Please see our player page for Brendan Rodgers 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.

Mike Clevinger and Greg Allen were traded to the Padres for Gabe Arias, Cal Quantrill, Joey Cantillo, Owen Miller, Austin Hedges, and Josh Naylor. Cleveland will be melting together Quantrill, Arias, Cantillo, Hedges, Naylor and Miller to form one super player, Johnny Q. Baseball who can catch, pitch middle relief and hit .215. Cleveland Indians’ GM said, “I have one rule, that’s Rule 5.” Before Clevinger can leave town, Zach Plesac will be planning a blow out going away party that no one is to know about. It will be at Carlos N’ Suzie’s, a downtown Cleveland favorite known for tequila and heating up Totino’s pizza rolls. Can’t wait for the postseason redemption story of Mike Clevinger ginned up by Fox where he does no actual apologizing for anything, but pitches well for six innings and gets some flashy graphics and wild hyperbole. So, Clevinger going to the Padres is obviously a huge boon for his value if boon means what I think it means. Let’s assume it does or at least makes sense within context clues. Everyone the Indians got? Useless for this year, but I’m sure Prospect Itch or Hobbs will go over the prospects at some point. Only downside I can see for this trade is it might actually be lowering Chris Paddack’s value, because now the Sheriff will have to spend all waking hours policing to make sure Clevinger doesn’t do anything stupid. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Is it already time for my Jonathan Schoop pickup post this year? Geez, time does fly. Like your mother! What does that mean? I thought I heard she was a flight attendant. If not, I’m so sorry. Like your mother! What? I thought I heard she was very polite and always said sorry. Guess she’s a terrible person. My bad, was trying to be nice. So, Schoop, rhymes with dope, not Shoop, Shoop-e-doop. Uh, here I go, here I go, here I go again. Five girl readers, what’s my weakness? Men (who play baseball)! Damn it! I promised myself I wouldn’t make any allusions to Salt-N-Pepa. By the way, George Clooney has really nice hair. What color is it? SALT AND PEPPER! God damn it! Okay, so Schoop has cut his Ks (minimally), but is hitting better than usual with a much flatter swing. Considering how much he would loft the ball vs. now? I think he can get power and average with his new swing. Maybe call it the New Jonathan Swing — Tony! Toni! Tone! says Feels Good! If nothing else, Schoop is worth rostering because he’s A) Not rostered in nearly enough leagues. B) Showing off a new swing that’s working for him, and is around a top 10 2nd baseman on our Player Rater. C) There’s no C. D) There was no C, why would there be a D? E) Grumbles F) Me, stop listing letters! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Every day Prospect Santa brings up fantasy prospects for all the nice boys and five girls. The naughty boys and five girls can try to figure out what they did to be deemed naughty, but we won’t be explaining designations to anyone, so that’s tough sledding if you got a naughty tag. Just know you prolly did something like wanted to drop Adalberto Mondesi or were happy Acuña got hurt because you didn’t own him. One day Prospect Santa boots an unpaid elf out of the way to reveal Cristian Pache. “The elf’s getting valuable experience, better than any paycheck or healthcare!” Wow, Prospect Santa is a bit of a jerk. Another day Prospect Santa brings up Casey Mize and leers at Mrs. Claus with lust and anger. Yo, is Prospect Santa okay in the head? So, who is next for Prospect Santa, could it be, Gavin Lux? Yes, that’s why we’re here. I’ll admit to cheating a little for who to lead with in the, uh, lede. Prospect Itch (no relation to Santa, as far as I know) recently came out with his Fantasy Baseball Prospect Stash List and I scrolled all the way down to the 2nd name. Also on that list: Pache, Mize, Skubal, K*bert– Okay, Itch is psychic; it is confirmed. Gavin Lux got a bit of a raw deal coming out of Summer Camp, being sent to the alternate training site, where they practice the ancient art of hopping on one leg and other alternate training. Lux can come up and be an immediate pickup in the shallowest of leagues. He could be a top five guy at his position in the final month-plus with a .300+ average and power, and maybe a few steals. When do we see him? I think soon, but that’s up to Prospect Santa. “Ho! Ho! Ho! You ain’t ever getting Wander Franco!” I kinda hate Prospect Santa. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who ropes us in? Did you just answer, “A rodeo cowboy?” No, I’m talking about in fantasy. Did you just say, “My fantasies involve rodeo cowboys?” I’m saying Bud Black ropes us in…*sees your eyes start to glaze over*…like a great rodeo cowboy! Now that I have your attention, David Dahl was IL’d with something. He is Mr. Glass. I won’t hear otherwise. Earlier this summer it was reported Dahl had no spleen. I have no idea what a spleen does, but if I were a scientist, I’d be looking into how no spleen equals a litany of injuries. “Is the spleen connected to back pain?” That’s me as a scientist while not knowing anything a scientist might know. So, Brendan Rodgers was called up! I grabbed him in all leagues where I could. He could be the call-up — flashing power, some speed and solid average because, and I can’t stress this enough after saying something that is meant to stress this:  Coors. In only 37 games in Triple-A last year, he hit 9 HRs and .350, and guess how many games the Rockies had left when he was called up. Ding, ding, ding — 37! Hopefully, Bud Black isn’t just roping us in again. “I caught me some rodeo clowns.” That’s Bud Black. That bastard. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our long national nightmare is over (except for the actual long national nightmare that isn’t over — sigh, to be a person with parenthetical blindness and not have to read this caveat)! We did it, boys and five girl readers. We f*cking did it! Not us, per se. We didn’t do shizz, except draft some baseball players for fantasy. But, ya know what, that’s enough for me! See, with lowered goals and expectations, you’re never disappointed. It’s a zen thing; you wouldn’t understand. It was a mere nine months ago when we started talking about sleepers and rankings and…How old am I now?

Well, whatever, baseball is back and that’s all that matter. Singing like an absolute loon, “Baseball’s back and I want to get married — hey nah, hey nah — baseball’s back!” And, now in my mind, I’m married to Giancarlo Stanton. Ask yourself why you didn’t send us a wedding gift. Selfish much? Of course, Opening Day couldn’t have happened in any other way in 2020. It had to be met with cold-ass reality, which why Juan Soto tested positive for Covid. It sucks, Mr. Obvious said, but it’s also a reminder of what this year will be. It’s going to be waiver wire pickups, the Streamonator, the Hittertron and playing of matchups. If you’re curious and want to torture yourself, Juan Soto fell to 179th overall in the final 2020 preseason rankings. Stepping in to replace Juan Soto will be Andrew Stevenson, the James Spader of replacements. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wait…Baseball!?  If I am being honest, I did not think we would have a season to watch and give us a distraction from the upcoming election season…ohhh and that whole Global Pandemic thingy.  But really, it is amazing to think we will have a season and there will be numerous unique adaptations from a fantasy perspective as we no longer have the benefit of patience over a long season.  A hot month can lead to an MVP campaign or the Mendoza Line!

We also cannot forget the bigger picture.  These players are real people in a highly unique situation.  All I can do is hope for their continued safety as they try their best to give us an escape from 2020.

So how am I reacting in the middle infield rankings?  Let us look at four key areas of change.

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So we’re gonna have a season, maybe, hopefully…..who knows.  But we need to be prepping like there’s going to be one.  So let’s take a look at some of the specifics that have come down from MLB with the new plan for the season and how it should effect how you handle injuries/Covid related issues going into the year.

First off, the rules.  MLB released a list of precautions when they and the players’ union approved the deal for the 60 game season.  Testing is the biggest thing we need to keep an eye on.  Everyone’s getting tested for active Covid-19 as well as antibodies upon reporting to Spring Training 2.0.  They will not be cleared for work until they tests negative for Covid (we’ll come back to this).  In season, players will undergo multiple “symptom tests” per day (temp checks and “how are you feeling” questionnaires).  They will also be tested every other day.

So what happens if someone tests positive?  Well, each team has to put in place their own Covid handling program that meets certain minimum requirements.  The biggest thing though is that, in order to be cleared to play, a player must test negative twice within a 24 hour period and show now symptoms for 72 hours.  This is a big deal.  There’s no real rhyme or reason for how long Covid stays in your system, but even asymptomatic cases seem to last a minimum of 14 days.  I looked into some prominent cases that took place over in Europe when Covid hit some of their soccer leagues: Callum Hudson-Odoi, a winger for Chelsea tested positive for Coronavirus at the beginning of March.  He wasn’t able to test negative until the beginning of May, despite showing few symptoms.  Paolo Dybala, who plays for Juventus, tested positive in mid-March and was asymptomatic.  He wasn’t cleared until almost the end of May.  Suffice to say, it’s going to be case by case when it comes to each one of these testing scenarios, but I think it would be wise to treat a positive test like a month long or more injury when trying to evaluate how to handle your roster.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s already pretty difficult to forecast a player’s performance even with the large samples that we have. Consider Whit Merrifield, a player with a large recent body of work, as he’s the current active leader in consecutive games-played. Will he ever steal 20 bases again? How about Christian Yelich? He played most of 2019, but many remain skeptical that he can repeat that historic pace, at least to the same degree.

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?

Welcome to my inaugural post for the top 50 Middle Infielder rankings for the rest of the 2020 fantasy baseball season.  Throughout the year, I will be updating my rankings and calling out those movers and shakers.  For those of you here looking to gather some insights, welcome.  For those of you looking to steal my rankings and use them against me, I am not afraid!

Let’s take a quick look at the landscape up the middle of the diamond.  Middle infield is deep this year, more specifically shortstop is stacked.  This isn’t Jason Bartlett’s shortstop class of 10 years ago.  The top four all have an argument for being first round picks.  After that, there are all-stars abound with blemishes (Can Altuve hit without a buzzer?  How often will Gleyber play against Baltimore?  Will Tatis regress or grow?).  Once we get past the top 20-25, there is a steep cliff that will leave you wishing you had invested earlier.

Now let’s get into a few key guys standing out from the pack in the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?