News: 16 hours agoRed Sox manager Ron Roenicke has not yet ruled out Rodriguez (illness) for Opening Day but added that time is running out, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
Spin: Rodriguez, who tested positive COVID-19, would need to test negative for the virus twice before he's cleared to travel to Boston. With less than two weeks before Opening Day, Rodriguez is looking doubtful. "There is definitely a time when we'll have to make that decision," Roenicke said. "We haven't yet. We haven't really talked about when that day is. I know he's continuing to stay active with his arm and throwing some. But it depends on how long it goes before he can get a couple test results that come back in our favor." The left-handed Rodriguez had built himself up to four innings during the shutdown, but it's uncertain where he stands at this time. If Rodriguez is unable to make it back for the opener, then Nathan Eovaldi would take the ball July 24 at home against Baltimore.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Two things spawned a Rodriguez breakthrough in 2019. First, a rise in his ground ball rate to 49.5% (41.5% for his career), and perhaps most importantly, better health, as he reached the 30-start and 200-IP plateaus for the first time in his 10-year professional career. The latter might be the tougher ingredient to repeat, though when healthy, Rodriguez boasts a solid four-pitch mix (four-seam fastball/cutter/changeup/sinker) and balanced platoon splits (lefties actually have a career wOBA 31 points higher against him than righties). This makes him a "very good, even if not elite" starter. His high-water mark for fantasy was last year's top-20 SP finish in both rotisserie and points-based leagues, but it's probably not worth paying for a flat repeat. Assume some regression in playing time and hope to get him as more of a top-30 pick at the position.