Roto Riteup: April 3, 2016

Major League Baseball has made a huge mistake, launching Opening Day on the same date as Wrestlemania, forcing this Roto Riteup author to make choices.

The demise of A.J. Pollock’s elbow is clearly the big story of the day, and while it’s not in our typical remit, we’ll cover it in detail today.

On the agenda:
1. Replacing A.J. Pollock
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitcher Options

Replacing A.J. Pollock
With news that Pollock has a broken elbow and could possibly miss the entire season, the Diamondbacks will struggle to even come close to filling the hole in center. The D’Backs were hoping to find a spot for Socrates Brito on the roster, but….

Brito will play in center against right-handers to open the season, and while his real-life value is highly questionable, he will be worthy of a fantasy role. Brito has amassed some decent stolen base totals in the minors, but his body type actually projects better for power, so it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he puts up as he ages. Brito won’t walk enough to be worth considering in OBP leagues — unless you can handle the hit that comes with a .290 OBP — and his batting average won’t help owners, but it won’t be a large hindrance, either. Assuming around 400 plate appearances, expect something like a .260/6/15 line nothing special, but nothing to scoff at either since he does have the raw upside for more.

Platooning with Brito will be Chris Owings. Owings has the athleticism to handle the outfield, but he’s never played there before and will be thrust into the spotlight early. After the acquisition of Jean Segura from the Brewers this offseason, Owings is somewhat of the odd man out in the middle infield, especially after a disastrous 2015 campaign in which the then 23-year-old regressed in virtually every important facet of the game after showing some promise in 2014. Now that he won’t be playing day-in and day-out, there’s no need to even dream about what could be with the young righty, and his playing time could be reduced even further should he prove unable to handle the outfield.

Various News and Notes
Felix Doubront wasn’t able to make it through his final start of the spring due to forearm tightness, and may not be able to start the season on the active roster. Should he fail to be healthy enough, Jesse Hahn would be likely to start in his place against the Mariners on Friday.

Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani is expected to be ready to take a turn in the rotation on April 10th. DeSclafani has been hampered by an oblique injury.

After some positive signs just a couple days ago, it appears that Yasmani Grandal will not start the year on the active roster after all. As previously mentioned, Austin Barnes will be an interesting DFS play for the start or two he makes in Grandal’s absence.

The Angels are going to keep three 1B-only guys on their opening day roster, which is a strange move. Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron are around, of course, but Ji-Man Choi has also made the squad.

Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Edinson Volquez vs NYM (Matt Harvey)
When aces battle, the lesser of all talent shines through as a streaming option. If you’re streaming or playing DFS on a day with three games, bless you and your sick brain.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Drew Smyly vs TOR (R.A. Dickey)
Only Wily Peralta and Jeremy Hellickson are true streaming candidates, so this is more of a DFS play. If you’re willing to spend a little more while staying away from the top tier, Tyson Ross against a banged up Dodgers squad should also provide excellent value.

Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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Robert L
Robert L

Ji-Man Choi will be around for LF too