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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

After breaking down my beloved Rockies last week, we’re going to keep things rolling here with another NL West team in the Diamondbacks. While the Los Angeles Dodgers are obviously the cream of the crop in this division, Arizona is a fascinating team. Almost as fascinating as their mascot, Baxter the Bobcat. Why the hell is a snake not the mascot? I mean, they’re the Diamondbacks, not the Arizona Bobcats. In any case, this is one of the most interesting teams this season (including their mysterious mascot), so, let’s get into it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What do we say to the devil? Not today, devil. But they say, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” And devil’s in the details.  So, for the last five months, Giancarlo Stanton (1-for-3) was the devil I didn’t know any details about, but yesterday we said, “Today, devil,” so where does that leave us? In hell still, as the Yankees said they will baby Stanton, sending him out for only a few at-bats. Yo, are you Arthriticarlo Stanton? Should’ve never held him all year, but his thighs are so beautiful and well-lotioned in bed! Sorry, was reading a well-tailored-to-me fortune cookie. I suppose if Stanton’s out there, you can add him, and play him, but a few at-bats here and there doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Hopefully, by the time 2020 rolls around, Giancarlo will be less Arthriticarlo and more the Giancarlo I’ve pasted to my pillow. And that’s not Elmer’s Glue. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Trying to track rotations in September is similar to watching the Cha-Cha Slide at a wedding. Pitchers slide to the right…slide to the left…criss cross…CHARLIE BROWN. September brings so much rotational uncertainty with call-ups, 4 man, 6 man and even 7 man rotations utilized with spot starts out of the blue.

Here are my best guesses and some 2 start notes to help you find 2 start options this week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Throwing a 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks game against the 1927 Twins by Lucas Giolito can mean only one thing, today, we celebrate Lucas Giolito’s Star Mitzvah! Mazel tov! Here’s a check for $18.  Many blessings from your bubbeleh. But, oy, it’s hot in here, can we turn on the fan? Forget the electric bill for one day, it’s a Star Mitzvah! Your uncle, Shlomo, didn’t retire to Boca Raton and leave me with the money he won from scratch-off tickets so I can’t turn on the fan once in a while. Guys and five girl readers, Giolito is a legend. Who isn’t a Giolito fan? (Besides the Streamonator; why the long face, tin can head?) I’ve already given you my Lucas Giolito 2020 fantasy too, that’s what a legend he is. This is his 2nd insane game this month, and, brucely, it’s more fun to revel in great pitching performances this year than the 400th three-homer game. Last time, I said Giolito would be a top 15 starter. Now I’m starting to think I was being too low. Dude’s so lit he’s got that shizz in his last name! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

MLB teams were whistling 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover yesterday:

Just slip out the back, Zac, make a new plan, Tanner,
Don’t need to be coy, Greek God of Hard Contact, just listen to me,
Hop on the bus, Jesus, don’t need to discuss much,
Just drop off the key, Greinke, and get yourself free.

The deadline seemed to be lulling people to sleep, then the Diamondbacks stepped up and decided they were contenders, be-bopping Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins for Zac Gallen. But it turned out they were Indiana Jones, when he would replace an ancient artifact with a sand bag by switching one Zack with another Zac, so the booby trap wouldn’t expose them to trouble. See, and I always thought the idea of the outfield hot tub was to expose booby traps.  Incredibly, the Cardinals announced the Zack Greinke to Astros deal hours before the Diamondbacks. The Astros rotation is now, as they would’ve said in the 20’s, bona fide. In good spirits, Justin Verlander tweeted out, “As long as we don’t get Bauer, we good.” I hear that, JV.  I don’t trust home/away splits much at all, unless it’s Coors vs. non-Coors, but, if you must know 2.96 home ERA vs. 2.80 away. Usually it’s the inverse, but Greinke is a 15-year vet; you really think he’s going to pitch that differently in Houston? The answer you’re looking for is no.  He’s a control artist whiz like you’d want from your child when they’re doing the pee-pee dance. Speaking of which, did every team relieve themselves of their relievers? Let’s find out!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m not even sure I can imagine how angry I would be if I lost a perfect game in the ninth inning. Over the years I have broken my fair share of tennis rackets, thrown golf clubs and smashed video game controllers. One might say I have a tiny bit of a temper when things don’t go my way. If I were an MLB pitcher I’d prefer to lose my perfect game bids in the first inning, getting it over with early. I’m no math genius or anything like that, but I’ve got to imagine that the odds of pitching a perfect game are about the same as finding a needle in Josh Hamilton’s haystack. Wait, that’s not how it goes. Those are the odds for getting a base hit. Last night Mike Leake took a perfect game into the ninth inning only to have Luis Rengifo leadoff with a single. I’m not even sure I’ve ever heard of this guy who’s 53rd career hit crushed Leake’s dreams. Leake also walked a guy in the ninth, but held on to finish off his complete game shutout, striking out six. A week after being no-hit by the Angels, this would have been quite the reversal of fortunes had they been able to pull of the perfercto. The last Mariners perfect game was pitched by King Felix. I remember that game vividly as I earned over a one hundred points from that performance which saved my week and was the reason I ended up in the playoffs. Long life the king.

Go ahead and tell me this wouldn’t drive you mad.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For Mother’s Day, all MLB players use pink bats.  On Father’s Day, all bats should be painted to resemble penises.  I try to convince MLB of this every year, and every year I’m met with awkward silence.  Another Father’s Day, another year MLB didn’t take my suggestion for an, uh, equipment update.  How about they use the pink bats again, but with hanging scrotum on the knobs? They could at least call all home runs on Father’s Day “dongs,” or if the player is over the age of 35, then they’re long balls.  These are not big fixes I’m asking them to do.  So, Edwin Encarnacion took his long balls (see?!) to the Yankees (unintentional pun, but still worthwhile).  Turns out the Home Run Parrot on Edwin’s shoulder is a better agent than Kimbrel’s.  “Polly want 15%.”  This made me chuckle:  reporters on Saturday suggesting the new potential Yankees’ lineup had Edwin Encarnacion penciled in as a question mark like he was some mystery-flavor Dum-Dum.  It’s because Encarnacion doesn’t really make sense for the Yankees — is he the DH? (Voit? Judge? Stanton?)  1st base? (LeMahieu) — but they’ll find room for him since he was the AL leader in home runs.  Clint Frazier was sent to the minors, as he awaits a trade; this will completely kill Gio Urshela’s value, and might hurt DJ LeMahieu’s, as well.  With Giancarlo and Judge returning, Gardner’s about to become the 4th outfielder, Maybin’s gonna get DFA’d and Aaron Hicks better make sure he doesn’t slump or he’s going to be benched too.  Of course, all of this becomes moot when Judge, Stanton and Edwin all get hurt this week.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*blows dust off cover to the book, “Raimel Tapia, Fantasy Sleeper”* Just found this book on a shelf in this Colorado-area bookstore.  “I think this is yours.”  The bookstore owner holds up a copy of, “Josh Rutledge’s Fantasy Sleeper.”  Haha, no, that’s not mine.  “It says “Property of Grey Albright.”  Can I just read from one of your other books in peace without paying for it?  No wonder bookstores are all going out of business, you don’t leave your customers alone!  Any hoo, as I was saying about Raimel Tapia, he was a 2015 Pick-to-Click, a 2016 Gotz-to-Getz-Him, a 2017 This-is-the-Year and a 2018 Absolute-Must-Own for a reason.  He has 15-homer power and 25-steal speed who shouldn’t hurt you in average (think .270).  The problem for so long has been the Rockies’ inability to kowtow to fantasy owners and play the sexy guys.  Not unrelated, Garrett Hampson is due for everyday playing time in 2023.  However, something interesting has happened recently — interesting is subjective but if you’re reading this I assume it applies — Ian Desmond has been getting benched regularly.  Finally!  If Tapia gets 5+ starts a week, he is a Pick-to-Click-Gotz-to-Getz-Him-This-is-the-Year-Absolute-Must-Own in all leagues.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?