Please see our player page for Hector Neris 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.

Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

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Joey Gallo tested positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, negative, positive, positive, negative, negative for Covid and is asymptomatic. The good news is the Rangers, fans and fantasy baseballers have been contact tracing Gallo for years. You, “This makes no sense, Statcast shows Gallo’s avoided contact for his entire career.” Snort, snort, wheeze! “Geez, Gallo can’t avoid contact when it’s most important.” Wheeze and repeat! Get this pretty fun testing story: Gallo tested positive for Covid on 6/29, then negative on 6/30, then positive again on 7/2, then negative on 7/7, so he seems to be fine, but who knows. Like the guy in The Royal Rumble who hides in the corner for most of the match, the smartest team will just hole themselves up in a hotel somewhere, until every other team loses all their players, then emerge World Series champs. On the reals, Gallo seems to be okay now, and why it’s so iffy on moving guys down in redraft 2020 rankings right now based on a positive test. Don’t think anyone knows how long someone tests positive or negative or positive or–Well, you get it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for fantasy baseball:

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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:

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Actress Ellen Adair (@Ellen_Adair), who was featured in TV series such as Homeland, Billions, and The Sinner, joins the show to breakdown the Philadelphia Phillies roster. She gives us her thoughts on the 60 game season and if it will get played in full. She gives us great breakdowns of Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola and why they may have struggled in 2019. We also discuss the depth of the bullpen and if Hector Neris can hold down the closer roll for a whole season. She is the host of “Take me in to the Ballgame” which breakdowns baseball movies on a 20-80 scale and she gives us some of her favorite movies. We discuss her acting career, her favorite ballparks, and much more!

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We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
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I regret to inform you, my fantasy friends, that even fake jedi get the flu. That’s right, Roto-Wan is coming to you today from a Sudafed laced haze that would make Jesse Pinkman proud. Stop interrupting me pink elephant, I’m trying to get a preamble together here. At any rate, we’ve reached the NL in our bullpen previews. Let’s kick it off with the very in flux NL East. My advice is to exercise even more caution with these names than we usually do.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

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Yours truly caved in and purchased a minivan last week with the arrival of child number two. If you decline to take any further of my baseball advice I will understand. Let me tell you something, though. I love it. It’s roomy. There’s a TV in it. The sound of rain on the giant flat roof is hypnotically melodic. Just like a fantasy season, life goes in stages. Don’t get stuck holding on to something from yesterday that will ruin your tomorrow. You could end up like Matt Foley, thrice divorced, eating a steady diet of government cheese, and living in a van, down by the river. Tiers are of course van themed.

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Yesterday, the Pirates exploded for five homers, touching up Brad Peacock (3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.13). Maybe the Pirates would’ve let up more if his name was Brad Parrot.  Kevin Newman led the way once again, going 3-for-5, 2 RBIs with his 4th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Of course, he will be in this afternoon’s Buy column.  Didn’t need Newman to star in the show off the Peacock, but fantasy owners should still be saying, “Hello, Newman.”  Then, Starling Marte (2-for-5, 3 runs) got a slam (12) and legs (12), as he plays his OCD for laughs, as one can do in the decade of the 90s.  Then, Jacob Stallings, subject of Permanent Midnight and staff writer on ALF, got into the action, going 3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with his 1st homer.  Then, Corey Dickerson (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 2nd homer, and had his 2nd big game in a row. Previously, Co-Dick was famous for what Siamese Twins filled out on a medical report, but maybe we should be “Stuck on You!”  Finally, Josh Bell (2-for-5, 2 RBIs) hit his 22nd homer, 2nd homer in the row and Bell said, “If we’re doing this like the 90s, I saved you,” but the Pirates couldn’t be reached for comment, in hiding, wearing a puffy shirt. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It finally happened. A team decided to sign Craig Kimbrell! The MLB draft happened this week so the draft pick penalty has been lifted for signing a few marquee names like Kimbrell and Dallas Keuchel. The Chicago Cubs offered the most, since their payroll is jacked anyway. With the premiere of Dark Phoenix this weekend I’ve got a ranking of X-Men for the tiers.

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