Welcome to the Dereck Rodriguez Fan Club
As the resident Ottonoob here at The Can of Corn my goal is to continue writing updates about my fledgling Ottoneu team and to provide some general notes and guidance for other first time players. Really, though, I just want to show that you don’t have to have a PhD in statistics to (sort of) understand and (immensely) enjoy fantasy baseball. Back in the day I worked out for a minute at Planet Fitness and they post signs around the gym declaring it to be a “No Lunk Zone”, meaning that the gym is a safe space to workout free from judgmental meathead-shitbirds. This, then, is a judgemental meathead-shitbird free zone.
In that spirit I’d like to talk about Dereck Rodriguez. Now, please note that I tread cautiously here and I fully comprehend that I’m in a little over my head trying to write about and publish fantasy baseball analysis in only my second year of playing. But much like national treasure Glenn Danzig, I’ve got something to say. Is there a market out there for novice-level Ottoneu advice sprinkled with punk rock references? Caveat emptor.
The Creep Can Roll, Man (the ‘stache is a little creepy, er, sexy, right?
I owned Rodriguez last year in my H2H, 10-team NL-Only league (ESPN), and goddamnit, he was a joy to own. In a shallow 10-team NL-only format wherein the pickins’ were ever-so-slim it wasn’t hard to understand his value. His numbers didn’t make headlines but, damn it, the kid was just reliable enough to neither ruin my day nor win me my week. He provided solid innings without messing up my ratios along with 6 valuable wins (he finished 6-4 with a 1.13 WHIP and 2.81 ERA…nothing to shake a stick at). I finished third in that league last year and feel that his stability played a non-trivial role.
Now, if you have followed him last year into this one the story has been nearly identical. It usually goes something like this: “This isn’t sustainable. Look under the hood and you will see he’s nowhere near as good as his numbers suggest. Seriously, fuck Dereck Rodriguez I hate him.”
Just kidding, but only kind of. Let’s take a quick look at his numbers through the first 4 games of this season.
Despite 1 shaky start in the early going vs. Tampa Bay, his numbers are the kind of thing I need in my life when the rest of my roster is crumbling around me. Last night? Rodriguez put up 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6Ks against the not-too-shabby Nationals. Now, I scan a lot of fantasy baseball sites each day, and you would think the conversation would start leaning more towards, “Hey, this dude keeps on chugging along. Chugga chugg chugg.” Except not really:
Rotowire April 17, 2019 12:03 AM : Rodriguez (2-2) earned the win against the Nationals on Tuesday by allowing one run on five hits across five innings. He struck out six and walked three. Analysis: Rodriguez certainly didn’t have his best stuff Tuesday as he issued three walks after walking only a single batter over his first three starts, but he still battled his way through five solid innings to grab the win. The 26-year-old has a 3.63 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 18:4 K:BB over 22.1 innings and lines up to take the mound Sunday at Pittsburgh.
Pitcher List Yeah, that’s fine D-Rod, I’ll respectfully hold back calling you D-Rop for another week. The Nationals are far from a cakewalk and while you may have a gotten a little lucky here, I’ll still acknowledge that you can be a Toby across the full year.
“Didn’t have his best stuff”? “Another week”?
Rodriguez has been playing boring albeit consistent baseball since last year and I rarely see a positive word written about him. I mean, as of 4/20 he’s sitting at 97th on Pitcher List. He’s ranked lower than guys like Jhoulys Chacin, Freddy Peralta, Corbin Burnes, and Michael Pineda, all of whom have skillsets that look better on paper but have straight-up fucked up your day and left you scratching your head at least once this season if you own them. His ownership in Ottoneu is at 88.5% so clearly this isn’t a big secret and maybe I’m just a crazy person imagining all of this, but I do find the writing that surrounds him to be uniquely ho-hum. It’s like, “Ya he’s ok, but he’s not a real pitcher.” At what point does my homie get some love? I suspect a lot of the indifference boils down to strength of schedule. If he puts up these kinds of numbers against the Dodgers then maybe the collective tune starts to change?
In any event the goal of Ottoneu is the accumulation of stats and at the end of the day the name of the game truly is upside rather than anecdotal “gut feelings” about slightly-above-average players, however I am now keeping my eyes peeled for players like Rodriguez – players who aren’t going to take you on a roller coaster ride of extremes highs and lows yet are not going to pop up on many “acquire this motherfucker right this second” lists.
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)