Tout Wars AL Chatroom and Draft Board

You can follow the auction here. Listen to commentary on SiriusXM Channel 619. Reserve rounds will be on this Google Sheet. Look for the AL tab.

The auction is over but you can read the chat transcript

[Mar 14, 8:40 AM] rotoman: Good morning world.
[Mar 14, 8:41 AM] rotoman: We should be getting underway in about 20 minutes.
[Mar 14, 8:41 AM] rotoman: Derek VanRiper, your MC today, is on his way.
[Mar 14, 8:47 AM] DVR: Good Morning!
[Mar 14, 8:49 AM] rotoman: Hey Derek!
[Mar 14, 8:49 AM] B_Walton1: Looking forward to your commentary, DVR!
[Mar 14, 8:53 AM] Jay-Z: So DVR, if you were in say a 15-team mixed auction with OBP instead of AVG, what would you be willing to go on say Mike Trout?

Continue reading “Tout Wars AL Chatroom and Draft Board”

Houston: Do we have a problem?

Welcome to this week’s Tout Table. May as well address the elephant in the room:

How are you handling Houston Astros players and any other player/team implicated in the sign-stealing scandal?

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): I will be a few dollars cautious on Houston hitters. We don’t know yet the psychological impacts of the scrutiny and the booing that is undoubtedly ahead. Obviously, they are all talented, but what is going on between the ears can affect some people more than others. Could there be a downward spiral if a Houston hitter has an uncharacteristically bad April? We know where the blame will be placed, rightly or wrongly.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): I agree with Brian — it is the psychological impact that has me worried. Players don’t grow up hoping to be Major Leaguers who are hated by the fans and rejected by their peers, but that is the place the Astros will be in this season. For me it’s more of a tie breaker. To draft an Astros hitter, I will need to have him valued clearly above of the remaining options. And with so many good hitters to choose from these days, I doubt that will ever be the case.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Making no changes whatsoever to their Hitter projections, not even increasing their HBP (I imagine MLB would step in immediately w/ heavy deterrents if there’s even an inkling of premeditated payback early in the season). I would look at it as a buying opportunity if fellow bidders consciously or subconsciously lowered their bids on Astros hitters by a few dollars – Astros will almost undoubtedly still be a top 5 offense this coming season.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I can see it having some effect for some players. I have no idea how to quantify it. So I am not doing anything about it and will remind myself that plenty of others will overdo their own bias in this regard.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): I am ever so slightly discounting my values for Astro players, but rotisserie is about having fun so in other than my expert leagues I’m avoiding Astro players, unless at a nice discount, so I don’t find myself rooting for them.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): I am not going to allow it to affect my bidding or projections at all. I can compartmentalize my fandom from my fantasy team and will still purchase the best fits for my team regardless of their past transgressions. Home/road splits for 2019 shown in many cases that Astros players performed at a higher level or had a negligible impact away from home to boot.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): While I won’t be completely steering clear of Astros players, if I’m deciding between an Astro and a similarly ranked player at a certain position (let’s say Bregman and Arenado), I’ll probably go with the non-Astro. Dealing with the ramifications of the scandal without letting it negatively affect on-field performance will be very challenging and as a fantasy owner, I’d rather avoid the situation if possible.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I was reticent to adjust, but when you treat projections as a weighted average of plausible outcomes, everything that has happened must dampen expectations a little. If for nothing else, Astros players could get a couple extra days off. The truth is, however, I won’t know for sure what I’ll do as a drafter until under the gun and needing to make a pick in a snake or still bid in an auction. That will be the true test. These are words, I’ll know what my actions will be soon enough.

Michael Beller (Sports Illustrated, @MBeller): Giving weight to anything unquantifiable may be treated as heretical in the fantasy community at large, but I’m willing to risk apostasy on this one. Unless they come at an extreme discount, which they won’t, I won’t be within 1,000 feet of an Astro this season. The psychological toll will be real, and there’s no telling how each individual player will handle it. Additionally, you’d have to be willfully ignorant to suggest that they did not benefit from knowing what pitch type was coming. Much like andro didn’t singlehandedly turn Mark McGwire from a slap hitter into the league’s foremost slugger, trash-can shenanigans didn’t transform Jose Altuve into an MVP from a utility infielder, or Alex Bregman into an All-Star from an also-ran. Still, we know it helped, and we can’t say with any degree of certainty just how much it did so. Finally, I am in total agreement with Phil Hertz. I play fantasy baseball first and foremost because it’s fun. It won’t be any fun rooting for the Astros, who have earned every bit of their villainy. They’re all but off my draft board.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): I’m downgrading most of the hitters approximately 10%. My biggest fear is the distraction it is going to be, and let’s face it, these guys will be effected by it. In every city they visit, the fans will be on them. And I’m not sure how much support they’ll even get at home. They know what they did was wrong, and that will always be in the back of their minds. More people will root against them than for them. While I’m not going so far as too say I won’t draft any of the, buy if a close to equal player is there, I’ll take the mom Astro first!

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I’m doing nothing. I haven’t made any changes to any player projections and don’t intend to do so. You could argue that players deserve a downgrade for a myriad of reasons and potential factors that might affect their play. But I don’t change my projections on speculation as you have no idea how any particular player is going to react to a certain set of circumstances. Some might rise above it and prove the cheating didn’t help them, while others might wilt as they can’t deal with all the drama. Trying to guess who will experience what is a fool’s errand.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): While we can’t quantify the mental toll that all of this will take on the Houston Astros, it is undeniably something they will have to deal with. For the most part, I haven’t downgraded their players much but Rob Silver recently brought up a great point on Twitter regarding an increased injury risk due to hit by pitches. And then of course, Carlos Correa already was an injury risk. I think there were enough reasons to already be skeptical of many of their hitters (Altuve’s random power surge with the juiced ball, Gurriel’s launch angle, Tucker’s playing time) outside of Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley who remain steady as they come.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I’m putting “Astro risk” into the category of a negative tiebreaker when deciding between similar players. The post-shenanigans fallout creates a package of modest risk, for reasons outlined above. I ‘m interested in the “I don’t want to have to root for a player I don’t like,” and that’s sure a part of the equation as well. But if Altuve or Bregman falls to Round 7, I’ll be tempted.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): For every player, the Broad Assessment Balance Sheet (BABS) system separates skill from risk. On the assets side, I am making no adjustments because presumably these players haven’t lost any skill, and the cheating advantages are neither quantifiable nor proven to be significant enough to even matter. On the liabilities side of the ledger, I’m adding a risk element that will count against my risk budget. So, if my budget allows for, let’s say, five players with major risk factors, then rostering an Alex Bregman will get me one step closer to that limit. In the end, I think it’s more of a roster construction issue than a valuation issue.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): FWIW, I think Ron’s last point hits the nail on the head.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): Ok, I admit it – as a Yankee fan, it is hard for me to be objective about the Astros cheating. That said, I fall back on the Rules of Engagement Rick Wolf and I use to try and avoid unnecessary risk. Players are human and I think the Astros will struggle with having to answer questions every day all year, may be a little more uncomfortable in the box knowing they will get plunked more often, etc. Will Bregman and crew be valuable, sure but the risk of paying 30 and getting 22-25 is too great for me. Plus, fantasy baseball is supposed to be fun and there is just no way I can root for Jose Altuve and his supposed bad tattoo. Bottom line — I am bargain hunting only on the Houston Asterisks.

Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): The short answer is – I’m not – as in, I’m not changing my rankings/projections for anyone connected to the scandal. Despite some (dubious) research that links some of the players to modest gains at the plate during the “Trash can era” there is just as much evidence IMO that there were little or no gains in production. As Ron said above, their skills didn’t change, so there’s no reason to adjust the numbers. However, I also agree with several of the Touts that there is almost certainly some blowback coming psychologically since they’ve drawn the scorn of their peers, the fans and whatever nut jobs that are sending death threats. I’m taking Astros hitters that fall too far to resist or come cheaply at the draft table.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): I’m not making any statistical adjustment. It’s difficult to measure what the impact of the cheating was and while I could see Astros hitters losing a little, it seems like more of a marginal adjustment. If I’m drafting and two players are close or tied in my ranking I might to with the non-Astro. But I suspect I’m going to have plenty of Astros in drafts if others are pushing them down 10-15 picks.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): I’m just using it as a tie breaker in a draft. Do we dock the Reds for putting up with Trevor Bauer? I find there are more important factors to consider with everyone rested and trying to implement changes.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I haven’t changed any values, but as several others have said, I would avoid Astros if it’s a close call. If I end up with Astros on my teams, I will–as Rob Leibowitz put it very well–compartmentalize reality vs fantasy. For the sake of my fantasy teams, I’ll forget that I’d like all Astros players to suck this year and root for my guys.

Tout Wars Mixed Draft Chat, the transcript

[Mar 3, 7:50 PM] rotoman: Hey, let’s start chatting. Is everyone on the public page for the draft?
[Mar 3, 7:51 PM] rotoman: Can you chat?
[Mar 3, 7:52 PM] Tim McLeod: We can always chat, Peter
[Mar 3, 7:52 PM] Tim McLeod: How is life in the big city?
[Mar 3, 7:52 PM] rotoman: Waiting for the virus, but otherwise good. 55 degrees today. A bit of spring.
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] Tim McLeod: Nice
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] Tim McLeod: I’m heading from the warmth to the cold
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] rotoman: You had some west virginia weather?
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] Tim McLeod: Next stop is buffalo
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] Tim McLeod: Yes, a bit wild today
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] rotoman: What slot are you picking from tonight?
[Mar 3, 7:53 PM] Tim McLeod: #6
[Mar 3, 7:54 PM] Tim McLeod: Gonna let em fall where they fall
[Mar 3, 7:54 PM] Tim McLeod: But wouldn’t mind bonding with Juan Soto for 2020
[Mar 3, 7:55 PM] Tim McLeod: I think I’ll hang out here if okay by you, Peter.
[Mar 3, 7:55 PM] rotoman: Soto at 6 is aggressive, but fine. That’s the beauty of the draft. You’re saying what’s best pick of the first 24 or so. Anyone is legitimate really.
[Mar 3, 7:56 PM] rotoman: Glad for you to be here.
[Mar 3, 7:56 PM] Tim McLeod: Agreed.
[Mar 3, 7:56 PM] Tim McLeod: If anyone has any questions of me, fire away. It might take a couple minutes but will try my best to answer
[Mar 3, 7:58 PM] rotoman: If you want to follow along with the draft, the draft board can be found at
[Mar 3, 7:59 PM] Tim McLeod: Time to get a rolling!!
[Mar 3, 8:01 PM] rotoman: Trout, Yelich, Acuna, Soto.
[Mar 3, 8:01 PM] rotoman: Sorry Tim.
[Mar 3, 8:01 PM] rotoman: Outfielder run is stopped by Belinger.
[Mar 3, 8:01 PM] rotoman: Tim is up.
[Mar 3, 8:01 PM] rotoman: Mookie.
[Mar 3, 8:02 PM] Tim McLeod: Mookie a nice consolation prize at #6
[Mar 3, 8:03 PM] rotoman: Yes indeed.
[Mar 3, 8:04 PM] Tim McLeod: 60 second clock so no dawdling
[Mar 3, 8:05 PM] rotoman: Here come the pitchers!
[Mar 3, 8:05 PM] Tim McLeod: Let the SP run begin
[Mar 3, 8:06 PM] rotoman: Will Charlie or Anthony double up? My guess no.
[Mar 3, 8:06 PM] Tim McLeod: I’ll have an interesting decision if Tatis falls to me
[Mar 3, 8:06 PM] Tim McLeod: Planning on a SP
[Mar 3, 8:07 PM] rotoman: I like that aggression on Alonso.
[Mar 3, 8:07 PM] rotoman: Aww. Boring Tim.
[Mar 3, 8:08 PM] Tim McLeod: I know
[Mar 3, 8:08 PM] rotoman: Tatis Turner is an interesting pair. Scott White goes two pitchers.
[Mar 3, 8:08 PM] rotoman: Tim add s Flaherty.
[Mar 3, 8:08 PM] Tim McLeod: ballsy move
[Mar 3, 8:09 PM] rotoman: Yeah. I think you take a first round pitcher so you don’t have to take another until the fifth or so. But Scott’s always up there vying.
[Mar 3, 8:10 PM] Tim McLeod: I’m looking at Albies or Meadows and then will get bit aggressive if Bichette is there
[Mar 3, 8:10 PM] Tim McLeod: No Meadows
[Mar 3, 8:11 PM] Tim McLeod: If HBP was a category Altuve gets interesting
[Mar 3, 8:12 PM] rotoman: SP run for the guys who skipped the first.
[Mar 3, 8:12 PM] Tim McLeod: yup
[Mar 3, 8:13 PM] rotoman: I like Albies.
[Mar 3, 8:13 PM] Tim McLeod: So do I….a lot
[Mar 3, 8:13 PM] Tim McLeod: so 50-30 after two picks
[Mar 3, 8:14 PM] Tim McLeod: I like that start
[Mar 3, 8:14 PM] rotoman: I see. First 2B off the board.
[Mar 3, 8:14 PM] rotoman: Plus 16 wins.
[Mar 3, 8:15 PM] Tim McLeod: yes, and now we wait…..
[Mar 3, 8:16 PM] rotoman: Something procedural, with Perry trying to draft Charlie Morton before it was his turn. Was still available when it finally was his turn.
[Mar 3, 8:16 PM] Tim McLeod: yes, he jumped the gun
[Mar 3, 8:16 PM] Tim McLeod: but worked out fine for him
[Mar 3, 8:16 PM] rotoman: That’s a fair place for Bogaerts, I think, but earlier than usual I think.
[Mar 3, 8:17 PM] Tim McLeod: Man I’d love to see Robles make it back to me but the odds are probably better on winning Powerball
[Mar 3, 8:18 PM] rotoman: What are your numbers?
[Mar 3, 8:18 PM] Tim McLeod: haha
[Mar 3, 8:18 PM] Tim McLeod: 4-2 for Robles
[Mar 3, 8:18 PM] rotoman: Is everybody following along in the live room?
[Mar 3, 8:19 PM] Tim McLeod: Altuve is still sitting there
[Mar 3, 8:19 PM] rotoman: What’s the feeling about Judge. A bargain in the fourth, if he gets close to 500 AB. But does he?
[Mar 3, 8:20 PM] Tim McLeod: He hasn’t in three years. He wouldn’t fall far enough for me to be interested
[Mar 3, 8:21 PM] rotoman: Altuve had to go to someone.
[Mar 3, 8:21 PM] rotoman: Tim takes Matt Olson, a chalk pick over shiny baubles.
[Mar 3, 8:21 PM] Tim McLeod: yup, which gave me Olson
[Mar 3, 8:21 PM] Tim McLeod: 40 homers works for me
[Mar 3, 8:21 PM] rotoman: I think it would for anyone.
[Mar 3, 8:22 PM] Tim McLeod: yes
[Mar 3, 8:24 PM] rotoman: One of the big questions has been whether giving last year’s winner first choice at draft position gives them an unfair advantage. Rudy Gamble said this, after winning in 2017 and 2018. Does it?
[Mar 3, 8:24 PM] Tim McLeod: The wheel on a 60-second clock is tough
[Mar 3, 8:24 PM] Tim McLeod: I don’t think so
[Mar 3, 8:24 PM] Tim McLeod: I think the best slots are 6-9
[Mar 3, 8:24 PM] Tim McLeod: and offering the winner first choice seems like a good reward
[Mar 3, 8:25 PM] rotoman: NFBC research suggests 10 is the best. But whatever, No. 1 or 2 doesn’t seem favored.
[Mar 3, 8:25 PM] Tim McLeod: It’s a long way back to 2/3 and 4/5
[Mar 3, 8:26 PM] Ray Murphy: evening all
[Mar 3, 8:26 PM] Tim McLeod: Hi Ray
[Mar 3, 8:26 PM] Tim McLeod: I really wanted Bichette bad
[Mar 3, 8:27 PM] rotoman: Hey Ray. Did you think about not choosing first in the KD preferences?
[Mar 3, 8:28 PM] rotoman: Greg is praising Beller on his Giolito snatch, and Tim is praising Rudy for Bichette.
[Mar 3, 8:28 PM] Ray Murphy: I did… though at the time, a few weeks ago, I had ended up in the back end of all of my drafts, and figured this was my one chance to secure a top spot. Honestly, once I got into prep last couple of days, I had Trout and Yelich valued identically, so it would have been more efficient to take #2. But the wheel is always fun, at least.
[Mar 3, 8:29 PM] rotoman: And you have some time to chat!
[Mar 3, 8:29 PM] Ray Murphy: exactly!
[Mar 3, 8:30 PM] rotoman: Dan Strafford is the first to three starters: Scherzer, Darvish, Syndergaard. With Jose Ramirez and Jon Villar.
[Mar 3, 8:30 PM] rotoman: Oh, and DJ LeMahieu to start the 6th.
[Mar 3, 8:31 PM] rotoman: Ray, how much do you take your most highly valued player versus addressing position issues?
[Mar 3, 8:32 PM] rotoman: Realmuto was the highest rated player left per ADP.
[Mar 3, 8:32 PM] rotoman: Now the highest rated is Giancarlo.
[Mar 3, 8:33 PM] Ray Murphy: im sort of shaping a roster positionally here, just grabbing guys from within sort of the top tier of value here. At this point in the draft there aren’t too many pos that don’t have something of value. so its value/position/categories all in concert
[Mar 3, 8:33 PM] rotoman: Sounds like perfect harmony. It was last year.
[Mar 3, 8:33 PM] Ray Murphy: its another easy thing about the wheel… i basically populate my draft queue while the picks are at the other wheel, and just watch ~10-12 guys get cut down to a handful
[Mar 3, 8:34 PM] Ray Murphy: (of course, when they get cut to zero, thats a problem)
[Mar 3, 8:34 PM] Tim McLeod: That it is, Ray.
[Mar 3, 8:34 PM] Tim McLeod: But lots of time to rebuild on the fly
[Mar 3, 8:34 PM] rotoman: There’s always Giancarlo!
[Mar 3, 8:35 PM] Tim McLeod: After last year, he’s Mike to me
[Mar 3, 8:35 PM] rotoman: A short-lived relief ace.
[Mar 3, 8:35 PM] Tim McLeod: definitely
[Mar 3, 8:35 PM] rotoman: Ray starts and Oakland run.
[Mar 3, 8:35 PM] Tim McLeod: offensively they were on a par last year
[Mar 3, 8:36 PM] rotoman: In wildly divergent situations.
[Mar 3, 8:36 PM] Tim McLeod: Like the Chapman pick a lot. My dream of two A’s power bats is history
[Mar 3, 8:36 PM] Ray Murphy: yeah, that was a case where my little queue got picked through. Semien and Chapman were the only two guys left from my little sweep through it 15 picks ago. I preferred a pitcher there, but this is kind of a dead spot in ADP where i just dont like the options here
[Mar 3, 8:37 PM] Tim McLeod: I agree, Ray
[Mar 3, 8:38 PM] Tim McLeod: I wait to see who Rudy gives me
[Mar 3, 8:38 PM] rotoman: Those guys are solid. The pitchers have potential, but all have flaws.
[Mar 3, 8:38 PM] Ray Murphy: I see Rudy’s got no pitching yet, so I’m not low man on the pitching stats
[Mar 3, 8:38 PM] rotoman: Conforto is a guy I’m buying a lot so far this year.
[Mar 3, 8:38 PM] Tim McLeod: Me too
[Mar 3, 8:39 PM] rotoman: I think a bigger year is coming at some point.
[Mar 3, 8:39 PM] Tim McLeod: I agree, and he’ll also give you 5-8 thefts
[Mar 3, 8:39 PM] rotoman: There’s a fatigue right now, which is a buying opportunity.
[Mar 3, 8:40 PM] Ray Murphy: Conforto def a strong pick there
[Mar 3, 8:40 PM] rotoman: I’m always a little surprised to see Correa come out this late, though it’s appropriate.
[Mar 3, 8:40 PM] Tim McLeod: Thanks, Ray
[Mar 3, 8:40 PM] Tim McLeod: SS has so many options
[Mar 3, 8:41 PM] Tim McLeod: and Correa doesn’t provide speed
[Mar 3, 8:41 PM] Ray Murphy: Meanwhile, Perri is clearly the guy who’s pounding OBP tonight. First Gallo, now Santana… two of the guys whose value most changes in OBP lgs
[Mar 3, 8:41 PM] rotoman: Judge too, if he plays.
[Mar 3, 8:42 PM] Ray Murphy: for sure
[Mar 3, 8:42 PM] rotoman: Strafford is suddenly in the saves game. He’s doing a reverse Sweeney, it seems.
[Mar 3, 8:42 PM] Ray Murphy: ah, the closer double-tap on the wheel. let’s see if it feeds a run
[Mar 3, 8:43 PM] Tim McLeod: I’ve got mine so not happening here
[Mar 3, 8:44 PM] rotoman: Sano plugs into Perri’s OBP sweepfecta.
[Mar 3, 8:45 PM] Tim McLeod: he has Biggio as well
[Mar 3, 8:45 PM] rotoman: I have to admit, I’m skeptical on Lance Lynn, even though he’s battle tested. Cole Hamels, too, though at least he’s going later.
[Mar 3, 8:47 PM] Tim McLeod: Couldn’t pass up the chance for a bit more speed with Rosario
[Mar 3, 8:47 PM] Tim McLeod: 30+ this year, Peter?
[Mar 3, 8:48 PM] rotoman: Different Perri/y. Anthony Perri is going OBP. Perry Van Hook has got a solid start.
[Mar 3, 8:48 PM] Ray Murphy: i wanted lynn to come back to me. just settled for hendricks. still dont love the pitching value right now, but couldnt wait much longer w/just strasburg
[Mar 3, 8:49 PM] Tim McLeod: I had Hendrick high in que
[Mar 3, 8:49 PM] rotoman: 30 is there for the taking, though I have no idea how they’re going to play it.
[Mar 3, 8:49 PM] rotoman: Closer run!
[Mar 3, 8:50 PM] Ray Murphy: never a good feeling to see that run start when you have no closers and are 28 picks from being able to get in on it 🙂
[Mar 3, 8:51 PM] rotoman: I think you’re just as well off throwing darts later.
[Mar 3, 8:51 PM] Tim McLeod: I agree
[Mar 3, 8:51 PM] Tim McLeod: with 40% + turnover there will be opps in-season
[Mar 3, 8:51 PM] rotoman: I also think Corey Seager is way undervalued. Granted there are a lot of SS.
[Mar 3, 8:53 PM] Ray Murphy: yeah, i agree… tho team construction wise, it can be tough to take an SS who doesnt give SB. So many other guys there who do.
[Mar 3, 8:53 PM] rotoman: No, that’s right. Though I think more power and production is coming.
[Mar 3, 8:54 PM] rotoman: Finally for Stanton!
[Mar 3, 8:55 PM] rotoman: Kepler! My whole reverse Sweeney theory for Strafford is shot.
[Mar 3, 8:56 PM] Ray Murphy: that’s 8 closers gone since i last picked… and im still 10 picks away 🙂
[Mar 3, 8:56 PM] rotoman: Good think anyone can close if given a shot!
[Mar 3, 8:56 PM] rotoman: No. 9
[Mar 3, 8:57 PM] Ray Murphy: 10….
[Mar 3, 8:57 PM] Ray Murphy: 11 (or 10.5 at least)
[Mar 3, 8:57 PM] rotoman: 10!
[Mar 3, 8:58 PM] rotoman: I can report that Ryu was at the top of Ambrosius’s queue.
[Mar 3, 8:58 PM] Ray Murphy: was torn between hendricks/ryu on last turn. came 75% of the way back
[Mar 3, 8:59 PM] rotoman: OH!
[Mar 3, 9:00 PM] rotoman: Seven picks since a reliever went.
[Mar 3, 9:00 PM] rotoman: Whoops.
[Mar 3, 9:00 PM] Tim McLeod: Still some solid closers left
[Mar 3, 9:00 PM] Ray Murphy: geez rotoman
[Mar 3, 9:01 PM] Guest2986: How high would you take Ohtani in a daily league?
[Mar 3, 9:02 PM] rotoman: Diamondbacks run!
[Mar 3, 9:02 PM] rotoman: Tim? Ohtani has more value if you can move him up day by day. How do you figure how much?
[Mar 3, 9:03 PM] rotoman: (Make your pick first, if you must.)
[Mar 3, 9:05 PM] Tim McLeod: This year 4’th/5th Rd?
[Mar 3, 9:05 PM] rotoman: While we’re waiting for Tim, I don’t think a daily league changes his value that much. You still have to have other options who are likely to play many of those same days and have to be benched if you’re playing Ohtain. Tim disagrees.
[Mar 3, 9:05 PM] Tim McLeod: Moving forward if he returns to form he’s a first round pick in Leagues that have daily moves
[Mar 3, 9:06 PM] Tim McLeod: I have hopefully 3 200 IP horses so what I want from Ohtani is 125 innings of great production
[Mar 3, 9:07 PM] Guest2986: Thanks, I was thinking 4th as well. Potentially 70% of near elite hitter and 60 % of elite pitcher.
[Mar 3, 9:09 PM] Tim McLeod: It’s the pitching stats I want
[Mar 3, 9:09 PM] rotoman: You’re showing Ohtani the DH, not Ohtani the pitcher.
[Mar 3, 9:10 PM] rotoman: Am I right you want the pitcher?
[Mar 3, 9:11 PM] Tim McLeod: yes
[Mar 3, 9:11 PM] Tim McLeod: He’s in my lineup at pitcher
[Mar 3, 9:12 PM] Ray Murphy: problem is NFBC site treats as one player, so nobody else can draft the hitter
[Mar 3, 9:12 PM] Tim McLeod: I wanted the pitcher
[Mar 3, 9:13 PM] rotoman: That’s exactly it Ray.
[Mar 3, 9:17 PM] Tim McLeod: Well that is now resolved
[Mar 3, 9:17 PM] Tim McLeod: and I thank you both for coming to my rescue
[Mar 3, 9:18 PM] Ray Murphy: that was fun 🙂
[Mar 3, 9:18 PM] rotoman: Good thing we were talking. What round does Ohtani the bat go?
[Mar 3, 9:18 PM] Tim McLeod: He doesn’t? Reserve pick would be my guess
[Mar 3, 9:20 PM] rotoman: Not enough AB.
[Mar 3, 9:21 PM] Ray Murphy: yeah, once-weekly lineup moves really limit the usefulness of Ohtani-H
[Mar 3, 9:21 PM] Ray Murphy: ok, poll: I just took CMartinez and Kela: is that 0, 1 or 2 closers?
[Mar 3, 9:22 PM] rotoman: They seem committed to Carlos as starter. So 1, for now.
[Mar 3, 9:22 PM] Guest2986: 1
[Mar 3, 9:22 PM] Tim McLeod: two 1/2 = 1?
[Mar 3, 9:28 PM] rotoman: Hunter Dozier suffers from bad team-itis.
[Mar 3, 9:28 PM] Tim McLeod: Time to take the gloves off
[Mar 3, 9:29 PM] rotoman: Carlson is a worthy flyer here.
[Mar 3, 9:29 PM] rotoman: I like Stroman this late.
[Mar 3, 9:29 PM] rotoman: Seth is licking his bat.
[Mar 3, 9:30 PM] rotoman: How do you parse the McMahon/Hampson playing time?
[Mar 3, 9:34 PM] rotoman: Hosmer is gloves off?
[Mar 3, 9:37 PM] Guest2986: 135 games McMahon, 100 games Hampson
[Mar 3, 9:38 PM] Tim McLeod: lol
[Mar 3, 9:38 PM] rotoman: Fair enough. I guess Hampson goes earlier because of strong finish last year?
[Mar 3, 9:39 PM] Guest2986: and steals
[Mar 3, 9:39 PM] rotoman: Arraez is a great pick for Strafford, though he needed another closer instead of Stanton or Kepler.
[Mar 3, 9:39 PM] Tim McLeod: where does he get his at-bats?
[Mar 3, 9:40 PM] rotoman: Hampson? At the expense of McMahon right? or vice versa.
[Mar 3, 9:41 PM] Guest2986: OF and utility man
[Mar 3, 9:41 PM] rotoman: I like Lucchesi and Folty in the 15th. Hardly sure things, but lots of potential.
[Mar 3, 9:42 PM] Tim McLeod: I think McMahon should be safe at 2B?
[Mar 3, 9:42 PM] Tim McLeod: The Rockies are a mess
[Mar 3, 9:42 PM] Tim McLeod: Desmond is now a part-time bat?
[Mar 3, 9:42 PM] Guest2986: I think rockies said McMahon will be full time
[Mar 3, 9:44 PM] rotoman: They seem to be in a good spot to make some moves. I guess Hampson gets PT if Desmond struggles. Or Murphy sucks. They were so much fun two years ago.
[Mar 3, 9:44 PM] Guest2986: short-side platoon as long as he still beats up lefties, right?
[Mar 3, 9:45 PM] rotoman: You got your May on Tim. I keep wondering where the innings are going to come from, as sweet as the talent is.
[Mar 3, 9:45 PM] Tim McLeod: I think we see 20 starts
[Mar 3, 9:45 PM] Tim McLeod: betting on it
[Mar 3, 9:46 PM] rotoman: Lotta question marks with potential in Ronis’s staff.
[Mar 3, 9:46 PM] rotoman: Good luck with that. It could happen, but…
[Mar 3, 9:47 PM] Tim McLeod: If it doesn’t the WW will eventually hopefully be my friend
[Mar 3, 9:47 PM] rotoman: Of course it will.
[Mar 3, 9:48 PM] rotoman: Thank goodness we didn’t turn McKay or Lorenzen into two players this year. Mayhem ensues.
[Mar 3, 9:48 PM] Tim McLeod: The one bat I wanted badly late was Grisham. Very happy
[Mar 3, 9:49 PM] rotoman: Yeah, very nice there.
[Mar 3, 9:51 PM] rotoman: I see Swanson go just before Dee Gordon and I think there has to be a mistake. But then, shortstops.
[Mar 3, 9:54 PM] Tim McLeod: so deep
[Mar 3, 9:54 PM] rotoman: Tim, I saw Gore and thought Terrence. Knowing you love speed.
[Mar 3, 9:54 PM] Tim McLeod: haha
[Mar 3, 9:54 PM] rotoman: A little early for him.
[Mar 3, 9:55 PM] Tim McLeod: I think with pressure on Preller to win he won’t hesitate to bring him up. He went with Tatis and Paddack out of the gate last year
[Mar 3, 9:55 PM] rotoman: I agree. Heck. He may even be ready.
[Mar 3, 9:56 PM] Tim McLeod: I believe I can find enough pitching to hold me until both May and Gore arrive. If I can’t, I’m in trouble
[Mar 3, 9:58 PM] rotoman: You know the guys will be there. The issue is do you grab the right ones?
[Mar 3, 9:58 PM] rotoman: Catcher run!
[Mar 3, 9:58 PM] Tim McLeod: Nice double down, Ray
[Mar 3, 10:00 PM] rotoman: I like Chavis. Nice pick for Rudy, I think.
[Mar 3, 10:01 PM] rotoman: Did you want Lorenzen as a hitter Tim?
[Mar 3, 10:01 PM] Tim McLeod: no
[Mar 3, 10:02 PM] rotoman: Np.
[Mar 3, 10:03 PM] rotoman: Holy cow, SS is deep.
[Mar 3, 10:03 PM] Tim McLeod: sure is
[Mar 3, 10:03 PM] rotoman: I knew that, but yeesh.
[Mar 3, 10:03 PM] Tim McLeod: Rd 20 and still have to fill my MI slot and have four options available I like
[Mar 3, 10:04 PM] Tim McLeod: Crazy
[Mar 3, 10:08 PM] rotoman: I’m trying to figure. Ah, Ahmed. I figured Profar and Dubon were in there.
[Mar 3, 10:09 PM] rotoman: As well.
[Mar 3, 10:10 PM] rotoman: Domingo Santana for Ray, and Seth Lugo. Quality picks late in the game.
[Mar 3, 10:10 PM] Ray Murphy: feels to me like santana’s ADP hasn’t rebounded the way it should have when he signed. CLE a great spot for him IMO
[Mar 3, 10:11 PM] rotoman: Totally agree with that.
[Mar 3, 10:11 PM] Tim McLeod: yes, definitely
[Mar 3, 10:12 PM] rotoman: Rudy buying Yankees.
[Mar 3, 10:12 PM] rotoman: Tim! Or should I say Tsim!
[Mar 3, 10:12 PM] Tim McLeod: haha
[Mar 3, 10:12 PM] Tim McLeod: Had to get ne of them
[Mar 3, 10:12 PM] Tim McLeod: one
[Mar 3, 10:17 PM] rotoman: Lots of pieces here in Round 21 to make winners.
[Mar 3, 10:17 PM] rotoman: So, is 2019 John Means the 2018 Kyle Freeland? I love these guys, but I’m not marrying them.
[Mar 3, 10:18 PM] rotoman: Except for Tanner Roark.
[Mar 3, 10:18 PM] rotoman: Ohtani Hitter goes to Beller in the 21st.
[Mar 3, 10:19 PM] rotoman: Rockies reliever run.
[Mar 3, 10:20 PM] Guest2986: Ohtani hitter will likely be valuable until mid-May
[Mar 3, 10:20 PM] rotoman: If that’s true that’s not a bad 21st round pick.
[Mar 3, 10:21 PM] Guest2986: I like it
[Mar 3, 10:21 PM] rotoman: Rey Murphy! He’s going to break out some year. Reylly.
[Mar 3, 10:23 PM] rotoman: Jordan Montgomery is a great pick at that point. Talent and opportunity, because of injuries.
[Mar 3, 10:26 PM] rotoman: Some question about Gamble’s 23rd round pick of Josh Lindblom. Ended up as an autopick when he timed out, but whatever his issue was, he realized it wasn’t a problem. So Lindblom stands. Could be a nice piece.
[Mar 3, 10:32 PM] rotoman: Adam Ronis takes Freddy Peralta in the 24th. This is a can’t lose move. Peralta is young, throws strikeouts, and if he puts it together eventually (this year) will be hugely valuable. Exactly the sort of long shot bet you want late.
[Mar 3, 10:34 PM] rotoman: Tyler Mahle is another worthwhile late round bet. It’s free money, go big.
[Mar 3, 10:35 PM] rotoman: Spencer Howard to DJ Short seems like a good longshot in the 25th. He’s unlikely to see the majors this year, but if he does he could make a real impact.
[Mar 3, 10:43 PM] rotoman: Everybody except Adam Ronis waited a round too long on Corbin Burnes. It seems.
[Mar 3, 10:44 PM] rotoman: Tim takes Caratini as C2. I like that.
[Mar 3, 10:44 PM] Tim McLeod: Thanks, Peter
[Mar 3, 10:45 PM] rotoman: Sleeprer Ryan Mountcastle goes to Scott White.
[Mar 3, 10:45 PM] Tim McLeod: Having a pretty good Spring
[Mar 3, 10:45 PM] rotoman: Mountcastle’s defense hurts, but how far is dee going to take Baltimore?
[Mar 3, 10:45 PM] Tim McLeod: Miggy in Rd 27. So sad
[Mar 3, 10:45 PM] rotoman: Miggy! Don’t start the HoF clock.
[Mar 3, 10:49 PM] rotoman: I’ve been waiting for Bassitt a few rounds now.
[Mar 3, 10:50 PM] rotoman: Pillar is a tough one, because the PT isn’t obvious, but he showed his talent last year and the Sox could use that.
[Mar 3, 10:51 PM] rotoman: I loved Roman Quinn about five years ago. And once you gain my love, I don’t let go.
[Mar 3, 10:51 PM] rotoman: But I do eventually fall asleep.
[Mar 3, 10:52 PM] Tim McLeod: AFL, right?
[Mar 3, 10:52 PM] rotoman: Fastest man alive it seemed back then.
[Mar 3, 10:52 PM] Tim McLeod: him and Billy
[Mar 3, 10:53 PM] rotoman: True, but Roman seemed like more of a ballplayer. Hamilton did make himself into a defensive plus, all credit to him.
[Mar 3, 10:54 PM] rotoman: Kikuchi is not a hopeless case.
[Mar 3, 10:54 PM] rotoman: Domingo German is a great pick for Perry Van Hook.
[Mar 3, 10:55 PM] Tim McLeod: Thanks for the discussion this evening, Peter!
[Mar 3, 10:55 PM] Tim McLeod: A fun evening
[Mar 3, 10:57 PM] rotoman: Thanks for the discussion Tim.
[Mar 3, 10:57 PM] rotoman: Mr Irrelevant is: Vince “appropriately” Velasquez. Will probably win the Cy Young.
[Mar 3, 10:57 PM] rotoman: Night all! Drive safely Tim.
[Mar 3, 10:58 PM] rotoman: Hope to see you in NY Ray!
[Mar 3, 10:58 PM] Tim McLeod: Thanks, Peter!!

Tout Wars Mixed Online Draft – Tuesday, March 3

The Tout Wars 2020 Mixed Online Draft will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

You can listen to the proceedings on the Colton and the Wolfman Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Radio.

We will also have a live chat session right here, starting at about 7:45 PM ET.

Follow along pick by pick by clicking this link.

Here are our 2020 participants.

Ray Murphy *Last year’s champ
Michael Beller
Tim McCullough
Rudy Gamble *2017, 2018 champ
Anthony Perri
Adam Ronis *2015, 2016 champ
DJ Short
Scott White
Charlie Wiegert
Perry Van Hook
Dan Strafford
Greg Ambrosius
Tom Kessenich
Seth Trachtman
Tim McLeod *2014 champ

All Time Tout Wars Leaderboard

Each year we update the Tout Wars leaderboard, which gives us a glimpse at who the most successful Tout Warriors have been over the years.

The idea is simple. Each entry costs an imaginary $100. Imaginary winnings are divided proportionally to the top 30 percent of the leagues each year.

There is a Google Sheet where you can see all the results.

A couple of notes:

Fred Zinkie is in the lead, but he and Rudy Gamble are tied for best results the last five years, on average. Zinkie did not play in 2019, and will be moving to the NL only league this year, which should be interesting (to say the least). Note: Adam Ronis is just behind those two.

Larry Schechter ranks second on our list, despite coming a cropper the last six years. That’s how dominant he was the nine years before that.

Mike Lombardo is notably sixth of all time. He passed away last year and will always be remembered as a great player.

Jason Grey is seventh all-time at this point, but only because he gave up the fantasy life for real-life scouting. Go figure.

Feel free to load the sheet and make your own sorts. You’ll find me at the bottom of the list with my buddies the lamentedly departed Steve Moyer and the wonderfully game and very smart Scott Pianowski. All I can say is we’ve had our moments, made our impressions, but failed to grab the ring.

The 2020 Tout Wars lineups are set

The 2020 Tout Wars lineups are set.

The first draft of the six leagues, Draft and Hold, has already been held, with details here.

Next up will be the Mixed Draft, to be conducted on Tuesday, March 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET. You can listen to the proceedings on the Colton and the Wolfman Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Radio. We will also have a live chat session here at

The final four drafts will be held live in New York City on the weekend of March 14-15. The venue is the Stewart Hotel, the same facility that will be housing NFBC drafts that same weekend. Some spectator seating will be available. All drafts will be covered live on SiriusXM, and again, we will also host live chats here.

Sat. 3/14, 9:00 a.m. ET – American League-only draft

Sat. 3/14, 3:00 p.m. ET – Mixed auction draft

Sun. 3/15, 9:00 a.m. ET – National League-only draft

Sun. 3/15, 2:00 p.m. ET – Head-to-Head auction draft

Here are your 2020 Tout warriors, with leagues listed in drafting sequence.

Draft and Hold
Vlad Sedler
Jeff Mans
Jeff Boggis
Craig Mish
Alan Harrison
Matt Modica
Mike Sheets
Anthony Aniano
Michael Florio
Jon Hegglund
Michael Stein
Brad Johnson
James Anderson
Dr. Roto
Doug Anderson
Mixed Draft
Ray Murphy
Michael Beller
Tim McCullough
Rudy Gamble
Anthony Perri
Adam Ronis
DJ Short
Scott White
Charlie Wiegert
Perry Van Hook
Dan Strafford
Greg Ambrosius
Tom Kessenich
Seth Trachtman
Tim McLeod
American League
Patrick Davitt
Larry Schechter
Jeff Erickson
Rob Leibowitz
Ryan Bloomfield
Doug Dennis
Chris Liss
Jason Collette
Colton Wolf
Howard Bender
Mike Podhorzer
Mike Gianella
Mixed Auction
Jeff Zimmerman
Scott Swanay
Eric Karabell
Michael Rathburn
Derek VanRiper
Scott Engel
Brent Hershey
Zach Steinhorn
Jake Ciely
Bret Sayre
Ron Shandler
Scott Pianowski
Al Melchior
Joe Pisapia
Gene McCaffrey
National League
Peter Kreutzer
Brian Walton
Lenny Melnick
Justin Mason
Grey Albright
Phil Hertz
Todd Zola
Fred Zinkie
Tristan Cockcroft
Scott Wilderman
Steve Gardner
Derek Carty
Head-to-Head Auction
Andrea LaMont
Frank Stampfl
Alex Chamberlain
Ryan Hallam
Ralph Lifshitz
AJ Mass
Nick Pollack
Ariel Cohen
Andy Behrens
Clay Link
Paul Sporer
Ian Kahn

Tout Table: Shohei Ohtani eligibility

Hi! Welcome to the inaugural Tout Table of the 2020 season. Each week, the participants of the six Tout Wars leagues will be asked a question, with the commentary posted on the Tout Wars site. Here’s the question:

Should Shohei Ohtani be eligible to pitch on opening day?

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): Of course. I see a lot of people out there making arguments that because he didn’t get 20 games at pitcher last year he should lose the eligibility, but that makes no sense. Pitcher has never been a position players have had to qualify for based on past seasons, because it doesn’t make sense for them to. Either they’re a pitcher or they aren’t. The point of the positional qualification rules is to prevent someone from playing Nelson Cruz at shortstop. Removing Ohtani’s pitcher eligibility goes entirely against the spirit of the rule. He missed a year of pitching due to injury and is such an insane freak that he was able to hit through it. Ohtani is actually a *better* pitcher than he is a hitter, making it all the more absurd to remove the qualification of his primary position due to injury and his own insane athleticism. You’d never remove the pitcher designation from someone like Garrett Richards or Lance McCullers who miss a year due to injury, so it’s dumb to do it to Ohtani just because he doesn’t suck at a hitting.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I wrote about this two years ago. Bottom line, yes. The common eligibility rule is intended for position players. There isn’t a rule for pitchers, because it was never needed. Forcing a rule not intended for pitchers onto pitchers doesn’t make sense to me. Use common sense. Pitcher eligibility is because the guy is a pitcher, not a minumum number of games. In 2017, Ohtani played DH in Japan far more than he pitched so if the non-intended rule were applied, he would have been UT-only in our game in 2018. At that time, I recommended adding pitcher-eligibility to your rules.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): A unique situation for a unique player. I am on the side of allowing Ohtani eligibility as a pitcher and as a hitter, counting him as one player, and counting the stats he accumulates in both roles in a given week. I don’t understand the rigid thinking contrary to this approach. I have supported this view in the leagues where I get some say in the rules and have never been successful in my view of the rules. (I own zero shares, fwiw).

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): I’ll answer a question with a question: Should Lance McCullers Jr. be eligible to pitch on opening day? The answer is unquestionably yes. And that’s the simplest reason why Ohtani should as well, as if we’re going to require a decision to lock him into your roster as only a pitcher in a given day/week, why are we applying traditional hitting rules to his usage on that side?

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): People saying Ohtani shouldn’t have pitcher eligibility remind me of people who look out over the horizon and say, “The earth is flat.” There’s no reason Ohtani shouldn’t be eligible at pitcher because, are you ready? Can you handle this? You might want to sit down. Okay, are you sitting? Comfortable? Good. Ohtani’s eligible at pitcher because he’s a pitcher. If McCullers had entered a game late in September as a pinch-runner, replacing Gurriel, would you be arguing McCullers only has 1st base eligibility? C’mon. It’s pedantic, otherwise.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Difference is McCullers was out with IL Ohtahni played but didnt Pitch…Not eligible to P this draft season

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner): In most leagues, there’s no difference in any of the pitching slots. Some may distinguish between SP and RP, but they’re all pitchers. If you want to put a position player there, go for it (if the system will let you). The reason there’s a distinction among hitters is that there are nine different positions they can play. That’s why we make them qualify. Pitchers only pitch.

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): I agree with Lenny. WHY are people trying to treat Ohtani differently from other players? If Manny Machado had X games at 3B and less than 20 at SS he would only be eligible at 3B. Ohtani didn’t pitch last year and should start the year eligible only at UT

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): There’s never a games played requirement for a pitcher, so of course he should be. And if not, how many games would he need to pitch before being eligible? There’s no requirement anywhere in any league for that.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): He played other positions and NOT pitcher …That’s the difference McCullers was out and did not play other positions…Pitchers may not need 20 games but they should be a pitcher the previous season

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Can we make Sam Hilliard a Pitcher? That is what he was?

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Why the heck not? Just because he batted last year shouldn’t change the fact that he was a pitcher in 2018 before he was hurt.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): It comes down to how you interpret the original position eligibility rule. It was written when there were no pitchers who played in the field. It may not even be written to explicitly apply to position players, but again, there was no need. My contention is instead of making pitchers follow a rule not intended for pitchers, come up with a rule intended for pitchers. McCullers doesn’t matter, Hilliard doesn’t matter. Machado doesn’t matter. It’s an apples to oranges comparison. Hypothetical question – if the founding fathers got together in 2020 and invented fantasy baseball, would there be a separate rule for pitching eligibility? I believe there would.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): He should definitely be eligible as a pitcher on Opening Day. It’s common sense. Even Rob Manfred couldn’t screw this one up.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): Traditional rules states that eligibility is based on the previous season unless the player DID NOT play. Ohtani played last year and should only be UT eligible. That being said, if your league disagrees, they should have a league vote and change it. Just know how you platform is doing it because not all platforms are the same in this regard

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru Elite, @rotogut): To put it succinctly, since Ohtani is both hitter and pitcher in real baseball, he should be eligible at both positions in fantasy.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I side with those who believe he should be eligible as a Pitcher – position eligibility requirements obviously weren’t designed with a player like Ohtani in mind, so modify the rules when presented with a new situation that wasn’t contemplated when the original rules were designed. On a (somewhat) related note, if we ever see an updated version of Herb Washington (i.e. – designated pinch runner), I wonder how that would be handled (i.e. – should he be eligible at Utility even though he wouldn’t have any plate appearances or games played in the field?)

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I don’t see why not, but I know some leagues’ commish services cannot (or cannot easily) provide for Ohtani as both a batter and a pitcher. But the best solution, assuming the commish can do what is asked, is for each league to get together and decide what they want to do, then do that.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): Definitely agree with Doug Dennis, a unique situation for a unique player and should be treated as such. The MLB is basically catering to Ohtani and other two-way players in the new rules they’re implementing. Hell, they’re basically advocating more teams use a two-way player, as should we. Ohtani is a starting pitcher and designated hitter and should be treated as such in fantasy.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): Of course Ohtani should be eligible to pitch. Taken to its logical conclusion, no pitcher who had TJS or any other injury and missed a year would be eligible. Should all of the returning TJS pitchers be ineligible to be drafted on draft day? Of course not. All that does is create a FAAB mess. Moreover, while we are on the Ohtani subject, I think it is great that Tout Wars is out in front trying out new ideas, I think the time has come to make Ohtani one player who can be used as P or UT rather than splitting him in half like good Kirk and bad Kirk in what was frankly a bad Star Trek episode.

Scott Wilderman (OnRoto, @): Eligibility rules for hitters never applied to pitchers, so if your league treats Ohtani as a single player who swings, he has P eligibility right from the start, and doesn’t have to wait until he’s pitched in 5 games or whatever your league rule is.

Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): Of course he should be eligible at SP right away, and any insistence to the contrary is the height of pedantry.

Ralph Lifshitz (Razzball, @ProspectJesus): There’s a clear precedent for pitchers coming off of TJS. Here’s why it applies. Hitter and Pitcher are designations not positions. Position eligibility rules are written to police eligibility at positions within the subcategory below designations. It’s clear that being utility versus second base eligible simply dictates where a player can earn for your team. Nowhere within that position eligibility rule does it clearly state it prohibits multiple designations. So when considering this it supersedes any positional eligibility because it does not apply to designations but positions within.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): I agree with most here. Ohtani should be pitcher-eligible starting Opening Day. Any player an MLB team considers to be a pitcher on their roster should be pitcher-eligible. And, vice versa, any player considered to be a position player or DH should be a hitter. The only 5-10 game qualifier is for a specific position.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): I think the eligibility requirement is more for positions. We all know that Ohtani is a pitcher and he will pitch. I am all for going by the rules, but there should be common sense here. No need to complicate things.

Jake Ciely (The Athletic, @allinkid): I remember when David Gonos told me years ago, “More rules equal less fun.” While this could be argued as a pretty typical rule, common sense (and fun) should factor in with Ohtani. He’s a pitcher, we know he’s a pitcher, and he should qualify as such on all sites. For the more “serious” debate of it… we don’t strip eligibility from players hurt the previous season, so why should we do it with Ohtani just because he was only able to hit?

Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): Pitchers who miss entire seasons for TJ surgery aren’t suddenly required to amass 20 games (or whatever) to be eligible to pitch again. Why should Ohtani be restricted? He was an eligible SP when he was hurt, so the rules should allow him to pitch when he returns. It doesn’t matter that he also hits.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): A Gonos reference! My work here is done.

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): This is a classic ‘spirit of the law’ vs. ‘letter of the law’ argument. Use common sense. Ohtani should still be eligible as a pitcher. If he had torn his ACL instead of his UCL, and missed 2019 entirely, would the “he shouldn’t be eligible to pitch” crowd want him to play in five games as a hitter before letting him qualify as a UT-only player again?

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): There are two situations here. Those who see Ohtani as a pitcher and also a hitter. They probably play in leagues with two Ohtanis, or you get one Ohtani but he can only hit or pitch in any given week, not both. They think he should pitch because he’s obviously a pitcher. But there are those who see Ohtani as a player, one who was a hitter last year so didn’t earn his pitching qualification. I don’t know what type of leagues they play in, maybe one like the one Doug Dennis (and I) dream of, but that’s neither here nor there. While every league can adopt the rules they choose to, for all the obvious reasons stated many times above I don’t think it makes sense not to let Ohtani pitch when he’s ready to pitch. The “difference” that he played as a hitter doesn’t make sense, because there isn’t really a position eligibility for pitcher. It’s a category. So, if you own Ohtani the pitcher, or if you want to play Ohtani the pitcher rather than Ohtani the hitter, you should be able to.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Careful, you’ll be setting a president ! McKay is coming, and Lorenzen. What you do for Ohtani, you’ll need to do for them. I think the best rule is to make him two players, one as a pitcher, one as a hitter. He’s already limited as a hitter only qualifying as a DH. But only one owner, and the owner gets to choose each week how he wants to use him, as a hitter or pitcher, but not both. Using that rule makes him more valuable to the owner, without, he might not be useful as either a pitcher or hitter. And yes, he should qualify as a pitcher for week one (even though he won’t pitch).

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): I didn’t have Justin pegged as such a strict constructionist. Hmm. Ohtani is an incredibly fun chess piece who should be allowed to remain fun. Stripping his pitching eligibility seems like a needlessly aggressive interpretation of rules that were never designed for a player with his versatility. (Also, Scott asks a good question about how we’d handle a modern-day Herb Washington. I really don’t know, but I can’t imagine we’d want to exclude any potential source of stolen bases.)

Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink): Yes, because I think common sense should rule the day. That being said, the rules should be amended to cover these instances.

Andrea LaMont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): Common sense? He didn’t pitch at all last year, why would he qualify as pitcher when no other player would qualify at a position he didn’t play last year. It runs into a little snag when you consider other pitchers coming back after missing a full season, but the last position they played was pitcher.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Yes, of course! Most constitutions don’t include a minimum innings or games appeared in requirement during the previous season to qualify as a pitcher. So rather than overanalyzing a rule that likely isn’t clarified, do the logical thing.

Greg Ambrosius (NFBC, @GregAmbrosius): Yes, common sense rules in fantasy baseball. In the NFBC we realize that he missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery and with any other pitcher who missed a full season he retains his eligibility for the upcoming season. Just because he can also hit well and DH’d last year shouldn’t eliminate him qualifying as a pitcher this year. Common sense dictates that.

Tout Wars Draft and Hold

The 2020 Tout Wars drafting season is set to commence Monday at 1:00 PM ET with the second year of our Draft and Hold league. Fourteen of the industry’s best will try to unseat Mike Sheets, the first-ever Draft and Hold champion.

Like all Tout Wars formats, the Draft and Hold is an OBP league. Each team drafts 50 players to use the entire season. There are no pickups or trades.

The draft will be conducted on Fantrax before being moved over to OnRoto, our official sponsor. Fantrax has generously provided a public link to follow the festivities:

Here are the 15 combatants, listed in draft order:

  1. Mike Sheets, ESPN (@MikeASheets)
  2. James Anderson, Rotowire (@RealJRAnderson)
  3. Matt Modica, The Athletic (@ctmbaseball)
  4. Michael Stein, Fantasy Judgment (@FantasyJudgment)
  5. Jon Hegglund, Baseball Prospectus (@JonHegglund)
  6. Brad Johnson, Rotographs (@BaseballATeam)
  7. Anthony Aniano, Rotoballer (@AAnianoFantasy)
  8. Alan Harrison, Fantasy Fix (@TheFantasyFix)
  9. Vlad Sedler, Fantasy Guru Elite (@rotogut)
  10. Dr. Roto, Fulltime Fantasy (@DrRoto)
  11. Jeff Boggis, Fantasy Football Empire (@JeffBoggis)
  12. Jeff Mans, Fantasy Guru Elite (@Jeff_Mans)
  13. Craig Mish, Fantasy Sports Network (@CraigMish)
  14. Mike Florio, Rotoballer (@MichaelFFlorio)
  15. Doug Anderson, Fantrax (@rotodaddy)