Please see our player page for Alex Vesia to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Arizona Diamondbacks 

Gabriel Moreno is staking his claim behind the plate with two home runs already this spring. I think he’s safe to take in the one-two catcher fringe. I’d prefer him to Keibert Ruiz, for example. 

Scott McGough is the new crime dog as far I’m concerned, though I guess that reference is pretty old these days. “Scruff McGruff, Chicago Illinois, 60652!” Manager Torey Lovullo says they’re “gonna be fluid in that area,” which sounds like a trip to the doctor and means nothing, but I think McGough is gonna be the closer, if anyone’s gonna be the closer. 

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Here you will find bullpen charts for each team. Bullpens are a messy business to track, but the purpose here is to highlight each team’s closer(s) and setup men. You can more or less expect the chart to read left-to-right in order of importance, but again, it can be a fluid situation day-to-day, week-to-week (looking at you, Tampa Bay Rays!). So, not only are we highlighting saves options, we’ve got you saves+holds folks covered, too! 

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Last week, we spent time going over pitcher analytics and how we can use them to prepare for both drafts and in-season management.  Today, I’ll be focusing on the former, draft prep, and build on what we discussed last week.  As player projections become more widely available and drafts start kicking off in earnest, early […]

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Well, it’s hard to believe, but both my real-life calendar and my baseball calendar tell me that we’ve reached September. End of season call-ups aren’t what they once were, but that doesn’t mean there might not be a player or two floating around the waiver wire that’s worth watching for what’s left of the season, […]

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What’s poppin, Razzpimples? Bullpen update time! And not just bullpen updates, but trade updates! Maybe even more action will go down today. It’s the trade deadline, if’n ya didn’t know’d it, but I betcha know’d it, didn’t ya? Don’t forget, the Razzball Bullpen Chart is manned by yours truly and updated like every single second (not really, […]

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The great thing about studying relievers is you only have to focus a half-inning at a time, if you’re watching the games as you go. The bad thing about studying relievers is you can only do so half-inning at a time, if you’re watching the games as you go. 

This year’s relief article involved more legwork than any before for a number of reasons, one being the void where pro baseball used to be. But it’s more than just the lockout, of course. My processes in general have evolved over time, and now I’m fast enough moving in and out of the game logs, finding the right inning to jump toward on the time scroll. I’m better at eyeballing what inning looks like it might be the sixth, just given the size of that time-scroll along the bottom. I feel like Dr. Who. Time and space are limitations of the past. I watched three weeks of Indigo Diaz’s career the other day, just in between and alongside doing other stuff: making bacon for my daughter, jotting down the bones of a lesson plan, writing a relief pitcher article in a separate window, doom-scrolling the socials on my phone, flipping the eggs, clicking back in as Diaz encounters some early wildness, digging for the next game, three days later in a different city, finding where he entered the game, and zooming to that moment in my tardis (laptop). 

Yes, dear reader, it’s a brave new world out there. Some of these MILB.tv feeds are terrible, mind you. Blimp view. My 2D video game brain is okay with it, like playing an RBI Baseball match-up on Nintendo: Clemens v. Tudor, but that’s so much more than I could’ve seen 25 years ago when I was 13 and burrowing deep into the baseball universe for the first time. Really seeing it from the ground up for the first time. My dad took us to see the Clinton Lumberkings when we were very young. Got some cards signed. And I guess the dig actually began in 1989, when my brother and I traded the Upper Deck Rookie Cards of Ken Griffey Jr. and a Gary Sheffield for the Upper Deck Rookie Card of . . . drumroll . . . Jerome Walton. I was six. I would, obviously, remember it forever. 33 years later, here we are. Sorry for the old-guy anecdote. It’s just, I couldn’t believe the breadth of my powers this week, compared to my powers then. I am defeated by time in so many other, very real ways, and yet, here I am, farting in its general direction as I prepare what has become my favorite article to create every year. 

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Which position would you say has gained the most value over the past decade?

In MLB? In fantasy?

Maybe it’s shortstop. 2020 might be the best shortstop season of all time, whatever that means.  

And that’s pre Wander. 

But this winter saw Emmanuel Clase traded for Corey Kluber. I know Delinosaur Jr. is feeling the pain of everyone there, too, and the old Klubot has been in the shop for a hot minute, but to say this trade made waves is an understatement.

The conversation began in alarmist, anti-ownership fashion and ended in hushed admiration of Clase’s cutter and consideration of the relative values of their contracts and remaining innings, especially in the context of a team with a pitching surplus such as Cleveland’s. 

Felt like a signpost to me.

As did Tampa Bay’s trade of top 50 echo chamber prospect Jesus Sanchez for erstwhile bartender Nick Anderson. 

As have the contracts dolled out every off-season, even in the miserly winters of 2017-18, when bullpen pitchers were signed early in the cycle for near-record middle-relief contracts. 

I might be kicking the horse a bit at this point when all I really want to do is share my work-intensive relief prospect rankings. More and more leagues are incorporating holds, either as its own category or a combination category with saves. Given the dominance of hot relievers, all these guys gain a lot of value in saves+holds leagues, where their barrier to helping you in that category is all but erased. In the dynasty game, they can be swapped in and out of your minor leagues to expand your active roster and suppress your ratios while snagging some strikeouts and the occasional win. 

Without further ado because we’ve had plenty of ado because hey I worked on this one all winter, the following humans are my top 20 relief prospects for 2020. 

The Miami Marlins are a baseball team. I mean the sport they play is recognizably baseball. 

Other than that, there isn’t a lot of certainty in Miami. Even 2019 Whit-alike contest winner Jon Berti seems as likely to fall back as spring forward in 2020. 

Is it really darkest before the dawn?

Anyway, hope floats just off the coast. Er, inland, where Marlins affiliates are loaded with the fruits of an organizational tear-down that would’ve been vetoed in my home league. 

“Fruits” feels kind of extreme. Maybe we should call it the “eggplants” of an organizational tear-down. 

The eggplants for all-world Christian Yelich were players who do everything but hit, which seems to be something of a type for the Front Office helmed by Derek Jeter and Gary Denbo. They whiffed on Lewis Brinson who whiffs at everything, and they face a similar fate for everything in those Yelich and Stanton deals from two winters past unless someone (looking at you, Monte Harrison) changes their trajectory. 

Either way, even with those brutal trades, the Marlins are trending up thanks to a deep farm with rich soil for arms. 

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