The coronavirus continues to cast a giant shadow over major league baseball, as the dominoes keep falling. A series of players opting out, combined with at least 31 testing positive, has created a perfect storm that threatens to sweep the short season away.
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is the biggest name on the COVID-19 list for now. The slugger is not only the most important position player on the Braves, but he is also ranked No. 17 on the recent fantasy baseball average draft position list.
Fantasy baseball writer Todd Zola tweeted: “It’s really easy to tell other people to just enjoy this fantasy baseball season until you realize you have Freddie Freeman on umpteen rosters.” Frankly, nothing about the 2020 season has been enjoyable so far.
Losing a Freddie Freeman from your fantasy team is bad enough, but it could get worse. What if the No. 1 player in fantasy baseball opts out? Mike Trout announced late last week that he’s not sure if he will play. The Trouts have a baby due to be born in August.
If Trout opts out, there is no replacing him. However, I don’t believe that losing Trout – or any other player on your fantasy roster – dooms your season. As the dominoes continue to fall, the fantasy owner who wins his/her league is the one who remains most nimble.
The dictionary definition of nimble is “quick and light in movement, or action; agile.” Or, “quick to comprehend.” For example, as soon as I heard that David Price was opting out, I dropped him and added A.J. Puk to my fantasy team. That may prove to be an upgrade.
If you haven’t drafted your team(s) yet, you must stay current with MLB player news, which remains as opening day approaches. For instance, did you know that Astros rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez did not report to the Astros on Friday and is missing in action?
There are other players, including pitchers Kirby Yates, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jesus Luzardo and Jose Urquidy, who haven’t reported for some reason. Outfielder Joey Gallo hasn’t reported, and outfielder Austin Meadows reported Friday and then disappeared.
If you are drafting your team, you will need to access the risk on any player who is COVID-19 positive, or hasn’t reported to camp. Prepare for the most difficult draft of your life. If you’ve drafted, hit the waiver wire early and often to stay ahead of the others.