Roto Riteup: April 24, 2017

The Roto Riteup would like to help you hide from the upcoming work week:

On the Agenda:

1. Giant(s) Implosion

2. Various News and Notes

3. Streaming Pitcher Options


Giant(s) Implosion

You know things are not going well for the San Francisco Giants right now when:

1.Brandon Belt is playing left field.

2.Matt Cain has the best ERA of your active starting pitchers.

3.Even the seagulls are flying to Oakland

In terms of fantasy, this implosion could have effects on the season in regards to fantasy owners. Depending on your league’s rules, Belt could gain OF eligibility if injuries continue to force him out there. With their anemic offense sputtering and the team wanting to keep Buster Posey healthier by getting him from behind the plate, Nick Hundley could garner some deep league 2-catcher interest as well. If the Giants continue to struggle, especially without staff ace Madison Bumgarner, don’t be surprised if free agents to be Eduardo Nunez, Nick Hundley, Matt Cain, Aaron Hill, and Johnny Cueto (opt out after 2017) get moved to help replenish a farm system that has been decimated during championship runs in recent years. A ballpark move would most certainly help Nunez, but would most likely negatively affect Cueto and Cain.

*The author of this article is a huge Giants fan and may need to be talked off of a ledge.


Various News and Notes

Kennys Vargas has been recalled by the Twins. It is unclear how much playing time he will garner while back in Minnesota considering that Robbie Grossman is hitting .311/.475/.467. Vargas offers a bit more pop potential and could be interesting if he can steal at bats in the middle of the Twins lineup.

Big Dan Vogelbach made his MLB season debut on Sunday after being called up by the Mariners. Vogelbach, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday, has been red-hot in AAA hitting .309/.409/.473 with two home runs in 66 plate appearances. He will most likely platoon with Danny Valencia at 1st base. While his large frame has made people believe he has huge power potential, Vogelbach hasn’t really proven that to be true in the minors. Adding further complications, Taylor Motter, who still is not following me on twitter anymore, has been absolutely crushing it and will need a more regular place to play once Jean Segura returns, which may happen on Tuesday, though Leonys Martin’s designation should help free a spot. Vogelbach is most interesting in AL only formats.

Kevin Gausman was lit up for five runs in 5.1 innings on Sunday. Things have started off very poorly for Gausman who is sporting a 7.50 ERA with peripherals that don’t look much better. Gausman is having trouble commanding pitches within the zone, which begs the question whether or not he is healthy. There is also some talk that he may be tipping pitches, though personally I haven’t seen much to support that. Gausman has a ton of talent, but has yet to live up to the hype.

Stephen Strasburg was placed on paternity leave. Typically, I wouldn’t talk about something like this, but it likely means he will have his start in Colorado pushed back into the following series which is always good news.

Jorge Bonifacio made his MLB debut and went 2-for-4 with a home run for the Royals on Sunday. In spite of the splashy debut, Bonifacio is no longer the flashy prospect he once was and profiles as a guy that could hit .240-.260 with 15-20 home runs once fully mature. This MLB stint may be short-lived as well since Jorge Soler is on a minor league rehab assignment and has started off well going 3-for-10 with a home run in three games so far.

Shelby Miller will have an MRI on Monday after being forced to exit Sunday’s game with forearm tightness. Miller is owned in 48% of CBS leagues, which I assume half of which are Paul Sporer’s teams.


Streaming Pitcher Options

A pitcher for today: None

Last week I recommended Daniel Norris in spite of the fact he had a tough matchup and was starring the regression monster in the face. Lesson learned. I no longer will force a recommendation because there aren’t other good options. However, if you are feeling frisky and have a blood alcohol content over .12, Brett Anderson is pitching in Pittsburgh against a Pirates team that is 22nd in wOBA and 9th in strikeouts against left-handed pitching. Not a recommendation, but if you like to play Russian roulette with you ratios there is your gamble.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Jesse Hahn @ LAA

Hahn has been good so far this year in three appearances (2 starts and once in relief) and draws an Angels team that is 24th in wOBA and 6th in strikeouts against right-handed pitching.

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Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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Jonathan Sher

Think you may be underestimating Bonifacio because he tailed off the prospect charts when he had underwhelming performances in 2014, when he was a year younger than the competition in AA, and in 2015, when he rebounded somewhat but not enough to rehabilitate his prospect reputation.

Scouts have always liked his quick, short swing but soured on him when hoped-for power didn’t show in games and when his plate discipline was just so-so. In 2016 at AAA, Bonifacio posted his best ISO since rookie ball and posted his best walk rate in the upper minors, than began this year with an ISO of .294, a double digit walk percentage and a k-rate that dropped to just 14%, and while the sample size was small, he showed all the qualities that scouts hoped would develop when they first projected him as an average or above-average right fielder.

That’s hardly a guarantee of success, but I think many are overlooking him because at an age when he was relatively young for the competition, he failed to meet expectations, and some have not taken note of his recent improvement.

It’s true Soler is likely to be called up sometime this week, barring a setback, and is also likely to get first crack at RF. It’s also true Soler has massive power potential. But he has problems too: He’s a pretty bad defensive outfielder whose bad instincts, slow reaction times and poor hands overshadow his relatively good speed and arm, and along with poor contact skills, it made him barely above replacement level with the Cubs. On a Royals club that values outfield defense in their spacious home park, Soler may test the team’s patience.

Finally, if the Royals are out of the race in the summer, they will be in sell mode, and I could see them flipping Brandon Moss and his low price tag, moving Soler to DH and Bonifacio to RF.

Notwithstanding my different take on Bonifacio, I really enjoyed your Roto Riteup, especially the line about Brett Anderson.