Roto Riteup: April 4, 2015

Today marks the return of the daily Roto Riteup. Opening Night isn’t until tomorrow, but the news never stops. As you may now have guessed, I’ll be guiding you through the weekends this year, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

On today’s agenda:
1. Fun with spring stats
2. Travis Wood locks up a job
3. Nick Ahmed makes the Diamondbacks
4. Jon Gray optioned

Fun with spring stats
All numbers are as of Friday, April 3.

Jose Abreu: 59 ABs, 1 HR, .508 AVG
Dan Uggla: 44 ABs, 2 HR, .273 AVG, 13/9 BB/K
Ryan Howard: 72 ABs, 3 HR, 23 K, .167 AVG
Brandon Belt: 65 ABs, 12/18 BB/K, .369/.468/.662
Odubel Herrera: 66 ABs, .348 AVG, 6 SB (0 CS)

Travis Wood locks up a job
The Cubs have announced that Wood has earned a spot in Chicago’s rotation, SHOCKINGLY beating out Edwin Jackson and his 6.33 ERA last year. After a stellar 2013 campaign, Wood struggled in 2014 thanks to some sub-par control and poor batted ball luck. Wood’s velocity was down a smidgen last year, but he’s never relied on blowing his high-80s fastball by hitters, so it’s nothing to fret over. Wood isn’t a mixed-league option, but he’s worth a shot in NL-only leagues if he’s still available.

Nick Ahmed makes the Diamondbacks
A former second-round pick, Ahmed has won Arizona’s shortstop job, with Chris Owings shifting over to second base and Aaron Hill riding the pine. Ahmed flashed some speed while with the Braves before going to Arizona in the Justin Upton deal, but his running has been much less prolific since. Ahmed hit .312 in AAA last year, striking out just 12.2 percent of the time and stealing 14 bags. Ahmed kept his contact rate up while in the majors last season, but he hit just .200 with three extra-base hits in 70 ABs. Ahmed can really stick it with the glove, so even if his bat doesn’t blossom, he should be able to hold down a job. Ahmed is a fringe NL-only option, useful only in leagues with a MI spot.

Jon Gray optioned
Gray threw well enough to spring to warrant consideration for the big league rotation, but the Rockies have decided to send one of their top prospect back to the minors for some added seasoning. It’s hard for starters to have value in Coors, but Gray’s velocity and slider could put him in rarefied air. Colorado doesn’t have much in the way of above-average starting pitching, so as long as he keeps up the pace in AAA, expect to see Gray no later than the Super-Two cutoff.

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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Should I drop Salazar for R. Montero in deep 16 team H2H? I’m torn….think Mets are going to give Montero a shot right away or very soon, not sure Salazar makes it back quick