Please see our player page for Richard Rodriguez 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.

Julio Rodriguez has made the Mariners’ Opening Day roster and I’m giving the longest “yeah boi” in history. Due to the longest “yeah boi” in history, I’m feeling lightheaded. Oh my God, I’m floating like Charlie and Grandpa Joe after they had too much fizzy, lifting drink. Is Cougs pumping my office full of helium? I’ve never felt happiness like this before. Not without dreaming of wearing a costume to make me look like a dumbbell and have Giancarlo curl me. This is…happiness, isn’t it? Have I broken free from reality? This is real, right? I’ve checked fifteen different sources, and it’s really real. I think. So, already gave you a Julio Rodriguez fantasy but listen to what Grey “Dumb B*tch” Albright said there, “Kelenic was up mid-May and that seems as good a bet as any. So, the M’s make a serious push to have all three of them (Kelenic, Haniger and Jul-Rod) in the outfield by May 15th. That feels aggressive, but no one calls him July — it’s Juli, if anything.” They’ve seen added Jesse Winker, and now Jul-Rod! My God, it’s wonderful. Julio Rodriguez or Bobby Witt Jr.? It’s not clearcut. This is giving me a heart attack. How did I not draft him in one single league? Am I mentally dumb? What is wrong with me?! I re-ranked Julio Rodriguez in the top 40 outfielders, and moved him way up in the top 500. He’s still behind Witt, but if Jul-Rod outperformed him it wouldn’t surprise me at all. Oh, and Rest in Waivers to Kyle Lewis. He was moved way down in the top 100 outfielders. Now, excuse me, as I return to my “yeah boi.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2022 fantasy baseball:

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This is a very different post than I thought I’d be writing this week. I’ll refrain from going on for paragraphs about how sad, frustrated, disappointed, and angry I am regarding the current state of major league baseball, even though it’s admittedly tempting to just vent uncontrollably right now. I truly thought this post would […]

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Well hello there, Razz-folken!

Sorry, I’m working my way through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (on Book 6 of seven — fantastic, trippy, masterful stuff), which contains some very interesting folken indeed. So that’s where that came from.

I’ve got some news for y’all. I am no longer the Injury Guru around these parts. I had my fill of ’em last year, let me tell you. Not sure my brain could handle tracking all that madness for another season (assuming we even get a full one…). Alas, the ever-so-talented-and-witty Keelin Billue will be manning the Ambulance Chasers column. Instead, I’ve become the official Bullpen Guru of Razzball! In addition to the weekly SAGNOF recaps, I’ll be in charge of our brand-spankin’ new Bullpen Chart, tracking who’s closing and who’s setting up across the MLB. Side note: I’m still waiting for the day SVHD becomes the standard category.

What I’ve got for y’all is just a good old-fashioned tiered ranking (catered toward the 12-team standard 5×5 audience). I could pretend I’m doing this for the people, but really this is as much for me as it is for you, dear reader. I’ve had my fantasy hockey helmet on, helping Viz over the on the Razzball Hockey side of things. Haven’t paid the best attention to the goings on in MLB — I could use a little brush up on how bullpens are looking.

Welp, I’ll quit dillydallying and get right to it. I’ll update these rankings eventually as things change throughout the course of the offseason. Some big names are still homeless as of now (you can find notes on them under the rankings themselves). These rankings stem from a combination of my genius brain and Rudy’s projections, which of course you can see over on the World Famous Razzball Player Rater.

I lied; I’ve got a little more dillydallying to do. I want to make it clear this is a focus solely on guys in closer situations. I’m looking at this through the lens of saves. I would personally rather own a Devin Williams type than a crappy closer like Cole Sulser in most instances, but I didn’t want to jumble up my tiers with guys who aren’t likely to get saves with any kind of regularity. Devin Williams, Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Loaisiga, etc. do not appear in what you’ll see below. Maybe I’ll get around to some HAGNOF rankings, but you can always pop over to the Bullpen Chart and the Player Rater to find guys to help you with holds. And one last note: even though you see numbered rankings, they’re more of a formality. I treat everyone pretty much equally within their respective tiers, and it could shake out to where any one of them could out-rank the other. Is that a cop out for “hindsight is 20/20” purposes? Maybe! Oh, and the stats you see are 2021’s totals. Duh.

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While drafting this NFBC 2022 fantasy baseball team, I’m simultaneously deep into writing my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, which will be released starting around mid-January. (Our Patreon already has the bulk of them; as I finish each ranking, I put it up on there.) Was a fun experiment to see if not having completed rankings would change my drafting. If I haven’t yet decided on whether or not I want a player, would that let me be more open to drafting someone? I’m not sure. My guess was it might’ve. For unstints, if I didn’t want, say, Cody Bellinger again, would I be a big enough dolt to draft him again since I haven’t finished my rankings? Would I be a large enough idiot to actually draft Cody Bellinger again in 2022 if I hadn’t yet finished my research? Would I have an obvious screw loose, potentially appearing like a person who doesn’t have an actual brain, and draft Cody Bellinger again? Would I be a large-scale imbecile that would draft Cody Bellinger again if I simply hadn’t finished researching? Surely, I would not, right? Because I rostered him in multiple leagues last year, so I don’t need something as silly as my own rankings to know Cody Bellinger sucks giant Great Dane balls, right? RIGHT?! Actually, wrong. I’m just that dumb. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap; it’s a 15-team, two-catcher, draft and hold league that goes 50 rounds and has no waivers:

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I’m still spent from Friday’s trade deadline. It. Dot dot dot. Was. Dot dot dot. Awesome. MLB should have a trade deadline every month. Like musical chairs with walk-up music. “Okay, we have 450 chairs, and when Whomp There It Is stops, you have to be in a chair, ready?” Whomp, and the music stops and everyone sits down, except Trevor Story, who simply just walks off into the sunset. In the distance, we hear Trevor Story cursing out the Rockies. Bud Black smiles, “He loves this organization so much,” Bud calling off, “You’re our forever Rockie!” So, the Cubs sent everyone away, except Rafael Ortega. Smart move or the Ricketts getting lucky while being cheap SOBs? Like a teamster, I’m gonna lean on the latter. Coincidence that Ricketts sounds like a disease you get from a lack of nutrition or no? Any hoo! Rafael Ortega (4-for-4, 5 RBIs) hit three ding-dongs (4, 5, 6), after homering on Saturday. Ortega is 30 years old and has bounced around the minors since 2008, while stealing nearly 40 bags some years, so he has speed too. I’m inclined to say unlikely to continue, but grab while hot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Trade Deadline Spectacular! Lot’s to unpack here, where do I begin? First, the Chicago Cubs continued to clean house Friday night sending their remaining superstars to opposite coasts. Kris Bryant is headed to San Francisco in exchange for Alexander Canario and Caleb Killian, and Javier Baez was sent to Queens to play shortstop for the Mets. The Mets will send outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong back to Chicago. Look, I’m not going to pretend to know who any of these prospects are, I will leave it to The Itch’s Top 100 Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball to tell you which of these kids are worthy of your 2021 consideration, but I will confirm that Pete Crow-Armstrong is an awesome name, so he must be very good. Anyway, Bryant should gel nicely with this Giants team and they get a “true star” to keep up with the big boys in the NL West. Javier Baez will keep doing the Javier Baez thing he does, now in NYC City, and it should be fun to watch a Javy/Lindo infield combo when Lindor returns in a few weeks. Meanwhile down South, the Braves were so distraught about Acuña (same, Braves, same), they traded for an entirely new outfield. Retail therapy! I get it! Altana acquired Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall all from different teams, all within about an hour of each other, and all of whom are basically the same player. But for real though, how insane was this deadline? Quality and quantity. Twitter Friday afternoon was probably more exciting than most of the MLB games I’ve watched this season. Blockbuster deals! Twists and turns! 10 all-stars traded! Headlines that would make Suni Lee say, “oh, wow that’s a pretty intriguing story.” And she’s not even talking about Trevor Story! For me, it was an exciting, drama-filled 48 hours in sports and I’d love to go on about how fun it is to watch athletes displaced from their homes but there is too much to cover today so will get right to it.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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As the weather turns hot so do the seats of shaky relievers. It can be risky to jump ship early on someone that’s been good to you but a shrewd move can pay off big time in the summer. I often tell myself, “Carl, live in the future, dammit!” Don’t ask me why “Carl” is how I refer to myself in the third person.

  • Mark Melancon remains a step ahead of the league. He ditched spider tack weeks ago and is now using beetle spunk. It’s the only explanation for a guy that projected to be mediocre, yet leads the league in saves. In actuality, he’s likely locating his stuff as well as ever with a near career high in GB% and career low in FB%.
  • The Reds are optimizing the adage if you many of something you really have none. Their bullpen is filled with quality arms. Without that clear-cut go-to closer, things have been messy. Lucas Sims is starting to show the strain of the role. Tejay Antone just returned from the IL but also blew a save (and poached a win).
  • Tampa Bay can’t catch a break in their back end either. Name a reliever for them and they’ve blown a save or took a loss in the past week. Nothing like some extra ambiguity in the murkiest of bullpens.
  • Richard Rodriguez continues to be a sharp closer. That almost certainly means he’ll be relocating prior to the trade deadline. Two possible paths exist here. He could go to a contender that needs a clear closer and earn many more save opps. He could also go to a team with an already strong closer and become a setup man, which seems the more natural fit for him.
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The best haircut I ever received was from a bald man. I don’t usually get anything fancy — just a trim here, a buzz there. Throughout my life I went through all the same generational hair trends of men currently in their mid-30’s. As a pre-schooler in the early-90’s my Mom spiked my hair straight up a la Bart Simpson because who was cooler than the Bart man? Then in the mid-90’s, I transitioned to the Jonathan Taylor Thomas Home Improvement middle part because all the girls thought he was so cute. In the early 2000’s  I jumped on board the ‘Caesar’ bandwagon popularized by George Clooney in his ER/From Dusk Till Dawn days and that’s pretty much where I’ve remained. Low maintenance, good enough, it was “The Rachel” for men! Back to the point of this story — the bald man. Who better to appreciate hair than a bald man? I got out of his chair looking like a million bucks and the bald man was proud of his work. 

What does this have to do with fantasy baseball, you ask? In my 14-team home league, I’m punting saves. Correction — I’m punting saves + holds. 

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My final final final final draft of the year. Believe it was four finals, might’ve been five finals. Finally, the final final, as we extend our arms and coax into the 2021 fantasy baseball season. HalleBerrylujah, we’ve made it. Since this is my fourth or fifth final final draft of the season, I decided to throw everything to do with ADP out the window.

I mentioned at one point in the draft, I wonder what a draft would look like if all players were simply listed alphabetically rather than by ADP, or some arbitrary ranking by someone I don’t trust. It would likely mean at least one person would autodraft Andrew Abbott, but besides that I think it would change the entire draft landscape. Whether people want to believe it or not, they are influenced by the in-draft rankings. When it says a player is the next hitter or pitcher off the board, they don’t sit there for very long. Well, except for Sixto Sanchez in our league who went in the last round to Coolwhip. When you ignore ADP, it feels. Dot dot dot. Freeing. The most YOLO of drafts incoming. Anyway, here’s my RCL draft recap, 12-team mixed league:

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The people were asking for a closer rankings update and I haves to gives thems what they wants. To recap — here are my preseason rankings from February 3rd: SAGNOF: Preseason Closer Rankings.

TLDR: I ranked the closers in that first article according to three factors: their job security, their pitching ability, and the team they’re on providing them save opportunities (good offenses, good starting pitching, good other relievers.) 

As you’ll see below in only a month and a half there has already been some moving and shaking in my rankings. Only a few hours after my article went live it was out of date because the Twins signed Alex Colome which muddied the Twins closer situation. Some guys have lost/gained in the rankings due to their small sample size spring stats. 

Let’s get into it!

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SAGNOF has a new Daddy! Or I guess technically Step-Daddy — this will always be Grey’s baby. That’s right — this year I’ll be slipping into those SAGNOF slippers each week to tell you who will be doing the saving and who will be doing the stealing! 

“So like good guys and bad guys?” asks my wife as I explain to her what I’m writing about this year. 

*Sigh* “Yes…like good guys and bad guys…” I wept.

Let’s get this SAGNOF off to a great jump-off. Lo! Below are my top-30 closer rankings! 

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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:

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