This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
We're 12 days into the 2020 MLB season, meaning we're anywhere between five and 17 percent of the way through the campaign, depending on whether your team has been lucky enough to avoid a coronavirus outbreak (or lucky enough to have not been scheduled against a team whose players elected to play despite knowing about their own outbreak). That means teams have played the equivalent of anywhere between eight and 27 games over a normal season, putting them anywhere between late March and late April on a normal schedule.
None of that is very helpful for informing exactly to what extent we should manage our teams as if it's truly early August and to what extent we should act as though it's still April. From a statistical perspective, we know next to nothing about whether a player's talent level has changed, so it's hard to adjust anyone's value outside of the most extreme cases. But we have had time to assess role changes on a number of teams, and we've unfortunately seen the anticipated high number of injuries, both of which lead to fairly straightforward changes in our assessments of players.
As was the case last week, this week's column will remain primarily focused on role changes, as it's still quite early to worry too much about small-sample statistics. The most extreme early performances have brought with them role changes already, however, as teams are just as anxious to avoid a slow start as fantasy players are. Other early performances