a secret who has Covid is going as well as you’d imagine. Basically, it has been this: Reporter, “Is it a hammy? Calf? Elbow? Knee? Back? Concussion?” Manager just has a blank stare. Reporter, “Sounds like Covid.” MLB didn’t ever think of process of elimination apparently.
Yordan Alvarez – Hasn’t arrived yet at camp. Dusty Baker said league rules state he can’t say why. Haha, that’s the best one yet. MLB, “Don’t report Covid.” MLB teams, “Can we wink-wink?” MLB, “I guess a wink-wink is fine.”
Jose Urquidy – Dusty Baker says Urquidy is out with an undisclosed “condition.” Ha, gotta love Dusty.
Miguel Sano – Tested positive for Covid. Word to the wise, take someone’s temperature before kidnapping them.
Willians Astudillo – Tested positive for Covid. He’s asymptomatic. Or as every MLB writer seems to be writing “asymptotic.” If you put asymptomatic players on the Y axis, and “writers who use asymptotic” on the X axis, they never touch, but they come close.
Salvador Perez – Tested positive for Covid, but is asymptomatic. He has 12 days left in quarantine. Imagine reading that last year.
Masahiro Tanaka – Struck on the head by a line drive and will likely be on concussion protocol for a few days. Can we all agree to no non-Covid IL stints for this season?
DJ LeMahieu – Tested positive for Covid, but is asymptomatic. This is crazy, guys and five girl readers. Seriously, step back and just look at this list of players all with the exact same diagnosis.
Luis Cessa – Positive test and is symptomatic. Hopefully, Cessa bounces back quicker than his namesake, the airline industry.
Aaron Nola – Tested positive for Covid. Maybe instead of a baseball season we could have a Zoom chat.
Zack Wheeler – Will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth, and is unsure if he’ll return after the child is born. We might need to start keep a running list of pregnant wives like the Chinese government in the 1980s. Rather than move Wheeler all the way to the top 100 starters, I left him in the top 40 starters, but moved him to a tier I wouldn’t draft, because, get this, I would no longer draft him.
Genesis Cabrera – Tested positive for Covid. Peter Gabriel leaving ruined Genesis long ago! (That is 100% joke and not accurate at all. I am major Phil Collins stan.)
Giovanny Gallegos – Tested positive for Covid. It feels like there might be a position player pitching as a closer by the time we get to September. Cards could turn back to Carlos Martinez or Alex Reyes as their closer, or Gallegos could be fine by the 1st week of the season.
David Price – Opted out of the season. Apparently, everybody has their price, except for the Dodgers. So, Price will lose $11.8 million in salary, after paying roughly a quarter of a million dollars to all Dodgers’ minor leaguers, and I didn’t draft him in any leagues. This is a rare win-win-win in 2020. I’ve seen some people point to the sky and say, “That, there, flying? That’s Ross Stripling’s fantasy value without Price.” Meh, maybe. Speaking of which, I kinda like Dustin May more. Are we not aware that the Dodgers have 17 other starters, and they like Stripling in middle relief? I actually just drafted Stripling (at 271st overall) in one league yesterday, after this Price news, but I’m still kinda blasé on Stripling having huge value.
Felix Hernandez – Opted out of the season. F-Her said F-This.
Julio Teheran – Tested positive for not being at camp and negative for having an excuse, so everyone is assuming Covid.
Mike Trout – About time we addressed the elephant in the room. Is Mike Trout playing this year? I’d guess yes, since he’s at camp. Is he really showing up at camp and not going to play? I guess it’s possible, but why? Okay, glad I know what’s going on in Mike Trout and his family’s heart more than him, since he’s said he doesn’t know if he’s playing. Ask Grey, he’ll tell you! Second problem here, Trout said he’s absolutely leaving for the birth of his child, so he’s going to miss at least a week or two of the season in an eight-week season, i.e., once he leaves the bubble, he has to quarantine before returning, and test negative twice. So, could he leave and not return? I think it’s possible. So, with much hand-wringing, I have adjusted my Mike Trout ranking in my top 10 for 2020 fantasy baseball. Rudy also moved Trout down in the Steamer auction values. Not dramatically, because this is all so unknown. I’ve heard some fantasy baseball ‘perts say they wouldn’t draft Trout in the first five rounds. That feels extreme, but they’re playing baseball in a pandemic, so everything’s on the table, and untouched by me.
Trevor Bauer – Wants to start every 4th day. Emoji of arrow going up next to his strikeouts with some guy screaming, “STONKS,” but Shruggy the Emoji next to all his other stats. The IP will be nice for strikeouts, but, wow, this could kill people’s ratios.
Tommy Pham – Tested positive for Covid, but is asymptomatic. Watch, the only ones who will be healthy this season are the ones who never are. “Pretty incredible, but Rich Hill has been the Twins’ most reliable starter. Let’s see if he can retire Jed Lowrie for the third out.”
Welington Castillo – Opted out of playing this year. Coincidentally, teams opted out of wanting to play him this year.